PLAYOFF PUSH 2013 — Isles Have Easiest Schedule Over the Stretch Run

Kevin Schultz

Minimal injuries. A hot streak towards the end of the season. Lots of young draft picks making positive pro debuts. The stars are seemingly aligning for the Islanders this year.

While we’re at it, ‘weak opponents down the stretch’ can also be added to the Isles list of good fortune.

Prior to last night’s game against the Capitals, the Islanders had the easiest remaining schedule in the entire NHL.

Oh his blog, Eric Hornick explains:

Isles opponents have a .513 point percentage (their opponents average 1.026 points per games played), which is slightly lower than Winnipeg’s .519 and the Rangers’ .525. (Anaheim has the easiest schedule in the West at .532 but there have been many more “3-point games” in the West this season.)

The toughest Eastern Schedules:
New Jersey .594 (next six are all vs. Northeast, including five vs. playoff teams)
Carolina .580
Buffalo .575

Not only do the Islanders have the easiest schedule but one of the teams they’re in direct competition with, the Devils, has the hardest in the Conference. The Devils have one game left against Conference leaders Pittsburgh, Boston and Montreal. They also have eight of their final 11 games against teams currently in a playoff spot.

As for the Islanders, only two of their final ten games are against if-the-season-ended-today playoff bound teams (Boston, NY Rangers).

If you’re interested in each team’s schedule the rest of the way, check out this post from LHH the other day.

Things are going well for the Islanders and they’ve got an easier path to the playoffs than any other team out there. They need to take advantage of it.