Over the last few weeks, plenty of teams in town have gotten a lot of attention. Of course, the Knicks Playoff Run got a ton of love, and rightfully so. The Nets have been center stage trying to win a title and hold off the Milwaukee Bucks and find themselves in quite the predicament.
All the hoops plus the surging Mets and reeling Yankees have generated plenty of headlines, but there’s nothing like riding the wave of a hot team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Living and dying on every faceoff, shift and penalty kill. Playoff hockey will make you do some crazy things and it has been at the forefront with the New York Islanders.
The Islanders run to the Eastern Conference Finals may have been unexpected to some, but not those who have followed the team over the last few years. There is a legitimate culture from ownership, to President Lou Lamoriello and Head Coach Barry Trotz where excellence is expected and over the last three years, the Islanders have gotten better and better.
This year, it’s been impressive to see them take down the likes of the high powered Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. They’ve gotten terrific goaltending from Semyon Varlamov and that’s always the recipe for playoff success. In addition, the best player on the team Matt Barzal has recently shown up in a big way. He’s scored in four of the last five games and has played incredible hockey. You need your best players to perform well in big games if you’re going to win a Stanley Cup, the Islanders have that going for them.
They have all the ju ju on their side. It is the last year the Islanders will play in the Nassau Coliseum and after a year of not being able to cheer on your favorite team, it has been nothing short of a madhouse at the Old Barn.
Top notch coaching, a terrific goaltender, a hot goal scorer and a fired up home crowd. Seems like the recipe for a Stanley Cup if lady luck cooperates.
So yes, there’s plenty of crazy sports action going on, but don’t forget that there’s a team out in Long Island a handful of wins away from a Stanley Cup. You can listen to New York, New York on the Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple every Sunday, Tuesday night & Thursday night