New York Islanders Player Report Cards
By Mike Basile
John Tavares- (29 GP, 11 G, 21 A, 32 Points, +/- -5) No question the best player on the team and keeps them in some games single handedly. Would like to see a few more big goals from the young kid, but can’t complain about Tavares. Grade: A-
Kyle Okposo– (29 GP, 8 G, 18 A, 26 Points, +/- -1) After a great playoffs last season, fans wondered how Okposo would play this season. No doubt he is a streaky player, but for the most part he has been good this season helping out the captain on the top line. Grade B+
Frans Nielsen– (29 GP, 10 G, 13 A, 23 Points, +/- – 5) Frans got off to a hot start and has cooled down of late overall his play has been above average for him this season. Playing with Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner has only hurt him. Grade B+
Josh Bailey (28 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 Points, +/- – 3) Josh Bailey has not scored a goal in over three weeks, and after starting the season off pretty well, many fans believed he was ready to break out. It seems the beginning of the season was a fluke and Josh Bailey has returned to being invisible on the ice. Grade C
Pierre Marc-Bouchard (27 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 Points, +/- -8) One of Garth’s off-season moves that did not pan out to what he wanted. With just 9 points in 27 games and a –8, he has not done much to help this struggling team. Grade C-
Thomas Vanek (13 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 points, +/- +3) Thomas Vanek and John Tavares are starting to develop some chemistry, but his lackluster defensive play frustrates many fans and that +3 will quickly drop if that continues. Grade B-
Michael Grabner (26 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 Points, +/- -5) Michael Grabner has not scored since opening night, and continues to frustrate fans, as he gets at least one opportunity to score every night. He is normally good on the PK to make up for that, but I cannot even give him that this season. Grade D
Brock Nelson (19 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 points, +/- -6) One of the most consistent players on the Islanders and all he gets is a healthy scratch. The young kid showed he could play with Tavares and works hard every night. Grade B +
Casey Cizikas (29 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 7 Points, +/- – 3) Casey is a great 4th line center, he works hard every night and gets rewarded with the occasional goal and has great ice vision. Grade B-
Cal Clutterbuck (23 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 Points, +/- -4) Another player who is doing his job this year. I would definitely like to see him more on the score sheet, but he throws the body around and wins many physical battles. Grade C
Peter Regin (28 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Points, +/- -4) Who is this guy? And why is he still on the team? He barely played in Ottawa for a reason. Grade D
Matt Martin (29 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 points, +/- -3) Matt Martin is an extremely smart hockey player and throws his body around for fun. He has taken some bad penalties this year that have surprised me and knowing that he is a smart player is unacceptable. Grade C+
Eric Boulton (6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Points, +/- +3) Never thought I would say this, but Eric Boulton has been good in the games he has played this season. I love that he is a +3, which shows that good things happen when he is on the ice. It would be unfair for me to grade him on only 6 games though.
Colin McDonald (22 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Points, +/- -10) Colin is an upbeat player and a big fan favorite, but he is just not an NHL player. – 10 is a stat that tells me that when he is on the ice I have to be scared at all times. Grade D
Andrew MacDonald (29 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 Points, +/- – 6) Andrew Macdonald is not having the best year to be quite honest, but that is because Capuano is trying to make him things that he is not! He is not a quarterback on the power play, he is not a 1 or 2 defensemen and should not be playing 26 minutes a night. I may get some criticism for this, but MacDonald plays hard every night and is a big part of this team. Grade B
Travis Hamonic (29 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 points, +/- -6) Travis is also being too heavily relied on this season and the fatigue is showing. I believe Hamonic should be a + defensemen every season, but this year’s being overworked is hurting his game. Grade C+
Matt Donovan (22 GP, 1 G, 4 A, 5 points, +/- – 5) Matt Donovan has been exactly what I expected. Gets involved in the offensive rush and helps out offensively, but makes rookie mistakes on the defensive end all too often. Grade C
Thomas Hickey (29 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Points, +/- – 3) Gives up his body for the team game in and game out and works very very hard. The mistakes he makes show to be costly and has to cut down on those with the defense slacking big time. Grade C
Matt Carkner (23 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 Points, +/- – 7) All the hate on Matt Carkner from the fans is totally understandable. He is paid to play defense and constantly gets caught pinching when he has no offensive ability and is a – 7. Grade D
Radek Martinek (10 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 Points, +/- -1) Radek is doing exactly what the Islanders needed him to. He plays sound defensively when they need him to. Sure he makes some mistakes, but with the defense they have, he has showed some solid veteran play. Grade B-
Lubomir Visnovsky (8 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 points, +/- +3) It is no secret that this team is hurting without their best all-around defenseman. Their power play was ranked in the top 5 when they had Visnovsky and now without him it is in the bottom 10 of the league. I will grade him by saying COME BACK!
Aaron Ness (12 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Points, +/- – 7) The young kid has come in and to be honest, has not done much for this team. He is just too small and every game gets bullied around in front of the net. Grade C-
Brian Strait (9 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Point, +/- – 2) With the defense playing like they are, I would love for Strait to come back just for some hope that maybe he can help us out.
Calvin De Haan (3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Points, +/- -1) Not much to say only playing 3 games so far this season, but overall, I do like what I see from the young man who has been injury plagued.
Evgeni Nabakov (14 GP, 5-5-3, 3.30 GAA, save % .892) Since the playoffs last season, Nabby has lost all trust from Islander fans and after a recent groin injury fans are not to optimistic about him coming back and being the Nabby that led this team to the playoffs. Grade D
Kevin Poulin (13 GP, 3-10-0, 3.24 GAA, save % .887) I can’t blame Kevin Poulin for having bad statistics with the defense they have, but he has let up some soft goals in big situations that make me question our goalie of the future. Grade C
Anders Nillson (4 GP, 0-1-2, 3.26 GAA, save % .883) Anders played very well against two of the best offenses in the NHL (Penguins and Capitals). I will try to be optimistic about the giant goaltender who I think has some talent.
Overall Team Grade (29 GP, 8-16-5, 21 points) After making the playoffs last season there were high expectations for this hockey club, but with some injuries and lack luster play, this team has found itself in the basement to begin this season. The only good sign is that they do have time to bounce back with an 82 game season this year! Grade C-
Mike Basile is a sophomore at York College Of Pennsylvania. He is a huge sports fan, and when it comes to hockey maybe considered a little obsessive. Giving insight on the Islanders and all things hockey. You can follow him on twitter at @mikeybasile1