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The New York Islanders are the team that always has the potential to be better but, for whatever reason, never reaches it. Usually, that reason is Rick Dipietro's health, but there have been others. Last season, the Islanders were bolstered by the play of Calder Trophy nominee Michael Grabner. They are now hoping that Nino Niederreiter can step in and provide a similar contribution. With Grabner, Niederreiter being led by John Tavares, the Islanders are growing a pretty nice young core which will only get better when Ryan Strome gets to the NHL.
On defense, the Islanders are led by Mark Streit. He is followed by veterans Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina. They then have more youngsters, led by Andrew MacDonald. Calvin De Haan is knocking on the door and will improve the Isle defense even more. Of course, the biggest question mark is the goaltending, with Dipietro hoping that he can kill the injury bug and prove why he was drafted first overall in 2000.
First Line: LW- Matt Moulson, C- John Tavares, RW- Kyle Okposo
Second Line: LW- Michael Grabner, C- Frans Nielsens, RW- Nino Niederreiter
Third Line: LW- Blake Comeau, C- Josh Bailey, RW- PA Parenteau
Fourth Line: LW- Matt Martin, C- Marty Reasoner, RW- Trent Hunter
Extra: Jesse Joensuu, Casey Cizikas
First Pairing: Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald
Second Pairing: Travis Hamonic and Mark Eaton
Third Pairing: Milan Jurcina and Ty Wishart
Extra: Mike Mottau, Dylan Reese, Calvin De Haan
Starter: Rick Dipietro
Backup: Al Montoya