A Look at the Big Picture for 08-09 Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2008 07:39:00 AM |
Big picture and I write this every year around the same time you have to have ninety two points/twelve games over five hundred to make the playoffs. Last year that number in the Eastern Conference went to ninety five points so it may even be tougher.

New York Islanders went from five under and a season that looked to be over by Thanksgiving in terms of playoffs to one where bought themselves more time.

A ton of work ahead.

Now they have to keep piling up the points and staying out of the regulation losses to see if they can take that next step which is getting above five hundred.

Then we can start talking playoffs.
So what's the secret as to why the New York Islanders have won five out of six games? It should have been more like nine out of ten given the position they have put themselves into entering the third periods long before the wins came which indicates what's happening is no fluke with the injuries they have had.

No secret that they usually generate that third goal which is far different than last year's club that had two goals or less fourteen games in a row. Doug Weight will do something that leads to a goal. Streit's speed and skill have been a big positive even when he is not scoring. Hunter is giving this team goals he did not give them last year.

No secret that this group does skate better in this system and are getting better individual efforts from a lot of players.

Best kept secret for all of last year's system and the hundred ninety eight shot against improvement is this group may even be better at it. You put a goaltender in net who makes big saves with that kind of team defense and you are going to be in every single game.

Between Witt, Hunter, Hilbert, Sutton there is always a player stepping up and making a big block and everyone is buying in. On the other end of that you have Martinek skating the puck out with Streit, Campoli, Gervais and it's a well balanced group with whoever is out of the lineup.

Because of it the New York Islanders have been in every game but one, even nights they have not played well.

It's no longer a coincidence.
Our poll comes to an end with Josh Bailey's ninth game trial on Friday when Garth Snow and Scott Gordon have a decision to make.

I have no idea what will be the decision but my guess is Nielsen's injury opens a spot for Bailey. That pass in overtime that almost won the game is a skill this roster lacks, even with Weight who has been more than anyone could have asked and just keeps piling up the points.

A spot has to be made for Sillinger and Okposo when they return, I would expect both by next week. Comrie is still part of this club and there is Nate Thompson who must be getting close to skating.

Only two things I know.
1. This club is prone to injuries.
2. The more depth the better.

My guess on who is demoted starts with who can be without going through waivers and that's Jackman, Colliton and Fritz.

If it's my team Jeff Tambellini stays here and keeps throwing his hits or driving the net, he is doing a few things. All it takes is that one game where something clicks, a player gets confident in what he is doing and it all changes. I could be wrong but I do not see him clearing waivers and he has nothing left to prove in the AHL.

Twenty games is not enough in the NHL to lose him now is the Milbury plan revisited.
MacDonald made his saves against Montreal and their speed does force a goalie to react different but he gave up some rebounds. With games Wednesday, Friday (noon) and Saturday Dannis or Mannino have to play one here.

Danis got his two starts on the weekend, would seem the right move to recall him and give him the game against Pittsburgh.

Practice should tell Scott Gordon the story on this which is again why talk of schedules for goaltenders months in advance are pointless.

Islanders finally get a break after Saturday.
Pock's suspension has ended with Monday's game. Will be interesting to see if anyone gets a game off with Witt still working his way back in (does not see Witt's way of doing things) or another player on the backline.

Meyer has to be close to skating also.
NYI Fan Central will not have Thanksgiving day News Articles.

I may be able to post some Wednesday late articles but will pre schedule a blog with links to the Post-Gazette/Tribune.

Friday's coverage will also have no Daily Morning Articles. I will schedule a pregame blog for the noon game against Boston and have a postgame and may be able to watch live.

For those traveling early and everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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