The Sound Tigers were officially eliminated from the AHL playoffs....a little too early. I thought that they had a great regular season, but clearly were not ready for the playoffs. This was also a growing season for them, and with the new additions of DiBenedetto, and Katic, they should only get better.
Having said that, I don't believe that any of them will be making a strong case come training camp for a starters role on the Islanders. The Islanders will have to fill in the holes through the draft this year, and free agency.
So what do the Islanders need? Let's analyze shall we.
1. Need for health. Over 500 man games lost to injuries will kill almost every team, except St. Louis. But St. Louis had the talent from younger players to make a great run to the playoffs. The Islanders could be similar to St. Louis next year. If the Islanders were to keep the same team intact and healthy, we're looking around adding at least 10 points. But 10 points is not enough.
2. Scoring. I know I'm stating the obvious, but if the Islanders got more goals from Neilsen, Tambellini, and Bergenheim, players who were expected to help with the scoring this year, you may want to tack on another 5 points. Neilsen and Bergenheim were injured, and Tambellini came around in the second half of the season, but all must have breakout years next year or they will be replaced by someone from Bridgeport come the end of next season.
3. Need for a 1a goaltender. This is not a knock on Yan Danis, who in my opinion, deserves anothe one-year deal. Let him play in Bridgepoprt, and contend there. Again injuries could have been a factor, with his game, as he did not recieve enough help, but was very inconsistent down the stretch. The Islanders may want to look for a more experienced goatender, to replace Danis, and really give Di Pietro a wake up call, and challenge him. If he's not healthy again, that backup will be the starter, with danis as a proper number 2 backup.