Saturday, March 30, 2013

Powerplay Woes Doom Isles As They Fall 2-0 To The Pens

 photo courtesy of

This afternoon, our Islanders were defeated by the Penguins by a score of 2-0.  Here are some of my notes:

-The powerplay has been a major issue the last two games.  They have been way to stagnant and the puck movement hasn't been good.  Doug Weight needs to start earning his paycheck!

-What happened to the top line?  They need a jolt there which comes from a separation, but if it will come or not is the question.

-Streit needs to defend Neal better on his goal.  Given Neals standing as a prolific goal scorer he can't be given the space that he was.  Although it would be helpful if Nabokov kept his legs closed.

-That was a bad rebound by Nabokov on Cookes goal!

-Shocked the refs gave Kunitz a major for his hit on Bailey.  Was almost just as shocked when I saw that Dan Bylsma said he thought it was a shoulder on shoulder play that Kunitz won.  Since when is pushing someone in the back going shoulder to shoulder with them?

Well, coming into the game most expected the Islanders to not only lose but get blown out.  That makes the outcome that much more frustrating because not only did that not happen this ended up being a very winnable game for the Islanders.  Our next game is probably our biggest game of the year thus far and its not even really close.  It will be a real test to see how we perform then.

Next Game: Monday 7:00PM @ New Jersey

Pre Game: Isles @ Pens

This afternoon, our Isles travel to Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the new look Penguins.

The goalie matchup today features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Tomas Vokoun for the Penguins.

For the Islanders, Marty Reasoner will return to the lineup today in place of Eric Boulton.  The rest of the lineup will be the same that was in for the win over the Flyers two days ago.

For the Penguins, newly acquired Jarome Iginla will make his Penguins debut today.  He is slated to be on the second line playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

Friday, March 29, 2013

BREAKING: Isles Resign Visnovsky to a 2 Year Deal

Update: According to his agent, Visnovskys contract includes a no move clause.

This means that Visnovsky can't be traded, waived, or sent down without his approval.

This is the first time that I can recall Garth giving out something like this.  It is big for the team that a vet player like Visnovsky wanted a NMC in his extension to stay here.  Could things really be changing around here?  We will just have to wait and find out.

According to Newsday, the Islanders have signed defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a two year extension worth 9.5 million dollars.

Well, color me impressed!!  The fact they got him to reup is a good sign for the team and hopefully is a sign of things to come.

Newsday: Isles Close To Extension With Visnovsky

About two weeks ago, it was reported by Newsday & ESPN NY that the Islanders had began extension talks with their UFA's to be including Lubomir Visnovsky.  Then, the other day Andy Strickland reported the same that talks had started.

Well, today, Arthur Staple reports that negotiations between the Islanders and Visnovskys agents have been very positive and that an extension could be done soon.

What an interesting turn of events, this guy basically wrote the book on excuses attempting to not come here.  Now, he is on the verge of signing an extension here.  I wonder what impact if any this would have on Streit.

Baileys Shootout Goal Sends Isles To 8th Place Tie With the Rangers

 photo courtesy of            

Tonight, in a shootout our Islanders defeated the Flyers by a score of 4-3.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Even though he did let in a softie, Nabokov kept us in this game in period two and should be given a ton of credit.

-Congrats to Colin McDonald on his first NHL multi goal game, and his first fight as well.  Pretty good time to have your first NHL multi goal game.  McDonald is a real feel good story for the team this season and is in the running for the Bob Nystrom award I would thin.

-The team had way to many turnovers early on and it really costed them on the second Flyer goal.  It was good to see the teams resilience coming back from the deficit.

-Hickey had a rough game!

-Big goal by Tavares at the end of the second, it was fluky but it counts and was huge momentum going into the third period.  No matter how much his line struggles he always seems to put up points.

-Is something wrong with Moulson?  I know he is still on the point per game pace, but I feel like he was caught watching the play more then once which is really unlike him.

Well, the Islanders have surely taken care of business thus far on the trip.  Now comes the big test though, the hottest team in hockey then a Devils team currently in a playoff position but down their number one forward in Ilya Kovalchuk.  If we could somehow get two, even three points from our next two games, it will sure make things interesting as April 3rd comes around.

Next Game: Saturday @ The New Look Penguins

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Flyers

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Tonight, our Islanders travel to Philly to take on Claude Giroux and the Flyers.

The goalie match up tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.  The Flyers goalie has yet to be announced but expect it to be Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Islanders lineup tonight will look very similar to the lineup that defeated Washington 3-2 on Thursday.  The only difference will be that Marty Reasoner will be taking a seat tonight and taking his spot in the lineup will be enforcer Eric Boulton.

For the Flyers, today they announced that defenseman Andrej Meszaros will be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.  That announcement comes just two days after they announced that forward Danny Briere would be out indefinitely with a concussion.  Defenseman Erik Gustafsson was recalled to take Meszaros spot.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tavares Late Goal Catapults Isles To 9th In The Conference

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Tonight, our New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 3-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-The struggles of the first line are concerning!  They haven't been great the last few games, but tonight they were very bad.

-Marty Reasoner is flat out bad!  How many grade A scoring chances is he going to mess up this season?  Tonight, he has the puck with nobody on him in the middle of the hash marks right in the slot and he can't even hit the net?  Also, he needs to take the body on Ribeiro to stop the first Caps goal, instead of stick checking like a mad man like he did.  Only sixteen games left in his Islander career.

-Good to see Bailey get on the board!  Rattled off a nice shot on his goal!

