Will The Islanders make the playoffs in 2011/2012? What 8 teams in the East will have less points than the Islanders?
Bruins - NO
Penguins - NO
Capitals - NO
Lightning - NO
After those 4 teams making the playoffs that only leaves 4 more spots.
The next group of teams:
Rangers - Islanders can compete against, but not better
Canadiens - Islanders can compete against, but not better
Sabres - Islanders can compete against, but not better
That leaves only 1 playoff spot for the Islanders
The following are teams in transition:
Devils - Which team are they? The very bad team at the beginning of the year or the dominating team of the 2nd half of the season and they get back Parise.
Huricanes - They lost some key players to FA picked up a few, not sure where this team stands
Panthers - They are a much improved team. They are no longer the doormats of the East. They have a legit GM that seams to know what he is doing but with all the additions can they put a team together that gels on the ice? Only time will tell.
The following are teams the Islanders ARE DEFINATELY BETTER THAN:
Are the Islanders going to improve enough this season to compete for the 8th and final playoff spot?
Lets look at the team from top to bottom:
Sure thing offensive players we can count on:
JT, Moulson, Grabner, and Neilsen
Sure thing defensive player we can count on:
AMac and Hamonic
Question mark players because of major injuries the previous season but thought of as part of the core:
Okposo and Streit
If we include those 2 players as sure things than the Islanders have 5/6 of top 2 lines and 3/4 of top 4 defenseman.The problem that leaves is 2 very big holes a 1st line winger for JT and Moulson and a 1st pair defenseman for Streit.
Players we think the Islanders can count on:
PA Parenteau (not a 1st line player but servicable)
Comeau (will he play consistant like the 2nd half of the season?)
Jurcina (a nice 3rd pair defenseman but must stay healthy)
Eaton (a nice 3rd pair defenseman but must stay healthy)
Bailey - (Can he become a 2nd line center or is he trade bait? We find out this season)
Key rookies or 2nd year players
Nino (what will he bring to the table his 1st season? 20 goals top line duty? or inconsistant rookie?)
Wishart (Looked pretty good late last season hopefully he continues to grow)
Rookies that could make the team but not likely till later in the season or 2012/2012:
DeHaan (Potential top pairing defenseman)
Kabanov (Potential 1st or 2nd line winger. Dis he finally grow up last season with the Maniacs? or is he too much of a headcase?)
Strome - (Potential 1st line mate of JT and Moulson or 2nd line center. Unless he absolutley dominates in training camp he is back in the juniors)
The only place we are set and solid in is the 4th line. No question marks Haley Reasoner Martin.
Now lets move to goal.
DiPi - (Do we need to count him at all?)
Montoya - (Played very nice for us. Previously a 1st round pick. So he has talent. Did a very god job for the Islanders in the 20 games he played but was he just a hot goalie or is he good?)
Nabokov (Is a #1 goalie. He is coming to training camp. He definately wants off the Island. Can the Islanders show him that they are a team on the rise? or will they trade him? Will he be proffesional and not cause problems in the locker room?)
Poulin - (Potential #1 goalie. Played fantastic when he was up? But had a freak knee injury and had season ending surgery. Also had his other knee operated on previously. Will he become our future dominate #1 goalie or he become DiPi the 2nd? If possible let him stay in Bridgeport and dominate there)
Koski - (Potential #1 goalie but proved last season was not ready to make the jump needs to stay in Bridgeport)
To some up next season here it is in a nutshell:
1. Snow makes 2 trades to jumpstart the rebuild finaly. He brings 2 vets 1 top 2 line winger and 1 top pair defenseman.
2. Snow convinces Nabokov that this team is ready to make the playoffs and he stays.
If the above 2 scenarios happen they will be in the playoffs and can possibly win a round. If Snow can not pull off a trade they will have to rely on what they have. Which is way too many question marks. We definately would not make the palyoffs and could wind up with another Lottery Pick. In that case I would rather play the kids only. Lets see what they could do.
Here would be my line up with all the kids playing giving them no pressure this year would be the final year of the rebuild.
Trade Nabokov, Parenteau, Eaton and Motou. That should give us 2 2nd round picks a 3rd round pick and a 6 or 7th round pick.