Today's review puts the focus on Islanders right wing Miroslav Satan.
Going into his contract year a lot was expected of Miroslav Satan given the changes made to the roster and the veterans needing to produce more offense on a club that lost a lot of goals off it's roster last summer. Many expected a big year after what was an off one by Satan's offensive standards.
Simply put it did not happen and he struggled for the most part with his inconsistent production from beginning to end.
There are a lot of ways you can go with this, was it the defensive system or the coach again putting him on the point where he is not longer the player he was in Buffalo that Ted Nolan saw a decade ago?
From what I saw this was simply a player who looked like he has declined and picked up right where he left off the year before. He started slow, he a few nice goals where he dropped the shoulder and charged the net and he had the big goals on Al Arbour night, but in the end he went from being a streaky player to one where he was virtually invisible in the second half.
I'm not putting it on Vasieck, Bergenheim or his other centers or wingers, he simply did not produce consistently regardless of who he was with.
Worst of all I do think he was trying his best. I saw him dive to create plays and work hard on defense and penalty killing when called on early.
Part of me want's to give him high marks for playing with a knee injury that reportedly was supposed to keep him out for eight weeks but if Alexi Yashin did not get a pass for playing hurt and being unproductive, why should Satan who did not seem nearly as hurt as Yashin but did not get into the high quality area's?
For a few games Nolan even tried a makeshift first line as Satan shifted to the left with Comrie-Guerin. Nothing got him going nor did he generate his chances beyond a rare goal. He never complained in public about trying to play on the point for the a terrible powerplay as Bill Guerin called it.
I don't have a clue what's going to happen. Reportedly he was offered a two year contract, but did not want to negotiate in season. Suppoedly he was never asked to waiver his NTC at the deadline. With Guerin, Hunter under contract and Okposo perhaps waiting for a right wing spot come camp or the year after there may not be a spot for him. His skills may be on the decline, he has had a couple of poor years in a row and the Isles did not have a great three years with him here. One thing I do know is they need more speed and skill than Satan gave them for his paycheck and overall ability whether he was hurt or not.
Tough call, but I think it's time to take a chance and walk away, even if he his skill and shot are tough to replace. Even in the world of crazy UFA contracts I cannot see a club willing to overpay here, someone else may end up with a bargain on a team loaded with speed/skill who can get him the puck with time and space.
Even if I wanted to give Satan a full pass and high marks for playing hurt with an injury in the second half, why did he start so slowly, why was he outworked by Bergenheim and Vasicek and the other wingers with most of half a season? Where was his urgency from day one to step up as a remaining veteran and be visible for the new veterans with his play?
Thanks for the two goals on Al Arbour night, but first half, second half, no matter how you slice this, Miroslav Satan gets an F and a pink slip.