Saturday, January 31, 2015

Poor Special Teams Doom Isles in 4-1 Loss

This afternoon, our Islanders dropped their second straight game, this time by a score of 4-1 to the Red Wings.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-While Johnson wasn't at his finest today, he wasn't bad either.  He got no help around him which didn't have a good impact on his game.  He gave the team a chance which is all you can ask from your backup.

-The officials were atrocious today. the embellishment call on Brock Nelson specifically was one of the worst calls I have seen in a while.

-Save for a couple third period spurts, the team never really had their game going at all today.  It is like the early start threw them off and they were already back home tomorrow having their Super Bowl parties instead of concentrating on the game at hand.

-The penalty kill was atrocious yet again today as it has been for a majority of the season to this point.  If they are about holding coaches accountable I wonder if the thought creeps into their head to let go of Greg Cronin who has failed to this point.

-On the topic of special teams, while the power play was a little better today than it was the other night, it still wasn't near good enough.  The team is way to stagnant on the power play and looks for the pretty play rather than getting the puck on net and creating chances.

Given the Islanders recent success in Detroit, an effort like todays was surprising.  The team really never got anything going and that is evident by their relatively low shot count.  They need to take the next two days and regroup as they prepare to take on the Panthers on Tuesday.

Next Game: Tuesday @ Home vs Panthers

Pre Game: Islanders @ Red Wings

photo by flickr

This afternoon, our Islanders travel to Detroit as they faceoff against Pavel Datsyuk and the Red Wings.

The goalie match up today features Chad Johnson in net for the Islanders, giving Jaroslav Halak a much needed day off.  Meanwhile, with Jimmy Howard on IR, Peter Mrazek will be between the pipes for Detroit.

Lubomir Visnovsky will return to the lineup this afternoon after being activated off IR this morning.  With his return, Brian Strait will return to the press box.  Additionally, Casey Cizikas status is a game time decision.  If he is unable to go, Colin McDonald will dress in his spot.

Happy Birthday Grabovski

photo by zimbio

Today, Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski is celebrating his 31st birthday.

Grabovski, who signed with the Islanders as a free agent on July 2nd, has been a bit of a disappointment in his first season with the orange and blue.  In 40 games thus far this season, Grabovski has just 15 points.  However, with Kyle Okposo injured, Grabovski is getting a huge opportunity to play alongside John Tavares.  If his goal on Tuesday against the Rangers is any indication, the move to Tavares line could be just what the doctor ordered for Grabovski.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Isles Recall McDonald From Bridgeport

According to reports, the Islanders have recalled forward Colin McDonald from Bridgeport.
McDonald, who started the season with the Islanders was sent to Bridgeport late in October when the team called up Anders Lee.  In 38 games for Bridgeport this season, McDonald has 34 points including 14 goals.  He has also been a great veteran mentor for the younger players.

I'm thinking this means Cizikas is feeling it after blocking that shot last night.  If you remember he came up limp and had a hard time getting back to the bench after blocking the shot.

Isles Fall 5-2 to Bruins

Tonight, our Islanders played host to the Boston Bruins following their big win over the rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

The goalie match up pitted both teams number ones against each other as Jaroslav Halak was back between the pipes for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Tukka Rask was in net for the Bruins.

On this night, it was Rask who got the better of Halak as the Bruins managed to defeat the Islanders by a score of 5-2.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The power play was dreadful tonight.  It was sluggish all game and didn't generate nearly enough chances.

-As much as we all love Halak, he is scary when playing the puck.  He either needs to get better at that or he needs to not do it as much because the team can't afford to have mishaps with the puck happen as often as they have in the last month.

-On the topic of Halak, as much as most of us aren't a fan of Chad Johnson, he really needs to get into a game.  Halak can't play every game like he has recently and still be fresh for the playoffs.  I think Johnson will be a key player for the Islanders in the second half.

-Congrats to Johnny Boychuk on his 100th NHL point.  It is fitting that it came against his former team.

-I like seeing the emotion from Capuano on the bench when things don't go our way.  It used to be where Doug Weight was that guy and then Capuano would go to calm him down which he was criticized by fans for because Capuano behaved like a statue behind the bench.  However, much like his attitude with the media has changed this year, that has as well.

