Over the past few days we have continued to see the Islanders keep their hot pace going. They are slowly creeping up the standings at a pace of 2 points a night. Right now the main focus is on the Devils but keep watching the Islanders, as they have one of the best records in the second half so far.
I was fortunate enough to secure my $20 tickets early however I was one of the unfortunate ones who had to wait online outside at the will call window for Mondays game. I can't say I was too disappointed, there were plenty of bodies in the building for that game. I have to think that after watching Mondays game, many of those people will return for another serving of some hard core Islanders action. I know I will.
We spoke about the team coming alive after the Penguins brawl, we have watched them mount massive offensive attacks on their opponents but what really stands out to me is the loss against the Bruins.
I am not one to dwell on a loss, HOWEVER, Boston is one of the top teams in the entire NHL and they really exploited our lack of size issue. I think that this upcoming off season that is an issue that needs to be addressed.
I also must say I am very pleased with the grit and rough style of play from the Martin, Konopka, Haley line. This is something I have been waiting on for a very long time and I do believe that in the next few seasons that line will not only intimidate but also score.
I think the size needs to form on defense. I love the core we have now. Hamonic plays with the heart of an 8ft. man however I think to see him shine, you need a wall playing alongside him. 2 or 3 large bodies will go a very long way.
I would also like to see Tavares and Moulson play with a top line RW. I am not taking anything away from PA. I like his style and I like what he has done, however I think PA will be more dangerous against a 3rd line, not another teams top line. If you give JT and Moulson a bigger body, offense driven forward, they will be a scary top line.
Josh Bailey is finally showing some life again. When he is on, he is dangerous. He needs to add a little more consistency to his game. I don't know if this is a sign of life or an opportunity for an upgrade with him being the center of a trade for us.
We have been seeing less and less of Schremp. While I am the first to admit his hands are absolutely amazing, I question his work ethic, determination and overall value to this team.
I think the fact that Montoya was a Ranger at one point, gives me this weird aura feeling that he will just flourish here on the Island. Call me nuts but I believe in fate.
Every night I watch these guys I grow to appreciate certain players more and more for all the little things that they do. Most recently watching Jurcina, A-Mac, Hamonic, and Moulson. The absolute number one for me is FRANS NIELSEN. While I find the name Frans a bit disturbing, there is nothing more entertaining than watching this guy play. What he may lack in raw talent he certainly over compensates for with his on ice IQ. He just does all the right things. I hope he sticks around for a very long time.
I think with Streit getting better he would also be a great asset to use to land our much needed size.
While many teams in the NHL usually try to pick up size heading into the post season, many of those teams look to lose them afterwards. Mark Streit would be attractive trade bait. Maybe even a 2 for 1 type deal.
I am hearing more and more that Radek Martinek is probably on his way out before the trade deadline. I appreciate all he has done for us this season and wish him all the best.
Finally as one person recently reminded me, don't forget that next season the storm is coming! El Nino will hopefully have a chance to show us all why we picked him.
While the odds of us making the playoffs this season are still very much against us, this streak and hopefully the continued emergence of these players will give those who write the checks a bit of hope. This may just be what they need to go out and start filling the rest of the puzzle that we with so much love, call The New York Islanders.
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