Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pre Game: Capitals @ Islanders

Tonight, the Islanders play the third game of their 4 game home stand playing host to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

For the Capitals, Ovechkin already has 20 goals on the season which is almost double the amount of the Islanders leader in that category.  Ovechkin had a three point night the last time these teams meant on November 5th.

The goalie match up tonight features Braden Holtby presumably for the Capitals after Michael Neuvirth got hurt in warmups last night.  Meanwhile, Anders Nilsson will be making his first start of the season for the Islanders.

The Islanders will see another playing making their season debut tonight as Calvin de Haan will be dressing on defense for the Islanders.  To make room for him Radek Martinek will serve as healthy scratch for the team tonight.  Additionally, Josh Bailey will return to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch last night. To make room for him in the lineup, Brock Nelson will join Eric Boulton and Radek Martinek as the teams healthy scratches.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Isles Look Like Amateurs In 5th Straight Loss

 photo by nbcoutofbounds

Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings made our Islanders look like amateurs on the way to defeating them by a score of 5-0 giving the Islanders their fifth straight loss.  The Islanders now have lost 10 of their last 12 and are 6-15-2 in their last 23 games.

I have been sitting here trying to come up with what to say about yet another bad game from our Islanders and I am just at a loss for words.  Fans came out tonight expecting to see an NHL game and they by and large didn't get to see that.  Tonight, a shorthanded Red Wings team who was without both Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk skated circles around the Islanders.

Next Game: tomorrow night vs Washington

Pre Game: Detroit @ Islanders

Today, our Islanders play host to Detroit for their second game of their three game home stand.

The goalie match up today features Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.

Detroit will look a little less intimidating today as forward Pavel Datsyuk will be out of the lineup for Detroit suffering from concussion like symptoms after taking an elbow to the chin by Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen last weekend.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different today to as Colin McDonald and Radek Martinek will make their returns to the lineup this evening.  To make room for them in the lineup, Josh Bailey and Calvin de Haan will join Eric Boulton as the teams healthy scratches.

It is about time Bailey got scratched, this is about 3 weeks over due in my opinion.  However, color me surprised on de Haan.  Why would you play Carkner over him especially against a team like Detroit that doesn't employ a goon?  It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

National Anthem Singer Botches Canadian National Anthem Lyrics

Last night, before the Islanders game against the Jets the national anthem performer decided to add her own lyrics to the Canadian national anthem.  Below, you will find a video of the performance from TSN.

Changes Are Coming

Update: According to Newsday, the Islanders will be recalling defenseman Calvin De Haan from Bridgeport and sending down Matt Donovan.  
According to Matt Saidman from LIB Magazine, there will be roster changes coming to the Islanders with an announcement expected either tomorrow or Friday.  Give Matt a follow on twitter here.  Unfortunately for us, he wasn't able to go any more in depth then that.

Naturally we are all wondering what the team could possibly do?  My immediate thought was calling up Ryan Strome from the AHL and waiving someone like Boulton.  Some may think we made another deal but I just don't see it because any deal that would make sense would mean the owner would have to spend more money and I don't think he is doing that.  If it does turn out to be a deal where we take on money, that signals to me that the Brooklyn people have a bigger influence in things then maybe we realize.

Isles Drop 4th In A Row To The Jets 3-2

Tonight, our Islanders lost their fourth game in a row falling 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Nice goal by Tavares, he showed great strength on the puck.

-Rookie mistake by Donovan on the Jets second goal, and bad back-check by Frans Nielsen.

-Can we shoot the puck on the power play?  They always pass around the perimeter looking for the perfect play and it leads to a turnover and the opposing team clearing it.  I don't know what Doug Weight has to do but he has to get the guys to throw the puck at the net more and create scoring chances.

-It was nice to actually not give up a power play goal tonight.  Wonder how long its been since we did that?

-It was nice to see Baileys ice time get cut in the third period after being invisible for the better part of the last six weeks.  Brock Nelson was finally getting the ice time deserved for a top prospect playing at this level.  Now lets see if Bailey earns that ice time back, remember he is in the first year of a 5 year deal this year which leaves him with a higher cap hit then Matt Moulson carries this year.

-Don't understand why they continue to play Carkner over Martinek.

-Andrew MacDonald had a really bad game tonight!  I felt like he was just a mess in all aspects of his game.

Next Game: Friday 11/29 4PM Vs The Red Wings

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pre Game: Jets @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders return home after a winless three game road trip to play host to Andrew Ladd and the Jets.

The goalie match up tonight features former Islander Al Montoya for the Jets and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.  This marks the Islanders 12th game against a teams backup goalie this season.  Additionally, 6 of the teams 8 wins have come against the opposing teams backup.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different tonight as Aaron Ness, Peter Regin, and Pierre Marc Bouchard will make their returns to the lineup.  Thomas Hickey will also dress on defense for the Islanders tonight.  To make room for those three in the lineup, Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald, and Radek Martinek will serve as the teams healthy scratches tonight.

Isles Unveil Stadium Series Jersey

photo by Newsday

According to Newsday, the Islanders have unveiled the design of the jersey they will wear in their game against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on January 29th as part of the NHL Stadium Series.

I think it is a pretty nice jersey, the logo though I am not a huge fan of.  Although, I could definitely see a jersey like this being something we wear after the move to Brooklyn because of the lack of Long Island in the logo.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DP Released From His Tryout At His Request

 photo by Newsday

According to reports, former Islanders goalie Rick Dipietro at his own request was released from his AHL tryout with the Charlotte Checkers this morning.

This season for Charlotte, Dipietro was 0-4 with a 5.18 GAA and a .846 save percentage.

Former Islander Bob Boune Joins Class Action Lawsuit Against NHL

According to reports, former Islander forward Bob Bourne has joined a class action lawsuit against the NHL filed on Monday in Washington Federal Court by ten former NHL players claiming that the NHL hasn't done enough to protect players from concussions.