Although the team did put 45 shots on net, overall this was a disappointing performance coming off the Ranger win.  It wasn't the teams night tonight, they need to put it behind them as they head to Detroit for a Saturday matinee.

Next Game: Saturday 1/31 2pm @ Detroit

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Halak Looms Large in Isles 3rd Straight Win Over Rangers

photo by zimbio

Tonight, our Islanders defeated the rival Rangers for the third time this season.  They were victorious by a score of 4-1 in this contest.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Although it is very frustrating to not get the shutout, Halak had an excellent game tonight.  He really held the team in the game, especially in the second period.

-Unbelievable skill showed by the team on the first goal, it was truly a treat to watch.

-Another solid game from Josh Bailey who seems like he didn't lose a step during the all-star break.

-While it wasn't a perfect perfromance by any stretch, Brian Strait actually had a decent game.

-The penalty kill fared well tonight, coming up with a few key kills.

You couldn't ask for a much better performance coming out of the break against a division rival than the Islanders gave you tonight.  While they struggled in the second period at times, in the first and third period they were excellent and controlled the play pretty effectively.

Next Game; Thursday @ home vs Boston

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Isles Place Boulton, Okposo on IR

According to reports, the Islanders have placed Kyle Okposo on IR.  This shouldn't come as a surprise as it was announced yesterday that Okposo would miss 6-8 weeks with an upper body injury.  The unexpected news came with Eric Boulton joining Okposo on IR.

It isn't unexpected with Boulton not because he has been such an impact player this season, just that he really hasn't played at all.  This is reminiscent of how Radek Martinek used to get injured.

Boulton has 0 points and just two penalty minutes in 4 games this season.

Pre Game: Rangers @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders welcome the rival Rangers to the Coliseum for the first of three meetings in the second half.

The goalie match up tonight features Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will be between the pipes for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will welcome back two players from injury as Lubomir Visnovsky and Mikhail Grabovski will be in the lineup tonight.  As was announced yesterday Kyle Okposo will miss 6-8 weeks with an upper body injury.  With Visnovsky returning, expect Brian Strait to return to the press box.

If you are going to attempt to attend tonights contest, make sure you are careful.  Especially those of you coming from Suffolk, the conditions are more and more dangerous the further east you go.

Islanders Depth to Be Tested with Okposo Injured

The Islanders were dealt a pretty big blow yesterday with the announcement that Kyle Okposo would miss 6-8 weeks with an upper body injury.  The team has shown great depth this year and this injury will really test that.  Who needs to step up in Okposo's absence?

Mikhail Grabovski

Perhaps the biggest candidate for this role is Mikhail Grabovski.  While his season has been marred somewhat by injuries, his time on the ice has still been a disappointment.  To this point in the season, Grabovski has 14 points in 38 games.  This puts Grabovski on pace for 27 points which is far below his career average.  When he signed with the Islanders on July 2nd, Grabovski seemed like more of a safe bet with his contract versus that of Nikolay Kulemin.  However, thus far this season it has been the other way around with Kulemin impressing and Grabovski being a disappointment.  If Grabovski is able to play like the player the Islanders expected him to be when they signed him to a 4 year deal worth 20 million dollars on July 2nd, that will go a long way in holding down the fort until Okposo gets healthy.

Ryan Strome

Playing Ryan Strome on the first line has been something that has been talked about since before he even arrived in the NHL.  Matter of fact, Craig Button, in Stromes draft year suggested the Islanders move Tavares to wing to make Strome the first line center.  While that won't happen, the idea of Strome on the first line has to interest the coaching staff tremendously now especially with Strome stepping up his play in the last month or so.  Strome's vision on the ice and his ability to create plays from nothing could prove to be a lethal combo alongside Tavares.  Strome and Tavares are already familiar with each other as well as not only do they often play with one another in 4 on 4 situations but they also train with each other during the summer.

