Monday, December 24, 2007

BONY Christmas Report Part III: Islanders

ISLANDERS (17-15-2, 36 pts)

Mike Comrie (34 GP, 9-16-25): Though the playmaking pivot leads the NHL's lowest scoring teams in points, there's a reason why the talented 27 year-old is with team five. Because he doesn't always come to play as his minus-12 rating says. He's capable of much more.

Grade: C

Miroslav Satan (34 GP, 10-12-22): The talented 33 year-old Slovak has always been a streaky scorer. Such continues to be the case on an offensive challenged team where he's lit the lamp in consecutive games and has a six-game point streak (3-3-6). If only he were consistent.

Grade: C+

Bill Guerin (33 GP, 9-8-17): The veteran power forward has finally come around after a brutal November in which he had only one point. He does play hard but unless he's finishing plays off, the Islander team leader isn't doing enough.

Grade: C

Ruslan Fedotenko (32 GP, 6-10-16): Remember when he was a playoff hero for Tampa? Guess that was the high point. He got out to a good start but has done little since. No goals in his last 16 and taking a roster spot.

Grade: D

Josef Vasicek (34 GP, 10-6-16): What a great signing by GM Garth Snow. This guy uses his size well, is a good skater, plays hard and has been rewarded where he's tied with Satan for the club lead in goals. Can play in any situation as his club-best two shorthanded markers point towards.

Grade: A

Chris Campoli (34 GP, 3-12-15): After an injury riddled '06-07, the third-year blueliner already has two more goals and one more point than he did all last season. Most of the points came early. So the Fishsticks could use one of their better skating D to get more involved.

Grade: B

Trent Hunter (34 GP, 6-9-15): If the 27 year-old power winger from Red Deer had a better scoring touch, he'd have more goals. Shots aren't the issue (104 SOG) but putting a few more in is. He's a tenuous worker and an effective penalty killer. Got to improve that plus/minus (-12) too.

Grade: C

Mike Sillinger (34 GP, 7-7-14): After a slow start, the 36 year-old veteran center has come around. His main job isn't to provide offense like he did last year with a surprising 26 goals and 59 points. It's to be solid overall. The minus-eight isn't good but it's a product of the team. He takes many important draws and plays PK.

Grade: B-

Richard Park (34 GP, 6-5-11): In year two on the Island, the speedy forward continues to bring a solid work ethic to the club and chip in with some offense. If every Islander played like him, they'd be higher in the standings.

Grade: B+

Marc-Andre Bergeron (21 GP, 3-7-10): If the ex-Oiler isn't providing offense from the back line, he's a total waste which is why Ted Nolan has healthy scratched him quite a bit. Morphing into Zarley Zalapski isn't a ringing endorsement.

Grade: D-

Bruno Gervais (33 GP, 0-9-9): The 23 year-old from Quebec continues to mature in his third season. He already has established new highs in assists and points. It's in his end where he's responsible (plus-two) and will play physical. There's much to like here.

Grade: B

Radek Martinek (34 GP, 0-8-8): I'll stand by what I've always said when watching this team. The Isles are a tougher team to play against when he's in. So far, he's had good luck and not missed a game. A solid skater who moves the puck well and doesn't stand out.

Grade: B

Andy Hilbert (34 GP, 3-4-7): Until recently, it looked like the Lansing Michigan native might never score. He's a good enough skater and has a decent shot. Unfortunately, he has stone hands. Hard to believe Boston took this guy in the second round seven years ago.

Grade: C

Sean Bergenheim (30 GP, 1-6-7): I like how hard the 23 year-old from Helsinki plays. He is an agitator who is solid in the corners like most Finns. But he also has a penchant for taking silly penalties. If he becomes more disciplined, could develop into a solid third liner.

Grade: C+

Bryan Berard (18 GP, 2-3-5): The former Calder winner in his first go-round with the club returned after making the club on a tryout. The skating is still there as are some of the skills. But he's basically a PP specialist who can't play in his end (minus-eight). Sorry to say but it might be time to hang it up.

Grade: D

Brendan Witt (34 GP, 1-4-5): The 32 year-old veteran blueliner out of Saskatchewan plays the game with an edge and will usually come out with the puck in the corners. So far, his penalty minutes (37 PIM) are down from last season (131 PIM). And that's probably good cause his team needs him out there.

Grade: B

Andy Sutton (34 GP, 0-4-4): The ex-Thrasher is a lot like Witt except that sometimes he gets caught out of position as his minus-eight attests. He's big, physical and mixes it up frequently (53 PIM). But sometimes, he'll take the ill advised penalty which can cost.

Grade: C

Chris Simon (26 GP, 1-2-3): When the rugged enforcer played in Manhattan, many Ranger fans including myself liked him. He played the game hard and that's probably why his coach, GM and teammates have been so supportive after his latest incident. However, it's inexcusable for him to have a repeat offense after what he did to Hollweg last March. He deserved the remainder of the season and really needs to do some soul searching. I pray he gets help and returns a better person.

Grade: F

Blake Comeau (3 GP, 1-1-2): It's a little too early to grade the rookie who the Isles selected in the second round three years ago. So far, so good though.

Grade: Inc

Tim Jackman (13 GP, 0-2-2): The 26 year-old from North Dakota is on his fourth team already in four seasons. At this point, he's basically an extra forward who will come in when needed to provide some energy.

Grade: C

Darryl Bootland (4 GP, 0-1-1): Another depth forward who can play chippy.

Grade: Inc

Jon Sim (2 GP, 0-1-1): On a team that's scored just 79 goals, the speedy 30 year-old veteran forward could've done well. Instead, he's out for the season recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

Grade: Inc

Ben Walter (4 GP, 0-0-0): He was acquired from Boston for former first round pick Petteri Nokelainen (4-1-5 in 24 GP). Does anyone find it a little odd that the guy the Isles got was taken three rounds later in the same draft?

Grade: Inc

Shawn Bates (2 GP, 0-0-0): Another important role player who the Fishsticks could use. Right now, he remains out with a hip injury.

Grade: Inc

Aaron Johnson (5 GP, 0-0-0): The first-year Islander blueliner remains out with a knee sprain. Will he get a chance?

Grade: Inc

Jeff Tambellini (8 GP, 0-0-0): The Islanders are still waiting for the former Kings' first rounder to become a regular. He was a great college player at Michigan but that doesn't always translate in the pros.

Grade: Inc

Freddy Meyer (4 GP, 0-0-0): At one point with the Flyers, his career looked promising. Now he's just AHL fodder.

Grade: Inc

Rick DiPietro (32 GP, 16-13, 2.44 GAA, .912 Save Pct, 2 SHO): The former 2000 first overall selection out of BU continues to improve in his fourth full season as starter. Without him, the Isles would be cooked. His stickhandling is almost on par with Brodeur now but occasionally he still gets a little carried away. He's extremely competitive and hates losing.

Grade: B+

Wade Dubielwicz (4 GP, 1-2, 4.72 GAA, .846 Save Pct): Dubi was the feel good story at the end of last regular season miraculously backstopping the club into the playoffs. So far, he's been unable to duplicate that success in limited duty as a backup.

Grade: D

Ted Nolan: The coach who somehow wasn't nominated for the Jack Adams last year continues to squeeze whatever he can out of this unimpressive group. Not long ago, they looked like they were going to fade completely out. But under Nolan, they probably won't because he won't let them. He needs to tone down the act of playing his team against everyone. It won't do them any favors.

Grade: B

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