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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Isles Notes for 1/30

The Islanders are 19-22-7 with 45 pts for 13th in the east.  They have scored 115 goals and given up 143.  After the All-Star break, they are 11-11-4 at home, 8-11-3 away and 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.

John Tavares to meet Islanders in Carolina after All-Star game. JT tallied a goal, an assist and had an impressive six shots in his NHL All-Star debut, but his Team Alfredsson fell by a score of 12-9 to Team Chara.

Arthur Staple reports that the Islanders recall F Rhett Rakhshani and G Kevin Poulin on loan from Bridgeport. There is no word yet on why Kevin Poulin has officially been recalled.

Chris Botta speculates that with Al Montoya not at 100% and Evgeni Nabokov drawing some trade interest with deadline a few weeks away, the Islanders are being smart with Kevin Poulin’s recall.

Staple adds, Brian Rolston, Tim Wallace likeliest candidates to sit if Rhett Rakhshani plays.

Brian Rolston is skating with Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo while Rhett Rakhshani joins Josh Bailey and Matt Martin.  Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin are all skating at practice today. Marty Reasoner (IR) is also a full participant.

Casey Cizikas is playing in the AHL All-Star game in Atlantic City, N.J. tonight.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scapegoat?

Your New York Islanders had a home at home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  These two teams have a history and do not like each other and it was evident in both of the games.  The Islanders line up looked like this:

Forward lines: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau; Rolston-Bailey-Martin; Wallace-Panolfo-Niederreiter.

Altered D-pairs: Hamonic-MacDonald; Streit-Reese; Eaton-Jurcina.

Montoya in Goal.

###

In Game 1, the Islanders looked flat and fell by the score of 3-0.  They played with grit, but were guilty of sloppy play throughout the game.  At times, the Isles seemed to be getting it in sync, but failed to complete the comeback.

Tonight, the Islanders took a 2-0 lead, only to fall by the score of 4-3 in O.T.

The effort was much better in Game 2 than the previous game in Toronto.  The offensive pressure was there and their compete level was evident.  Al Montoya looked pretty good, coming off a concussion that sidelined him on December 20th.  The teams defensive effort was suspect yet again.

Tavares and Bailey scored for the Islanders’ first two goals.  It was JT’s 13th point in 14 games and Bailey’s 2nd short-handed goal in a week.  P.A. Parenteau scores the tieing goal with 13 seconds in the game to force O.T. with Montoya on the bench for the extra attacker.

During the O.T., Grabovski knocks down Matt Moulson, no call by the officials, giving Toronto a fast break opportunity for MacArthur’s game winning goal.  Al Montoya makes the grab, but his glove is over goal line.

As if watching the game wasn't enough of a reminder, the posts are all over Twitter.  Kessel, Grabovski and Phaneuf were among the many Maple leafs taking liberties at the Islanders expense against John Tavares, Jay Pandolfo, Matt Martin, Andrew MacDonald and Brian Rolston to name a few.  That would be two games against Toronto, or 6 periods without a power play opportunity for the Islanders.

The officiating was awful again.  So bad, that I feel the NHL should be held accountable and the officials made to answer for their inability to do their job correctly.  The team, management and fans are all disgusted with the way calls have been made this season.  Its easy to blame others for failure, but the calls have really been bad and had an effect on the Isles ability to stay in a game, several times this season.  Arthur Staple reports that John Tavares spoke to one of the refs going off the ice after taking Phil Kessel's stick to his face: "You're a ------- joke!"


Isles Notes:

JT’s 12 game scoring streak came to an end last night in Toronto.
Arthur Staple points out; will the folks who wondered why Tavares chose to stay with the Islanders also wonder the same about P.K. Subban this summer with Montreal and Taylor Hall next summer with Edmonton?
Dylan Reese continues to play as Staios is scratched.
Evgeni Nabokov was named 3rd star of week by NHL, and in goal vs. the Maple leafs last night, his 15th start in last 16 games.
Casey Cizikas has been named to replace Calvin de Haan as Bridgeport's representative to the AHL All-Star game in Atlantic City on January 29th and 30th.
The Isles are 19-22-7 with 45pts, ranked 13th in the Eastern conference.
The Islanders face the Hurricanes in Carolina on Monday, January 31st at 7PM.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Top This!

