Saturday, September 22, 2018

New York Islanders 2018-19 season preview



              In a very disappointing season, the New York Islanders lost big, made big management changes, had a great draft, only to have the worst offseason in the league, losing John Tavares and Calvin de Haan. Before we look at what is left of the team, here's some fast facts for the New York Islanders.

Head Coach: Barry Trotz
General Manager: Lou Lamoriello
Arena: Barclays Center, NYCB Live
AHL Affiliate: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
2017-18 record: 35-37-10 (80 points)
2017-18 placement: 7th
Division: Metropolitan
2017-18 goals leader: Anders Lee (40)
2017-18 assists leader: Mat Barzal (63)
2017-18 points leader: Mat Barzal (85)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): Nick Leddy (42)
Captain: None
Assistant Captains: Cal Clutterbuck, Andrew Ladd (will change)
2018 first round pick: Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson

Offseason additions: Robin Lehner, Leo Komarov, Matt Martin, Jan Kovar, Valtteri Filppula, Tom Kuhnhackl, Luca Sbisa

Offseason subtractions: John Tavares, Calvin de Haan, Jaroslav Halak, Chris Wagner, Nikolay Kulemin, Brandon Davidson, Alan Quine

Forwards: with 85 points, Mat Barzal won the 2017-18 Calder trophy. Anders Lee scored 40 goals, and Anthony Beauvillier made big strides with 20. Jordan Eberle played great alongside Barzal, adding 25 goals and 59 points. Josh Ho-Sang and Valtteri Filppula should play, but since they are paying Andrew Ladd, Leo Komarov, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin so much money, they have to play over them. Jan Kovar was almost a point per game player in the KHL. He could be the third line center. Now really overpaid, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin are reunited.

Forward lines:

Anders Lee - Mat Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Brock Nelson - Anthony Beauvillier - Josh Bailey
Leo Komarov - Jan Kovar - Andrew Ladd
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Other: Valtteri Filppula, Josh Ho-Sang

Defensemen: The worst group from last year, the Isles were the worst in the league in goals against a game, with 3.57. They were also the worst penalty killing unit, with a lousy 73.2% success rate. Nick Leddy can be a good player offensively, but his defense is questionable. Ryan Pulock had a great rookie season, but Johnny Boychuk is falling off. Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield wouldn't play on most teams, and are blocking Sebastian Aho and Devon Toews.

Defensive pairs:

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey - Ryan Pulock
Adam Pelech - Scott Mayfield
Other: Sebastian Aho, Luca Sbisa

Goalies: Jaroslav Halak is out, Robin Lehner is in. Lehner needs to prove he can be a starter in the NHL. While Thomas Greiss is the backup, Christopher Gibson was impressive at the end of 2017-18. He could overtake Greiss at some point in the year.

Goalie alignment:

Robin Lehner
Thomas Greiss
Christopher Gibson

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Mat Barzal
Jordan Eberle
Josh Bailey
Anders Lee
Anthony Beauvillier

Playoffs: No
Division: 7th

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