NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders may have taken some teams by surprise last season when they won 47 games and emerged among the elite in the Metropolitan Division.
They know they won't be surprising anybody this time around, which could make the road to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs a tad bumpier.
"Everybody that's involved in management really believes in the group," defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "I think more importantly, the players believe in one another. I think we have the personnel to go out and get the job done. We feel that we came up short last year.
"We have a lot to prove. Nothing's going to be given to us. We know it's going to be much harder this season. Teams are going to be expecting us now, and we're not going to beat anybody by coming out blind. We're ready for the test and we're grateful we've got the same group in here because it's a fun group to win with."
Here are three X-factors that will impact the Islanders' postseason chances: