There are a few reasons why the Islanders will win this division. Compare the Isles to other teams in the division whom they play the most. First the Flyers, who have just crumbled this year gettng rid of their coach and general manager, are unlikely to compete for the divison this year. The young Pittsburgh Penguins are just that....young. I have to give the Penguins one more year before they are actual contenders for first place, although they will give the everyone else a hard time, i don't think they can play for a full season and win just yet. The Rangers are having defensive problems and a lot of cap problems. The offense is there, but the defense is shaky and the goaltending is not as good as it was last year. The Islanders have owned the Devils the last year in a half, and are considered the two teams to be at the finish line at the end of the year.
Next, the players that were brought in during the off-season have done nothing but produce for this team. Just go down the the line, Witt, Simon, Poti, Dunham, Hill, Kozlov, all have contributed to this team. When there is an injury just bring up some of the promising kids from Bridgeport to fill the need.
Finally, the biggest reason the Islanders will win the division is Ted Nolan. The man has changed the atmosphere, style, and attitude of this team from a year ago. As long as the players continue to follow Nolan, and everyone produces, the division is theirs to lose.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Forget about what happened with the upper management decisions over the summer and start looking at the product the Islanders have on the ice. The additions of Sillinger and Poti are already starting to pay dividens as Sillinger has made Yashin and Blake better players on the first line and on the powerplay, which currently ranks 5th in the conference. Yashin has 11 points in 8 games. When was the last time that happened? Tom Poti, who had 3 goals and 26 points last year, already has 2 goals and 6 points in 8 games while quaterbacking the powerplay. Hunter, Bates, and a few others haven't been able to score because they are getting tired of playing on the penalty kill all the time. The Islanders are ranked 13th in the conference for penalty killers, but with the additions of Campoli and Bouchard coming back from injuries, that will make the defense improve, and there will be more discipline on the ice. So for those who want to see a basement dwellar, don't say the Islanders, because they're only going to get better. I hear Philadelphia is a nice place.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Sean Bergenheim quit playing in the Russain League because he wants to play in the NHL. However, since Charles Wangs if you're not signed by training camp, you're not playing this season rule is still in effect, even an apology from Bergenheim himself should not get him back this year. Over the summer, Bergenheim was offered two contracts, a two-way contract worth $750,000, which was rejected. The other contract was a one-way $500,000 that would have GAURUNTEED him an NHL roster spot on the Islanders, but that was rejected because after only scoring 9 points last year, wanted more money. So now he wants to come back, but his agent went one step further requesting a trade if Bergenheim is not to be resigned this year. My take on this: Get a new agent Sean!!!! Prove next year that you're worth more then the $500,000 and then you have some leverage. Now I'm sure there are many Islanders fans around who would love to see Bergenheim play this year including myself. The Islanders have until December to resign him, we'll just have to see how the season goes for the Islanders. If they're winning, then don't expect to see him retuen this year. If the Islanders start to fade early, then maybe Charles should bend his own rules a bit.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
After watching this team play,and lose three in a row, it was nice to see the Islanders finally win. One of my biggest "difference makers" that I picked for this year was Mike Dunham, and he was brilliant. One of the keys to this years team is the backup goalie because last year, Garth Snow went 4-13 last year and had major surgeries on both knees, and was ineffective in the new NHL. With Dunham, the Islanders have a chance to win everytime. But a major problem for this team is their special teams. The Islanders are taking too many penalties, and the penalty killers and both goalies wont make it through the season if the penalties continue to climb. Good to see York and Hunter score also, both need to continue to produce.....For those of you who are hopefully reading this, this is an Islanders blog, devoted specifically to the New York Islanders. I will be updating as often as possible so i invite all hockey fans, and Islanders fans to please read and enjoy. More to come. Next Game: Home against Boston.