Yes, everyone thought the Islanders would be good this year, but to start the season 4-0-0? It just wasn't in the cards, so we thought. But here they are, four games in and four games won. A feat that the Islanders have only done twice before, back in 2001-02 and 1976-77.
Even more impressive was the quality of the opponent they beat Thursday night in front of a raucous Nassau Coliseum crowd. The San Jose Sharks are a perennial contender in the western conference and were the biggest test the Isles were facing in the young season.
It is safe to say the Islanders passed the test.
Thursday's 4-3 shootout win may go down as the most exciting October game of the 2014-15 season and was another highlight of how far this Islander team has come. They outshot the Sharks 45-23 through the sixty-five minute affair and were the better team for much of the contest, despite trailing until the third period.
"I think that we've excelled this year," Kyle Okposo said after the game. "We've played some pretty good games. We've had some mental lapses, especially against the Rangers, but you look at a game like tonight and thats one of the premier teams in the west. I thought we outplayed them pretty bad."
The Islanders certainly did.
The undefeated Islanders have also found a maturity level that has helped propel them to early success in 2014. On Tuesday, it was on display as they rallied back in the third period to defeat the New York Rangers after playing a poor forty minutes at MSG. On Thursday, the Islanders kept from becoming overly frustrated after dominating the western conference visitors early in the game yet could not find a way to beat Alex Stalock.
"You just have to be composed and understand you're sticking with what brings you success when things aren't going well," John Tavares said after the win. "We're preaching that and communicating that much better... It's just about executing and work ethic, and that determination to win battles. To want it more than anybody you play against.
"One step at a time and for us it's important to learn how to win in these games and play in theses games," the captain said. "These are the most fun, so you have to enjoy it."
The Islanders have certainly passed their second big test of the young season. Now comes the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Right now we're on to the next one," Okposo said, almost mimicking the verse of the song played after the Isles win at Nassau Coliseum. "We got another big test in Pittsburgh. We're just excited about our team and where we're going."