According to Bovada, the Islanders are 33/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup in 2014, which ... isn't great but is totally better than the days of 300/1, 150/1, or even 75/1.
Better yet, Bovada has them at 16/1 to win the Eastern Conference! That's not great, but it almost sounds accessible!
But there's a funny catch that comes along with it:
Odds to Win the 2014 Eastern Conference
Boston Bruins 19/4
Detroit Red Wings 17/2
New York Rangers 11/1
Washington Capitals 12/1
Montreal Canadiens 14/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 14/1
Philadelphia Flyers 15/1
New York Islanders 16/1
Carolina Hurricanes 22/1
New Jersey Devils 22/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 22/1
Buffalo Sabres 40/1
Hmmm...if you rank the teams based on their odds, then the Islanders fall just outside the playoff line, in the bubble. That's actually quite plausible -- hold your outrage -- and a fair reflection of the parity in the playoff bubble in any given year.
Anyway, I don't really gamble -- though I understand it is the key to all hockey happiness. But to the extent that is true, I suspect it's because sports thrive on addiction: Addiction to tickets and merchandise, addiction to gambling, and addiction to the alcohol that helps us tolerate (and occasionally celebrate) the miserable teams that buttress our miserable existence.
So, ah, um, do you ever put money down on the Islanders? Do odds like this ever affect you?
This song is "Change of Atmosphere," but a different word always lingers in my head: