Michael Grabner skates around Penguins player Ryan Craig
Febuary 11, 2011 will be a memorable night for all Islanders fans who watched their team destroy the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-3. The Isles had goals from Hamonic, Joensuu, Parenteau, Haley, Tavares and two each from Moulson and Grabner.
Moulson, Grabner and Tavares all reached the 20 goal plateau in the same night. General Manager Garth Snow's young core rebuild may finally be coming into place.
John Tavares has started to look more and more like the guy the Isles envisioned him to be. He's beginning to create more plays on his own, going to the net hard and making some nice deflections. He's also proved to be a playmaker.
Tavares has a solid 20 goals and 25 assists in 52 games played, for 45 points. He has a shot at 70 points this season and will most likely get at least 60. John should also be able to hit the 30 goal plateau.
Snow signing Matt Moulson to a three year extension was one of his smartest moves as General Manager, and Moulson is proving why. Tied for the team lead with Michael Grabner with 21 goals, Moulson is a solid goal scorer for the Isles. On the year, he has 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points, and should hit 30 goals and 50 points.
Moulson is also a great supporter for Tavares as a good friend of his, and is helping him improve.
PA Parenteau has been a pleasant surprise for the Islanders, putting up 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points. He could very well hit 20 goals and 50 points. Picked up from the Rangers in the offseason, Parenteau has been a very solid player for the Islanders, being a great playmaker and a decent goal scorer as well. Not to mention, he is a great shootout performer, which always helps.
Michael Grabner, a rookie, nonetheless has been probably the most pleasing surprise on the Island this year. He is tied with Moulson for the team lead in goals with 21, along with nine assists for 30 points.
Grabner is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, proven when he won the skating competition against Oilers rookie Taylor Hall in the Super Skills Competition. Grabner has already put up 21 goals, coming out of nowhere. Not to mention, Grabner hasn't scored on some of his many breakaways, so just imagine how many more goals this guy could have. He will definitely be a vital part of the team in the future.
There are other good players like Kyle Okposo, who was injured for most of the season, Rob Schremp, Travis Hamonic, Blake Comeau and Ty Wishart.
One thing the Islanders really need is an older veteran player to help add more goals production and to help the younger players develop easier.
The young players are also keeping a positive atmosphere in the locker room and they believe in themselves to bring home a Stanley Cup to the island. That's a big part of the team too, the fact they believe they can win. Hopefully, when all other incidents, such as the goalie situation and the injures, sort each other out, the Islanders can make a run for the playoffs in a few seasons, led by their young players.