Well, as this long week of no Islander's hockey continues because of a terrible NHL schedule as usual, we can definitely take the time to think about our season thus far. Specifically the injuries to Jon Sim, Bryan Berard, and our offense and defense.
-Jon Sim: I don't know about the rest of you, but this is definitely one of the most dissappointing losses of the new season. I know that July 1st, when free agency opened and the mass exodus of Long Island began that everyone became even more frustrated when they heard that Jon Sim was the one and only person we had signed thus far, however, he would have been the diamond in the rough this year. Paired with similar players in Hunter and Sillinger, this trio could have been lethal, not only defensively because of there strong work ethic, but offensively. Each person on this line has the potential to post 20+ goals and 20+ assists and be the most dangerous third line in hockey. I know many people would look at me and say that he only posted 17 goals last year, however, his ice time was at most 10 minutes a game. This year, with the shutdown unit of Hunter and Sillinger, he would be looking at 15 minutes a game on average and his production would only increase. I am very dissappointed about this loss but it will make his presence next year feel like that of a free agent. I am already excited to see him with Hunter and Sillinger next year!
-Bryan Berard: Well, I can bet everyone is going to come around and say "I told you he would get hurt!" I am going to choose to ignore that because it was a random accident and a groin injury that will last all of two weeks. He is a strong player, a fierce competitor, and he will be back before everybody knows it. Now about that NHL scheduling I bashed on prior, it is terrible for the fans but great for Bryan and the Islanders. Bryan, who I would hands down say has contributed tremendously to making our power play top ranked in the league thus far, is going to miss 4-5 games at most. This allows him ample time to recover without missing to much of the action.
His play thus far has truly been phenomenal in both ends. His vision of the ice on the power play is incredible, even with his past eye problems that still affect him today. Defensively, he has been very strong and has shown that a two-way forward is a huge positive in the new NHL. Ever since being paired with Andy Sutton, the pair has been phenomenal in my opinion. Although there are the occassional gaffes by Sutton, he has really tightened up his game since being separated from Marc-Andre Bergeron. As I posted in my second blog, Bryan Berard will post excellent numbers this season and his acquisition will lead to a longer term contract here on Long Island. Get well soon Bryan!
- Just a quick thought, but what I have seen from Aaron Johnson has been quite impressive. I love to see heart and desire in a player's game, and he has shown nothing but that. He is always focused on giving it his all and first and foremost proving to Ted Nolan that he can be out there. In his time out there, he really has done just that. I hope you all noticed that during overtime, he was out there on the ice working his tail off and playing that second defender role. His playing time in overtime is a reflection of the trust the Ted Nolan is beginning to have for him. Any comments on his play?
-If you haven't already, please read my second blog. It's on MyHockeybuzz like the rest of these and the tag can be found under Islanders. It's a trade proposal for ATL that would really make our two first lines lethal. But it's just an idea, so feel free to criticize and comment. They are always appreciated!
-As always, feel free to comment this blog and ask me any questions you want. They are always greatly appreciated as well. Till the next blog, Let's Go Islanders!