I'm not happy Mark Eaton is injured, however I will admit him not being in the lineup is more of a solution to the overall biggest problem this team has.
Speed/transition on defense.
From this blog's perspective that's been the biggest problem with this team from day one.
Mike Mottau turning over the puck going in for Eaton will only make things worse, he's too slow/mistake prone to help anything. Jurcina is at best mediocre for the limited times he is healthy.
Garth Snow and Jack Capuano were here last season, they saw what did not work last season earlier on defense vs what did later on. It practically did not matter who dressed on defense until the very end of the season when they were using players on amateur tryout contracts.
A mobile defense gets to the puck in the defensive end first, it is able to skate the puck out which creates room for the forwards to enter the offensive zone, it gives the forwards room and mobility in the offensive zone and wears down the other team, when the defense can win pucks on the boards.
What we have seen in essence a game of catch, the slower Isles defenders under pressure throw the puck to center ice to the other team, the other other team skates the puck back in and wears down the defense. The forwards are in the middle of this game of catch and always chasing/outnumbered.
The New York Islanders do not need six superstars on the backline.
Streit, MacDonald and Hamonic are all a part of the solution long-term, but two of the other three have to be able to skate/win pucks/start rushes.
In this blogs estimation nothing changes until Wishart, deHaan/injured, Reese or another defender who can skate enters this mix, replacing Mottau, Staios and Jurcina.
Calling up Michael Haley for no scoring, a few body checks and an occasional fight by appointment in a fourth line role solves absolutely nothing in the big picture, even if he goes in for Jay Pandolfo which should be the only player he can be recalled for unless Niederreiter is going back to juniors.
Is the plan to change another forwards position, keep Comeau in the stands or move Matt Martin around until he becomes as ineffective as Bailey, Comeau?
Or is Kyle Okposo or Josh Bailey heading back to the stands?
Bottom line Matt Martin is a left wing, Ullstrom has been used this year in Bridgeport as a left wing and has done very well. Matt Moulson is a left wing.
Grabner and Comeau need to be left wingers.
Comeau again had his position changed from left wing, Grabner also now plays on Tavares line as a right winger, the results have been terrible and not in either players best interest.
As easy as it is to blame Brian Rolston for this, management let him play left wing, and for many years Blake Comeau has allowed management to change his position.
So the Flyers come in off some losses and desperate to beat a team they have owned for years. Mottau, Staios, Jurcina and an offense with no goals in two games have to defend and get the puck to the Islander forwards?
Marty Reasoner looks as done as Mike York did when he was here, I guess we discovered why the Florida Panthers let him go with his thirteen goals at a time they needed to sign half the league to fill out a roster.
I cannot blame Garth Snow for taking that gamble, he had thirteen goals on a club that had a horrible fourth line plus/minus that lost over thirty games by two goals or less a year ago. Same as I cannot blame Snow for bringing in Rolston with a forty point second half a year ago.
As for Wednesday there is the issue of picking a goaltender, who's going to have to be perfect out of Nilsson, DiPietro and Montoya, who's been practicing for a week like he's close.
Six points (four games in hand) behind fourteenth place Carolina, eight points (one game in hand behind eighth seed Washington.
They cannot fall behind any further, either this team starts winning right now, or it's another fifty five game preseason the rest of the way.
This is why so many blog entries have been done here, it's now or never.