Here we go another seasons of if’s when’s, whys, and huhs?? That pretty much wraps up the Islanders off season moves in a nut shell. When are the Islanders getting a new arena, or when are they moving? Why have we not targeted a pure goal scorer to play with Tavares, and the huhs? There are way too many but, what were you smoking when you signed Jon Sim and Andy Hilbert again. Besides all that junk let’s look at some positives.
First in foremost I believe the Islanders had a great draft. “El Nino” Niederitter might actually make this team and has looked great in the rookie games so far. I mean he is not even 18 yet but with the Islanders that is old enough to make this team. He seems to have decent size hands and the scoring touch, and the best thing is he is only going to get better.
Then we have the Russian “Possible steal” Kirill Kabanov. This kid has plenty of raw talent but will the Islanders be able to keep him in place and focus on hockey rather then getting in trouble. Well he was already late for his physical and got chewed out by management so we will see if he wakes up. Another kid with great skills. Hard shot a nose for the net a goal scorer if you will. He might just possibly make this team.
Along with him is fellow Russian Mr. Petrov. The Islanders are trying real hard to get him out of his Russian contract and be at camp but I don’t think that is going to happen. We might have to wait two years but the wait might be well worth it. He is supposed to be better then the other two combined and everyone is excited to see him play. (There is still a possibility he will be with the Islanders at camp. If he is mark my words he will be playing with the Islanders next year)
Now defense, Garth Snow stacked up the defense this year he added Eaton (great solid defenseman who can play defense), The Wiz (another solid defenseman who can hit the net) and Jurcina (jury is still out on this one). Along with them Harmonic, Dehaan are in the fold as well. These two are young powerful and are supposed to be the real deal. I can see one of them making the team but that means some one has got to go. (I am rooting for Gervais to go bye bye but what I want never happens). The Islanders are really depending on the Defense to carry this team as the offense seems to be a little thin. We will see how Streit, Hillen, MacDonald, Martinek, and Gervais respond to the challenge.
Besides the rookies mentioned before the Islanders have young guys who have been in the league for a few years, everyone is expecting big years from Tavares, Okoposo, Moulson, Schremp, Bailey and Comeau. Let’s not forget Parentau as well. These players are going to have to step it up and put on a great show if the Islanders are going to have a chance. I do expect all of the above mentioned players to set career highs as they look ready to turn that corner. If they do watch the Islanders might not be as bad as you may think.
Now finally goaltending, Besides the Islanders being the laughing stock of the league when it comes to contracts for goalies, the Islanders might actually have two healthy goaltenders this year. Dipietro is the question mark but if he is 100% healthy then watch out. Roloson has done wonders playing here and is a big part too and is expected to carry most of the load. IF one of them goes down the Islanders have Craig Monroe just itching to get into the net. This is going to be a big test for Dipietro as I believe this is his last chance to try to prove himself and if he fails it might be good bye for Ricky D or he might have to just retire.
All in all I expect a good fun exciting year. Some people have the Islanders squeezing into the playoffs while others have them looking at the bottom of the barrel. Either way I believe the Islanders are going to surprise a lot of people and sneak into the playoffs myself.
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.