The suit is seeking damages and court approved, NHL sponsored monitoring for players brain trauma and injuries they blame on their NHL careers.

For more on this check out an article on it from ESPN.

Some have said that this lawsuit will end up with fighting being removed from hockey.  I don't know if it will get that far, but the NHL certainly can't be thrilled with this.  Especially after the outcome for the NFL in a similar lawsuit a couple months ago.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hickey's Day To Day

 photo by zimbio

According to Matt Saidman from LIB Magazine, defenseman Thomas Hickey is day to day with a lower body injury.

Hickey left Saturday's game with a leg injury after blocking a slap shot late in the second period.  The injury doesn't appear to be something that will keep him on long term, Saidman reports.  It was speculated that if he was out long term that the Islanders might be forced to make a trade for a defenseman.

Andrew MacDonald Leaves Practice With Apparent Leg Injury

Today at practice, defenseman Andrew MacDonald was injured, according to Matt Saidman from LIB Magazine.

Saidman reported that MacDonald stayed down on the ice for a few minutes after taking a puck in the leg.  He then proceeded to limp off to the locker room with trainers and Garth Snow went to check up on his condition.  There has yet to be an update on the exact nature of his injury.

As if our defense wasn't banged up enough.  Hopefully this isn't serious, otherwise Garth will all but have to make a deal because he can't preach a commitment to winning then trot out a defensive corps consisting of 3 rookies and a goon and expect to be successful.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Isles Drop 7th Straight Road Game 5-2 To Flyers

Tonight, our Islanders concluded yet another road trip without getting a point dropping tonight's game 5-2 to the Flyers.  Here are some of my notes:

-The Flyers third goal was just predictable, you knew with how bad our penalty kill has been that they weren't killing two in a row.

-For all the praise Doug Weight has been given about the PP in the past, I think he needs to earn it again because the power play has been pretty bad for the better part of the last month.

-Good to see Boulton actually get on the board with a goal tonight.

-Great pass by Vanek to set up Tavares.

-Surprised Bouchard got scratched over Bailey tonight.  I have been super critical of Bouchard here, however, recently I absolutely think he has bought more to the games then Bailey has.

-Hickey will be evaluated tomorrow by team doctors and if hes out long term Newsday reports a move might have to be made.  It was reported by Newsday a couple days ago that Garth had been engaging in typical trade discussions looking for defensemen but the prices were to high.  Hickey left the game after blocking a shot late in the second period.

Although this month started off promising, this has turned into a typical Islanders November and shows no signs of improving anytime in the near future.

Next Game: Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve) @ Home Vs The Jets

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Flyers

 photo by thesportsroundup

Tonight, our Islanders conclude their three game road trip traveling to Philadelphia to take on Claude Giroux and the Flyers.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin on the back end of back to backs for the Islanders.  For the Flyers, Steve Mason will get the start in net.

The Islanders are making a couple lineup alterations tonight as both Brock Nelson and Eric Boulton will be in the lineup.  To make room for them, both Peter Regin and Pierre Marc Bouchard will join Aaron Ness as the healthy scratches tonight.  Frans Nielsen will be in the lineup tonight after appearing to be injured after a cross check at the end of the game last night at the hands of Penguins forward Craig Adams.

Isles Drop 2nd In A Row 4-3

Tonight, our Islanders dropped their second game in a row by a score of 4-3.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Thomas Vanek tonight played like he hadn't missed a step, he looked really good!

-Power play continues to be pretty abysmal!

-Refs were very inconsistent!

-Awful defense on the Penguins third goal by McDonald and Carkner (is that really a surprise?) First, McDonald just stood there and looked at the puck as if he had a magnet that would magically cause the puck to come to him.  After that, Carkner was moved easier then a feather as Malkin drove to the net to eventually score the goal.  Carkner is 6'4 220 pounds, it's about time he played like it!

-It was good to see McDonald get that one back on his goal though.  After that he seemed to have an extra jump in his step which is something for us and for him hopefully continues.

-Horrible defense on the Penguins winning goal.  How in the world do you leave Crosby of all people by himself?

-Poulin didn't play bad at all and actually looked very good at points.  With that said, I think we will see Anders Nilsson tomorrow night for the back end of the back to back in Philly.

-I don't understand how Brock Nelson was scratched tonight and to a lesser extent Aaron Ness.  This team is supposed to be rebuilding so how does benching some of your younger players in favor of older ones who aren't producing make any sense?  Nelson has looked pretty good over the last few weeks, doing a lot more then Regin or Bailey.  Why not scratch one of them and play Nelson?  Especially Regin who probably won't be on the team next season.  While I understand the desire to have size in there with Carkner, defensemen also have to be able to play defense and that is something Carkner has had trouble with.  Ness as small as he is has been better in that area then Carkner has.

Next Game: Tomorrow night @ the Flyers

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Penguins

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, the Islanders continue their three game road trip traveling to Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

The goalie match-up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Jeff Zatkoff for the Penguins.  This will be the second time the Islanders are facing Zatkoff this season.

After Tuesdays loss to the Leafs, the Islanders are making a couple lineup changes for tonight's game.  Forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Radek Martinek will be in the lineup.  Additionally, as was reported yesterday, forward Thomas Vanek will return to the lineup after missing the last 5 games recovering from injury.  To make room for them in the lineup, forwards Eric Boulton and Brock Nelson as well as defenseman Aaron Ness will serve as the healthy scratches for the Islanders tonight.

Given the inconsistencies of the team, I actually expect them to come out and play pretty well tonight.  The last time these two met it really went down to the wire, tune in to see how the Islanders fare tonight.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snow's Looking For Defensemen

According to Newsday, Islanders GM Garth Snow has been engaged in typical trade discussions with GM"s around the league searching for a defenseman.

