Category Archives: A Bad Start

We Need Changes

After 4 straight losses, the second longest losing-streak of the Islanders season, making the playoffs seem near impossible.  Last night’s game was a must win-situation and now I just don’t see how the Isles can pull it off. Sure, we’ve seen some crazy comebacks come out of these guys, but I don’t know if they can come back from this.

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The Importance of Rivalry Night

This might be one of the biggest Islander Ranger games in recent times.  Both teams desperately need a win, and when I say desperately I mean it.  The Rangers sit last in the Metropolitan Division, and the Islanders only have one more point then them.  This game is huge.

The Islanders won their last 10 out of 11 games against the Rangers.  That’s pretty good, but the Islanders haven’t been playing well recently.  Halak is the backbone to the team right now.  He played very good against the Blue Jackets, despite losing 4-1.  If the Islanders win tonight, not only do they acquire 2 points, they also get a momentum shift.  Beating our rivals right now would be a big help.

Player to Watch:

Mat Barzal, assists in last games
The Islanders get home-ice advantage tonight, but it’s not really an advantage considering everyone will be chanting “Snow Must Go”, and be booing the team’s power play.

Anyway, this is a huge game and if we lose tonight I don’t know if the playoffs are even possible.

 

Remain calm, it’s still February

Every article on the website starts off with “Obviously, this season isn’t going so great”. No sh*t Sherlock. I don’t need to tell you that the Islanders are playing bad. If you have the brain capacity of a goldfish you would know that.

I want to talk about why the Islanders are doing bad. First off, injury. Calvin de Haan is injured, Mayfield is injured, and Prince is injured. And that’s just as of now. Boychuk and Cizikas were also injured recently. This hurts the team chemistry very badly. How do we solve this? No clue. There’s no formula to prevent injuries, they just happen. However, injuries are NOT an excuse. The Vegas Golden Knights were on their fourth string goalie at one point, and never mind it was their inaugural season, they were still amazing!

The second problem with the Islanders is their defense. Even with the full roster, the Islanders almost always get outshot. Leddy is probably our best defender, and he shouldn’t have to play with players like Mayfield and Pelech. They constantly give away the puck.

So, what are the chances of the Islanders making the playoffs? According to Sports Club Stats the Islanders have a 27.9% chance of making the playoffs. Not too great.

Last year, when the Isles were near the end of the season, they won. Constantly. They did everything they had to in order to make the playoffs. And they need to do that again. Starting with tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets. Win.

Out of the Cellar: Week 10 Summary

 

 The Islanders proved this week they are a good hockey team, they may not be in a playoff spot but if they continue the way they played this week they will be closer to a playoff position.  I don’t have a lot of time and will write a big article over christmas break so I will be brief.

Record this week 2-1

4-2W vs Rangers 3-2W vs St Louis 2-6L vs Columbus

I will list positives and negatives below from this week

Positives:

Anders Lee: Lee is now out of his slump and producing at a high rate again.  Lee has been a big reason the Isles are playing well and beat 2 of the top teams in the league in St. Louis and The Rangers.

Special teams: The PK is 13th in the league at 83 percent on the kill.  The Power Play is still last in the league but the Islanders scored 2 power play goals the last 3 games.

Primary scoring: The top line has been good recently.  Every good team has a solid top line, this top line has been solid.  If the success rate continues on this top line the Islanders will be play off bound.

Negatives:

Ryan Strome: Possibly the reason Strome has not been producing was because he had the flu.  I don’t know if Capuano read my last article but i think he listened to me when I said put Ladd and Strome together.  It payed off for Ladd because he has been better recently and could turn the corner any day like Lee did and possibly motivate Strome to do better.  Hopefully Strome has not been playing well because he had the Flu we saw this last year with John Tavares.

Faceoffs: All 3 games this week the Isles have been below 50% on faceoffs.  More faceoff practice is required.

3rd period vs Columbus: besides the 3rd period in Columbus the Islanders had a fantastic week.  In the third period they gave up 3 goals and were out played.  Columbus has broken out scoring many goals before (cough cough 10-0 vs Montreal) but the Islanders cannot let a 3rd period or game like that happen again.

 Overall this was a good week and the Islanders can become a playoff contender again if they continue their strong play from this week.

Signs of Life: Week 9 Summary

 

By Joe Bilello

 This week was a successful week.  The Islanders went 3-0-1 this week picking up 7 points in that span, currently they are on a 4 game point streak coming into the game vs the Rangers.  The Islanders had 2 huge wins beating pittsburgh the reigning stanley cup champions and reigning presidents trophy winners.  Also they beat Calgary and lost in OT to Detroit.

