FanPost

An Unfancy Review of the 2013-14 New York Islanders

"If he's so good then why's the PK so bad amirite?" #don'ttalkaboutgoaltending - Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Been tossing and turning this in my head for awhile now. Knew I wanted to do a grading of the individual players comparing my personal bias, expectations, and very basic analytics. This was the last straw. It isn't, I suppose, a patently bad review. I mean we all value things differently. It just runs so opposite of the way I look at the team that I wanted to put my words to the internet and fish for all your recs in the process.

Grading:

I have decided to go with 4 grades. Two unfancy, one hard number and a final grade. I will give a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) for what my expectations were before the season and how I think they performed during it. I will then include that players Corsi rel for the year which is my preferred possession metric.

Note: The final letter grade is a combination of the latter two. I don't take into account my expectations when grading a player for this season. I only included it to see how they fared compared to how I thought they would. Also should be noted I graded each player before looking up their respective Corsi Rel so as to not influence my eye test grades, but I obviously was familiar to some extent as to performance in this metric during the season.

This is very basic. I am aware I am excluding things like zone starts, QoC, QoT, Garik's excellent NZone metrics, etc, etc. I am keeping this simple because I am a simple man.

Exclusions:

Minimum of 20 games played and only grading players who remain on our roster. I am not including goalies. They all get F's. Expectations were D and they still let me down.

Forwards

Josh Bailey

Expectation:B
Season Grade:C
Corsi Rel: +3.9%
Final Grade: B
Thoughts: I was expecting a big production season out of Bailey. Shoulda listened to AP77. However, I think he can turn things around as a defensive winger. Too bad about that contract though.

Eric Boulton

Expectation:F
Season Grade:F
Corsi Rel: -13%
Final Grade: F
Thoughts: I promised myself to stick to letter grades with no +'s or -'s. Boulton would have gotten F- in everything. I thought this was the reason Matt Martin existed? So we didn't have to dress F's.

Casey Cizikas

Expectation:B
Season Grade:D
Corsi Rel: -6.1%
Final Grade: F
Thoughts: I love Casey. I want him to succeed more than anything. I firmly expect him to rebound. His effort certainly passed the eye test but that 4th line was a tire fire all season long after making a good impression in the playoffs imo.

Cal Clutterbuck

Expectation:C
Season Grade:C
Corsi Rel: -0.9%
Final Grade: C
Thoughts: I think this grade goes up if our PK posted better numbers. I think that injury really bothered him for awhile. He grew on me as the season went. Capable bottom six forward.

Michael Grabner

Expectation:A
Season Grade:B
Corsi Rel: +2.2%
Final Grade: B
Thoughts: Was hoping for a breakout offensive season. I still think he has it in him. Even if he doesn't Grabner is a defensive monster, plus pk'r, and possession beast. Really carried over his physical play from the post season last year. Aside from Tavares the most fun player to watch live.

Mike Halmo

Expectation: F
Season Grade:C
Corsi Rel: +3.0%
Final Grade: C
Thoughts: One of two players to just make this list at 20 games. Small sample size makes me hesitate but he is ranking better than most of our current NHL fourth line on this list. That says something.

Anders Lee

Expectation: F
Season Grade:B
Corsi Rel: +5.6%
Final Grade:B
Thoughts: He really looks like one of our missing pieces. A big body that is tough to handle in the corners and around the net. My 'F' expectations are people who I didn't expect to see in the NHL this year. Glad I did. Very excited about Anders.

Matt Martin

Expectation:C
Season Grade:F
Corsi Rel: -6.0%
Final Grade:F
Thoughts: I firmly believe the way our 4th line has been used under Capuano causes some of what I'm seeing, but Matt Martin getting PK minutes is insane. His line got beat up all year.

Colin McDonald

Expectation:C
Season Grade:F
Corsi Rel: -3.0%
Final Grade: F
Thoughts: The last of our 4th liners who had some time on the other lines. He shouldn't have. He has a nice enough shot actually and can play an up tempo game but that line's performance this year was inexcusable.