-Even with their struggles, the first line still came through when it mattered!  Great work by Moulson and feed to set up Tavares for the goal.  Great shot by Tavares as well to net his 20th goal of the season.

-Michael Grabner had a great game!  Had a lot of energy on the ice and created a ton of chances!

-The defense was great against Ovechkin tonight.  Did he get a point?  Sure, but given the streak he has been on, to hold him goal-less and control their gaps like they did was impressive.

-Thomas Hickey was one of the stars in that regard, he had a very solid game tonight.

-Good for Cizikas to be out there in the final minute protecting the lead.  The coaches sure showed a lot of confidence in the young player putting him out there at the time of the game and Casey has earned it.

With their win tonight, the Islanders sit in sole possession of the ninth spot of the conference just two points behind the Rangers for the final playoff spot.  After the Flyers loss today, we have the chance Thursday to drive the nail deeper into their coffin.  This team hasn't won three games in a row all season thus far, Thursday would be a heck of time to start.  Especially with the hottest team in the NHL coming up on Saturday.

Next Game: Thursday @ The Flyers

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Isles Likely To Stand Pat At the Deadline

Going into tonights game with the Capitals, the Islanders sit just two points out of a playoff spot.

With the NHL trade deadline next Wednesday, this would lead some to think that they could go out and make a trade or two to help the team finally manage a playoff birth for the first time since 2006/2007.  Well, according to Arthur Staple this hope should end right now as he says the Islanders are likely to stand pat at the deadline.

For me, it would depend on how the next few games go if we would be active at the deadline or not.  People seem to think that in order for us to make a trade that we would have to trade half the prospects we have accumulated over the last five years when that couldn't be further from the truth.  We are able to trade pick(s) for a player to like most every team in the NHL does.  All we need are the pick(s) and an owner whose willing to pay the player we acquire.

Some say the Islanders aren't in a position to acquire a rental.  While I don't necessarily disagree, I do in the sense because if the presence of the rental player was instrumental in getting this team to make the playoffs it would energize a dormant and very frustrated fan base.  More then that though, it would expose the core of this team who have only known losing and crap hockey in their careers to what its really about and for me the experience for them is worth more then a second or third round pick who may or may not have an impact at the AHL level let alone the NHL level.

Pre Game: Isles @ Washington

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Tonight, our Islanders travel to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the streaking Capitals.

The goalie match up tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Braden Holtby making his sixth start in a row for the Caps.

The Islanders lineup will remain the same as it was Sunday against the Panthers.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Strickland: Isles Open Up Talks With Visnovsky

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According to Andy Strickland, the Islanders have opened up extension talks with defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Wouldn't it be something if after all he did to avoid coming here if he signs an extension?  It might come down to him or Streit though.  I am not sure if they both fit on the team for next year because they are both such similar players.

Nassau County Attorney Not Scared Of the Lawsuit

As you will see below, over 100 current and former Nassau Coliseum employees are filing a lawsuit for between 500 million and 1 billion dollars against 21 defendants including Nassau County and SMG alleging that they became seriously ill because of the asbestos present in the Nassau Coliseum.

In the Newsday article about this, there is this quote from Nassau County attorney John Ciampoli on the lawsuit, "...highly skeptical that there is any merit to these claims. There is no substance behind these claims to create liability to the county."

Based off that quote, it would seem as though that Mr. Ciampoli would fit right in on the incompetence chart with other local politicians.  He totally neglects to see that the inability of the County to properly maintain a building they own has caused many people to get sick.  According to the article, 20% of the people filing lawsuits have come from asbestos related illnesses.  The county and others need to own up to their wrong doing here and make things right!

BREAKING: Nassau Coliseum Employees File 500M Lawsuit Against 21 Defendants

Update: According to the article, 20% of the people filing suit have been diagnosed with asbestos related illnesses and the rest fear they will end up with something to because they tend to take a long time to develop.

According to Newsday, 100+ former Coliseum workers are filing a lawsuit against 21 defendants including Nassau County, the Islanders, SMG, and Cabelvision for between 500 million and 1 billion dollars.  The suit alleges that long term exposure to asbestos at the Coliseum made them ill.  If you remember last year the news came out about the Coliseums asbestos and then came the OSHA investigation which concluded at the end of last year.

One of the defendants is the widow of a heating and air condition technician who filed a wrongful death suit.  The woman is seeking 10 million dollars in compensatory damages and 10 million in punitive damages, according to the article.  Her suit claims that even after the death of her husband that Coliseum workers were not informed of the asbestos nor were they trained how to handle it.

This will be updated as I learn more.  

Isles Hold On To Defeat The Panthers 3-0

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This evening, our Islanders ended their home-stand on a positive note by shutting out the Panthers by a score of 3-0.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-After the disaster that has been the third period on this home-stand it was surprising to see them hold a one goal lead tonight.  Hopefully, they are able to build confidence off that for their week long road trip that starts Tuesday in Washington.

-Nice seeing Amac get on the board, five games in a row an Islanders defenseman has scored.

-Marty Reasoner is so offensively inept!  There are times when it seems like he is surprised the puck is on his stick which isn't good.

-Defense played well today!  They really limited the quality chances for the Panthers.

-Nabokov was solid, he did benefit from a really good defensive game today though!

-I love what Casey Cizikas and Colin McDonald have brought to the team this season.  They are hard nosed energy guys that bust their butt every shift, fore check well, and throw the body.  Those type of guys can play for me any day of the week!

