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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ovi Capitializes Against Isles




New Forward Lines:  Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Ullstrom-Nielsen-Bailey; Grabner-Cizikas-Okposo; Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo.

Defensive Pairs:  Streit-Staios; MacDonald-Hamonic; Eaton-Jurcina.

Evgeni Nabokov will get the start again with Al Montoya backing up.

Josh Bailey is back from a 2 game absence with back spasms.

Steve Staios is back from a lower body injury.

Nino Niederreiter is a healthy scratch for tonight's game.

Dylan Reese and Rick DiPietro are out with long-term injuries.


###


The 13th place Islanders at 26-28-8 with 60 pts, visit Dale Hunter and his 9th place Washington Capitals who sport a record of 31-26-5 with 67 pts tonight.  New York is currently 8 pts out of a playoff spot in the eastern conference before tonight’s game, having gone 4-6-0 in their last 10.  The Isles are 2-0-0 against the Capitals this season with two games remaining, including tonight.  It is a must win game for New York.  Garth Snow didn’t make any major moves at the deadline yesterday.  Some would say he couldn’t. 

I would like to buy into the school of thought that no value could be had in the trades available to benefit the Islanders, so he is showing his current roster he is confident they could make the playoff as they stand.  While it is possible, I thought they needed a change at forward and defense by the deadline.  Hopefully, this will come in the form of solid prospects emerging from Bridgeport like Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald have been able to do over the past couple of seasons.  Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom can make their presence felt with the opportunity available. 

As I mentioned previously, how the Isles perform in this week against the Capitals, Flyers and Bruins (now with Rolston and Mottau) will determine their 2012 play off fate.  Three loses will spell their doom while three wins may very well start a run to catapult them into the top eight of the eastern conference.


###


The Islanders start out the first period being outplayed by the Capitals, being out shot 13-3.  Josh Bailey makes it 1-0, Isles with assists by Nielsen and MacDonald.  The Caps press and trap the Isles in their own zone throughout most of the period, but Nabokov staying strong for New York.  The Isles PK playing much better thus far in the game.


Islanders are 14-1-6 when leading after 1st period.  The Ullstrom-Nielsen-Bailey line is playing very well.  I like the way Grabner and the Hamonic-A Mac pair is doing as well.  Islanders look like a different team this period.  Nabokov still solid.  Isles are 4-4 on the PK.  Isles out shooting the Caps 12-7 in the second.


Washington 4-20-2 when trailing after 2 periods.  Matt Moulson (Staios and Parenteau) scores 2:30 into the third to make it 2-0 Islanders.  Islanders make a mistake in their defensive zone and Washington takes advantage to make it 2-1 with less than 3:00 remaining.  Washington is buzzing and Nabokov remains focused.  Capitals take their time out to draw up a play with :31.8 seconds remaining with Neuvirth on the bench.  Capitals make the most of their opportunity and score at the :25 mark, game is tied at 2-2.  Weak defensive play undoes a good Isles effort yet again.

Game will go to O.T.

Nabokov was 31/33 .939 Sv% and Neuvirth made 21/23 .913 Sv% in regulation.


Alex Ovechkin wins it in O.T. 


Isles hang on to a point, but give away 2.  I have to start hanging these breakdowns, weak defensive play and player selection on Coach Capuano. 



Washington Capitals win the game 3-2. 


Arthur Staple: Travis Hamonic: "It’s cliche but it’s part of the process, learning how to win. Don’t know how many times we have to learn it the hard way."


1 down, 2 to go until zero hour.





Isles Notes: 

Frans Nielsen is playing in his 300th NHL game tonight.







Monday, February 27, 2012

Trade Deadline Day

5:30 p.m. est.   Evgeni Nabokov and P.A. Parenteau will remain New York Islanders, at least through the remainder of the season.

Both will be UFA’s on July 1st unless they can come to an agreement with Garth Snow and Islanders management.  Negotiations with Nabokov are said to be ongoing. Paranteau has halted negotiations until after the conclusion of the season with the Islanders.

