Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Barclays Center VS Islander Fans

Last night, the Islanders dropped their first game in regulation in almost three weeks by a score of 5-1 to the Florida Panthers.

However, one day after the game all that is being talked about it what happened in the stands.  Last night was parents day at the arena and during intermission a family wanted to get a little closer to get a picture of a tribute they paid for, for a relative who passed away last year.  However, when attempting to get closer they were stopped by ushers and the entire situation went downhill from there.  According to first hand accounts of people who were present, multiple staff members from Barclays Center were fist fighting with Islander fans.  The unfortunate end saw a young female Islander fan get knocked out cold by a female Barclays Center security guard.  For videos of the incident click here and here.  For a more detailed account check out the tweets below.

To say this is disturbing is quite the understatement!  Staff members are present at sporting events to diffuse situations like this not escalate them which seems to have happened in this instance.  Considering the staff at Barclays Center is trained by Disney, according to Bruce Ratner, behavior like this is surprising to say the least.  Hopefully, we get a statement today from the Barclays Center and this is dealt with accordingly because stuff like this can't happen, totally unacceptable!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Do the Islanders and Nets Play in The Same Arena?

Last night was not my first time at Barclays Center like it was for some.  I have been fortunate to attend both pre season games the Islanders played there against the Devils.  Additionally, I have been able to attend two Nets games as well.  Each time I went to the arena I never had any major complaints at all and was in fact impressed with a lot of things.  That was until last night.  Last night I felt as though I was in a different arena that I had been in the previous times I had been there.  Here are some of the issues I noticed:

  • Concession lines upstairs were worse then the Coliseum in both length and length of wait.
  • The overall size of the concourse is tight when packed as well.
  • Furthering with the concession stands, they raised the beer prices even more as if they weren't already high enough.  The one particular stand I went to would only serve certain draft beer in certain cups which is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.  This inconvenience played a major role in the extreme wait I had.
  • Bathroom lines were also huge compared to the other times I had been there.
  • Some are being critical of fans who booed Brooklyn related items including but not limited to Brett Yormark being shown on the big screen.  Specifically with Yormark, that is something he brought on himself with his ill thought out comments on the Michael Kay Show in the wake of the goal horn saga and it wouldn't surprise me if the boos continue for a while.
Following my issues with the concession stand, I ran into an Islanders employee who while he was nice made some pretty ridiculous and far fetched excuses for the issues I had.  One of them was that they had to adjust to the Long Island crowd as if Net fans only come from NYC and NJ and the Islanders had never played pre season games here before.  With regard to the bathroom lines, he said they weren't as bad as the Coliseum.  Being in a brand new state of the art arena I would hope lines would be better then the 43 year old Coliseum.

So now I ask, was the arena last night the same place the Islanders played two pre season games and I saw two Net games?  It surely didn't feel like it was and for the people at be hopefully that changes.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Projections: Goalie

We conclude by looking in between the pipes at goalie:

photo by ESPN

1) Jaroslav Halak

37 wins

18 losses


While he is a little shaken up to start the season, I think Halak will be just fine and prove to be a steady backstop for the Islanders like he was last season.

2) Thomas Greiss

9 wins

7 losses


After having the backups struggle for a majority of last season, I think the Islanders found the right fit with Greiss.  He will prove to be the perfect backup for the Islanders and will be able to handle a little extended time should Halak show he isn't 100%.

3) JF Berube

2 wins

2 losses


After being one of the better goalies in the AHL in the last few years I think Berube will show the Islanders he was worthy of their waiver claim in a cup of coffee with the team throughout the season.

Projections: Defensemen

Today, we will continue by looking at the top 6 defensemen:

photo by zimbio

1) Johnny Boychuk

10 goals

30 assists

40 points

If he can stay healthy, these numbers should easily be achievable for Boychuk in his second season with the Islanders.

2) Nick Leddy

13 goals

35 assists

48 points

Leddy is an interesting case to watch this season.  Where as Boychuk is in his prime already, Leddy is still only 24 so it is a bit of a mystery as to exactly how good he can be.  After setting a career high in goals last year, and tying his career high in points I fully expect his game to continue to mature playing alongside Boychuk.

photo by ESPN

3) Travis Hamonic

5 goals

30 assists

35 points

Last year was a bit of a breakout offensive season for Hamonic setting a career high in goals, assists, and points.  While he won't have the offensive production of Leddy, I think he will continue to settle in as a rock on the Islanders blue line that we all hope he will become.

4) Calvin De Haan

2 goals

13 assists

15 points

This is a big year for De Haan!  After struggling last year, he needs to grow past that or he might find his time in the lineup limited to say the least.

5) Marek Zidlicky

6 goals

25 assists

31 points

16 PPP

Zidlicky wasn't acquired by the Islanders for his stellar play at even strength.  Although he is 39 now, Zidlicky is still very valuable on the power play where he put up 20 points last season split between the Devils and the Red Wings.  I see no reason why as long as he remains in the lineup he won't put up similar production this year.

6) Thomas Hickey

3 goals

19 assists

22 points

I feel like Hickey is in a similar boat to De Haan.  While Hickey didn't struggle nearly as much as De Haan did last year, if Hickey can't keep his play at an acceptable rate he might find himself in the press box before long.

Guys Who Could See Time:

1) Brian Strait

0 goals

4 assists

4 points

Much to the chagrin of most Islander fans, Brian Strait is still with the team heading into the season.  Due to an injury to Thomas Hickey, he will likely be in the opening night lineup which I am sure will be well received by the faithful at Barclays Center.

photo by zimbio

2) Ryan Pulock

4 goals

3 assists

7 points

Pulock is an interesting guy to watch this season.  Having broke camp with the team but starting the season as a likely scratch is a little surprising to me.  When he is eventually given a chance I fully expect him to run with it and not look back.

3) Scott Mayfield

1 goal

3 assists

4 points

After impressing in his brief playoff stint last year, I would suspect that it won't be terribly long before we see Mayfield in some way or another at this level.  His edge, combined with offensive ability would be a welcomed addition to the lineup.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Projections: Bottom 6 Forwards

Today, we will continue our pre season projections with the bottom six forwards. (in no particular order)

1) Frans Nielsen

15 goals

35 assists

50 points

Going into his contract year, I could see Nielsen putting up solid numbers assuming he is able to stay healthy.  It is a wonder if this will be Nielsens final season in the orange and blue.

2) Mikhail Grabovski

20 goals

30 assists

50 points

If he is able to stay healthy, these should be very realistic numbers for Grabo who just never was able to consistently stay on the ice last season.  If he has another injury plagued season, his rich contract could prove to be a cause of concern for the Islanders.

