7/7/12

Addition By Subtraction Defensively On Paper Improvement For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/07/2012 08:54:00 AM
Only time will tell if the 2012-13 New York Islanders are an improved team, however on paper there is no doubt despite losing Parenteau's offense there has been addition by subtraction even if Brad Boyes does not produce, Matt Carkner is injured again or simply cannot keep up.

Of course there are some big question marks already.

That does not even address Visnovsky at home considering his KHL offer/retiring vs reporting for camp.  

So what's addition by subtraction?
For that matter what's subtraction by addition?

There has been a little of both on paper.

Does it matter? Only thing that matters is winning. 

Simply put as I wrote last year many times last year the Islanders biggest roster problems will correct themselves as faster players enter the mix with some potential. That's why even a defense in the second half of 2010-11 with Martinek, Hillen, Gervais, Wishart, MacDonald, Hamonic (with Jurcina) produced a winning second half team.

Everyone's having a good laugh at Gervais signing a two year contract with Philadelphia? He can skate, and scored six goals at -4 on a Tampa team -46.

Mark Streit had seven goals, was -27 on an Islander team -52.

You really think most of these former players turned team presidents, general mangers, coaches, scouts, do much more than call around about players to see if they fit their needs? They also crunch the numbers like the fans. 

That's why someone's going to pay Alexander Semin millions to score his goals.

A team can have one Eaton, Mottau, Staios defender on your roster, not three waiting for Jurcina's potential to catch up to his game approaching thirty.

One can be an asset, four makes a team slow, weak in their own end, poor in transition/starting a breakout, it gives an offense no time to setup because a defense will key on the forwards waiting for them to get into position. It changes the momentum of a game, forces a team to take penalties, boxes them in their own end of the ice for long stretches, while the skilled players on the other team pick up their game/confidence as the mistakes/bad penalties start adding up with the shots against/blocked.

The ice is tilted, the team under pressure keeps icing the puck as the defense is too slow to carry the puck to the forwards.  

Finally the team with the speed/skill breaks through, and makes the play that decides the game. 

That's what I saw on the ice, why games/turned or leads became lost points, how about you? 

It also allows opposing forwards to take some big runs at Mark Streit, plus gives him no room to work with, and easily wears down a player out for a year in his mid-30's.

Andrew MacDonald/Travis Hamonic could not go out as a unit and swing the game's momentum as the ice tilted toward older/experienced star players, who know how to win.
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Bottom Line On Boulton:
Let's not pull proverbial punches here, the Isles needed another fighter who can play physical. Boulton comes here off a season with no production who was a -14 on a very good team.

This is not a player that is sent to the AHL, he's likely to be used at left wing next to Marty Reasoner who had a terrible season.

In other words 2/3's of the Islander likely fourth line is coming off a season at -37 with one goal, five assist to show for over 110 games. If Boulton is the six goal player he was for Atlanta in 2010-11, or the thirteen goal Reasoner in 2010-11 returns next fall perhaps it works.

If it does not work this team has another minus fourth line, and they do hit the waiver wire/injury list when it's likely too late. 
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Bottom Line On Boyes:
It's likely Kyle Okposo's spot next to Tavares sooner than later. If Boyes produces that's fine but Okposo is the player with the best potential, he's done well often with Tavares/Moulson. 

Boyes complaining about one of the games longest tenured/most respected coaches in Lindy Ruff is not a point in his favor.

Believe it or not the Islanders have enough quality prospects to where it's fair to write one of them is going to step up and be too good not to solve this problem, the days of Randy Robitaille, Weinhandl are over.

It's not unfair to write perhaps Rakhshani, DiBenedetto saw this too because they had to expect to be qualified which gave them a contract, and an opportunity which some new AHL signings seem to feel have a shot at the NHL roster. 
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Bottom Line On Carkner:
The Islanders are only dressing one of him, not four. If Visnovsky reports with Streit, MacDonald, Hamonic, Carkner/deHaan/Hamonic it's a faster, tougher, better balanced defense on paper that should be fast enough to score some goals.

MacDonald, Hamonic should only get better. deHaan's had three years, it's time. 

If Visnovsky stays home or is hurt/playing to his age, some defenders get hurt they have problems, on paper nothing can be worse than last year's defense.
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Overall:
The depth is there for this to work. Trades are very expensive in talent for what could be at best 2-3 year rentals. The offense is not improved on paper but maybe a faster defense solves that as we saw during the second half of 2010-11 because that group did score. 

It's a defensive (on paper) improvement for now, it was as soon as 7/1 hit regardless if they signed anyone on the backline.
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Final Thoughts:
How many watch Islander hockey games on television/computer?  How often do you see five players from the opposing team on your screen at the same time moving quickly as a unit?

How often did you see that from this team last season? 
Addition By Subtraction.

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