Despite the New York Islanders still needing to add a top-four defenseman to their blue line to help ensure themselves a chance at making the playoffs next season, they still have an abundance of d-men that are ready to compete for a regular spot in the line-up.
Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Thomas Hickey are likely four guaranteed defenseman to play on a nightly basis. Matt Carkner, Matt Donovan and Brian Strait are three blue liners that will play as well, solidifying six defenseman with one ready to sit and play when called upon.
Although the New York Islanders have been surrounded with lots of negative attention these days, there is a positive and hopeful story that has been emerging and has almost gone unnoticed (Photo credit: mandelux12/Flickr).
Ryan Strome and Anders Lee have been nothing short of excellent since their recent call-up back to the New York Islanders.
Last Thursday, I spoke on the phone with former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher.
Boucher retired from hockey back in October when he was released from EV Zug, a team from the National League A in Switzerland after playing five games.
I called Boucher for a different story I was doing for the Press of Atlantic City. Along with a handful of Flyers and New Jersey Devils alumni, Boucher was playing in the Red Line Classic: Battle of the Boards at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday. Team Orange, the team Boucher played on, beat Team White 8-7.
The NHL trade deadline is scheduled for March 5th, just a few days shy from officially being one month away. Typically, that would leave for plenty of hockey to be played between now and then, but that isn't the case this year with the Winter Olympics coming up in just a little over a week.
In fact, there are only seven NHL games to be played between now and then.
They currently hold a 21-28-8 record that is good for 50 points and 14th in the Eastern Conference. They are also 10 points away from the eighth placed Philadelphia Flyers.
With the Islanders having lost their last five games in a row, all signs point to this team becoming sellers at the deadline.
There is all but little hope for the New York Islanders to resurrect this season from the dead as they continue to plummet to the bottom of the NHL standings, having now lost 12 of their last 13 games after a 1-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night at the Coliseum (Photo credit: jennkuhn4/Flickr).
But there is Ryan Strome; a young scorer who should provide the Isles faithful with a glimmer of hope for the future.