The trouble Snow has run into though is that there really aren't any defensemen available at a reasonable price that could come right in and help the Islanders now.  Another thing that is hampering is ability to make a trade is the lack of a big trade chip, according to the article.  

It is encouraging that Garth realizes that its an issue and he is trying to resolve it.  However, the fact that its noted that we lack trade chips because we dealt our first round pick for Vanek is concerning.  The concerning element here is that Garth still seems to be gun shy about dealing any of his prospects.  While having depth in the system is nice, at some point you have to realize they all won't be able to play for you and need to decide which ones are the keepers and then you try and get the highest value possible for the others.

Vanek To Return Tomorrow Night

Reports came out earlier today that forward Thomas Vanek would be returning to the Islanders lineup tomorrow night for their game against the Penguins.  It should be interesting to see how Jack Capuano switches around the lines with Vanek coming back.  To me, Brock Nelson should absolutely remain in the top 6 over Josh Bailey who has really struggled.

Vanek had missed the last 5 games while recovering from an upper body injury.  In that time, the Islanders have gone 2-3.

Vanek has registered 3 points in 5 games since he was acquired by the Islanders on October 27th in exchange for Matt Moulson, a conditional 1st round pick, and a 2nd round pick next year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Isles Fall 5-2 To Leafs

Last night, our Islanders dropped the first game of their 3 game road trip by a score of 5-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Last night marked the Islanders 7th loss in regulation on the road which is more then they had all last season.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The Islanders defense was exposed terribly last night.  They had many defensive breakdowns which really hurt them.  They also gave Phil Kessel way to much room to operate last night and when you do that for a guy like Kessel he will make you pay and he did that last night.

-Their line changes were quite rough to.  I never understood why they seem to change lines at bad times.  That is something they are taught when they play Pee Wee hockey.

-Poulin didn't have his "A" game last night, but he wasn't bad.  The lack of defense around him made his play seem worse then it was.

-Our struggles on the penalty kill continue!  I'm not sure what they are going to do, but they have to do something because our penalty kill is a mess right now.

-It isn't fair to pick out specific defensemen from last night because the unit as a hole struggled.  However, both Thomas Hickey and Matt Carkner (surprise surprise) really struggled last night.  Hickey got turned around in the neutral zone and was unable to get back in time.  Meanwhile, Carkner was caught flat footed at the line which led to the Leafs third and ultimately deciding goal.

-Good to see Casey finally getting hot and breaking out of his early season slump.

-Some of our guys, most notably Pierre Marc Bouchard need to be strong on the puck.  Bouchard in particular gets knocked off the puck way to easily.

After how great the team was on the road last year, their struggles this year have come as quite a confusion.  It seems as though maybe that teams were able to find out how to play us more effectively and we haven't been able to adjust to that.  If we aren't able to fix our performance on the road, this will be a long season for us.

Next Game: Friday @ The Penguins

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Isles @ Leafs: What The Fans Had To Say

Later tonight, I will have a more formal post game post.  However, now I will have something new I decided to do which will track the comments Islanders fans had on Twitter throughout the game.

Pre Game: Isles @ Leafs

 photo by djagile

Tonight, our Islanders begin a three game road trip by traveling to Toronto to take on Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs.

The goalie matchup tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different tonight as forward Michael Grabner will be a healthy scratch tonight.  Taking his spot in the lineup will be "enforcer" Eric Boulton.

With Colton Orr likely in the Leafs lineup, look for Boulton and Orr to go tonight.  Last year, many believe a fight between the two of them during a game late in the season really turned the tide for the Islanders after the Leafs had jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

You will notice that Thomas Vanek remains out of the lineup.  Speculation from Arthur Staple of Newsday is that his injury has something to do with a muscle.  I am sure we will hear more on him over the next few days.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Cal Clutterbuck

 photo by NY Post

Today, Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck is celebrating his 26th Birthday.

Clutterbuck was acquired by the Islanders on draft day this year along with a third round pick in exchange for disgruntled prospect Nino Niederreiter.  Clutterbuck was signed to a multi year contract just a few weeks later.  After getting injured early in the preseason, Clutterbuck has had a rough time getting into a rhythm this year and consistently playing his game that made him one of the better grinders in the league.  As time passes though, I think he will adjust and become a fan favorite.

We would like to wish Clutterbuck a very Happy Birthday!

Islanders Recall Anders Nilsson/Sound Tigers Recall Milner

 photo by Newsday

After putting Evgeni Nabokov on IR, the Islanders called up Anders Nilsson from Bridgeport to serve as the teams backup goalie.

In 11 games for Bridgeport this year, Nilsson has a 3.57 GAA and a .880 save percentage.  From what I have read from Bridgeport fans though is that is numbers aren't necessarily indicative of his play.  The Sound Tigers have a lot of first year players on their roster which has caused the team to struggle and his numbers to suffer.

If Nabokov is truly out for a month or more I don't see how keeping Nilsson up here as Poulin's backup makes much sense.  Unless of course, the team's perception of Nilsson has changed that much that they would be willing to waste that development time for him just sitting him here on the bench.

Bridgeport Calls Up Milner

With Anders Nilsson being called up, Bridgeport had a void in net.  That void was filled when they called up Parker Milner from Stockton in the ECHL.  If you recall, they signed Milner to a contract over the summer.

In five games this year in the ECHL, Milner has a 3.22 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

Milner will presumably serve as the backup for goalie Ken Reiter in Bridgeport.  In five games for Bridgeport this year, Reiter has a 3.11 GAA and a .883 save percentage.

Evgeni Nabokov Placed On IR

According to reports, the Islanders placed goalie Evgeni Nabokov on IR this morning.

