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.

Offensive Woes Continue In Isles Loss To Kings

Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 3-2 to the defending Champion LA Kings.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-One of the few bright spots tonight was the play of Jaroslav Halak.  While he did give up 3 goals, none of them were his fault.  They all came with tricky bounces or due to poor play in front of him and you can only expect the goalie to bail you out so often.

-The teams overall play was very sloppy tonight, mis read passes and weak clearing attempts highlighted the night.  The shift by the John Tavares line on the Kings third goal captured this perfectly as they had multiple opportunities to clear but were unable to each time and it ended up coming back to haunt them.

-While I have been critical and rightly so of the penalty kill this season, they had a very impressive 5-3 kill in the second period tonight.  They appear that they are hitting their stride now and it couldn't come at a better time with playoffs right around the corner.

-Anders Lee can't buy a goal right now!  After having multiple opportunities the other night against the Wild, he had another great opportunity tonight but was robbed by Jonathan Quick on a great save.  If he continues to be in the right place at the right time they will start going in for him again.

The Kings tonight showed the Islanders a little bit of what they aspire to be.  The Islanders didn't play well tonight and yet they still had an opportunity to win the game.  However, they didn't as the veteran Kings team knowing there playoff lives are on the line each game never took the pedal off the medal and came out victorious.  Hopefully, the Islanders learned something from the Kings performance tonight because it could be beneficial to them once the playoffs start.

Next Game: Saturday @ 1:00 Vs the Ducks

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pre Game: Kings @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders continue their tough home stand as they play host to the defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings.

The goalie match up tonight features Jonathan Quick in net for the Kings.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will make his 3rd straight start for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will be the same tonight as Tuesdays loss to the Wild.

Isles Sign College Goalie Motte to AHL Deal

According to reports, earlier today, the Islanders announced that they had signed college free agent goalie CJ Motte to an AHL contract.

Motte, from Ferris State had a 2.07 GAA and a .922 save percentage this season, his senior year.  In 2013/2014 Motte was a finalist for the Hoby Baker Award which is given to the top college hockey player in the country.

Motte will be sent right to Bridgeport and form a goalie tandem with Kevin Poulin for the remainder of the season, multiple outlets are reporting.

Motte seems to have been pretty consistent while in college so at the very least this could provide the Islanders some additional depth in net given the uncertainty of their back up position after this season.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Islanders Fall in Shootout To Wild

Tonight, in a very frustrating game, our Islanders fell 2-1 to the Wild in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Heck of an effort from Jaroslav Halak tonight.  He made big save after big save and gave the Islanders every chance in the world to win that game.

-Meanwhile, Devan Dubnyk did the same for the Wild.  The Islanders fired shot after shot on him, especially in the first period but just could not find a way to beat him.  Dubnyk stole these two points for the Wild.

-Anders Lee had a pretty solid game.  I thought he was good in all three zones and if he got some different bounces would've had at least one if not two goals.

-The power play struggles continued tonight.  Hopefully they can right that ship before playoffs start.

Well, to say this loss stung would be an understatement.  The Islanders played really well for most of the game but simply could not solve Dubnyk.  On the positive side though, if they can continually get chances like they did tonight they will eventually go in.

Next Game: Thursday vs the Kings

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pre Game: Isles Snap Streak, Prepare for Wild

On Saturday, our Islanders snapped their 4 game losing streak as they defeated the Devils by score of 3-0.

Jaroslav Halak was really on his game in his return from injury making big save after big save.  Additionally, the Islanders had nice goals from both Travis Hamonic and Ryan Strome.

Lastly, great job by all the Islander fans who made the trip to Jersey and made the game feel like an Islander home game.

Coming off that big win, tonight the Islanders prepare to play host to the Minnesota Wild and former teammates Thomas Vanek and Nino Niederreiter.  They will also welcome back Pat LaFontaine after an extended absence from the arena.

The goalie match up features Devan Dubnyk in net for Minnesota tonight.  Dubnyk has really resurrected his career after being traded to the Wild earlier this season.  Coming off his shut out victory on Saturday, Jaroslav Halak will be back between the pipes for the Islanders.

The Islanders will lineup will see one change as after being a healthy scratch on Saturday, Calvin de Haan will return to the lineup tonight.  To make room for him, Matt Donovan will return to the press box.   

Vanek Was Scared of Brooklyn Move

Former Islander forward Thomas Vanek met with the media this morning ahead of the Islanders contest tonight with his new team the Minnesota Wild.

The topic of Vanek spurning the Islanders last year naturally came up and Vanek had some interesting things to say about it.  He told media that he was scared off by the Islanders impending move to Brooklyn and that if they were staying at the Coliseum he probably would've resigned.
I am not sure I buy this because this seems like an easy excuse for Vanek to use instead of saying what we all knew was true, that he wanted to play in Minnesota and no place else.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mouillierat Impresses With Skilled Goal

Sound Tiger forward Kael Mouillierat who made his NHL debut with the Islanders last month impressed fans and media alike with a tremendous goal in this afternoons Sound Tigers victory.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Nick Leddy

photo by zimbio

Today, Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy is celebrating his 24th birthday.

Leddy, who the Islanders acquired on October 4th from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a package of prospects including Ville Pokka has fit right in on the Islanders blue line.  He has fit so well that late last month the Islanders announced that they had signed Leddy to a 7 year extension with an average annual value of 5.5 million dollars per season.

In his first season on Long Island, Leddy has dazzled fans with his fantastic skating ability.  Additionally, he has set a career high in goals for himself with 10 passing his previous total of 8.  He has really benefited from the increased ice time with the Islanders, especially on the power play which wouldn't have happened for him in Chicago because of the likes of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.  He has also benefited from playing alongside Johnny Boychuk for most of the season and Boychuks stellar play in his own zone.

We here at savetheisles would like to wish Leddy a very Happy Birthday and look forward to sharing many more with him throughout his contract with the Islanders.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Coliseum to Host College Basketball, Hockey

According to Brett Yormark, the University of Kentucky Mens Basketball team coached by John Calipari has agreed to play the first college basketball game at the renovated Nassau Coliseum in December, 2016.
It doesn't stop there though as the Barclays Center official site reports that the Coliseum will also host college basketball and college hockey tournaments tentatively scheduled in November and January of 2017 respectively.

This timeline is really optimistic in my opinion.  This means that construction will get underway right when the Islanders leave this summer and not face any obstacles or anything along the way.  That doesn't sound like the way this area conducts itself.  Unless of course Yormark and company know something that we all don't which is always possible.

While it is nice to have an attraction like a top NCAA basketball team coming to the area, am I the only one who will have trouble going to events at the renovated Coliseum?  While I would love to be able to enjoy all the amenities and such that would come along with the renovated arena, I can't help but think that I would be condoning and supporting the actions of the politicians that brought us to this point and the thought of doing that makes me sick to be honest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Isles Struggles Continue in Loss to Hawks

Tonight, our Islanders for the first time this season dropped their 4th straight game as they fell 4-1 to the Blackhawks.  Here are some of my notes:

-The power play was a huge deciding factor in this game.  To have a 5 minute major power play and only muster up 1 shot is unacceptable!  The power play in the third period wasn't much better.  Could Weight be showing he is better suited for a front office role than a coaching role?

-Michal Neuvirth had a rough game as well.  While the teams play around him didn't help, he let in multiple questionable goals tonight.  After his fantastic play with Buffalo, Neuvirth has been underwhelming to say the least in his 4 starts with the Islanders.

-Having Brian Strait and Matt Donovan both in the lineup isn't fair to the Islanders.  On Marian Hossa's first goal of the game, Strait didn't even play defense, he just watched Toews make the pass over to Hossa and Hossa proceed to finish it.  An awful job by Strait!

-Also, on that play, Thomas Hickey was out muscled pretty easily by Jonathan Toews.  You could tell that Hickey was trying but Toews wasn't having it.  The injuries to Leddy and Visovsky really bring out the shortcomings of Hickeys game.

-The sooner that Kyle Okposo shakes his rust off the better it will be for the Islanders.  You can tell watching Okposo out there that he isn't 100% back yet.

This is unfamiliar territory for this years Islanders.  With just 10 games left in the season, it will be interesting to see how they stifle this, or if they let it get out of control like Islanders teams of previous years.

Next Game: Saturday @ New Jersey

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Chicago

photo by sportballa

Tonight, our Islanders look to get back in the win column as they travel to Chicago to take on Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The goalie match up tonight features Michal Neuvirth in net for the Islanders with Halak having stayed back on Long Island.  Meanwhile, Corey Crawford will be between the pipes for the Blackhawks.

The lineup will see one change tonight as after being a surprise healthy scratch on Saturday, Ryan Strome will return to the lineup.  To make room for him, Michael Grabner will be a healthy scratch tonight.  Additionally, tonight, Lubomir Visnovsky will miss his second consecutive game.  With his absence, that means both Brian Strait and Matt Donovan will be in the lineup again.

Isles Recall Poulin, Halak Stays Home

Earlier tonight, it was announced that the Islanders had recalled Kevin Poulin from Bridgeport.  With the exact reasoning remaining a mystery up until the last hour or so, it sent Isles fans into detective mode to try and figure out the reason Poulin would be joining the team in Chicago.

Then, it was reported by Arthur Staple that Poulin was indeed up with the team and that Jaroslav Halak hadn't traveled with the team on this brief trip due to injury.  His injury isn't believed to be serious, according to Newsday.
If this doesn't make you nervous, especially so close to playoffs, more power to you.  The play of Halak is going to be a huge factor in how far the Islanders can take their playoff run.  If he isn't at 100% for whatever reason, that will severely hamper their chances.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Isles Lose 3rd Straight To MTL

Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 3-1.  Here are some of my notes:

-The power play had another night to forget.  While they did occasionally get some pressure, their overall performance was underwhelming.

-This is quite contrary to the penalty kill which had a solid night.

-Save for one mistake, Neuvirth was pretty spot on tonight.

-That one mistake was pretty bad though.  How after all the times Halak has done the same thing, it can be allowed to happen yet again is a concerning sign.

With how close the standings are, this isn't a very good time to lose three straight.  The sooner the Islanders can get back in the win column the better.

Next Game: Tuesday 8:30 @ Chicago

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pre Game: Montreal @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders look to snap their brief two game losing streak as they play host to Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens.

The goalie match up tonight features the aforementioned Price in net for Montreal.  Meanwhile, Michal Neuvirth will be between the pipes for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will see at least two changes tonight.  Frans Nielsen will return to the lineup after sitting out last nights loss to Ottawa.  To make room for him, in a bit of a surprising move, Ryan Strome will be a healthy scratch tonight.  Additionally, with it being the back end of a back to back, Lubomir Visnovsky will scratched tonight.  With him being scratched, Matt Donovan will get back into the lineup for the first time in a long time.

Looking off, Isles Fall To Ottawa

Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Ottawa is a team playing for their playoff lives and tonight the Islanders didn't match their desperation and urgency and that showed on the ice.  The Islanders had zero urgency in their game tonight, even in the final minute of the game when attempting to make rushes up the ice to try and tie the game up.

-In general, the Islanders seemed off tonight.  Their passing wasn't crisp and communication was off with drop passes going to nobody.  This game was the definition of infuriating to watch.

-Halak was one of the few decent players for the Islanders tonight.  You can't blame him for either of the Senators goals, in my opinion at least.  On the first goal Bobby Ryan was just hanging out in front of the net and he couldn't see a thing.  On the second goal, Tavares tipped it past him instead of tipping it away from the net.

-Speaking of tips, Kennedy had a nice one for the lone Islanders goal of the night.

-The power play had a night to forget as well.  Something tells me that the team might have some new special teams coaches next season.

With Montreal and Carey Price coming to town tomorrow, this was a game the team needed to have.  The fact that they didn't and put forth the game they did is disappointing and getting to the concerning stage.  With the standings getting tighter and tighter by the day, if the Islanders don't get back to their winning ways soon they may find themselves in a wild card spot.

Next Game: Tomorrow vs Montreal

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pre Game: Ottawa @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders kick off a back to back against Eastern conference foes as they play host to Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa has yet to announce their goalie yet, but with how remarkable he has been, I would expect the aforementioned Hammond to get the nod.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Islanders.

This game is match up of two of the leagues top rookies with Mike Hoffman on Ottawa and of course Anders Lee with the Islanders.  After dueling with Filip Forsberg a few times in the last month, it should be interesting to see how Lee fares with Hoffman tonight.

The Islanders lineup will see one change tonight as after sitting out on Tuesday, Michael Grabner will get back in tonight.  Frans Nielsen will sit out tonights game as he is a little banged up.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

BREAKING: Isles Sign Johnny Boychuk to 7 Year Extension

photo by metro

According to Arthur Staple from Newsday, the Islanders have signed Johnny Boychuk to a 7 year extension worth 42 million dollars.
Boychuk, in his first season with the Islanders has been everything they could've hoped for and more.  To get him signed, I feel sends a huge statement around the league considering the general consensus when he was acquired was that there was no chance in the world  he would remain with the Islanders past this season.  For him to resign for such term shows his belief in the team and the direction they are going.  This will no doubt send a message to other players about the team and organization.

With this news, today is a great day to be an Islander fan!

Isles & Boychuk Making Progress on Extension

According to Pierre LeBrun from ESPN, the Islanders and Johnny Boychuk have made progress in their contract negotiations.  While the two sides still don't have an agreement, they are getting closer, according to LeBrun.
After the numbers on Nick Leddys new contract, I am very curious to see the numbers Boychuk gets.  If you follow his brothers on twitter, they have been hinting for a while now that they thought he would remain an Islander.  Hopefully, for the sake of fans, this gets done sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Isles To Get Brand New Practice Facility

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced tonight that new corporate offices, as well as a new practice facility will be built for the Islanders in Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

Financial terms of the project were not released, however, it will be privately funded.
I had heard that Ice Works would be renovated and was going to remain the practice facility as well as the home of the corporate offices.  Finding out now that they are getting a brand new one is definitely nice and probably over due as well.  

Barclays Center Can Opt Out of Isles Deal After 5 Years

According to Newsday, Nassau County officials are saying that Barclays Center is able to opt out of their lease deal with the Islanders after 5 years.  If you recall, the Islanders announced in October 2012 that they had signed a 25 year lease to play at the state of the art arena.
However, since then there have been many conspiracy theories and such which saw the team coming back to Nassau County.

There had long been rumors about the Barclays Center lease, now having this confirmed will add fuel to the fire for those who think the team may come back one day.

While I still don't think they will come back, this does add a wrinkle to things.  I wouldn't get your hopes up of the Barclays Center people opting out of the deal, however, crazier things have happened I guess.

Leddy Out With Upper Body Injury

According to Arthur Staple, Nick Leddy is expected to miss two weeks with an upper body injury.
While this isn't great news obviously, it is certainly better than the alternative.  At least Leddy will be back in time for playoffs with time to spare so he is able to get his legs back under him before playoffs start.

Isles Fall 2-1 in Tight Rivalry Game

Tonight, in the final contest between the Islanders and Rangers at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders fell by a score of 2-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Officiating was horribly inconsistent tonight.  If Jesper Fast doesn't get fined for that dive in the first period, there is something terribly wrong with the NHL system.

-Halak was pretty good tonight, a tip and some weak defense got the best of him.  He gave the team a chance to win though which is all you can ask for.

-Great job by Anders Lee on his goal!  He showed excellent determination and was ultimately rewarded.

Certainly not the outcome we were hoping for with tonights game, but you can't be disappointed with the effort.

Next Game: Friday vs Ottawa

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pre Game: Rangers @ Islanders

Tonight, for the final time in the regular season, the Islanders will play host to the Rangers from the Nassau Coliseum.

The goalie match up tonight features Cam Talbot in net for the Rangers.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will be in net for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will see at least one change tonight with Kyle Okposo making his return.  Okposo hasn't played in a game since before the all star break after having surgery to repair a detached retina.  According to Newsday, Michael Grabner is likely to be scratched to make room for Okposo in the lineup.  Additionally, Nick Leddy is a game time decision for tonight after getting injured in last nights contest in Toronto.