3) Nikolay Kulemin

15 goals

20 assists

35 points

We are now getting to the players who depend more on finesse than skill and Kulemin quickly became a fan favorite in his first year with the Islanders last year in part due to his tenacious work ethic on the ice.  I expect more of the same from him this season in the teams first year in Brooklyn.

photo by ESPN

4) Matt Martin

9 goals

6 assists

15 points

120 PIMS

14 points has been a difficult point total for Martin to eclipse to this point in his NHL career.  In every season he has played in except one Martin has ended the season with 14 points.  While he might not go past the point total with flying colors, I fully expect him to resume his role on the best fourth line in hockey like nothing ever changed.

5) Casey Cizikas

10 goals

10 assists

20 points'

After setting a career high in goals last year, I expect more of the same from Cizikas again this year as he matures into a regular NHL player for years to come.

6) Cal Clutterbuck

10 goals

10 assists

20 points

While Clutterbuck may not put up the stats that he did in Minnesota it is because his role has changed since being acquired by the Islanders.  He has more of a checking role with the Islanders and one that he performs superbly I might add as the third member of the best fourth line in hockey.  I expect this line to pick up right where it left off last season.

Guys who could see time:

1) Eric Boulton

While Boulton could end up skating a game or two up here this season it won't be to make a difference on the scoreboard.

2) Steve Bernier

8 goals

5 assists

13 points

Bernier was an interesting signing for the Islanders late in the off-season after the trade of Michael Grabner to the Leafs.  After putting up a career high in goals for the Devils last season, I expect Bernier to see limited time with the Islanders this year because of their extraordinary depth up front.  When he does make it in the lineup though I expect him to be productive.

photo by zimbio

3) Kirill Petrov

3 goals

5 assists

8 points

One of the more talked about guys of the pre season, I don't expect that talk to stop when the season starts when it comes to Petrov.  After 8 years, Petrov has impressed more then a few people in his first Islanders training camp.  If he has been impressive enough to make the team out of camp we shall find out soon enough.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Projections: Top 6 Forwards

With the season right around the corner, we are going to start doing some stat projections for the forwards, defensemen, and goalies we expect to see with the Islanders this season.  Today we will start with the top 6 forwards (in no particular order):

photo by ESPN

1) John Tavares

40 goals

55 assists

95 points

Tavares was so close to winning the scoring title last year and I think he will be in the race once again this season.  If early pre season is any indication, having Anders Lee on his left wing for a full season could help boost those assist totals which could prove to be key for the individual achievement.

2) Kyle Okposo

35 goals

45 assists

80 points

Okposo might be the most talked about Islander this season behind Tavares of course.  Being a UFA after the season, Okposo will want to up his game to try and earn the most money possible.  However, he might need to work extra hard as he could be separated from John Tavares giving other players a chance in that spot such as Ryan Strome.

3) Ryan Strome

20 goals

35 assists

55 points

I expect Strome to continue his maturation in his second full season in the NHL.  Playing with John Tavares at all will definitely help Strome achieve these numbers.  Strome will be a player to watch this season.

photo by NHLPA

4) Anders Lee

35 goals

20 assists

55 points

Another player to watch is definitely Anders Lee.  If the pre season is any indication he will be the first one given a chance on the magical left wing of John Tavares.  If he is able to maintain that role he should have little trouble hitting 35 goals after hitting 25 in his rookie season last year.

5) Brock Nelson

30 goals

25 assists

55 points

Like Lee, I am expecting big things from Nelson as well.  If he hadn't disappeared for many months last season, Nelson would've hit the 30 goal plateau pretty easily.  If he is able to stay consistent this season I see no reason why he won't achieve that milestone for the first time in his young career.

6) Josh Bailey

20 goals

30 assists

50 points

After setting a career high in goals and points last season, I can see Bailey building on that and setting new career highs again this season.  That is of course largely depending on who he plays with for a majority of the season.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Isles Sign Zidlicky

Earlier tonight, it was announced that the Islanders had signed vet defensemen Marek Zidlicky to a 1 year deal worth 1.5 million dollars.
The Islanders had been linked to Zidlicky on and off for a few weeks now.  With Zidlicky having played in Jersey, and the Islanders saying goodbye to Lubomir Visnovky this off-season Zidlicky was a pretty good fit.  The salary flexibility created by the Michael Grabner trade earlier this week allowed this move to happen.

Bringing in Zidlicky takes some pressure off the likes of Scott Mayfield and Ryan Pulock who had been previously been counted on to have potentially big roles with this team in the upcoming season.

Adding Zidlicky who got most of his points on the power play last season to a power play that already includes Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, and Travis Hamonic has the makings for something special.  Doug Weight should be kept plenty busy creating plays with those guys on the point for his huge book of plays.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Isles Trade Grabner To Leafs

Earlier today, it was announced that the Islanders traded forward Michael Grabner to the Maple Leafs for a package of prospects.  It had long been expected that the Islanders would trade Grabner, however, it started to look like Grabner would be on the team to start in Brooklyn.  In return for Grabner the Islanders acquired Matt Finn, Tom Nilsson, Taylor Beck, Christopher Gibson, and Carter Verhaeghe.
The most promising players in the deal, according to reports are Matt Finn and Carter Verhaeghe.

Finn, a 2012 second round pick is still only 20 years of age.  He turned pro last season and had struggles expected for a young player especially on defense.

The other player worth talking about in the deal is Carter Verhaeghe.  Verhaeghe already has some familiarity with the Isles organization having played with Josh Ho Sang in juniors.  Coming off back to back 82 point seasons in juniors Verhaeghe is set to take his play to Bridgeport this season.

While the Islanders didn't acquire a start prospect in this deal you shouldn't have expected that in return for Grabner.  With the quantity the Islanders got in this deal I feel they did very well given Grabners injury history.  Also, they created some flexibility moving out Grabners 3 million cap hit/5 million salary.

Isles Sign Nelson To 3 Year Deal

Last night, the Islanders announced that they signed Brock Nelson to a 3 year deal worth 7.5 million dollars.  This deal came in just hours before the Islanders self imposed 7am deadline this morning.  As has been talked about over and over again the Islanders have a team policy if you are not signed by training camp then you have to sit out the season.

The breakdown of Nelsons contract is like this, he will make 1.5 million this season, 2.5 million next season, then 3.5 million the year after that.

If Nelson is able to build on his first half from last year and put it together this will end up being another steal of a contract for the Islanders.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Isles, Nelson Haven't Talked in 6 Weeks

photo by Zimbio

With training camp right around the corner, everyone is excited for the season to get up and running again.  The one anxiety among Islander fans though is the uncertain fate of young forward Brock Nelson who is still unsigned.

Nelson who is a restricted free agent rejected the Islanders qualifying offer months ago and still has yet to come to an agreement with the team on a new contract.  The reason this is causing anxiety is because Islanders owner Charles Wang has a policy that if you are not signed by the start of training camp that you can't play the season for the Islanders.  This happened to Sean Bergenheim a long time ago and he ended up having to spend the season over seas.