John Tavares may not have been good enough in the eyes of ESPN’s Neil Greenberg last Wednesday to make the 25 best players under 25 years old, but he was good enough to once again, lead an improving Islanders team to another hard fought win. Tavares scored both goals for the Isles in their 2-1 O.T. win against the Carolina Hurricanes at the NVMC.

Watching JT’s play over the last few seasons and seeing his development, especially this season, you may disagree with Greenberg’s assessment that “Tavares is good, not great.” I am sure anyone who knows anything about hockey had a good laugh at the article. I want to say that ESPN should stick to college basketball and national lumberjack competitions, but that is not fair.  I worked with too many talented people who loved covering hockey during my time there, so I will take most of it back.  Ok, all of it.

Islanders.nhl.com explains, “The Islanders are riding a season-high, three-game win streak, John Tavares continued his league-leading 12-game point streak and Evgeni Nabokov won his fourth straight game, the most of any Islander goalie this season.” Nabby was solid, yet again making 32 saves on 33 shots while posting a .970 Sv%.

With each win against opponents that have proven difficult to beat in the past and each consistent effort, the young Islanders will continue to improve. The rebuild has taken some time to really show what can be. If the leadership continues to be there and the first team in the East to boast 3, 40point scorers continues to win, we may be closer to a winner than we think.

But that’s a big “if.”  I can't wait to find out.




Isles Notes:

Erick Hornick points out that the Isles finally won a game in their 3rdjersey, where they sit at 1-4-1. Here’s to breaking any and all losing streaks.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

FINALLY!

Consistency.

I have said it all season long.  Ok, everyone has said it all season long.

Tonight was a big win in Philadelphia for your New York Islanders.

We have heard all the stats on streaks and series wins.  Tonight, you can throw all of it out because tonight, it was about working hard and out playing another very good team by a score of 4-1.

From face-offs to finishing checks, the Isles played their game in a hostile environment against a quality team.  It could have been very easy to make this about Talbot’s comments of the Staios hit from last game, but it wasn’t.  It was about the New York Islander’s continuing to improve and even after slipping up, keeping focus and bringing their game closer and closer to a consistent contender.  Balanced scoring from even strength, short-handed chance, power play and empty net to seal the deal.


The first line, all around solid defense, Streit finally finding his game, Hamonic and A-Mac, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin, Grabner and Nino continue to improve, 25 blocked shots and Evgeni Nabokov.  It all equals a win and another step forward for NY.

Al Montoya is still waiting to get his shot back in the net.  Who knows how much better the team can get with both of these goalies healthy and playing well.  Eric Hornick shares that "Nabokov & Montoya both have GAA 2.50 or lower.  Only time (minimum 600 mins) two #isles goalies did that in same yr: Resch/Smith in 76-77."

On Saturday, the Islanders will face Jeff Skinner and the Carolina Hurricanes at the NVMC at 7p.m.

After that, home at home with Toronto and back to Carolina after the All-Star break.

 

Isles Notes:

NYI Goals: M. Moulson (00:28 - 2nd) , J. Bailey (SHG, 12:58 - 2nd) , M. Streit (PPG, 07:07 - 3rd) , M. Grabner (EN, 19:59 - 3rd)


JT brings his point-scoring streak to 11 games.


JT @ 46pts, MM @ 43pts and PAP @ 41 points so far this season.


The Islanders were outshoot 41-27.  Nabokov, with a season high 40 saves on 41 shots and a solid .976Sv%

Three Stars:  3. Nabokov, 2. Moulson, 1. Tavares.

Chris Botta’s observation, "more than 24 hours after Rick DiPietro was scheduled to have his hernia surgery, no update from Isles.  Hopefully soon.”

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have loaned Defenseman, Benn Olson to the Alaska Aces of the ECHL.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jekyll and Hyde

Coming off a big and emotionally charged win against the Sabres, the Isles home holiday matinee proved to be another awful game for NY. With Kevin Poulin getting the nod after being ignored for a week on the bench, things were a bit unsettled to say the least.  The team wasn’t ready to compete and at times, seemed to be in awe of Nashville’s play.

This game belonged to Nashville goaltender, Pekka Rinne.  He was awesome, stopping 36/37 shots with a .973 Sv%, preserving a 3-1 win for Nashville.  The Isles out shot the Preds and played a physical game, but made sloppy plays that their opponent capitalized on.

