OK – time to shock the readers of Isles Talk…
It has been a long time since I took to the site to write a piece. I did not want to get Paul’s ego too high, so as the “Emeritus” of Isles Talk, I need to add a few paragraphs to the site.
I am sure that fans of this team had many different thoughts of what would happen after the season ended at UBS.
- Clean House and start from the beginning.
- Allow Lou/Lane to get another year, tweak and continue
- Make a big splash to address the needs on the power play, etc
Well number 1 – to the chagrin of many fans did not happen. It seems that a combination of numbers 2 and 3 will be the play. Many will not like it; however, I will accept what management decided, and roll on.
What are my thoughts on the needs of this club?
- Improve the power play
- Have we been saying this for the last 5 years or so?
- We have the components, but I just feel that any coach that has ran this power play has done the same things and I, as a student not a player, can see it clearly.
- Move your feet, power plays never are successful with 5 cement blocks around the goaltender. You have to make yourself elusive and not predictable
- Have Mat Barzal NO LONGER bring the puck up. Every hockey fan with a tenth of a brain knows what he is going to do
- Unpredictable is the sign of a good power play
- Keep Barzal and Horvat together
- Bo is a goal scorer – Mat is a set up guy. Bo is one of the top faceoff centers in the league – Mat is ok – but that is not his strong suit. Their chemistry the few games that they were together before the injury to 13, was very encouraging.
- Anyone that knows me – is aware of my feelings about Josh. I do not want to see him go. I believe that he was totally disrespected by the team for 1) not letting him play his 1000th game at home and 2) not being able to secure #2 all time in games as an Islander
- Has his skills diminished? Yes. Can he have a role? I think so. There are certain teams that you can use his abilities against better than others. He is not an 82-game player but can be a 11–12-minute situational player.
- Can he be moved? Yes – I think he can. You are not going to get a lot, and he still wants to be an active player, so it may behoove Lou to make a ‘respectful’ deal for him. It is the least that he can do, for a man that has been with the organization as long as Josh has
- Long after his career is over, make him a part of the Islanders hall of fame, for his long time contributions to the team
- I think this core is good (well 5 out of 6). I am not thrilled with the play of Aho. He has had moments of strong skating and good offensive skills, but with his size, he has to be more of a positional defenseman; if you dont do this well – you are not long for the league. I think that in time, Samuel Bolduc will be that man. He is just raw as can be – he needs another year of seasoning, as he was unfortunately called up earlier than he should have been
- Sign #24 – he can be lost at times, but again – another long term Islander that lots of teams would take a bite on. I liked his play with Alex Romanov (he is going to be a “STUD” in the next two seasons – mark my words).
- Dobby needs to work on his back play. No one will question his offensive talents, but last season, there were times that he needed to have a conversation or two with either Zdeno Chara, or Andy Greene – his former mentors.
- Do you sign Varly?
- I think you can get him for a friendly deal. The relationship he has with Ilya seems to be quite strong, and they seem to like each other a lot.
I deflect to my distinguished colleague, Mr. Kreischer on the kids and the draft. Paul works real hard on this research, and I 100% respect him for his opinions and very few times is not spot on. Normally, I would be laughing loudly, but this time I am not.
I hope that you all have a great summer, do not get nuts on what the off-season holds. No one wins the Stanley Cup in July. The off-season is like developing a good bottle of beer. You get the best ingredients, take the time to let them develop and season; then when the time is right – bottle it, and enjoy the contents. We are only in the first stage of maybe a great bottle. I look forward to a nice spring drink!
Off to Hawaii next week – I hope to take some pictures with the 50th Anniversary shirts on Maui.