Josh Bailey

Prior to the break, Bailey had been doing something that he hadn't done often in his career, produce in the middle of the season.  Normally, Bailey would produce early in the season and late in the season but not do much in the middle.  His play of late has led to fans wondering if they had finally found a solution for the first line left-wing spot.  Bailey had 6 points in the final 3 games leading into the all-star break, including 3 assists in Kyle Okposo's 4 goal game against the Penguins on January 16.  With the injury to Okposo, Bailey can't fall back into his old ways of obscurity.  He needs to continue to build on the play that he had prior to the all-star break.  Much like Mikhail Grabovski, if Bailey is able to do this, that will go a long way to holding down the fort until Kyle Okposo recovers.

Who Should Take his Spot on Line 1?

From the moment it was announced that Okposo was injured, after the initial panic, fans wondered who would take Okposo's spot alongside John Tavares.  If practice yesterday was any indication, Mikhail Grabovski will be the first person to get an opportunity in that spot.  While in the grand scheme Grabovskis success or lack thereof while on that line won't have a great impact with him signed for another 3 seasons.  It will have an impact on the rest of the season as sooner or later the team will have to start looking at playoff seeding.  With that, if Grabovski isn't producing his ice-time will reflect that.  Ultimately, I can see Ryan Strome fitting in nicely in Okposo's spot until he returns.

Islanders vs Rangers: A Rivalry Renewed

On January 13, the Islanders and Rangers met for the second time this season.  The Islanders came out of the game with a 3-0 victory, shutting the Rangers out at MSG for the first time since 1975.  With the Islanders in first place and the Rangers playing well, the rivalry has gained juice that it hasn't had in a long time.

Kids Coming of Age

The Islanders have really seen the fruits of their rebuild this season as Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Anders Lee have all become key members of the team.  Nelson came on strong out of the gate, but has cooled down a bit in recent games.  He is second on the team in goals with 15 behind just John Tavares and fourth on the team in points behind Tavares, Okposo and Ryan Strome.  Meanwhile, Strome who had a slower start to the season than Nelson has really come on of late.  His hot play has propelled him to third on the team in points with 33 in 46 games.  His skills were seen in the Islanders game on January 10th on his assist on Matt Martins goal.  From just inside the offensive zone, with Martin breaking down the middle, Strome sent a beautiful pass in Martins direction and Martin stuck his stick out and got the Islanders second goal of the night.  While Anders Lee hasn't put up the stats of Strome or Nelson, he has come up with many game winning goals this season.  One attribute to his game that he has really fine tuned that others haven't is tipping in front of the net.  Lee is excellent at that and it has really come in handy for him.  These kids will be a key part of the Islander vs Ranger rivalry this season and for many seasons to come.  

Islanders Rangers Rivalry

People outside New York may not realize this, but Islander vs Ranger games can get just as intense as any other huge rivalry game in the NHL like the Battle of Ontario or Montreal vs Boston.  With hockey being the fourth sport in New York, the rivalry doesn't get the coverage it should which causes it to get overlooked on the more national scene.  The rivalry has lost some luster on the ice in recent years due to the Islanders lackluster play.  However, it didn't lose anything among fans who still created a great atmosphere at most games.  This year though, it is different from years past as the Islanders sit in first place in the division with 63 points and the Rangers sit five points behind them.  For the first time in a long time, an Islander Ranger game will be on the mind of a typical New Yorker today, not just the hockey fans.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Okposo to Miss 6-8 Weeks With Upper Body Injury

According to multiple reports, today at practice Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced that forward Kyle Okposo would miss 6-8 weeks with an upper body injury.  It is being rumored that his ailment is an eye injury but that has yet to be confirmed and likely won't be.

This is a big loss for the Islanders with Okposo being second on the team in points and will really test the teams depth until he returns.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Coliseum Conversation at Molloy College

Earlier tonight, it was announced that on February 25th fans would have the opportunity to attend an event where former Islanders Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom, Clark Gillies, and Pat LaFontaine will discuss their successes, careers, thoughts on the Coliseum, and the move to Brooklyn.  These former players will be joined by current Islanders Jaroslav Halak, Kyle Okposo, Anders Lee, Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas.

For more information including ticket prices, click here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Mike Bossy

photo by sikids

Today, Islanders legendary forward Mike Bossy is celebrating is 58th birthday.

