Are the New York Islanders Really A Different Team?

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/09/2011 05:08:00 PM |

Islanders website: Had an article with comments from John Tavares, Andrew MacDonald, Travis Hamonic on how this is a different team than a year ago.

NYIFC Comments:
What has to be noted here is this sampling begins when MacDonald missed his first game in late October and includes the time before Travis Hamonic was first called up in late Nov.

This means Hamonic and MacDonald were not part of the club when things bottomed out a year ago, they came up or back in December and a few weeks later the club started winning.

Seems like a lot of words based on inexperience, some different forwards, and leadership.

Mark Eaton was an even/plus defender last year during this stretch, who mostly plays at even strength.

This is picked up from where the team lost against Montreal.

October 27th-30th 2010 Games Played 0-3:
Mottau 3
Eaton 3
Wisniewski 3
Martinek 3
Jurcina 2
Hillen 3
Gervais 2
November 2010: 1-7-3
Eaton 11
Mottau 9-Season ended 11/21/10 with 0-10-3 stretch from October 27th.
Wisniewski 11
Martinek 11
Hillen 5
Gervais 10
Reese 5
Hamonic 2-Season debut 11/24/10 replacing Mottau.
December 1st-13th 2010: 0-6-0
Eaton 5-Left lineup 12/13/10 0-5
Gervais 2-Returned 12/9/10
Wisniewski 6
Martinek 4
Hillen 5 Returned 12/3/10
Hamonic 6
Reese 2
MacDonald 6-Returned from October Injury 12/2/2010.
Dec 16th-31st 6-1-1
Wisniewski 6 Traded 4-1-1
Martinek 3-Returned 12/16/10/Out 12/23/10
Jurcina 7-Returned 12/16/10
Hamonic 8
Hillen 6
MacDonald 8
Eaton 6-Returned 12/22/10
Gervais 4-Returned 12/23/10/Out 12/27/10/Returned 12/29
Reese-1 Returned 12/31/10

Mark Eaton played one more game last season on 1/3/2011.

Overall I did not see a club a year ago that seemed like it was being outnumbered to this degree in all three zones because collectively it's defense was too old or slow.

The 2010-11 team was terrible at five on five when it fell apart last season, but it's different this year. Last year it was Schremp, Weight, Sim, Hunter, Konopka, it was Okposo being out, Bailey and Comeau being moved around too often, Nielsen not able to score at five on five.

This time the players being counted on and not producing are Bailey, Okposo, Comeau and a forward who had forty points in his final forty games with the Devils a year ago, plus a center who had thirteen goals a year ago in Reasoner.

Wisniewski-Martinek in terms of skating, starting rush are far superior to Streit as long as he's paired with Staios, plus a year off for Streit is a long time. Andrew MacDonald is working back from his surgery, Travis Hamonic is known now around the NHL. Eaton, Motteau missed months without playing.

As for 2010-11, do not forget Dwayne Roloson was putting up a great save percentage, with no winning results into late December before his trade. DiPietro won most of the late December starts.

I see this simply as an issue of too many older, slower defenders doing their absolute best causing the club to be outnumbered all over the ice. NYIFC viewpoint is Tavares, MacDonald and Hamonic are going to be very disappointed because most games it has not been a question of working harder.

No one is going to convince me this defense is not skating as hard as it possibly can.