An independent blog on the New York Islanders and the NHL by a guy from New York.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rebounding and a salute to the 92-93 Islanders

Another loss after some good effort against the Penguins in game two of the home at home match-up.  In the final twenty minutes, a bad break and a fantastically executed drawn up play eliminated a 2-0 lead.  Nabokov was solid until he hurt himself in O.T. and Rick DiPietro allowed one goal against in the shootout.  When a goaltender does that, he is giving you a shot to win, but the Isles fell uncharacteristically flat scoring in the shootout.

DiPietro will back stop the team vs the San Jose sharks today.  It will be another challange the team must be able to answer to take the next step and change the culture back to winning.
 
Tonight the Isles salute the 92-93 team that toppled the two time defending cup champion Penguins, and came close to another cup chance.  Patrick Roy ended the chances that year en-route to a cup title.  Just thinking of Turgeon, Hogue, Thomas, Ferraro, Pilon, Vukota and Healy among others make me smile.  It is sad that Glen Healy had to speak so negatively last season about the Islanders in the infamous February coming of age game, otherwise he would have most certainly been asked to attend in a place on honor at the Colisieum. 
But what a year that was.  It was one on the most exciting playoff runs any team has ever had, even though they fell short.  The Al Arbour magic in O.T. was unreal and of course, the Volek goal was the stuff of legend.  This was one of my favorite Islander teams of all time and I am so glad they are being honored tonight.  The current blizzard outside of an expected 15 inches, snapping trees and power lines may keep me from watching, but I will be there in spirit.
That team will always give me hope that my New York Islanders can accomplish great things, even when no one else gives them a chance.



 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keeping An Eye On The Prize

So, I never intended to cover all the games on KoC, but I am compelled to comment on what I have seen again so far. 


I have seen many games as a fan where a team dominated for much of the game, had a ton of good chances, but their inability to finish slowly worked against them and turned their strong play into growing confidence for their opponent.  That was what happened last night in game one of a home at home series vs the Pittsburg Penguins.
Two glaring mistakes against a quality team with depth to spare is something that you just cannot do.  Malkin returning to the lineup didn’t help either.  But if you want to take the next step as an organization, these are the teams you must compete with and beat, consistently.
The fact is the Islanders played better as a team, got shots on net, played physical, had strong special teams and good goaltending.  What is still missing?  Proficient scoring 5 on 5.
The third and fourth lines did better in pressuring the opposition, the defense did ok, but the inability to sign a top pair Defensemen this summer shows in the blue line depth.
When you have an all-world Goaltender like Fleury on his game and his team in position to apparently block 26 of 33 shots, a 20th career shutout is not a surprising feat, his 3rd career vs the Islanders.  That’s solid team defense.
What I am saying here is I am still drinking the Kool Aid.
I am not sure if a trade or call up is the missing piece.  I am uncertain if all the pieces are already in place and just need more time, but I am sure of that it needs to happen soon.  Confidence is something that has been building over the last few seasons.  The young Islanders have made strides and proven they can answer a challenge.  What they need to build is a winning culture and that comes from one thing.  Winning.
They have game two to regroup and answer the Penguins at home.  Not an easy task, especially for them in recent years.  They need to play another solid game, minimize mistakes and rediscover their scoring touch.  Scoring first and playing physical is always a good start.  Finish checks and improve passing and positioning.  Clog the Pittsburg zone and get them out of position to minimize their ability to block shots.  I say make it a little unpleasant for Fleury, but play with controlled emotion, as the league will be watching.  Again.  They will need to improve 5 on 5 play and keep special teams and goaltending on target. 
Frustrate the Penguins for the win and get the season back on track.


Isles Notes:
Lines at practice today were Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Okposo-Nielsen-Grabner; Rolston-Bailey-Comeau; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Martin, Gillies.
Montoya, Nabokov and DiPietro made the trip to Pittsburg.
Per Coach Capuano, Jurcina is day by day and will definitely help the team defense improve while Niederreiter should skate with the team by next week.  But expecting such a young player to make the difference shouldn’t be realistic.

