Editorials

New York Islanders Notes On The First Few Weeks of 2018

By Tim Ryder
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Ryan Pulock
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Ryan Pulock /
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After a couple of very poor showings to close out 2017, the New York Islanders certainly have a few issues to resolve moving forward. I’ll briefly touch on these areas of concern, and what’s coming next for the first few weeks of 2018.

The New York Islanders still occupy the last wild-card spot in the East despite ugly losses this weekend to Winnipeg and the lowly Avalanche. After a week of ups and downs, the Islanders hope to get things back on track as soon as possible. The Isles have lost five in a row on the road and despite Josh Bailey‘s 11 game point streak, things are starting to look a little bleak.

In order to right the ship, adjustments need to be made on both large and small scales. Winning a couple of games in a row would help but the Isles are beginning to realize the inconvenient truth; staying afloat in Metro Division may not be a sustainable goal without making a few changes.

Next man up

The New York Islanders were dealt a couple of damaging blows to their defensive corps over the past 10 days. After losing

Calvin de Haan

for the season to a shoulder injury, the Isles moved

Johnny Boychuk

to the IR this week.

Losing two of their top four defensemen over the course of a little over a week is an easy place to rest the blame for the Isles poor blue-line play recently. A couple of expected roster moves came after the injuries, and there are likely a few more coming.

Bringing up Ryan Pulock and getting him more experience playing at the NHL level was a no-brainer. Sebastian Aho looked OK in his NHL debut last night in Denver. He didn’t seem overwhelmed or nervous at all. Plus, I absolutely LOVE this kid’s shooting ability.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some shuffling of the pairings, as well as another call-up or two this week.

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Who’s up, who’s down?

The Islanders have lost the momentum they were able to build over the first half of December. Here are a few in-house roster moves I would make to try and shake things up.

My first order of business would be to bring up Joshua Ho-Sang. The Isles need to give him the opportunity to either sink or swim as an NHL player. He has a cathedral-like ceiling but he’s been unable to match his skills to his potential thus far. It’s time to show the organization, his teammates, and the fans that he can live up to the hype. Shane Prince would head back to Bridgeport in this scenario.

I’d also give a couple of rookies the chance to show what they’ve got. Hopefully, this would light a flame under any Islanders who think their roster spots are safe. Alan Quine would be sent to Bridgeport and Dennis Seidenberg would be granted his outright release to make room for Tanner Fritz and Devon Toews.

More from Eyes On Isles

These two have consistently improved while playing for the Sound Tigers and it’s about time the New York Islanders give them an opportunity to shine.

A look ahead

The New York Islanders have four important matchups coming up this week. The Isles host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night in Brooklyn, in what should be a winnable game. They then head to Philadelphia for a Thursday night showdown with the Flyers.

In the Islanders first back-to-back game of 2018, they’ll come home Friday to face the always annoying Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles week then wraps up with a matinee at home against the New Jersey Devils, Sunday at 1pm.

Next: Islanders 2018 New Year's Resolutions

If the New York Islanders want to remain in the playoff picture, simply showing up just won’t cut it. Bringing their A-game will be a must this week.

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