After years of slumming it in an aging building, the New York Islanders are moving to the snazzy Barclays Center in Brooklyn … and they’re bringing a stylish team with them.
Indeed, the Isles may boast the ideal mix of talent to resonate in The Land of the Hipsters, especially if head coach Jack Capuano sports these glasses.
(Sure, they’re not as natural a fit for Brooklyn as Dan Bylsma’s lids, but you can’t win them all.)
The Islanders’ potential seems like a mystery, at least beyond the likelihood of the team being fun to watch.
Could a division title be a possibility? Maybe a deep run?
You’d think that the group GM Garth Snow assembled should at least win a playoff series for the first time since 1993. The Isles boast a little of everything: an outstanding offense featuring John Tavares, a solid defense including Johnny Boychuk and steady goaltending.
If nothing else, maybe more casual hockey fans will realize just how special Tavares is. In the meantime, we have accounts like the one Jonathan Quick shared with The Players’ Tribune:
Just like with [Sidney] Crosby, Tavares doesn’t kill you with one thing, he kills you with how insanely balanced his game is in all aspects. Tavares can deke you, or roof a shot, or make a great pass, or if nothing is there, he’ll do the smartest thing and chip it in deep to live another day. He’s similar to Crosby in another way, too. He’s one of the most tenacious guys I’ve ever played against. A lot of guys that skilled might choose to work the perimeter and wait for their linemates to open up space for them. Tavares gets right into the dirty areas and mucks it up. You’ll see him score just as many greasy goals as pretty ones.
He could help the Islanders be a trendy choice in 2015-16.
New York Islanders GM Garth Snow ended any offseason suspense about head coach Jack Capuano’s future on Thursday, telling New York Newsday that they’ll keep him around heading into 2015-16.
Going further, Snow confirmed that other staff members will return, from assistants Doug Weight, Greg Cronin and Bob Corkum to goalie coach Mike Dunham.
“Our coaches did a great job, whether it was preparing our players or with the communication between coaches and players, which was outstanding,” Snow said. “There were some aspects of our game, whether it was with our penalty-kill that struggled early on and became a strength for us by the end, or our power play, which was a strength at times early on and we didn’t have one in the playoffs. That’s an area of concern. We’ll analyze all different areas of our team and try to get better.”
Assuming everything goes as Snow says it will, Capuano would enter his sixth season as the head coach of the Islanders. In that time, the Isles have made the playoffs twice, falling in the first round each time.
To his credit, the Islanders battled the Capitals hard even as their defense corps was decimated by injuries.
While the old regime seems like it will stay in place, it won’t all be familiar for the Islanders, as they’ll play their first season in Brooklyn next season.
Burning question: are these sufficient hipster glasses?
The speedy winger has a history of these problems. He underwent sports hernia surgery at the beginning of this year, a procedure that sidelined him for all of October and November (it’s worth noting, however, that surgery was done on Grabner’s left side; the Laola 1 report says this latest injury is on the right.)
The 27-year-old returned to the Isles early December and went on to score eight goals and 13 points in 34 games, and had an assist in his first playoff appearance — a 4-1 Game 1 victory in which Grabner played nearly 13 minutes.
New York is back in action on Saturday at Nassau, trailing the Caps 3-2 in the series and facing elimination for the first time. It seems highly unlikely that Grabner will draw back into the lineup.