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4 Chicago Blackhawks-New York Islanders Thoughts

By Brian Kinkade
3 of 4

Sep 23, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and center Ryan Strome (18) talk during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2. Beware: John Tavares and the other guys

That’s not meant as a huge knock on the rest of the Islanders, but more as a huge compliment for how good John Tavares is. The guy is the real deal. His 86 points last season were one shy of Art Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn‘s 87.

Tavares centers a line that is flanked by Anders Lee and Ryan Strome. This line was great last season, but it’s fair to ask if Lee and Strome were just reaping the benefits of playing on a line with Tavares. Whatever it is, it’s irrelevant because it just seems to work.

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The Brooklyn … err, New York Islanders also have depth at forward. Their second line of Frans Nielsen centering Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo could arguably be the top line for many other teams in the NHL.

Brock Nelson is also very good and will likely slot as a winger on the third line. Oh, they also have Cal Clutterbuck, so let’s hope the ’Hawks don’t take any stupid penalties. You hear me, Andrew Shaw and Ryan Garbutt?

The Islanders’ blueline isn’t nearly as deep, but they have a very formidable top pairing that features our old friend Nick Leddy, who is paired with Johnny Boychuk.

Next: Thought No. 1

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