While things have been dreary around here recently, we still only sit two points out of the final playoff spot and one point out of 9th in the conference.  This team has 16 games left, 11 of which are against bottom seven teams in the eastern conference.  Additionally, 11 of the 16 are away games.  Normally that might be a disadvantage for a team.  However, the staggering difference between our home and road record suggest differently for this years Islanders.  You never know, crazier things have happened!

Next Game: Tuesday @ Washington (The Battle for 10th in the conference)

The Islanders will be hosting a viewing party at the TGI Fridays in Huntington Station for Tuesdays game.  Former Islander enforcer Steve Webb will be in attendance.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pre Game: Panthers @ Islanders

This evening, our New York Islanders finish their four game home-stand with a game against the Panthers.

The goalie match up features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and the Panthers goalie hasn't been announced yet.

Thomas Hickey will return to the Islanders lineup tonight likely in place of Joe Finley after Finley was in for Fridays game against the Penguins.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Isles Drop Third Straight To Pens

Tonight, our Islanders dropped their third consecutive game to the Penguins by a score of 4-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-I have never seen a team struggle in the third period as much as we do.  The biggest shame is nothing will be done to fix it!

-Nice fight by Martin, he really put a spanking on Adams!

-Weak game from Nabokov, he has to stop that second goal!  Especially with under a minute left in the period, he can't let that one get through him.

Well, the Ottawa meltdown Tuesday was a bad omen for this team as they have done what most thought they would after blowing that game and that is lose the following two.  This team still being in contention can't find ways to win at home.  Instead of doing that, they find ways to lose which is concerning.  With tonights loss, there record at home dropped to 5-11-2.  Playoff teams don't have record on home ice that look like that.  Barring something unforeseen, it seems like it maybe another year for the team in the old barn in Hempstead.

Next Game: Sunday @ 5:00PM Vs the Panthers

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pre Game: Pens @ Islanders...WANG MUST GO NIGHT

Tonight, the injury riddled Penguins pay a visit to the old barn in Hempstead to take on John Tavares and our struggling Islanders.

The goalie matchup tonight features Tomas Vokoun for the Penguins and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

The Islanders defense will get a little bigger tonight as Joe Finley will be returning to the lineup tonight in place of Thomas Hickey.  The rest of our lineup will be the same as it was last night.

However, the Penguins will be without two key players in Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.  The Penguins called up former Islander Trevor Smith from the AHL because of the openings injuries have created in their lineup.  Smith had 18 goals and 23 assists thus far this season in the AHL.


Also, tonight fans are planning to finally voice their displeasure with the way owner Charles B. Wang runs this team.  With 10 minutes and 4 minutes left in each period fans are going to chant Wang Must Go.

Also with 15 minutes left in each period fans are going to chant fire Cappy.

If you are attending the game tonight, don't be afraid to join the chants and let our owner know what we think of him.

Isles 3rd Period Woes Continue: Fall 5-2 To Montreal

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Tonight, in another woeful third period performance, our Islanders dropped their second in a row to the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-Good to see the first line get on the board again.  Tavares showed incredible patience with the puck on his goal.

-I don't think I have ever seen a team struggle as much in the third period as this team does.  They have given up 47 goals in the third period this season which is by far the most in the league.  This issue isn't a new one for the team though as they have had bad third period struggles since even when Scott Gordon was coach.  Some pin these struggles on the coaches, but how many coaches do you go through before you blame the players?

-The rust showed on Poulin tonight!  All be it the defense didn't help him out but he has to be better then he was.

-The refs were bad once again with the Keith Aucoin embellishment call being one of the worst calls I have ever seen.  However, with the way the team played in the third the refs didn't matter to much.  The team pretty much fell apart after the Habs took the lead.

Well, coming into this game after Ottawas debacle on Tuesday nobody seemed to be real excited.  The players seemed to feel the same way as they just didn't show up in the third.  The team gets right back at it tomorrow but against the team in the conference you don't want to play right now, the Penguins.  With our season hanging in on life support, things are getting pretty bleak for the Islanders down the stretch.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night Vs the Penguins

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pre Game: Montreal @ Islanders

Tonight, the Islanders play host to Brian Gionta and the Montreal Canadiens.

The goalie match up will feature Carey Price for the Canadiens.  For the Islanders, Kevin Poulin will get the start tonight after Evgeni Nabokov had started the last ten games.

The Islanders will see a few players return to the lineup tonight.  Those players being, forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Matt Carkner.  Grabner went on IR last week after getting suspiciously low ice time in a couple games much to the ire of the fans.  Meanwhile, Carkner hasn't played in over a month, his toughness will be a more then welcomed addition to the blue line.  To make room for them in the lineup, forward Eric Boulton and defenseman Radek Martinek will be taking seats in the press box tonight.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Typical Isles 3rd Period Dooms Them As They Fall 5-3 To Ottawa

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Tonight, in typical Islander fashion, they gave up a third period lead and ended up falling to the Ottawa Senators by a score of 5-3.  Here are some of my notes:

-While the officials were poor to say the least, that doesn't excuse the fact that the team once again gave up a multiple goal lead in the third period.  For years we have had issues with holding third period leads.  While recently we have had glimpses of overcoming that, most notably the last game of the most recent home stand against the Capitals.  The last two games show that the issue is still present with the team.  It is very concerning that over the years management hasn't done a better job at rectifying this issue.  Some may argue that it is an issue that lies with the coach, but the coach can only do so much with what he is given.

-The Okposo, Nielsen, Bailey line played a good game.  The first two periods they were flying all over the ice & creating chances.  It was nice to see!

-Bad job by Radek on the second goal.  As a vet player you can't be making passes up the middle like that. Your taught in pee wees to not make passes like that.