Monday, October 24, 2011

.500 Not Good Enough, Isles Losing Focus?

The Islanders uninspired play got them 2 road loses this past weekend, dropping them from a strong start to a 3-3-0 record on the young season and leaving a possible 4 points on the road.  It is far from panic time, but there is room for concern.  The team’s top line does most of the scoring while the rest of the line-up has struggled to find the back of the net.  Almost as if they were living on what they did in the three home games prior to their trip to the sunshine state, the cruise control wasn’t good enough to overcome a talented and desperate Tampa team and a surging, but beatable, Florida team. 

The Islanders were out played, outshot and seemed lost at times after they tried to start a push towards taking control of the games.  When K.O. missed a golden chance in Tampa and the faltering quick start through the 5 on 3 in the third period against a backup Panther goaltender, the Isles failed to take control, and paid the price with back to back loses.
Still, the Islanders have shown a lot of promise.  The have displayed flashes of a solid team ready to take the next step.  Inconsistency though and an inability to find scoring depth have hurt them.  I joked that they were on track for about 7 minutes in Tampa and maybe a little more than that against the Panthers.  Last season, the team had the ability to score throughout the roster after Coach Capuano took over.  It was a part of the reason that the second half surge showed promise and a maturity that was coming of age to the young Islanders team. 

With a relentless attack and tough defensive play, the Islanders ranked 6th in espn.go.coms’ power ranking last week.  After this weekend’s performance, they fell “back down to earth,” at 19th position.  Whatever the reason for the slip up, the Islanders will need to find consistency to be taken seriously in a hostile sports world that has reluctantly given them periods of respect up to this point.
With a home at home series coming against the Pittsburg Penguins, or #Pengwhines as I like to call them, the Islanders had better be ready and refocus on their game.  The Penguins have been without Crosby, Malkin, Michalek, Orpik, Jeffrey and Kennedy, but are still finding a way to come together and win as a team.  In their 10 games played so far this season, the Pens are 6-2-2.  The Isles team chemistry needs to rebound and find balance throughout their game to compete with upper level teams. 

If they can maintain pressure against the Pens, their Goaltending should hold up.  I would say that both Montoya and Nabokov have looked good so far this season.  The Isles defense has been an asset for the most part and as I have said before, special teams are much better.  They can take less penalties and re-discover their nose for the net, but all in all, have been a pretty good team at times thus far in the season.  They need to keep listening to Coach Capuano and need some kind of spark. 
I wonder what kind of spark they could need against the #Pengwhines


 
Isles Notes:

* Nabokov has been given the start with DiPietro dressing as back-up in game one of the home at home.

* Malkin will be a game-time decision in game one.

DiPietro and now Jurcina are back to practicing with the team.
Niederreiter is day to day.
It has been pointed out by many that Blake Comeau (4 games, 0 pts and 2 Pim) and Josh Bailey (6 games, 0 pts and a -1 with 4 pim) seem to be losing stock with each passing day since the start of the season.  Their security is something to watch as the season continues as well as how the Islanders perform.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Isles Notes From 10/20

With revenge on their minds, the Tampa Bay Lightning will no doubt be ready to face your New York Islanders at the St. Pete Times Forum tonight.  Themes to remember are that Victor Hedman took liberties against John Tavares last game.  With Trevor Gillies in the line-up, I think that will be addressed.  Also, Mathieu Garon, and not Dwayne Roloson, will get the start tonight vs the Islanders. Garon is undefeated against the Isles in his career; however, he posts a 0-1-1 record this season.  Per Arthur Staple, After the 5-1 Isles win against the Lightning, PA Parenteau told Staple he was "so happy" that the Isles chased Roloson to the bench; a couple of other players, who did not want their names used, expressed similar sentiments about Roloson being a bad teammate during his final weeks with the team last season.  Roloson said that he wasn't bothered by Parenteau's comments.
The Islanders need more scoring from different places than the first line.  It’s a big positive to see the Tavares with Moulson and Parenteau doing as expected, but the team needs to take advantage of their depth and get offense from different areas to beat the stronger teams in the league and take the next step as a contender.  The isles must also contain Stamkos and St. Louis, and establish their game early.  They need to keep special teams buzzing and answer all challenges against a dangerous and starting to be desperate team having been on the losing side of a 7-4 score vs the Florida Panthers.
Montoya will start in the net tonight vs Tampa Bay.
Comeau, DiPietro and Jurcina watching from the box.


