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Streit steps up

NHL's first-ever Swiss captain led the way in Islanders locker room

Tuesday, 04.10.2012 / 11:50 AM / News
By Cory Wright
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Streit steps up
Mark Streit stood on the Islanders blue line on Sept. 24, 2011 for the first time in almost one year. The enthusiasm Streit felt seemed to come alive in the fans. It was only a preseason game, but one fan screamed out…

“We love you Mark Streit!” and it echoed across the Coliseum.

Streit’s return from a shoulder injury that cost him the 2010-11 season had an added layer of meaning attached to it. Streit wasn’t only returning from a torn rotator cuff, he was also making his debut as the Islanders captain.
Islanders Captain Mark Streit skates through four Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 11, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum.

“I thought it was a great experience and obviously a big honor,” Streit said of his first season wearing the C. “Coming back after last year after missing the whole year and then putting a lot of pressure on your shoulders being the captain, it took a little while to get used to everything on and off the ice.”

Streit was named the 13th captain in Islanders history on Sept. 21, 2011, taking over the reigns from the retired Doug Weight. On the ice, the effects of his layoff lasted longer than he’d anticipated.



“It took a little longer,” he said. “It seemed like the last month or two it came all together. I felt great on the ice, I had a lot of confidence, I felt my rhythm and it just felt way better than in the beginning.”

Streit looked like he had found his rhythm when he skated through all four Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 11, netting the game-winner in overtime. The Swiss defenseman put together a six-game point streak (1g/7a) in mid-March en route to 47 regular season points (7g/40a), ranking ninth in defensive scoring in the league. He played all 82 games, leading the team in ice time for 37 of those contests.

Off the ice, Streit learned to deal with the challenges of being a captain. As the team’s leader, he serves as a liaison between players, coaches, management and the league. He’s also counted on to maintain good relationships in the room and be a leader on the ice every shift.

“You don’t realize how much is on your plate, how much responsibility is in it,” Weight said of being a first-year captain. “It’s a lot bigger job than just coming to camp in shape and being a great leader and working and setting a good example on the ice. There are a lot of things off the ice that come with it.”

Streit is a sounding board for personal issues, organizes team functions and works with the coaching staff to set up practices and meetings. He also had to learn the best time to call meetings and be vocal in the young room.

“I don’t want to have a speech after every game, that’s pointless,” Streit said, instead choosing to call occasional meetings and lead by example. “We just have to hold each other accountable. We need to be consistent as a team, but every player has to realize how important it is that he is a consistent player.”

The young defensemen he led onto the ice thought he handled the role well in his inaugural season.
I thought it was a great experience and obviously a big honor...I learned a lot as a player on and off the ice. I think I’m going to be a better captain next year. - Mark Streit

“Mark’s a great leader,” second-year blueliner Travis Hamonic said. “I think he’s vocal when he has to be vocal. He goes out and tries to lead by example on the ice. I think you can see him taking over games and that’s something you need and we definitely relied on.”

What rubbed off on Hamonic was Streit’s passion for the game, game-in and game-out.

“You can really tell that he has that passion and it’s something that’s pretty important and it’s the biggest trait you need in a captain,” Hamonic said.

Like coming back from an injury, it takes time to grow into the role as captain. Streit relishes having increased responsibility in the locker room, but acknowledges that he can still improve and ultimately must lead the Islanders to the playoffs.

“It’s a process, it’s a role you have to live into it a little bit,” he said. “I learned a lot as a player on and off the ice. I think I’m going to be a better captain next year.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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