Posts Tagged ‘Islanders’

The Islanders aren’t a team synonymous with winning over the past decade.  In fact, they haven’t made the playoffs since 2007 and haven’t won a playoff series since 1993.  The last time the team started 3-1 was 07-08, so the fans aren’t used to good starts.  But with the good, young group of players the team has a very bright future.  And it’s possible that future might be closer than people realized.

John Tavares was drafted first overall in 2008 to be the cornerstone of the revitalization of the Islanders franchise.  In his first two seasons in the NHL, he hit 24, 29 goals and 57, 69 points.  This season, after signing a 6 year, $33 million deal, Tavares seems to hit another gear, scoring five goals and eight points (both second in the league) in just four games.  Against the crosstown rival Rangers, he scored three goals (including the game winner), two of them on the powerplay, as well as an assist.  Two nights prior, he torched the Lightning for four points (two goals, two assists).

It’s not all Tavares doing all the scoring, either.   (more…)

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Last season, we saw a great crop of rookies.  This year should be no different as plenty of guys are primed to make an impact on the NHL.

Jonathan Blum (Nashville)
In 23 games last season, Blum impressed the Predators enough to trade Cody Franson to Toronto, giving Blum a full time position. The 22 year old is a good decision maker who should fit right into Barry Trotz’ system.

Erik Gudbranson (Florida)
With Florida’s roster in flux, look for Gudbranson to get a shot to play some minutes with the big club. The team is hoping his offensive game continues to develop (12 goals in the OHL last season), but is still a defensive force.

Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)
Like with Gudbranson, Huberdeau should get a chance with the Panthers. Florida’s brass loves his unselfish play and his hustle. The Panthers don’t want to rush him, but if he’s ready, no point in holding him down.

Ryan Johansen (Columbus)
After torching the WHL for 40 goals, 92 points last season, Johansen appears ready to join the big club in Columbus. With the recent additions by Columbus, it might keep Johansen down on the team’s depth chart. Despite that, he should still produce and work his way up.

Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado)
Landeskog was the most NHL ready of any player in the 2011 draft. He’ll be penciled in on the Avs’ top 6 and should be in the Calder conversation all season.

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This afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they had offered Michael Nylander to a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).  Which, basically means, he’s invited to Flyers training camp for a chance to win a job with the club.  Some fans disagreed with the move, calling it a waste of time.  They explained that Nylander has virtually no chance to make this team as is, and he is coming off of a serious spinal injury that sidelined him for most of last season.  Dissenters also mentioned that a contracted player would have to be moved to fit under the 50 contract limit if Nylander gets a contract after training camp.

The Flyers invited Michael Nylander to training camp on a PTO.

Since 2008, the Flyers have invited Bryan Berard, Blair Betts, Mark Bell, Bill Guerin and now Nylander to camp on PTOs.  However, of the four who have been through camp, only Betts made the team.  The year before his tryout with the Flyers, Berard was invited to training camp by Islanders and earned a one year contract by New York.

So the question remains, are PTOs just a waste of time?  (more…)

Chris Osgood has announced his retirement today, and NHL fans should be celebrating his long, storied career.  Yet his retirement promped the debate whether or not he should be a Hall of Famer.  His resume includes being tenth all time in wins (401) in 17 seasons with the Red Wings, Blues and Islanders.  He also has 3 Stanley Cup rings (’97, ’98, ’08), although one of those  (’97) he was not the starter for.

So he should be a slam dunk Hall of Famer, right?

Let’s compare him to his peers, shall we?  Below is a list of comparable goalies from the mid 80’s until present, in different categories.  (more…)

We all know who the best players have been the best in the NHL in the 2010-11 season, but who have been some of the worst?  Years ago, I created some “awards” in my old sim league (DCHL), as a semi roast to certain players, GMs and teams.  I took some of these awards,  and created some brand new ones.

First, we start with the Trigger Happy Award, which goes to the GM who has pulled off the most trades in the last year (for the purpose of a starting point, I used 2010’s regular season end to this regular season’s end).  With 18 counted trades, including acquiring (and trading) Dennis Wideman, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers is our 2011 winner.  The other GM award, the aptly named You Suck Award goes to Ottawa’s Bryan Murray.  Last summer, Murray signed Sergei Gonchar for 3 years and $16 million, and the 37 year old played like he was 57.  The team plummeted to last place and Murray started the firesale, trying to get what he could for many players.  Some of his deals were to rectify mistakes he had made in the summer, and in previous seasons.  All this, while Daniel Alfredsson remained on the team and his value continued to drop.

Moving on to some statistical awards, the winner of the Broad Street Bully Award goes to Islander Zenon Kenopka, who blew away the field in the penalty minute department, finishing with 307.  Kenopka is the first player to break the 300 PIM barrier since Dan Carcillo in 2007-08.   The Greg Millen Trophy for allowing the most goals in the regular season goes to the Colorado Avalanche.  The team allowed a whopping 287 goals, the most since the 06-07 Flyers.  On the topic of goalies, our Red Light Award for worst goalie of the year (minimum of 20 games) is Rick DiPietro.  DiPietro “lead” the league with a 3.44 GAA, had the second worst save percentage at 88.6% and finished with a record of 8-14-4.

The Bettman Trophy for Villain of the Year was no surprise.  Suspended for 21 games this season within two separate incidents, including missing the entire first round of the playoffs, Matt Cooke easily wins the award.

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