The Sore Thumb: New York Islanders

Thanks to Abel Prado for the logo

Instead of trying to keep with the Joneses with our season previews, we thought it would be a better idea to wait a week or two and then ask an insanely simple question to some of our favorite team bloggers.

That question is: all in-depth analysis aside, what flaw or weakness in your team sticks out like a sore thumb?

First up is Dominik from Lighthouse Hockey, SBN’s excellent New York Islanders blog. Make sure to follow their great Isles coverage amid the excitement of John Tavares’ rookie season.

Everyone says the Islanders are in for another tough season (true), but they never say why (because they don’t have to check the roster to declare why last year’s 30th-place team is bad? I don’t know). The goaltending is obviously vastly improved. The forward lines and powerplay could actually be dangerous: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and possibly Matt Moulson, an old friend friend of Tavares with chemistry that gives him the spot on his wing; plus Josh Bailey, a ready-to-emerge Sean Bergenheim and the unsung Frans Nielsen, not to mention Mark Streit and Doug Weight on the powerplay points.

The sore thumb? The blueline. Streit is a good number one. Everyone else is … something else. Bruno Gervais plays great paired with Streit — but who doesn’t? After that, Brendan Witt may bounce back this year, but he’s still practically their only physical defender. Freddy Meyer hits but is small and fragile. Andy Sutton is big but is allergic to hitting (relative to his size) and fragile. Radek Martinek is an above average two-way blueliner … but fragile. As a group, when healthy they collapse too much and don’t clear the net enough. As a group, when NOT healthy — the more common state of affairs — it looks like last season (which was really bad. I checked).


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