Isles Diggin’ OverSpeed?

TheDriveForFive's picture

With plodders like Brendan Witt, Trent Hunter, Andy Sutton and a host of veterans such as Bill Guerin, Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger that were either never fast in the first place, or lost a step due to their age, on the Islanders roster, I was originally pretty worried about how new head coach Scott Gordon’s philosophy of “OverSpeed” was going to work.

From the look of it so far, it looks like the team is diggin’ it.

“The essence of the style is to be constantly moving and getting the puck up the ice quickly. It’s all about high speed with and without the puck and putting pressure on the opposition. “It was a long night for the wingers when we played against Providence in the past,” said Tambellini on the team’s official website on Sunday. “The defensemen sat right up on the wingers when we tried to get the puck out. It’s a very fluid system that Gordon implements. It keeps the opposition from having too much time with the puck. We’re all going to have to be skating at top speed.”

Sounds to me that every player on this team is going to have pest-like characteristics then. With a lack of a true first-line center and a first line in general, this may work out well. Again however, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about guys like Hunter, Guerin and Weight getting comfortable. Over the years, I’ve seen guys [take Markus Naslund for instance] get their style cramped when a new coach came in with a new style, so I really don’t want to see guys games get hurt to their point where they are ineffective.

On the other hand, you’d have to think that after the relatively mediocre offensive production this team had last season, that a guy like Hunter or Guerin that have the talent to score 25 to 30 goals in this league if they get hot, are willing to try anything.

With that being said, I think this system to tailor-made for getting the most out of players like Richard Park, Sean Bergenheim, Frans Neilsen, Andy Hilbert and Jon Sim. I even feel that Mike Comrie and Kyle Okposo can benefit from it as well. Let’s face it, teams that skate hard and keep moving every night usually win hockey games. If not, they’re fun to watch. Look at the Sabres team that beat the Islanders in the playoffs a few seasons ago as an example. Many of those players work their tails off in both ends and keep the puck moving, which makes them hard to defend against. I don’t know if it’ll work with the Islanders this season, but it should be fun to watch.