The Florida Panthers will face the Isles on Saturday night.  Former Islander, Sean Bergenheim is always pumped to play his former team, but only has 1 point so far this season.  Brian Cambell, Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss are tops on the team with 7,7 and 6 points respectively.  Jose Theodore is having a strong start to the season so far and will most likely face the Isles in Florida.

In other news, Dee Karl mentioned that former Isles Coach,Ted Nolan has been chosen to coach the Latvian National team.

See you all to recap the weekend and preview the first meeting with the #Pengwhines

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Strong Start On The Island


The New York Islanders are making a splash with their play so far this season.  Yes, I know how early it is, but to have all the pieces working well and winning games is a good thing to start the season.
We all know how hot Montoya has been, making 34 saves on 35 shots vs Tampa Bay.  The Isles first line of Moulson, Tavares and Parenteau has been on fire with 19 points in 4 games.  J.T was named second star of the week with a hat trick and 4 points vs the Rangers on Saturday while Nabokov was solid in his 29 save performance Islander debut. Tavares and Parenteau were tied for the league lead in points and assists respectively after Saturday’s game.
When special teams click and the Isles can keep to their game, they can really bring it.  The team heads to the sunshine state for games vs. Tampa Bay and Florida on Thursday and Saturday for their first games on the road this year.

Stay tuned.  More to come


Isles Notes:  
Blake Comeau was an unexpected healthy scratch against the Rangers, a team he has had success against in his career.  ESPN’s Katie Strang has reported Coach Capuano has no comment on the matter.
Rick DiPietro suffered a concussion, but is considered day to day and may be with the Islanders against Tampa Bay.
Kirill Kabanov has been added to the Färjestads BK roster of the SEL.

Me, "Henrik" and N.Y. Comic Con

So I spent four days working at New York Comic Con for Knightrealms.com in New York City.  That means I missed the 5-1 win vs the Lightning and 4-2 win vs the Rangers.  Not an easy thing to deal with.  But I was thrilled to learn how well the Isles played.
While I was at the KR booth at Comic Con getting my geek on, I noticed a hockey player walking the Convention hall.  He was clad in a full Detroit Redwings uniform with a stick and skates.  Upon looking more closely, I saw he had a red beard and visor while wearing #40.  “Zetterberg,” I said.
After a little hockey talk, MaryBeth told him and his buddy clad in an Edmonton Oilers jersey about my blog.  They were psyched to hear about it and thrilled to be at the convention spreading their propaganda about fakehenrikzetterberg.com.  They seemed to be really good guys with an original and crazy concept, so I thought I’d share the information with all of you.
I encourage everyone to check them out and support Jakob Hawkins and Greg DeLiso on their web series.  I was #500 to like em’ on Facebook.  Lets get them 500 more and make them really famous T.V. producers so they can give me a job!


About the Webseries
“Fake Henrik Zetterberg” is a classic fish out of water story about a guy who dresses in full hockey gear – all the time.
Having just relocated to New York City, Fake Henrik Zetterberg lands himself a job at Kraft Publishing, an up and coming manual publishing company.  What ensues are the hapless adventures of this misunderstood misfit as he makes friends, enemies and if he’s lucky, finds love.
The first 10 episodes premiere October 26th, 2011.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kirill Kabanov and the NHL out of context

