What Do I Expect to Happen???

A man in an orange and white hockey uniform.

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.

  1. Clean House and start from the beginning.
  2. Allow Lou/Lane to get another year, tweak and continue
  3. 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.
  • #12
    • 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
  • Defense
    • 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?
    • YES!
    • 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.


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