Bossy played 10 seasons for the Islanders and scored at least 50 goals in each season except his final one.  In all, he accumulated 1126 points in 752 regular season games.  On top of that, he had another 160 points in 129 playoff games.  Bossy was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1991.  He is widely regarded as one of the best pure goal scorers in NHL history.

Next Thursday, the Islanders will honor Bossy with his own mini locker and he will drop out the ceremonial face off before the Islanders take on the Bruins. 

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

Islanders Top First Half Storylines

On Monday, the Islanders closed out the first half of their season with a 7-4 victory over the Flyers.  This win brought them to a record of 31-14-1, good for first in the eastern conference at the end of the day on Monday as well as first place in their division.  What are some of the surprises of the first half that have brought the Islanders to this point?

MVP in Net

Coming out of last season, Garth Snow knew he had to upgrade in net for his team to have a chance night in and night out.  Knowing that, he wasted little time filling that void as in early May he acquired Jaroslav Halak from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 4th round draft pick and just a few short weeks later the Islanders had their goalie.  While he didn't have a great start, Halak has settled in to arguably be the teams MVP to this point.  He has brought them stability in net that the Islanders have been searching for, for nearly a decade.  To this point in the season, Halak has a 2.41 GAA and a .910 save percentage.  That was good enough to get him elected to his first all-star game this weekend in Columbus.

Kids Emerging

Another huge element of the Islanders success has been the emergence of their young forwards.  By now you know them as Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee.  All three, draft picks of the Islanders during their rebuild have paid dividends for the team this season.  Nelson got off to the hot start leading the team in goals for a while.  He has now cooled off a bit but is still having an impressive second season.  Meanwhile, Ryan Strome didn't get off to the same hot start that Nelson did, but he has sure made up for it the last few weeks.  In that time, fans have gotten to see Strome take the next step in his development as a player and it has been a treat to watch.  Lastly, Lee who was the one that was left off the opening night roster has really earned his spot since getting called up at the end of October.  Two key elements that really provide value for Lee are his net front presence and his clutch goal scoring.  Lee has made the front of the net his office, much in the way of Mark Parrish and Matt Moulson and it has really proved to be beneficial for him.  Additionally, while his stats might not jump off the page, they have come at key times.  Lee has 13 goals this season which is near the top of the league in rookie scoring.  Of those 13 goals though, 5 of them are game winners.  When the game is on the line, Lee is proving that he is someone who you want out there.   

Head Coaching Improvements?

This may come as a surprise to some as a lot of fans still aren't huge advocates of Islanders coach Jack Capuano.  While I admit he certainly has numerous flaws, it can't be denied what he has done with this team this season.  While he still makes you bang your hear on the wall sometimes, if it is the recent treatment of Jaroslav Halak heading into the all-star break, or playing Brian Strait early in the season instead of playing Matt Donovan, to say he hasn't also made improvements would be incorrect.  You have seen multiple times this year that he has corrected things that in the past he maybe wouldn't have been as quick to fix.  Additionally, he isn't coddling players as much as he once did.  In the past, fans criticized Capuano for being to easy on the players and not holding them accountable.  This season, in some respects it has been different as Capuano has shown a willingness to give mention about certain players lack of performance in the media which is something he never would've previously done.  He has also showed emotion a lot more in general in the media which is a refreshing change for the coach.  While he still might not be the perfect coach for the Islanders, the fact that he has made improvements along with the team is encouraging.

Penalty Kill Struggles

For all the positives of the Islanders first half, I wouldn't be doing my job if I ignored the enormous struggles of the penalty kill.  The Islanders penalty kill struggled last season and following the season they saw coach Brent Thompson who was in charge of the penalty kill return to coach Bridgeport.  With the opening, the Islanders brought in Greg Cronin from Toronto to take the spot.  From the moment it was announced it seemed like a typical Islanders hire to me because he had history with the team and he had history in Maine and for some reason the Islanders like to bring in a lot of people from there.  Anyway, Cronin was in charge of the Maple Leafs penalty kill the last few seasons and while it finished better than the Islanders, there wasn't a huge difference.  In fact, last season, the Maple Leafs penalty kill finished just one spot ahead of the Islanders.  While it is fair to be surprised at the struggles, should it be that big of a surprise considering Cronins recent history of coaching the penalty kill elsewhere?  You might be right to expect the players to play better, but in some respect I feel as though the Islanders signed up for these struggles when they brought in Cronin back in June.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Awesome Isles Items

There is always room for more Islander products! Check these great ones out! 

