Monday, January 3, 2011

Changes on the Island

"What are they doing here? They're selling. Well, that's not right."

That was a classic scene from Trading Places which ironically was just on Comedy Central the other night. If you grew up in the 80's, then you know it well as both Coleman and Winthorpe proceed to put the crooked Duke brothers out of business, avenging a bet for one dollar. Imagine if that happened today. Ah. But isn't that what makes movies cool or in this case cruel, turning into quite the plot for actors Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd to showcase their talent in this sinister comedy about the New York Stock Exchange and cornering the market on frozen orange juice.

Why do we bring such an epic scene up in the first place? Well, when it comes to the Islanders it most certainly applies. Finally playing better hockey that produced a riveting 4-3 overtime win over the mighty Red Wings thanks to a great set up from John Tavares to P.A. Parenteau for the club's third consecutive triumph over Detroit (no joke), the franchise isn't keeping everyone. Despite winning six of eight (6-1-1) entering tonight's visit to Calgary, the Islanders have already traded away James Wisniewski and Dwayne Roloson. The Wiz went to Montreal where he already has four points helping boost the Habs' back end.

Meanwhile, as the Bolts were celebrating an OT win over the Rangers in St. Pete, they'd just acquired 41 year-old vet Roloson in exchange for D prospect Ty Wishart. This trade made no sense for either side. Especially with Tampa now having four goalies on the roster if you include injured Mike Smith along with Dan Ellis and rookie Cedric Desjardins. For the Islanders, they just traded their most reliable goalie sending panic on Twitter and the blogosphere. Sure. Rollie is not getting any younger. But are they really going to trust Rick DiPietro, who returned to end Sidney Crosby's 25-game point streak by jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store? You gotta admit it was funny for a guy who's had every injury known to an athlete or so it seems. Considering that he just missed five games, yikes. It was Roloson who backstopped the Isles to a big win over Detroit, making 38 saves with many high quality.

On a club that's won just 11 games, the affable former Cup Finalist on Edmonton ('06) has accounted for half their wins (6) along with a respectable 2.64 GAA and .916 save percentage. This despite a 6-13-1 record on one of the lowest scoring teams. It just seems unfair. Though we'll bet Roloson would say otherwise now that he's been bumped up in the standings to the contending Bolts. A team which can score goals in bunches needs a steady vet presence who can hold the forte. Especially if management has decided that Desjardins is legit.

While the Lightning figure out who their top dog is in net, the Islanders have decided that rookie Nathan Lawson will back up DiPietro. The undrafted 27 year-old from Alberta made one start making 32 saves in a 4-3 overtime home loss to the Coyotes a couple of weeks prior. Is this really the way the franchise wants to go? No disrespect to Lawson. But what if DP goes down again? Then what? Are they going to field two minor league goalies for potentially the rest of the season? In the bizarro world of Charles Wang and blog credential destroyer Garth Snow, do you even have to ask?

How can any team operate this way? It's absurd. They better pray DiPietro is finally totally healthy and able to carry the workload because if he can't, this could be another jarring decision which drives their fanbase even more nuts. If only John Tavares had more help. It's not all bad. At least a few of their prospects are performing admirably in Buffalo at the 2011 WJC with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas trying to lead Canada over defending champ USA later tonight against Brock Nelson. The action can be seen on NHL Network at 7:30 ET. Don't ya dare miss it.

The future remains bright for the Islanders but there still are some dark clouds hovering over Uniondale. When that changes we'll never know.


Hasan said...

They could always trade for one of the Tampa goalies lol...yeah the timing of these moves were so random I thought they were taking on salary (vis-a-vis Rolston). Guess they're still over the floor but only thanks to bonuses that won't all get hit.

This really is Rachel Phelps-type costcutting though.

Derek Felix said...

lmao at the Phelps reference. It's amazing that he got hurt after I mentioned the possibility. They're saying groin strain but it looked worse. They really should put in a claim for Leighton.

Derek Felix said...

Oh. And the only reason they even make the floor is bc of Yashin and Witt. :P

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