The Islanders have finished ahead of both the Rangers and Devils once in the past 20 years – in 2001-02 – but MSG Plus analyst Butch Goring believes it will happen this season.
“They are fast, they are confident, they are young, they have very good goaltending, they have a good young corps of defensemen,’’ he said Tuesday at an MSG event celebrating the return of hockey and hoops. “They play a very exciting brand of hockey, but now they’re really hungry.’’
That hunger is fueled in part, Goring said, by the reception the team got during home playoff games last spring. He said he has detected no sign the team’s lame-duck status at Nassau Coliseum has dampened enthusiasm.
“I don’t think anybody is thinking about what’s going on two years from now,’’ he said. “I think everybody is living in the present, which is the right way to do it.’’