Tavares Leads Late Isles Comeback in OT Win

photo by pixshark

Tonight, after having a less than stellar first 40 minutes, our Islanders came out in the third period and showed by they have been at the top of the standings for the entire NHL season to this point.  With their 43rd win tonight, it is the most wins they have had in a regular season since 1983/1984.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-First of all, what can you say about John Tavares that hasn't already been said?  He is fantastic to watch and in my opinion the top athlete in New York Sports right now.

-Good Islander debut for Tyler Kennedy tonight with a goal and an assist.  He seemed to click pretty good with Tavares and Bailey in the third tonight, I suspect they will remain together for tomorrows contest.

-While Neuvirth wasn't great tonight, he wasn't bad either.  With a couple more starts heading his way, hopefully he starts to improve a little bit more each time.

-Is anyone else holding their breath on the impeding status of Nick Leddy who left tonights game after the second period?  Hopefully, we receive a positive update from the Islanders on Leddys condition tomorrow.

-The kid line also seemed to be effective when they were put back together for the third period.  Speaking of them, left wing Anders Lee registered another point tonight as he continues his late push for a rookie of the year nomination.

Through two periods, most Islander fans were unsteady, wondering how the team could put forth an effort like this against the struggling Leafs.  Lucky for them, they came out and showed up in the third and that was enough for them to get a huge two points out of the game.  While they were successful tonight, they can't play like this against teams like the Rangers because most often it won't work out well.

Next Game: Tomorrow vs NYR (Last regular season game between them at the Coliseum)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Toronto

photo by pete

Tonight, our Islanders conclude their four game road trip as they face-off against Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The goalie match up tonight features Michal Neuvirth getting his second consecutive start for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Jonathan Bernier will be in net for the Maple Leafs.

There will be one notable omission from the Leafs lineup as center Nazem Kadri will be a healthy scratch tonight.

Meanwhile, for the Islanders, there will be one lineup change from Saturdays shootout loss.  Tyler Kennedy, who the Islanders acquired at last weeks trade deadline, will finally get into the lineup after battling an upper body injury.  To make room for him, Colin McDonald will be a healthy scratch tonight.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Isles Fall 4-3 in Shootout to Panthers

Tonight, our Islanders fell 4-3 to the Panthers in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Tavares again showed off his stick handling on his breakaway goal.  He is truly worth the price of admission by himself.

-While Neuvirth didn't have a great game in his debut, he wasn't bad.  Hopefully, he is able to improve for Mondays outing.

-The team showed good resolve to get the tying goal after the Panthers went ahead in the third period.

After the comeback victory the other night, to lose tonight against the Panthers third string goalie was frustrating.  Tonight, was a game that should've went into the win column.  They need to dust that off though as they prepare for the Maple Leafs on Monday.

Next Game: Monday 7:30 @ Toronto

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Panthers

photo by CBSSports

Tonight, our Islanders continue their 4 game road trip as they travel to Sunrise to take on Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers.

The goalie match up tonight features Michal Neuvirth making his Islanders debut in net.  Meanwhile, Dan Ellis will be between the pipes for the Panthers.  The Panthers goalie troubles of earlier this week have been well publicized, Ellis is their third string goalie.  They actually held open auditions for their fourth string goalie who will serve as the backup tonight.

The Islanders lineup will see one change tonight as after serving his 1 game suspension, Matt Martin will return to the lineup.  To make room for him, Eric Boulton will go back to the press box.  Tyler Kennedy and Kyle Okposo both joined the team for tonights contest but will not play.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Nelson Comes Up Big in Late Victory

photo by zimbio

Tonight, our Islanders managed to snap their brief two game losing streak as they defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 4-3.  This is Nashville's 5th consecutive loss in regulation.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-They may have won, but they can never make it easy.  That third period meltdown was reminiscent of what we would see from the team 3-4 years ago.  What is different now is that the team continued to come hard at them and was able to get the eventual winner.  Where as back then they would've continued to sit back and eventually blown the lead and lost the game.

-Good to see Nelson get the game winner tonight on a smart shot from Grabner.  Nelson has really elevated his play in the last month or so and it is great to see it translate for him on the stat sheet.

-Great tip by Anders Lee on his goal!  It is really impressive how skilled he is at that.  That goal puts him firmly in second place in the race for the rookie goal scoring title.  He is just one behind Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators for the lead.

