The New York Islanders have finally found themselves back in the win column after dropping 5 straight games. The Islanders needed to gain confidence and win in regulation, they accomplished both tasks. Overall I think it was a very mediocre performance from the Isles, but a win is a win. Nick Leddy and Scott Mayfield need to be taken off of the second d-pairing line. I don’t know if it’s because of endurance or maybe lack of chemistry, but they always look lost out there. It also makes no sense that Noah Dobson is getting bottom-pairing minutes. Then again, this team does make a lot of questionable decisions, such as giving Leo Komarov his 50th chance to prove his worth. Again, a win is a win, and there were some great performances from last night’s win. Who will be featured in the top 3?
Jordan Eberle has found his stride very early into the season, something he literally never has done before. Eberle is playing 200 feet, and when you create turnovers in the neutral zone, good things happen. Eberle has an arsenal of toe-drags and dekes to beat out almost any defender. His backhand shot is easily one of the most dangerous shots on the team. But, what I’m most impressed by is his commitment to checking. Eberle has been very tight with his checking, and it looks like he’s everywhere at once. It’s always good to see an older guy with a lot of pep in his step.
Michael Dal Colle
The NHL might have to drug test Dal Colle because he has been playing the best hockey I’ve seen him play since his OHL days. I’ve been so harsh on Dal Colle for his entire career, but it looks like he finally found his stride. The one thing I love about Dal Colle is the energy he plays with. Dal Colle does not waste a single second in any shift. He is always forechecking or backchecking, and now his puck skills have developed, and he’s able to set up big offensive zone chances. Look for Dal Colle to cement his place on the third line when Anthony Beauvillier returns.
I think the fourth line, aka the energy line, should be disbanded after this season. I don’t see the same speed or aggressiveness I saw in these players throughout their entire careers, especially with younger guys like Simon Holmstrom, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Kieffer Bellows ready to make the NHL jump. That’s exactly what I said to myself seconds before Clutterbuck scored the game-tying goal. It almost looked as if they blew the rush and walked away with no shot. And somehow, Clutterbuck found the back of the net and made it even. I still stand by what I said, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep Clutterbuck around.