Isles Have Chance To Improve Record; Thoughts On Hickey

The New York Islanders defeated the Calgary Flames Monday night by a score of 4-0. This was the one game this week that had me a bit worried because the Flames could come out at any time and beat you. With that said, the Islanders improved their record to 6-2-1 with games against Carolina tomorrow and the Devils on Halloween. To go another step further, they play the Sabres and the Devils again to begin next week. So by 11:00pm next Wednesday the Islanders could, and should go 4-0 which gives them a record of 10-2-1. The schedule for this coming week is a big reason you may not see any changes coming to Brooklyn.

With Thomas Hickey now out with a knee injury that will have him sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks, the fans want someone (anyone else really) to come in and take Hickey’s minutes and not have his name be Brian Strait. If you have not read his article yet, Andy Graziano makes a great case for Adam Pelech and I would agree with his choice. All the reasons that Andy mentions are correct but as I had stated before, the next week should give the Isles a better record and there’s no rush to bring someone in. Another name I would consider to give him a confidence boost would be Matt Finn. Give him a game or two and let him experience the NHL and send him back down with more motivation to become better because he has the tools, he just needs the right push.

As for the Ryan Strome being benched my answer to that is this: It’s October. Would I have benched him against the Flames? No. However, not only did the Islanders win, but they shut them out. Would Islanders head coach Jack Capuano bench him in March or April? Probably not, so let this be a learning experience and move on. Strome was ticked off and he should be, but now he has to put that towards the Hurricanes on Thursday and show the coaches that he is not going to be removed from the lineup again.

Even with the injury to Hickey, the Islanders should get themselves a long winning streak going for the next week. Carolina cannot be considered a walk in the park as we have all seen what happens when Carolina is taken for granted. The Devils are on a good streak themselves and they’ll be eager to play the Islanders, but the Isles have enough depth to beat out those teams and continue to move up in the standings. As for Montreal next Thursday? Let’s get through the weekend first.

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