What could I say about this season for the Islanders? When the season first started I have to admit there were a lot of question marks like: How good will Tavares be? Will Dipietro come back and come back strong? IF he did come back where will Marty Biron go? Who in the world is Matt Moulson? Will Okposo step up and lead this team? Will this young team make the playoffs? And the question on every ones mind will this team get a new arena??
Well I think it is safe to say that the Islanders actually had a better season then everyone thought. Tavares ended up being a great player despite his mid season slump that every rookie goes through. One thing though I always wondered how good would he have been if he was playing with established veterans? He led the team with points at the end of the season with 54 and for a rookie that is not bad at all. He showed us glimpses of what could be in the future. Great hands great skater and smart with the puck. He can make a back hand pass like no ones business, so I am excited to see this kid develop more.
As for Dipietro where do I begin, I was never really a huge fan of his but he is an Islander. We can all agree that his contract is just ridiculous but the thing that burns me is that he has not been healthy for like 3 years. He was supposed to be our number one goalie of the future and now most Islander fans are losing hope. We went into the season With Roloson and Biron and the plan was that once Dipietro came back Biron was gone. As we all know Dipietro came back for like 5 games got hurt yet again and was out for the rest of the season and Biron stayed with the team. I feel this disrupted the chemistry of this team as they were in a playoff position when DP came back. This can not go on next year at all. A decision is going to have to be made on this one way or another. I don’t want Dipietro back unless he is 1000% healthy.
Now for the rest of the team, the most shocking thing that happened to the Islanders was Matt Moulson. Where did this guy come from? He was ripping it up in preseason but I thought it was going to be another tease but it wasn’t. He led this team with goals and reached the 30 goal plateau!! Not bad for just a minor type pick up. I was also impressed with our core young players. Besides Tavares, Okposo, Comeau, Bailey, Hillen, Macdonald, Schremp and Nielsen all were solid and look to get better and better. All of them had great years and we should build within.
What I was disappointed with were the veterans on this team. Weight was hurt basically all year and I don’t think he will be back. Hunter disappoints big time and seems he has lost a step. Gervais even though young was just horrible this year. Martinek did his usual end of the season injury. Witt lost a step and was demoted to the minors. The only guy I think who did a decent job was Park. There was times where I wanted to dish him out but he did a decent job. I do feel though that next year there are going to be other veterans on this team and if not, all those guys mentioned will be gone.
This team HAS to make the playoffs next year. I mean they came so close this year and for Gordon’s sake I do believe that he has to make it as well. If we get rid of those veterans that have been mentioned and inject some guys who have a pulse I feel confident in this team playoff time. So on a scale form 1 to 10 this season I give the Islanders a 6. There is still room for improvement but at least we are headed in the right direction.
About the Author
Written by Timothy Noto
I am an avid Islander fan and I tell it the way it is. If the Islanders are playing bad well there is no sugar coating it. I live on Long Island and have been a fan since PAt Lafontaine got traded.