Since the first week of the season, no one week has been the biggest for the Islanders. Up until this week. Tonight, they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to Brooklyn for the first time. Wednesday marks the first time the Islanders play the Rangers this season, along with the Rangers first trip to Barclays Center. Friday, the Isles play host to one of the best the West have to offer, the St. Louis Blues. This huge week ends Sunday when the Isles head to The Great White North for a inner conference showdown with the Ottawa Senators.
Each of these games have a budding importance for several reasons. Playing against the Avalanche tonight, the Islanders have a chance to keep the momentum going from their past three games. Tonight, also is a prime opportunity for the Islanders to play a complete game against a struggling opponent. Winning tonight is imperative for the Isles, especially knowing the Rangers are coming in to town. This game tonight also provides another chance for the team to continue their dominance over the Western Conference this season.
The Rangers game is a whole different animal. A bunch of firsts, the Islanders will also be in the national spotlight as this game is televised on NBCSN. Wednesday night can be the Islanders chance to establish a sense of home ice advantage. Both teams whether coming in on a winning or losing note will make for a great atmosphere as well as adding another chapter to their historic rivalry.
After the Ranger game, the Islanders host the Blues at Barclays Center, and that couldn’t be a better opponent if you ask me. Usually after the Isles play the Blueshirts, they have the “Ranger” hangover. Having a second game against a Western opponent, will have the Islanders on their toes. If they win against the Rangers, they can a more confident attitude against not only a squad they have already defeated this year, but a very tough team.
Ending the week in Ottawa has its benefits. The Islanders have struggled against the Atlantic Division this year, so getting another shot to right the ship against any team from that division is important. Beating an inner conference opponent will also help down the road in the fight for the playoffs.
Therefore, this is no doubt the biggest week of the season. Points are at a premium, and the Isles need to get as many as they can. Each opponent brings a challenge, and if the Islanders want to find that consistency they had last season, they must be up to it.