Canadiens vs Islanders - Talking with Lighthouse Hockey about tonight's game
One of my favourite blogs out there is <a href="http://lighthousehockey.com">Lighthouse Hockey</a>, so it's exciting to be bugging them for a few questions today before the game. I got into contact with their managing editor, Dominik.
1) Lighthouse Hockey recently requested a trade from SB Nation, but it's well known that as one of the bigger communities in the League, LHH has a no movement clause, and can reject offers that aren't palatable. What kind of offers has SBN come up with so far? Or are they ignoring the request?
First, let us clarify that it was actually our agent who requested the trade from SB Nation. We're just here to play blogging and focus on what we control, one day at a time. If our agent thinks our career is better served on another network, that's what we pay him to figure out. That said, we feel restricted in that we cannot pump out the volume of slideshows and click-through "Top 15 Worst Islanders Defensemen Bikini Shots" posts that we feel we could do if we had better blogmates. And don't get us started on Travis Hughes, who as a blog general manager was never a winner, chokes in the clutch, and doesn't have enough heart or pride to really win when it counts. Sadly, our requests have been ignored by SBN; though to be fair, since he's a Flyers fan, we're not certain Travis was able to read them.
2) Habs fans are always interested in former Habs, and Mark Streit holds a special place in our hearts for the role he played in the 6-5 comeback game against the Rangers 5 years ago. At 35, how is the Isles captain fairing this year?
It depends on who you ask, but Streit is still doing pretty well this year and having Lubomir Visnovsky in the fold for the powerplay definitely helps. Like so many offensive defensemen, Streit's gambles stick out in fans' minds, but his underlying numbers have remained good even after he lost a year to a shoulder injury two seasons ago. He's not the dominant force he was in his first year with the Islanders -- when, sadly, he was their only really good player outside of maybe Frans Nielsen -- but he's still moving the puck well. He is an unrestricted free agent and there's talk of extending him on a short-term deal. He likes his role as captain (though it is increasingly becoming Tavares' team now), but personally, given his late bloom and age, I wouldn't blame if he shopped to finish out his career with a contender.
3) Kyle Okposo is off to a really slow start this season, but his linemates for 60% of the year, John Tavares and Matt Moulson, are ripping it up. What's going on there?
Part of the stats there are that Tavares and Moulson play on the first powerplay unit while Okposo does not. But absolutely, Okposo is an enigma and has had an awful start. It's become routine for him to start slow, but it's still intolerable. Okposo didn't play competitive hockey during the lockout, so that probably didn't help, but he isn't doing most of the things he did when he was successful and a minute-muncher under Scott Gordon. Given the opportunity to play with Tavares and Moulson -- with whom he had lots of success down the stretch last year -- he's played way too inconsistently and with far too many poor decisions with the puck and on the forecheck. At his best he is a "hustle" guy with talent: Forechecks well, causes turnovers, gets shots on net. But he's in a funk now that has seen him slide from the first to the second to now the third line. He has the capacity to be a solid all-around player with some offensive punch. He's not really delivering that now.
Just as a sidenote, I want to really encourage people to check out Lighthouse Hockey. It's a really amazing site with a superb balance of analysis and humour. They even have an ongoing Onion News style section called Zeitgeist.