Since I last checked in here, a flurry of activity has taken place. By now everyone knows from a myriad of sources that Dwayne Roloson was traded shortly after Wisniewski departed. We then saw Rick DiPietro and Mark Eaton hurt themselves, while the goal crease welcomed some new faces.
Tonight (1/6) the newest Islander to join the brotherhood (and the media guide) was Kevin Poulin. It wasn't intended to be his debut, but after fellow rookie Nathan Lawson started and allowed two quick goals to Edmonton, Poulin was thrown into the fire, so to speak.
Poulin, whose debut was highly anticipated by those following his minor league travails, performed admirably under the sudden pressure but failed to bring the streaking Isles a win. Edmonton won a 2-1 battle, cooling off a New York team that had won six of their previous seven games. Nevertheless, he should be applauded for stopping all 19 shots he faced in his National Hockey League debut.
Someone else worthy of applause of late has been John Tavares. He doesn't get a lot of press on this site but he and his linemates have had a big hand in getting the Islanders on a winning roll. After some worry that he hadn't performed up to expectations of a #1 overall pick, some even suggesting that he had regressed from last season, J.T. quieted his critics with 14 points over his previous nine games. Five of those points came as goals. Even my untrained eyes can see that he has found a comfort level playing alongside Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau.
While I have the opportunity, let me just say that Islanders management should take this opportunity to sign Matt Moulson past this season, as they risk losing him to free agency on July 1. Just as Garth Snow took care of defenseman Milan Jurcina this week by signing him to a one year, $1.6 million extension, he too should treat last year's top goalscorer in a similar fashion. The only difference is that Moulson has proven himself worthy of a multi-year deal.
Finally, as we're now into January, we await word on a set date for Kyle Okposo's return. He has been seen skating at Iceworks and must be getting close. With 96 career points to his name, it will be my pleasure to see him bank his 100th later this season. Plus, I'm sure he doesn't want to let a suddenly charging Tavares (currently at 81 career points) draw much closer to him.
I'll be back with any news regarding this blog's namesake as we hear it. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and new year, and thank you for your readership.
News and notes:
- The Islanders will play the 3,000 career game in franchise history on Sunday, 1/9. After getting within one loss of being a .500 franchise, the Islanders have recovered of late and currently sit at 3,004 points (1295-1289-347-67) all-time.
- Blake Comeau scored the lone goal in the Islanders loss Thursday night.