The Islanders missed the playoffs by one point, but could their 2016-2017 failure lead to bigger things in the future?
"That's the margin for error these days," Josh Bailey said. "There's so much parity now, all it takes is that one point. You sometimes don't think of it at the time necessarily, but those are the ones that get you in or keep you out."
"We're going home and we're packing up," Anders Lee, who scored his 34th goal of the season in Sunday's season finale, added. "Our season is over without a chance to continue. It's a bitter feeling."
Though the disappointment stings, interim coach Doug Weight said he believes that this near-miss doesn't change the positive path the organization is on.