-Not Halaks best game tonight, but he certainly wasn't bad.  He gave the team a chance to win which is all you can ask for from your goalie.

-Nice to see another multi point game from Nick Leddy, who is working toward his career high in points after already setting a new high mark in goals with still 16 games left to play in the regular season.

After Tuesdays disappointment, tonights contest was a good hard fought win against a tough team.  One thing that does give me pause though is blowing a third period lead for a second consecutive game.  They need to rectify that, or it could prove to be problematic for them down the stretch as they start looking at playoff seeding.

Next Game: Saturday @ Panthers 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Predators

photo by flickr

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Nashville looking to snap this two game losing streak as they face off against the Predators.  After being at the top of the league for the entire season, the Predators have been going through some struggles recently as they have lost 4 straight games in regulation.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Pekka Rinne will be in net for Nashville.  If you recall, when these two teams played at the Coliseum a couple weeks ago, the Islanders put up 5 goals on Rinne.

The Islanders lineup will see two changes tonight from Tuesdays loss in Dallas.  With Matt Martin suspended, Eric Boulton will play his first game in a really long time on fourth line wing.  Additionally, with Casey Cizikas back in the lineup, Kael Mouillierat will be a healthy scratch tonight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Martin to Have Hearing For Hit on Daley

Update: Earlier tonight, it was announced that Matt Martin would be suspended one game as punishment for his knee on knee hit on Trevor Daley in last nights loss to Dallas.  With that punishment, Martin will be out of the lineup for the Islanders tomorrow night in Nashville.

Last night, Matt Martin was ejected from the game early in the first period for a knee on knee hit with Stars defenseman Trevor Daley.

After the game, Stars coach Lindy Ruff said that Daley could be out "weeks" due to the hit.
This morning, it was reported that Martin would have a phone hearing with the NHL department of player safety due to the hit.  Arthur Staple from Newsday expects Martin to get suspended one or two games for the hit.

When the hit initially happened I didn't think it was as bad as people were making it seem.  However, it appears as though the league disagreed so we will likely not see Martin in the lineup tomorrow night in Nashville.

Isles Fall in OT To Dallas

Earlier tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 3-2 in overtime to the Dallas Stars.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-It was a tale of two plays for Ryan Strome tonight.  It was very impressive at the end of the game taking the puck up the ice with speed leading to the tying goal.  However, his mistake in OT that led to the winning goal is something that just can't happen.  Very sloppy play on his part!

-Pretty good start from Halak tonight after having 5 days off.  Rest for him will be key down the stretch.

-Good game for the penalty kill tonight, looked very sharp.  Especially killing off Matt Martins major early in the game.

-Speaking of the major, I thought that call was excessive.  While the hit definitely warranted a penalty, I didn't think the a major was the right call.  Additionally, the goalie interference call on Anders Lee at the end of the first period was a classic case of embellishment by the Dallas goalie.

-With his goal tonight, Lee moved back into a tie for second place with Filip Forsberg in the race for the rookie goal scoring lead.  He has gotten his 21 goals in 4 fewer games than Forsberg though.  They are both just 2 behind Mike Hoffman of Ottawa for the lead in that category.

The Islanders were fortunate to get a valuable point after a third period meltdown that saw them give up two goals and the lead.  With the standings as close as they are every point is that much more valuable.

Next Game: Thursday 8:00 @ Nashville

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Dallas

photo by ticketdfw

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Dallas to begin a four game road trip as they take on Jason Spezza and the Stars.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Kari Lehtonen will likely be between the pipes for Dallas.

The Islanders lineup will see two changes tonight.  One being newly acquired Tyler Kennedy making his Islanders debut, according to multiple reports.  He will dress alongside Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner tonight.  To make room for him in the lineup, Kael Mouillierat will be a healthy scratch.  Brock Nelson will assume Mouillierats role as 4th line center.  Additionally, Lubomir Visnovsky will also return to the lineup tonight in place of Brian Strait after getting Saturdays game off.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meet Michal Neuvirth

photo by zimbio

Also, earlier today, the Islanders announced the acquisition of goalie Michal Neuvirth from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Chad Johnson and a third round pick.

Johnson, who the Islanders signed to a two year contract on July 1st was just never really able to find his game here.

