COMMENTARY | While it's no secret the New York Islanders have struggled at home, it may be classified to report that it really won't matter.
That's not exactly something the rest of the league wants to hear, especially not the top 4 Eastern Conference clubs, so it's probably best Islanders fans keep this information in a folder marked secret for now. After all, the less information opponents have, the better.
So, this article is mostly for the Long Island faithful as it reveals five reasons why fans should disregard New York's dismal 10-11-3 home mark.
The Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, powered by an impressive and somewhat surprising 8-1-3 April record.
But aside from that minor blemish, the Isles are nearly perfect. The fact is that New York is hot and it doesn't really matter whom or where it plays right now, so it probably won't matter too much next week, either.
Fear the New Kids
While the rest of the league will never publicly acknowledge it, they're scared of playing the red-hot team from Uniondale.
Not only have the Isles surprised lately, but they're also untested in the playoffs -- a deadly combination that could lead to fruitful results. While experience is normally favored over youth, a fresh team does offer a certain level of intrigue, as no one will know what to expect when the next chapter gets written because there is no precedence.
Teams that take the Isles for granted will get punished.
While the Islanders don't have a stellar home record, they do have an impressive road mark.
In fact, their road record ranks among the league's best at 14-6-3, suggesting that the Islanders actually have the advantage when the playoffs kick off next week.
The pressure won't be on them, and that's something the club seems comfortable with. It's a rare and good mentality to have, especially when you have to play a lot of games on the road -- something the team is likely to do, given its eighth ranking in the standings.
Recent Results Count
Although they may not sport the fancy above-.500 home record that all the other playoff-bound teams have, it shouldn't really matter because it's recent results that count.
Most of their losses in Uniondale came earlier in the year and therefore shouldn't be something they're bothered by now.
The Islanders actually sport a 5-0-1 home record in their last six games.
Most of the skaters have identical offensive statistics regardless of the venue. And that goes for goaltending as well, meaning that this little home-record blemish is not likely to bother the high-scoring Islanders machine come playoff time.
The only thing that will matter is recent results, which some will argue against since "anything can happen in the playoffs." While that's true, it's better to base predictions from precedence.
And given their recent figures, it would be wise to predict that the outdated information that contributed to their dismal home record won't be something that bothers them in phase two.
Kenny Lindberg is an award-winning journalist with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chico State. Lindberg proudly covers the New York Islanders as a Yahoo! Contributor. In 2003, he served in Iraq as a U.S. Army combat engineer.
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