Hey Guys, I did some research this morning......Through 13 Games (This Year vs. Last Year)
2009-10: 3W-4L-5OT for 11 Points.......(remember last year...we played a lot of OT early in the season.)
2010-11: 4W-7L-2OT for 10 Points.......(INJURIES and ROAD GAMES....lots of them....but 2 GOD AWFUL showings)
Positives and Negatives reviewed after the jump....what should be a concern and what is not as much of a concern (or what we can feel good about thus far).
1. Goaltending...admittadly, DP's play the last 2 weeks has concerned me some. He does seem a bit slow on the lateral moves and his comfort level with the other defensmen thus far looks pretty weak (but that can improve). This...coupled with the data that WebBard posted in his FanPost yesterday does put that
Rollie has been better for sure but he is not the Goaltender of the Future for this franchise and whether we like it or not...he is going to be dangled out there come deadline time (especially if DiPietro settles into a better comfort level). One Positive thought: I really liked what I saw out of the younger Goalies in Camp so if the right deal is there....I would definitely not be too upset if Rollie did get moved later this year. Our goaltending future is not as bad as pundits want us to think it is. Other than the financial blow to the franchise....if DP just doesn't work out (there will be other Goalies!!!)
2. The Slow Starts.....I think the islanders have scored the opening goal in a game only like 4 times or something....and the total # of goals that they have scored in the First period thus far is not much more than that. This is most likely a weird psychological thing (the concerning thing is that trends like this don't go away a lot of the time). We need to stop playing catch up all of the time. Hopefully Scott Gordon can figure a way to swing this trend....Positive Thought: The 3rd Period has been their best period which a change from recent years. Unfortunately on many nights...its been too little too late because of those first period woes.
3. INJURIES......PLEASE...No More. I think the islanders are pointless since the CHEF ran out of Macaroni (get it....Mac & CheezeWIZ). Andy Mac...that was the straw that made the Camel bend over and take a break for a little while (if you know what i mean). There is only so much one team can take.
SILVER LINING-------- The Islanders have played 4 Home games so far guys. That means that they have played 70% of their games on the Road so far (and still 3 out of the next 4). ALSO: They go out West next week where the Isles played fairly well last year (11 out of a potential 18 points against Western Teams on the Road Last Season).
1. Radek Martinek.....My Early Season Choice for Team MVP. Only 2 Pts (1G, 1A, -3 +/-, about 20Min TOI per game). Radek is reminding us why he really is the 2nd Best Defenseman on the team (After Streit of Course). Smart, Steady and always takes the toughest assignment. Good Job Marti.
2. John Tavares......attitude is becoming my favorite JT characteristic. With so much unknown about the Islanders in terms of their future and a recent past filled with mediocrity....This Kid is as advertised to me. He Expects to Produce, He Welcomes and Embraces the Expectations AND he makes opposing teams game plan for him. With what amounts to what still is an average supporting cast....I just see so much upside with him. He's a Winnner....A Kid who knows little else but success and it oozes out of him (you can see when he is interviewed after games and in the rare opportunities you can see him interact with teammates)
3. INJURIES............I think the islanders have only played 5 or 6 games so far where they have had Wiz, JT, Matt Moulson and Josh Bailey in the lineup together. Couple that with the fact that they started the year without arguably to 2 best players on the team and the maybe the best Defensemen in the Tri-State Area....really this could be alot worse.
4. Garth Snow..........Bravo to Garth thus far I think. His offseason pickups have pretty much been good (Konopka, Eaton, Wiz, Parentau)....and he continued with some more subtle pickups that have definitely been helps (Mottau & Grabnor). Finally, they did the right thing with Nino. They are sticking to the "Sacrifice a battle or two to Win the Long Term War" approach which is the right way to go.
Thoughts? BRING IT!!!