Occasionally Arthur Staple of Newsday, the only beatwriter assigned to cover the Islanders home and road, unleashes a Q&A via Twitter for Isles fans, whose thirst for information and conspiracy is unquenchable.
Occasionally we grab the best bits for posterity, and because some of you have Twitter blocked at work. Not that you should be reading about hockey at work.
Staple did one last night from Phoenix via his handle @StapeNewsday. Here are some highlights and takeaways:
On Johnny Boychuk's Importance, Contract Status
Staple called Boychuk a team MVP (other than Tavares) on the ice and in the room so far. He also said no indication of contract discussions yet (even though Boychuk has doubled past the Strait Extension Threshold):
@bcon18 Boychuk. In the room and on the ice. Attitude and game to match so far.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 8, 2014
And on his move from PP1 to PP2, and back and forth...concern about opponents cheating on him:
@ant_romano21014 I think coaches felt teams were keying on JB's shot after a few games. Like Lubo's versatility more with that group.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 8, 2014
Who Gets Waived When Health Returns?
Not like full health ever arrives, but who gets waived when Josh Bailey returns? Could be Anders Lee, could be Cory Conacher, could be Matt Donovan...
@tjanthony25 When Bailey comes back, could be Lee, could be Conacher, could be Donovan.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 7, 2014
@kcos194 Lee has to put the puck in the net to stick around when Bailey/Grabner get healthy.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 7, 2014
The First-Line Left Wing
Who's been best so far? Nikolay Kulemin.
@BillyFitzz Kulemin. Not a scorer, but he does create some space.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 7, 2014
And who should or will be there? Everyone and then some:
@Mcassin11Mike Kulemin now, maybe Bailey later, maybe someone else next season.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 8, 2014
Not Moulson. Dal Colle? Too soon. Lee? Strome? Stop projecting, people.
But not Brock Nelson:
@therealjames20 I think the long-term 1LW isn't on the team right now. Nelson is a center. Think he's proven that.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 7, 2014
Can We Get Our Perfect 12? We Want the Perfect 12.
Did I mention there were many familiar user handles in the Q&A? Sometimes it feels like LHH goes to Twitter for temporary relief from the Fourth Line Wars and Bailey Inquisition.
You mean Strome? I keep hearing in comments it must be Strome BECAUSE ISLANDERS!?
But We Want MOAR
Who might the isles target at the trade deadline? Way too early to know. But by profile? Maybe a Joel Ward type:
@joeybananas92 Guy like Joel Ward, perhaps -- proven scorer, dirty-area guy, pending UFA. Doubt Caps trade in division, but like that.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 8, 2014
Grabovski vs. Nabokovski
From our own Chris McNally, who is more entertaining?
@thechrismcnally Grabo is more subtle. Nabby was like a Russian Rodney Dangerfield.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 8, 2014
Finally, Tell Me Why the Coliseum is Great
As always, the sight lines for hockey:
@JBuono611 Best is Nassau Coliseum, by far. Worst is Prudential Center. Like watching the game via drone camera.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 7, 2014
Catch Staple on Twitter at @StapeNewsday where you can sift through the entire Q&A.