Sunday, December 30, 2007
After watching the Islanders beat New Jersey last night, looking at the updated standings, I could not believe how close every team in this division is this year. In my opinion the division is still Pittsburghs' to lose. However, The Penguins record against their own division 4-10-1, and the injury bug continues to hit them. The Devils cannot beat the Islanders, and Rangers, and also have a losing record in their division (6-7-3). The Philadelphia Flyers are still in the hunt, but unless Gange comes back soon, the Flyers may not have enough in the tank to take the division. The Rangers are 10-4-0 against their division foes, three of the loses however come at the hands of the Islanders. The Rangers are looking for more scoring help and chemistry with Jagr. I guess money can't buy you offesnse. Which leaves me with the Islanders. The Injury bug has certainly hit them early this year (see Sim, Johnson, Bates etc), but the Islanders have been no worse then a .500 team this year. The Islanders divisional record is 9-5-0, second only to the Rangers, for now. If they can remain healthy, and the young stars improve in the second half, the division is certianly theirs for the taking.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Ted Nolans merit system appears to be working in the Islanders favor. With the move to the first line, Richard Park has ignited the Islanders first line of Comrie and Geurin. Bringing up Comeau from Bridgeport, instead of making a trade, was another smart move becasue thanks to his call up, Hilbert has surged, and there is an actuall chemistry on that fourth line. What Islanders fans are not used to seeing is a 3+goal game and multiple lines scoring in one game, which is refreshing. If the Islanders defense can begin scoring on the powerplay, that will give more time to the checking line of Fedotenko, Sillinger, and Hunter to work their magic. The young players are getting better as the year goes on, but look out for Sean Bergenheim in the second half. If he continues his play, not only will he score more, but watch for the second line of Vasicek, and Satan heat up as well.