Isles Go Into Break on High After Victory Over Flyers

photo by zimbio

This afternoon, our Islanders defeated the Flyers by a score of 7-4.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-What a game for Nikolay Kulemin, it is fair to say that today was his breakout game.  He has already almost doubled his goal total from last season and were a little over half way through.  This signing seems to be paying dividends for Garth Snow.

-Anders Lee stays hot with another point today.

-The team seems to be playing Halak to much.  While he wasn't terrible today, it was obvious that he wasn't himself.  He might get some time to rest during the break, but for him to have played three games in the last four days is simply irresponsible given his value to the team.

-Good to see Boychuk get on the score sheet on his birthday.

After Saturday's loss and given the Flyers struggles this year, this was a game the Islanders had to win.  While they didn't make it easy, they were in control for most of the game.  This was a great way to put an exclamation point on a great first half.

Next Game: Tuesday 1/27 vs New York Rangers

Pre Game: Flyers @ Islanders

This afternoon, our Islanders finish up their pre all star game schedule as they play host to the division rival Flyers.

The goalie match up this afternoon features Rob Zepp for the Flyers.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will surprisingly be back in net for the Islanders.  This will be Halaks 3rd start in the last 4 days.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as Saturdays loss to Montreal.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Isles Win Streak Snapped in Loss To Montreal

Last night, our Islanders had their 4 game win streak snapped as they fell 6-3 to Montreal.

Given the score, it is fair to question the teams decision to play goalie Jaroslav Halak back to back instead of giving backup Chad Johnson the start last night.  On the positive side, Anders Lee picked up another goal extending his point streak to 4 games.

Next Game: Tomorrow 1:00 vs Philadelphia

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Montreal

photo by hockeyarenas

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Montreal to faceoff against Max Pacioretty and the Montreal Canadiens.  

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Islanders in a bit of surprising move.  If you recall, last month when Halak started both ends of a back to back he ended up missing a week of action.  Meanwhile, for the Habs, Dustin Tokarski will be between the pipes.

The Islanders will dress the same lineup as last nights come from behind victory over Pittsburgh.

Isles Make Statement in 6-3 Victory Over Pens

photo by zimbio

Tonight, our Islanders made a statement with their 6-3 come from behind victory over the division rival Penguins.  This is just the latest statement win in what has been a season of statement victories for the Islanders to this point.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-You have to start with Kyle Okposo, what a performance by him tonight.  The first Islanders player to register 4 goals in a game since Matt Moulson in 2011.  Additionally, the first one to do it at the Coliseum since Steve Thomas in 1992.  He put the team on his back tonight and it was a pleasure to watch.  Congrats to Okposo on his first NHL hat-trick as well.

-It wasn't Halaks best game but he gave the team a chance to win which is all you can ask for.

-Good to see Anders Lee register a point again for the third straight game.  It seems like with Lee that when he puts up points that he puts them up in bunches and right now is the middle of one of the bunches.

-After being quiet compared to what he had been doing the last few games, good for Brock Nelson to get back on the score sheet.  Since being split from the kid line, Nelsons production has taken a little bit of a hit.  Hopefully, this starts him back on the right track.

-Both Okposos line mates, Tavares and Josh Bailey deserve credit as well.  Both with three assists had huge games tonight.  

After the big win on Tuesday, some fans may have thought about a Ranger hangover possibility for tonight, but the team proved them wrong in a big way.  Given what was on the line in terms of points and divisional standing as well as these teams recent history, this could possibly be the Islanders top home game of the year to this point.  The Islanders showed incredible resolve and determination tonight, specifically heading into the third period on the way to the victory.  

