|Matt Donovan: Power play QB?|
Anyways, day five of New York Islanders training camp took place today at the Nassau Coliseum - their first skate at their home arena since May. According to Arthur Staple, day five focused on the team's power play unit before the Isles head off to Regina and Calgary for their first two preseason games (split-squad) on Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames. From the sound of it, the Islanders power play unit could have a different look to it if it takes the ice tomorrow in Saskatchewan.
Over the summer, the Isles lost their No. 3 and No. 4 power play scorers from the 2013 regular season. Brad Boyes, a mainstay alongside John Tavares, and Mark Streit, the team's primary power-play quarterback, added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Isles with the man-advantage last season. Both have moved on - Boyes to Florida (PTO) and Streit to Philadelphia.
How does head coach Jack Capuano fix this? Well, Cappy will be exhausting all of his options in order to get this team ready for opening night.
Ryan Strome, the Islanders 5th overall pick in 2011, is expected to get power play time alongside Tavares in Regina tomorrow night. Strome has all the makings to be a power play threat. His creative ability and offensive vision should be plenty for him to gel with Tavares on the man-advantage, but could it be enough to make him stick to the opening night roster?
If not, Cal Clutterbuck also got a look on the team's power play unit this morning. Staple Tweeted Clutterbuck's presence in front of the goalie, a sure-sign that he may be asked to cause a disturbance early and often for the Islanders power play units.
Strome and Clutterbuck will be skating with different squads tomorrow night (Strome in Regina, Clutterbuck in Calgary), but both will have the opportunity to make a statement to a team whose power play faltered towards the end of last season.
On the blue-line, early signs point towards Matt Donovan, who scored 48 points for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2012-13, as a possible blue-line shot for the team's power play unit. Donovan is expected to pair with Andrew MacDonald tomorrow night in Calgary.
Another player that got a look from the point, however, is Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the apparent Isles first-line RW. Bouchard spent most of this morning on the team's second power play unit as a blue-liner, which could be an interesting development for a team that turned to Frans Nielsen quite a bit as the team's second-unit "4th-forward."
Keep an eye on both of tomorrow night's games for more developments. Islanders-Flames in Calgary will feature both Donovan and Clutterbuck, and the game will be streaming on IslandersTV. Islanders-Flames in Regina will feature Strome and Bouchard, and the game will be audio-streamed.
What are your thoughts on the current power play scenarios?
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!