I'm calling this a Christmas miracle, everyone.
Steve Staios is indeed a veteran defenseman, but so far this season he hasn't done anything extremely impressive—other than take a few too many bad penalties. With Staios hurt and De Haan making his NHL debut, this could be a chance for de Haan to prove what he can bring to the table.
I personally never liked the signing of Steve Staios to begin with.
Yes, he is a veteran leader for the team, but I don't like his defensive skill. Hopefully de Haan (who I originally thought was going to be playing this season), can fill a void that the Isles definitely need filling.
De Haan is ecstatic about his chance to make his NHL debut tonight against the Dallas Stars. The Islanders 12th overall pick in 2009 could be something they can really use at this point.
If de Haan can prove he can play as well as the Islanders need at this NHL level, he good be a huge piece to the seemingly endless Islanders puzzle.
Along with de Haan getting his NHL debut, the Islanders are starting Kevin Poulin for the first time this season with Al Montoya backing him up. Poulin finished last season strong 4-2-1 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.44 GAA.
If Poulin can show the same skill as last season, the goaltending combination of Poulin/Montoya may be another thing the Islanders can rely on.
With Poulin making his season debut and de Haan making his NHL debut, they are both eager to show what they can bring to the plate. And hopefully they'll show the Islanders they are both ready to play for this team and make an impact.