Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Do they want that? Apparently yes. Mayfield's signing doesn't provide any short-term relief to a defense that is reeling with the losses of Calvin de Haan and Johnny Boychuk. It was pretty obvious when Travis Hamonic was dealt in the off-season that the Islanders were going to have a thin blue line but without their second and third best blue liners they look just plain abysmal and it's hard to say if Mayfield is doing much to help the cause. A quick check of Natural Stat Trick shows that Mayfield has done okay from an analytical perspective, and that's nice. He's actually leading the Islanders in 5-on-5 points per 60, goals per 60 and assists per 60, which is remarkable when you think about it.
Five more years!!!!! #isles— Scott Mayfield (@scottmayfield2) January 4, 2018
You have to consider these numbers a pro for Mayfield, who has been on ice for 20 goals for and 20 goals against while at 5-on-5 this season. He hasn't been killing the Islanders but he doesn't seem to be a great fit with New York's style, which revolves around quick transition and is pretty complex for a slow-footed player like Mayfield. To his credit he's pretty sound positionally but he often times looks overmatched in one-on-one battles, particularly those that revolve around quickness or puck savvy. In other words, yes, he's physical and can separate an attacker from the puck, but how often is he able to get into position to do that separation against better players? Maybe it won't matter because Mayfield is being signed to play third-pair minutes, but it is concerning to see how much penalty kill time he's getting. He averaged 1:40 of shorthanded ice time per game in December and the Islanders penalty kill was an absolute train wreck, putting up a 64.3 percent kill rate for the month. Blame the goaltending all you want, but you could also point at Mayfield being overmatched when facing elite players while shorthanded. Bottom line: It's not the end of the world. This is a small deal and it doesn't really change anything in Brooklyn. The Islanders need to updgrade their d by trade or this season will be lost and no pep talk by Doug Weight is going to change that fact. How do they do it? I'll leave it up to everybody on twitter. Hit me up: @TheFanChild. Mayfield has played 65 NHL games and hopes are that he'll improve. He has the size, the attitude and the tenaciousness to be a solid third-pair defender. He can be better on breakouts. He can be a lot quicker at reading and reacting to developing danger. He can have better gaps and be a more powerful skater. These are the things he'll have to figure out to help the Islanders. Personally, think the Islanders are in a lot more danger defensively than they even realize. I'm not convinced that Ryan Pulock, Mayfield or Seidenberg have what it takes to be effective NHLers at any spot on the depth chart. de Haan could be gone after the season and Hickey as well. It leaves the Islanders with three defenseman--Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuck and Adam Pelech--that have promise. Some might disagree on Pelech, but I think he's solid and getting better. I actually like him as a very good third pair player down the road. As for the second pair, New York better start shopping while at the same time hoping that Devon Toews and Mitchell Vande Sompel are ready to fulfill their promise in the not too distant future. They've got draft picks that they will either need to use on drafting some high quality defensemen or parlay to improve the term short-term. Four picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft is nothing to scoff at--Garth Snow should be able to upgrade his team through trade and still have retain a few of those picks. It makes sense for the Isles to lock up Mayfield for the forseeable future because it gives them some depth at the position for a very low price. AT the very worst the Islanders have a No.7 defenseman who is ready to play on any given night. If he improves and Garth Snow looks smart, hey it wouldn't be the first time.
