|Ready to go.|
The Islanders can't bench Regin - he scored two points and played a very strong game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. They can't bench Nelson - the former first-round pick just recorded his first NHL assist and has played remarkably well through three games. They can't bench Bouchard - a former 60-point scorer who has had plenty of opportunities in his first few Isles appearances. They also can't bench Clutterbuck - he who was added to the team in exchange for a former 5th-overall pick.
Someone has to sit, though. Someone has to sit up in that pressbox when the Islanders hit the United Center in Chicago. What a dilemma, but it's and ode to the Islanders plan for the 2013-14 season.
Depth: it's exactly what the Islanders prepared themselves with this offseason when they went out and acquired Clutterbuck, along with Bouchard and Regin. It's something they had known they already had with Brock Nelson, currently on the team, and Ryan Strome, with the team until the end of training camp, but was only expanded upon when Snow made it a point to bring in the three NHL-veterans this summer.
Prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, a case could be made for all five of the aforementioned players to make the Islanders. Of course, cuts had to be made in order to push the Isles to the 23-man roster limit, and others had to be made to fit Clutterbuck into the Isles line-up - a decision delayed only because of the skate laceration he suffered in the preseason's opener. With Clutterbuck at full health, it's finally time for the Islanders to make this challenging roster decision.
Like the kid that shows up at the toy store's counter with $20, but five figures that come to $22, Garth Snow arrived to October with too many players. Just three games into a season - one that the Isles have started off 2-0-1 - none of the players who will sit tomorrow night deserve it. Snow just arrived at the counter with too many toys, and one of them is going to have to sit on the shelf for a bit.
It's certainly a good problem to have. No matter who sits, the Islanders are going to have the line-up of their choice on the ice. The team, which has often led the NHL in man-games lost due to injury over the past decade, benefits from having an array of interchangeable parts on the roster, at any given time in the season. If a player goes down to injury, they have the next guy ready to go. If another player is in the midst of a slump, the Islanders can insert the next guy in his spot, too.
Right now, there are no slumps. There are no injuries. There's just debate; however, the debate parallels Snow's plan perfectly. The Islanders have "too much," in a "you can never have too much" scenario. This team runs deep, and the hesitancy to remove any of the players from the current line-up makes it clear as day.
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!