Nabokov was injured on the first shot of Saturday's game against the Red Wings.  He went down to attempt to stop a shot by Red Wings forward Darren Helm on a breakaway and after it went in you could see Nabby in pain and motioning for the trainer to come off the bench for him.

While there has been no determination made yet about a timetable for Nabby or the exact nature of his injury, yesterday Arthur Staple from Newsday said that he thought Nabby would be out for at least 4 weeks.
One has to wonder if this is an injury Nabokov had been playing through which would explain why his numbers fell off so far and why he has looked so slow at times going side to side in his crease.  This injury could be a blessing in disguise because it now gives Kevin Poulin a chance to be the team's number one goalie for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Isles End Homestand On A High With A Shootout Win

 photo by espncdn

Tonight, our Islanders ended their three game homstand on a high note with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Red Wings.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Great game by Brock Nelson tonight, he is getting better and better each game.

-Casey Cizikas was a man on a mission tonight, great game by him.

-Given the kind of games Carkner has had this year, this was one of his better ones tonight.

-After struggling in the third period the other night, tonight's was a refreshing change.  Out-shooting the Wings 15-3 is the way it should be and hopefully we will see more of that as the season progresses.

-Good to get another power play goal, but the two power plays the preceded the goal weren't good.  Consistency still needs to be worked on there.

-Great job by the fans coming out tonight and nearly selling out the Coliseum.  Coming into tonight, the Islanders were 5-10-2 in their last 17 and had just blown a two goal lead the other night.

-Given the injury to Nabokov, it appears that Kevin Poulin now will be given a chance game in and game out to prove that he is the future of the Islanders in net.

-If you missed the shootout tonight you can find it below.

After Thursdays rough loss, tonight was a good way to end the homestand and send the team off on their three game road trip.  Considering how bad the last trip went, getting off to a fast start on Tuesday in Toronto would be big for the Islanders.

Next game: Tuesday 7:00 @ Toronto

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pre Game: Red Wings @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders finish their three game home stand with a showdown against Pavel Datsyuk and the Red Wings.

The goalie match up tonight features Jonas Gustavsson for the Red Wings and Evgeni Nabokov making his return to the net for the Islanders.

The Islanders will be icing the same lineup tonight as they did in Thursday's loss to the Kings.  That means, forward Thomas Vanek will miss yet another game while recovering from an unknown upper body injury.  Additionally, Radek Martinek will continue to be a healthy scratch so Matt Carkner can suit up.

Tune in at 7:00 on MSG+2 to see if the Islanders can end this home stand on a high note, or if it'll be another disappointing loss.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blue And Orange Army Food Drive

 photo courtesy of

If you have been to an Islander game in the last few years you have probably become familiar with the people in section 329.  They stand for the entire game usually and can be heard all over the arena singing and cheering for the Islanders.

Well, with their recent increase popularity they have decided to do something good to try and help others out this holiday season.  Tomorrow, between 1:00 and 6:00 PM the Blue and Orange army as they have become known will be holding a food drive benefiting Holy Trinity Food Bank in Coram.  The group's barbecue guy will be barbecuing as well and that will cost $3 per person.

The group will be located along the fence by the Marriot by the walkway to get to the hotel.  Some of the products they will be accepting include: pastas, instant mashed potatoes, and canned goods.

If you are heading to the game tomorrow, get there a little early and meet the group who are some cool people and help out a really good cause.

Yet Another Failed 60 Minute Effort Leads To A 3-2 Loss

Tonight, our Islanders yet again failed to play a full 60 minute game and it costed them as they fell 3-2 to the Kings.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Tonight wasn't Poulin's finest effort.  I'm sure he would like to have a couple of the goals back that he gave up tonight.  Given, the team really didn't show up in front of him in the third but more on that later.

-Congrats to Aaron Ness on his first NHL goal.  It was a great pass by Tavares to set him up for it.

-Good to see Casey finally put one to the back of the net.  Hopefully, this starts a little streak for him because he could use it.

-Once again tonight, the Islanders blew a 3rd period lead.  Some are saying that the Islanders haven't been a good third period team this season.  People need to look beyond that though because this team hasn't been a good third period team for the better part of the last five years.  Although things maybe being done behind the scenes to try and remedy this, on the surface it doesn't appear anything is being done and it makes it that much more frustrating.

-Carkner pitched in well tonight tipping home the Kings second goal.  Why he is playing over Radek Martinek continues to blow my mind.  The only reason he is playing is because of his ability in fighting but he isn't even that good at it.

Well, after the win the other night and the teams play in the second period tonight, this loss was quite disappointing.  However, it wasn't totally unexpected given the Islanders recent history in situations such as tonight.  Hopefully, this coaching staff can come up with something to fix that problem but if the first 1/4 of the season is any indication, this coaching staff may not know what to do in order to fix that issue.

Next Game: Saturday Night @ Home against Detroit

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pre Game: Kings @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders continue their three game home-stand going head to head with the LA Kings.

The goalie match up tonight features Ben Scrivens for the Kings and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.

It may came as surprise that the Kings will not be starting Jonathan Quick in the game tonight.  Quick suffered a grade 2 groin strain and was sent back to LA a couple days ago.  Scrivens was acquired over the summer as part of the trade that sent Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs.

The Islanders will be icing the same lineup tonight as they did in Tuesday's 3-1 win against Nashville.  That means forward Thomas Vanek will miss a 4th game in a row after suffering an injury over the teams road trip last week.

Al Trautwig Called An Islander Fan's Home

Recently, MSG Hockey Night Live host and Gymnastics commentator Al Trautwig called an Islander fan's home after the fan called him a moron on twitter.

