Ryan Strome Can be a Difference Maker- And Not in the Way You’d Think


Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, Ryan Strome will be making his NHL debut tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum. Strome has been on a hot streak as of late, as he lead the AHL in scoring before the Islanders decided to recall him from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.

There’s obviously no two ways about it, Ryan Strome’s biggest contribution will always be a offense, whether it’d be goal scoring or playmaking. He was arguably the most dynamic skater in the AHL just a week ago, which adds to his scoring threat.

If you read the title to this piece, you’re probably thinking “Well that’s exactly what I thought Strome was bringing to the table,” and you’re right. He is going to score and contribute offense to this team.

However, Strome has a big opportunity to make his impact on this entire team; he can get the Islanders’ slumping players back in their regular form.

The Islanders have forwards like Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner, who just last season were solid, and at times dominant on the offensive side of things. They both were huge factors in getting the team to their first playoff berth since 2007.

And in case you’ve been living under a rock the last two months, neither of these players have scored since October. October! That’s a huge deprivation of secondary scoring, something that the Islanders desperately need now amidst their struggles.

Now, Strome may never even play on a line with either of these players. If that’s the case, so be it. His play and presence could help wake up the offensive scoring, specifically Bailey and Grabner.

The Islanders placing Pierre Marc Bouchard should have served as a wake up call for struggling players. The front office of the Islanders sent a strong message there, showing that they are willing to part ways with players who aren’t producing.

Now that Strome is up and playing with the Islanders, his sheer presence should serve as an additional wake up call. It’s got to be alarming for struggling players to watch a veteran player being sent to the AHL after being placed on waivers. They know that their job could very well be unsafe, just like Bouchard’s job was.

And let’s not just throw out the idea that Strome won’t see time with either Bailey or Grabner. Both of these forwards have played on the same line for most of the season, just with a different man at the center position. With Frans Nielsen, the current second line center who has been rather quiet in the last few weeks, it’s not a terrible idea to have Strome play on the second line at center. He can be a solid offensive contributor, and with his passing skills, he could very well open lanes and make shots for these two players, which will eventually result in goals, and seemingly get Bailey and Grabner out of their slumps.

I’m personally a big Strome fan myself, and for good reason. He of course has terrific, dynamic scoring and passing talent, be he very well could be the driving force to wake up the Islanders’ secondary scoring.

-PM (@Pjmcentee)

What do you guys think on this situation? Do you agree with me, or do you just think I’ve lost my mind? Sound off in the comments or on twitter. And of course, thanks for reading.