Neuvirth represents a big upgrade from Johnson for the Islanders.  On a poor Buffalo team this season, Neuvirth posted a 2.99 GAA and a .918 save percentage.  That save percentage is more than 20 points higher than Chad Johnson.  Neuvirth also faced an average of 39 shots per game with Buffalo, a number that should decrease pretty significantly with the Islanders.

I was very surprised by this move, and the more I see it the bigger fan I am of it.  I didn't think the Islanders would give up on Johnson, but I am pleased they did.  Although he had started to play better recently, to say this year was a struggle for Chad Johnson would probably be a rather large understatement.  Neuvirth should get pretty decent time as the Islanders look to rest Jaroslav Halak down the stretch for the playoffs/

Meet Tyler Kennedy

photo by zimbio

Earlier today, the Islanders announced that they acquired Tyler Kennedy from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional draft pick.

The pick will be either the Islanders or Lightnings 7th round pick in this years draft.  Unless, the Islanders win the Stanley Cup and Kennedy plays in 50% of the games.  If that were to happen, then the Islanders owe the Sharks a 3rd round pick.

Kennedy has 9 points in 25 games this season for the Sharks.  While that doesn't exactly jump off the page he does have a track record of being a solid depth player and is familiar with the division from his time with the Penguins.  Additionally, he brings a lot of playoff experience with him as well.  Kennedy has participated in 76 playoff games in his career and has 27 points in that period of time.  He also comes with a Stanley Cup on his resume from his time with the Penguins.  You can never have enough people like that on your team, especially when your a team like the Islanders who while they have added some experience are still largely not as battle tested as some of the other eastern conference playoff teams.

Islanders Trade Conacher to Vancouver, Leggio to Arizona

According to reports, the Islanders have traded Cory Conacher to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Dustin Jeffrey.
The Islanders have also traded Bridgeport goalie David Leggio to the Coyotes in exchange for forward Mark Louis.

Islanders Make Noise At Deadline, Acquire Kennedy & Neuvirth

According to reports, the Islanders have made some noise this trade deadline as they acquired forward Tyler Kennedy from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional third round pick in 2016.
They didn't stop there though as they also shipped out Chad Johnson and a 2016 third round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for goalie Michal Neuvirth.

The Tyler Kennedy move I like, he should be solid depth for the Islanders down the stretch and has some playoff experience as well which you can never have enough of.  The Neuvirth move surprises me.  That is Snow admitting that the Johnson signing didn't work out.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Anders Lee Named NHL Rookie of the Month

photo by zimbio

Today, it was announced that Islanders rookie Anders Lee was named NHL Rookie of the Month for February.
Lee had 15 points in 15 games in February including two games where he netted two goals.  Lee has really excelled playing on the left wing of John Tavares over the last few weeks and is making a late run for rookie of the year consideration.  Even if he fails to get nominated though, that won't take away from the fact that he has had a very solid rookie season and has shown himself to be a key member of the Islanders for years to come.

We here at savetheisles would like to congratulate Lee on this accolade and hope it isn't the last one he gets this season.

In Terrible Effort Isles Fall To Canes

Earlier this evening, our Islanders fell by a score of 5-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-People will rush to blame Chad Johnson for the outcome of the game after seeing the score.  While he definitely didn't have his best game, you can't place 100% of the blame on Johnson for this one.  The entire team around him didn't show up to play and it was pretty evident throughout.  A team that generally out shoots opponents pretty healthy was out shot by an almost 2-1 margin, that should tell you all you need to know.

-Greg Cronin failed today to combat the Canes power play.  While it is expected that you will give up power play goals here and there, for them to make us look like amateurs like they did on one of their power play goals was just embarrassing.

-Brian Strait showed again today why he isn't a regular in the Islanders lineup.  On two separate occasions, bone headed defensive plays by him led to Hurricane goals.

-In a game of few positives one was Nikolay Kulemins goal.  It was a very impressive power move on the way to the finish.

With the way the standings are, lackluster efforts like this one sting twice as much.  The Islanders just need to dust themselves off and get back to their winning ways on Tuesday because down the stretch every win counts.

Next Game: Tuesday 8:30 @ Dallas