Wednesday, September 30, 2009


For all you folks who enjoy magazines like McKeen's Pool Yearbook, here's a blog for you: your (un)official NYI STAT PREDICTIONS!

NYI: 34-40-8 for 76 points


Dwayne Roloson
There’s little to say about Roli, a guy who has stuck around a long time and has somehow gotten better with age. He’s technically coming off his best season and is used to playing with goalies who are placing a claim on the starting role. Hopefully he’s like a fine wine that just gets better with age, because we’ll be needing just that if we’re to get anywhere in the standings. Since nominal and numeral improvement (however menial) is expected vis-à-vis the goaltending situation last season, Dwayne should ultimately be one of the main reasons for it.
Stats with Islanders:
17-22-4 in 46 games, 2.90 GAA, .912 SV%

Martin Biron:
A surprise signing, the guy is simply a bona-fide NHL starter who knows that the Island is serving as little more than a purgatory-style phase in his career. He'll earn some decent change to feed that brood of his and will hopefully gain a few wins for this team in the process - the type that goalies last season were not able to get this club! Still, expect him to be gone at the trade deadline - I predict to Philly:-)
Stats with Islanders:
12-16-2 in 32 games, 2.74 GAA, .916 SV%

Rick Dipietro:
As opposed to last season, Dipietro will not come back just to go on the IR again shortly thereafter. In addition, once he comes back, he is gonna look great. That's my call. He'll be extremely motivated and he'll give a preview of what type of wall he plans on being in the '10-11 season.
Stats with Islanders:
5-2-2 in 9 games, 2.38 GAA, .918 SV%


Mark Streit:
He came here looking like a power play specialist. He ended last season looking like one of the league's top ten defensemen. We knew he could put up some points; we found out he can do everything else as well. Tavares and Dipietro will continue putting in dibs as the face of the franchise, but the Islanders' best player is Mark Streit. I dare say he's better than any of Hamrlik, Aucoin or even Jonsson were!
Stats with Islanders:
12-49-61 in 75 games

Bruno Gervais: 6-20-26
No blueliner made as much progress last season as Gervais did. The question remains: did he really develop into a legitimate Dman for this team or was his success the simple result of being paired with Streit? I believe it was a little of both - and with Steit he shall play again. Part of the top pairing entering the season, young Gervais is refreshing and is a guy you see being very active in the community. He is a late-round pick and has earned his way to where he is now. He should continue being a block in the youth movement.
Stats with Islanders:
6-20-26 in 78 games

Jack Hillen:
The college UFA had an up-n-down first pro season and has looked pretty good in the preseason. He can skate and can move the puck. That means that he's got a heads up in a Gordonesque system. He'll get some PP time this season and will start to look like he wasn't such a bad signing after all. Still, he's not getting us any closer to a cup.
Stats with Islanders:
4-17-21 in 62 games

Ken Sutton:
A world of size, two seasons marred by injury, and a reputation amongst Islander fans as a player ever-so-ready to make the clumsy, botched up play. I myself wonder where that crazy-*** bastard I saw in Atlanta has gone? I'm not holding my breath, but I think we'll finally see a bit of that fella this season. It's a contract year for him. With several forwards getting point time on the PP nowadays, don't expect Sutton to keep up his surprisingly good offensive pace of last season (2-8-10 in 23 games).
Stats with Islanders:
6-12-18 in 69 games

Freddy Meyer IV:
Freddy played less than 30 games last season and I get the jist that many Islander fans still do not appreciate what he brings to the table, namely a hard, honest effort. He has had a few flashes of brilliance and I just know that there's a 35 point Dman in there somewhere, but he'll not be appearing on Long Island. He's a useful depth Dman. Expect him to quietly go about his business this season, probably his last with the organization.
Stats with Islanders:
2-15-17 in 72 games

Radek Martinek:
Truly one of the nicest depth defensemen in the league, Martinek is a guy who you just know will be spending at least a quarter of the season on the IR list. I suspect it'll be the same this season. He showed a surprising tendency to score goals last season, but he strength lies in being positioned intelligently and quickly starting the rush in the other direction. He's a good man... just wish we'd see more of him in the course of a long and hard season.
Stats with Islanders:
4-7-11 in 64 games

Brendan Witt:
Say it sooo folks, but Brendan Witt is looking like a fella on his last leg. Hopefully he'll provide a boatload of blocked shots and rough customer treatment, because there's not much there in either the skill or speed department. Fans like him and I wager the boys on the team do to. Let's just pray that some other team feels he can help their playoff run, because there's little chance that Witt's Islander career is extending past this season anyway.
Stats with Islanders:
1-5-6 in 58 games

Andy MacDonald:
Andy is currently the Dman in BPort who is closest to making the NHL. This sixth rounder, drafted as an overager as a Ted Nolan tip, spent a season in the ECHL looking like it'd be his final destination. He suddenly not only made it to the AHL, but even became a top-pairing Dman and was nominated to the AHL all-star game. He should get a cup of coffee on the Island because injuries are inevitable. Never thought he'd even become a topic, but he looks like this generation's Trent Hunter.
Stats with Islanders:
1-3-4 in 17 games

Each of Kohn, Katic, Flood and even de Haan could see a handful of games throughout the season. Another waiver-wire pick-up along the way shouldn't come as a surprise.


