According to various websites, the New York Islanders have resigned restricted free agent goalie Kevin Poulin to a one year/two way deal.
My take: Many fans were wondering why Poulin was even resigned to begin with. It’s true his overall record for the year was not good, posting a 11-16-1 record with a goals against average of 3.29 and a save percentage of .891. However, it was Poulin who got the Islanders out of the November funk with a 46 save performance against the San Jose Sharks, who at the time were tops in the NHL. Along with that game, Poulin went 8-5-1 with a goals against average of 3.35 and a save percentage of .884 and in 2 of those 5 loses, one to Phoenix, the other to Boston, I remember many fans saying that Poulin was left out to dry in those game when he gave up 6 goals each. When Poulin was sent down to the Sound Tigers, he went 2-12-1 with a goals against average of 2.65 and a save percentage of .910 and that was with a team that was primarily comprised of ECHL players and recent college players on tryout contracts.
So the question remains: Was Poulin that bad or was the team not equipped to help him. Probably a bit of both. This is the reason for a contract extension. The Islanders need to see if Poulin can take Bridgeport on his back and take them to a deep playoff run. There’s plenty of offense for this year and a young talented defensive group that needs that veteran presence in net. To go along with goalie David Leggio, the Sound Tigers may have one of the best goalie tandems in the AHL. So if there are no injuries to either Jaroslav Halak or Chad Johnson, being sent down to the minors and be asked to make a playoff run with your old coach won’t sound like a bad idea. What I would like to see out of Poulin is more consistency. Just keep the game simple and reduce the amount of soft goals he reluctantly has a habit of letting in. Like a few others, this could be a make or break year for Poulin, so the time to take advantage of it starts at training camp.