Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New York Islanders: Same Old Islanders?

Well this is not how we expected the season to go did we?

The Islanders sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and are risking digging themselves another impossible hole that could result in the team's season being over before Christmas again.

The numbers are ugly, the performances of late have been ugly.

What the heck is going on? This year was supposed to be different. This was the year the Islanders made a run at the playoffs and were competitive. The Islanders right now have three major problems that are fixable. Can or will they be fixed before its to late?

1) Porous defense. Plain and simple the team is allowing way to many good offensive chances against. Its kind of hard to win games when the other team is up one zip on you in under a minute into the game. The Islanders have had a lot of problems this year and letting the opposition skate directly down the ice after the opening face off and score has got to stop.

Marl Streit and Steve Staios have been the only defensemen to play anywhere near his ability and even Striet is a minus six. Its easy to see why GM Garth Snow took the shot at Christian Erhoff in the off season. The rest of these guys are not performing. Mike Mottau, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic have all bee mediocre at best.

So what do you do about it? Bring back in the young guys who finished the season last year? Do you make a desperation trade? No you cannot do that. What you can do is hammer the point home with the group of verterans you have that its time to wake up before your playing meaningless games in December.

2) Goaltending Merry Go Round. All three net minders have been good. Is it a major distraction when the team has no idea which of the three goaltenders its going to be? I doubt its a major distraction, but it has to be at the very best a little distracting.

All three goaltenders have played from good to very well this year, with Al Montoya being the best of the three. Its time for the team to pick two guys and run with them. If that means trading one, then get it done soon.

3) What the heck is wrong with the secondary scorers? Islander fans have been waiting for what seems like years for Kyle Okposo to emerge as a bona-fide NHL player. Blake Comeau has been abysmal, and Josh Bailey has not been good. They are all now liabilities to the team. In a combined 40 games they have one goal and four assists and are a minus 16.

The three of them need to have a stunning turn around. Tavares, Parenteau and Moulson cannot do it all by themselves.

The Islanders are headed for another lost season if things do not turn around and this time they cannot blame injuries for it. The team has looked disjointed, uninspired and lost at times. Something needs to happen soon before the hole gets to big to climb out of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. The level play has left much to be desired. The new 3rd sweater they revealed last night may not be pretty either, but, given the caveat we all want to win, I have to give some credit where it's due.

The NYI are doing something right honoring teams of the decades. I'm looking forward to Saturday night when they honor ED WESTFALL and the 70's team. The first captain truly deserves it and was a gentleman on an off the ice.

Looks like MSG+ will cover it and is rolling out some cool video in advance of BOS v NYI. I thought I'd share the one I just saw from an interview with Eddie: http://bit.ly/rq3HwA