NY Islanders News

Simmer Being Sent Down, Jurcina Out, Grabner is Back, and Other Thoughts

By John Panarese

The Isles now go into Carolina to play the Hurricanes tonight and then play in Ottawa to continue this long 12 out of 15 game stretch on the road.  With a 4-5-2 record, as Gary said, it’s time to get angry.  It’s time to right the ship and go back to the kind of hockey that got the boys off to a great start.  Hopefully, three days off will help the team and some practice time has been put to good use.

John Sim was sent down to Bridgeport to make room in the lineup for Rob Schremp’s return.  I understand the “logistical” reasons for this move, but being the “old school” hockey fan as I am, losing Simmer’s presence and the role he plays is a little unsettling to me.  Yeah, I know many in Islander Country like to make Sim their “whipping boy”, and perhaps he is not a top sixer, but there is value to players like him that goes beyond the score sheet.  However, this young team needs scoring, and I am not the GM nor the coach … for good reason …

Michael Grabner is expected to play tonight as well.  It will be interesting to see who will be the healthy scratch on offense.  Bruno Gervais will be in on defense with the hamstring injury to Milan Jurcina sidelining him for 2 to 4 weeks.  If I had to guess, I’d think Trevor Gillies will be the guy absent from the lineup tonight.  It would also not surprise me to see Trent Hunter playing on the fourth line to start the game.

Overall, it doesn’t need to be said that the Islanders are going to have to play a sixty minute game of sloppy-free hockey.  It is time to get mad, and it’s time to grab some points in the standings.  Ten games in is still relatively early in the season, but it’s never too early to fix problems and eliminate bad habits.  The winning attitude and belief in oneself is certainly great traits, but the guys are going to have to turn that all back into victories.  It starts tonight in Raleigh!