Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky (far left) and team mascot "Sparky"...

Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky (far left) and team mascot "Sparky" visit with the Graham family, Mike Graham (father), Rachel Grahsm (mother) and infant Cooper Graham on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Credit: Newsday/Andrew Gross

Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky often has heard that his team is one that’s built for the playoffs. He wants that to be proved true.

“The goal when we begin the season is to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, compete for that wonderful, beautiful Cup,” Ledecky told Newsday on Saturday as he visited five families on Long Island who have children with cancer, surprising them with tickets for Game 4 of the team’s first-round series against the Hurricanes on Sunday at UBS Arena.

“And we did it. Now we’re ready. Many experts have said we’re constructed for the playoffs. We’re a team built for the playoffs,” Ledecky said. “So we’re going to see if the guys can continue their journey. And we hope that they do.”

The Islanders, with essentially the same core group of players, reached the NHL semifinals in 2020 and 2021 but missed the playoffs last season. That prompted president/general manager Lou Lamoriello to fire Barry Trotz as coach and promote Lane Lambert.

Ledecky wouldn’t comment directly, but hosting playoff games at the team’s new home was incredibly important to ownership.

“You fight for 82 games and, in this case, it took the 82nd game to get in [to the playoffs],” said Ledecky, who was in the UBS Arena crowd behind the net during the Islanders’ 5-1 win in Friday night’s Game 3. “But it doesn’t matter. You’re in the round of 16. As we have said many times, our goal each year is to compete for the Stanley Cup. [Sunday] is going to be an incredible opportunity to tie the series and make this one of the epic playoff battles we’ve had in Islanders history.”

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