Kyle Okposo:
One can say that Okposo might have gotten a bit lost in the Tavares-hoopla this summer, but let there be no doubt that this young bronco is turning into the "Shane Doan" of the franchise. If it wasn't evident to you last season, it will be by the end of this season. Expect him to be our best player on many a night this season as he looks to earn a spot on Team USA, whether in the Olympics or at the WC in Germany. He can do a little bit of everything and is incredibly strong on the puck. We must hope that there'll be no ugly side affects with respect to his preseason concussion, because that's the type of thing Islanderland just doesn't deserve. Neither does Kyle.
Stats with Islanders:
24-28-52 in 75 games

John Tavares:
Don't expect tooooo much. He's a young rookie with a lot of expectations to live up to, but he's hardly surrounded by the type of talent that'll help him reach any lofty heights. You should however expect growth, progress and signs of quick learning. His first year may be steadier than last season's first overall pick, but it won't be all that much different statistically. Expect more setting up than sniping.
Stats with Islanders:
21-26-47 in 79 games

Josh Bailey:
Many will continue debating whether Josh should have stayed with the club and fought through last season or have been sent back down to captain the CHL's top team and perhaps even Team Canada at the WJC, which Canada hosted. Important for us now is that he's shown us no reason to believe that he won't continue improving in every capacity. He took huge steps in the course of last season and seems ready for more this year, his bulked up frame already being very noticeable. As a two-way forward, he'll be entrusted with a good load of responsibility this year and gosh darnit, Mr. Bailey might just be more than ready for it. Expect slight stat improvement and some crafty face-off tenacity.
Stats with Islanders:
14-27-41 in 76 games

Trent Hunter:
Trent just keeps on truckin', remaining a fan favorite, throwing as many checks as anyone in the league and always letting us think he could just be a 50 point man if he could get in a good 80 games. Alas, that hasn't happened recently and one of the league's most underrated players and best financial deals is just craving for the type of health and responsibility that'll let him be all that he can be. Expect him to be good when he's in the line-up, especially if playing with Nielsen, but injuries are to be assumed until proven otherwise.
Stats with Islanders:
16-22-38 in 62 games

Jeff Tambellini:
Last season really didn't go as planned for Jeff. The start to his season was just about as bad as it could get for a 24 year old with nothing more to prove at the AHL level and an NHL team simply GIVING him scoring line duties. Still, Jeff managed to turn into a player who went into the corners and held his own for the last 25 games of the season. His stats improved and he seemed to be a player who had started to "get it". Look for him to improve upon that this season and establish himself as an NHLer who just needed more time. He's certainly fast and hard working, so Garth's faith in him may yet pay off. Don't forget, it took Jason Blake a good while to establish himself as more than a 4th liner.
Stats with Islanders:
13-24-37 in 79 games

Blake Comeau:
Simple story here: Blake is a solid player. He is a good young winger who will continue to develop this season and is gonna be talked about on occasion - and not just by Islander fans. The scoring won't be off the charts, but he'll be among the more consistent Islanders and will play his part in improving the on-ice product.
Stats with Islanders:
12-25-37 in 77 games

Doug Weight:
In addition to Streit, Doug Weight is our leader extraordinaire and is most definitely THE spokesman on the team. His career as an announcer isn't far down the line, but for this seaon, he's got to help steer the ship. His production when he played last season really wasn't bad, especially for the first 25 games. Still, we have to expect more of the same in the injury department, something that already started this fall. He'll be our main man on some nights and, in addition to Streit, will regularly be the provider of the best passes we Isles fans will see this season, but let there be no doubt that his on-ice impact will be somewhat minimal when all is said and done.
Stats with Islanders:
8-26-34 in 61 games

Frans Nielsen:
Gotta love the Frans. He actually had a mighty fine little season for a 3rd line center breaking in. He too suffered a brutal injury incurred in part due to that one unnecessary hit by the Devils' Mottau, but when there, he was a swift and hard-working guy who even went where it hurts. Smart is a good way to describe him. Unfortunately for us, he's hurt his knee again and he'll start things up late this season. He should however continue to bring the same intelligence and prowess once back and do expect him to score more goals than he did last season.
Stats with Islanders:
11-21-32 in 66 games

Sean Bergenheim:
Many are hoping for big things from Sean. I am too, but expect injuries and groin problems to continue to be a part of his world. The 20 goal plateau is thoroughly realistic, but things are gonna have to go well for Sean in the health department and with respect to chemistry with his linemates. He'll show some great things this season, cut down on the dumb penalties and will even be the star of the game on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately, this won't be the season he establishes himself as a scorer.
Stats with Islanders:
13-11-24 in 62 games

