New York Islanders 2012 Season Preview

There will be Islanders hockey this season and I Peter Charles Paguaga guarantee it!

That’s right, person sitting at their computer reading this blog post, I guarantee it, but it won’t be the hockey you’re thinking of.

The New York Islanders will open their regular season in Pittsburgh on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. The only difference is the game won’t be played at the Consol Energy Center. It will be played, simulated, in the basement of my house on my PlayStation 3.

Just because the NHL owners say there won’t be a season doesn’t mean there cannot be a virtual season. (Photo Credit: Newsday.com)

Before I get into the season preview I just want to share some of the guidelines that I will use during the season.

  • I will be the owner of just the Islanders in this season
  • I will start the season with the most updated online roster at that time.
  • Injuries and computer trades will be on, but I won't make crazy moves.
  • The computer will be able to make trades with other computer teams.
  • I will make moves (promotions, demotions, signings) based on what you the readers think we, as a team, should do. (See Below).
  • I will have an updated post once a week and in that post will be team leaders in statistics, Atlantic Division Standings and league wide standings.
  • It will also include league leaders in major statistics. (Photo Credit: Lets_Go_Pens/Flickr)

Team Ranking: The Islanders are ranked last in NHL 13 overall, tied with the Florida Panthers.

Top Offensive Players:

John Tavares-85

Matt Moulson-82

Kyle Okposo-81

Michael Grabner-81

Frans Nielsen-80

Top Defensive Players:

Mark Streit-82

Lubomir Visnovsky-82

Andrew MacDonald-81

Top Goalies:

Evgeni Nabokov-81

Rick DiPietro-81

Recap: The Islanders on paper are a strong offensive team and can look to get scoring from their top two lines this season.  The bottom two lines though are far from impressive.  I mean Marty Reasoner is still playing in the NHL.

The defense has also been upgraded since last season, especially with the addition of Visnovsky and the growth from last year with the young defensemen.  They should make Nabokov’s job a lot easier this season. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Robert Krowal)

Players to watch:

Offensive: John Tavares, obviously, will again be the Islanders best player and probably a top 4-player in the Atlantic Division, behind Malkin, Crosby and Giroux.  Tavares will look to improve on his 81 points from last season.  Barring injury look for Tavares to put up at least 90 points.

Defensive: Andrew MacDonald is going into his fourth-full season with the Islanders. This season will be a huge test for MacDonald as he tries to solidify himself as a top-4 defensemen on the Islanders and a solid threat defensively to opponents.

Players on the rise:

Offensive: If Nino Niederreiter makes the roster, see below, he can only get better than he was last season. That’s really all that can be said.

Defensive: Travis Hamonic, who is going into his third full season with the Islanders and is still young, being 22 the sky is the limit for this kid.  Hamonic has the chance to not only raise that sad rating of 79 but he can become the best defensemen on the Islanders and one of the best in the NHL.

Questions going into the season:

With the Islanders question marks going into this season I will allow you, the readers, make some key decisions in what the roster will look like.  Listed below are some questions that you will be allowed to answer.  The answer of the question that gets the most votes will be the one I use for the roster. You may answer the questions by commenting on this post, tweeting at me @PetePaguaga or @TCLIsles or posting it on our Facebook. On October 11th the day before the season is supposed to begin I will reveal the final roster.

  1. Who will be the sixth defensemen?
  1. Matt Dononvan
  2. Aaron Ness
  3. Calvin de Hann
  4. Other (put name)
  1. Who will back up Nabokov in net?
  1. Rick DiPietro
  2. Kevin Poulin
  3. Andreas Nilsson
  1. Should Nino Niederreiter play for Islanders or Bridgeport?
  1. Isles
  2. BPT
  1. Should Casey Cizikas play for Islanders or Bridgeport?
  1. Isles
  2. BPT
  1. Should David Ulstrom play for Islanders or Bridgeport?
  1. Isles
  2. BPT
  1. Who should wear the A’s this season? (Choose 2)
  1. John Tavares
  2. Kyle Okposo
  3. Frans Nielsen
  4. Matt Moulson
  5. Michael Grabner
  6. Lubomir Visnovsky
  7. Travis Hamonic
  8. Andrew MacDonald

It would great if you guys can replay and get involved.  Other questions throughout the season will be posted so that you the readers can stay involved in the how the season is going.  I really think that this can be fun and I know its not the actual season but at least it’s something. Please share this with fellow Islanders fan who don’t read The Checking Line and feel free to post on other sites.

-Pete Paguaga
Follow @Pete_Paguaga
Follow @TCLIsles