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yave1964

No Tavares? No Problem, Isles review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Bleak might not be took strong of a word.face of the franchise left for his Toronto jammies, leaving a team that had been way back from the pack the year before scrambling. Lou came aboard as the GM, Trotz coming off a cup win came aboard as the coach but not enough Tavares and too much Filpulla, Komarov and Lehner the team seemed destined for a high lottery pick.

 

FINAL RECORD 48-27-7 103 points 2nd in Metro, swept the Penguins in the first round, swept out of the playoffs by the Hurricanes in the 2nd. Egg on the face of pretty much all of us who doubted.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR This team was sitting at 14-12-4, pretty cheeky for a team most figured to finish at the bottom of the division on December 15th when they bested the wings in a shootout, from there through Jan 20th they put on a clinic of team first hockey, going 15-3 including back to back shutouts of the Caps and Ducks to finish off the streak. Those were two of the teams 11 shutouts on the year.

 then on to the postseason where once again they were given zero chance and they went out and simply smothered Crosby and the Pens defensively sweeping them four straight as Lehner added a few zeroes to his bank account with a dominating series.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR You can make the case that getting swept by Carolina in the second round was the low point, nah, this team had no low point, they overperformed all year, they went out and swept the yellow hoard in Pittsburgh, all while picked by everyone to finish last. They deserve props and the sweep by Carolina didn't leave a black eye.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT The net duo of Lehner and Greiss were insanely good, no great, 11 combined shutouts, Lehner nominated for the Vezina. They gave up the least amount of goals in Hockey between them with the same defense in front of them that was so dreadful the year before. Trotz calmed the storm and got them to buy into his old Nashville smothering team defense system. Barzal acted as the quarterback of a five on five penalty kill all year while leading raiding parties into other teams ends when prudent, he led the team in points and became the most underrated two way forward in the game. Lee had 28 goals, Nelson and Bailey were damn solid, even Eberle came back from the dead to chip in some timely goals. Cizikas went from fourth liner to key contributor, Beauvillier fired in 18 goals, Filpulla and Uncle Leo were good additions. On Defense, Ryan Pulock established himself as a young up and comer on both ends of the ice, Leddy scored timely goals and the whole unit bought into protect the net first second and third. Devon Toews came aboard near mid season and was a nice offensive addition to the back end. 4th line additions Kuhnhackl and Martin hit everything that moved.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Andrew Ladd continues to steal the Islanders money. Thomas Hickey had a bad year. Boychuk looks to have lost his offensive abilities, kid forwards Josh ho sang and Michael Del Colle were given shots and did little if anything with them.

 

FREE AGENTS Here is the issue, Robin Lehner had the most out of character season of any player in the game this season and will demand big money as an UFA leaving the Isles a tough decision to make. Eberle is an UFA on a team that struggled scoring. Captain Anders Lee is a goal scorer and two way heart and soul guy, they cannot afford to let him go. Beauvillier is arbitration eligible, Kuhnhackl and Filpulla are free agents as well. Next offseason Greiss will need paid or he will walk. Lots of tough decisions to be made this offseason.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Mostly internal housekeeping with their own players. Do you/Can you manage to keep Lehner? Does the Captain Lee walk? Do you overpay to keep your bottom tier UFA's to keep the chemistry going? Can Ho Sang and Del Colle play or do you cut bait?

 

 They have a solid bunch of kids in the system a year or two away, I think magic like this past season is diffiuclt to maintain for any length of time but it was a great season. IMHO even resigning all of their free agents they could finish anywhere from first to last.

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      PRESEASON OUTLOOK Bleak might not be took strong of a word.face of the franchise left for his Toronto jammies, leaving a team that had been way back from the pack the year before scrambling. Lou came aboard as the GM, Trotz coming off a cup win came aboard as the coach but not enough Tavares and too much Filpulla, Komarov and Lehner the team seemed destined for a high lottery pick.   FINAL RECORD 48-27-7 103 points 2nd in Metro, swept the Penguins in the first round, swept out of the p
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