angryjay93 Posted September 14, 2010 Report Share Posted September 14, 2010 New York Islanders Team Overview: One of the most overlooked and under used teams in the league, it is easy to forget that the Islanders do boast a nice 1-2-3 combo on the front line. To be fair though, the Isles are over looked for a good reason, their absolutely pathetic defenders and goalies. Make no mistake about it, this is not a team for newcomers, seasoned veterans only need apply, and it’d be wise to have a high tolerance for defensive ineptitude.Forwards: As mentioned earlier, the Isles have a nice trio of Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, and Steve Thomas. This is a very versatile line that can light the lamp. What the line lacks though is a true lightweight to throw his weight around and cause havoc. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the defense wasn’t so heavy and slow, but that is the dilemma we are presented with. With that in mind, even with the lack of forward depth after the top 3, a substitute may be a wise play.The Franchise:Hogue-Turgeon-ThomasBenoit Hogue: 7 weight, 4/5 skating, 3/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: LDespite not being among the top end 5+ speed skaters, Hogue is still responsible for being the main offensive weapon for the Islanders. Hogue really excels in open ice, he is a shifty forward who can leave slower defenders in his wake. Despite being something of a middle weight, Hogue is still perfectly capable of going 1 on 1 to drive to the net and create a deke opportunity, his supreme shot accuracy will only aid him in converting those chances into goals. Hogue can also play the role of set up man, he has a decent amount of puck skills to aid him in dishing the puck towards the middle to feed the opportunistic Pierre Turgeon. When it comes to defense, Hogue is very capable of shadowing opponents, but he’s a finesse defender in that he must use his poke check to be effective.Pierre Turgeon: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/3 aware, Shoots: LThe prototypical goal scoring slug, Turgeon is an exceptional one timer option because he has a great knack for finding open space in the slot and then tickling the twine with his powerful, accurate shot. Remarkably though, Turgeon, despite his pristine shot ratings, can run a bit hot and cold, more than the average player it seems. When it comes to a slug like Turgeon, the defense and ability to carry the puck is the real worry here. While a decent skater, light weight teams can take advantage of him by closing off the middle of the ice and dominating him physically. Defensively, Turgeon is reduced to poke checking and holding,Steve Thomas: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: LA solid, gritty, playmaking winger, Thomas doesn’t bring any jaw dropping skills to the table. That’s ok though, that’s what Turgeon and Hogue are for anyways. Thomas is a good complimentary 3rd forward because he can carry the puck up the ice effectively with solid skating skills and a fairly low weight to help him withstand body checks. Unlike other low weight, light shooting forwards on other soft teams in the game, Thomas is very adept at dishing the puck off effectively, which makes Turgeon’s one timing option that much more dangerous. He is also a solid 4 checker, meaning the idea of checking someone in AI mode is not a foreign concept.With a solid combination of speed, shooting, skating, and grit, this line is more than capable of putting a few goals up on even the best of teams. One thing to take into consideration is swapping Thomas for Turgeon on the penalty kill. The Isles have no weight advantage on defense, thus any advantage on the front line should be utilized to the fullest.Dale Hunter Special:Thomas-Hogue-VolekDave Volek: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: LAs mentioned earlier, the Isles only weight advantage options are on the frontline, so in the right situation it might be wise to bench the supremely skilled Turgeon for the lighter, although far less skilled Volek. What makes Volek a viable option though is his light weight and his skating skills, he is the only other 4 speed player on the roster and thus allows him to keep up better with the offensive pace of Hogue. Volek should primarily be used as a defensive force and a playmaking forward because his slap shot is utterly pathetic and it won’t beat any goalie from range. Couple that with his low awareness and his inability to fill one-timing spots, it becomes a chore to try and make him a consistent scorer.Hogue’s speed and one-on-one ability brings a different sort of dynamic to the team that would obviously benefit a user that is more interested in dekeing from the middle than setting up one timers and using speed on the wings. While Thomas is on his natural wing now, thus making him a bit more effective in the goal scoring department, this line is still woefully light on slap shot options and shot power in general. It will take very precise efforts from in close to get goals from anyone not named Hogue.Other options: The Islanders lack a lot of top end depth. What they do have though is a handful of guys