Islanders season at the crossroads already?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2007 10:32:00 AM | |
I know the Islanders played poorly last night and it was their fifth game in less then seven days.

Having written that last night's game did continue some poor early trends that do ask the question is this team at the crossroads and what happens next will determine what kind of season and team they will be?

Losing Jon Sim for this roster is also a major loss with his speed and grit that gave his line intanbibles his replacements so far have not shown to say nothing of his ten-twenty goals he was expected to produce on a roster lacking in offensive depth.

There have been some bad trends that go beyond coaching not only on the backline but up front that were asked going into the season that do need to be asked again because they have lingered for most of the first five games.

Poor Trends:
* Will this be a thirteen goal year for Bill Guerin or a thirty goal year.
* Is this the year Mike Sillinger slows down offensively.
* Can Hilbert, Tambellini or Bergenheim show something on offense.
* Is this the year Satan's decline becomes far more dramatic.
* Is the pressure now on Bergeron because there are expectations from day one here.
* Is Andy Sutton our next Ken Sutton.
* Wiil Nolan make a tough choice and go back to six defenders.
* Can Comrie play a two way game.
* Can Hunter finish.
* Different cast, same high penalty totals per game.
* High shots against and quality chances.
* Can Vasicek finish or is he a six-ten goal scorer on a second line.
* Where's the even strength scoring that defined last seasons team.

Good trends:
* Much more scoring from backline.
* Fedotenko looks like a top six forward who never stops working.
* Sim until his injury looked like an impact player.
* Campoli and Gervais look more confident.
* Witt and Martinek are steady as usual.
* Guerin is well respected by officials and opposition.
* DiPietro again looks like a franchise goalie.

I don't know if anyone noticed this but Daryl Bootland makes your best offensive play over three games it's not a good sign. It's not all about winning or losing but about signs that point to how your team does long-term.

Not sure what Chris Simon's return does but Nolan benching players for lazy penalties like Bergenheim took is not going to help his case for dressing.

My guess is Snow and Nolan do not care about contracts, salary or status. The players who give them the best chance of winning will be in the lineup. If that means Bergeron and Sutton sit and Johnson goes into the lineup Nolan will do it and not look back. If that means Satan sits in the stands and Blake Comeau is recalled Nolan will do that.

This roster was constructed on who will show up and work hard, it's going to be very interesting see how they compete (not win or lose) Saturday and if this is a crossroads because there are some trends here after five games that seem go beyond coaching to a degree and that's not good.

As Bill Guerin said it's not what you talk about in an interview but how you play.

Funny. Alexei Yashin said the same thing as captain and was off to a better offensive start then Guerin.

3 comments:

  1. I don't think we're at a crossroads yet by any stretch. The simple fact is, this roster was turned upside down during the offseason and these guys I think need some time to get to know each other a bit better.

    Give it a few more weeks before we can really assess. Five games simply isn't enough to identify trends yet, IMO. The only game we played poorly was last night. We'll see how the bounce back tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jkp.

    Your right to a degree because it is a new team and it will take time.

    Here's the thing. For me it's not about the wins and losses but how some players are going to have to play at a level they simply have never been able to sustain. Vasicek is one big example of this in a second line role, Tambellini is another and both are on the second line.

    On the first line Fedotenko has been very good, so has Comrie but we see signs Comrie is not a first line go to player he must be now.

    Guerin fair or not has no goals in five games.

    Worst of all and what must be noticed is this team is not as dominating as it was at five on five so far. That's what will make or break this.

    It's early and it is a new team but this is the first sign of adversity and I do think it represents a crossroads.

    We'll see. Hopefully they can get some balanced scoring from the lines and a win tonight.

    I also think the logjam on the backline is a distraction for Nolan and the players.

    ReplyDelete

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