With camp being so close, you would think the Islanders and Brock Nelsons camp would be in constant communication with each other to make sure Nelson doesn't have to sit out the season.  Well, you would be incorrect with that, according to Newsday.  Brock Nelsons agent told Newsday that they haven't spoken with the team in 6 weeks.  He said that they made Nelson a two year contract offer six weeks ago that Nelsons camp felt was unacceptable and there has been no dialogue since.

While I understand Nelsons camp case here, they don't really have much leverage.  They should take a page from Anders Lees book and take a one year deal and then look for the well paid long term deal next summer.  The strategy paid off for Lee, so it could easily pay off for his on and off again linemate as well.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Isles Give Boulton A Tryout

After serving as the Islanders resident tough guy the last few seasons, Eric Boulton is in for a new role.  With his contract having expired following last season, the Islanders didn't renew it making Boulton an unrestricted free agent.

Up until now Boulton had remained unsigned, but he is taking a route that many veterans take to show they have a little left in the tank by accepting a try out, according to Newsday.
If he fails to make the roster he could use his many career experiences to help mentor as well as protect the kids in Bridgeport.  If you are not familiar with the AHL game, it is a much more physical brand of hockey compared to what we see in the NHL.  While his game may not translate up here like it used to, it is still a very much needed part of the game in the AHL.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Isles News Items of the Day

If you have been away from your phone/computer today you have missed some Islanders news stories.

Isles Sign Poulin

The Islanders signed goalie Kevin Poulin to a 1 year two way contract.  Poulin will make 275K in the AHL and 600K if he is on the NHL roster.  After an excellent start to last season where Poulin had essentially put the Sound Tigers on his back, his play really came back to earth as the season wore on and he finished with a 2.87 GAA and a .912 save percentage.  This was Poulins best season as starter since 2011/2012.  At 25, Poulins time could be running out and this year he figures on competing for time with rookie Stephen Williams who is expected to be with Bridgeport next season.

Carkner Signs AHL Contract

After missing all of last season, and with his contract expiring Matt Carkner signed a 2 year AHL contract with the Islanders AHL affiliate in Bridgeport today.  According to Arthur Staple, Carkner will serve as a player and coach.
Carkners style of play will translate well down there I think and his attitude will do wonders for the young players especially Scott Mayfield.

New Third Jersey Coming Next Month

The long awaited Brooklyn third jersey is expected to be released next month, according to multiple reports.  There is no new information yet regarding potential look or design of the jersey.

Monday, August 3, 2015

New Coliseum Name Within 30 Days?

According to the Sports Business Daily Journal, the refurbished Coliseum could have a corporate name within 30 days.  When news broke last year that they would seek a naming rights deal for the arena I tried to think of who it could be but nothing really fit for me so I am curious to see who ends up getting the deal.  Additionally, like was alluded to in a Newsday article last year, I hope they follow through with having the Veterans Memorial name still serve a presence on the grounds, it would be a real shame if they failed to do that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Free Agent Frenzy

With today being the start of NHL free agency, we will do our best to keep track of each signing here.

2:05 Buffalo signs Matt Donovan

1:55 Cody Hodgson signs 1 year deal worth 1 million dollars with Nashville

1:55 Bruins trade Zack Kassian to Montreal in exchange for Brandon Prust and a 5th round pick

1:51 Penguins sign Kael Mouillierat to a two way contract

1:51 Lightning sign Erik Condra to a 3 year deal worth 1.25 million per season

1:39 Leafs sign Pa Parenteau

1:31 Jets sign Alexander Burmistrov to a two year contract

1:31 Kings sign Jhonas Enroth to 1 year contract worth 1,250,000

1:24 Coyotes sign Zybnek Michalek to a 2 year deal worth 3.2 million per season

1:03 Calgary signs Michael Frolik to a 5 year contract worth 4.3 million per season

12:54 Phil Kessel traded to the Penguins

12:48 Oilers sign Mark Letestu to 3 year contract worth 1.8 per season

12:48 Flyers sign Micheal Neuvirth to a 2 year deal worth 3.25 million

12:45 Avalanche sign Blake Comeau to 3 year contract worth 2.4 million per

12:44 Andrej Sekera signs a 6 year contract worth 5.5 per with the Oilers

12:39 Sharks sign Paul Martin to 4 year contract worth 4.85 million per season

12:20 Francois Beauchemin signs a 3 year deal worth 4.5 per season with Colorado

12:14 Islanders re-sign Thomas Hickey to 3 year contract worth 2.2 per season

12:12 Islanders sign Thomas Greiss to a 2 year deal worth 3 million

12:10 Leafs sign Matt Hunwick to a 2 year contract worth 1.2 per season

12:04 Predators re-sign Mike Ribeiro for 2 years 3.5 million per season

12:00 Yannick Weber re-signs in Vancouver for 1 year 1,5 million

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Isles Sign Lee To 4 Year Extension

Photo by Zimbio

According to Arthur Staple, the Islanders have signed Anders Lee to a 4 year extension worth 3.75 million per season.
Lee had a breakout season last year scoring 25 goals and 41 points in 76 games.  He also had 1 point in 5 playoff games.  Throughout the season, Lee made the front of the net home and he was rewarded handsomely for it.  Late in the season, an article came out how Lee was offered a multi year extension last summer but instead of taking it took a one year contract betting on himself that he could earn more and it paid off.  Qualities of confidence and determination like that to me are things you look for in guys who wear letters on their uniform.

While the number is a bit higher then I anticipated this is an example of the Islanders betting on Lees goal scoring potential and that he will continue to mature.  With the Islanders lack of size and skill that Lee posses it is great that they were able to get a long term deal done rather than just another short term deal.

Isles Closing In On Deals For Hickey, Lee

According to The Score, the Islanders are closing in on a 3 year 6.5 million dollar contract extension for defenseman Thomas Hickey.

Hickey, who the Islanders claimed on waivers before the lockout shortened 2012/2013 season has had an up and down time with the Islanders.  At times you see what made Hickey worthy of the 4th overall pick in 2007 by the Kings.  However, at times you also see why Hickey was never given a chance in their organization other then their great depth.

I personally don't love this number for Hickey, however it isn't as bad as it could be.

Yesterday, Arthur Staple from Newsday reported that the Islanders were also closing in on an extension with restricted free agent forward Anders Lee.
After not making the team out of camp last year, Lee quickly showed them why that was a mistake as he ended up with 25 goals in his first full NHL season.  Those 25 goals left Lee at 9th in the rookie of the year voting at the NHL awards last week.

I am curious what the salary number will look like for Lee.  I would expect at least 2 million per season after seeing what other players have gotten in similar bridge contracts.  As far as next season for Lee, with the left wing spot open on John Tavares line the sky is the limit for him.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meet Mathew Barzal

photo by hockeynow

Last night, the Islanders traded Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for a first and second round pick in the draft.

