04 December 2009
IfÂ Thursday night's gameÂ didn't sum it up, I don't know what will; the Islanders are exceeding expectations. The fact that surprise star Matt Moulson recorded his first professional hat trick, with his father in attendance, only solidifies the fact that the Islanders didn't need to go out and break the bank to put an improved, competitive, and entertaining team on the ice. So it was no surprise after 3 embarrassing loses by the RangersÂ last week that this piece was written by Post blogger Justin Terranova: Islanders outplaying Rangers.
After Thursday nights win the Isles are now sitting 8th in the Eastern Conference and 3rd in the Atlantic Division, ahead of the slumping Rangers and Flyers, who recently fired their head coach and now have their eyes set on obtaining former Islanders head coach Peter Laviolette. Both teams, more notable the Rangers, spent the off season throwing their excess money around to big name free agents. One of which for the Rangers is the only one really producing.
So while some ofÂ our hatedrivals went shopping like 17 year old teenage girl with daddy's credit card, the Garth Snow spent his time singing key and affordable players needed to help the Isles in the rebuild.
Even though we were left scratching our heads after the signing of players little known players Scott Monroe and Matt Who?Moulson, Garth got really lucky by how well Moulson turned outKnew what he was doing. TheÂ story is now a league wide success story of the little engine that could. Moulson whoÂ struggled his whole career has now found his mojo on the Island along side good buddy John Tavares.Â Justin Terranova described his play as follows:"He has a knack for situating himself in front of the net looking for garbage goals, something this team has lacked since Mark Parrish was traded to Los Angeles."I guess the Moulson deal was Los Angeles's way of thanking us for Mark, who's stats plummeted after joining the Kings, jokes on them.
Along with Moulson their is the unstoppable Dwayne Roloson, who has been superb this year. Roloson, who made a career high 58 saves in Toronto, has really solidified his spot as the number 1 starter over Biron unitll Rick Dipietro comes back. While Biron and Rolie have similar numbers, the team itself seems to have more confidence in their play when Rolie is in net than Biron, giving Rolie more "run support".
Coming back around to old Ricky, he should be back withÂ IslandersÂ in the coming weeks. Rick makes his 2009-2010Â with the Sound Tigers tonight atÂ theÂ ArenaÂ at HarborÂ Yard. He will play aÂ rehab stint in his old stompingÂ grounds to slowlyÂ ease him in and Islanders brass says he could be up by mid-December.
You of course can not forget about the play JohnÂ TavaresÂ who hasÂ also had anÂ quick impactÂ on the team, while also leadingÂ all rookies in scoring. Mix that with the outstanding two way play of Olympic hopeful, KyleÂ Okposo, who landed himself on sportsÂ center's top ten plays list at the beginning of the season. Also being oneÂ of the teams top penalty killers. Times that with the potent play of the Islanders fourth line whoÂ plays ever shift and is able to re-energize the teams play if things start geting rough.
"but the pieces are coming together quicker than most expected and they will contend for a playoff spot this season." That's right, a Post writer says WE WILL contend for a playoff spot. We truly are an Island of surprises
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