-Where the heck was Tavares tonight?  He is a great player and pretty much the team in a sense, but he was really quiet tonight.

-Hopefully Grabner or Joensuu will be able to go on Thursday to get Boulton out of the lineup.  Especially when he doesn't fight, Boulton brings nothing useful to games.

-How Aucoins goal was waived off in the third period is beyond me.  The rule is that a distinct kicking motion is needed to disallow goals, and it was clear to anyone with eyes that there was no kicking motion on the play.


Well, coming into this game after our wins in Florida, emotion amongst fans was running high as we looked to continue our playoff push.  The wrath of the third period lead and fear of excelling once again got to the team though.  Playoff teams win games when they go into the third period up two goals.  With tough games coming up Thursday and Friday it is a real possibility that the team will only get 2/8 points on this home stand which for a team in a playoff position is not acceptable.  

Next Game: Thursday @ Home VS Montreal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pre Game: Sens @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders return home to play host to the Ottawa Senators.

The goalie match up tonight features Ben Bishop for Ottawa.  Meanwhile, he will be opposed by Evgeni Nabokov making his 10th straight start for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will remain the same which means both Matt Carkner and Jesse Joensuu are not yet ready to return.  Additionally, according to Newsday Michael Grabner skated this morning.  He is doubtful to return tonight.  However, there is a chance he is back for Thursdays game against Montreal.

For Ottawa, it was announced today that forward Milan Michalek would be out indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to clean up his knee.  This is yet another long term loss for Ottawa who is without Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, and Craig Anderson.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cizikas 3rd Period Goal Lead Isles Over Panthers 4-3

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Tonight, in a nail biter, our Islanders finished their road trip right with a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.  Here are some of my notes:

-Giving up the lead in the third was very concerning!  However, the fact that they managed to fight back and win rather then fold up and lose is very encouraging and hopefully they can build on that.

-Great work by the Cizikas line on the GWG.  That was a hard working goal, nice finish by Casey.

-Overall great work by the team tonight below the goal line, half the teams goals were manufactured by work below the goal line.

-Boulton doesn't bring much to the game, however an argument could be made that his fight in the first energized the team leading to the two goals.

-Good seeing Okposo get on the board, hopefully this becomes more of a trend in the second half then it was in the first half.

-Yet another game this month without a powerplay.  While I didn't see anything that really should've been called that wasn't, just blows my mind how this could happen as frequently as it has.

Coming into this game this was set up as the perfect game for fans to get excited about then have the team disappoint.  Their play for 40 minutes was great, and the fact they were able to fight through the last twenty as ugly as it was is a good sign.  More so, with the way the team has played in stretches this season the fact they we only sit two points out of a playoff spot right now is just crazy.

Next Game: Tuesday @ Home VS Ottawa

Isles Talk: Talks With Visnovsky/Boyes/Nabokov On Extension. Looking Into College Guys As Well

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Update: According to Staple, defenseman Brenden Kichton rejected a contract offer from the Islanders and will likely reenter the draft this June.  Kichton was a 5th round pick by the Islanders in 2011.  This year he leads all WHL defensemen in scoring with 83 points.  He feels like he could go higher in the draft then the fifth round this time around which explains his refusal to sign and with those numbers I think he is right.

According to Newsday, the Islanders are planning to soon begin extension talks with UFA's to be Evgeni Nabokov, Brad Boyes, and Lubomir Visnovsky.  Talks with Streit are ongoing and haven't had meaningful progression yet.  Arthur Staple says that both Visnovsky and Nabokov have shown a desire to stay with the team after the season ends.

This could be a little surprising when it comes to Visnovsky because he basically tried to re-write the excuse book attempting to avoid coming here after his trade at the draft last year.  Although the recent news about him getting a house in Jericho shows that he maybe just came around on playing here.

Right now, Staple says with the talks of extensions for Streit, Visnovsky, Nabokov, and Boyes its not likely they will be dealt at the deadline April 3rd.  However, that could obviously change depending on team performance.

While this is encouraging, this is sort of discouraging as well.  While I like keeping Nabokov and Boyes and Visnovsky this doesn't give them much room to improve the team over the summer.  Well see what happens, maybe after five years Garth will finally get a little creative.

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NCAA Players On The Way?

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Staple also said that the Islanders are keeping an eye on the NCAA post-season.  Upon the end of the post season the team hopes to sign Anders Lee from Notre Dame and Scott Mayfield from Denver.  If they are signed in time, there is a chance that they could join Bridgeport for the stretch run to the playoffs like Brock Nelson did last season.

I don't really know much about Mayfield beside the fact that he is big.  With the way Bridgeports defense has struggled this season, I am sure they would welcome him with open arms though.  However, I am excited about Lee.  He has been one of the more talked about Isles prospects that haven't made it to the AHL yet so I am really curious to see what he can do.

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Pre Game: Isles @ Panthers

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Tonight, the Islanders conclude their Florida road trip with a game against the Florida Panthers.  A win by the Islanders in this game would give them sole possession of 9th place in the conference ahead of the Rangers.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov making his 9th start in a row for the Islanders.  The Panthers starter for tonight has yet to be announced.

For the Islanders, with David Ullstrom out, Colin McDonald will be rejoining the lineup after missing Thursdays game because of an illness.  Jesse Joensuu still isn't ready to go, so enforcer Eric Boulton will once again be in the lineup.  Everything else will be the same as it was Thursday.

