In this week's offering, Barry Melrose explains why the Sharks and Islanders are having successful runs and why he thinks the Canucks might part with Todd Bertuzzi this summer.
Since the trade deadline, the Islanders have new life. They gave away from some baggage, and younger players like Jeff Tambellini are stepping up. They are not out yet. I don't know whether they'll make the playoffs; to get some help, they need three teams to drop out. One of the reasons for their success is Rick DiPietro. He is a streaky goaltender. One sign of a mature player is consistency, and he has a chance to show everyone that the maturity might be kicking in. DiPietro's performance is giving him and his team more confidence, and it doesn't hurt that the Isles are playing better defense in front of him.