With the first round pick, they selected center Mathew Barzal from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.  In 44 games last season, Barzal had 57 points including 45 assists.  

The pick was praised among pretty much all fans and most analysts as well.  Prior to the start of the season, Barzal was thought to be a top 5 talent in this draft class.  The main reason he slipped so low was due to a knee injury that kept him out for part of the season of the season.  According to Arthur Staple, Barzals presence at 16 was the only reason the Islanders made the deal with the Oilers.  
The main strength of Barzals game is his play making ability as evidenced by his high assist total this season.  He is also an above average skater, according to hockey's future.

I hadn't thought about it til now but does his selection signal that Frans Nielsen time with the team could be winding down?  Interesting to think about in the coming season as Nielsen is in the final year of a 4 year contract


Friday, June 26, 2015

Isles Trade Back Into Round 1

After dealing Griffin Reinhart tonight, you probably thought the night was over for the Islanders.  However, you would've been incorrect as for the second consecutive year the Islanders traded back into late in the first round.  They acquired the Lightnings 28th overall pick in exchange for the second round pick acquired from the Oilers in the Reinhart deal and a third round pick.

With the pick, the Islanders selected left wing Anthony Beauvillier.  Beauvillier had 94 points for Shawinigan in the QMJHL last season.

BREAKING: ISLES Trade Reinhart To Oilers For Picks

photo by ESPN

After years of speculation, it finally happened.  Tonight, the Islanders traded former number 4 overall pick Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for a first and second round pick in the draft.  The Islanders had been without first and second round picks due to the Thomas Vanek trade and the Johnny Boychuk trade respectively.  

It had been rumored on and off for years that the Oilers were interested in Reinhart so them as his destination shouldn't come as a surprise.

I know on the surface it doesn't look like a sexy return for a former top 5 pick just three years ago.  However, this was on a similar level to what the Bruins got for Dougie Hamilton.  All be it very different situations, however, even so, when thinking of it like that Garth Snow should be applauded.

Some may that the Islanders didn't give Reinhart a chance to develop as defensemen traditionally take longer to develop then forwards.  However, it was pretty evident to anyone that saw Reinhart this year that he was very slow on his skates and without tremendous improvement in that area he would never really fit in the up tempo system the Islanders play. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tavares Comes Up Short For Hart

photo by ESPN

Tonight, the NHL held the NHL award ceremony at the MGM in Las Vegas.  For the second time in 3 seasons, Islanders captain John Tavares was nominated for the leagues MVP award.

In the 2012/2013 season Tavares was nominated alongside Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin but unfortunately came up short.  This season he was once again nominated alongside Ovechkin but the third nominee was Carey Price of Montreal.  Like two years ago, Tavares once again unfortunately came up short as Price finished what was a spectacular night for him winning his 4th award.

Although Tavares once again didn't win it, it is just a matter of time before he does.  He is THAT good and has yet to even enter the prime of his career yet.

Isles Set To Kick Off Barclays Center Hockey On October 9

Earlier today, it was announced that the Islanders would kick off the Islanders/Barclays era on October 9th against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.  The game will have a 7:30 start, not 7:00.

More Details On Okposo.Grabner a Goner?

Yesterday, more details came to light on the bombshell report that the Islanders could in fact be shopping star winger and John Tavares linemate Kyle Okposo.

Pierre McGuire reported that the Islanders were frustrated with Okposo's playoff performance.  Okposo had 3 points in the Islanders 7 game defeat against the Capitals.  McGuire describes Okposo as, "...I think that it's one of those where if they were able to hit the motherload..."

I'm not sure I buy this as it reeks of an easy excuse rather than the truth.  

Meanwhile, Darren Dreger confirmed that Okposo is indeed available but that the Islanders would need a substantial return to move the winger.

I am torn on this pretty badly.  While I of course want to keep Okposo for the long haul, if he is in fact looking for a deal in the neighborhood of what the Islanders offered Thomas Vanek, I don't believe that is something they can hand out at this time.  I am also curious how other teams value Okposo given the serious nature of his eye injury last season.  This will definitely be interesting to follow as we get deeper in the summer toward training camp.

Grabner on the Move?

If it feels like we have talked about this repeatedly over the last few months it is because we have.  In a recent twitter Q&A with fans, Arthur Staple from Newsday once again reported that Grabner is in fact on the trade block.  This time he went a step further as he assessed his value at a mid round draft pick or another teams unwanted contract.

It would not surprise me at all if Grabner finds himself in another sweater before the start of next season.  With his health issues and the Islanders increased depth up front Grabner has lost his spot in the lineup.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kyle Okposo Available?

photo by zimbio

Islander fans were sent abuzz earlier tonight after it was reported by Arthur Staple that Kyle Okposo could be in play in trade talks heading into this draft weekend.

Okposo, the Islanders first round pick way back in 2006 has become a fan favorite among fans over the last few years.  It is no coincidence that in that time Okposo has began to become the player all fans hoped he would be when he was selected by Neil Smith in 2006.

While everyone loves Okposo, this is where the business side of the game comes in and the fact is that Okposo is in the final year of his contract.  With Okposos production and chemistry with John Tavares, Staple speculates that Okposo could want as much as 7 million per season on a multi year contract.  After handing out very big deals to Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, can the Islanders afford to hand a bigger deal to Okposo?  While you want to pay for loyalty and take care of Okposo after being here for so long, this is also a cap world and you don't want to hurt your chances of making moves in the future.

While everyone would hate to see Okposo go, maybe it isn't a horrible idea if they find out what he is worth on the open market.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mini Camp Details Announced

Update: There will be sessions open to the public.  The times of the sessions are unknown as of right now.
Yesterday, the Islanders announced that their annual rookie mini camp will be held at the Twin Rinks Ice Center in Eisenhower Park from July 7th-11th.  Top prospects Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho Sang, and Ryan Pulock among others will be in attendance.

It is unknown at this time if there will be any sessions open to the public.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Isles Name Missouri Mavericks As New ECHL Team

According to multiple reports, the Islanders have ended their relationship with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.  The Thunder had served as the Islanders ECHL affiliate for a few seasons now.  Taking over the Thunders spot will be the Missouri Mavericks who will now serve as the teams ECHL affiliate.

NHL News: Coyotes Future Uncertain After Council Vote

According to various reports, last night the Glendale City Council voted 5-2 to end their lease with the Coyotes that still had over 10 years left.

In response, the Coyotes filed a lawsuit against the city.  If this is not cleared up, it is unknown if the team will play in Glendale next season because they will be projected to lose over 50 million dollars.

