The Islanders are starting to run out of time to make a move in the playoff hunt, but if there was a time to make a move, it would be now. The Islanders can thank these three stars, that are not named John Tavares, for the late season push.
Third Star: Timly Scoring from Defensemen
Islanders defensemen have scored a total of 13 goals this season. That is not a good mark by any means, but when the Isles have to have a goal, don't be suprised if it is a d-man putting the puck in the twine. In the past few weeks, the Isles won two games in overtime thanks to the defensemen. The first OT winner was scored by the least likely culprit on the Islanders, Mark Eaton. But why would he not score? It was only his 600th NHL game and he was heading down the ice with Milan Jurcina, another unlikely culprit.
The second OT winner was scored by none other than the captain, Mark Streit, and his goal was a beauty. He went right through the entire Los Angeles Kings team and buried a backhander past Matt Moulson's brother in law, Jonathan Quick. He also did it on a day the Islanders were honoring a defenseman, Kenny Jonsson.
Second Star: PA Pareteau's Emergence
Over the past couple weeks, PA Parenteau has showed everybody that he deserves a raise from the 1.25 million bucks he is making this season. He has scored goals at timely moments. He has also been the guy to make the perfect pass to set up a goal. He is currently 6th in the entire NHL with 42 assists, and even when he was moved off of the John Tavares line, he continued to produce. When Parenteau heads into free agency this summer, the Isles need to make it their number one priority to resign him for next season.
First Star: Nabby Saying No
Let's face it, Evgeni Nabokov has been the Islanders best player over the past month or so. He single-handedly won a game that the Islanders had no business winning, making 45 saves in Philadelphia through overtime, then making two more in the shootout to somehow give the Islanders a 1-0 win. When games have gone past regulation this year, Nabokov hasn't lost. He has provided something the Islanders have lacked over the past few seasons, stability in net. There are talks that the Islanders might trade him, but then they would be giving up on this season. Garth Snow needs to make a significant effort to re-sign Nabokov for next season because Al Montoya has been shakey and Rick DiPietro is well....Rick DiPietro. Nabokov's 15-14-0 record so far this season is solid, especially since he missed a few weeks earlier in the season with an injury. If Nabokov leaves, then the Islanders will have no goalies that have any experience in big games.
Now, I know what you are thinking, Where is John Tavares? He is not on this list because everyone in the NHL knows that he is just the best player on the team. Also, over the past few weeks, it has been these three things leading the team. The time to win is now or never for the Islanders. Will it happen? Let's watch and see.
Lets Go Islanders!!