Now that the Isles are back at home, several have been sent to Bridgeport. Thus, those player's presence on the waiver wire, as many have noticed. No reports have come in that anyone was grabbed by another team thus far.
Still on the Islander's roster: Jeff Tambellini, Aaron Johnson, Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Darryl Bootland, Kip Brennan (reported on waiver wire, but is still with team)
Bryan Berard and the rest of the Isles defense is now the focus of much evaluation. Berard has not quite turned heads with his play thus far. Not that it has been bad. Just not making it a hard sell to make the team quite yet. He will have ample opportunity to do so this week.
The Islanders powerplay quarterbacking need is great, so it Berard doesn't make the team, Radek Martinek can also be used as a PP QB. Otherwise the Isles will have to trade or give others a shot next to Marc-Andre Bergeron, who as excelled as the roving dman getting free to take a booming shot. MAB is about the only sure thing on the powerplay. As we start to wind into autumn and the end of camp/preseason, there is little time and much scrutiny to all the Dman's play these next few games.
Also vying for spots on the Isles D is Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson, who has been getting an extended look with his good play. Both have had pretty good camps. But Johnson has a 2 way contract, and might have a season at Bridgeport eventually to round out and tweak his game. Freddy Meyer, however, is playing for his spot.
Andy Sutton and Brendan Witt are locks, and will be crease clearing. Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais have been used together quite a bit, and despite that Bruno's contract is 2-way, seems to be a good chance of being with the big club to continue his development. Being in Bridgeport simply won't help him. So very little spots for those on the bubble. Berard, Johnson, Meyer are locked in a big battle for one spot. Or is a trade on tap to assure the Islanders are set for their powerplay?
Tonight they play the Rangers, who are coming off an embarrassing loss versus the Flyers. Yes, the Ranger's used lots of prospects and minor leaguers. But, watching Lundquist constantly pressed to offset sloppy defensive schemes and play was all too familiar. They will look to rebound versus the Isles tonight, and will be much more on their game.
The table is set for a good game tonight. The Islanders need to play hard and some players have an NHL spot on the line.