These are not the same old New York Islanders anymore. As if you needed more proof than the team’s second consecutive trip back to the Stanley Cup Semifinals, all you had to do was look at new Twitter data from Betonline.ag.
Geotagged Twitter data collected by the betting outlet found that 32 states are rooting for the Islanders in the semifinals. By comparison, only four states were pulling for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who trail the Islanders 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.
It’s a far cry from the days when the Islanders were called a “perennial doormat” by Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole on TSN and the team continuously missed the playoffs. Under Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello, the New York Islanders have made the postseason in all three years of their stewardship and the team has won five playoff series in that time.
“Organizationally, I think it was important for us to get back to some foundational stuff,” Trotz told reporters on Monday after the team practiced in Tampa. “Being a team that is consistently close to the playoffs or in the playoffs or moving forward to try and win a Stanley Cup. We’re trying to be a constant playoff team and a constant threat. Because once you get into the playoffs, you have a chance every year. If you have success as an organization, that takes care of everything else.”
Part of the issue had been ownership and the team’s arena situation. Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have shepherd in a new era for the organization and stabilized the team’s future.
In the fall the Islanders will open their new home, UBS Arena, at Belmont Park after decades-long efforts to try and renovate the Nassau Coliseum. The organization had spent the previous two years splitting their time between the Coliseum and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they moved to in 2015.
With UBS Arena on the horizon, a lot of the negative perception surrounding the club has been wiped away.
“I think all that gets cleaned up with the new building. Players can get a real good vision. Our building will solidify that part,” Trotz said.