Although shaky at the start, giving up two goals on the first two shots, Kevin Poulin stopped 29 of the last 30 shots he faced.  John Tavares scored a nice tip-in goal on a set up by Moulson and Okposo, but it was too little, too late.  It was definitely a game to put behind them and serve as an example of what not to do. 


Would they be able to rebound against the Caps?


The Islanders came out swinging against the surging Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Vokoun the following night.  They played a solid and consistent game while not giving anything to the Dale Hunter led Capitals to feel good about.  Their were beautifully executed plays, a tight defensive scheme and a complete team contribution that helped the Islanders improve to a 17-21-6 record.

John Tavares scored a goal and PA Parenteau netted two in the next two periods for his first multi-goal game.  Eric Hornick reports that John Tavares has 17 points over the last ten games.  Tavares' 10-game point streak is the longest by an Islander since Mark Parrish had a twelve-game streak (5-8-13) in October/November, 2001 and the second-longest in the NHL this season. (Boston’s David Krejci at 11 ended Monday)The Isles out shot the Capitals 28-17.

Arthur Staple notes that the win vs Washington was the Islanders first SO of season and the first since 2/19/11. Nabokov is 10-1-0 vs Washingtn over his careeer.  Tommy Salo was last Isles goaltender to get shutout against the Washington Capitals.  17 shots against a season low for NY.


Line up vs Washington:

Forward lines: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau, Rolston-Bailey-Martin, Wallace-Pandolfo-Niederreiter.

Defensive pairs: Streit-Jurcina, MacDonald-Hamonic, Eaton-Reese.

Nabokov in goal, Montoya backing up. (Kevin Poulin Returns to Bridgeport after Montoya’s return to line up after 4 weeks recovering form a concussion, compliments of Evander Kane’s cheapsot.)

Steve Staios out for rest.  Dylan Reese in on defense.

# # #

The Islanders face Maxim Talbot and the Flyers again in Philadelphia on Thursday at 7:00pm.  Per nhl.islanders.com, the Flyers improved to 26-2-0 against New York since the beginning of the 2007-08 season with a 3-2 victory on Long Island last Thursday. Philadelphia (27-13-4) has won all eight meetings since the start of 2010-11.  New York's last win in Philadelphia was 4-2 on April 7, 2007.  Which Isles team will show up tomorrow?  Will Talbot seek "revenge" for the "cheap" hit that he took from Steve Staios that didnt even warrant a penaty called on the ice?


Isles Notes:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Binghamton Senators 3-2 for their seventh straight win on Sunday, It marks their longest streak since November 2003. Anders Nilsson got the win in net and Trevor Gillies was back in the lineup.

Islanders’ prospect C Ryan Strome will miss 2-4 wks with Niagara (OHL) after having surgery for 2 cracks in his cheekbone received Friday night.



And don’t forget:


Here it is, the season finale of Fake Henrik Zetterberg...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Isles Notes for 1/15

The Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2 on Patrick Flatley night.


Per Eric Hornick, Nabokov won his 300th game in his 11th straight start; Matt Moulson with 21goals; Grabner’s 1st multi goal game of the season; Tavares +4 and 8 game scoring streak with 15 points over the last eight games; Travis Hamonic: +8; Islanders show balanced offense scoring 10 non-PP goals over the week.


With a one-goal lead in the final minutes, a penalty shot was accessed to Mark Streit. It was one of the worst calls made against the Isles in some time, and that is saying something. In the defensive zone, Streit stumbled into the net, inadvertently knocking it from its moorings as Thomas Vanek was moving the puck, well behind the Isles net.  Paul Kukla of KuklasKorner.com has the footage posted.



Upcoming Schedule:

Monday, home vs the Nashville Predators at 1:00pm.
Tuesday, away vs the Washington Capitals at 7:00pm.
Thursday, away vs the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00pm.
Saturday, home vs the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:00pm.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Honoring The Great "26"

Tonight, The New York Islanders will face the Buffalo Sabres and add a storied player to their hall of fame.  Like those before him, Flatley’s banner will be raised to the rafters and bronzed plaque will be mounted on the wall outside the team’s locker room.

Patrick Flatley was selected by New York Islanders in the first round, #21 overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.  In 712 games played, Flatley had 160 and 328 for 488 points in 12 seasons with the Islanders from the 84-85 to 95-96 seasons.  He was named the fifth captain in team history in 1991.  Flatley retired after the 96-97 season, where he played for the New York Rangers.



