NY Islanders News

Top Shelf : Islanders Daily 3/9/2014

By Andy Graziano

With an off-day yesterday and today, there is not much news in the world of the New York Islanders.

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Coming off another blown third period loss, and by two goals again on Friday night in Calgary, this team could really use the time to decompress and attempt to get things figured out as they enter the stretch run in what has been a very difficult season.

There are a couple of things that disappointed Islanders fans can look to however as the schedule marches on. Not everything has to be looked at through grey colored glasses and how this team finishes and spends their summer will have unparalleled ripple effects on the organization for not only the short-term but in the foreseeable future.

1. The continued development of rookies Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Mike Halmo, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan and Anders Nilsson.

2. How those players are utilized by head coach Jack Capuano and their ice time allotments.

3. Whether Capuano himself is coaching for his job

4. What players in the National Hockey League previously thought to be on the Islanders summer radar, especially goaltenders, sign extensions with their new clubs.

5. If this team can finally get over their third period jitters and gain some valuable learning experience that they can carry into the 2014 training camp.

Number one is the most intriguing for myself, as the Islanders struggles give us the opportunity to get a glimpse into the future at just how productive the youngsters from Bridgeport might be and how much they can help to stabilize a wobbly situation.

Fans might disagree and go with number three, and they would not be wrong either. Is Capuano the man going forward? Have they team truly shut him out, contrary to what they say in the locker room? Is it a function of the systems implemented just not working with the current core of roster players? Or has Capuano just taken this team as far as he possibly can, as all coaches have a pre-determined ‘shelf-life’?

Stay tuned. The answers might, or might not, be coming.

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Across The Bridge

Back to back 3-2 losses to St.John’s has now left the Bridgeport Sound Tigers not only without their first line, but also without much of a hope to make the American Hockey League playoffs.

Scooter Vaughn and Aaron Ness picked up the goals and Kevin Poulin made 34 saves but it was not enough in the overtime loss.