Islanders need support around young stars
The Islanders are playing out their last two seasons -- or possibly their final season -- at Nassau Coliseum before moving into Brooklyn to take up residence at the Barclays Center, but that doesn't mean they've given up on at least a few more playoff games in Uniondale.
After last season's six-game first round loss against the Penguins, coach Jack Capuano's team has a few young pieces that have developed and could help push them back into the postseason.
Hart Trophy runner-up John Tavares scored the third-most goals in the NHL last year, with 28, behind Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos. Matt Moulson bolstered the offense with 15 goals and 29 assists, while Evgeni Nabokov remains in goal and provides a solid presence on that end.
Beyond those, the key is finding others in the supporting cast to step up. Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner and Josh Bailey are all possibilities.
Overall, the Islanders may lack the depth to be a real contender over the course of a full season, but may be able to sneak into a low playoff spot. It all starts Friday night in Newark, N.J., against the Devils.