1/15/08

A good problem on defense?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 08:36:00 AM
We know at this point day to day can mean a lot of things in hockey circles which means Brendan Witt could be out a game, week or month. All I know from what's reported is he's out against Montreal.

Having written that if he does return within a short time with Radek Martinek working his way back and Aaron Johnson skating and likely looking at a conditioning stint it appears the Islanders have a nice problem again which last time meant Freddy Meyer was placed on waivers and claimed by Phoenix.

Aaron Johnson can only go on a conditioning assignment, he would have to clear waivers to stay in Bridgeport full time.

Things change quickly and by the time this all comes together someone else could be injured. Earlier we saw Ted Nolan roll seven defenders which he says he does not like to do. Andy Sutton is not an 82 game defender based on his career and we all know Gervais and Campoli did not play 82 games last season.

Anything is possible but at some point there's a reasonable chance Ted Nolan and Garth Snow will have nine defenders for six spots again. We all know if everything is even five of those spots are locked up with Witt, Martinek, Gervais, Campoli and Sutton.

One spot, four defenders between Bergeron, Berard, Meyer and Johnson.

Having written that it seems Bergeron's offense is critical to the powerplay because without his goals from the backline this club has about ten less points. His defense has improved with more playing time but we still see a few mistakes and likely always will. Unless his shot is replaced the Isles need him on the backline.

What do they do with Meyer who's been steady and gives the club more defense but little on offense even though he has that potential?

What of Berard who came back in Calgary and let Dustin Boyd get position and put in Calgary's 4-3 goal because he could not clear him out. This is Bryan Berard's longest season in terms of durability for a few years, even with the infrequent play.

Finally what of Aaron Johnson who played a few games but signed here at twenty four is still a prospect in a lot of ways? He played sixty games in Columbus last year and was well regarded in Columbus.

Hopefully in the end this good problem pays off with this group getting through eighty two games.

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