Brock Nelson

Expectation:C
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +4.5%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Look. I really shouldn't be throwing A's around to rookies. He gets an extra letter for doing what he did as a rookie. Seeing him in person was something special. The guy could exert his will on bigger NHL players. The way he hits is the way you're supposed to: take people out of the play without removing yourself. His puck pursuit is relentless. Strong along the boards, strong in front of the net, and strong through the neutral zone. If Brock can continue on this path he is going to be a bear to play against. The second biggest surprise for me this season.

Frans Nielsen

Expectation:A
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +1.5%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Honestly nothing to say about Frans. My biggest knock is his faceoffs. I feel bad for all the press our PK got this year because him and Grabner were near-dominant when together. His production will take a dip when we move off the 1-D PP, but it was nice to watch him silence his detractors.

Kyle Okposo

Expectation:B
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +1.5%
Final Grade:A
Thoughts: Biggest improvement for a roster player imo. This was the step I expected from Bailey. The changes he made to his game this year are every bit as surprising as Tavares' skating improvement. He's running through people. He is taking the puck to the net instead of the corners. He is creating space for his linemates and fighting through the coverage he is attracting. Expect a decrease in production next year but I also expect a rebound in possession.

Ryan Strome

Expectation:B
Season Grade:C
Corsi Rel: +3.5%
Final Grade:B
Thoughts: One example where my season grade (eye test) was probably harsher than it should have been. I certainly was expecting more production from Strome but I feel confident he will grow into his game. Certainly had some "wow" moments. Be fun to see how he comes into the season next year.

John Tavares

Expectation:A
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +1.0%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Defensive lapses are a valid concern but we should be thanking the hockey gods every day for the gift of JT.


Defenseman

Matt Carkner

Expectation:F
Season Grade:C
Corsi Rel: -0.4%
Final Grade:C
Thoughts: Has replaced Brian Strait as my desired 6/7 D-Man. Foot speed is an issue and will continue to be exploited. Capable in soft minutes, though.

Matt Donovan

Expectation:B
Season Grade:D
Corsi Rel: +4.6%
Final Grade: C
Thoughts: I agree Donovan fails the eye test. Impressive possession metrics. We will see. Also noted he was not listed on the Islanders roster when I was checking games played. I expected more on the PP, but could be argued never got the chance.

Travis Hamonic

Expectation:B
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +1.4%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Really felt Hamonic changed his game slightly. His transition play seemed much improved. I frequently joked he has become like Streit in gaining the zone, but has no idea what to do once he gets there. He could really become something special if he improves his puck play in the O-Zone, but nonetheless he has become effective in all 3 zones.

Thomas Hickey

Expectation:B
Season Grade:B
Corsi Rel: +1.6%
Final Grade: B
Thoughts: Had some head scratching plays this year. However, he also started playing bigger which was nice to see. Hickey is a terrific piece to have. Very heady player, seems to exude confidence and direct traffic on the ice. I really hope we get to see him grow into his role. Very steady player.

Aaron Ness

Expectation:C
Season Grade:D
Corsi Rel: 0.0%
Final Grade: D
Thoughts: I like Ness, but feel that the org thinks Hickey took his spot on the depth chart and I find it hard to argue. Inconsistent play this year. Was the other player to just barely make the 20 game threshold.

Brian Strait

Expectation:C
Season Grade:D
Corsi Rel: -6.4%
Final Grade: F
Thoughts: I'm ready for him to not be in the NHL. That is all.

Lubomir Visnovsky

Expectation:A
Season Grade: A
Corsi Rel: +8.1%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Firmly believe Hocknovsky is an elite 2nd pairing. Concussion wrecked his season. Fingers crossed he comes back strong.

Calvin De Haan

Expectation: F
Season Grade:A
Corsi Rel: +5.2%
Final Grade: A
Thoughts: Biggest shock of the season. I do mean shock. There were some rookie mistakes peppered throughout, but easily the biggest surprise of the season. Silky smooth defender who makes it look easy. I'm very big on gap control (good riddance Amac) and DeHamonic was a joy to watch. Absolute joy. DeHaan showed off his great first pass and calmness in his own zone. Willingness to finesse the puck when needed and willingness to take the man. If he can stay healthy he fills a big need. He's everything the casual fan thought Amac was haha.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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