As expected, no major trades went down with the Isles today.


###


3:10 p.m. est.   The Islanders have traded F Brian Rolston and D Mike Mottau to the Boston Bruins for F Yannick Riendeau and D Marc Cantin.

Rolston was good in small spurts while Mottau was vastly underperforming this year for the Isles. Great secondary moves by Garth Snow.

Riendeau and Cantin are most likely for depth in Bridgeport, but the real benefit from this trade is off loading of two aging and underperforming veterans and their salaries (per Hornick: save $1.3 million in salary) while getting back assets.  It also opens up spots for some surging prospects like Ullstrom, Cizikas, Donovan, Ness, etc.

Eric Hornick on the prospects sent to Long Island from Bruins in the deal:

Riendeau, 22, is a former 58-goal scorer in the Q, where he played for current Lightning coach Guy Boucher. He has split time this season w the Providence Bruins (AHL) 3-3-6 in 18 games and Reading Royals (ECHL) 9-20-29 in 33 games. Riendeau's most famous teammate from his 58-goal, 126 point season in Drummondville was Sean Couturier of the Flyers. However, Riendeau is 4 1/2 years older than Couturier. 


Cantin, 21, is a first-year pro, who has also split time with the same two teams, going pointless in 19 games with Providence and 1-5-6 in 16 games with Reading.  Cantin was a teammate of Casey Cizikas' at Missisauga St. Michaels last season. Cantin, a defensemen, went 10-31-41 in the regular season (61 games) and added six assists in 20 playoff contests.


Isles Notes:  Defenseman, Mark Katic has been activated off IR and loaned to the Sound Tigers.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Part 2

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Martin-Cizikas-Ullstrom; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Niederreiter.

Defensemen: Streit-Jurcina; Hamonic-MacDonald; Eaton-Mottau.

Evgeni Nabokov in goal with Montoya backing up.


Brian Rolston placed on waivers today.

Head Coach, Jack Capuano says Reese not quite ready and he did not make the eight-day four game road trip.


###


1st period

John Tavares (25) Wrist Shot - Assists: P.A. Parenteau (43) & Travis Hamonic (13)

2nd period

P.A. Parenteau (15) Snap Shot - Assists: Travis Hamonic (14) & Matt Moulson (27)

The Islanders out shot Ottawa 30-24.

Evgeni Nabokov was 19-23 with a .826 Sv%.


###


Other than bad defense and several Islander miscues, the ever-present inconsistency issues continue to take them out of games before they have a chance to regroup.  Tonight, the Islanders lost 5-2.  In addition to making the Isles pay for their mistakes on the power play, Ottawa Goaltender, Robin Lehner was the difference in the game for the Senators.  One of the few bright spots for New York, impending free agent, P.A. Parenteau continues to be one of the best players for the Isles this season.

After gaining two points against the rival Rangers, the Islanders surrender two points in a horrible effort and lose to Ottawa for the second time in less than a week.  They remain 8 points out and are running out of time to even ride out the best case scenario to get enough wins in the final 20 games to make the top 8 teams in the east.  This was another regrettable effort by New York and has to just reaffirm that in its current form, this team is going nowhere fast.

Something has got to give again on Long Island.

The Islanders play at Washington on Tuesday @7p.m., Philadelphia on Thursday @7 p.m. and Boston on Saturday @ 1p.m.  I am confident that unless we see a major turn around in consistency, these three games will end the 2011-2012 season for your New York Islanders.




The NHL trade Deadline is 3pm EST time tomorrow. Will the Islanders do anything?

The Good, Bad and The Ugly, Part 1




Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Martin-Cizikas-Rolston; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Niederreiter.

Defensemen: Streit-Staios; Hamonic-MacDonald; Eaton-Jurcina.

Evgeni Nabokov in goal with Montoya backing up.

Per Arthur Staple, Nabokov in goal, Hamonic in, Cizikas centering Rolston and Martin; Bailey (back spasms) out for Isles vs Rangers.

