The Islanders raised all the echoes over the last week, but that isn’t this team’s most significant achievement.

By forcing the Penguins to six games before overtime elimination at the Coliseum last night despite outplaying wobbly Pittsburgh by a substantial margin, the Islanders raised expectations.

Without expectations, there is nothing in sports.

Without expectations, there have been the Islanders, isolated in a peculiar warp of irrelevance for most of the last decade.

But not anymore. Or at least not for the moment.

Because even though — or, who knows, maybe even because — Brooklyn looms, there are the Rangers to suck up the attention hockey receives around these parts unless there is something extraordinary happening across the moat surrounding Manhattan.

Or even if something extraordinary is happening, because the score in Stanley Cups since 1980 is Islanders and Devils 7, Rangers 1, and none of that ever made much of an impact here because Original Six always has had more cache and appeal than Silver Seven.

There are expectations now from the Islanders, who will have the responsibility to build off this season and off this week.

There are expectations on management to conduct business in a manner that will honor the franchise, its fans and its players and to cut the cord with hokey moves that are motivated as much by reaching the payroll floor as reaching for the competitive ceiling.

It is not about romance on the Island and it won’t be about romance after the move into the boroughs. It will be about the grunt work, about the daily grind that separates first-round challengers and Stanley Cup winners.

You’re darn right John Tavares is as worth the price of admission as he is worthy of the Hart Trophy. There are Tavares and Henrik Lundqvist on a pedestal of their own in these hockey parts, allowing, of course, for Martin Brodeur on our ice sculpture of Mount Rushmore.