Trautwig was a huge opponent of the Islanders trade of Matt Moulson a couple weeks ago that sent him to Buffalo along with a couple picks in exchange for Thomas Vanek.  Seeing his criticism caused Islanders fans to go after Trautwig noting that if the Rangers had made a similar trade that he would be planning the Rangers Stanley Cup parade among other things.

Evidently the criticism's didn't stop and Trautwig, who is supposed to be the professional in the matter called the Islanders fans home at midnight and spoke to his mom to find out the fan no longer lived in the United States and now resides in Israel.

To learn more, check out the article from CBS below:

Bridgeport Has A Busy Day

The Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers had a busy day today, according to their official website.

It started off with the team recalling Kirill Kabanov from the ECHL and sending down Jason Clark who had been playing on Bridgeports fourth line.  If you recall, Kabanov was sent down the ECHL last month after being late to a team meeting.  In 9 games in the ECHL, Kabanov managed to put up 8 points and 11 penalty minutes.

Bridgeport didn't stop there as they also loaned forward Greg Miller to Stockton in the ECHL.  Finishing off their busy day, the Tigers signed forwards Chris Langkow and Sean Wiles to PTO's.  In 7 games for Bridgeport during the 11/12 season Langkow managed to put up 5 points.  Meanwhile, Wiles put up 3 points in 3 games for Bridgeport during last season.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Isles Snap Losing Streak In 3-1 Win Over Nashville

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders snapped their four game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Predators.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Another solid outing by Poulin tonight.  It seems to me that Poulin could be leapfrogging Nabokov on the goalie depth chart with his recent stretch of solid play.

-Another solid game from Brock Nelson.  I know he is playing with Tavares but as a rookie to fit in on that line and not be over-matched or anything is definitely a plus.  After Vanek comes back, I think Nelson should be put on the second line over Bailey who has done nothing for a couple weeks now.

-Solid game from Tavares tonight!  Had the gift wrapped goal in the first period, and the nice little pass in the second period setting up Okposo's goal and shocking everyone in the arena by not shooting it.

-Penalty kill stepped up after struggling on the road trip going 2-2 on the PK tonight.

-Good to see the power play get another on the board for a consecutive game.

-We really need to get better on faceoffs.  It is an underrated part of the game that I feel like we have struggled with pretty much all season.

Well, the first two periods tonight were quite the shift from the road trip.  Given, Nashville is not one of the NHL's premier teams, but the Islanders dominated them through 40 minutes.  While the third period wasn't as good, it was still far from the worst third period we have played this year.  Hopefully, they can build on this game and start a little winning streak the rest of the week.

Next Game: Thursday @ Home Against the Kings

Pre Game: Isles Return Home Vs Predators

Tonight, the Islanders return home to begin a 3 game home stand against the Predators.

The goalie matchup tonight features Marek Mazanec making his NHL debut for the Predators and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.

The Islanders will see the return of Cal Clutterbuck tonight from injury after missing the last 3 games.  Eric Boulton will be a healthy scratch tonight to make room for Clutterbuck.  Travis Hamonic will also be in the lineup tonight.  There was some doubt if Hamonic would be in tonight after going down hard and leaving Sundays game late in the third period.  While Hamonic is in tonight, Thomas Vanek is not and will miss his second consecutive game.  However, the good news is that Vanek should be back for Thursday's game against the Kings.

ESPN's "Big Shot"

Last month, ESPN aired a 30 for 30 documentary about how in 1996/1997 John Spano was able to fraudulently purchase the Islanders and be the legal owner of the team for a couple months.

If you missed it, you can view the entire film on youtube below.  If you weren't able to catch it, I would certainly check it out because I thought it was great!

Islanders Release Their Stadium Series Logo

Earlier today, the Islanders released their logo for their Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium against the Rangers on January 29th.

 New York Islanders Chrome photo courtesy of

The Islanders also announced that season ticket holders are now able to place orders for special Stadium Series jersey's like the players will be wearing on the ice.

I'm a little indifferent on the logo.  I like the color of it is.  However, it only displays like half our logo so it's like someone started doing the logo and didn't finish it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Million Thoughts

I sit here on my couch doing very little, enjoying the last of a three day weekend. A weekend in which we saw our Islanders drop both their games, coming up pointless on their four game road trip. A trip in which the same problems occurred time after time.

Every fan who watches this team on a nightly basis knows this team is lost, desperately searching for the answers.  We watch a goaltender struggle and a defense often leaving him to dry.  It's like a sad movie that we replay and watch over and over a few times a week.  Nabby won't steal us any games, he plays a strong game when his men up in front do.  Rarely is he capable of bailing us out on a breakaway or an odd man break.  But isn't this that we expected before the season started? 

Yes the defense corp is banged up. The absence of Lubo is glaring, in more ways then one.  Our power play has been lacking, finally breaking the long goalless streak last night.  Then the fans are lucky to watch Mr. Carkner skate about 2 MPH down the ice and get beat looking silly at least a few times a game.  Meanwhile, steady average Radek Martinek sits in the press box watching the sadness fold.  Why?  I wish I knew. 

I sit and watch these games pass, loss after loss.  Often I shake my head and itch for a beverage.  They bother me to no end; I often wonder where was the team I fell in love with in the spring.  That feeling of us winning, and believing every game we can win, no matter the score.  I miss that feeling to no end and I know I'm not alone.  

Was last year a tease?  Did we just get hot at the right time in a shortened season and sneak in?  Now these thoughts fill my head.  And to all I beLIeve, don't get me wrong but I'm not blind either.  There are problems with this team and it leads to my next topic.

The trade of Vanek, I loved it.  To add a star talent and show a sign of life? Sign me up; Vanek and Tavares will do special things.  I loved Moulson but it's hockey, you move on.  For all those calling for Snow's head, how do you know he isn't trying to acquire a dman right now.  Its not like there easy to get, especially one who can play and play well.  