Mike Mottau has been activated from the IR.

Islanders recall David Ullstrom recalled from Bridgeport.



###



1st period

Matt Moulson (26) Snap Shot - Assists: J. Tavares (35) & A. MacDonald (9)

PA Parenteau (13) Wrist Shot - Assists: J. Tavares (36) & T. Hamonic (12)

2nd period

PPG – PA Parenteau (14) Slap Shot – Assists: M. Moulson (26) & A. MacDonald (10)

The Rangers out shot the Islanders 36-27.

Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves on 36 shots with a .917Sv%.


###


The Islanders came out hard and battles with the first place New York Rangers throughout the game.  Right up to the final minutes of the third period, they battled and matched the Rangers in every way.  After a closely contested O.T., Frans Nielsen and Matt Moulson scored in the shootout to seal the win for the Isles.  The Isles won by the score of 4-3 in the shoot out.

Overall, it was a good effort by the Islanders.

P.A. Parenteau has 7 and 8 for 13 points in 11 games against the Rangers.

Parenteau named 1st star with 2 goals and John Tavares was named 3rd star with 2 assists.






Thursday, February 23, 2012

Isles Notes for 2/23



Forward lines at practice:  Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Martin-Reasoner-Rolston; Niederreiter-Pandolfo.

Defensemen:  Streit, Staios, Hamonic, MacDonald, Ness, Eaton, Mottau, Jurcina.

Goaltenders:  Nabokov, Montoya and Poulin.


Arthur Staple reports the Islanders recalled C, Casey Cizikas (15-29-44, +25) from BPT, sent D, Aaron Ness and G, Kevin Poulin down, and removed D Travis Hamonic off IR. Hamonic, Evgeni Nabokov should both in the line up tomorrow vs. the Rangers.

Bob McKenzie reports NYI GM Garth Snow and Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan reportedly spoke today, will speak again, but no new deal is imminent.

Per the New York Islanders, Doctors are reevaluating F, Josh Bailey regarding the back spasms that forced him to leave Tuesday's game against the Sabers.

The Tampa Bay Lightening claimed Tim Wallace off waivers this afternoon.  Wallace will be another Islander claimed or traded for by Tampa Bay since Steve Yzerman has taken over GM duties for the team.  Other players include Nate Thompson, Bruno Gervais, Duane Roloson, Sean Bergenheim and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

What would you give up to make Dustin Brown an Islander?



Reminder:  I will be away for Friday’s game at home against the Rangers @ 7 p.m. and Sunday’s away game in Ottawa at 5 p.m. I will try and summarize before going into next weeks games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Isles Notes for 2/22

Travis Hamonic and Evgeni Nabokov were on the ice today in practice. Hamonic was sporting a full cage.  Is there is a chance they could both be ready for Friday’s game vs the Rangers?

Tim Wallace has been placed on waivers with intentions of returning him to BP.

Ty Wishart has been returned on loan to Bridgeport.

The AHL has suspended Bridgeport Soundtiger forward Tomas Marcinko for three games as a consequence for a boarding incident in Monday's game vs. Albany.

Chris Botta  “Bizarrely, Snow promised Nino Niederreiter the NHL this season.  The Islanders have until Monday to send him to the WHL, where he can star in playoffs.”



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Islanders Come Up Short In Buffalo

Arthur Staple  “It's official -- Doug Weight is interim head coach with Jack Capuano (flu) out tonight.”


Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Martin-Bailey-Rolston; Niederreiter-Reasoner-Pandolfo.

Defensemen: Streit-MacDonald; Eaton-Jurcina; Ness-Staios

Kevin Poulin will start tonight in Buffalo.  Al Montoya will be backing up.

Tim Wallace, Ty Wishart scratched tonight.


