New York Islanders: 2017 Christmas Wishlist
Since we are at the beginning of the Holiday season, let’s take a look at the New York Islanders, Christmas list. So far, so good for the blue and orange but there are a few area’s they need to improve.
The good news for the New York Islanders is despite their good record they can play a lot better. If the Isles stay healthy and take a step forward in each of the following area’s, they will finish in the top three in the Metropolitan division for sure.
Every Islander fan would love to see this team be more consistent. The Isles need to play 60 minutes of hockey and be ready each and every game.
The Isles players should have learned by now that if they are not focused and ready each and every game and for all three periods they will get burned. However, the Isles players should also realize when they play their game well, they can beat anybody. They showed this with impressive wins in St. Louis and Tampa.
If the Isles can play with a lot more consistency the sky is the limit.
The Isles top two lines are playing well and everybody knows what the Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck line brings to the table on a daily basis. Now to take the next step the Isles need the line of Brock Nelson, Josh Ho-Sang, and Anthony Beauvillier to be more productive.
Nobody is asking the Nelson line to be as good as the John Tavares or Mathew Barzal line. What the Isles need from this trio is consistency in terms of secondary scoring and playing a two-way game. They don’t have to be all-stars just good productive hockey players.
Improve the PK
Right now the New York Islanders penalty kill unit is slightly below the middle of the pack as they’re ranked 16th. As everyone knows the Isles play a lot of close games, so if the PK unit can take a step forward and be a top ten unit in the NHL, that will turn a few losses into wins.
Improve the Road Record
The Isles road record is okay with a 6-7-0 record after Friday’s win in Philly. Need to keep in mind the Isles have had a lot of tough road games already, as well as number of back to backs away from home as well.
But again if the Isles can continue to play well at home and go from a slightly under .500 team on the road to slightly above, that will make a big difference on where the Isles finish in the Metro.
Unless an injury occurs, Thomas Greiss is the number one goalie on this team. Having said that the Isles need Jaroslav Halak to be a solid number-two goaltender.
One would think Halak would be a very focused player this season. The 32-year old netminder is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and he is playing for his NHL life.
Halak can greatly improve his play. If he does so it will be a difference-maker for the Isles.
Next: Isles Trade Rumors: Thanksgiving Edition
If the Isles can improve in all of these area’s between now and the end of December, it would make a big difference in terms of how the regular season plays out for the blue and orange.