Editor's Note: Thanks to member Chickendirt for another FanPost good for discussion on the holiday weekend...We're 1+ years into the rebuild: Where do you fall in terms of your hopes for this season? --Dominik
So I was poking around the TSN site today. It's getting to be that time of year where everyone is getting giddy with the start of hockey season just around the corner. Baseball is starting to fizzle out (if your a Mets fan like myself it was over by mid July) and who really care about football? Oh, and NHL10 is due to thit the store shelves in about week.
GIMME SOME PUCKS!!!!
So I'm reading the TSN preview for the Islanders which can be found here. They have a lot to say but don't really put much effort into really researching the team (Big Surprise there). Yeah, the first line is lookin like Tavares, Weight and Okposo and the only defensemen of note is Streit. With that, the rest of the roster rounds out to nothing but garbage? They seem to pass off doing the rest of the work on the forward unit by proclaiming, "There is simply a lack of NHL level talent on the forward unit. If the team decides to stack the top line with Tavares, Okposo and veteran Doug Weight, the remaining three lines will be a collection of untested prospects and professional journeymen."
In other words Neilsen, Bailey and Bergenheim are not NHL level talent.Amazing how those three get brushed under the rug. Comeau has flaws in his game but I don't think at this point anyone could claim he is not NHL level talent either. Yeah, those four are all works in progress but TSN is simply being lazy here. In a sense I want to do a write up on whether Eklund is good for the game cause that guy clearly has created an atmosphere whereas unless you have a superstar at every position, your not worth covering. I'll leave that as a story for another day but fact of the matter is that I am of the position that this guy is terrible for fans that really want to get to know the game better. Instead of offering real analyses he encourages knee jerk reactionarism (And a bunch of made up rumors and lies about his "insiders").
I'll just leave that for another day.
Overall, I don't dissagree with TSN's final conculsion on the team as a whole. It's more the process and the analysis that I take issue with (or lack thereof). I think they have a long way to go and chances are lose more than they win. I don't agree that they have a long way to go before they are competitive again. We probably are going to be looking at high draft pick. This team is going to lose some guys and chances are that it is on the blue line. That's where I'd place my money if I were a bettin man.
I do have a hunch that we will probably see Hamonic get some time here as a result. Mainly cause his Junior team is terrible and cause for concern as to how that effects his development. It's great to put numbers in Juniors but it's all for naught if you're doing so on a losing team. Better to get that experience on the NHL level if your a serious NHL prospect. That's only my opinion though.
I'd place my money on this team finishing out of the [1st-pick range of the] lottery and somewhere between 6-10 in the draft. There aren't a lot of teams on the schedule that I see as an easy win for these guys but I don't think the team as a whole as an easy beat either. They have the goal tending and are not relying on Danis and MacDonald this season. Keep in mind, in order to get that first overall pick, you need the wheels to fall off. That's usually what happens to a lot of teams that finish dead last. To finish in the lottery you need really bad goal tending. The Isles don't have that problem this season.
Unlike last year we need Snow to pick wisely in this draft. It's not that deep this season, last years after the first three or four it was largely off the board (MSP fell all the way to about 10 where the ISS had him in the top five). I expect this years draft to be much the same but with a lot less consensus. I may be in the minority here but I think thus far Snow and Jankowski are doing an excellent job. They inherited this team with absolutely nothing in the system or the NHL roster to work with. That's not to say there haven't been a few slip ups (I don't think deadline day deal are Snow's forte.)
Either way, the game is played on the ice and these guys who make these predictions wind up eating a lot of crow (Don't tell that to the Knee Jerk fans though) at the end of the season. I don't know many that picked Boston as regular season Eastern Conference Champs. Although I do know many that have picked the Rags to win the cup these last ten seasons.