Isles All-Star Break Report Card
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, January 29, 2008
NY Sports Day analyses the role the Islanders new acquisitions have played in the teamís fortunes through the first half of the season.
Mike Comrie- 14 goals, 22 assists, 36 points. Thatís pretty much where you would usually expect him to be at this point in the season. However, when you take into consideration that heís never gotten this much ice-time in his career on the powerplay and at even strength, Comrie should have at least 45 points. His play in the neutral zone has also been suspect at times, hence the reason for his team leading -13 rating. Luckily heís scored some big goals for the time, including three game-winners. With Bill Guerin and Richard Park playing as well as they have been the past dozen or so games, Comrie is going to have to step up his game as well.
Rating- B-. Better play in the defensive end and a few more goals on the powerplay could have changed this rating big time.
Bill Guerin- 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points. The Islanders new captainís play this season has ranged from uninspired to sniper-like and heís on pace for another 30-goal season. However, despite what the media tells you about his role in the locker room, his play on the ice hasnít made his teammates better. A good captain does that and Guerin sadly hasnít turned Mike Comrie into the first line center many thought heíd develop into playing with Guerin. Again, despite that, heís having a solid season.
Rating- B+- Itís kind of hard to argue with an Islander going for a 30-goal season. We havenít seen many of them over the past five years.
Ruslan Fedotenko- 8 goals, 15 assists, 23 points. While heís on pace for another 15-goal, 20 assist season, Fedotenkoís play has ranged from brilliant to Oleg Kvasha-like. Some kind of consistency would not only help his game, but would also give the Islanders a secondary scoring threat.
Rating- C- -A former 26 goal scorer once lived in the same body as Fedotenko. It would be nice if he came back this season.
Josef Vasicek- 11 goals, 8 assists, 19 points. Vasicek has basically had the opposite season of Mike Sillinger in most respects. He started the season so strongly that for a while he was holding the team down offensively. Then, like it has been for most of his career, mediocrity came and bit him in the rump. He has played very well in the defensive end this season, even when he wasnít producing offensively, which has made him a valuable player on the penalty kill and in close games, but the Isles really need him to find his scoring touch again. Simply put, he needs to park his rear in front of the net more often and get a few garbage goals.
Rating- C+. Heís on pace for his usual type numbers, but just like Comrie, Vasicek is playing more, he should be having the best season of his career. Heís also playing with Miroslav Satan and should be cashing in on some of his shots and getting a little more space on the ice. That isnít happening.
Andy Sutton- one goal, six assists- Just like Brendan Witt and Sean Hill last season, Sutton took his sweet time getting accustomed to playing on the Island, but over the past month or so, heís stepped up his physical play and has started to become the intimidating presence the Isles wanted when they signed him.
Rating- B- - His offensive numbers are way down from his days in Atlanta and he took his time turning up the physical intensity. Hopefully the past month is only a small sample of what he can do on the ice. If not, the fans in Atlanta who drank a celebratory glass of wine when he left may opt to have another.