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Weight lifted: Rising Islanders beat Blue Jackets, leave Torts speechless

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal with Josh Bailey #12 during their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclays Center on January 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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The New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets stand as examples of how dramatically things can swing for NHL teams in 2016-17.

As you likely know, John Tortorella and the Blue Jackets were essentially left for dead heading into this season, with most of the questions surrounding the team revolving around whether Torts would even keep his job. Or, honestly, how long he would do so. That ... hasn’t ended up being the narrative of these Blue Jackets. Not by a mile.

The Islanders sure looked hopeless when they fired Jack Capuano, too, with the definition of a mediocre record at 17-17-8.

Perhaps that will just be part of the story for the Islanders’ 2016-17 season, though.

Tuesday presented what might be a surprising plot twist, as the Islanders beat the Blue Jackets 4-2. With that, they’re now 3-0-1 under interim head coach Doug Weight (and 4-0-1 in general).

They’re now in a solid position to keep climbing up the East bubble with 49 points in 46 games played. They’ll need to keep this hot streak going to improve their odds of sticking with the wild card pack ... but all of a sudden, the unthinkable seems reasonable.

Now, if you’re expecting Tortorella to congratulate the Islanders for showing some life after many gave up on them - not unlike his team - well ... maybe ask tomorrow.

Some things never change.