Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Isles

Schizophrenia, split personality, or as the title states, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Isles. This team has yet to find its identity but it has no trouble vacillating between the two extremes; one day they look like a skilled, young and upcoming team that can challenge perennial powerhouses like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Calgary, and Montreal, and then the next day they look like the under-gunned, inexperienced, gang of rookies they really are.

The previous game against the Blackhawks, and last weeks debacle against the hated Rangers are the kind of games that showcase the Isles glaring deficiencies (young defense, limited scoring, weak special teams). Then you have games like the ones against the Penguins, Flames & Red Wings where you get a glimpse into this team's future and it looks pretty bright --- Tavares, Moulson, Bailey, Poulin, and maybe Parenteau.

They just need a few more guys to develop. Here are few examples:

Andrew MacDonald: we've heard a lot about his offensive abilities yet, after almost 1/3 of the season he hasn't scored a single goal and has only 11 points - even though he is one of the mainstays on the powerplay. We need to see MORE from Andy Mac.

Jesse Joensuu: I look at him and I have nightmares of Oleg Kvasha, or worse yet, Bergenheim. He's played 1/4 of the season and only has 3 goals and 1 assist. He needs to go to the Mark Parrish school of goal scoring and park his ass in front of the net and fight for the garbage goals. Use your size Jesse.

Robbie Schremp: Mr. Razzle-Dazzle seems to be missing some of his magic because he has only 7 goals this year and just hasn't been contributing as much as I think he is capable of contributing. Sometimes it looks like he is not as connected with his line-mates as perhaps he should be. I don't know - something is just missing.

Radek Martinek: He of the glass-legs. He continues to have trouble staying healthy, and when he is healthy he hasn't been producing. In 29 games he has 1 goal and 4 assists. Isles NEED more production from the blueline.

What the Isles need is more consistency -- in every facet of the game. Hopefully that will come with maturity, experience, a few additional skilled players, time, and hard work. Let's see if some of that develops against some tough opponents during their upcoming home-heavy schedule (7 of the next 9 are at the Coliseum).