For the Panthers, newly acquired defenseman TJ Miller will be in their starting lineup.  The Panthers acquired Miller a couple days ago from the Sabres in exchange for a 2013 5th round pick.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Isles Giving a Brooklyn Exhibition Game Another Shot

According to Islanderspointblank, the Islanders once again are planning to play a pre season game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn prior to the start of the 2013/2014 NHL season.

The Islanders were scheduled to play the Devils in a pre season game there prior to this season.  However, it was canceled because of the lockout, and weeks after the game was scheduled the Islanders announced they would be moving to the Barclays Center upon the end of their lease with Nassau County.

Islanders Sign Colin McDonald To 2 Year Extension

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According to Newsday, the Islanders announced that they have signed forward Colin McDoanld to a two year contract extension. 

After never really being given a chance in the NHL, McDonald has cemented himself as a solid bottom 6 forward for the Islanders during this shortened season playing with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin. 

At 28 years old, McDonald is a good story of a guy who took a while to reach the NHL but is now excelling in his role.  His story is similar to former Islander and current Avalanche member PA Parenteau.  They of course are different style of players though.

McDonald missed last nights game with an illness and his status for tomorrow nights game is unknown as of now.

Ullstrom out 3-4 Weeks

According to reports, the Islanders announced that David Ullstrom will miss 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury, pretty much ending his regular season.

Ullstrom was injured at the end of last nights win over the Lightning and wasn't able to get to the locker room under his own power.

What a week for Ullstrom, gets sent down and scores the game winner for Bridgeport Tuesday.  Then he gets called back up, plays a pretty good game last night and is now out for the regular season.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nabokov Bounce Back Effort Leads Isles Past Lightning

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Tonight, after being destroyed by the Penguins on Sunday, the Islanders on the back of Evgeni Nabokov shut out Steven Stamkos and the Lightning by a score of 2-0.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-It's nice to see the team hold a third period lead of one goal.  It has been a while since that happened, hopefully it happens more often.

-Once again, Tavares finds a way to get on the score sheet.  Great setup by Moulson on that goal.

-Great game by Nabokov, he really wasn't tested a ton.  However, when his number was called he rose to the occasion tonight!

-Nice game by the Amac/Hammer pairing tonight.  After their struggles this year, hopefully this game can give them some confidence.

-Good seeing Casey get PK time with Grabner out!  Casey has developed into a solid bottom 6 forward which is nice to see.  Hopefully he is the first of many products of this rebuild.

-Hopefully Ullstrom is ok, looked pretty bad when he was going back to the locker room.

-I hated him when he got here, but I hope Garth is able to resign Visnovsky.  He is a good player, poise with the puck, puck moving ability, and skating are fantastic.  He could be a real asset for us next season.

After tonights win, we currently sit one point behind the Rangers and two points out of the eighth spot with 22 games left.  Also, for the first time in a while we have reached the NHL .500 mark at 12-12-2 so the season can "re-start" now so to speak with our game against the Panthers on Saturday.  The gate to the playoffs is wide open for the Islanders to jump in, lets see if they can do it.

Next Game: Saturday @ Panthers 7:30 PM

Pre Game: Isles @ Lightning

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Tonight, our Islanders continue their road trip as they travel to Tampa to take on Steven Stamkos and the Lightning.

Evgeni Nabokov will be in net for the Islanders tonight.  Meanwhile, the starter for the Lightning has yet to be announced.

The Islanders lineup will look a little bit different tonight as forward Keith Aucoin is expected to rejoin the lineup.  Also, the fate of enforcer Eric Boulton will be a game time decision according to Newsday.  With the way the last game started between these two teams, there is at least a decent chance that Boulton will be in tonight.

For Tampa, captain Vinny Lecavalier will not be in tonight after going on IR today with a lower body injury.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ullstrom Recalled

According to reports, just two days after being sent down the Islanders called up forward David Ullstrom today from Bridgeport to replace the injured Michael Grabner.

Coach Jack Capuano also said that forward Jesse Joensuu and defenseman Matt Carkner would travel to Florida with the team.  Both hit the ice yesterday for the first time while rehabbing from injuries.

NY Post: Bruce Ratner Expected To Bid On The Coliseum Development

According to the New York Post, Bruce Ratner, the majority owner of the Barclays Center is expected to place a bid on developing the Nassau Coliseum and forming a partnership with Donald Monti.

This is coming after Ratner was hired by Nassau County in a consultants role to help them find out if the Coliseum could be a viable venue in this area.  The new Coliseum would cut the capacity of the arena from around 16,200 to between 8,000-10,000 according to the Post.

Ratner will have competition for the development as places like Live Nation and AEG are expected to place bids as well.

Mangano: Lets Scale Down The Coliseum

According to a recent Newsday article, Ed Mangano wants to transform the Coliseum into an 8,000-12,000 seat facility suitable for family shows, concerts and minor league sports.

This is expected to be announced during his state of the county address tomorrow night.

With so many new venues around this area why would any major acts consider going to the Coliseum?  Assuming this scaled down version being talked about even gets built which as we know oh to well is far from a guarantee.  Additionally, with so many different minor league sports already available in this market why add to it even more?  Unless its a Nassau rival for the Ducks which could do well I dont see the point of additional minor league sports. 

For more see the link below: (subscription required)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Islanders Practice Notes 3/12/13

 photo courtesy of

At practice today, it was announced that Michael Grabner will be out 7-10 days with a shoulder injury.  At that point, he will be reevaluated.

Well, the announcement of this injury puts two and two together when it comes to his really low amounts of ice time the last few games.


McDonald Sick

Forward Colin McDonald was not on the ice at practice today because he is sick. 


