The Eyes on Isles staff got together to reflect on the New York Islanders season and compiled the top 10 goals of the year. Each of these goals were important for some reason, we’ll rank them and tell you why. Here’s number eight:
The emotional ride that was Ryan Strome‘s 2016-17 season hit a high point on the night he was welcomed back to the team after a three-week stint with the New York Islanders AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
After hitting a really rough patch earlier in the season the team decided to move him down to Bridgeport a common move when players go into bad funks. In his opening 12 games, Strome had five points to his name; one goal and four assists.
It was a far cry from the kid we had all seen just a year earlier net 50 points. So much had been expected of him in 2015-16, maybe the expectations were unfair, but Strome still wasn’t producing. The team sent him down to try and kick him back to where he was.
After his three-week demotion Storme showed he was ready to play with his teammates at the big club and on the night he came back he proved that sending him down was what he needed by scoring a goal.
Faith Needs to be Repaid
Strome had high hopes early in the season and Isles management had faith in him to have a big season. The team had shown Strome faith. They really thought he could be that 50+ point player again. They gave him ice time and a line to center. But it just wasn’t working.
The goal on his first game back may not have been a work of beauty, infact it was the Panthers misplay that gave him the space and time to get a shot. But getting that puck in the net was exactly what the team was hoping for. Strome was scoring again.
Strome went on to score another five points over the course of the five games that followed his return to the NHL lineup. The goal on November 27th against Florida was the catalyst for that scoring spell.
It also gave the Isles the Ryan Strome they thought they had back. At least temporarily. Strome still underwhelmed at the end of the season. Recording a lackluster 28 points on the campaign.
But it showed that management was trying to push their players and get them to perform to standards. And if they couldn’t, players would be held accountable.
While it may not have changed Ryan Strome back into the player they thought he should be by the end of the year, it established just how serious management wanted to win. And that’s why this is important.
Management got their tactic right in this instance.
The Islanders will be looking for Strome to return to his 2014-15 self and be that 50+ point player. With the loss of Frans Nielsen, Strome will be given some big shoes to fill. Hopefully, he can repay the faith this time.