Ramblings: The Islanders won’t be so bad…Also, Fabbri, Fail for Nail and more (July 4)

Dobber

2018-07-04

I really like the Robin Lehner signing for the Islanders (Mike breaks it down with his thoughts here, which I agree with). The Isles have two of the best goaltending prospects in all of hockey with Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom, but neither will be available this season and likely not next year either. So they need a stopgap to get them to 2020. A Thomas GreissRobin Lehner tandem is probably just as mediocre as it was last year with Jaroslav Halak instead of Lehner. Except Lehner is clearly signed to be a backup rather than a 1A, and to me that takes the pressure off of both goaltenders. And with Lehner’s injury track record, each time he looks to be stealing that No.1 job he’ll pull a groin or something and Greiss’s job becomes safe again. I think the two of them will enjoy moderate success in a 51-31 split. And if Lehner impresses, as he seemed to in the second half last season, then his next contract could be another shot as a No.1. Between January 7 and March 10 over 19 games Lehner posted a 0.912 SV%, so he is capable of stringing together decent numbers on a bad team. (You can use our fast goalie calculator and set custom dates to get his stats in any of the player profiles – Robin’s is here)

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The Islanders also acquired Matt Martin from the Leafs for nothing. Eamon McAdam went the other way, but that was just so the Isles wouldn’t be adding a contract under their allotted 50. So it was just a free player, giving the Leafs more cap room.

Life isn’t over for Isles fans. I think they were a 14th-talented team last year that underachieved. Losing John Tavares just knocks them down to maybe 20th. Their goalie tandem is okay and under Barry Trotz I think we’ll be shocked by how much Lehner’s and Greiss’s numbers improve. If Ryan Pulock and Josh Ho Sang take the next step towards stardom, they’ll have a good defense corps, and the forwards aren’t horrible:

Anders LeeMat BarzalJosh Bailey

Josh Ho Sang – Brock NelsonJordan Eberle

Andrew Ladd