Returning Troops

At practice today, forward Jesse Joensuu and defenseman Matt Carkner were both on the ice.  Joensuu has yet to play a game this season after getting injured in Europe during the lockout.  He was signed by the Islanders this past summer with a clause in his contract allowing him to go back to Europe and play if he didn't make the Islanders lineup.  Carkner has been out a while now after having a set back in his initial rehab.  Carkners size and mean streak will be a more then welcomed addition back to the blue line which severely lacks those elements now.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ullstrom Sent Back To Bridgeport

 photo courtesy of

The Islanders have announced that forward David Ullstrom has been sent back to Bridgeport.  Ullstrom had 2 goals and 3 assists in 19 games for the Islanders this season so far.  Prior to the lockout ending, Ullstrom put up 19 points in 26 games with Bridgeport.

Given Ullstroms status as the resident scratch when Capuano wanted to shake up the lineup his demotion isn't surprising.  With Bridgeports struggles this season, they can really use the offense Ullstrom will bring.  Further, hopefully David is able to elevate his game again and get a call back before the season ends in about a month and a half.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Led By Crosby: Pens Destroy Isles 6-1

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, the Penguins exhibited why they are one of the elite teams in this league defeating our Islanders by a score of 6-1.  Here are some of my notes:

-Poor job by the officials in the first period letting two calls change the game.  The delay of game call on MacDonald was a call I have never seen made before.  Usually, with that penalty the player has to have possession and put the puck over the boards.  Not just have it deflect off him like Amac did.

-Poor job by the coaches not having the team ready to play today.  One point out of eighth and two out of seventh and the team came out like they were a crappy beer league team against a professional team.  Very unsettling!

-I don't know why Capuano likes to leave Nabokov in there when we are getting shelled.  After 3 or 4 goals it is a mystery to me as to why Nabokov was left in.

Well, coming into the game we had been on a five game point streak and given our prior play on the road some were optimistic.  Whether this was a case of the team not being up for a game like Capuano has said in the past or just they were dominated by a better team minus a superstar, outings like this are concerning and can't happen.  Having a couple days off after this one will do the team good, hopefully.

Next Game: Thursday 7:30 @ The Lightning

Pre Game: Isles @ Pens

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders travel to the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

The goalie matchup features Evgeni Nabokov playing in his first back to back this year for the Islanders.  He will likely be opposed by Penguins backup Tomas Vokoun with Marc Andre Fleury having played last night for the Penguins against Toronto.

According to Newsday, Andrew MacDonald will play today after having the boot of his skate cracked blocking a shot yesterday and getting 7 stitches to patch up a wound from a high stick.  The team will also dress seven defensemen in warmups tonight.

For the Penguins, Evgeni Malkin is questionable after taking a big hit from Leafs forward James Van Riemsdyk in their game last night.

Sitting one point out of the eighth spot and two out of the seventh spot this game is big for the Islanders as they start this road trip.  If they are able to stay in contention til the deadline, maybe they will be able to get the owner and GM to make a move or two to help strengthen the team to finally make a push for the playoffs.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rare Dominant Third Period Powers Isles Over Caps 5-2

 photo courtesy of

This afternoon, our New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 5-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-Congrats to John Tavares on scoring his 100th career NHL goal in the third period today.  It is a special thing to get to watch a player of his caliber night in and night out.

-Great showing in the third period!  Over the last few years, we have been notorious for bad third periods.  To not only play well but dominate out-shooting the Caps 19-5 is encouraging.

-Nice shot by Casey on his goal!  The contributions just keep on coming from that line.

-Although the first goal was soft, pretty good game for Nabokov.  The question is now, do you play him again tomorrow?

-Great crowd today!  After a poor showing Thursday against the Rangers, good to see the fans come out and support as the team prepares for a 10 day road trip.

-Nice seeing Frans put up a goal, especially short handed.  He used to be so prolific with those, it would be nice if he could even semi return to form with that.

Well, coming into the game with the Pens on deck tomorrow a win was almost a must.  After giving up the tying goal in the third, it was nice to see the team put the pedal to the medal for a change instead of sitting back on their heels.  To not only win, but to win in regulation was key, our first regulation win at home since defeating the Devils 5-1 on February 16th.  With the win, we sit 1 point out of the 8th spot and 2 points out of the 7th spot with a little over a month and a half left in the season.  This brief road trip on the horizon is key for the team going forward.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night @ the Penguins

Pre Game: Caps @ Islanders

This afternoon, our Islanders finish off their seven game homestand with a matinee game against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. 

The goalie matchup features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Philipp Grubauer making his NHL debut for the Capitals.

For the Islanders, David Ullstrom will return to the lineup in place of enforcer Eric Boulton.  Also, Lubomir Visnovsky is back in town and will dress for warmups.  Either him, or Joe Finley will be in the lineup today.

Isles projected lineup:

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Brad Boyes

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Michael Grabner - Marty Reasoner - David Ullstrom

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald

Andrew MacDonald – Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey – Radek Martinek
Joe Finley/Lubomir Visnovsky - Mark Streit


Evgeni Nabokov
Kevin Poulin

Visnovsky Gets A House In Jericho

According to, Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has gotten a house in Jericho and could have his family join him here upon his return.

It is unknown if this signals an intention to stay in Long Island longer then the seasons end.  However, for a guy who tried to write the book when it comes to excuses against coming here, having him get a house is encouraging.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Isles Assistant Coach Brent Thompson Suspended 2 Games

 photo courtesy of

In the last hour, it was announced that Islanders assistant coach Brent Thompson has been suspended for two games for inappropriate and abusive comments toward the officials following last nights 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers.

