Pittsburgh Penguins: 2017-18 Metropolitan Division Preview

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 02: Scott Wilson
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 02: Scott Wilson /
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New York Islanders

PITTSBURGH, PA – MARCH 24: New York Islanders Center John Tavares (91) attempts a shot on goal in the overtime period during the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders on March 24, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MARCH 24: New York Islanders Center John Tavares (91) attempts a shot on goal in the overtime period during the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders on March 24, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders had a pretty inconsistent season. They’ve struggled, had a coaching change and went through the lows and highs an NHL team come come across in a single season. Despite the inconsistencies, the Isles finished just one point out of the Eastern Conference wild card.

This season is an important one for the Isles. The Islanders need a strong season for their team, their fans and to speed up John Tavares’ contract extension. They’ve lost players, like Travis Hamonic, but gained strong players, like Jordan Eberle, and they’re ready to go all in.

The Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Isles in two of four games last season. The Penguins’ special teams and OT units were able to top the Islanders when necessary. Their wins were a test of better offensive systems and a match of goal-tending skills.

The Islanders are coming back this season as a slightly different team and are looking to use new dynamic offense to get ahead while Thomas Greiss holds down the goal. Pittsburgh is a perfectly balanced team and, while the Isles channel offense, they’ll be able to hold New York back with their strong defense.

These games are a match of wits, especially when they lead to overtime. If the Penguins play their system, they’ll be able to keep the upperhand against the Islanders.