Hot or Not: New York Islanders Forwards
On the heels of a 6-0 home victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, we look at some of the Islanders forwards and determine who is hot, and who's not.
Some quick statistics: The Islanders are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, are one game over .500 (20-19-8 for 48 points) and find themselves in playoff contention. The team is enjoying several players on multi-game point scoring streaks, however, there are several players whom are pointless for multiple games as well.
At one point this season, Rob Schremp—a waiver wire claim from the Edmonton Oilers and former first-round draft pick—had found himself high above the ice, watching his teammates from the press box for countless games.
Today, Schremp has points in five of the last six games for the Islanders (4 G 4 A 8 PTS) and is fresh off his first career two-goal game.
I got the chance to speak with Schremp after the win over Detroit on Tuesday, Look for that piece soon.
John "The Future" Tavares has been struggling. Call it his "Freshman Slump," if you will. NHL history has proven that many great young rookies go through similar scoreless streaks. He'll get through it, but it's bound to happen again.
Tavares has two points in his last 10 games (1 G 1 A 2 PTS) and is often the focus of many of their opponents' shut down lines.
He has been bumped, thumped, bruised, and even elbowed as a result of his talents, so it's no wonder he's been struggling.
Great players find ways to make things happen, and during his struggles, he's been a physical force out there and hasn't disappeared completely. John Tavares needs to look no further than Kyle Okposo, who went through a 16=game streak of his own without a goal.
Prognosis: NOT hot
As mentioned previously, Kyle Okposo endured a 16-game stretch where he was held without a goal, although he continued to notch helpers and contribute in other areas for his New York Islanders.
That's all changed, however, as Okposo is riding a four-game goal scoring streak and enjoying eight points in his last 10 games (5 G 3 A).
Okposo's hard work is paying off—and leads all Islanders with 31 points. What's more—he has four game-winning goals this season. Talk about clutch!
Earlier this season, Matt Moulson was scoring at a pace that either matched linemate and friend John Tavares, or exceeded him. Moulson quickly became a sensational story in the NHL, as he had never found a full-time job previously and made his GM Garth Snow look like a genius for signing him.
Moulson had gone on a mini slump of eight games and then found himself on the score sheet a few times, but not at all at his earlier pace.
In the last five games, Moulson has four points (2 G 2 A) and appears to have straightened out the problems that he was facing during his slump. He appears to be heating up, which is a good thing for the Islanders.
Prognosis: Luke Warm
Simply put, Josh Bailey has been WHITE HOT in the last 10 games, which may be directly related to coach Scott Gordon moving the young center to the wing.
In the last 10 games, Bailey has amassed a whopping 13 points (4 G 9 A) and is riding a seven game point streak. What's more, Bailey has 24 points on the season, and 14 of which have come in the last 11 games.
Gordon's decision to move the young player to wing is clearly paying off. Perhaps Bailey feels less pressure on the wing because there is less responsibility in all zones and he can concentrate on dishing the puck to his teammates more.
Prognosis: On Fire