Following the conclusion of last nights game, Kyle Okposo as well as the team staff were each given game misconducts for voicing their displeasure with the refs after the team had 4 penalties called on them last night including one in overtime.  Meanwhile, the Rangers had nothing called on them throughout the entire game, for the first time in 24 years.

I really wonder what Thompson said to warrant a two game suspension.  Doug Weight has said some stuff to officials before and never gotten anything so what Thompson said must've been a real doozie.

With The Help Of Officials, Isles Fall 2-1 To Rangers

Tonight, with the help of the officials, the Rangers defeated our Islanders by a score of 2-1 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Tonight was the first time in 24 years a Ranger opponent didn't get a single powerplay in a game.  After the game ended, Kyle Okposo as well as the Islander staff received game misconducts after voicing their frustrations at the officials.  Who can blame them, after all the refs did give the Rangers four powerplays including one in overtime, but gave the Islanders nothing.

-Nabokov played great!  Gave the team the chance to win, can't fault him on either goal really.  Garth has to start thinking about locking this guy up for another year maybe two.

-Grabner seems to be in one of those streaks he would have in his rookie season but never had last year.  Goals in three straight is promising to see for him, hopefully he keeps it up.

-Brad Boyes can make some nice passes which he did tonight, he has to hit the net though.  He is becoming like Okposo how he always misses the net and it is rather frustrating to watch.

-Why in the world did Eric Boulton get more ice time in the third period then Michael Grabner?  Especially when Haley & Bickel were no where to be found on the ice!  That makes no sense, the guy scores a goal in the first and in the third period you play a glorified goon over him.

-Disappointed that the place was overrun with Ranger fans, seemed like more then usual.  I understand why it was and it doesn't really surprise me but its disheartening sitting there when the Rangers score and having it be like MSG in there.

Well, while they were given a pretty good shaft by the officials, a point is a point.  They just need to put this game behind them and focus on Saturday afternoon against the Capitals.  After the rough start to the homestand, going 2-0-2 in the last four is pretty good so hopefully they can end the homestand off on a positive note.

Next Game: Saturday 1:00PM @ Home VS The Caps

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pre Game: Rangers @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders play host to the rival Rangers with the 8th seed in the conference on the line.

The goalie matchup tonight features Henrik Lundqivst for the Rangers and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

For the Islanders, Lubomir Visnovsky will miss his second consectutive game while tending to the death of his friends 13 year old son so Radek Martinek will once again be in the lineup.  Toughness was also added to the lineup tonight with Eric Boulton suiting up in place of young forward David Ullstrom.

The Rangers tonight will be without forward Brad Richards and defenseman Marc Staal who have suffered injuries in the last week.  In place of Richards the Rangers called up former Islander Micheal Haley.

Goldie Arrested

This morning, news broke that Islander game stalwart Craig Stanley, aka the guy with the golden locks was arrested. 

He was arrested for forcibly touching a 21 year old girl following Sundays game versus Ottawa.

For more on this check out the link below:

I always thought he was a bit off, but after hearing about this I think he is a creep.  I for one hope his last Islander game is sooner rather then later.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nabby On The Refs: "Very Questionable Today"

As the team was leaving the ice tonight after their victory, MSG microphones caught goalie Evgeni Nabokov tell officials the officiating in the game tonight was "very questionable."

(h/t to Kevin Schultz)

How do you not love this guy?

Secondary Scoring Helps Isles Knock Off Top Team In The East

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, for the first time all year our Islanders won a second game in a row at home.  This win, was over the number one team in the east, the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-3.  Here are some of my notes:
-Congrats to Radek on the winning goal!  Never understood why he has seen so little ice time this season.

-Travis Hamonic may not be having the year people expected, but you can't take his toughness away from him!  Already not at 100%, Hamonic blocks the shot at the end of the second period and is shaken up.  Yet, he comes out for the third and doesn't miss a shift.

-Marty Reasoner had a so so game.  He looked really bad at points, not being able to catch easy passes!  However, he did block a couple shots and had a nice tip at one point which is rare for him.

-Great game from the fourth line all around!  McDonald works hard on most every shift and has proven himself to be a solid fourth line player during this shortened season.  Matt Martin had another solid game throwing the body.  Not only that though, he provided offense which is always good.  He showed really soft hands on his goal.  Lastly, Casey just brings it every shift!  When was the last time you saw an opposing player get hit into the bench?  That line has become a real solid fourth line.

-Even when Tavares is having an off game, which you can tell he still isn't feeling 100% he still puts up two points.  He is really such a special player!

-Pretty good game from Nabokov, once again didn't really let in a soft goal which is a good sign for him.  Defense did leave him out to dry a few times which is concerning though.

-Officials were inconsistent at best, seemed like they were trying to pacify the teams at times.  Its good that the team didn't let the refs get to them this time like they had done before and just played their game.

Well, coming into this game who thought that we would put up six goals against one of the hottest teams in the NHL and hand them there first regulation loss in the last 11 games?  On top of that, actually get a regulation win at home which has been a tough thing for this team this year.  Games like this give the fans hope, but they only matter if the team can build on them.  Thursdays test is going to be tough, but the winner will be sitting in the final playoff spot.  Lets see which team shows up.  I have a sense they are going to have a large crowd to play in front of that night which only adds to the game.

Next Game: Thursday @ Home VS the Rangers

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pre Game: Habs @ Islanders

Tonight, Brian Gionta and the Canadiens visit the old barn in Hempstead to take on John Tavares and our Islanders.