Isles Notes:

Despite playing hard, J.T. and the Islanders fell to the Philadelphia Flyers and G Sergei Bobrovsky by the score of 3-2.

Islanders.nhl.com reports that “Rick DiPietro will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia. The procedure will sideline the Islanders goaltender for 10 weeks.

DiPietro, 30, has been sidelined since December 3, first with a groin strain and then with what is classified as a sports hernia and knee swelling. The Winthrop, MA, native has appeared in eight games this season, posting a 3-2-3 record.”


Per Arthur Staple, DiPietro has played 47 games the last 4 seasons. This is his 6th surgery since 2008.  DiPietro tells Newsday he has no plans to retire: "Nothing like that has even crossed my mind... I know I can play."

Coach
Capuano says the lineup stays the same tonight. Evgeni Nabokov will go for 300 career wins in his 11th straight game. 

Kevin Poulin will dress as a back up again tonight after being recalled from Bridgeport on January 9th. In BP, Poulin was riding a 4-0-1 streak with three consecutive shutouts, yielding a stingy 2 goals in his last 4 starts.  He has yet to play since being called up.

The Bridgeport Soundtigers report that Tomas Marcinko is back in the lineup for first time since 12/30, since being injured in Norfolk against the Admirals.

Tom Mascioli @islesinfo reports that “prospect D Brenden Kichton is currently tied for the scoring lead among dmen in the WHL: 7-34-41 in 39 GP. 34 assists leads all dmen.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Isles Notes for 1/12

Per Islanders.nhl.com, The National Hockey League announced today that Islanders center John Tavares has been selected to participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend from January 26th thru the 29th.

Tavares, 21, leads all Islanders in scoring with 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) through 40 games this season.
Brian Daniel Gallof reports breaking news:  The New York Islanders are in discussions for hosting a preseason game in the Barclays Center, Brooklyn next season.  Rumors of  Brooklyn as a possible relocation for the team have been prevolent (along with Queens) since the failed referendum last summer.

"You Can't Beat Us!"

The red-hot John Tavares led your New York Islanders to a win against the Detroit Red Wings last night at the Coliseum.  In a game that helped us forget two terrible weekend losses, New York controlled play and outworked Detroit for 60 solid minutes.  The Islanders are 15-1-7 in last their last 23 games at home vs West and have now gone 5-0-1 in their last 6 against the high powered Red Wings.  The Isles out shot Detroit 30-24 in the game.

The first line of J.T., M.M. and K.O. combined for 8 points in the win.  According to Eric Hornick, the 5th best PP in the NHL scored a power play goal and their PK has gone an impressive 18/18 over the last eleven games.  Special teams is the best it has been since the 93-94 season with a success rate of 20%.  Travis Hamonic continues to evolve as a go to Defensemen for the Isles with a +3 rating and Evgeni Nabokov was spectacular in a dominant 23 save performance where he posted a .958 Sv%.

Scoring Summary:  M. Moulson (PPG, 19:07 - 1st) , J. Tavares (07:31 - 2nd) , K. Okposo (11:10 - 2nd) , M. Grabner (18:32 - 2nd) , M. Moulson (13:57 - 3rd).

Coach Capuano said, "I think we elevated our battle level tonight." He added that he was pleased with the way the defense stepped up on both ends of the ice.  The Islanders improved to 15-19-6 with 40 games played.  This performance was indicative of what we can expect in a perfect game by the Isles.  They came out ready to compete, fore-checked hard and did all the little things correctly and with vigor.  Consistency is next on the list of goals.  Right now, the Islanders are second to last in the NHL.  Some things need to change soon, or it will be another disappointing season, and a summer to study another NHL entry draft, expecting to landing a top pick for being a really bad team.  Enough already.  With a few allusive key additions to their roster, the Islanders can possibly do some real damage, like they showed last night.  They have a very good core of young players and some dynamic impact players in the line up.  Last night, the Isles indeed played to the level of their opponent.  Actually, they outplayed one of the best and most disciplined teams in the NHL by outworking them in every aspect of the game.  How can we expect to see performances like this more often?


1)  Keep it basic and stick to fundamentals.  Avoid the lazy play and keep fighting until the buzzer sounds. 

2)  Working hard will cause the opponent to have to cheat and take chances to avoid being outplayed.  This will, as it did last night, help the team score 5 on 5.

