New York Must Follow Bridgeport's 10-0-1 For Playoffs

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2012 10:33:00 AM |

In many of our updates, we have written when New York has a ten game winning streak we can talk about the playoffs.

Bridgeport just did it.

New York must do the same to enter a realistic discussion, oddly they will be doing that with Kevin Poulin starting in goal/Nabokov backing up, Steve Staios in for Dylan Reese against Carolina who has no business sitting for Staios given the teams recent play unless Reese is hurt/sick.

Brian Rolston is also out which likely means Rhett Rakhshani dresses in the one move that  makes sense pending a trade.

New York opens the post All-Star break, trailing four teams by ten points for two playoff spots and close to several others at the bottom, it's likely one of those teams will go on a winning streak.

How Bridgeport did it?
The highest marks have to be given to Head Coach, Brent Thompson with an incredible month going 10-0-1. The Sound Tigers winning/not losing in regulation run, places them at the top of a division that is comparable in standings to the NHL South East.

Many of those games goaltending and timely scoring decided the contest, with several players out injured,  Anton Klementyev left the team after refusing ECHL assignment, for Lokomotov, playing this year in the Volga Conference in the M.H.L in Russia. 

Casey Cizikas earned his all-star spot, replacing Calvin deHaan.

Now Bridgeport is getting healthy, but New York call-ups could again shake the mix, nothing but a strong second half will keep the Sound Tigers in a playoff spot. 

 How New York Can Do It?
Anything can happen. Chemistry can be found among struggling players at any time, sometimes all it takes is one goal for a player or a line to settle down and produce or a goaltender to simply start stealing games.

One line, some very strong special teams play, has carried the club out of the five/six game under holes, back to two or three under, but then they slide back again which is the pattern.
Ultimately that's not the start of anything, the club is not quitting.

Is it likely for Brian Rolston, Frans Nielsen, or the fourth line to produce big goals (or any) at even strength? No, we have seen too much of this season or some career resume's.

Matt Martin could score in juniors, he's not demonstrated that ability often at this level but has potential, same for Josh Bailey. 

One line could get hot, Tavares line could go into a deep slump. Injuries are a constant.

The defense and goaltending with Nabokov seemingly healthy, even Dylan Reese mobility has been effective even if not productive. Obviously it's a better skating defense/transition unit without Staios and Mottau. 

Of course, Hamonic's offensive game could improve, same with MacDonald, outside of Mark Streit, it's unlikely to expect any other current defender here to provide any kind of sustained production. 

What is likely to happen? More of the same which is why there is no realistic discussion about playoffs until this team does what happened in Bridgeport. 

Kevin Poulin and Rhett Rakhshani Recalls Mean What? 
It could mean a lot of things with the trade deadline less than a month away, or simply time could be up for some players who have received a lot of games here to show what they can do.  

Sure it could be more injury issues.

General Manager, Garth Snow, has to take every opportunity to improve his club as does his counter-parts, NHL trading is far different in the salary cap era before the buyers/sellers are established at the deadline. 

For those who have followed the trade deadline in recent years there is usually a short stretch of activity around this time, the waiting game does not make as much sense as it used to. 

Only the gm/player/agents know where negotiations stand with current UFA here, Snow, as always, will likely keep that quiet/respectful which is of course is the correct way.

Twenty nine other teams are all looking to improve, or to unload players who are not the answer for their organization. Many struggling clubs find no market to make the kind of trade to improve their core. 

Right now they seemingly have a few extra forwards,  three goaltenders, and a one game road trip before a stop-over in New York on the way to Ottawa. Sometimes players are called up in anticipation of trades that never take place.

Many teams recalled players from the AHL on Monday.

Market Value:
This is a very subjective subject, however if you want NYIFC guess on trade market value of some players likely available at this time, ok. 

Bailey-See no trade unless it's for a similar or better talent at same age level.
Nabokov-3rd rounder to conditional second depending if his team advances in playoffs. 
Montoya-5th rounder to 4th rounder.
Eaton-6th rounder to conditional fourth.  
Nielsen-First rounder/likely top four defender which Snow will not get. 
Parenteau-Second rounder will be asking price, Snow will not move him for that. 
Rolston-Future considerations.
Staios-Future considerations, but given  current depth chart on defense cannot go anywhere.
Mottau-See Staios if he is able to return at all. deHaan/Katic would need to return first.
Jurcina-6th rounder, conditional fifth but again depth chart.
Streit-Would take a first rounder and a defender of younger/similar ability but highly unlikely because no one here currently with that ability and those players not avaialble.
Reasoner-He's signed for 2012-13, see no trade at all based upon that. 
Pandolfo-Future considerations, no market for a player who would likely clear waivers.
Koskinen-4th rounder, but Snow will likely qualify him as he enters RFA to see potential play out. 
Anders Nilsson-Do not see him in any trade unless it's for similar potential/see Poulin.
Kevin Poulin-Prospect seemingly most ready, would likely be better to hold onto him and see if he can become a top goaltender here where his value would be much greater. 

Islanders website, announced a pre-season game in Brooklyn in 2012-13. 

NYIFC Comments:
Ultimately in the big picture it means absolutely nothing, but nice to see a home game at another arena inside New York Islander territory. 

You can bet Mr Dolan will do everything possible to hide it.