The goalie matchup tonight features Carey Price for Montreal.  Meanwhile, Evgeni Nabokov will once again be in net for the Islanders.

With Visnovsky missing tonights game, Radek Martinek will be in the lineup in his spot and paired with Thomas Hickey.  The absence of Visnovsky led to Jack Capuano saying that Frans Nielsen will probably see increased powerplay time in his absence.  The forwards will remain the same as the last game versus Ottawa though, so that means Keith Aucoin and Eric Boulton are your healthy scratches.

Tonights projected Islander lineup:

Moulson – Tavares – Boyes

Bailey – Nielsen – Okposo

Grabner – Reasoner – Ullstrom

Martin – Cizikas – McDonald

Hamonic – MacDonald

Finley – Streit

Hickey – Martinek


Projected Montreal lineup:

Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Michael Ryder

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Brandon Prust - Lars Eller - Brian Gionta

Colby Armstrong - Alex Galchenyuk - Ryan White
Josh Gorges - PK Subban

Alexei Emelin - Andrei Markov

Tomas Kaberle - Francis Bouillon

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

Visnovsky Heading Back To Slovakia

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is heading home to Slovakia to attend to a family tragedy.  According to Newsday, this tragedy has nothing to do with his sons health.  If you recall, the health of his son was supposedly the reason for him reporting late to the team when the season started.

Him heading home will cause him to miss tonights game against Montreal and Thursdays game against the Rangers.  Radek Martinek will replace him in the lineup in these games.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tavares Shootout Winner Powers Isles Over Senators

 photo courtesy of

This afternoon, our Islanders defeated the Ottawa Senators for a rare home win by a score of 3-2 in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Good game from Nabokov, no softies which is rare for him.

-Atrocious powerplay!  Failed even be able to set up a lot of the time which is unacceptable.

-Nice game from Matt Martin!  Really got under the Senators skin especially in the first period.  Good move picking his spots to fight and not fight.

-Nice goal from Grabner in the third, nice to see him come through with those type of chances.

-Sick move by Tavares in the shootout!  Even when hes sick he is still amazing.

-Nice to see Boyes finish on the first goal to!  He had a pretty good game, really shifty with his hands.  Gotta start to wonder if talks of an extension will start to pop up between the team and Boyes.

Well, it was bound to happen, a home win!  Once Ottawa got their tying goal with about a minute left, it seemed like the hockey gods were rearing their ugly heads on us again.  Luckily, our shootout team was able to secure us our third home victory of the season.  We got a tough week coming up to finish up the home stand, we will see what the team is made of.

Next Game: Tuesday @ Home Vs Montreal

Pre Game: Sens @ Islanders

This afternoon, the injury riddled Senators pay a visit to the Coliseum to take on Travis Hamonic and our New York Islanders.

The goalie matchup features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Robin Lehner for the Senators.

For the Islanders, John Tavares is a game time decision.  He got sick on Friday night and had to leave the Islanders season ticket holder event at the Coliseum.

For Ottawa Andre Benoit will replace Mike Lundin in their lineup.

Newsday: Islanders/SMG Owe Nassau County Millions

Update: According to the article, only the Islanders are getting a letter from Nassau County to pay money.  SMG isn't getting any letter. 

According to a recent exclusive report in Newsday, the Islanders and arena managers SMG owe Nassau County millions in un-paid rent and other expenses dating back to 2011.

According to the report, repairs made to the Coliseum can be offset against these expenses but because that process is under negotiation it makes the situation "complicated."

The article says the following is the money owed to Nassau County and the specific areas where it is owed:

Rent: $607,502
Water: $1,114,688
Electric: $2,411,042
Parking: $657,128
Concessions: $439,996

For a more in depth read on the entire situation, check out the links below:;JSESSIONID=5578573F19C31B659515.3284?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=topstories&feed:i=1.4741417&part=0

This would certainly explain somethings that go on as far as how the team operates.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dipietro Pulled In Bridgeport Debut

Tonight, in his first Bridgeport action in around a decade, Rick Dipietro was pulled after giving up five goals in the first period on twelve shots.

Not even four minutes in, the Whale already had a two goal lead off two powerplay goals.  One goal saw defenseman Jon Landry lose his man in front.  Meanwhile, the other goal had a forward giving a bad back-check leaving the Whale forward open. 

Backup goalie Kenny Reiter led the Tigers onto the ice for the second period after the disastrous first period for DP.  The Tigers ended up falling to the Whale by a score of 7-3.  They were able to close the deficit within two early on in the third.  The Whale however, stormed back with two goals clinching their victory.  This loss in the Tigers seventh in a row.

Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said post-game that he was, "disappointed" with the teams performance in front of DP.  He also said that he [Dipietro] will be starting in net tomorrow night for the Tigers in their game against the Phantoms.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Okposo Waking Up Not Enough To Get Isles A Home Win

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders fell to the Leafs by a score of 5-4 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Who saw this coming from Kyle Okposo?  Okposo doubled his point total tonight and had by far his best game of the season.  Hopefully, this is enough to get him on a roll he has been dying for in this short season.

-Can't believe the refs called no penalties!  At least they were consistent, but there were some obvious plays that went uncalled for which isn't right.

-Smallest crowd of the season, can't blame the fans when the team seemingly can't win at home.

With our recent woes at home, to get a point was nice.  However, still not good to get a home win.  Something needs to happen!  With Ottawa coming in Sunday the chances remain bleak of a home win in the near future.

Next Game: Sunday 3PM @ Home VS Ottawa (Spongebob Squarepants Day)