Great minds think alike. Don’t forget to read Gary’s and John’s first. Having said that, let’s start grading!
I’m going to go line by line: Vanek (A) Tavares (A) Okposo (A): Vanek came from the worst team in the NHL to the third worst team and he still looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Thank God for a contract year. There’s a reason Tavares is the face of the franchise and Okposo is having a career year because he actually started putting up points in October and not January.
Grabner (C+) Neilsen (B) Bailey (D): Grabner and Bailey appear to have Okposo’s past illness of starting to put points on the board towards the half way point of the season, while Frans Neilsen has discovered his scoring touch this year. However, this line is not consistent and needs to get things together.
Nelson (P) Strome (I) Clutterbuck (C+): Nelson and Strome have not played enough for me to grade them. Despite playing every line at different times I think Nelson has played well, though I would have preferred him in Bridgeport to start the season. Ask me about Strome at the end of the season. Clutterbuck might end the year with a B if he continues his strong play. It appears his injuries could be cause for his slow start.
McDonald (C-) Cizikas (C-) Martin (C-) Boulton (A): That’s right Boulton gets an A. When you put in the effort and you get goals when no one thinks you can, you get an A. As for the rest, big disappointment. Cizikas is playing with some passion as of late, but the 5 on 5 from the fourth line is wretched. Martin on the penalty kill is not a good idea either.
Bouchard (C) Regin (F): I’m thinking Bouchard was just not a right fit for the club. He cleared waivers, so maybe he’s not a right fit for the League anymore. Regin…..when I come up with something, I’ll re edit this part.
MacDonald (D) Hamonic (C+): Amac got jinxed the minute he got the “A” on his sweater. Reminds me of the 90’s when the Islanders named a captain, only to trade them later on in the season. Hamonic is playing too many minutes and must put opponents on the floor when they get anywhere near the crease.
Strait (C-) Hickey (C+): Injuries have hurt Strait’s season, while Hickey is streaky without his usual line-mate Visnovski.
Ness (C-) Carkner (D-): Ness is trying, but it appears there may not be enough talent from him to stick with the club. Carkner keeps going to the sin bin and the other teams score. He leads the team in Penalties-In-Minutes (77). Can’t do that with the wort PK unit in the League.
Martinek (D) Donovan (C+): D as in DONE!!! for Marty…..Donovan is a rookie making rookie mistakes. He should be given another look before the season is over.
de Haan (B): Playing a ton of minutes and making good decisions on the ice. Now, if he could only get a goal or two to get the confidence rolling some more.
Nabokov (C-): Gave up some soft goals before going down with an injury. Defense is not great, but he’s still skilled enough to steal a game or two, which has not happened.
Poulin (C+): Again, rookie making rookie mistakes, looks like a number one on some night and when the defense is poor, he’d be better off in the ECHL. More time is needed from him, but I do like what I’ve seen.
Nilsson (C-): Should be in Bridgeport for the remainder of the year.
Capuano, Weight, Thompson (D): Since they all consult together they can go down together. NO excuse for a 7 game losing streak. None!
Snow: (D) Bouchard not on the team. Regin….see above. Basically stood pat on D and goaltending. However, the young players he did draft (Nelson, de Haan, Strome) look to be the improvements that were required over the summer, but rookies need time and patience, something Islanders fans are running on fumes with.