The Bridgeport Islanders Are Making A Push For The Playoffs

The 2021-22 season has certainly not gone according to plan for the New York Islanders as it’s very unlikely that they will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   Even with Thursday’s 2-1 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Islanders are 19 points behind the Washington Capitals for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

While the Islanders may soon be starting to make plans for a rebound season in 2022-23, their American Hockey League affiliate is making a strong push to make the AHL playoffs.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 18: New York Islanders Defenseman Robin Salo (2) skates with the puck during the third period of the National Hockey League game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers on January 18, 2022, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Thanks to four wins so far during the month of March, the Bridgeport Islanders are closing in on getting back to AHL .500 as they have a record of 23-25-6-4.  With 56 points, the Islanders are two points back of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who currently sit in the 6th and final Atlantic Division playoff spot.  However, because of the way that the AHL schedule is set up this season, the column that actually determines the standings is points percentage.

This season, not all teams are playing the same number of games and that is going to be a big factor in the race between the Islanders and Penguins.  The Penguins, who will play 76 games this season compared to 72 for the Islanders, currently has a slight lead in points percentage 0.518 to 0.483.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has 20 games left this season while the Isles have just 14 starting with Saturday night’s contest against the Utica Comets (7pm) at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport.

The parent club has a 2pm afternoon game on Saturday against Dallas at UBS Arena so there is an opportunity for Islanders Country to make it an NHL/AHL doubleheader by making the short trip north from Long Island to Bridgeport.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: New York Islanders goaltender Jakub Skarek (1) makes a stick save during the National Hockey League Preseason game between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers on September 26, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

AHL veteran forward Chris Terry leads the Bridgeport Islanders in scoring with 21 goals and 24 assists for 45 points.   Center Otto Koivula is second in scoring with 10 goals and 27 points for 37 points while Andy Andreoff, who was up with the big club earlier this season during the COVID-19 outbreak, is third on the Bridgeport club in scoring with 35 points on 14 goals and 21 assists.

ELMONT, NY – NOVEMBER 26: New York Islanders Center Andy Andreoff (14) passes the puck during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders on November 26, 2021, at UBS Arena in Elmont, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Islanders fans can also get a look at other prospects like defensemen Robin Salo, Parker Wotherspoon and Samuel Bolduc, left wing Arnaud Durandeau (12 goals), right wing and former first round pick Simon Holmstrom and goalie Jakub Skarek.

After a slow start to the season, the Bridgeport Islanders have put themselves in a position to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch but each and every game and point is critical with the difference in number of games and catching the Penguins in points percentage.   Among the 14 games remaining for the Islanders are two road games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 2nd and April 16th.

While the season has been a disappointment for the New York Islanders and their fans, there is some excitement down on the farm as the Bridgeport Islanders are hoping to punch their ticket to the AHL playoffs.

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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