Jon Sim:
From Botta to Sim himself, we've heard that the guy just had a wrotten seaon last year stemming from his ACL tear the season before. He's working hard and trying to resuscitate his NHL career. Snow surely had hopes that he'd be a 20-15-35 type player when he was signed to a million per a couple of summers ago, but it hasn't worked out. That'll not change this season, even if he does get plugged in all over the line-up. Look for Sim to be waived with every opportunity and some team will take him later in the season. His contract is almost over.
Stats with Islanders:
11-8-19 in 53 games

Richard Park:
He's the little engine that could and an extremely valuable depth and role player. That will not change this season. What will change is his modestly strong production, because fact is, it's time for the younger guys to get more of those minutes that Park was getting the past few, injury-riddled seasons. In fact, if things go well in the development department, look for Park to be a topic at the trade deadline - guys like him can help in playoff runs.
Stats with Islanders:
7-12-19 in 59 gams

Matt Moulson:
It shouldn't be too surprising for Islander fans that this apparent AHL signing has found a way to stick to start off the season. He signed here knowing it may be his last NHL chance and just two seasons ago, he was one of LA's big hopefuls. He has shown a little chemistry with Tavares but no-one should expect it to turn into a regular gig. He should help us as a depth player who scores the odd goal, but Moulson will get lost in the numbers game if we should have any luck in the health department. By season's end, he'll either be manning the first line in the AHL or will have been dished off at the deadline to a team willing to add him as a depth player for the playoff run.
Stats with Islanders:
8-6-14 in 47 games

Tim Jackman:
Jackman came out of nowhere with improved skating last season and took quite a beating as a roughian in order to earn himself an NHL contract - which he got. He's an ample 4th liner and has shown an incredible willingness to "take one for the team". Gotta respect him though, because the boys in that locker room sure do. He's simply not a real fighter, but he's willing and will shed blood for this team again this year. That's important for an Islander team lacking a true enforcer. Has developed into a decent penalty killer.
Stats with Islanders:
3-5-8 in 70 games

Jesse Joensuu LW/RW:
Many fans were ready to simply pencil Joensuu into the line-up. Not sure why, but I believe it had something to do with his size and +22 on the farm. Newsflash: the young Finn just isn't ready yet. Time for him to role up his sleeves and work on being productive on the farm, even when it means potting the garbage goals. He has a possible NHL future and the tools are there. Skating has improved and he can even dazzle a bit. He'll take strides on the farm and should be a real option next fall. Expect another cup of coffee this season, muchst like last season.
Stats with Islanders:
2-2-4 in 9 games

Trevor Smith C/F:
Last year's most improved AHL prospect, Smith has gone from college dropout to ECHL all-star to top gun in BPort in less than two calendar years. He got a long look this preseason and he's a guy with a nose for the net. Size and speed may hold him back, but he offers a good depth option with room to improve. Should be one of BPort's go-to guys once again. Breakthrough not coming this season.
Stats with Islanders:
2-1-3 in 16 games

Jeremy Reich F:
Gordon coached him for several years and he's a guy who has 50 some games of NHL experience. His willingness to be a middleweight and play aggressively will likely see him get some time on the Island this season, especially when Rechnlicz's knuckles are too sore. Just a depth player who could have a big leadership impact with Bridgeport.
Stats with Islanders:
1-1-2 in 10 games

Justin Dibenedetto F:
Drafted as an overager and blossomed as an offensive player who can put up points without Stamkos. He's gonna be in BPort for most of the season, but expect him to get a cup of coffee and actually register a point. He'll be more productive on the farm in the second half of the season.
Stats for Islanders:
0-1-1 in 4 games

Matt Martin:
I'm getting the fever. A few weeks back, I didn't think he'd be signed, but he came to camp looking like a man on mission. He did some nice things in the preseason and showed a willingness to fight, actually holding his own quite well. Now I'm excited. His season will begin in the farm system and I'm not sure if he'll start off in BPort or Utah, but I'm simply looking forward to him getting ice time. He simply needs to play. There is ample reason to fear that any perceived set-backs will bum him out a bit, but I think he's gonna spend some time on the Island and we're gonna find ourselves liking him real quick!
Stats with Islanders:
1-1-2 in 18 games

Joel Rechlicz RW:
He'll be around. He wants to be a heavyweight and that is something we don't otherwise have. He's young and enthusiastic. Expect him to stick on the Island as a 14th forward and play every couple of games, and all of the games against the NYR, Philadelphia and Toronto. Also expect him to have more than 200 PMs this season. He'll get beat a good share of the time, but Islander fans will appreciate his blood 'n gutts attitude and demeanor.
Stats with Islanders:
0-1-1 in 43 games


Robbie Schremp C:
No matter what you think of this pick-up, pretty much EVERY Islander fan is majorly curious how it's gonna turn out. We all know that there are several examples of young guys who needed little more than a change of scenary in order to finally bloom. Will Schremp be one of them?
Stats with Islanders:
5-12-17 in 38 games

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