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Mitch Korn doing wonders for Islanders on and off the ice

The Islanders are off to a hot start this season, compiling an 8-6-2 record and getting points in six of their last seven games. It hasn’t always been easy, but the Islanders are showing more consistency on defense and have kept up the torrid goal scoring pace that made them dangerous last season.

The biggest difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is the goaltending. Flat out, the goaltending has been incredible, especially compared to a historically bad duo of Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak.

Greiss is currently third in the league with a .940 save percentage, and has kept the Islandrs in games they have no business being in. Robin Lehner has also looked excellent, with a .924 save percentage. The two goaltenders look much calmer in net, have more structure to their game, and are not moving around nearly as much.

What’s the common denominator? Mitch Korn, the hockey goalie guru. Korn has brought these two goaltenders up to snuff with whatever magic he uses. Korn has tutored the likes of Braden Holtby, Pekka Rinne, and the mighty Dominik Hasek. He has made good goaltenders into All-Star ones, and he seems to be doing the same with Greiss and Lehner.

There really are two common themes to Korn’s madness; He has an ability to limit the movement of his goaltenders in net (minus Hasek), and he also has the ability to tutor his goalies without making them change their styles too much. With Greiss and Lehner, they didn’t go from a standup goalie to a butterfly goalie. They just tweaked their style and limited their movement.

Both goaltenders look much more poised in net than they did just a season ago. Greiss was coming off one of the worst seasons statistically in NHL history, and Lehner was coming off a season where he completely relapsed into an alcohol and drug addiction. His play on the ice was not terrible, but he clearly wasn’t there mentally.

The fact that Korn has turned both of these inconsistent goaltenders into stalwarts (albeit early in the season), is a testament to the teaching ways of Mitch Korn.

Will the Islanders win the Stanley Cup this year? Probably not. However, the Islanders have all the pieces to be a competitive team for a very long time. Between Barry Trotz and Mitch Korn, how can they not be?

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