Yes, they knew the odds of an upset in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 series were stacked heavily against them, and yes they were aware that the Penguins roster reads more like an All-Star game lineup than an everyday club.
Still, the upstart Islanders declared they were ready and up to the daunting challenge ahead of them.
Whether they truly believed will never be known, but make no mistake, their comeback victory in Game 2 in Pittsburgh gave them a jolt of positive energy they hope carries them through their first home playoff game in six years on Sunday.
I don't know the room very well yet. I don't know how we're going to react in certain situations. We've had a couple of minor tests throughout the [preseason] ... We'll get to know each other as the year goes on. We'll figure it out.
— Oilers coach Todd McLellan on starting the 2015-16 season without a captain
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight 2015-16 Faceoff Edition 10:30 ET: NHL Tonight 2015-16 Faceoff Edition