Next Game: Tomorrow night 7:00 @ Montreal

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pre Game: Penguins @ Islanders

Tonight, after a long road trip, our Islanders finally return home to play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final time in the Nassau Coliseum.  Tonight's contest will also determine who is in first place in the division at the end of the night tonight.

The goalie match up features Marc Andre Fleury for the Penguins.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will be back in net for the Islanders after shutting out the Rangers the other night.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as it was for Tuesdays victory.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Halak to Join Tavares in All Star Game

According to reports, it was announced earlier today that Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak was named to the all star game.

Halak is having a great year this season, his first with the Islanders.  With 23 wins already, he is on track to break the team record for wins by a goalie which currently stands at 32.  Additionally, he has a 2.22 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
As cool as it is to have a second Islanders representative named to the game along with Tavares, I was hoping that Halak would avoid getting named to the team so he can take the week off to rest.  He has shown time and again how valuable he is to the team and the week off would've done him more good than playing in the game will.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Isles Announce Decades Night

Earlier today, the Islanders announced that decades night had been added to their promotional schedule.  On April 4th, the team will welcome back Butch Goring, Shawn Bates, Ed Westfall, Pierre Turgeon, and Garry Howatt to the Coliseum.

On that day, season ticket holders will have the opportunity to meet the players in a special meet and greet from 4:30-6:30.

It is unclear if the team will welcome back any more players in the second half of the season.  Two notable players who have yet to be welcomed back or scheduled for an event are John Tonelli and Ziggy Palffy.

Lee, Halak Lead Isles to Shutout Over Rangers

photo by zimbio

Tonight, our Islanders came out of MSG victorious for a second time this season as they defeated the rival Rangers by a score of 3-0.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Halak was a star tonight, he did get some help from the posts but he came up with the big save when we needed it.

-Anders Lee also had a great game.  On top of the eventual game winning goal, he had another couple quality chances as well.

-Nice shot by Kulemin on his goal, showing off a little skill that he doesn't usually bring to the forefront.

-Great hit by Boychuk on Nash, he hasn't done that as often as he did with the Bruins, but when he does it you notice it.

-Great job by the Islander fans again tonight making MSG home by the end of the game.  After all the years of Ranger fans doing it at the Coliseum, it is nice to be able to return the favor.

While the first period wasn't a great effort by the team and included some luck with the Rangers 4 posts, the rest of the game the Islanders were excellent.  Seemingly everything the team did wrong in the first periodwas corrected through the rest of the game.  The coaching staff takes a lot of criticism and rightfully so, but they should get some credit for that.  The Islanders couldn't have started what will be a very tough week any better than they did tonight.

Next Game: Friday @ Home vs Pittsburgh

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Rangers

photo by timeout

Tonight, our Islanders gear up to renew their rivalry with the Rangers as they travel to MSG for the final time this season.  The teams meet three more times this season, all at the Coliseum.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist will be between the pipes for the Rangers.

The Islanders will ice the same lineup as Saturdays victory over Columbus.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Isles Dominate Jackets in 5-2 Victory

photo by zimbio

Tonight, our Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in dominating fashion by a score of 5-2.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-While he wasn't tested that much, Chad Johnson played pretty good tonight.

-Nice effort by Anders Lee on the winning goal, nice little move as well to fake out Bobrovsky.

-Brian Strait with a multi point game tonight, who knows when we will see that again.

-Good to see Okposo get rewarded with a goal.  He had a jump in his step all night.

-Excellent job by Ryan Strome setting up Martin for his goal.  He displayed tremendous vision and skill on that play.

The Islanders scored 5 goals tonight and not one was by John Tavares.  Even though he didn't score, the captain had another solid game after taking over Fridays game in Jersey.  Being able to put that many to the back of the net without contribution from the captain says something about this team.

Next Game: Tuesday @ MSG

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Isles Defeat Devils In OT, Move on To Columbus

Last night, our Islanders defeated the Devils by a score of 3-2 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-John Tavares really put the team on his back tonight, unbelievable goal in overtime for the winner.

-Really cool to see the players embracing the "yes" chant along with the fans.

