In the Islanders Twenty game report Part One I looked at the club's place in the standings and broke down where the club is in terms of overall league numbers. Here I will do a quick paragraph as a brief summary of each player and give a grade to spice it up a bit.
Bill Guerin: I'm not in the lockeroom, but clearly from every comment and article written he has been a huge positive factor in the room and it's his first time as a captain and likely a burden for him on a new team. Concentrating on defense he's not scoring which could be a factor coming from the Western Conference and it could be his age catching up with him. He's virtually invisible as an offensive factor and clearly is pressing. He's talking a great game but when the puck drops this player making almost five million dollars is not producing and takes a lot of bad angle shots and not getting into the higher percentage area's of the ice. A hat-trick because of terrible goaltender by Olaf Kolzig and a gimme in overtime against New Jersey is not enough for a player who had thirty eight goals last season. In terms of offense he's making Yashin look like a superstar at this point. Only reason this grade is not an F is because he is respected and his leadership is helping this group play team hockey.
Mike Comrie: After a great start is showing he is a one dimensional player on a club needing more defensively from him that is hurting his offensive game. Having players who are not loaded with speed and skill on right wing (Hunter-Guerin) are not helping him. Recently has had Chris Simon on his left side after getting a bit stale with Fedntenko. He works hard and has a lot of individual skills and a good shot. A few lazy penalties and a few times he has been caught but clearly is this teams most dangerous offensive player.
Ruslan Fedotenko: Overall he's been visible in most games and usually does a lot of little things to help win a game. On a respectable scoring pace but on this team is not going to get a lot of help. It's been a very solid signing but fair or not he has to score more and has that ability.
Josef Vasicek: So far a flat out steal for Garth Snow and Ted Nolan who usually generates a lot of chances with a shooting percentage of over thirty percent. He has done everything asked and more at both ends of the ice and is not shy about driving the net. Has better offensive instincts and speed then anyone could have asked for expected. Clearly needed time for his knee to respond and that was not possible for a few years.
Miroslav Satan: As usual a very streaky player. A lot like last year where he started slow, then got red hot and every goal on a low-scoring team became huge. Is working hard in both ends and responds when teams push him. Should be producing more but for some reason is just inconsistent. Why can't we get more goals like the one where he dropped the shoulder against the Devils and rushed the net for a fantastic goal.
Sean Bergenheim: Vasicek's line started producing when Bergenheim was put on that line. He's not doing enough on offense or being asked to do a lot more on defense, which offsets it somewhat but clearly the speed and skills he showed as a rookie are still there and just need more time. An injury and some wandering cost him some ice time along with Richard Park and Chris Simon getting some time on the top lines with Fedntenko moved to the second line. Less then average start but the talent is visible.
Andy Hilbert: He's played well on defense but he's not a great shutdown winger, he cannot score on a team that needs scoring. The hard work is there, plays that help win or change a game in the Islanders favor are not.
Mike Sillinger: Does a lot of things beyond a score sheet to help win a game and his face off ability is a huge plus. Unlike last year has been virtually invisible on offense. Looks older and slower in the offensive end of the ice or is being asked to concentrate more on defense. His line mates have been the same outside of Guerin being moved to his wing for a while. The hard work is there from Sillinger, the production is not.
Trent Hunter: As always works hard at both ends of the ice and is this club's best player in the trenches and a force at hits and blocking shots. Does a ton of things to win a game but his offense is not improving on a club that badly needs him to score more often. Was placed on the top line and did not force Ted Nolan to keep him there by scoring more.
Grade C +
Richard Park: Reminds me these days of Jason Blake in 2001-02 before he started finishing his chances and broke through to play on the club's scoring lines. He's a dynamo most nights, never stops working and is creating a lot of chances and plays well at both ends of the ice. Almost all of his goals are big goals and he is forcing the coach to give him longer looks on the top lines. Outstanding work shorthanded to read plays.
Chris Simon: Sat out his suspension for the first five games, saw limited minutes and recently is getting looks with the top lines. A few very poor penalties but his offensive game meaning his hands still seem good and does play his role as club enforcer well, but he has to give this club an offensive contribution for whatever time he is given.
Tim Jackman, Darryl Bootland, Ben Walter: All had some strong shifts, Bootland set up Park for a goal against Washington and I think Jackman had a point. Did not cost the club on defense and gave some shifts with a lot of energy but no goals.