@IgorEronko reports Kirill Kabanov had the following statement,  "Everyone [in Russia] kept saying 'NHL, NHL.' You get there and will be famous.. As a boy I had an impression [the NHL] was paradise. But when I came here I realized that the made-up image and reality are different things."
He (Kabanov) contends that he was misquoted and could have been a little unhappy at the particular time when the interview took place.  He said that at the time, he wasn’t sure if he had made a mistake going into the NHL draft.   
According to Chris Botta, Kabanov has fired four agents including another last month.  Reports of burned bridges in the KHL are still smoldering in the distance.  He has a reputation for being fiery and a wise-cracking kid.  But he has also made serious strides in a year’s time.  He has shown more maturity and leadership while in Juniors and impressed the Islanders enough to sign him to an ELC.
Katie Strang is reporting Kabanov has an offer from a team in Sweden and the KHL.  I am sure he will be playing somewhere soon.  He has made no secret of his feelings about being drafted as an Islander, "I was really happy when I heard my name from the Islanders." 
On Facebook, Kirill is adamantly refuting the idea he doesn’t approve of being a part of the NHL.

“ I (am) proud to be a part of NHL!!!!!! Dont listen to the media...,” Said Kabanov.


Isles Notes:  
Rick DiPietro was hit in the mask by a Brian Rolston shot in practice and left the ice for evaluation today.  We will hope for the best.  He deserves better than this.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The "M" In Team

The Isles line up looked like this for the first two games of the season:

Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Okposo-Nielsen-Grabner; Rolston-Bailey-Comeau; Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo.

Streit-Staios; MacDonald-Hamonic; Mottau-Eaton

Montoya, DiPietro

***

Aside from still taking too many penalties, the biggest thing I have noticed about the Islanders so far this season is Al Montoya.

Montoya has a 1.53 GAA with a .940 SV% in the first two games with the Islanders for a 1-1 record.  What could you say about his play so soon?

Quietly, He has taken what was a strong preseason performance built from a successful Islander debut last season, and run with it.  He has shown a cool and calm demeanor and has impressed the coaching staff enough to supplant a healthy Rick DiPietro and much anticipated Evgeni Nabokov form the Islander nets.  It was when Nabokov refused to report last year, the Islanders were forced to trade for another Goaltender who turned out to be Montoya. 

The odd man out with the play of Henrik Lundqvist after being a first round pick for the Rangers and what was a marginal minor league existence for the Coyotes San Antonio Rampage, Montoya posted a respectable 2.39 GAA with a .921 SV%, with a record of 9-5 after being acquired last season.  Perhaps it was the continued confidence shown to him by the USA hockey program or maybe it was a coming of age as a pro, but Montoya has flourished so far in the Islanders system under the teaching of Mike Dunham and Sudarshan Maharaj.

Coach Capuano has stated that he will play who he feels will give the team the best chance to win.  With all due respect given to DiPietro and Nabokov, you have to feel good for Al Montoya.  In sports as well as life, we love the rising of the underdog.  We love to hear about how the improbable became reality through hard work and perseverance.  The Islanders are a team on a mission preaching the commitment mantra.

Is the unlikely 3rd goalie the one who will help rebuild the franchise over the others?  Only time will tell.  But in the meantime, enjoy the ride and believe in each member of the team.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Isles Notes from 10/6

The Islanders announced who would be named Alternate Captains today:

John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Steve Staios, Brian Rolston will alternate between home and road games this season.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011-2012 KoC New York Islanders Season Preview

The 2011-2012 season begins tomorrow.  For my New York Islanders, the season starts Saturday at home vs. the Florida Panthers.  The Isles trimmed down to 23 players today sending Frischmon and Reese to Bridgeport and Kabanov to his team in the QMJHL with Niederreiter, Gillies, (Colliton, Rakhshani) with Jurcina (and Katic) on the IR.  DiPietro and Montoya performed the best during preseason action with Nabokov struggling to find consistency.  Those factors in mind, the Isles picture could look like this based on preseason match-ups.

Forwards

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau

Michaels Grabner-Frans Nielsen-Kyle Okposo

Matt Martin-Josh Bailey- Brian Rolston

Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasoner-Blake Comeau


Defensemen

Mark Streit-Steve Staios

Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic

Mark Eaton-Mike Mottau


Goaltenders

Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya


** With Ryan Strome, Milan Jurcina and Evgeni Nabokov in the luxury box **

Forwards:

12        Josh Bailey

Bailey has a lot of potential, but also has a lot to prove.  He has struggled with consistency and needs to find his game.  He has a new contract, but needs to make an impact soon.
  