I also see this year on the backend as a trap.  Snow wants to win but he also knows he's loaded with kids.  Next season the likes of Reinhart and possibly Pulock will be on the team.  Also with Pedan and Mayfield pushing for a spot.  It also depends what happens with Amac.  If he leaves during free agency, maybe Snow looks outside the organization for a top 4.

I guess all we can do is watch, we all have last years playoffs in our mind. It's often why there is so much rant on Facebook and twitter.  We all have that team in our minds and so far we've seen a huge letdown.  Its a long season and it's only Novemeber.  The ride will be bumpy, filled with ups and downs but I know we'll stick together through it.  Good luck to us all & Go Isles.  Now I need to find my phone charger before it dies, oops. 

It's not easy something to put a million thoughts on your favorite team into one short blog post.  The struggle..

Isles Drop 4th In A Row 4-2

Last night, our Islanders dropped their fourth in a row by a score of 4-2 to Montreal.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Well, it was encouraging to see the team finally convert on a couple power plays.  It was long overdue!  However, the penalty kill is still a disaster which is concerning.

-First Vanek, and now Hamonic might be out after going down late in the third period yesterday.  Talk about a bad road trip getting worse.

-Brock Nelson had a solid game last night.  I thought he looked pretty comfortable next to Tavares and Okposo.

-Even though he did give up 4 goals, I didn't think Poulin played all that bad.  With the way Nabokov has played in his last few starts, I wouldn't be against giving Poulin the start again on Tuesday.

-Why Matt Carkner is being played instead of Radek Martinek makes no sense to me.  Especially with how taxed we are on defense already to play Carkner who only plays around 10 minutes a game forcing other guys to take on more time, makes absolutely zero sense.  Another contributing factor here is that Carkner is a bad defenseman.  Martinek might not be Bobby Orr out there, but at least he can skate and is competent in his own zone.  Two things that Carkner isn't.

To say this was a bad road trip is quite the understatement.  Adding insult to injury are that Vanek and now maybe Hamonic could be out.  Vanek is being re-evaluated at some point today.  The team needs to snap this funk soon otherwise they will find themselves in a familiar position, that being out of the playoffs.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night @ Home Vs Nashville

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Montreal

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, the Islanders travel to Montreal to finish off their four game road trip looking to salvage at least a point from what otherwise has been a pretty disastrous trip thus far.

The goalie match up features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Carey Price for Montreal.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different tonight as Thomas Vanek is out with an upper body injury.  In his spot Brock Nelson will be in the lineup and on the left side of Tavares and Okposo.

Here is the starting lineup reported by Arthur Staple:










Isles Drop 3rd Straight 5-2 To Columbus

Tonight, our Islanders dropped their third in a row getting defeated by a score of 5-2 by Columbus.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The power play continues to be well, powerless.  People want to blame the lack of production on the loss of Matt Moulson, however, I think the loss of Lubomir Visnovsky is playing a lot larger role in the struggles the power play is facing right now.

-The defense didn't have its finest game at all especially in the third period.  MacDonald as Butch Goring said on the broadcast played Atkinson horribly leading to the fourth goal.  Also, a bad penalty by Hamonic gave the Jackets that power play in the beginning of the third period and our inability to clear the crease allowed Umberger to tip home the winner.

-While Nabokov wasn't his best tonight, I am putting more of the woes tonight on the defense.  But, Nabokovs stats are now entering DP territory and yet he isn't catching 1/10 of the criticism DP used to catch from fans which surprises me a bit.

-One has to wonder what Cappy was thinking inserting both Carkner and Boulton in the lineup.  While they weren't as awful tonight as they can be, their presence alone in the lineup causes ice time for other players to increase.  Especially on defense where we are already taxed I am not sure how that makes sense.

-The struggles on the penalty kill continued tonight.  I know they switched up some of the forwards, and I am not sure what else they can do.  But that's why the the coaches get the big bucks to figure things like this out because our penalty kill right now is a disaster.

Tonight was yet another disappointing game in what has been a series of disappointing games on this road trip.  It is vital for the team to come out of tomorrow's game with at least a point, but it isn't going to be easy.

Next Game: Tomorrow night 6:00 at Montreal

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Jackets

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, the Islanders continue there 4 game road trip traveling to Columbus to take on Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Sergei Bobrovsky for the Jackets.

After their shutout loss the other night, the Islanders lineup will look a bit different tonight.  Matt Donovan, Brock Nelson, and Radek Martinek will all be scratched tonight.  Donovan had been suffering from a nagging hip injury.  Replacing them in the lineup tonight will be Aaron Ness, Matt Carkner, and Eric Boulton.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Birthday NY Islanders

 photo courtesy of

Today, the New York Islanders organization is celebrating its 42nd birthday.

It was on November 8th, 1971 that the Islanders were discovered in an effort to block the rival WHA from having a team in the Nassau Coliseum.  Since then the Islanders went on the become the last American hockey dynasty and won 19 straight playoff series.  The last 20+ years have been pretty rough but led by John Tavares better days seem to be on the horizon.

Islanders Struggles Continue In Shutout Loss To Carolina

Last night, our Islanders dropped their second in a row being shutout 1-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes.  This loss gives the Islanders a 5-27-5 record in their last 32 games against Carolina and a 1-7-2 record in their last ten games at the PNC Arena.  Here are some of my notes from last nights game:

-One of the few bright spots of last night was the play of Kevin Poulin.  For a second start in a row Poulin came out and was very solid and made key saves when they were needed.  After his last two starts and Nabokov's last two starts I don't know how you couldn't realistically start giving Poulin a bulk of the starts.  The goalie that starts should be the person that gives our team the best chance to win and right now that is Poulin.

-Brock Nelson had a pretty good game, was very noticeable for the first time in a little while.

