The 2010-11 New York Islanders playoff season ended (unofficially) when they lost all those games in regulation back in November and early December.
The rest is simply book-keeping and finding out who deserves to be on the 2011-12 team vs what spots they need to go out and improve upon.
At the time I wrote there would be some rough days that go with this, and no doubt there have been, also the remaining games was in effect a fifty five game preseason.
There has been an unexpected turnaround also that has produce a very good stretch, now things are leveling off, with some wins/good efforts, combined with some losses/poor efforts.
Over eighty two games that happens to virtually every team. Off the Islanders losing streak it means you can't gain enough ground to enter any serious contention.
As great as Blake Comeau's scoring streak has been, and far superior to his goal/point late scoring streak a year ago from October 13th through December 11th he had one goal and eight points. Same trends for Parenteau's scoring which for a long stretch was only on pp.
They are now turning themselves into viable options for 2011-12, they are outproducing many UFA from last summer who received a lot more money, but this year it was too little/too late.
Michael Grabner at his age has shown potential combined with a speed element this team does not have. Snow get's fifteen-twenty out of him it's a great waiver pickup.
Frans Nielsen/Trent Hunter, the loss of Doug Weight. Rob Schremp's month out. It all added up to a team that could not score at even strength. Jeremy Colliton in one game had more pp goals than all the minutes Nielsen received on the pp.
No folks, at this point Tavares, Bailey production has to be considered more of a bonus at their age. Sure Tavares has been hot, while Bailey looks like a player who needs a regular position at center, but cannot get it here, even with Nielsen out.
I have seen games where Bailey looks like a young Bryan Trottier as he takes puck at net, while others he seems lost as he bounces from wing to center.
Seeing Jesse Joensuu go back to Bridgeport at this point is not a good moment for him who has had a very good opportunity here on a team that has even been dressing seven defenders in the final year of his contract. Nate Lawson (playing for Bridgeport Wednesday night) going back to Bridgeport (at his age) so Poulin can stay is not a good thing for Lawson's future because Lawson was the one splitting time in Bridgeport the previous two seasons, who should be best equipped for coming off bench in NHL.
Sure Lawson could be back tomorrow if DiPietro needs more maintenance days, the Islanders have no reason to do anything but make sure DiPietro remains durable, even if that means a split in goaltending, but that means DiPietro could not hold job of a number one goaltender in terms of durability.
I have already been asking the question should Matt Martin being going back to Bridgeport? He's not producing or near the net enough as he was a year ago, he's far less visible in games.
All these minutes and games are going to wear on MacDonald and especially Travis Hamonic, both are young players.
In the end the New York Islanders are going to try and win as many games as possible, they are going to lose their 400-500 man games to injury. Eaton, Mottau, Hunter, are likely done for the year and that could extend to Streit. Jurcina is on his second injury and all of them are signed for 2010-11.
The injuries are going to keep coming, so will more callups/changes. The solid games/poor efforts will level off. At some point Okposo will return with Nielsen.
The callups/changes have produced a Bridgeport team almost unrecognizable from the club that played well and entered playoff contention, that is sliding away quickly now, with virtually no depth for Pat Bingham.
What's next is the Islanders go play more hockey games, that will continue into April. I suspect if Tavares keeps producing, someone will be injured and that will send him to wherever the all-star game is this year.
Washington a year ago blew the Islanders out of the Coliseum at this time, Buffalo if not awake absolutely is now after the way the Islanders took the play at them.
Regardless, I have no interest in all-star game. The process is as comical as that which negated Parenteau's goal against the Devils when Grabner was pushed.
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