The New York Islanders were a surprise team to the league last season, finishing dead last in the league in goals scored.
They were a disaster on the ice.
The Islanders, who finished with the league’s worst record, are a different story in 2018-19.
The Islanders are on pace to finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference, with a 20-16-6 record and an average of 1.78 goals per game.
They also have the league lead in scoring at 3.13 goals per contest.
That’s an improvement from last season’s 9-10-6 team.
“The Islanders were really good last year.
They’re a team that has been a really good team for the last five years,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
“They were really, really good at times last year, and then they started to regress.
So I think this year they’re going to be really good.”
Capuano also added that the Islanders’ young core is improving, adding that they are a good fit for a team in need of a solid backup goaltender.
He added that he expects to have the Islanders in the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12.
“They’ve got some really good young players coming up,” Capuani said.
“[Alex] Gaudreau is a good player, [Josh] Gorges and [John Tavares] are really good players, and [Patrick] Roy is a young player, so that’s why I think it’s going to take some time to develop those guys.”
You can see that they’re really strong up front, they’re tough up front.
They’ve got a good combination of young talent up front and experienced veteran guys down front.
“The Islanders have one of the NHL’s top power play units in rookie Tyler Kennedy, who was the second-leading scorer in the NHL last season.
The team also has top-line defensemen Anthony Beauvillier, Mikhail Grabovski and Kyle Okposo, along with top-pairing forward Kyle Okonen.
In the Islanders lineup, rookie forward Matt Martin is expected to make his first career NHL start against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
He will join veteran Mark Streit and veteran Travis Hamonic as the Isles’ first line.
Martin, who spent the first six games of the season with the Rangers, had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut.
He has six goals and five assists in 16 games with the Islanders this season.
The team’s second line is a mixture of players who are coming off of successful seasons with the Florida Panthers.
The Rangers had a top-six scoring line last season with Travis Zajac, Michael Grabner and Mark Stone, but they had a revolving door of players that filled the spot.
Martin and Matt Duchene, who played with the Panthers for five seasons, were part of the lineup last season but were traded to the Islanders.
Martin has also played with players that won the Calder Cup last season in Jonathan Drouin, Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Alexei Emelin.
Martin has six points (two goals, five assists) in nine Calder Cup playoff games with New York.
The Rangers have had a strong Stanley Cup run, making it to the finals in each of the past five years, including two championships.
They are coming back from a disappointing finish last season that saw them finish with a record of 41-53-18.
The Isles were swept by the Boston Bruins in the opening round of last season before falling in the second round to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The NHL Draft is on Tuesday.