The craziest thing is the Mayfield leads the #Isles D in points per 60, goals per 60 and assists per 60 at 5-on-5. So maybe my eyeball test has failed. Just always looks a step slow to me. pic.twitter.com/fv3WKgtbVo— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) January 4, 2018
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
“It’s a long way away. … There’s a lot of stuff that has to happen for me to come back. You can’t just skate (once) and then say you’re fine,” Couture said. “I’m not playing if I don’t feel good. It could be one game, it could be 10 games, it could be a whole season. With head injuries you don’t know. There’s no timeline. Everyone is different, everyone handles it different, everyone’s brain handles it different. These are the injuries that it’s tough to judge timelines.”And here's the whole article, as it was tweeted last Friday: Sharks With and Without Pavelski and Thornton One area where the Sharks need to be better is the top line. The Sharks have scored 13 and allowed 20 with the two joes on at even strength. A lot of it has to do with the revolving door on this line, but San Jose can and will be even better with some more dominance from the top line. Last year San Jose scored 42 and allowed 34 with Pavelski and Thornton on the ice together at 5-on-5. All stats provided by @NatStatTrick.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
John Tavares and Josh Bailey are the first @NYIslanders players to record multiple points in 5+ consecutive games since Pierre Turgeon from March 7-17, 1994 (6 GP). #NHLStats #ANAvsNYI pic.twitter.com/X8Tn7BD1wn— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 22, 2017
Snipe of the Night
Attendance tonight: 10,092— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) December 22, 2017
Six of the eight Metro teams played tonight and all six earned at least one point. Updated standings. pic.twitter.com/HX3CRBff7o— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 22, 2017
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has made the first two of what could be many trades. On Tuesday the Pens dealt Josh Archibald, goalie prospect Sean Maguire and a sixth-round pick in 2019 to the Coyotes for veteran AHL goalie Michael Leighton and a fourth-round pick in 2019. Pittsburgh then turned that pick around to acquire 25-year-old Oleksiak for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
TRADE ALERT!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 19, 2017
Joining Pittsburgh: Goaltender Michael Leighton and a 2019 fourth-round draft pick.
Joining Arizona: Forward Josh Archibald, goaltender Sean Maguire, and a 2019 sixth-round draft pick.
Read more: https://t.co/DJGbXt3xLs pic.twitter.com/8EeCLNKlY2
“This is a guy who can really skate," Rutherford said of Oleksiak, who has three points and is a minus-6 in 21 games for Dallas this season. "He's an excellent skater for a guy that big. Plus, he sees the ice well and will make things easier for our left-handed defensemen because they won't have to play on the right side as much.” Pittsburgh is struggling at 17-15-3, two points outside of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference and in sixth in the Metropolitan Division.
The Dallas Stars have acquired a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from Pittsburgh in exchange for defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. https://t.co/qjmUiZ3GaM— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 19, 2017
If de Haan is out for a long period the Islanders will at least get a glimpse of what the team's blue line looks like without him (we'll call this a bleak silver lining). His one-year, $3.3 million deal means he's a free agent at the end of the season. The Islanders can move on from de Haan this summer if they wish, or they can try to sign him at a decent price due to his injury-plagued walk year. What it will take to sign de Haan long-term is another story for another day, but most believe he will be due $4 million or more. In the meantime the team desperately needs Pulock, Pelech and Mayfield to continue to be better. Each player has shown signs that they are ready to be quality full-time NHL defensemen, but each has shown their weaknesses as well. Mayfield looks like an AHL defenseman sometimes, but he's managed to make up for a lack of footspeed and offensive creativity with a really diligent defensive game and good physicality. Pelech looks like a keeper and a potential top four defenseman but he'll need to keep working on his skating and decision-making. Pulock has been far too timid for his skillset, but has started to come out of his shell of late. He's been more physical and has shown some puck poise in the offensive zone. Five points and a minus-6 in 20 games isn't much to write home about, but Pulock has been better of late as he has developed comfort. Bottom line? It's going to be a bumpy ride for the Islanders defense this winter without de Haan. New York has allowed 67 5-on-5 goals against already this season, which ranks them 25th in the NHL. As things get tighter down the stretch the Islanders will need to win a few 2-1 and 3-2 games and it's not clear if they have the personnel to get that done (the fact that neither Jaroslav Halak nor Thomas Greiss is playing great will put extra pressure on the D). Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuck are a premier top pair, but the bottom four will be tested. Will we see a Pulock-Pelech pairing emerge? They pair have developed some chemistry and have a 56.31 5-on-5 Corsi Percentage in just under 54 minutes. If so the Isles will roll two of Thomas Hickey, Dennis Seidenberg and Mayfield to form the other pair. It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but both Hickey and Seidenberg have a lot of experience and can mentor Mayfield along. If all else fails Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho are ranked No.4 and No.5 in scoring by defenseman in the AHL. Is either of them ready for the step up? Might be a good time to find out.
Weight: Maybe better news than we thought on de Haan, “doctors evaluating pictures and making decisions on how to proceed. But he’s out.”— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) December 19, 2017
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Speaking of Burns, this fan had a milestone night in Vancouver:
Slumping no more. Brent Burns leads all NHL D in poins since Nov. 22. 13 points in his last 12 G. pic.twitter.com/VaMfF3zz4f— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) December 16, 2017