3)  Stick up for one another, but play in a disciplined way.  Respect can be expected if it has been earned.  Believe.

4)  The goaltending situation needs to be stabilized.  I am a big fan of Rick DiPietro, but a decision has to made and soon.  His kind of heart and character can be asset for the organization off the ice.  He is simply injured too often as a player and this is hurting the team.

5)  Keep Mottau and Reasoner out of the line up.  Mike Mottau has just declined since becoming an Islander.  While I thought Marty Reasoner was an upgrade from Kenopka, he has shown that he too is a liability.  Give the younger guys a chance to develop and contribute.  Lets see Reese, Donovan, Cizikas, Rakhshani, Ullstrom, DiBenedetto and Ness continue to get real looks. 

6)  Bring back Trevor Gillies.


I want to keep hearing Islander fans cheering, "You can't beat us!"





Isles Notes:

Montoya, Nabokov and Poulin in the nets at Islanders’ practice. David Ullstrom participated after being activated off IR, and was then assigned to Bridgeport.

Al Montoya (concussion), Marty Reasoner (broken thumb) and Dylan Reese (healthy) were scratched last night.

Mike Mottau, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are all still on injured reserve. Per Eric Hornick, the Isles have lost 199 man-games to injury so far this season.

Among active goalies, only Brodeur (637), Khabibulin (327) and Luongo (325), have more wins in their careers than Evgeni Nabokov, who is close behind with 299.

The Bridgeport Soundtigers report that D Calvin de Haan will be out 4-6 weeks, left shoulder.

Anton Klementyev Still Suspended for failing to report on assignment to the ECHL for the Idaho Steelheads, and instead, went back to Russia.

The Islanders face the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Thursday night @ 7 p.m.




And don’t forget:

Fake Henrik Zetterberg Episode 11!


p.s.  we won.  zing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seeing Red


@PeterBotte had an observation on Twitter that I found interesting. With so many injuries and man games lost last year, the Isles started the season with13-20-6 record with 32 pts. They are now 14-19-6 with 34 points.


Is the rebuild officially a failure? Is Ownership not giving the team the best chance to win? Is the General Manager at fault? The Coach? The failed Arena deals?


What we do know is the following: An inability to hold a lead, weak defensive play and inconsistent scoring caused your New York Islanders to lose to the Ducks, 4-2 and Coyotes, 5-1 in consecutive nights. At times this season, they seem to play well enough to fool us into thinking there may be a turn around in sight, only to falter and crumble, sending our hopes crashing downward into a spiral of doubt Islander fans have become so familiar with.


Although, they do seem to play to the level of their opponent most of the time, and maybe they can get a win vs the mighty Redwings tonight at the Coliseum, I for one would rather not get razed by Greg DeLiso or Jakob Hawkins Hanenberg of Fake Henrik Zetterberg fame (fakehenrikzetterberg.com) if the Isles lose to the real Zetterberg’s Redwings. I would rather see a turn around and the fruits of the rebuild ripen into a consistent winner, but this season has been more of the same.


The Islanders have several injuries, an ever spinning goalie rotation and inconsistencies in their game. Their special teams have been pretty good and their Goaltending -- respectable for the most part. Scoring 5 on 5 has been a constant weakness. See KoC over the last few months for my critique’s of the team’s play. It’s pretty much the same now as it was then. I guess that something still has to give. I just hope it happens soon and it doesn’t leave any more deep scars.


B.D. Gallof says Coach Capuano is here to stay, at least for now, and that players will be moved if the failure continues, not the coach. We know Charles Wang is a loyal owner and that Garth Snow is his GM for the long hall. We also know about the monkey on the back of the franchise when it comes to signing quality players. I can’t think of a realistic way to change the culture of a loser, to that of a winner, without some fundamental changes to the core of the machine. I know players can be called up and lines juggled, but that will probably not make the team win now or on a consistent basis. Maybe Dee Karl was right and we should just have an exorcism performed at the NVMC or at least make a second deal with the devil for another dynasty.


Looking ahead.


Per the teams Twitter account, the Islanders have killed 19-20 (95%) PPs over the last ten games and have earned points in each of the last five meetings with the Detroit, going 4-0-1, Kevin Poulin has been named AHL's Player of the Week after three straight shutouts and a 4th consecutive win with Bridgeport. He has only allowed 2 goals in 4 starts for the Soundtigers. Arthur Staple says to look for Poulin to get start vs the Redwings.  UPDATE:  Nabokov gets the start.