-Concerned that Halak got burned again attempting to play the puck behind the net.  He really needs to either work on that, or just not do it anymore.

-Excellent job by Isles fans coming out in such strong numbers for tonights game.  After being invaded countless times over the years at the Coliseum, it was nice to see Islander fans turn it around for a change.

By way of their win last night, the Islanders moved into 1st place in the Metro.  While teams behind them have played less games, it is nice in January to look at the standings and see the Islanders near the top rather than the bottom which had become customary in the last half decade or so.

Pre Game: Islanders @ Blue Jackets

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Columbus to take on Nick Foligno and the Blue Jackets.

The goalie match up tonight features Chad Johnson starting the back end of the back to back for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky will be in net for the Jackets, fresh off his new extension.

The Islanders will have one lineup change from last night game as Mikhail Grabovski will not be in the lineup after being injured last night.  Cal Clutterbuck will return to the lineup in his spot after missing last nights contest.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Advertise on SaveTheIsles!

Want to expand your business?

Let SaveTheIsles help, we have room for ads & links on the site! Spread your business in front of thousands of monthly viewers.

Dont waste time, contact for more information! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Former Islander JP Parise Passes Away at 73

photo by jockbio

According to reports, former Islander JP Parise passed away today at the age of 73.  Parise had been battling lung cancer since early last year.  Last year, Michael Russo did a great story on him for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Parise played in 240 regular season games for the Islanders from 1974/1975-1977/1978.  In that time he managed to put up 171 points.  He of course is best remembered for his play in the playoffs though.  He participated in 41 playoff games for the Islanders and put up 34 points in those games.  One goal stands out more than the rest though.  That of course is the goal he scored against the Rangers in 1975 to give the Islanders their first ever playoff series victory.

We here at savetheisles would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Parise family and their friends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Another Poor Effort Dooms Isles in 3-2 Loss

Tonight, our Islanders dropped their second consecutive game by a score of 3-2 to the Canucks.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-For a second consecutive game, the effort just wasn't there from the Islanders.  While this is really the first time this year we've seen a complete lack of effort from the Islanders, it doesn't make it any less concerning.  It is one thing if one or two players have a bad night, however, the last two games it has been pretty much the entire team.

-The Thomas Hickey and Matt Donovan pair was downright terrible tonight.  There is no other way to describe it than that.

-Speaking of Hickey, who exactly was he passing to on that drop pass leading to the Canucks third goal?  All be it, the forwards on that play were wrong as well for being in so tight with him.  Still, you need to know where your passing it before you do so and when you don't we saw the result of that tonight.

-After a really rough game Sunday, Halak wasn't great tonight either, he wasn't bad though.

-Good shift by Okposo on the second goal, nice to see Grabovski finally get one.

With the way this trip started, to be 2-2 on it now is disappointing to say the least.  While in years past we may have been ok with being 2-2 at this point, things are different this season.  Expectations have been raised and fans should expect better from the team.  The effort of the team the last two games is very far from the expectations the team has set for itself this season.  Hopefully, the team gets the message in time for their next contest Friday night and returns to the play that has made them successful this season.

Next Game: Friday 7PM @ New Jersey

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Canucks

photo by arenanetwork

Tonight, our Islanders continue their long road trip as they travel to Vancouver to take on Henrik Sedin and the Canucks.  If you recall, the last Islanders visit to Vancouver featured a memorable 3rd period scoring outburst that resulted in an Islanders victory.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Islanders after Sundays rough outing against Edmonton.  Meanwhile, Eddie Lack will be between the pipes for the Canucks.

The Islanders lineup will see some changes tonight.  With Lubomir Visnovsky going on IR, Matt Donovan will return to the lineup tonight.  Additionally, Jack Capuano told media today that Josh Bailey who had been playing with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo is day to day with a lower body injury.  Michael Grabner, returning from injury will take Baileys spot in the lineup and at least to start the game tonight is expected to be skating with Tavares and Okposo.

