Is anyone on the Islanders scary?
I don't mean scary-boo (if I did, Miro Satan's eyebrows would be a definite 'yes'), but scary as in you never want to see him on the ice when one goal could mean the difference between winning and losing. Does anyone fit that bill?
In Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Flyers, which dropped the Islanders to 3-3 after a 2-0 start, the Isles had Josef Vasicek, Sean Bergenheim and Satan on the ice in the final minutes looking for the equalizer. Granted, the trio had the best night of the forward combinations and earned the right to be out there, but the point is the Islanders don't have that one guy or two guys who strike fear in the hearts of opposing goalies. There isn't an Alex Ovechkin or Jaromir Jagr or Dany Heatley (or Jason Blake, for that matter) to turn to when you need a sniper. Where's Mike Bossy when you need him? His back's OK now, right?
Much of that is by design. The Islanders have several players who have the ability to step up when needed and put one between the pipes -- Satan, Comrie, Fedotenko, Hunter, Guerin, Vasicek -- but through six games, the Islanders' offense has been downright dismal, especially in even-strength minutes. While the special teams have been exceptional, when it's 6-on-6, there's been little scoring punch. Take away the hot start by the Comrie-Fedotenko-Guerin line, and the Isles have shown as much punch as Steve Zouski.
Saturday's effort was inconsistent. The Isles had several chances in the first period but couldn't finish them, then allowed the Flyers to grab a 2-0 lead in the middle period before awakening in the third, getting a shorthanded goal by Vasicek on a play thaw saw Brendan Witt press into the offensive zone. Like the loss to the Capitals, Saturday's game could have gone the Islanders' way had the effort been there for 60 minutes. It wasn't. That needs to change.
The good news is that Chris Simon is back, and he shook the rust off by dropping the gloves. The Flyers weren't too feisty, no surprise after seeing two players suspended for 20 or more games in the season's first two weeks. Jesse Boulerice -- who was waived today -- got 25 games for his gutless crosscheck to the face of Ryan Kesler. That matched the 25 games Simon got, and Boulerice should have gotten more.
Maybe Simon's return will spark the team out of its funk, and he's been known to score a goal now and then. Coffee is for closers only, and right now, no one on the Islanders has a mug in his hands.