Playing under Shaw's coaching the team has shown alot of defensive improvement, smarter decisions, patience and discipline controling the zones. When the team plays defensively they show alot of competitiveness; howver the biggest weakness which shows is speed in transitioning and breakaways. Bates and Blake were showing some speed before their injuries but the team definitely needs more skating speed.
I agree with your general assessment about the team's speed. We need faster forecheckers and smoother skating defensemen. Really, a big improvement in either area will help out the other areas. I think start with forechecking would be desirable.
The one thing that Shaw will not be able to cure is this teams complete lack of finishing plays to score goals. Too many times this year Isles players have not scored the goals that other teams routinely scored against them. For that, NYI need to revaluate the personnel on this roster.
The hard workers don't finish. The supposed finishers don't finish. Not a healthy combo.
I've thought this team has played much better since Shaw took over. Obviously guys like Satan have been playing better. I hope Shaw is included some where in the redoing of this teams staff, but I also hope he gets a head job some where. My only problem is the penalty kill. I thought SS did a decent job with the Isles PK. Now they are 28th in the league and as we saw against Montreal, they could be 30th. I'm not sure who to blame on this situation, but it is a problem.
Shaw's done a nice job with his team defense and outside of the one game in Boston Sopel has been very good for this team for a while now. Bouchard looks like he usually does on losing NHL teams giving him an opportunity and Erskine has some good moments.
He seems to have no touch with his offense (aside from maybe reaching Satan) and in particular his first line. Why is Blake and Parrish being wasted with Bates in the middle who had his goal-scoring stretch and has never gotten it back since the injury and does this almost every season where he goes into huge slumps? Was it really good coaching to call up Nilsson give him one game declare he did not play well according to the coach (announcers words last night) so rewarded Asham with his no points in eleven games to be put with Yashin and burried Nilsson on the fourth line. (where he drew a key penalty with his work)
After the pp goal with Blake-Parrish-Yashin was it that tough for Shaw to see that line had good chemistry and Satan's line gives them two offensive scoring lines that should provide reliable production and balance. Forty shots and few quality chances aside from Parrish's in the last seconds of regulation.
Just put Bates with Kvasha and take whatever offense (Kvasha's individual talent will create a few goals) with Asham/Nilsson or whoever and leave the top two lines alone.
Shaw to me in some ways is as confusing as Stirling with his combos, but unlike other years this Islander team cannot put the puck in the net like they were when they led the division in scoring every year.