November 25, 2010

Isles Fall to Blue Jackets in OT; Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite their best efforts to win it twice in OT, the Islanders gave up a goal on a break the other way and lost 4-3.

Just some quick thoughts about this one so I don't take up too much time, on Thanksgiving no less!

Travis Hamonic looked really good. He deserved every second of the 20 minutes he got, and was the Islanders best defenseman on the ice all night. That says a lot when you compare his age and experience to all of the other guys. Sure, there are a lot of people injured and I was skeptical about having him come up this soon, but he certainly proved me wrong. Hopefully he can keep up this play since Mika Mottau will be out for 4-6 weeks. Even when Andrew MacDonald comes back, if Hamonic is playing well then he should stick around for a bit.

Trent Hunter had his best game of the year, as Howie Rose felt the need to tell us many times. He seemed to be involved in the play more than I can remember for quite some time. Unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury in the 3rd period and did not return. The Islanders are only saying he has a lower body injury, but will be evaluated more after the holiday.

Rick DiPietro looked fine again to me, and the goals that he gave up were due to some unfortunate break downs. His reaction time was excellent once again. I hope that we're seeing the play of someone who is turning the corner and not a goalie who is just fresh after having not played for 18 days prior to Sunday.

Michael Grabner played well, and got his 5th goal of the season. He still has some more work to do as far as his game goes, but it is coming along. I would really like to see him start to get more power-play time because I think he can help us there. Lets face it, the power-play hasn't lit up much of anything in the past eight games. Shaking it up would not hurt.

This game was one of the toughest ones to take throughout the 14 game losing streak. The game was literally in the Islanders hands. The players were very frustrated after, as you can see from Grabner's tweet last night. It was an encouraging effort.

The Isles get the Devils next in a Friday matinee.

Petr Prucha on Waivers: The Coyotes announced that they have put Petr Prucha on waivers. The Islanders have been interested in him in the past, and Brian Compton of NHL.com wonders if the Isles would have any interest.

I think there is a better chance they would pick him up than I thought there was for Patrick O'Sullivan. having said that, I don't think the Isles will pick him up. I don't think it's really a move they need to make. They need a known entity in there, not another project.

I am still working on that little Bailey piece I mentioned yesterday with my thoughts on him being sent down. Look for that in the next couple of days.

I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

-CH

nyifyi@gmail.com

2 comments:

mep63 said...

I agree that the Isles need to pick up a proven entity, preferably one with size as well as skill. This is why I feel Garth should be pressing capped-strapped teams like the Bruins who are looking to lower payroll. An ideal player would be Blake Wheeler, who at 2.2mil could be moved for say a Bruno Gevais and a prospect or a late pick. With Gervais avg. at best and making only 900k, the Bruins would receive a d-man and save 1.3 mil, while the Isles would receive a 25 y/o,6'5" winger who has the drive to the net mentality the Isles so desperately need.He'd also look good as a #2 center behind Tavares and has said he loves to play there. MacDonald should return soon,and the Isles have a glut of young talented D-men waiting, DeHaan, Katic..etc, who could use a week or two up here for some seasoning. Just my opinion.

Chris Hessel said...

Mep63,

Your opinion is a good one. Despite his inconsistencies, Blake Wheeler is the type of player who can come into this situation and thrive, getting more minutes than are available in Boston. Gervais/plus might not be enough to get it done though, and I'm not sure many teams are too high on him at the moment. For now, Boston seems to have solved their issues by dealing Hunwick but I think down the line they will move a forward. For guys like Katic, Hamonic, etc (not de Haan as he has to stay in Jr.) moving a defenseman now would definitely give them the chance to get a taste. Unfortunately, what you see right now will probably be the status quo for a little bit. We're still not sure if we have the money available to make an addition.