-The teams frustration is starting to show on the ice.  Not only with Matt Martins fight last night.  But, with Travis Hamonics altercation last night with Tyler Ennis and then the first lines scrum in the third period last night as well.

-The power play continues to struggle with Visnovsky out.  Doug Weight has been hailed as a power play guru.  It is time for him to start showing that because we haven't been able to do anything on our power play going scoreless in the last six games.

-Aaron Ness didn't look bad at all in his season debut last night.  Even though he is really small and isn't exactly what we need back there I would much rather see him in then Matt Carkner because Ness can actually play defense.

After the first period last night, this game was pretty much a disaster.  After all the good feelings that came out of last weekends back to back wins this certainly wasn't what was expected against two divisional rivals.  If this play keeps up you have to wonder how long before Capuano gets on the hot seat.  Not that I think making Doug Weight or Brent Thompson the coach would make any sort of huge difference.

Next Game: Tomorrow night @ Columbus

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Hurricanes

 photo by venuestoday

Tonight, the Islanders continue their 4 game road trip traveling to Carolina to take on Eric Staal and the Hurricanes.

The goalie matchup tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and likely Justin Peters for Carolina.

The Islanders have struggled recently against Carolina.  Over the teams last 31 meetings the Islanders are 5-21-5 against the Hurricanes, according to the Canes official website.  Also, in their last 9 games at the PNC Arena the Islanders are 1-6-2.

To try and switch things up after Tuesdays bad loss, the lineup will include Colin McDonald making his return from injury and Aaron Ness who was called up from Bridgeport this morning.  I suspect that McDonald will take Brock Nelsons spot in the lineup.  Meanwhile, depending on the status of Matt Donovan will depend on who sits out for Ness.  Donovan has been battling a hip injury according to some reports.  If he is able to go then Matt Carkner will likely sit out for Ness.

Isles Most Likely Spot For Martin Brodeur??

According to Bob McKenzie from TSN on the show "the quiz" yesterday, he feels the Islanders are the most likely landing spot for Martin Brodeur should the Devils trade him this season.

A couple days ago reports came out that Brodeur would consider waiving his NTC to go to a contender should the Devils fall out of the race by the trade deadline.

I have mixed feelings on Brodeur.  On one hand I think we need an upgrade in net because Poulin is uncertain and Nabokov at this stage just doesn't cut it as a starter.  The thing is, looking at Brodeurs stats the last few years I am not sure he is cut out to be a number one goalie anymore either.  If we were to get him it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, however, I am not sure it would solve the teams issues even for the rest of this year.

Islanders Recall Aaron Ness

 photo courtesy of

This morning, the Islanders announced that they recalled defenseman Aaron Ness from Bridgeport.

This year for Bridgeport, Ness has registered 1 goal and 3 assists in 9 games.  In 167 games in the AHL, Ness has registered 65 points.  Ness was also called up to the Islanders 2 years ago for a 9 game stint in which he registered 0 points.

Matt Donovan is a game time decision tonight which could open up a spot for Ness.  However, if Donovan can go then Ness is expected to take Carkner's spot.

While I am not wild about Ness, having him in the lineup over Carkner would be a welcomed change.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2nd Period Struggles Cost Isles In 6-2 Loss

Tonight, the Islanders opened their four game road trip with a 6-2 loss to the Capitals.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Penalty kill was disastrous tonight!!  Brent Thompson needs to get to work with them.

-Carkner didn't have a great game tonight.  His failure at playing defense led to him taking a penalty that led to the Capitals third goal.  He is usually such a disaster on the ice.

-Defense as a hole wasn't all that good tonight after a solid game on Saturday.  The Islanders need a more consistent effort from them if they want to be successful.

-For the second time in a row, Nabokov didn't have his best game tonight.  The first and second goal tonight are goals Nabokov probably wants to have back.  The 4th Capitals goal tonight is directly on Nabokov.  Instead of playing the position, Nabokov tried to sell the penalty on the Capitals and it failed and it backfired on Nabokov in the worst way possible with the Capitals goal.  I would be surprised if Poulin doesn't play on Thursday.

-The first line is so good, can we sign Vanek to a big extension now?

-Frans Nielsen continues to stay hot with his nice assist on Tavares goal tonight.

Well, after the great weekend, saying tonight was disappointing is an understatement.  Over the weekend, Hamonic told some media memebers that he thought the criticism of the defense was "bullsh*t."  After tonights game, I am not sure how he can say that again with a straight face.  This definitely wasn't how they wanted to start their road trip.  Hopefully, they are able to pick it up on Thursday in Carolina.

Next Game: Thursday @ Carolina

Pre Game: Isles @ Washington

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders begin a 4 game road trip traveling to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and likely Braden Holtby for the Capitals.

After missing three games for the Capitals, Alex Ovechkin will be back in the lineup for them tonight.

The Islanders lineup will look the same as it did in Saturdays win against the Bruins meaning Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton will be the scratches for the Islanders.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Islanders/NHLPA Fighting Over Cable Money

photo's courtesy of &

According to Forbes, the Islanders and the NHLPA are fighting over how to count the teams cable money when looking at their revenue for the purpose of calculating the leagues salary cap.

Check out the link to forbes below: (h/t to Islander Mania for the link)

Islanders Add Jon Sim

 photo courtesy of

Earlier today, reports came out that the Islanders had signed ex Islander forward Jon Sim to a 25 game tryout contract with their AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

In 162 games with the Islanders between the 07/08 season and 10/11 season Sim had 65 points.  The Islanders ended up releasing Sim after he refused to report to Bridgeport after clearing waivers.

To say I was caught off guard by this is quite the understatement.  I want to be upset about it because Sim is from the previous era of this team and is something were supposed to be getting away from.  However, this is only for Bridgeport who has really been struggling this year so I guess every little bit helps for them.

