New York Islanders 2005-06

Team Name: New York Islanders

Team Payroll: $38,454,340

General Manager: Michael Milbury; 11th year with the New York Islanders

Head Coach: Steven Stirling; 2nd year with the New York Islanders

Forgotten Moves:

Team Mode: The New York Islanders are in a playoff run mode. Of course

they lost Captain Michael Peca and their defensive workhorse, Adrian

Aucoin, but they have done a nice job in adding to their offensive

lines with the signing of Miroslav Satan. They have also added nicely

to their defense with the likes of Alexei Zhitnik, Brent Sopel , and

Brad Lukowich.

To Take Charge: Without a doubt, the Islanders are looking for Alexei

Yashin to take control. Alexei was given the “C” at the beginning of

the preseason. A big year is not only expected of Yashin, it is

required of him. Milbury finally got him the winger he’s been longing

for so there are no excuses for Yashin. Also lurking in the back of

his mind should be the potential of the Islanders buying out his

contract at the end of the season.

On The Rush: The Islanders’ offense improved significantly with the

addition of Mirolslav Satan and Michael York. In the last six seasons,

Satan has scored 194 goals, ranking him ninth in the NHL. York should

be a solid second-line center. In 03-04, he only played 61 games, but

registered 16 goals and 26 assists. He finished the year a + 18. The

Islanders Power Play has also improved due to the fact that they are a

quick team. Look for Bates and Blake to contribute in all offensive

scenarios.

Covering The D-Zone: MIlbury has made several moves on the blueline.

He lost Kenny Jonsson, Roman Hamrlik, and workhorse, Adrian Aucoin.

Milbury quickly replaced his quality players, with newer and younger,

quality players. Alexei Zhitnik came over from the Buffalo Sabres. He

only scored one goal, but added 33 assists. Brent Sopel from the

Vancouver Canucks will log his share of minutes on the blueline. Last

season he scored 10 goals and assisted on 32 others. Brad Lukowich

arrived fresh off of his Stanley Cup winning season with the Tampa

Lightning. He only scored 5 goals and registered 14 assists in 79

games, but he finished the season a +29. Some say that Isles took the

biggest hit when they lost Adrian Aucoin. Personally, I agree but I’m

a realist. The defensive additions will help the Islanders not only in

breaking out of their own zone, but by moving the puck swiftly up the

ice. Don’t be surprised if the Islanders Penalty Killing is in the top

half of the NHL, and I would expect a good number of short-handed

goals as well.

Guarding the Net: It’s no question that Rick DiPetro is the Islanders’

go to guy in net. If you had any doubts, Milbury erased them all when

he offered Ricky a 15- year contract. In 2003-04 he played 50 games

and went 23-18-5 with a goals-against average of 2.36. He only signed

a one year deal so he knows that he must perform. He will probably

play 60 games this year and with some playoff experience under his

belt, the Islanders expect big things from Ricky D. The Isles will go

as far as he will take them. Veteran goalie Garth Snow signed a 3 year

deal to remain with the Islanders. In the past, Snow has won some key

games for the Islanders. He can be out of action for a month, be

called upon last minute, and come out with a great performance. He

will be vital when the Islanders play his former team, the

Philadelphia Flyers. In 2003-04 Snow went 14-15-5 with a 2.80

goals-against average.

Talking About My Generation: The Islanders are stacked with prospects,

lets just hope Mike Milbury keeps them all. Sean Bergenheim, drafted

22nd overall in the 2002 Draft, should find himself on the roster. In

18 games in the NHL he had a goal and an assist. Petteri Nokelainen,

their top pick in 2004, is having a great training camp and as a

result, he could earn some NHL minutes. As an 18 year old playing in

Finland during the lockout, he had 15 goals and five assists in 52

games. Perhaps the Islanders’ most coveted prospect is Robert Nilsson.

In 41 games in 2003-04, recorded 21 points (8+13) and 10 penalty

minutes for Leksand. He also broke Swedish Elite Team records held by

NHL stars Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund.

Projected Lines:

Mattias Weinhandl-Alexei Yashin-Miroslav Satan

Jason Blake-Oleg Kvasha-Trent Hunter

Shawn Bates-Mike York-Mark Parrish

Line 4: TBD

Alexei Zhitnik-Brad Lukowich

Janne Niinimiaa-Brent Sopel

Radek Martinek-Chris Campoli/Joel Bouchard

Expectations: 9th-11th in Eastern Conference

Projected: The Islanders are a better team offensively and with the

new rules, it’s anybodys guess as to how they’ll perform. They are a

playoff team and can finish anywhere from 5th-8th in the Eastern

Conference.


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