that might come in useful once in a blue moon and help fill out a depth chart late in a draft.Ray Ferraro: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: LA poor man’s Joe Juneau, Ferraro is a man without a natural position. He doesn’t have the shot accuracy or awareness to be a center, nor does he have the skating or playmaking skills to be a productive winger. He is merely a light weight option who can sneak a slapper or quick deke by the goalie, but how often will he get that chance with such average skating?Derek King: 9 weight, 3/2 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth, 2 pass, 4/3 aware, shoots: LBuilt in the Rick Tocchet mold, King should never be on the ice at the same time as Turgeon, which makes him the ideal substitute if Turgeon gets hurt. A great shooter who is fairly decent at finding the open ice, he should be a solid option for one timers. Other than that though, King is a liability, hes slow, heavy, and a weak passer, if he ever has the puck on his stick for more than a split second, hes hurting the team.Marty McInnis: 4 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: RThe lone pure weight bugger, McInnis can be effective in a hard hitting game, but even then, that might be stretching his limits. Possessing average speed and less than mediocre skills, McInnis will really hamper the offense, something that is a must have with such a weak defensive corps and goaltending.Forward Rating: 7/10Defense: There isn’t much to like about the Islanders defense, its slow, heavy, and far too focused on offensive skills. Now for something positive to say about it...their sticks won’t break, likely not very helpful since they might not be using them much.Kasparitis-KurversDarius Kasparitis: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoot: LOn a team with an average defense, Kasparitis would be nothing more than a #2 D-man option, ideally though he would be a #3 guy and the first option off the bench. On the Isles, he is the de-facto #1 guy. Sadly, Kasparitis doesn’t have a single elite skill, he’s a slightly above average skater, but everything else is merely average. It isn’t that he is necessarily a bad player, he just isn’t the top tier defensive stud that this team is in desperate need of. Try to avoid using Kasparitis on offensive rushes at all costs, he doesn’t have the skills to take advantage of such chances, he’s not fast enough to get back, and he’s the best d option, keep him back there.Tom Kurvers: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: LWhen one of the starters on defense isn’t a sure fire draft pick in the 12 round GDL draft, it’s a clear sign that a D-core is in major trouble. Kurvers is simply the lesser of many evils on the Isles depth chart. An average skating middle weight with 4 shot power, Kurvers is a very vanilla option. One unique thing about him though, is that he has an offensive awareness rating higher than his defensive rating, this is not a good thing. Kurvers has a tendency to get lost in all three zones when the Isles do not possess the puck. Trust me though, he is the second best defenseman on this team despite all these shortcomings.Kasparitis-NortonJeff Norton: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: LLook a little familiar? It should, Norton is exactly the same as Kurvers save for his shooting and stick handling. Inserting Norton into the lineup is beyond nothing more than personal preference as he and Kurvers are interchangeable.Other Option:Vladimir Malakhov: 10 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: LAnother 4/3 awareness? Yeah, it seems the Isles have a monopoly on these defenseman. If it weren’t for Malakhov’s massive weight and average skating, he could be a somewhat useful option. But in a league that is flooded with fleet footed, hard hitting forwards, icing Malakhov is just asking for trouble. In certain matchups, or in spot duty, Malakhov can tread water. These opportunities are few and far between though.Defense Rating: 3/10Goalie Zone: Look, I know the defense section had to have been pretty depressing to read, but this has to be better right? Unfortunately, no, it isn’t any better here, in fact, it’s worse. How you ask? Keep reading.Glenn Healy: 5 weight, 2/4 skating, 4/4 aware, 2 puck control, 2/2/2/2 savesMark Fitzpatrick: 7 weight, 2/4 skating, 2/2 aware, 3 puck control, 2/2/2/2 savesHealy has the higher overall rating (47 to 44), it is artificially pumped up by the useless awareness ratings though. Essentially the decision boils down to one thing. Have slightly better rebound control, or a slightly more mobile GC. For the former, go with Fitzpatrick, for the latter, go Healy. Once the decision is made though, goals are going to come in bunches either way. No non-expansion team comes close to the toxic waste that is the Isles goalie situation.Goalie Rating: 1.5/10Bottom Line: After the top 3 forwards, the depth of the team falls off dramatically to expansion like levels. But it’s those 3 forwards that make the Isles much more dangerous than the expansion teams and hopefully it can keep the opponent honest in their game plan. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.