|The Ultimate World Cup of Hockey Preview||LeBron James: A Performance for the Ages||RIP Muhammad Ali: The GOAT||Steph and the Warriors came out to play|
Yahoo blogger, Sean Leahy recently wrote an article about the Islanders rebuild and their past season. Leahy had some valid points and was mostly complimentary about the change in staff and roster. Leahy ended the article with a very bold statement;
“Are they a playoff team in the Eastern Conference? Not yet. But there’s no reason to believe they can’t hover around the 9-12 spot in the conference. “
I beg to differ.
Last season injuries plagued the Islanders as early as the preseason. This year the Islanders have been playing solid so far and have a stacked roster full of veterans and newly re-signed talent. Only two minor injuries occurred during their game versus Calgary as Milan Jurcina and Rhett Rakhshani left the game and did not return. Jurcina is very injury prone and could potentially be traded soon. When Jurcina is healthy he is on top of his game but injuries can make even the best fall backwards.
Jack Capuano took over coaching duties after Scott Gordon was dismissed as Islanders head coach. Capuano helped the Islanders snap a 21 game losing streak and rebuild the team to a tough contender. Jack inked a new deal and will be returning with the organization this season for another go at the post season.
Finding and keeping a healthy goaltender has always been a problem for the Islanders. Rick DiPietro is the back bone of the organization and has barely played. Last season he had only played 26 games due to injury. This year, DiPietro is back and healthy for now. Backing him could be Al Montoya, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen or Evgeni Nabakov. Each goalie has been solid in the preseason only letting in one goal each, except DiPietro who had let in two. If the goaltending stays solid, the Islanders are looking so far so good.
As mentioned above, Sean Leahy predicts that the Islanders are not a playoff worthy team yet in the Eastern Conference. Well Sean, I challenge your statement and hope that the Islanders prove you wrong this season. A great group of guys are going to take the ice on October 8th and prove to the whole NHL that they are finally the real deal.