The 2020/21 regular season in the NHL is scheduled to start on January 13th. To get you started, NHL.com presents a series with the three most important questions that the 31 teams have to deal with.
In this issue: New York Islanders
When an underdog like the New York Islanders manages the feat of getting to the Eastern Conference Finals, that is a cause for great satisfaction.
After the regular 2019/20 season, the team of successful coach Barry Despite was in seventh place in the east with a yield of 35-23-10, which was in line with expectations before the start of the season.
[Schauen Sie sich die drei größten Fragen an, mit denen jedes NHL-Team in die Saison 2020/21 geht]
In the postseason, the team was in top form and moved into the last four. After victories against the Florida Panthers (3: 1 in the qualification), Washington Capitals (4: 1) and Philadelphia Flyers (4: 3), the representation from Long Island only had to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-4 in the conference final to give up in the series.
Due to the good performance, the demands for the new season have grown, like a statement from defender Ryan Pulock clarified. “We want to get as far as possible in the playoffs every season. We’ll keep working hard to get closer to our goal of winning the Stanley Cup,” he said.
Three important questions remain to be answered with regard to the 2020/21 season.
[Ähnliches: Die Wünsche der Islanders für die kommende Saison]
What will become of star striker Barzal?
The star of the front row, Mathew Barzal, is currently still without a new contract. This means that he has not yet been allowed to step on the ice at the beginning of the training camp in preparation for the new season. However, everyone in the area is expecting an agreement soon. At the moment, however, the unresolved situation is causing uncertainty.
“When you start the season, you have to be able to start immediately,” said coach spite on Wednesday. “We did what we could do as an organization.” Everyone is now waiting for the okay from Barzal, who was the team’s most successful scorer in the past three seasons.
Despite and General Manager Lou Lamoriello are still confident that a deal with the 23-year-old will be signed and sealed shortly. However, he missed the first days of the already short training camp, including the Islanders’ first training game on Wednesday. Not an ideal situation.
In the absence of Barzal did Jean-Gabriel Pageau as a center with the wingers Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle formed the first attack formation of the Islanders.
Video: WSH @ NYI, Sp3: Barzal secures victory for the Islanders
How can the losses in defense be compensated?
The showpiece of the New Yorkers last year was the defensive. In the new season, however, they have to do without two renowned defenses. Devon Toews, who has been flexible in the last two years and has often shone, was handed over to the Colorado Avalanche on October 12 in return for a second-round pick in the NHL draft in 2021 and 2022. And Johnny Boychuk, a fixture in the organization since 2014, ended his playing career due to an injury to his left eye.
Your exits now open the door for the boy Noah Dobson, a first round pick (number 12) in the 2018 NHL draft. He should take on more responsibility in the future, having made 34 appearances in 2019/20.
Pulock is optimistic that the Islanders will manage to keep their defense as stable as last season despite the well-known departures. “It gives other players, be it Dobson or one of the other guys, an opportunity to take action. I think it’s a good opportunity for them to take the next step in their careers.”
Video: Top 10 scenes from the Islanders … so far
Who will prevail as a backup for Varlamov?
There will also be a change in the goalkeeper position in New York for the coming season. Ilya Sorokin, who has played in the Continental Hockey League for the past five seasons, and Cory Schneider, who last played with the New Jersey Devils, will be fighting hard for the place of backup between the posts in the training camp. As number one is Semyon Varlamov set.
It will be interesting to see whether Sorokin and Schneider manage to hold up as reliably as Thomas Greiss. The German left the Islanders after five years. On October 10, he signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.