Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 10/31/13

By Michael Willhoft

Oct 29, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing

Chris Kreider

(20) keeps the puck as New York Islanders left wing

Thomas Vanek

(26) follows during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The bad news is that the New York Islanders are struggling. The good news is that there’s plenty of season left for the team to turn things around.

The Matt Moulson-for-Thomas Vanek trade has energized the locker room and given the fans something to get excited about, even if it meant seeing a fan favorite leave Long Island. But, as GM Garth Snow said, you have to give something to get something, and the Isles now have one of the NHL’s most consistent scorers on their roster.

The new top line of Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo will take some time to gel, but the potential for the trio to put up scoring numbers in the same category as other top lines around the NHL is certainly within reach.

As Vanek settles into the Islanders’ system and becomes more comfortable playing alongside Tavares, expect the point production to increase as a result. For a player of Vanek’s caliber, the learning curve shouldn’t be steep.

The Isles face a .500 Ottawa Senators club Friday night at Canadian Tire Centre. If New York is serious about righting the ship, a road win would be a good place to start.

-Mike (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

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A New Approach (NY Islanders)

On Bridgeport And Defensive Call Ups (Isles Point Blank)

The Chip ‘N’ Chase: Pens-Bruins, Beastmodo, Miller Trade Talk, And More (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Winnipeg Jets Should Send Scheifele Away (Winnipeg Whiteout)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

[Due to a self-imposed temporary suspension from Twitter, this segment will not be appearing today. It’s not you, it’s me.]

Last Night In The NHL

BOS Bruins 2
PIT Penguins 3

TOR Maple Leafs 4
CGY Flames 2

DET Red Wings 2
VAN Canucks 1

SJ Sharks 3
LA Kings 4 (F/OT)

Across The Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to 1-5-1-0 after losing to the league-leading Hartford Wolf Pack (7-2-0-1) on the road last night. Anders Lee and Ryan Strome each recorded two assists, and Mike Halmo notched a goal and an assist in the loss. The Sound Tigers play their next game Friday night against the Worcester Sharks at DCU Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.