It is such a shame that after all this time there is still stuff like this going on over there.  Of course, just like always, it is the fans caught in the middle.  After what the Islanders went through, I feel for the Coyote fans and hope everything settles soon for them so they can go back to just caring about their team instead of politicians as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Isles Offer Indrasis A Contract

According to multiple reports, the Islanders have offered KHL free agent forward Miks Indrasis a contract.
Indrasis, 24, had 31 points in 59 games playing in the KHL last season.  The 31 points tied his career high.

First Petrov, and now possibly this guy, the Islanders aren't wasting anytime in trying to fill in their forward depth.  I wonder if this is yet another sign that a forward on the team now could be on the move this summer.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Isles Practices, Team Offices Moving To Cantiague

photo by fieldfinder

According to the Islanders official site, starting next season team practices and the team offices will be moved to the Ice Facility at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

The team signed a 10 year license agreement at the facility and as part of the agreement agreed to hold 5 open practices, 2 annual scrimmages, and 3 public autograph signings each year.  

The team will invest 5.1 million into the facility for the necessary improvements.  As part of the agreement, the county will collect a minimum of $200,000 in revenue from the facility escalating to $250,000 by the end of the agreement.

I wonder what this means for Iceworks as I was under the impression everything was being moved to that location.  I am interested to see what ends up with this though and it will be nice for the team to have public practices again like they used to.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Michael Picker To Be Named New Sound Tigers President

photo by foxbusiness

If you have been to an Islander game over the last few seasons you may have seen him walking around the concourse.  This of course is Islanders Senior Vice President Michael Picker.  

According to the CT Post, the people of Connecticut will get more familiar with him as he is expected to be named the new President of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the Islanders.  Picker replaces Howard Saffan who was let go as team President on Wednesday after serving in that capacity since 2005.  Picker has known Charles Wang for a long time as the pair worked together when Wang owned Computer Associates and then Picker followed Wang over to the Islanders.

I am curious if his move to this position has anything to do with the prospect of the Sound Tigers moving to Bruce Ratners renovated Coliseum.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Islander Rookie Game Moved To Barclays Center

According to their official site, the annual Islanders Blue and White Scrimmage will take place at the Barclays Center on July 8th.  Tickets will be $10 and 50% of proceeds will be donated to the Brooklyn Events Center Foundation.  Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m.

This had become a hit with fans over the last few years getting to see the rookies live and then meet them in the expo hall after the scrimmage and skills competition concluded.  I am curious to see if it will be as well attended in Brooklyn with the additional time and cost commute for fans now.

Islander Traditions Making Their Way To Brooklyn

According to multiple reports, many Islander traditions will be making their way to Brooklyn next season in an effort to create a familiar environment for fans at games.

The Blue and Orange Army formerly of section 329 will now call section 229 home in Brooklyn.  Roger Luce, the Islanders PA announcer will be making the move to Brooklyn as well.  Islanders organist Paul Cartier confirmed that he had been contacted about moving over to Barclays Center, his status has yet to be confirmed though.  Like Cartier, the status of the ice girls have yet to be confirmed.  Additionally, last month, Shannon Hogan confirmed on twitter that she would be returning to MSG + next season.
Something new starting next season is the Islanders Legends Program at Barclays Center.  Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, and Butch Goring were named inaugural members.  They will make special appearances around games and the community throughout next season in order to, "...foster the teams presence in and around the borough." 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Isles Sign Petrov To 1 Year Contract

According to reports, the Islanders have signed 2008 3rd round pick Kirill Petrov to a one year contract.
Petrov was much talked about in his draft year as he was very talented but fell on draft day because of a pre existing contract in the KHL.  The Islanders have waited a long time for him but with this announcement the wait appears to be over.

To say this was a surprise would be quite the understatement.  I was in the camp of people that didn't think we would ever see Petrov in North America.  However, now that he is coming, I look forward to seeing what he has and if he can make an impact with the team.

Former Isles Nilsson Looking to Make NHL Return

According to multiple reports, former Islander goalie Anders Nilsson could look to return to the NHL after rejecting a contract extension with his team in the KHL.

Nilsson signed a contract with the team last May after it became clear he wouldn't get the one way deal from the Islanders that he had been seeking.  The Islanders traded the rights to Nilsson to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of the October 4th trade that brought Nick Leddy to Long Island.

Nilsson had a solid season in the KHL after struggling a lot splitting time between the Islanders and Bridgeport two years ago.  With Chicago already being deep in net, if Nilsson was to make an NHL return, I doubt it will be in the windy city.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ratner Coliseum Plan Approved

According to reports, the redevelopment plan submitted by Bruce Ratner for the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding land has been approved by the Town of Hempstead.

In case you are unfamiliar, the plan calls for the Coliseum to be scaled down from a capacity of 16,197 to 13,000 with the option to bring it back to its original capacity in time.  Additionally, it calls for construction of a movie theater, retail space, office space, and a bowling alley just to name a few buildings.

While it isn't a slam dunk yet as a couple more things still need to be done, this does bode well for the projects future.

For more details on the plan check out this CBS story here.

Isn't it interesting how this plan got to this stage so fast and got the largest approval it will need.  However, due to political ineptness, the Lighthouse Project had to fight for years to get to this stage before they even thought about starting the process to get the needed approvals.

History For Sale

photo by fishstickcity

Recently, reports came out that the puck that Islander legend Mike Bossy put to the back of the net in the winter of 1981 to achieve 50 goals in 50 games is up for sale on ebay and Bossy isn't happy.

The story as has been reported is that Bossys daughter gave the puck to her swimming instructor later that summer in exchange for his giving her swimming lessons.  Hopefully, the seller and Bossy are able to work out an amicable solution for both sides so the puck ends up back in Bossys possession where it belongs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Isles to Begin Working on Extension For Okposo, Neuvirth a Goner?

According to David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period, expect chatter to heat up this summer about the Islanders offering Kyle Okposo a contract extension.

Okposo who has grown into the star forward the Islanders hoped he would be when they took him in the first round of the 2006 draft is going into the final year of a 5 year deal he signed in 2011.  In 60 games last season Okposo had 51 points including 18 goals.  With Garth Snow having shown a great ability at retaining his own, I am not concerned at all about the Islanders coming to an agreement with Okposo.
Meanwhile, according to NBC Sports, goalie Michal Neuvirth isn't expected to return to the Islanders next season.  After having a stellar season in Buffalo, Neuvirth underwhelmed in his brief stint with the Islanders following the deadline day deal that brought him to Long Island.  Neuvirth is also seeking to be a number one goalie which is something the Islanders can't provide for him with Jaroslav Halak under contract.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Jaro

photo by ESPN

Today, Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak is celebrating his 30th birthday.

The Islanders acquired Halak from the Capitals last May to be the teams number one goalie and subsequently signed him to a 4 year contract.  In his first season, Halak gave the team all they could've hoped for and then some.  He was a consistent rock for the Islanders in the crease and was instrumental in the team qualifying for the playoffs this season.  If not for his great performance in game 7 against Washington, the Islanders would've had zero chance to win that game.

