New York Islanders Holiday Wish List


The New York Islanders, despite a 3-1 loss last night to the Montreal Canadiens, have enjoyed a wonderful start to their 2014-15 season. The team currently resides in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 46 points and a 23-11-0 record. Their 23 wins are tied for the most in the entire league.

That does not mean that this team is without things to wish for going forward. No team is perfect and every fan base will always have some gripes, regardless of their team’s place in the standings. These are the top three things on my holiday wish list for the New York Islanders:

3) Solid Backup Goaltending:

Chad Johnson was brought to this team to give the Isles depth between the pipes. This was always going to be Jaroslav Halak‘s team, but with Johnson we expected to receive quality on the days where Halak got a game off. That has not been the case. His 5-5-0 record is not a killer by any stretch, but a goals against average of 3.54 and a .867 save percentage is unacceptable. Johnson must improve in order to give coach Jack Capuano a reliable backup or Garth Snow must make a deal to ensure the team has a number two they can trust down the stretch.

2) Health:

For as well as this team has played, the Isles have never had their full compliment of weapons at the same time. Not one single game. If the Isles ever get to full strength Capuano will have a decision to make with the forward combinations, as they will have 13 deserving forwards to occupy 12 roster spots. I am curious as to how he will handle the logjam. It is an issue, but it is an issue that I want the team to have.

1) Top Line Winger:

The Islanders biggest flaw this season has been their lack of a true top line left wing to play along side John  Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Josh Bailey is the latest in a series of attempts to find an in-house solution, but he is not that caliber of player. The Isles must address this need if they are serious about contending in their final season at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the logjam at forward bringing in an additional forward would further complicate the roster, so the inclusion of a current NHLer in that deal, or an additional move to export a forward could be made.