57        Blake Comeau

Comeau has been improving each season and has really been an impact player at times.  He has an opportunity to prove he is worth the spot long term, but he too needs to impress this season.
  
14        Trevor Gillies

A physical force and a true Islander.  If Gillies stays clean, he will be around a while.  He is a great team guy and really can take opposing players out of their comfort zone just by lurking on the ice.  Gillies is the meaning of heart.
  
40        Michael Grabner

A Snow miracle grab, expectations are high, but Grabner is relishing the chance to build on his Calder nomination from last season.  With his speed and work ethic, there is no reason why he can’t improve even more as the Islanders improve as a team.
  
17        Matt Martin

As a gritty player who can make smart plays, Martin can intimidate as well.  Like Gillies, Martin needs to play smartly this season and pick the right time to step up and he will be another asset in the Islander fist.
  
26        Matt Moulson

Another gem Garth Snow can take credit for, Moulson has developed into a bonafide sniper in the Islander system.  Partnered with JT, Moulson can continue his growth and will be around for a while on Long Island.
  
25        Nino Niederreiter

I can’t wait to see Niederreiter use his size and skill to gain confidence in the NHL.  With a little experience, he will be deadly around the net.  I am curious to see what he can do with JT and Moulson on the first line, should he get the chance.
 
51        Frans Nielsen

The best two-way forward in the league?  Some would argue he is.  Frans has been quietly gaining an elite status in the NHL as a complete player on both sides of the puck who happens to be “money” in the shootout.  Underrated, but not for long.
  
21        Kyle Okposo "A"

An Islander to the core and a born leader, Okposo has led by example since he got to the organization.  To the casual fan, Okie seems humble, but confident in what he wants for himself and his team, and I believe he will help lead them there.

29        Jay Pandolfo

At 36, Pandolfo brings the experience of two Stanley Cups and an expert ability on the PK.  He will provide leadership and bring a positive work ethic to a young team on the rise.

15        PA Parenteau

Coming off a career year, Parenteau also has a lot to prove.  He needs to show last year was a building block and not just a snap shot.  He shows a goal scorer’s touch and enhances the top line.  Can he do the same this year?
 
16        Marty Reasoner

A talented and savy player, Reasoner can add to the team leadership with his vast experience and toughness as a checking centerman.
 
11        Brian Rolston "A"

As a team-mate of Jay Pandolfo, Rolston brings the same winning edge and experience of a veteran.  He will allow the Isles to change the look of their power play and PK while keeping an up tempo threat for a SHG.
  
8          Ryan Strome

Draft notes and Blue and White video highlights aside, we are excited about getting a look at Strome.  He will most likely get his nine games and could stick around if he can play his game, even if he watches from afar at first.
 
91        John Tavares "A"

What else needs to be said about the first overall pick that he hasn’t already proven to be true.  JT can continue to develop and has made a commitment to help the Isles build a winner.  Expect more of an offensive impact and another step for Tavares towards the NHL elite.


Defensemen:

4          Mark Eaton

Solid while he played, Eaton had some injury issues last year that limited his contributions.  If healthy, he should be able to fill a steady role for the Isles on defense.
  
3          Travis Hamonic

Can he top last year?  Hamonic captured the excitement of Isles fans everywhere when he went from call up to defensive asset.  Look for him to improve even more and solidify the Isles second D-pairing with A-Mac.
  
27        Milan Jurcina

Jurcina played well enough to get a contract extension last year. What was not expected was the amount of time he would spend injured.  He will need to stay healthy to contribute in the way the team expects him too.
  
47        Andrew MacDonald

A great defensive story, MacDonald turned from a mid-round pick to a candidate for Alternate Captain.   Expect A-Mac to continue his development and be relied upon to take on more and more responsibilities for the Isles defense.

10        Mike Mottau

Also hampered by the injury bug, Mottau is a steady defensive influence the Islanders need to step up and fill this year. Will he be able to bounce back?
 
