Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rookie and Prospect Scrimmage

Just got back from Iceworks, where a scrimmage was held between two teams of Islanders prospects. A few quick notes from the outing...

  • I am absolutely falling in love with the depth at goalie which Garth and Ryan have built. Very impressed by Kevin Poullin in particular. Both Mikko Koskinen and Anders Nilsson are HUGE! My friend and I walked into Iceworks and the first thing we see is Frankenstein wearing blue goalie pads (turned out it was Mikko). It kind of reminds me of an old story where a certain new owner of a certain NHL franchise recommended putting a Sumo-Wrestler in net.
  • Before the next time Josh Bailey steps onto the rink, someone had better make him pee in a cup. Those of you who are expecting to see the same, thin-ish Josh Bailey from last year will be pleasantly suprised, 'cause someone's been hitting the gym.
  • Any Isles fan who hasn't been living under a rock knows the story of Casey Cizikas, who due to a tragic Rugby accident, was charged with manslaughter. His recent sentence of probation and community service clearly had no effect on his play. The kid was everywhere. It seemed that just about every time he was on the ice, he was in the middle of the play. I've got a good feeling that this may become one of the steals of this years draft.
  • While Cizikas was an absolute thrill to watch, I unfortunately could not say the same for John Tavares. Maybe it's just me trying to pick apart his game, but it looks to me like he needs to keep his feet moving. He was anything but spectacular today, staying off the scoresheet, and for the most part, out of the play. I'm not going to judge him based on this first time seeing him live, but I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with "The Chosen One".
  • I've been a huge critic of some of the smaller defensemen Snow & co. have picked up over the past few years. I've constantly complained that size is needed to boost this D-corps, not more small, fast D-men. Boy, was I wrong! Guys like Aaron Ness and Calvin de Haan (who I am officially PSYCHED about) were probably the most entertaining to watch. Ness, in particular, has a great set of hands and looks like he can tape-to-tape pass through miles of traffic, and de Haan looks like a younger, thinner Tomas Kaberle. Very Exciting.
All in all, great job by the Islanders. You can already tell that with the excitement building around the young core this organization is putting together, this year may be a little different, and that better days are on the horizon.

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