Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) skates the puck against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
Good morning Islanders Country! As we all slowly recover from turkey coma, we have the luxury of watching our New York Islanders take on the Detroit Red Wings for the second time on home ice this season.
The move definitely came as a surprise yesterday. Besides the timing (I don’t think many expected a roster move on Thanksgiving), Matt Donovan has been playing pretty well the entire season. Offensively, we know what he can bring to the table, as he was the top scorer of all AHL defenseman last season. He has recorded five points in 22 games NHL games played this season, which is very good for a rookie blue liner.
Donovan’s defense hasn’t been terrible either. Yes, he makes rookie mistakes from time to time, but he has great vision of the ice, and he’s really only been caught dead a few times, and that has happened to everyone on this Islanders defense. If the Islanders think their going to solve defensive mistakes by sending Donovan down, they’re wrong. De Haan is a good defensive player himself, but he’ll be sure to make plenty of mistakes, given the fact he’s played 21 games in the last three seasons.
However, despite his poor injury history, there is no reason to be upset about having Calvin de Haan with the Islanders. In the past, he’s been a very good offensive defenseman, and almost had a couple of point-per-game seasons down in the OHL. There’s no question that de Haan can produce offensively once he’s settled in and playing at top form, and the Islanders need the secondary offense’s contribution any way they can obtain it.
Calvin de Haan’s defense is something the Islanders desperately need as well. Scouts have always praised de Haan for his terrific skating, which allows him to play a shut-down type of game. He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes on the ice, but his skating has made up for his occasional folly quite often. De Haan could really bolster up the team’s blue line, which is by far the Islanders’ biggest current weakness.
While this move is probably just to spark the play young Matt Donovan, don’t be surprised if Calvin de Haan’s play makes the decision on who stays with the team difficult for Coach Jack Capuano. Many people thought de Haan was more deserving of a roster spot than Donovan during training camp, and it looks like we’ve only just seen a glimpse of this ongoing roster battle.
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Across the Sound
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