The New York Islanders could use a boost while tied in the first round of the playoffs, and that boost could come in the form of Michael Dal Colle.
Well here we are Islanders fans. The series is tied 2-2 heading into the last three games, with two being played in Florida. The Islanders should frankly be overjoyed considering they’ve been, for the most part, outplayed in all four games this postseason. This has been due in large part to what has been an anemic offense with second liners Nikolay Kulemin and Josh Bailey each having a +/- of -4 and 1 combined point. To worsen matters, the critical fourth line has failed to produce a single point.
Say what you will about the offense struggling due to Anders Lee’s injury or players being rundown because of a ludicrous playoff schedule which has seen the Isles play three games in four nights, but the offense has been invisible most nights.
Step in left winger Michael Dal Colle. The Islanders number 5 pick in the 2014 draft dominated the OHL following his midseason trade to the Kingston Frontenacs. In the regular season with his new team Dal Colle tallied 55 points in 30 games with an addition 18 points coming in 9 playoff games. Simply put Dal Colle has been an offensive juggernaut.
Having recently been called up to AHL affiliate Bridgeport, Dal Colle played on the team’s first line and, while not registering a point in his first game, gained praised from head coach Brent Thompson who said, “his play away from the puck was fantastic,” and the night was, “a great start to his pro career.” However, it doesn’t take praise from coaches to know that Dal Colle belongs on the professional level.
He has elite vision and while only being listed at 6 feet 198 pounds he plays much bigger. He consistently deflects shots in front of goal and couples that with a lethal wrist and slap shot, all skills the Islanders could desperately use now. While some may claim that not playing in the NHL should disqualify him from roster consideration I would disagree and point towards the fantastic shifts Alan Quine has had on the third line after playing only 2 regular season games all year.
The Islanders need scorers, and they need them immediately. After putting up four lackluster performances in this series, Dal Colle is the answer to the Islanders’ offensive woes. His abilities are the spark this team needs to turn wasted shifts into goals, and help the Islanders win their first series since 1993.