 Unlike the games against San Jose and LA when they played well and lost, the Islanders played bad but they won against Calgary.  They were slow, failed to produce on the power-play going 0/4, and they didn’t bring a lot of energy.  The fans at the Barclays Center actually BOOED the Islanders during the game in the third period when they were being pressed in their own end while on the power-play.  Luckily Hickey scored in overtime on a deflected pass from JT to win it 2-1.  After the game I said if they play the way they did against calgary when they played Pittsburgh and Washington, they would get flattened.

 The way the Isles played against Pittsburgh was the opposite they did against Calgary.  The wednesday night rivalry game was exciting and had high energy.  After they out-played Pittsburgh the first two periods going up 3-0 after two the Penguins scored three unanswered goals in the third period the game seemed to be heading to overtime.  The game would have gone to overtime, if Anders Lee didn’t score with 27 seconds left continuing his strong performance.  For once the Islanders scored late in the third for the game winner as opposed to being scored on late and losing.  Kulemin scored an empty netter three seconds later to break the Islanders record for fastest two goals.  The next day in Washington the Islanders continued their strong performance.

 After two scoreless periods the Islanders exploded scoring three goals in the third to win 3-0.  On top of that Halak made 38 saves to record his 40th career shutout.  Ovechkin the best goal scorer in the world was also held off the scoresheet because of some strong saves from Halak.  After two huge wins The Islanders returned to Brooklyn to welcome Frans Nielsen back to the Island.

 Just like the games against Pittsburgh and Washington the Islanders played well, they just got unlucky.  They produced offensively scoring three goals, they were never short-handed, and put up a lot of shots.  Detroit just happened to match the Islander play and come out with the win in OT.

 Overall this week was strong and hopefully the performance this past week is an indication of the season turning around.  The Islanders will hopefully return to a playoff spot and continue their strong play.

Changes Required for Success

 

By Joe Bilello

 Many of our fans are outraged by the performance of the Islanders thus far this season.  People are saying stuff like “can Cappy, Snow must go, or trade Halak”.  What us the fans are saying are a few of the possible solutions to turn the Isles season around.

 If we look back at last year a few teams that were expected to do well were the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and Calgary Flames. Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Calgary were not doing well the first half of the season while the Canadiens cleaned up basically every team.  Pittsburgh and Anaheim did very well the second half of the season and both teams had major success (Pittsburgh won the stanley cup and Anaheim finished first in a competitive Pacific division.) On the other hand Montreal fell off a cliff and Calgary continued their horrible play, both of these two teams missed the playoffs.  So what does this mean?  It means a lot can still happen in an 82 game season, but changes are required.

 Pittsburgh fired their coach and made a few minor trades that impacted Pittsburgh in a huge way.  They dealt David Perron for Carl Hagelin, Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley, and a 4th round pick for Justin Schultz.  These weren’t huge trades like the Phil Kessel acquisition or the Brandon Sutter Nick Bonino trade they made over the summer, but these minor trades sparked Pittsburgh and changed the way they played.  Pittsburgh became a speed demon and could not be stopped and they ended up winning the cup.

 Anaheim did not fire their coach (until after they were eliminated from the playoffs after failing to advance) but they did make a few acquisitions.  They acquired David Perron for Carl Hagelin, Jiri Sekac for Ryan Garbutt, they claimed Chris Wagner off waivers, acquired Jamie McGinn for a third round pick, acquired Brandon Pirri for a sixth round pick, and traded Patrick Maroon for a fourth round pick.  These trades allowed Anaheim to turn their season around and finish first in the pacific division.

 On the other hand Montreal saw they were falling after their star goalie Carey Price got hurt and decided not to do anything about it.  Calgary was also okay with losing and didn’t make any trades.  So the big question is will the Islanders continue to fall like Calgary and Montreal? Or make a few trades to spark the team.

 NHL.com recently posted an article titled “Islanders GM Garth Snow reiterates faith in team” and the decription was “Has no plans to fire coach Jack Capuano, doesn’t rule out trade to add offense.”  The article later went on to describe how Snow sees this as an opportunity to see who produces when going through adversity and how Ladd doesn’t just bring offense to the game but other qualities.  I agree with snow on that, but the acquisitions of Ladd and Chimera don’t replace the voids of Matt Martin, Kyle Okposo, and Frans Nielsen.  More Changes are required!  So what will make the Islanders better? Players to fill those voids.

 The Islanders have the luxury of having 3 NHL level goalies in Halak, Greiss, and Berube.  I believe Snow has a plan to deal one of these players because if he didn’t he would have just put Berube on waivers as opposed to P.A Parenteau in the beginning of the season.  There are a few teams that need a goaltender and I believe Halak will be the guy to go.

 The right move to make in exchange for Halak would be an elite winger to play with Tavares or a two way center to fill the void of Frans Nielsen.  Some teams are looking for a goalie that may have a player in return.  The following teams may make a move for halak or another player.