44        Steve Staios "A"
           
Often referred to as “clutch defender,” Staios could provide leadership and experience for a blue line that needs to answer its critics.
 
2          Mark Streit "C"

The Captian has returned.  With Streit, the Islanders defense gets that much better.  He will be a steadying force for the team each game night.  From mirroring the opponent’s top guy to scoring on the Power Play, Streit will make the difference.

Goaltenders:

39        Rick DiPietro

Enduring a couple of frustrating seasons for the Islanders, their fans and mostly for himself, DiPietro needs to stay healthy and focus on being the competitor that he is.  It is unknown if he can resume his all-star caliber play, but no one can question his resolve and his desire to win.  His pre-season play was solid, so let’s hope it can hold it together for the whole year and beyond.
  
35        Al Montoya

Acquired as a body to place in the net after all the Isles NHL and Minor League keepers went down, Montoya listened to Islanders coaching and performed better than he had ever played in his pro career.  Montoya also performed  well in exhibition play this summer and has a chance to compete for a regular spot with the Isles this season.
 
20        Evgeni Nabokov

From refusing to report to an excited camp attendee, Nabokov has certainly made his feelings known.  Looking shaky this preseason, Nabokov is a favorite to many to play for the Islanders.  Is he yours?


*******************************************************************

Players to watch for call-ups:

F:

81 Justin DiBenedetto
53 Casey Cizikas
62 Tyler McNeely

All had great camps and looked good enough to compete for a spot on the roster.  They showed defensive awareness and good offensive vision, contributing offensively.  When called up, they can make the most of their chance.

18 Michael Haley

Haley spent too much time in the box this preseason and I think it hurt him.  He made an impact as soon as he was called up last year and will do so again if he keeps his focus.  Haley is as talented with the puck as he is with his fists.

28 Trevor Frischmon

A depth acquisition, Frischmon made quite an impression in camp this year. 

77 Kirill Kabanov

With more experience, Kabanov should make an impression and soon.  Gifted with great hands and good hockey sense, he will be an exciting player to watch in the near future.

D:

3   Calvin de Haan
46 Matt Donovan

de Haan and Donovan had great camps and really impressed me with their play, from defensive positioning, transitional play and offensive contributions.  With Katic injured, I would think they would be high on the coaches list for a call-up.

42 Dylan Reese

Steady and reliable, Reese has made himself a go-to guy as a call up.

G:

60 Kevin Poulin

One of the most exciting goaltending prospects in the NHL, Poulin is being groomed to take over the Isles net.  He has great positional play and is an athletic goaltender with an even calm confidence.  When the opening is truly there, I don’t think he will ever go back down to the AHL.


*******************************************************************


There is a lot to be excited about this year.  Management has given us an exciting off season and the young core of players seem to be poised to make the world take notice.  I would like to see a quality offensive and defensive addition myself, but I am excited to see how the season plays out.  We will have to wait to see if any waiver pick-ups or trades can make the team even better.

If the offense gets even a little better from another year of experience and the shured up defense stays healthy, the Islanders can get to the seventh or eighth playoff spot in the east.  Goaltending will be a major factor.  Will DP stay healthy?  Will he be as good?  Can Montoya pick up from last season?  Is Nabokov past his prime?

Whatever answers will be for the questions of what the season will bring, how great is it to be an Islander fan right now?  How satisfying is it to finally see the progress and the progression of patience to build the team correctly? 

I for one am proud of being an Islander fan. And all rah-rah crap aside, I can’t wait to stick it to the haters. 


Bleed the blue and orange

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Strome's ELC and Pandolfo Makes The Cut

The New York Islanders signed first round , 5th overall pick of the 2011 NHL entry draft, Ryan Strome to an Entry Level Contract today just before the 5pm deadline.  This means Strome has an opportunity to start the season as a member of the Islanders after his impressive first pro training camp.  It is quite possible he will get a 9 game look (along with Kirill Kabanov) similar to that which Nino Niederreiter got last season.  After nine games, Strome would be officially in his rookie season of his ELC.

