New York Hockey: Josh Ba

Donnie Pucks: A start to be proud of

October, 19, 2010
10/19/10
8:37
PM ET
The Islanders are in first place!

I know it's only six games. I also get that they are tied with the Penguins. But the Islanders are in first place!

Why not get excited, you started the year as an Islander fan thinking that it would be a miserable beginning.

You lost Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo to injury in camp. Then, on opening night, saw your star, John Tavares, suffer a mild concussion that forced him to miss the next two games.

So what do the Islanders do? They go 3-1-2 to begin the season (2-0-1 at home). Their only loss in regulation came in Washington by the score of 2-1.

Now the question is -- how they have done it?

Dwayne Roloson is 2-1 with a 1.65 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. Not bad for a 41 year old. It seems unlikely that he'll surpass Rick DiPietro as the starter, but he'll get at least 30 starts.

Blake Comeau, Matt Moulson and Josh Bailey, all have 3 goals.

Four of the Islanders defensemen are a plus 2.

The Islanders have the 7th best power play in the NHL -- clicking at 30% scoring 6 times in the first 6 games.

Scott Gordon is a head coach that loves to push the puck up ice and force the issue. With two years of coaching with the Isles under his belt it seems like the players are getting his message.

I have always said the Islanders fan base is out there. It lies dorment waiting for a time to come out and believe. I saw it first hand in 2002. In the infancy of 1050 ESPN, the Islanders were on our station. I was at all 3 of the home games against the Leafs. I saw the passion and saw the numbers. So I know that given a solid team to root for, the fans will support the team.

I understand it's only six games. But if you're looking for a young hard working team that will make you proud, maybe this is it.

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