With all the negative attention surrounding the two football teams across the Hudson River and the harsh criticism against the Knicks and the Nets, the Islanders have quietly won nine out of ten games and are on an absolute tear. The Islanders are tied atop the Metropolitan Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins and have a division high 15 wins. With their best start ever, the Islanders have people wondering if they are for real or not. From afar, there is no question that they are not the same old Islanders team, and that they are going to be right there in the playoff conversation all year. They finally have a goalie in Yaroslav Halak who enables the Islanders to not have to score five goals a game to win like they had to in years past.
The Islanders have had to deal with their fair share of adversity over the past number of years, but they seem to be the least controversial team in New York at the moment. That may very well change, but the here and now is all that matters. The Islanders are playing at an extremely high level and should be considered a contender for the Eastern Conference at this point in time.
Also flying under the radar is Islanders Center John Tavares, who could be the next budding star of New York sports. Tavares is up there with Rangers Winger Rick Nash as the most talented hockey player in New York, and he has not been involved in any controversy to date. While the Rangers may end up finishing strong this season, the New York Islanders are the best team in New York hockey and in all New York sports. The outlook for the Giants, Jets, Yankees, Knicks, Nets, Devils, and Rangers is far more bleak than that of the Islanders. Some may say that the Mets have a bright future, but I will believe it when I see it.
The Islanders are winning here and now and with other New York teams performing at a horrid level, the Islanders should be considered the class of New York. Islander fans are very deserving of this team's performance to date, as they have been suffering for a long, long time. With the exception of the Buffalo Bills who are playing decent football, there is nobody close to the Islanders right now in New York. It is crazy to think about, but it is time that the Islanders receive credit where credit is due. It seems that every night you are watching the sports highlights, an Islanders victory is being shown.
Jack Capuano, the coach of the Islanders, who was highly scrutinized for his poor performance last season, has started this season out with a bang. Who said he couldn't coach? Time will tell if these Islanders can even go to the next level, but for now, they should start getting the attention they deserve.