On his chance to turn pro, Strome said, “I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity and privilege to sign my first contract with the New York Islanders,” He added,  “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’m very thankful.”
 “I thought getting drafted was one of the best feelings ever and this is right up there,” Strome said. “I couldn’t be happier to be with the Islanders. There is such a bright future here and I’m excited with the trust they’ve given to me. I’m not going to let them down.”
On Twitter, Strome had more good things to say.
@strome18 Ryan Strome
Thanks everyone for the support and kind words! I am very excited about officially being a NY Islander




The Islanders signed camp invitee and veteran Jay Pandolfo signed to a one year deal reported to be near vet minimum of $570K per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.  On playing with the Islanders, Pandolfo said, “I think these guys played really well at the end of last year and now are a year older, with more experience,” He added, “They really saw what it takes to win in the last half of the year. I think that’s going to help starting this season off right.”


Monday, October 3, 2011

Isles Notes from 10/3

Nino Niederreiter and Trevor Gillies are sidelined with Groin injuries.

Forwards Michael Haley, Sean Backman, Casey Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Brett Gallant, Tomas Marcinko, Tyler McNeely, Tony Romano, David Ullstrom and Tim Wallace have been sent down to Bridgeport, along with defensemen Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Anton Klementyev, Aaron Ness, Benn Olson and Ty Wishart and  goalies, Mikko Koskinen, Anders Nilsson and Kevin Poulin.  There are three more cuts coming before 3P.M, October 5th.

The New York Islanders have agreed with defenseman Steve Staios on a one-year contract, the team announced Friday. According to a source, the deal is worth $800,000.

Per MSG Network,  Peter Ruttgaizer has been named the host and reporter for New York Islanders telecasts. Ruttgaizer will make his debut on MSG Plus when the Islanders open their season at home on Saturday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. versus the Florida Panthers.

“I’ve always thought about working with the MSG family, and the Islanders are an up-and-coming hockey team with a great history, so I’m honored to have this opportunity,” said Ruttgaizer. “MSG Network and MSG Plus are two of the premiere sports networks in the country and I’m excited to get started with Howie, Butch and the talented production staff.”

Islanders games will be preceded by a half-hour pre-game show and followed by a 30-minuute post-game or “HOCKEY NIGHT LIVE.” “HOCKEY NIGHT LIVE,” which is telecast on both MSG Network and MSG Plus, will follow Saturday night games throughout the season.

Recap of Preseason Games 4 & 5

The line-up for the Devils:
Forwards


Blake Comeau-Marty Reasoner-Nino Niederreiter

Jay Pandolfo-Josh Bailey-PA Parenteau

Matt Martin-Ryan Strome-Tim Wallace

Trevor Gillies-Trevor Frischmon-Micheal Haley


Defensemen

Mark Streit-Steve Staios

Aaron Ness-Mark Eaton

Matt Donovan-Mike Mottau


Goaltenders


Rick DiPietro, Kevin Poulin


 
The Devils scored about mid-way through the first after one of numerous power plays they would experience throughout the game.  Hedberg outdueled DiPietro in the contest as the Devils held on to a 1-0 lead until time expired.  With little video of Devils-Islanders game, there will be no disciplinary action taken against Ryan Strome for his hit on Stephen Gionta.

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The line-up vs. the Bruins:

Forwards



Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau

Kyle Okposo-Frans Nielsen-Michael Grabner

Blake Comeau-Marty Reasoner-Micheal Haley

Jay Pandolfo-Casey Cizikas-Josh Bailey


Defensemen

Mark Streit-Mike Mottau

Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic

Mark Eaton-Dylan Reese


Goaltenders

Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov

 
 
Casey Cizikas and Andrew MacDonald made their preseason debut vs. the Bruins in Brideport.
The Islanders started the game strong with John Tavares and Marty Reasoner grabbing a two goal lead.  Al Montoya was strong in net shutting out Boston.  Evgeni Nabokov took over for the second half of the game.  The Bruins turned up the pressure in the second period and never looked back.  They stormed back to win the Game 3-2.