Ice Ice Baby!
There is nothing vanilla about the New York Islanders. After a gritty, gusty season, they have fought their way trough the belly of the beast and they now have a chance to make all of Brooklyn proud.
Tonight in south Florida, the Isles will begin their first round matchup against the Panthers. Despite the fact that the Panthers are favored, this is certainly a series that the Isles can win. In the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, anything can happen, and it seems like success is just around the corner for this Isles team.
After a sluggish start for the Panthers, they jumped right into the playoff mix and became one of most surprising teams in the NHL this season. With both of these teams eager to make a name for themselves, this could be the most exciting first round series in the playoffs.
Recently, the Isles have been playing some good hockey and they have beaten some of the top contending teams in the league. When their back was against the wall, they did not back down and now they are looking at a golden opportunity. Not only can the Isles win this matchup in the first round, but they have what it takes to go deep into the playoffs. And now is their time to prove it.
The playoffs have basically become a guarantee for the Isles over the last couple of seasons. After losing in the first round to Washington in seven games last season, certainly their fans would like to see their team take things to the next level. For the Islanders, that next level would be advancing to the second round. There is no doubt that this team has the talent to do it.
On the court
The Nets closed out their season last night against the Toronto Raptors losing 103-96 at Barclays Center. In what has been a rough season for this franchise, it will be good for all of Brooklyn to move on to next year.
The biggest question mark facing this team right now is who is going to become the next head coach. While there have been an array of different names circulating, general manager Sean Marks has not tipped his hand as to who is his lead candidate for the position.
Those familiar with Marks feel that he will lean toward going with somebody with a San Antonio background, but, it would make sense for Marks, who is a rookie GM, to explore all different avenues to help find the new face and voice for the team.
Going forward, the Nets can at least bank on some stability. They have a GM in place, they have shown that they are all in with Brooklyn and there are a number of players on the roster who will be playing in Kings County for the long haul.
The challenge now, for Sean Marks and the rest of the organization is to get this team headed in the right direction. Once a coach is named, then people can make an assessment as to how they want to set the team for next season. And as many fans have pointed out, things can’t get much worse than this. The good news though for Nets fans is that better days ahead, hopefully in the near future.