Eyes On Isles: GreenLanternJet Edition

By Chris Dordon
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The team is on pace for over 108 points this season. What kind of noise could they make come the playoffs? Are they a legitimate Stanley Cup Contender?


“I think a lot of people keep waiting for the Isles to tail off, and I think a lot of the fans worry that a significant losing streak could still happen because they have been conditioned to think that way due to literally years of systematic abuse. But all of that is about perception. The reality is the Isles can skate with anyone, are very deep offensively and are much improved on defense and in goal. If they tighten up in their own end, don’t overwork Jaroslav Halak and Halak elevates his game when it matters most, late in the regular season and in the playoffs, yes, they can be a cup contender. But we’re still a long way from that and with the division as bunched up as it is, the Isles will need to keep playing the way they played their first 46 games because the Penguins, Rangers and Capitals are showing no signs of slowing down either.”

The Islanders have been fantastic so far, but they still have some minor flaws to address. What do you see as their biggest weakness, and do you see any kind of action being taken come the trade deadline?


“If you had asked me this a few weeks ago I would have said their biggest weakness is a lack of a second top line winger for John Tavares, but Josh Bailey has filled the void nicely since. If he keeps this up the Isles can stand pat at the deadline offensively because they have that stud first line and all the secondary scoring they’ll need. As far as defensively, the Isles could probably use another veteran defenseman, even if a rental, to solidify some holes. A lot will depend on whether Lubomir Visnovsky can get back soon and stay in the lineup. He always seems to be one hit away from missing significant time. And I’m just not sure how much Snow and Jack Capuano would trust a kid stepping in as the winter turns to spring and the points are harder to secure. Also, the Isles really cannot afford to ask Halak to play any more than 60 or so games. If Chad Johnson doesn’t play well in the second half Snow should think long and hard about making a move for a stopgap until the playoffs.”

This team has come a long way since the rebuild officially started. What would constitute, to you, a successful season for the Islanders? A playoff series win? Two?


“The answer to this question seems to change with each passing day. When the season started I said make the playoffs and win a round. Now I think it will be somewhat disappointing if they don’t go at least a little further.”

Speaking to the success that the team has had, how much of it is due to head coach Jack Capuano? What can you say about the job he’s done this season?


“I think at this point there should be a line that stretches outside the Coliseum and down the Hempstead Turnpike of people with their hats in hand ready to apologize to Capuano. The Islanders are good, but good enough to win despite their coach? That’s nonsense. This guy has got everyone buying into his system. You don’t hear a peep of complaining about anything from ice time to philosophy. Most of his moves have worked, especially his penchant for juggling lines to kick-start a struggling offense.”

To follow up with Capuano, if he’s a finalist, or wins, the Jack Adams Award for Coah of the Year, do you think Isles Twitter will implode on itself?


“Capuano likely can’t win with the fans no matter how the Isles finish the season. Them bowing out in the first round would be the same as in the Stanley Cup Final with some of these people. And that’s a shame. Capuano deserves significant consideration for the Jack Adams right now and unless the Isles fall apart during the second half or get embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs, he deserves to be back. Is he the guy to take the Isles to the next level? I don’t think his system will ever be the problem, let’s put it that way.”

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