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Who Are The #WinterMets?

March 5, 2015 by

Wright Tavares
One night early in the hockey season, I saw a tweet that I got a kick out of. It was simple, and contained just a hashtag.

I said to myself – You know what? He’s right.

The uniforms are the same colors, the team hasn’t won a championship since the 1980’s, they are relying on young talent to try to win, and for the most part, the fans hate the owner.

#WINTERMETS it is!

First off, if you don’t follow @_Mistermet on twitter, you should. His twitter feed is obviously saturated with Mets tweets, but don’t let that deter you if you follow the other team in town. Green Rickey knows some hockey as well. Don’t let that avatar fool you.

I contacted Steve about a week ago about this little project. Since we are both die-hard Mets fans, I thought it would be fun to try to come up with our best New York Mets / New York Islanders comps. We realize that every player on the Mets doesn’t have an equal on the Islanders. Some are going to be due to their playing style or personality, but others are for purely childish reasons. If a player was left off who you think has a good comp, please let us know by leaving it in the box below.

Introducing your #WINTERMETS

John Tavares / David Wright

Both wear the “C” for their respective club. On and off the ice/field, they have been the face of their franchise. Squeaky clean and silky smooth, Tavares and Wright are two of the most likable players in pro sports.

Johnny Boychuck / Lucas Duda

Probably one of the easiest comps between these two teams. Each player possesses some of the biggest power in the game. Boychuck 6’2″ 225 lbs and Duda 6’4″ 256 lbs, hit people and baseballs. The Isles have been missing a player like Boychuck on the blueline for essentially 30 years. The last defenseman they had who had a shot as hard as Boychuck was probably Vladimir Malakhov, back in the early 90’s.  Did we mention that he hits people?  With Duda’s size, it would be great to pair him with Boychuck on the ice, but luckily for the Mets, he’s finally getting regular at bats and playing first base. After a few years of jerking Duda around, he’s finally found a home at his natural position and mashed 30 homers for the Mets.

Ryan Strome / Zack Wheeler

If John Tavares and Matt Harvey weren’t on their current rosters, Ryan Strome and Zack Wheeler would get much more attention. Strome, drafted #5 overall two years after Tavares was taken #1 overall, has been eased into the lineup with glorious results. In his first full NHL season, Strome has played in every situation possible and thrived. At +23 Strome leads the Isles, and is third on the team in scoring. With Tavares occupying the top center spot for as long as he wants, Strome is looking like a top flight #2 center in the making. Zack Wheeler had been hyped pretty heavily as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Now that he’s past the prospect stage, Wheeler is looking to solidify himself as the #2 starter behind Matt Harvey. The only knock on Wheeler so far is that he doesn’t go deep into games due to high pitch counts. He improved his walk and strikeout rates, WHIP, and home run rate in his second season. Like they say with many NFL wide receivers, year three might be Wheeler’s breakout year.

Lubomir Visnovsky / Bartolo Colon

“Lubo” and Bartolo are the elder statesman on rather young teams. Both have logged a ton of ice time/innings in their long careers. These guys were not only to fill a need, but to also mentor younger players and set an example. It was very clear last spring when Colon was seen with many of the young Latino Mets pitchers. These young players, especially reliever Jenrry Mejia, spoke about how colon was a great mentor, teaching him the tools of the trade. In Lubo’s case, he didn’t even want to come to the Islanders. But when he did, he quickly saw that there was some serious talent there, and the blueline was where they needed the most help. Youngsters like Calvin de Hann, Travis Hamonic, and Thomas Hickey have needed some direction. And although Visnovsky didn’t want to be on the Island at first, everything we have heard has been that he loves it, and has given the Isles everything that he can.

Colin McDonald / Dillon Gee

For some reason, the Isles and Mets always have that one guy (or in the Isles case, many guys) who that if it wasn’t for them being on the Mets or Isles, probably wouldn’t be in the league. Those two guys are Colin McDonald and Dillon Gee. McDonald is a 4th line grinder, who has been a healthy scratch more than once this year. Gee is a 5th starter who has above average 5th starter numbers, but looks like he’ll never get over the hump. Both guys have had their fair share of injuries, which do make them expendable as well. The Mets have made it VERY clear that Gee is available in a trade, while the Isles just traded for Colin McDonald 2.0 in Tyler Kennedy.

Nick Leddy / Bobby Parnell

leddyparnellbeards

Need we say more?

Jaroslav Halak – Travis d’Arnaud

The comparisons between Jaro Halak and TDA pretty much end with, “they both wear a mask”. Halak just set the Islanders team record for most wins in a season by a goalie with 33, while d’Arnaud is shooting for his first full season as a MLB backstop. Halak is the best goalie the Isles have had in nearly 30 years. A franchise changer. TDA is just looking to fit in, and become one of the better backstops in the National League.

Brian Strait / Ruben Tejada

Every team has a player that the coach is obsessed with for some unknown reason. Jack Capuano has defenseman Brian Strait and Terry Collins has Ruben Tejada. Both players are an abomination. Brian Strait is the definition of the term “traffic cone”. How he has a positive +/- rating is a complete mystery to us all, but he’s just a bad hockey player. Instead of giving time to plethora of young defenseman the Isles have, Capuano insists on trotting this guy out there. No one has an idea why. Just like Strait, Ruben Tejada is his Mets counterpart. Tejada was all but given the starting SS job once upon a time, but instead spent the winter at the Hostess factory and couldn’t get his visa issues straight before spring training. Ruben Tejada is so bad, that he has essentially been replaced by a guy who isn’t even a shortstop. Yet Terry Collins is keeping him around, still playing him.

Michael Grabner / Juan Lagares

Michael Grabner and Juan Lagares cover a lot of ground and ice. I’m not just making it up, it’s the truth. Grabner is the one of the NHL’s fastest skaters. At the NHL All-Star game back in 2011, he won the fastest skater competition. There may not be a player in the league who can reach their top speed quicker than Grabner. This has led to 11 shorthanded goals in his 5 years stint with the Isles. Juan Lagares won the 2014 NL gold glove award in center field. Anytime a ball is hit into one of the outfield gaps, tweets of “Lagares would have caught that”, litter twitter. Anything that is hit into the outfield, Lagares sucks up like a vacuum cleaner.

Calvin de Hann / Jacob deGrom

de Haan, deGrom. Get it? OK, we’ll just see ourselves out.

Anders Lee / Daniel Murphy

Every team needs a gritty, gutty guy. Someone who’s not afraid to get dirty in order to make a play. Some may call it “grisson”. We’re not putting these two together because Murphy and Lee combine names to make a member of Nelly’s crew (he a rapper, you can google it.), but they are grit and guts. Lee, a contender for this year’s NHL rookie of the year, probably hasn’t scored a goal from more than 10 feet away of the net this season. Aside from the miracle shot the other night in Dallas, that pinballed off of a defenseman and in, Lee’s game is all about getting his nose dirty in front of opposing goaltenders. Murphy on the other hand, does nothing pretty. His uniform always has dirt on it. Be it from trying to break up a double play, or falling over his own feet trying to chase down a ground ball, his hustle and determination for out shine his physical abilities on a daily basis.

As you can see, we left out the likes of Matt Harvey, Kyle Okposo, Jon Niese, Frans Nielsen, Michael Cuddyer, Cal Clutterbuck, and so on. We just couldn’t come up with a match with these players.

We hope you had fun with this. If you can come up with one that we missed, please throw it in the box below.

#YESYESYES #LGM #WINTERMETS