Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Before we dive into what you all are thankful for, I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support. It means the world, and I know without that support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s truly an honor and something that I never take for granted.
I couldn’t get to all of them but appreciate every response.
#Isles fans, I want to do something different for tomorrow's mailbag.
I want you to comment below what #Isles player/thing you are thankful for. Should be a fun piece.
Don't all comment Sorokin.
— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) November 24, 2022
There was a handful of you who put Ilya Sorokin, and for good reason. Sorokin has showcased, especially this season, that he is among the elite netminders the NHL has to offer. He’s fresh off a 49-save shutout of the Edmonton Oilers and now owns a 2.20 GAA with a .934 SV% and two shutouts. He will be vying for his first Vezina most likely, and without his play this season, I’m not sure how far down in the standings they would be. He’s been a revelation for the Islanders since coming over into the Canadian bubble, and he is likely to be the second-greatest goaltender in New York Islanders history when he hangs them up.
Noah Dobson! He’s always on his game. Shooting pucks instead of passing it. Overall he has great hockey sense and an awesome mindset. His effort is shown consistently. (@huggybearbarzy)
We saw Noah Dobson break out last season after Ryan Pulock went down, and he’s never looked back. After leading the Islanders with 190 shots a season ago, he is second with 62 shots in 21 games. He’s on pace for 242 shots. Although he still has things to work on, the 22-year-old has been an offensive jolt from the backend that the team desperately needed after the loss of Nick Leddy. He is strong on his skates, which helps the Islanders transition, and he knows how to make plays inside the opponent’s blue line.
Mathew Barzal hitting another level by himself. (@DynoDangle)
When Mathew Barzal received his contract extension, an eight-year deal worth $73.2 million (kicks in next year), the New York Islanders wanted to see him get back to the game we saw a couple of years ago. And so far, through 21 games, Barzal has shown how elite he can be, even with the lack of an elite superstar by his side. He has 23 points in 21 games, 21 coming via way of assists. The goals will come as Barzal may very well be a point-per-game player this season, which he achieved during his Calder-winning season.
Cal Clutterbuck for being one of the greatest forecheckers ever. (@Cal_ClutterGOAT)
Since Cal Clutterbuck arrived on Long Island 10 seasons ago, he has been the same player. He has always forechecked hard as well as hit hard, as he recently set the all-time hits record against the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Monday. His job is to put pressure on the opposing defenseman, and with his hitting prowess and intelligent stick, he has been ultra-effective on a nightly basis.
I’ll go with Lambert for opening up the offense and realizing you can’t win in this league without scoring with regularity. (@DavidMoss21)
For first-year head coach Lane Lambert, he set out fhttps://nyihockeynow.com/new-york-islanders-lane-lambert-lou-lamoriello-nashville-predators-josh-bailey/or his team to be more aggressive this season in all three zones. An Islanders team who only averaged 2.79 goals per game a season ago, has averaged 3.29 goals per game. The Islanders still need to be a bit more consistent offensively, but a major turnaround was needed, and we have seen it. And if the defense could play the lockdown hockey they showcased against the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night, the sky is the limit.
Griffin Reinhart and Peter Chiarelli, for Beauvillier and Barzal. (@DM_8080)
Back in the summer of 2015, former New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow traded Griffin Reinhart, his fourth overall pick in 2012, to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the 16th pick and 33rd pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Snow would go on to draft Mathew Barzal at no. 16 and Anthony Beauvillier 33rd. We know who won that trade, and it was not even close.
Parise. He’s been one of the best players on the ice night in and night out. He was a great signing. (@nyisles130)
Throughout his entire 18-year NHL career, Zach Parise has been the same player. Yes, maybe the goals aren’t coming as consistently as back in his hay day, but his work ethic has always been 100 percent. He never takes a shift off, even in practice, and if you have a child playing hockey right now, have him watch Parise’s game. He’s responsible in his own zone, kills penalties, forechecks hard, and, from all accounts, is a tremendous teammate.
No one has said Lee yet, and I feel our captain needs to be acknowledged. Even though we don’t normally see in the locker room you can tell that he brings such good energy. He’s the glue to this team, and I don’t think we get to where we are without him in that room and on the ice. (@julesarica)
Personally, I don’t think Anders Lee got enough credit for his actions during the 2021-22 season. For as difficult and frustrating as that season was, there was never a postgame press conference where he did not talk. He was open and honest, and as a reporter, that means a ton. And as a fan, it should mean a lot too. I remember when Barry Trotz spoke about Anders Lee, he always told the story about when he first arrived on Long Island. Trotz called all of his players and asked them who they thought should don the “C” with the former captain having left town. Every single player said Lee, so that should tell you all you need to know about his leadership, on and off the ice.
Scott Mayfield! He keeps our PK sane and is always a presence in protecting the net, and without him, we probably would be a lot weaker defensively. (@scottslayfield)
Scott Mayfield has turned himself into a very reliable defenseman. He controls the front of the net well, doesn’t back down from anyone, and puts his body on the line whether it’s five-on-five play or when the Islanders are down a man. On Wednesday night, he took a puck to the face, knocking out his front tooth. Instead of skating off the ice immediately, he stayed on to cover his assignment and then went to the bench when the Islanders transitioned. His strong play has him deserving of a pay raise, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he’s back with the Islanders as he’s continued to express that Long Island is his home, evening staying here over the summer.
Isles Magic – Believe, never say die, ride or die to the end attitude that no matter the doubters, the fans, the organization and team as a whole that makes being an International Australian fan the best experience ever and I consider myself lucky to be an Aussie Isles fan (@mirandap1996)
The New York Islanders fan base may be small in size compared to other big-market teams, but they are one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL. And to see that there are fans all across the world, with all these different meet-up groups, even going as far as Australia, goes to show the impact the players can have.