We here at savetheisles would like to wish Halak a very Happy Birthday.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Isles Not Striving To Be Better

A couple days ago, it was announced that all the Islanders coaches would be returning next season.  This came as a disappointment for most fans who were hoping for at least a few changes behind the bench after the bad end to the Islanders season and rightfully so.
While an argument could be made in favor of Jack Capuano, the teams poor second half and atrocious effort in game 7 should've been enough to sink his chances to return next season, in my opinion at least.  An argument may be able to be made for Jack Capuano, but none can be made in favor of Doug Weight or Greg Cronin.  The 0-14 playoff power play should've been enough to sink Weight alone and send him to a front office only position.  Meanwhile, some have said that with the improvements of the penalty kill in the last two months Cronin deserved another year.  I have a few responses to that.  One being that even with the improvement they still finished in the bottom half of the league.  They really showed no overall improvement from Brent Thompson and they finished right in line with where the Maple Leafs penalty kill finished under Cronin.  All that doesn't suggest to me that they will be better next season, it suggests to me that Snow was fooled off two months of good play.

I recently said what the team did with the coaching staff would be a test if they wanted spend money on experienced coaches to help the team take the next step or if they wanted to continue to try and strike gold.  Based off this decision, it seems like they unfortunately went for the latter.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Politician Trying To Insult Fans...Again

"It won't be the end of the world if the County doesn't have a hockey team." - George Maragos

Nassau County comptroller George Maragos told that to Newsday back in 2012 when he was interviewed during the lockout about the perspective loss of an NHL season on the Long Island economy.

Later that year Maragos continued with his hockey bashing saying that the county would be better off if the Islanders weren't in season because bigger draws would be able to go to the Coliseum.  Maragos failed to consider the impact on the businesses in the area when making statements like this.  In late 2012, the GM of the Marriott said the hotel was losing $100,000 per month due to not having Islanders hockey.

So with Maragos history on the subject, you can imagine my dismay when I woke up to this tweet.
So, is the comptroller proving the old saying right that you don't know what you got til its gone?  This is quite the change of tune from two years ago when he was already packing the teams moving vans to Barclays Center.  I hope they aren't allowed to insult the intelligence of the people that this means something to and throw an event like that so they can pretend they actually care.  The people this means something to have been saying goodbye all season and will continue to do so into the summer.  They don't need some pity political event to do so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Nassau Coliseum Farewell

This is an article I was hoping I wouldn't have to write for a few months, but as circumstances would have it this is now an appropriate time.  With the Islanders loss to the Capitals last night, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has officially closed its doors on Islanders hockey after 43 seasons.  With it being the final season, there have been some other articles similar to this but those focused on the team and everything that went into the arena and that is where mine is different.

Screwed By Politicians

While this won't be the focus of the article, I would be remiss if I didn't mention it at all.  The reason we are at this point is because of political incompetence in both Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead.  Howie Rose has been fantastic in stating his displeasure over this for a few years now.  For over two decades Islanders management attempted to work with the local politicians to get a new arena in Uniondale where the team belongs.  However, they were always turned away because the politicians were more concerned with their political party than doing what was best for the communities that elected them.

The Loudest Arena In the NHL

Some may call me crazy for saying that, but if you have never been inside the Coliseum when it was sold out, you don't know what you missed out on.  There have been coaches in the past who were horse after a game due to yelling the entire game because their team was unable to hear them.  Former Islanders head coach Peter Laviolette recalled that during 2001/2002 playoffs him and his assistants had difficulty communicating with one another on the bench because of how loud it was.  There is a reason that the Coliseum is so loud, that being the low ceiling.  The noise has no place to go so it just comes right back on the ice and creates an unbelievable environment.  Unfortunately, arenas are no longer built like the Coliseum because they are built with the corporate dollar in mind instead of the top fan experience.  The concourse may be small and the bathrooms scarce, but there is no place I would rather be for a big game than the Coliseum.

Second Home

Over the last 6 seasons, I was fortunate to have season tickets for the Islanders.  Given the way the team played for a majority of that time some may think I am crazy for saying I was fortunate but I stand by that.  Over those years, the Coliseum became more than just arena for me to watch hockey and other live entertainment, it became my home away from home.  No matter what was going on, good or bad, one thing that was always a given was going to the Coliseum to watch the team I loved.  Even when the team was bad I still looked forward to going to the arena night in and night out.  Each game, seeing the same ushers, the same concession people, and of course the people around us, it was an enjoyable environment.  Of course, over that time I also made a lot of good friends and became a lot closer with certain people then I ever thought I would and for that I am forever grateful.  #IslesTwitter might get its fair share of criticism, but one thing it doesn't get the credit for that it should is bringing people together that otherwise wouldn't have met one another, that aspect of it is very special.  With all the time spent at the Coliseum, I of course have countless amounts of memories as well.  Whether it was tailgating outside with my dad and/or my cousin and other relatives, or inside the arena with my dad or whoever came with me to that given game, those are things I will take with me forever.  As much as we may get used to Barclays Center, it will never be home.

Farewell old friend, thank you for the memories!

Islanders Season Ends After Game 7 Loss

Last night, our Islanders fell by a score of 2-1 to the Washington Capitals ending their season and closing the doors on the Nassau Coliseum.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-While most of the team was pretty bad last night, one player who wasn't was Jaroslav Halak.  He was simply sensational and was the only reason the Islanders had any opportunity to think about winning that game.  The save he made in the third period when the puck took the bounce of the boards in front to the Capital player was simply unbelievable.

-I gave them a lot of criticism this season, but the penalty kill was good in the playoffs.  While I still don't think he should return next season, good on Greg Cronin for making changes to improve it.

-The power play struggles were simply unbelievable.  Much like his colleague Cronin, I think Weight should be taken off the bench and be left with only a front office role.  The power play collapsed when it counted and he couldn't figure out how to fix it.

-For Islander forwards to have just 3 shots in this game is unacceptable.  You can't win if you don't shoot the puck.  To give you an idea, John Tavares was not only not credited with a shot on net but wasn't even credited with attempting a shot.  If we know Tavares, this will bother him for quite a while.

There are some calling the Islanders effort last night one of the worst in the history of game 7's.  Only getting 11 shots on net when your playing for your season is simply mind boggling.  Given the way the season itself fared to end it on an effort like last night is a real shame.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It All Comes Down To This

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Washington with their first round best of 7 series tied 3-3 with the Capitals.  The winner of tonights contest will move on to play the Rangers in round 2.

The goalie match up features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Braden Holtby will be in net for Washington.  Halak is 6-1 in his career in elimination games with a 1.72 GAA and a .956 save percentage.

