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Friedman: Islanders’ Okposo Is Forcing His Way Onto U.S. Olympic Team

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11-09-2013, 02:28 AM
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Friedman: Islanders’ Okposo Is Forcing His Way Onto U.S. Olympic Team

Okposo has battled injuries and inconsistency in his 6 yr nhl career. His turn around started last March, when the Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo line was the isles best line, carrying them into the playoffs. He worked with a sport psychologist last season and picked Tavares brain for offseason workout habits.

A motivated Okposo leads the isles in scoring and is trying to make team USA.

What began in the first round of last season’s playoffs has carried over into this season: Okposo has been downright superb and has done so in the face of a ton of adversity. It wasn’t long ago that he was in the midst of a harsh scoring slump and fans were clamoring for him to be traded.

Are his toe-drag experiments well-documented and incredibly frustrating? Yes. Is it fair to suggest that perhaps he wouldn’t have 19 points if he wasn’t playing with Tavares? Yes and no, because while he does benefit from playing on a line with a Hart Trophy finalist, he has amassed those points playing on several lines over the first 15 games.

Taking all those factors into account, has Okposo been a better, smarter, more polished hockey player? Absolutely. He’s in his sixth full season in the NHL and “Okposo 6.0″ is eons ahead of the previous five versions.

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11-09-2013, 02:30 AM
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I saw Okposo play against Boston a week ago. He was excellent, to say the least, and I think he is definitely giving them something to think about. Of course, cracking the line-up will not be easy, but so long as he can keep a consistent point rate up, I think he has a very good shot of making it.

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11-09-2013, 02:32 AM
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Consistency is key, if he can keep it up, he'll make it hard for Shero to keep him off the squad. I like Okposo, I still think he could be a better player elsewhere, but injuries, etc, he's always a guy that shows you what you wanted from him, then...he's hurt or cold streak. He's a beast, physically though.

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11-09-2013, 02:33 AM
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He's going to be one of those guys who have a tough start to their careers but end up having a pretty great peak.

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11-09-2013, 02:34 AM
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Only watched 3 Isle's games so far but he looked good in each of them.

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11-09-2013, 06:55 AM
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after his playoff last year, he's gotta be under consideration. A player that can elevate his game like that for a short period could be very valuable for the Olympics. Plus, he could play on all 4 lines of an Olympic team.

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