Islanders Put Strait On IR

This morning, the Islanders announced that defenseman Brian Strait was placed on IR retroactive to October 24th.

There has yet to be an announcement of any call-up or anything to replace Strait whose placement on IR leaves the Islanders with 6 defensemen on the NHL roster and no extras.

I'm not sure if we will see a call-up now because if we were going to see one I think we would've seen it already.  Strait has really struggled not only this season but last season as well after coming back from his severe ankle injury.  

We have also yet to get any sort of timeline on Lubomir Visnovsky who was injured with a concussion in the game against Carolina on October 19th.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MacDonald's Game Winner Gives Isles First Win Streak This Season

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders came out and defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 3-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Given Poulin's lack of playing time this season he was very solid tonight.  Given his solid play tonight and Nabby's less then stellar play last night, consideration has to be given to start Poulin in Washington on Tuesday.

-Okposo has been on fire to start the season.  Its nice to see him finally come out of the gate strong.

-Congrats to Thomas Vanek on his 500th NHL point and his first goal as an Islander.  Vanek has quickly endeared himself to Islander fans with his creative pass plays and impressive stick-handling.

-While there were more then a few positives tonight, one glaring negative is still the powerplay.  It is pretty clear that they haven't figured out how to cope with the loss of Visnovsky.  They have been able to get a handful of chances but as a hole it needs to be better.

-Brock Nelson had a decent game in his limited ice time.  It seems like Nelson is getting the Nino treatment which is unfortunate for him.

-Frans Nielsen is a man on a mission.  Nielsen may have not had a point tonight, but you could see in his game that he has elevated himself and is at a level I don't think we have seen from him as an Islander.  It will be interesting to see how long he can keep this up.

-This team didn't look like one that was playing the back end of a back to back tonight.  They stuck right with the Bruins in the first period.  Then in the second period they came out and took it to them for a majority of the period.  A difference in third period play was clearly evident tonight.  Instead of just sticking back and trying to protect the lead like the Islanders do sometimes.  They continued to attack and play their game and it paid dividends on the scoreboard.  The fact that they showed really zero ill effects of playing the second game in back to back nights is really encouraging.

Tonight was the team's most complete game of the year.  The Islanders hung right in there with the Bruins for a full sixty minute effort which for this team is really encouraging.  Furthering on that though, they actually took it to them for some aspects of the game which was really impressive for me.  The fact that we were able to take 4 points in this back to back is really big after our bad losses to the Rangers and Flyers.  Let's see if they are able massage this into a longer streak as they head out onto a road trip.

Next Game: Tuesday Night 11/5 @ Washington

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pre Game: Bruins @ Islanders

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, Zdeno Chara and the Bruins pay a visit to the old barn in Hempstead to take on our Islanders.

The goalie matchup tonight features Chad Johnson for the Bruins and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.  A matchup of the backup goalies here tonight.

The Islanders will be icing the same lineup as last nights win against Ottawa.  This will be a tough test for the Islanders as the Bruins are one of the top teams in the conference.

Tune in at 7:00 to see how they fare on the back end of their back to back.

Isles End Skid With 5-4 Shootout Win

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, the Islanders ended their two game losing streak with a 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Frans Nielsen continues to remain hot as we enter the second month of the season.  He is on a pace like we have never seen before from him, its curious how long he will be able to keep it up.

-Tonight wasn't Nabokov's finest hour.  The first two goals are goals he has to stop, although, that second one is one we have become conditioned to Nabokov letting in during his time here.  Getting a more reliable goalie in here would do wonders for the team.

-Awesome pass by Vanek to set up Tavares on his goal.  Vanek had a solid game as a hole but that pass was a thing of beauty.

-I thought Hickey played a pretty solid game tonight.  Not only in the defensive zone, but he also made a real nice pass to Nielsen setting him up for the tying goal in the third period.

-Nice tip by Matt Martin on the teams second goal.

-We got burned yet again by a crappy breakout on Ottawas first goal tonight.  Thompson really needs to get to work and have these mistakes start being much less frequent.

Overall, tonight was a really solid offensive effort.  However, in our own zone and in net we were lacking.  More so, tonight the struggles were in net.  Nabokov didn't have his A game and was lucky that the offense was able to pick him up like they did.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night @ Home Against the Bruins

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Ottawa

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Ottawa to take on Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators.  This years Ottawa team will look a little different then ones of years past as Jason Spezza is now the team captain after Daniel Alfredsson departed for Detroit over the summer.  Alfredsson had been with Ottawa since the 95/96 season.

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

Tonight, the Islanders will be icing the same lineup as they did in Tuesdays loss against the Rangers.  Following that game, coach Jack Capuano was pretty clear on the possibility of changes being made after the struggles the team experienced.  The fact that none were made is a little bit surprising to me.  I am curious to see how long of a rope the current group has before more changes are made.

Happy Birthday Al Arbour

 photo courtesy of

Today, former Islanders Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour is celebrating his 81st birthday.

Arbour took over the head coaching reigns of the Islanders in the 73/74 season which was the teams second season in existence.  From there they never looked back as Arbour ended up leading the team to 4 straight Stanley Cup titles, 19 straight playoff series wins, and 739 wins in 1499 career games as coach.  It wasn't until 2007 when then head coach Ted Nolan noticed the odd numbers on Arbours records and wanted to give the Hall of Famer a chance to fix that.  So, to do that Nolan handed the bench over to Arbour on November 3rd, 2007 for the Islanders game against the Penguins.  That game was Arbours 1500th game as Islander head coach and ended up being his 740th win as the teams head coach which puts him comfortably in first place in the category in team history.  Arbour was elected to the NHL Hall of Fame in 1996.

We here at Savetheisles would like to wish Arbour a very Happy Birthday and him many more.