Okposo & Bailey vs Coaching/Development/Winning

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/29/2012 07:02:00 PM | | | | | |
For those who recall, Kyle Okposo, did not play a game under Scott Gordon a year ago.

He did play briefly under Jack Capuano in Bridgeport here  and no doubt worked under Capuano in summer or training camps.

The point is Capuano and Okposo were familiar with one another when he returned from his shoulder injury in January 2011.

Kyle Okposo is a young player, he's had success and shown he has first line potential. 

Jack Capuano is in a tough spot here. He's benched Okposo, put him on the top line where a pick of his potential should thrive with Tavares, however now again is off that line for Parenteau.

Okposo's been used with Nielsen most of the time since his return in 2011, that produced five goals, but did not get a lot of notice because of Grabner's success on that line combined with his injury. 

Seems the only thing that brought immediate improvement for a short-time was Okposo's benching this season, and not just the two quick goals against the Flyers, but his dive to the net returned.

Of course the numbers are important, however he's simply not generating chances, skating well, and visible in games for all the wrong reasons.

There are no easy answer here, this is not the same player before his injury.

The Milbury plan and a trade should not even be a thought.

The only acceptable plan is the staff does everything possible to get Okposo back to the player he used to be.

That's part of what the staff is paid to do, that's why the player got a five year contract extension. 
As for Josh Bailey, many have read our 8/25/11 entry about him being mismanaged by the club.

Bailey dismissed returning to play his third forward position (RW) against Washington.

Despite scoring this blog feels players who teams use first round picks to draft, must play their natural position.

Bailey's been different than Okposo, he's had very visible games with a lot of unproductive wingers.

The answer is not to make Bailey a full time wing again. 
The facts are the players here all praise this organization, that's a reflection of the head coach.

Blake Comeau went both ways first crediting his work with Capuano in Bridgeport, then praising Scott Gordon, who picked Nate Thompson over him and played the communication with Capuano card.

Rolston also had some comments that seemed odd considering the minutes and role he was given on the club's powerplay. 

One reason Jack Capuano was given a contract to return in 2011-12 was familiarity with the Isles prospects.

Garth Snow made clear recently he's very happy with his head coach.

Should he be satisfied getting nothing statistically from most of the veterans, or little aside from the natural progression Tavares has made with Parenteau?

The kind of natural progress you expect from Okposo and Bailey at this point, even without the statistics? 

Or is the reality no coach was going to make some of these veterans more productive, and this collectively hurt the ability of many forwards to do better?

Reasoner/Rolston second half numbers a year ago would suggest one thing.

Parenteau, Moulson progress/improvement says that works both ways.

Washington Loss:
Little to add from twitter comments.

Steve Staios does his absolute best in a role he should never have been entrusted with.

This team came out and should have been down four goals in the first period, even if they won 2-0 it was a terrible response to Sunday's game.

How they won the previous game in Washington is how they needed to play Monday, the scoreboard never reflected the disparity in skating most of that game. 

Upcoming Games:
Flyers come limping home after having a very tough trip to the west coast where they should be tired, it will make no difference if the Isles continue to struggle in games.

Will we see the Islander team that went into Philadelphia and earned a 5-2 win with excellent skating or the game where they looked shorthanded for sixty five minutes and Nabokov stole a shootout?

What's also is clear very soon, someone's going to have to start a game besides Nabokov.

Our new twitter box has it's first update on that front.