Many teams that make the post-season have a player on their roster that elevates his style of play in order to reach a new level of performance during the most meaningful games of the year in the playoffs. These players are instrumental to each team's success in the playoffs and help carry their teams to several victories in their run for the Cup.
Looking back to the recent past, players such as Fernando Pisani and Sean Bergenheim come to mind. Pisani, who was playing for the Edmonton Oilers during their Cup run in 2006, only had 37 points in 80 regular season games but burst onto the playoff scene with 14 goals and 18 points in 24 playoff games.
When Garth Snow took over as general manager of the New York Islanders, he eventually set out on a mission to turn a lowly franchise into a contending hockey team by building through the NHL draft and developing talent from within (Photo Credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).
He took over in 2006, but did not start his rebuilding campaign until 2007-2008. Players such as Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Frans Nielsen began to slowly earn full-time roster spots with the organization.
The following year saw some other fresh faces like Jack Hillen, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau in orange and blue gear for the majority of the season. Since then, John Tavares has taken over this team while management weeded out a few bad apples and traded away some young talent that was not prospering on the island.
The Florida Panthers may have been a little overexcited to be in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years - 12 years to the day that they last went to the playoffs, in fact. At least, that's what their first-period play looked like, and they had relatively little offensive against the Devils.
New Jersey put up 26 SOG against Jose Theodore - who gave up 3 goals - while the Panthers didn't even break double digits. The first was Patrik Elias at 6:31; the second was a power play goal by Dainius Zubrus at 14:11, and the third was Ryan Carter at 14:56. The Devils pounded Theodore and nailed the Panthers into their own zone for large stretches at a time. The 26 SOG is a ne...
Preview: An opening night battle between last year's overall 27th and 28th best teams - the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers. However with opening night comes the promise of new hope, a fresh start, and in the case of the Islanders and Panthers, a lot to be excited about.
The Islanders are opening their 40th season in franchise history and have set their goals high. GM Garth Snow has stated that the goal is for the team to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons. The team is also looking for their first playoff series victory in 18 seasons.
The Islanders offseason was relatively quiet following a furious finish last season, whe...
Charles Wang has always had a very strict rule that he has enforced since the day he bought the New York Islanders; if any player that was considered property of the organization were to not have a new contract before the start of training camp, they would be forced to miss the entire season.
It's a rule that I have always approved of since it clearly sets the tone that this is Wang's team and he won't be jerked around by players who wish to play the waiting game for more money. He's also shown that he isn't shy about using it either.
Most Islanders fans remember the year that Sean Bergenheim spent playing hockey in Sweden since he refused to accept the con...