The Islanders lineup will likely be the same as Saturdays game 6 victory.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Isles Fall To 3-2 Series Deficit

Tonight, our Islanders were defeated 5-1 by the Capitals.  This loss gave the Capitals a 3-2 series lead on the Islanders in their best of 7 first round series.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-While Halak didn't have his best game, he wasn't as bad as the score suggests.  A lot of mishaps around the net and a slow whistle did Halak in tonight.

-The power play continues to be pretty bad.  I am not sure what has to be done but something obviously has to because what they are doing now isn't working.

-The Islanders continued their solid job on Ovechkin who was pretty quiet tonight.

-Good on Anders Lee for taking on Wilson again!

-Would not shock me at all if Tyler Kennedy sits out Saturdays contest.

-While he has had a bad sophomore season, the potential loss of Calvin de Haan could be big with the Islanders already hurting on defense.

This certainly was not how this game was supposed to go.  This is setting up to be quite the emotional afternoon on Saturday in Uniondale.

Next Game: Saturday 4/25 vs Washington

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Isles Look To Take Commanding Lead on Capitals

Tonight, our Islanders look to build on the momentum from Sundays victory as they play host to the Capitals.

The goalie match up tonight features Braden Holtby likely in net for Washington.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak is in net once again for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup has yet to be released but is expected to be the same as Sundays overtime victory.

This will be a big test for the young Islanders team as they look to put their foot on the throat of the Capitals instead of giving them hope.  Be sure that the Coliseum will be as crazy as ever tonight as the fans try to will the team to victory.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Isles Take Series Lead In OT Win

photo by zimbio

This afternoon, our Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-1 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-What more can you say about John Tavares?  Another clutch performance this afternoon with the winning goal in OT further cementing his case as an MVP nominee in a few months.

-It was obvious from the start that the fans noticed Alex Ovechkins comments about the Verizon Center being "louder" than the Coliseum and made it their mission to show Ovechkin that he was nuts.  They did that today and than some as the crowd was simply sensational today and will only be crazier on Tuesday.

-Heck of a job by Johnny Boychuk covering Alex Ovechkin today.  Although he scored in game 2, the Islanders have done a pretty good job covering him to this point in the series.

-Much like game one, another solid performance from Jaroslav Halak today.  Hopefully, he is able to keep it up in game 4 and not regress like he did last Friday.

There is nothing better then playoffs at the Coliseum and that was displayed again today.  The atmosphere the fans create is truly second to none.  If you are able to, I highly recommend attending game 4, you wont regret it.  Tuesday is a big game for the Islanders as they hit the middle of the series.

Next Game: Tuesday vs Washington 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Isles Look For 2-0 Series Advantage

photo by WashingtonPost

Tonight, our Islanders and the Capitals face off in game 2 of their best of 7 first round playoff series with the Islanders looking to jump out to a 2-0 series lead.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, even with his uncertain health, Braden Holtby is expected to get the start for the Capitals.

The Capitals could see one lineup change up front as Tom Wilson was medically cleared to play after missing game one.

The Islanders are expected to ice the same lineup as Wednesday nights win.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Isles Victorious In Game 1 Over Caps

photo by ESPN

Tonight, our Islanders came out and took game one from the Capitals by a score of 4-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-You can't say enough about Brock Nelsons performance tonight, he was outstanding!!  He was reminiscent of the player we saw in the first half of the season.

-Going up against the #1 power play in the NHL, the penalty kill was very good tonight.

-Halak needs to not play the puck anymore.  When he was actually playing goalie he was as good as the Islanders could ask for tonight.  But when playing the puck, he is scary.

-Nelsons former line mates Anders Lee and Ryan Strome also has good performances in their first playoff games.  Strome had the eventual game winning goal in the second period and Lee had an assist on Nelsons empty net goal.  If the three of them can get going that will make the Islanders that much scarier as the playoffs roll on.

-The Islanders played a very disciplined game and let the Caps take penalties which is good to see from a relatively young team in such a big situation.

-They also did a pretty good job defending Alex Ovechkin.  While he had 8 shots, he didn't have many prime time chances.  If they are able to keep this able it will bode well for them going forward.

-I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the good performance from Josh Bailey as well.

You have to expect that the Capitals will come out flying on Friday night.  The Islanders need to make sure they are ready to withstand that.  If they are some way able to come home up 2-0 in the series that will be huge and create an even more unbelievable experience at the Coliseum than there already was going to be.

Next Game: Friday @ Washington

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Isles @ Washington As Playoffs Begin

photo by bopmyspace

Tonight, our Islanders open their first round playoff series as they travel to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Braden Holtby will man the crease for Washington.

The Islanders will be without Travis Hamonic who was hurt in the game against the Penguins last Friday.  Exactly how long he will be out is still unknown.  The Islanders lineup up front for tonight has yet to be revealed.  I would expect it to be pretty similar to what we have seen the last few games.  Although, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of Matt Martin or Frans Nielsen made it back in for tonights contest.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Isles Play Spoiler In Victory Over Penguins

photo by thestar

Tonight, our Islanders defeated the Penguins by a score of 3-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Given how the Islanders fared through the first half of the game, they were fortunate to be ahead in the contest.  The Penguins outplayed them pretty drastically but they managed to hang in there.  Additionally, they didn't get discouraged after the Penguins late second period goal.

-Halak was on his game tonight and was huge for the Islanders.  It was good to see him respond like this after the blooper reel goal the other night against the Flyers.  Hopefully, he carries this level of play into the playoffs.

-John Tavares came up clutch once again tonight for the Islanders with the go ahead goal in the third period.  He also kept up with Crosby in the race for the NHL lead in scoring.  If he manages to finish at the top he would be the first Islander since Bryan Trottier to lead the NHL in points.

-Impressive goal by Michael Grabner tonight.  Goals like that are why some fans hold out hope for him given his struggles this season.

-If you are not holding your breath waiting to hear how Travis Hamonic is you are better then most.  With his enormous importance to the team, any time he misses, especially with the playoffs right around the corner is huge.

Even though they were outplayed for a majority of the game, the Islanders showed an impressive effort sticking with the Penguins on the way to coming out on top on the scoreboard.  In the process they also played spoiler on the Penguins who have to win in regulation tomorrow in order to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Next Game: Tomorrow vs Columbus (last regular season game at the Coliseum)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Penguins

photo by flickr

Tonight, our Islanders look to snap out of their recent funk as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Marc Andre Fleury will be between the pipes for the Penguins.

The Penguins will be without 2 key members of their defense tonight as Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang will miss tonights contest due to injury.

The Islanders lineup will see one change tonight as Cal Clutterbuck will return to the lineup.  However, both Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen will remain out of the lineup for tonights game.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Isles Fall To Flyers in Shocking End

Tonight, in a pretty poor overall effort, our Islanders fell by a score of 5-4 to the Flyers.  Even with the poor effort they were able to tie the game with under 30 seconds left but couldn't hold on.  Here are some of my notes:

-For a large portion of this game the Islanders were outplayed by the Flyers which can't happen when they are in a race like this team is.

