Are the New York Islanders tanking? If not, they should be. They successfully played spoiler on Tuesday night and beat the Flyers. It might always be ideal to win but here is why it is not necessary.
By: John Carroll Jr.
If you are reading my articles since our launch here at Eddie’s Corner you will understand my negative approach surrounding the Isles right now. They do not have much going for them and I have completely shifted my focus to the NHL Draft.
However, the Islanders did beat the Flyers in a great game on Tuesday night. As they prepare to play their last two games of the season, it is important to me that they lose.
Yes, it is encouraging that Mat Barzal and John Tavares played outstanding together. But there is no guarantee that it was a glimpse into the franchise’s future.
The tanking debate feels nearly ancient now. Some fans love it while other fans hate it. With this Isles team, I was all for it. The team is not trying anyway so giving themselves a higher chance to land a top pick in the lottery makes sense to me. Also, by the Flyers losing it gives the Panthers a better chance of making the playoffs.
The Panthers making the playoffs feels useless and makes the Atlantic look stronger therefore the Islanders weaker. The Metro division is stacked and it looks so much better for the Islanders if those teams are more represented in the playoffs. The Flyers making the playoffs looks better on the Isles. It makes the bulk of their competition on the year look that much better.
Pride wins do not mean much these days in the NHL. The Isles have been mentally checking out since December. Its all about the future at this point. Get new young talent to be hyped about as they prepare for the move to an actual sustainable arena in Belmont.
Winning games to play spoiler makes their draft pick that much higher. It makes it difficult to drastically improve when picking outside the top 10 constantly. That is where the Isles are likely heading again.
Of course, I’m happy the Islanders are not completely tanking. Showing some life is encouraging.
But I was kind of rooting for them to lose out naturally. There is a reason this team is stuck in mediocrity. Being bad enough for a great pick is not a bad thing for the Isles right now.