Islanders Ryan Strome Owes Weight a Big Thanks
Ryan Strome’s game picked up big time for the Islanders, coincidentally occurring as Jack Capuano left town and in came Doug Weight. Based on the numbers, Dougie’s going to get a nice Christmas card from Stromer.
With a wrist injury picked up on March 24th, Ryan Strome‘s season was over. He’d played 69 games on the season, netting 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points.
It was a step up, however slight, from 2015-16 where Strome put up 28 points in a widely underwhelming campaign. A season where he was supposed to galvanize those 50 points he had scored the season before and fit into that fifth overall pick destiny that we’d all written for him.
Strome’s season went like that of the whole team’s. It started poorly but when Doug Weight got his hands on the team it was all uphill.
Getting Out From Under the Bus
When Jack Capuano was finally removed from his duties in the middle of January there wasn’t a single player on the roster that was more relieved than Ryan Strome. He’ll say that isn’t true. You can thank media training for that.
But let’s be honest after Capuano left Strome was playing like 33,000 pounds had been lifted from his shoulders. Yeah, that’s the average curb weight of a city bus. Yeah, I looked it up.
We all saw it happen. We know it to be true. But what do the numbers show?
All stats from Corsica.hockey and for all situations.
Doug Weight had Ryan Strome for 30 games. And in that span, he was able to coax or coerce an extra .67 points per 60 from Strome in the form of seven goals and nine assists.
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It’s not like Strome was handed the keys to the team and put up at the top of the order alongside Tavares the second Weight took over. Averaging .75 minutes more, or forty-five seconds per game.
He didn’t even play center much. Playing the wing on the second or third line even under Doug Weight. So that can’t be used as a reason.
It also can’t be chalked up to the power play. He put up four power play points with Cappy and four with Weight.
It has to come down with Doug Weight’s ability to communicate his plan, philosophy, or just his expectations. It’s been often said that Weight’s strength is his communication, nowhere is it more evident than with Ryan Strome.
Ok, yeah. His interactions with the press either during the pre or post game were infinitely better than his predecessors. No longer were we subjected to battle effort or puck luck. The #capuanonsense is truly dead.
Not As Advertised, Yet
He’s still not the Ryan Strome we thought we were getting, and that was advertised at the end of the 2014-15 season.
It was never said publicly, but when Frans Nielsen went to Detroit in free agency, Strome was slotted to be his replacement as the team’s number two center behind Tavares. His official position as RW on NHL.com should tell you all you need to know about how that worked.
Next: 2016-17 Biggest Blunders
But with Weight now behind the bench permanently, and a healthy Ryan Strome to start 2017-18 maybe, just maybe Strome starts to pay dividends. At 2.17 points per 60 minutes, Strome’s hovering around 2016-17 Josh Bailey territory. Now wouldn’t that be nice to have?