Until the present improves, here’s to the future.






Isles Notes:


Lines at practice yesterday were: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau; Martin-Bailey-Grabner; Wallace-Pandolfo-Niederreiter, Ullstrom.


David Ullstrom and Al Montoya (concussions) practiced with the Isles as well.


Anders Nilsson practiced with the team yesterday, but has been sent back down to Bridgeport with Kevin Poulins’ recall.


The New York Islanders reported that Rick DiPietro was at Iceworks for practice, but the word is that he didn't skate with team.


Arthur Staple reported that Dylan Reese was changed to a regular recall on Friday for the Islanders since he was a scratch. It counts against # of times he can be recalled, so he should be regarded as a more closely guarded asset to avoid being lost in the waiver process.


Jay Pandolfo was removed from the IR on Saturday to join the team vs the Phoenix Coyotes.


Marty Reasoner has a broken right hand from trying to block a shot in the loss vs the Anaheim Ducks.


Tom Mascioli reported that Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson said that newly named AHL All-Star Defensemen, Calvin de Haan suffered an “upper body injury” (shoulder) in the shoot out win against the Providence Bruins on Sunday night.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Isles Notes for 1/4 and FHZ10!

The Islanders dug deep and battled back to defeat the struggling the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a SO. John Tavares, PA Parenteau, Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen (shoot out winning goal, surprised?) looked strong in the win.


Matt Moulson’s 18 pts in December were the most in one calendar month by an Isles player since 3/98, when Zigmund Palffy scored 18 pts.

Mottau and DiPietro were returned to Long Island for further medical evaluation. Rick DiPietro was apparently injured (lower body inj.) while already reconditioning himself on IR.

Per the Islanders, no official update on Montoya. He is continuing to follow protocol in recovering from a concussion.

The Islanders will face the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix coyotes who sit 29th and 21st in the NHL standings.These are winnable games if the right Islanders team shows up to meet the challenge.

D Calvin de Haan was named to the 2012 AHL All-Star game.




And don’t forget:

Things are heating up between Fake Henrik and Alicia, see what happens in EPISODE 10!

http://blip.tv/fakehenrikzetterberg/fake-henrik-zetterberg-episode-10-very-interesting-music-5726929I


I will check back in with everyone after the weekend.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happier "NEW" Year

On Saturday, December 31, 2011, legendary Islanders' defensemen, Ken Morrow was given the honors of the Islanders hall of fame induction. Your New York Islanders gave you their fans, a solid effort against the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-1 win in the old barn. A better team effort was necessary for the streaky Isles who still need to find a consistent output of their game in order to take the next crucial step. Steve Staios would return to the line up, Mike Mottau (upper body inj.) was scratched.


John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Matt Martin lead the way as the three stars of the game and the rest of the Islanders played very well around them. Matt Martin really stood out again bringing a more complete physical but disciplined game with a balanced offensive presence to the contest. Islanders.nhl.com reports that “Matt Moulsonplayed in his 200th consecutive game as an Islander and John Tavares scored his 150th point.”

The power play (2/3) and penalty kill (4/4 vs the third best PP in NHL) was great for the Isles. Evgeni Nabokov was good again letting up one goal on 29 shots with a .966 Sv%. Islanders’head coach, Jack Capuano says goaltending and special teams were the difference in the 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

2012 will see your New York Islanders face the Kirk Muller led, Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night. The Islanders, with a 13-17-6 record need to win a majority of their remaining games in order to keep playoff hopes alive. With 84 goals scored vs 113 goals against, the Isles offense really needs to continue their surge for the team to compete and win. Stronger play by the defense is also necessary to help out the team goaltending, which has been pretty good so far this season.

Here’s to a better start in 2012 and a happier new year.




Isles Notes:

Forward lines at practice: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau, Grabner-Bailey-Martin, Niederreiter-Reasoner-Wallace.

DiPietro, Nabokov and Nilsson in the nets.

Per the New York Islanders, F Micheal Haley has been returned on loan to Bridgeport.

Tom Mascioli of Isles Info tweeted, Isles end 2011 with a 4-1 defeat of the Oilers. 6-0-1 in their last 7 NYE games.

Eric Hornick says Isles now 14-1-7 in last 22 games at home versus Western Conference.