-I don't know what was wrong with Halak tonight but you could tell that he didn't have his "A" game tonight.  That was evident most clearly on the Flyers winning goal that will be filling blooper reels for the next few days.

-What an effort from John Tavares tonight, especially in the third period.  He showed once again why he should be a finalist for MVP again this season.

-After being cold for a few games, great job by Anders Lee tonight as well.  His two goals moved him just 1 behind Mike Hoffman for the league lead in goals by a rookie.  He is definitely earning a long time contract with his impressive first full NHL season.

-The coaching staff needs to do some soul searching to find the cure for what ails this team.

To not be victorious tonight would've been bad in general.  However, to lose like they did tonight is unimaginable and simply unacceptable given where the team is in the standings.  With just two regular season games left the Islanders don't have much time left to get their mojo back before playoffs.

Next Game: Friday @ Pittsburgh

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Flyers

photo by ESPN

Tonight, our Islanders look to solidify their playoff position as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.

The goalie match up features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Steve Mason is expected to get the nod between the pipes for the Flyers.

The Islanders lineup will look different tonight up front with Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen both missing tonights game.  Taking their spots in the lineup will be Michael Grabner and Colin McDonald.  Much to the chagrin of most fans, Brian Strait is still in the lineup on defense instead of Calvin de Haan.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pre Game: Sabres @ Islanders

Tonight the New York Islanders host the Buffalo Sabres at the old barn.  Tonight is the second to last regular season home game that will be played at the coliseum.  

Tonight, Cappy and the Isles will put out the same lineup as Thursday. 

This game is a must win, there's no other way around it.  At home, against one of the worse teams in the league is a must two points.  Anything else is just plain unacceptable. We get to see the great Eric Boulton in again, maybe the "sniper" will score another. 

Look for the Isles to come out gunning, trying to cement an early lead and shut down the lonely Sabres. A win tonight, with a Senator loss, will clinch postseason play for the Isles.

Like always, Lets Go Islanders! Rock The Barn 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Isles Fall To Red Hot Blue Jackets in Shootout

Tonight, after blowing a 2 goal lead in the third period, our Islanders fell by a score of 4-3 to the Blue Jackets in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Although it was questionable to say the least to start him, Eric Boulton didn't play bad tonight.

-Absolutely no puck luck for the Islanders at all tonight with some unlucky goals going against them.

-Really nice tip by the captain off the feed from Boychuk for his 35th.

-A poor third period effort by the team really came back to haunt them.  They allowed Columbus far more room to roam around the zone then they should've and they ultimately were able to take advantage with the help of some luck.

-After being very good in the shootouts in the first half of the season, the Islanders have struggled in their last few.

Especially being up by 2 goals, these are games the team can't lose with how tight the standings are.  Every point is crucial as they fight for home ice in the playoffs.

Next Game: Saturday vs Buffalo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Blue Jackets

photo by tickpick

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Columbus to take on the red hot Columbus Blue Jackets.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky will be between the pipes for Columbus. 

The Islanders will see one change up front tonight as Eric Boulton will be in the lineup.  To make room for him, Tyler Kennedy will sit tonights game out as a healthy scratch.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Offensive Explosion Powers Isles To Victory

photo by zimbio

This evening, our Islanders defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 5-4.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The power play finally woke up today with 3 power play goals and it was much needed.  The Islanders need them to go back to playing the game that had them in the top 10-12 in the league for a majority of the season before their recent dry spell.  Especially with the playoffs looming, we saw 2 years ago how key special teams are in the playoffs.

-While Halak didn't have his "A" game today, it was nice that the team was able to pick him up like he has done for them countless times this season.

-Given his second half struggles, good to see Brock Nelson put one to the back of the net.  It will be perfect timing for the Islanders if Nelson can get some of his mojo back heading into the playoffs.

-Excellent job by Clutterbuck creating the turnover on his game winner and the nice move to finish it off.  Clutterbuck was definitely on his game today especially with Wings forward Justin Abdelkader who Clutterbuck pushed into the bench at one point during the game.

The term "that game had everything" can definitely be applied to this contest.  Almost anything that can happen at a hockey game happened at this game today except for a fight.  Given the Islanders struggles recently, seeing them fight back fast from the early deficit and then continue to pile on the goals was definitely a welcomed sight.  Hopefully, this game signaled the end of their bad streak as they prepare for the playoffs and making a run at the Stanley Cup.

Next Game: Thursday 7:00 @ Columbus

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Isles Struggles Continue In Loss To Ducks

This afternoon, our Islanders dropped their 7th straight home game as they fell by a score of 3-2 to the Ducks.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-As much as you may want to, you really can't blame the loss on Michal Neuvirth.  While he didn't have a great game, none of the goals were really his fault.

-The power play struggles continued in spades tonight.  I don't know what it is but they really can't find the back of the net right now.  I was stunned that either Tavares or Strome didn't have a goal on the 5-3.  Strome had a perfect opportunity but waited too long allowing Andersen to get back into position to make a save.

-Leddy needs to be stronger in front of the net then he was on the Ducks second goal.  He got out muscled way to easily and it came back to haunt them.

-Good to see Visnovsky put one to the back of the net in his return to the lineup.

I don't know what needs to be done, but something has to in order to snap this team out of this funk they are in.  This is a later version of the November to forget that they traditionally go through.

Next Game; Tomorrow 5:00 vs Detroit

Pre Game: Ducks @ Islanders

This afternoon, our New York Islanders look to snap out of their recent home funk as they play host to Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks.

The goalie match up today features Frederik Andersen likely in net for the Ducks.  Meanwhile, Michael Neuvirth will start the front end of the back to back for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will see one change today as Lubomir Visnovsky returns to the lineup.  To make room for him, Calvin de Haan will be a healthy scratch for the second time in the last week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Delays Ahead For Ratner Coliseum Proposal?

I know that when you see a headline like that you immediately assume that politics are once again rearing their ugly head on the area known as "The Hub."  However, this time you would be incorrect, according to a report from the Long Island Business News.

LIBN is reporting that a disagreement between Bruce Ratners Forest City Ratner and Ed Blumenfelds Blumenfeld Development Group could end up in court and delay the process of developing this land indefinitely.  It is being reported that the disagreement is over the scope of retail and entertainment that will be part of the project.

In July 2013, it was announced that Blumenfeld had joined Ratners proposal after his own was eliminated by Nassau County executive Ed Mangano.  This was one month before Mangano chose Ratners proposal as the one for the property over a competing proposal from rival MSG and James Dolan.

If something like this happening surprises you then you haven't been paying much attention over the years.  While I am surprised that politics isn't playing a role in this, the fact that there are delays should be expected.  Unless this dispute gets settled in a timely manner, events booked for the Coliseum that were announced last week may have been announced prematurely.