Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Are The Islanders Not Winning?

After the first 10 games, most fans begin to analyze how their teams are doing and begin dissecting their team down to the amount of ice time a certain fourth liner is playing. In the Islanders case, everything is being dissected. Why? Despite getting 7 points in 10 games, 2 points better than last years start, the Islanders only have 1win against the Hurricanes which saw Tavares, Neilsen, and Tambellini all score in the shoot-out. So the Islanders have not won in regulation yet so fans, writers, and bloggers alike are getting frustrated.

The "logical" thing to do is blame the GM and ownership for not signing veteran free agents.  My response to that is this: Hey, Miro Satan is still available, and he's even said he'll play anywhere! My point: No free agent will come, been there, talked about it, and over with. So who's next? Oh that's right the coach. His system does not work with this team. Problem is, the system is being used by other coaches in the NHL and are having success with it, so it's not the coach.

So now it's a lack of talent? This maybe true, maybe not a lack, just not enough experience. To prove my theory, I had asked several fans and fellow bloggers on twitter who they thought were the "core"  players for the Islanders. The definition of a core player for me is players whom fans think they would not trade at anytime. What I did was I took the most common answers and came up with a short list. They included the following:

Tavares, Okposo, Moulson, Streit & DiPietro

I would concur with this, but now I want fans to do this right now: Go back to that list, and read each name slowly, and I will assure you that most fans will not be impressed with such a short list. Why? Simple: What have they done? These five players have not even played together yet. Out of the three forwards, who is a proven winner in the NHL?  None!!! Why? They just got started!!! Okposo almost doubles the amount of games Tavares, and Moulson have played; DiPietro is still trying to make a comeback, and Streit is off to a slow start. What did you expect? 

Ah but me being the optimist, there are positives. The Islanders now have a legit first line in those three forwards. When was the last time a fan could say that? There seems to be a player or two ready to have a breakout year, especially Tambellini early on (3 goals in 2 games). The question is will there be someone else to step up? Probably, but fans have 72 games to watch and find out. Will any of these players become core players? Fans don't know. There's the problem. The Islanders fans need to see improvement and witness a few wins to lift up their spirits. But there is a player that has was only mentioned once (@Islanders1fan) as a core player player, out of all the lists who should be considered: Trent Hunter.

Now why on Earth would I mention a slow moving third liner, with potential to score 20 goals a year but can't because he always injured? Glad you asked. In doing some I have no-life, wife is out of the house, extensive research, since the lockout starting with the 2005-2006 season, every time Trent Hunter has scored, the Islanders are a staggering 42-10-6. You want to know why he gets a nice contract from Isles management? I would  say that would be a good reason. Even with Gordons system and depleted, young team of last year and this years goal, the Islanders are 7-6-1 when Trent scores. If Trent scores 2 goals in a game, the Islanders are 5-0. So let's add him to the list of "Core" players shall we?

Core players: Tavares, Moulson, Okposo, Hunter, Streit, and DiPietro.

Here is something to think about why the Islanders are not winning. The Islanders had only two core players since maybe 2007. That's not going to take a team very far.  There talent pool was depleted in the minors, and free agents did not want to come, nor stay on Long Island. If you think about it further, Snow signed 2 of those players and drafted 1 (jury will still be out on Moulson, but everyone thinks he's a core player now, so I'll run with it).

Of the five, two core players are still injured, three are still learning, and one is off to a bad start. While the secondary players are finding their way on this team, we need to remember that it will take more time for them to really get it together. For some, time may be running out. Let the season continue and things will start to unfold. You'll see Hunter and DiPietro healthy; the first line will gain more experience and learn how to win; the Islanders have an All-Star defenseman that will bounce back, and by the end of the year, fans will know who will be back, traded, have a breakout year etc.

But for now the Islanders are not winning because there "core" is still fragile, inexperienced and not complete.

 

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