Regardless of their unexpected success taking them into the playoffs last year, there were many areas that the Islanders needed to improve coming into the current season. The core of the team was established, but among many other things the defensive corps was a major concern and the departure of captain Mark Streit only made things worse.
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.
The New York Islanders goaltending carousel continues to spin as earlier this week Kevin Poulin was loaned to Bridgeport and Anders Nilsson was recalled. Goaltending is still something the organization needs to address through trade or free agency, but the home grown goaltending talent seems to be running out of time to prove their worth.
The Sound Tigers have won 6 in a row and 11 of 13. In the wake of their recent success Anders Lee, Ryan Strome and Mike Halmo have been recalled by the Islanders. With John Tavares and Frans Nielsen out with injuries, the young forwards will be given a chance to prove themselves at the NHL level.
New York Islanders top prospect Ryan Strome continued to add to his impressive professional rookie season this past week in St. John's, Newfoundland. In the All-Star skills competition on Tuesday, Strome took a share of the accuracy shooting title and in the game on Wednesday he added 2 goals to help the AHL All-Stars down Farjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League.
The Sound Tigers have gone 5-1-0 in their last 6 games, continuing their up and down trend that has gone on all season long. A lack of identity could be the cause of the inconsistency but there are some bright spots to take note of in Bridgeport.
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.
Center Ryan Strome has been returned on loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Roster space had to be made with defenseman Radek Martinek returning from the IR. To put it lightly, this is another questionable move the Islanders front office has made and fans are already up in arms.
The good news is that the Islanders are finally showing some life having won 8 of their last 10 games, and 7 in a row on the road. The bad news is that the Sound Tigers are not sharing in the same fortunes. The Islanders' AHL affiliate have a less than stellar 3-6-1 record in their last 10 games and have lost their last 5 on the road.