Islanders Mid-Season Report

Streiter Has Been Missed

As we return to the NHL season post All-Star Weekend, let’s look at where the Islanders stand in the league and what we expect for the next 33 games. Overall, the Islanders haven’t come close to our expectations for the 2010-2011 season. After last year’s significant improvement, Isles’ fans expected a fight for the eight seed and possibly a playoff birth. But after losing Mark Streit (the team’s best defenseman) and star forward Kyle Okposo to injuries, it looked like it would be a long winter. It certainly has. In the first couple of weeks, the Islanders surprised the NHL by winning four of their first seven games. But soon after, the Islanders began one of their worst stretches in franchise history going 2-17-3 in their next 22 games. Even after winning five of their next six games, the Isles found themselves in the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Interim Head Coach Jack Capuano has been a Good Fit for the Young Isles

But now let’s look on the bright side. Interim head coach Jack Capuano has looked like a great fit for the organization. Capuano was the head coach for the Bridgeport Soundtigers of the AHL (the Islander’s minor league team) for the past four seasons. He knows the young players on the squad and these guys know his coaching philosophy. Since Capuano took over the depleted Isles, he has gone 11-17-4 (remember he took over in the middle of the awful November losing streak).

The Islanders have also found some new young talent in the past couple of months. 23 year-old Michael Grabner has had a great year and recently won the “fastest skater” competition in the NHL All-Star Skills Game last weekend. Young defensemen Andy McDonald and Travis Hamonic have performed very well. With the injury to Streit, McDonald and Hamonic have risen to the occasion and have given Isles’ fans more hope for the future.

Now with the All-Star break over and the second half of the season beginning tonight, I’m expecting the Isles to win over half of their games. I would like to strive for an 18-12-3 record to finish out the year. This would give us promise for a 2011-2012 season, especially with the return of Streit and a full-season of health for Okposo. Plus, for John Tavares’ third season – I’m praying for him to have Steven Stamkos-like numbers. The Islanders take on the Thrashers tonight at 7pm in Atlanta.

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One Response to “Islanders Mid-Season Report”

  1. […] to the All-Star Break, I had certain expectations for this team headed into the final two months. I expected the Isles to go 18-12-3 down the stretch. So far, they’ve exceeded my expectations winning 12 of 17 games. The Former Michigan […]

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