  1. Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes have a solid two way center to replace Nielsen named Martin Hanzal.  The Coyotes may also look to trade Max Domi or Anthony Duclair to be a winger to play with Tavares, but think Hanzal is more likely considering he is heading into free agency

Possible trades:

Martin Hanzal in exchange for Josh Bailey/Calvin De han and a third round pick

Hanzal for Halak

Max Domi/ Anthony Duclair in exchange for Halak and a second or third round pick

  1. Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes have perhaps the most amount of young forwards in the league. All of those players could probably play with Tavares although Jeff Skinner is probably the best decision.  Jordan Staal is another solid two way center that is border-line selke worthy and also the brother of current Ranger Marc Staal, that would be very interesting match-up, brother on brother Islanders on Rangers.

Possible trades:

Jordan Staal in exchange for Halak and a 3rd round pick

Jeff Skinner in exchange for Josh Bailey/ Calvin De han Halak and a 2nd round pick (Dehan) or 3rd round pick (Bailey)

Victor Rask and a 6th round Pick in exchange for Halak

Teuvo Teravainen and a 4th round pick in exchange for Halak

Elias Lindholm in exchange for Halak

Sebastian Aho and a 4th round pick in exchange for Halak

  1. Dallas Stars: Dallas is a very good team that isn’t doing well right now also.  Their main problem is goaltending. They have a lot of good forwards, not as young as Carolina but some that may attract the Isles attention.  Jason Spezza is aging but still puts up solid numbers at center.  Cody Eakin is on the younger side and can kill penalties, maybe he can develop to be like Frans Nielsen, he is definitely an underrated player that can be a bargain.  Patrick Sharp won the cup with Ladd back in 2010 and could find chemistry with him and Tavares.  Jiri Hudler had a fantastic year in 2014-2015 putting up 31 goals and 76 points, he slowed down last year though putting up 16 goals and 46 points maybe playing with Tavares may spark him to perform well again.  Finally Valeri Nichushkin,  Nichushkin has some off ice problems refusing to resign with Dallas because he didn’t want to play under Lindy Ruff (the head coach.) So he signed in the KHL (Russian league) and has more problems there.  He is young and immature now but the islanders may get a bargain from him considering he was drafted 10th overall in 2013.

Possible trades:

Jason Spezza in exchange for Halak a 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick

Patrick Sharp in exchange for Halak a 3rd round pick and a 5th round pick

Jiri Hudler and a 4th round pick in exchange for Halak

Cody Eakin and a 3rd round pick in exchange for Halak

Valeri Nichushkin and a 2nd round pick in exchange for Halak

  1. Los Angeles Kings: With their star goalie Jonathan Quick out for season Los Angeles needs a starting goalie if they want to continue to be good.  Luckily LA is a gold  mine when it comes to skill.  Tyler Toffoli is the perfect player to play with Tavares, last year Toffoli was very successful playing with Jeff Carter and Milan Lucic, Tavares is like Carter but Tavares is better and Ladd plays similar to Lucic.  Toffoli may be the perfect Tavares linemate and a line of Ladd-Tavares-Toffoli could be scary.  Jeff Carter is also an option, like I said earlier Tavares is like Carter but Tavares is better and that could be like a Crosby-Malkin situation at center and result in a better power play.  Tanner Pearson is still young and could develop into a decent player.  Dustin Brown captained the kings to two stanley cups but his production has been down the past few seasons and is probably not the best option.  Marian Gaborik is good but he has been dealing with injuries recently and is probably not the best option either.

Possible Trades

Tyler Toffoli in exchange for Josh Bailey/ Calvin De han Halak and a 2nd round pick (Dehan) or 3rd round pick (Bailey)

Jeff Carter in exchange for Josh Bailey/ Calvin De han Halak and a 2nd round pick (Dehan) or 3rd round pick (Bailey)

Tanner Pearson and a 4th round pick in exchange for Halak

Marian Gaborik and a second round pick in exchange for Halak

Dustin Brown a second round pick and a 4th round pick in exchange for Halak

 To conclude if Garth Snow wants his team to do well again he needs to fire Capuano or make some moves if he wants the Isles to turn their season around and get closer to winning the cup.

From the best season in 20 years to the Worst Season in 20 years

What is happening?? The Islanders are LAST in the conference! How? Well for starters, we lost Okposo, Nielsen, and Martin.  But we gained Ladd.  Too bad he is doing TERRIBLE!  Every player, including Tavares, Halak, Bailey, and anyone else you can think of NEEDS to step it up.  The Islanders have 13 points, and a win will give us 15.  Currently we are in 16th place, but if we win tonight we will be in 14th.  All we can ask for is a miraculous winning streak, and tonight is a good place to begin.