Here is the first part of the report from last nights game which Bridgeport won at Utica 5-3.
Sundstrom-Nice big guy in the middle, the good thing about him is he can fill in any forward spot. He is steady and reliable, does all the little things in his own end, did. Quiet night offensively, the good thing is he can help his team even if he does not get a lot of points and he did that. If he can pick up his scoring great if not he can be a very useful third liner.
Mayfield-For my eyes he was what I wanted to see and in his case less is more. Hate to pin a player into a role early in his career. Mayfield will never gets a lot of points, don't see.a great deal of ability offensively. Skating is fine, decent enough shot but to be effective, simple is best. He moved the puck OK and made the plays he needed to. The Islanders have other D prospects who move the puck better so his role is defense. He did a good job keeping players away from around the net and putting the body on them, even if it's just riding them out of the play. .He is on a more slow steady track, would expect he needs at least next year in the AHL.
Halmo- Pleasantly surprised with his play. Skating, hockey sense is very good. Very responsible two way player. Game tonight was not very physical so did not see the big hits he is known for. Goal he scored was going to the crease, found Lee's rebound for Bridgeport's third goal? Beautiful touch pass to set up Strome's goal. I think he can play, could be only as a 4th liner, however if he keeps playing well they must give him a look at some point. He gets called a Haley type, I think he he has more skill than that. Was the third star of the game.
Donovan-We know crazy things go on with the Islanders and what happened before he was sent down one thing for sure, think he lost all his confidence. He looked more like the prospect who we thought was ready for the NHL. He was relaxed, made good decisions, reads ect. He was not hesitating shooting the puck and was hitting the net, not shanking anything. Fairly conservative rushing the puck, the one time he went in deep what's when he got up from behind the net and scored off a Lee rebound. Confidence is back where it should be, helps to away from our great NHL coach. He'll get another chance.
Lee-Skating could limit him somewhat but was keeping up with the pace of the game just fine last night. Both assists were rebounds off his shots, the first was the most notable, a hard one timer which the Utica goalie could not handle and was put in by Halmo. Islanders need a player with his size to battle in the corners, along the boards and he does that. Shot is very good and gets in position for scoring chances. Defensively he was good, he had some problems last year in the two games he played but was always good at both Notre Dame and in the USHL.
While you read this will start working on the next post on Strome. Please remember the above was only from a one game look on my part.
Last edited by Degeneration Rex: 12-07-2013 at 11:47 AM.
This was the main reason for a short trip to Utica (a night was a nice change) was to watch Strome. Going to compare him to when I saw him in junior last season. First thing that stood out was how far his skating has come. When drafted, he was shifty, no burst of speed. Thought he made good strides last year yet could improve more. Take a look at the video on the Bridgeport or pointblank websites, Strome could not skate well enough to score that kind of goal at the AHL level before this year.
Sorry everyone, forget about playing RW with JT for now, and maybe long term Strome is not a grinding type player and would rather play him where he has the most room. He can be a top playmaker and he does lead the AHL. He was credited with the second assist on Halmo's goal but he set up Lee's one time shot. Last night he was setting teammates up.
Can't remember, his goal last night might have been his only shot on goal but has has the shots, his wrist, slap and one timer are all there and he released the writer nicely.
We have the debates here, good points on both sides to call Strome up now or wait longer. The skills, hockey sense and now skating are not an issue. You can see the JT like work habits, he works extremely hard at the defensive end. He was good on face offs but again last night was a one game and he might get overpowered at first. He stood up for himself, when Peletier ran him, Mayfield came in but then Strome stood up for himself which is something he needed to do and say he will not take it or be intimidated, that is how to earn respect.
There is no recall while the Islanders are on this road trip. I say give Strome a little more time.
The question is can he cope with the more physical and bigger players right now and I'm not sure at this time. The first few games after he does finally get the call, it might be a few games to get confident and getting more involved in traffic areas, that is what he did in junior so this is something to watch when he gets here.
Playing with Halmo and Lee is perfect, they can do most of the grinding allowing Strome to use his skills.
For me here is what must happen for a call up. He must playing a regular shift at center and not with the slugs. No pulling him in and out of the line up. Center is his best position, the one that can benefit the player and team best. He can be used at wing on the powerplay because there is more room and it plays to a strength.He is not a grinding style player and would not start him that way. The skills are there, no denying that. He has to be given the best chance for success. For me his body has to be ready for the NHL, what scares me will the Islander coaches handle him properly.
Not saying what I have written is right or wrong. Some may agree, some not, it does not matter, it is adding to the discussion. Debate on, any questions or comments please do not hesitate to ask.
Last edited by Degeneration Rex: 12-07-2013 at 01:23 PM.