UPDATED 7/3 3:30pm EDT
Matt Martin is back! Our 4th line is reunited.
Now we have:
Filppula – Komarov – Kuhnhackl
Cizikas – Clutterbuck – Martin – Johnston
We might not be a playoff team, but damn will we be tough to play against.
Conventional hockey wisdom dictates that you need to build your defense from the goal out. Lou Lamoriello is building from the Offense in.
Areas that need fixing/adjustments
- Replace Tavares – We need a #1 center OR do we already have that in Barzal?
- Bottom 6/Team Defense – we had too many goald against
- Top 2 defenseman – we need a mobile, solid defenseman that eats minutes and can score
- PK – We were a leaky sieve
- PP – It needs to be our advantage and lead to goals
- Starting Goalie – Greiss is not our starter. A trade needs to be made
- Competitive AHL team – Winning attitude, winning team and competing for the Calder Cup will get the prospects to develop faster
What About The Offense?
I’m not concerned with the Islanders offensive output for 2018-19. The team’s top 6, even without Tavares, is a high scoring bunch. Even if Lou adds a scorer later on OR one of the kids proves himself in camp, we will have no shortage of goals.
That leaves me with an empty feeling. Once a player of Tavares’ level abandons the team, you want the Isles to make a signing or a trade to match that level of player. After all, priority has to be to save face no matter how any rash, short-term feel good move can deeply affect the team in the long run. Luckily, our new GM is not just reacting and he is trying to fill our needs.
OUR 2017-2018 TEAM DEFENSE SUCKED!!!!!!!
It needs to be addressed and fixed. Trotz will employ a more defensive, uptempo style of coaching and Lou is providing him with those pieces.
The NEW PK/Bottom 6 types
Leo Komarov, 31 – 4 year:
He will be here long-term to fix the PK and eat defensively responsible minutes. Agitator.
Valtteri Filppula, 34 – 1 year: Stopgap. No trade or movement for the year. Can’t hurt.
Tom Kuhnhackl, 26 – 1 year: He’s playing for a longer contract/trade bait at the deadline.
The Current PK/Bottom 6 types
Casey Cizikas, 27 – 3 years: Can he score more goals this year? PK? Stay healthy?
Cal Clutterbuck, 30 – 4 years: We need more of his wristshot. Stay healthy?
Ross Johnston, 24 – 1 year left – RFA: Fights and brings toughness.
The 2018-19 version of the bottom 6 will be tenacious and nastier last year. There are cup rings, there’s leadership, there’s snarl, fighting and everything you want to see, except for obvious goal scoring.
Will be interesting to see how they are used and matched up.
- What will be the goals for output from these 6?
- Can they stay healthy?
- How will they match up to other team’s top/scoring lines?
- Will they decrease the goals against?
- Can any of the kids/prospects outplay them in camp and make them expendable?
There is still a lot to address and fix. This year’s Islanders will be an exciting team to watch and faster skating than last year’s. Let’s see how the goaltending, top 6 offense and #1 goalie needs are addressed before the season.
Currently we are a fringe lottery team at worst and fringe playoff team at best.
Minor AHL Signings
Every time Lamoriello signs one of these players and its announced, the less knowledgeable or sarcastic fans wonder why they were made and how they help the parent club. These signings don’t help the Islanders directly. It is vital for Bridgeport to be competitive for our prospects’ development.
So far we’ve signed:
F – Matt Lorito
F – Mike Sislo
D – Seth Helgeson
There will be more to come and players will be traded/play their way off the team at training camp and/or Bridgeport training camp. The Sound Tigers success is more important than ever.
- Will they have a coaching change?
- Will they be able to see success with Trotz’s system?
- Who will be the next player(s) to force their way to the Islanders roster? Bellows? Toews?