Isles Place Visnovsky on IR, Activate Grabner

Earlier today, the Islanders announced that defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was placed on IR with an upper body injury.  With that, the Islanders were finally able to activate Michael Grabner off IR after having him sit while healthy the last few games.  Grabner will be in the lineup for tonights game against Vancouver.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Isles Fall 5-2 to Oilers

Tonight, in a game that will be one to forget, our Islanders dropped their first game of 2015 by a score of 5-2 to the Oilers.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The teams play in their own zone was embarrassing.  From Halak coughing the puck up behind the net reminiscent of Rick Dipietro, and Visnovsky making a nice pass off the net to Derek Roy for the Oilers 3rd goal, it was a night to forget all around.

-Good to see Cappy show some emotion post game.  In the past there were times when he would look at the positives after a bad game like this.  Tonight, he was pissed and he showed it which is good to see.

-Nice to see Boychuk score in his home coming.

This marks the second time in 8 days that the Islanders have lost to a team that they should've beat.  While it does happen where good teams lose to the second division teams, it doesn't make it ok for it to occur.  The Islanders have shown an inability to take advantage of teams that they should which is something they need to continue working on as the season progresses.

Next Game: Tuesday 10PM @ Vancouver

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Oilers

photo by stadiumjourney

Tonight, our Islanders look to win their fourth in a row and third on this long road trip as they travel to Edmonton to take on Taylor Hall and the Oilers. 

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Tonight will be Halak's 300th NHL start between the pipes.  Meanwhile, Ben Scrivens will be between the pipes for the Oilers.  Although the Oilers have struggled, Scrivens has been one of the bright spots for the team recently with a .926 save percentage in his last three starts.

There will be no lineup changes tonight for the Islanders so Michael Grabner will continue to be a scratch for the time being along with Brian Strait, Matt Donovan, and Eric Boulton.

Isles Win 3rd Straight 2-1 Over Calgary

photo by imgkid

Last night, our Islanders won their third straight game by a score of 2-1 over the Flames.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Huge game from the captain!  He might be more quiet about it than he had been in years past but he is having a solid season.

-Ryan Strome continues to roll, he is on an unbelievable stretch right now.

-Everyone probably joined me in letting out a huge deep breath after Boychuk crashed into the boards but didn't miss any shifts.

-Halak continues his stretch as one of the top goalies in the league.  It is just a pleasure to watch him play right now, he is bringing something to the Islanders that they haven't had in a very long time.

With these two games out of the way, the Islanders need to make sure they don't overlook tomorrows game due to the opponent.  If they are able to play their game and remember that any team can beat any team on any given night, they should be alright and get their 4th straight win and settle into the top spot in the eastern conference.

Next Game: Tomorrow night 9:30 @ Edmonton

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Flames

photo by ticketscanada

Tonight, our Islanders look to continue where they left off on Wednesday as they travel to Calgary to take on Jonas Hiller and the Flames.

The goalie match up features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, the aforementioned Hiller will be between the pipes for Calgary.

The Islanders will ice the same lineup as Wednesdays victory so Michael Grabner is still scratched.  Grabner is expected to return on the trip, however, an exact date isn't yet known.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Isles End 2014 on High With 5-2 Victory

photo by zimbio

Last night, our Islanders ended 2014 right with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.  Their victory last night gave the team a share of first place at the end of the calender year for the first time since the 87/88 season.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-You have to talk about Frans Nielsen when talking about this game.  He had a huge game putting up 2 goals and an assist as well.  If the Islanders are able to get him going more to the pace he put up last season, that will only further deepen an already deep team.

-Good to see Anders Lee continue to roll with another couple points.  It seems like he is beginning to emerge much like Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome have this year and it is really special to watch.

-Speaking of Ryan Strome, he had the best game of his professional career last night, putting up a goal and adding 3 helpers.  With the four points last night, he is now tied with Brock Nelson for third on the team in points with 27.  Much like Lee and Nelson, it is really great to be able to watch them blossom night in and night out.

-Halak had a pretty solid game.

According to Eric Hornick, the team ended the 2014 calender year with 97 points which is the most they have had in a year since getting 105 in 1983.  You couldn't ask for a better start to a huge road trip than a win like this.  Hopefully, the Islanders are able to build on this victory as their road trip continues.

Next Game: Tomorrow 9:00 @ Calgary