###


In their final meeting of the season, Your New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabers fought for their playoff lives.  The Islanders at 2-0-1 vs Buffalo this season and sat 6 points out of 8th spot in the east thanks to a Dale Hunter/Washington Capitals’ loss last night.  The Sabers at just 1 point behind New York in 14th position prior to tonight’s start and 5 teams within a point of each other at the bottom of the eastern conference. Tampa Bay, the Islanders and Montreal at 58 points and Buffalo and Carolina at 57.  Every single point for the remainder of the season is crucial and the Islanders need to do better than alternating wins and loses, like they have done over the last ten games.



Kevin Poulin and the Islanders started out tonight in similar fashion to yesterdays’ hockey nightmare, poor defense with a goal surrendered just 1:21 into the first period.  1-0 Buffalo.  Acting coach, Doug Weight constantly juggled lines and changed things up to try and generate something positive.  New York came on later in the first period generating shots and creating pressure that resulted in a few good chances, but no goals.  Kevin Poulin seemed to settle down and make some nice saves in the Isles net.  P.A. Parenteau took exception to Patrick Kaleta at the buzzer.  It was good to see a little grit come into the Islanders’ game, even if it was late in the period.  Hopefully it would carry over into the second.  Ryan Miller was the difference for Buffalo early on in the game.  Isles out shot Sabers 14-13 in the period.

The teams traded chances to start the second period, but the Islanders continued to play sloppy and motionless in their defensive zone.  Poor defensive play gave the Sabers another goal to make the score 2-0.  The Islanders pressed and Grabner hit a post on a tempting rebound.  Shortly afterwards, Brian Rolston and Josh Bailey got a breakaway but Miller was equal to the task.  Michael Grabner went off into the Isles locker room.   Aaron Ness took an Erhoff shot to the arm and skated to the bench in pain.  Jay Pandolfo was leveled cleanly and Matt Martin answered Mike Weber’s physicality in an attempt to stir things up.  Pandolfo had also gone to the Isles locker room as a result of the hit.  Kevin Poulin played well despite the score and kept his team in the game.  Islanders were out shot 16-5 in the second period and behind 28-20 in the game.

In the Third period, Josh Bailey was not on bench due to back spasms.  Jay Pandolfo returned to the bench with stitches. Michael Grabner, Aaron Ness were also back.  The pace had slowed to the Sabers liking.  The Islanders seemed listless.  Frans Nielsen scored his 4th goal in 6 games to end the Isles 134:14 scoreless drought (per Arthur Staple.)  2-1 Sabers.  Islanders make push in final minutes.  Poulin to the bench, Islanders start a rush but fail to control the puck.  Isles out shot Sabers in the period 11-9, but were out shot 37-31 for the game.  Kevin Poulin was good with 35 saves and .946Sv%.  He also had an assist on Nielsen's goal. It's Poulin’s first NHL point.

Buffalo wins 2-1.  Isles get no points.  Fall to 25-27-8 and14th in East.


And it gets worse.


Toronto took N.J. to O.T. and got 1 point.  Isles are now 7 points behind Toronto.

Winnipeg took Flyers to O.T. and got 1 point.  Isles are now 7 points behind Winnipeg.


Are their trades to make?





Isles Notes:

Islanders confirm that they are in contract discussions with G Evgeni Nabokov, as reported by Chris Botta earlier today.  Botta speculates “Evgeni Nabokov choice of 1 or 2-year contract, hope to sign him for 2,” and “Nabokov will get his $ (2-3 mill per), but needs to know if DiPietro is still in Wang's plans to get NHL starts while rehabbing.”

Christian Arnold of @Isleshockeyblog says, “reports are saying that Milan Jurcina is on being shopped by the Isles.  Also suggests that Mark Eaton has asked for a trade.” 

Chris Botta on Eaton, “If Isles Mark Eaton isn't traded, it's only because teams decided he wasn't worth a 3rd or 4th rd pick.”

Arthur Staple reports that Mark Eaton told him "Absolutely not," on whether he asked for a trade.

Head Coach, Jack Capuano on the 6-0 loss vs Ottawa,  "I’ll never ask anybody to fight but we weren’t physical enough."

Before tonight’s game, Andrew MacDonald had 132 of the Islanders 1,013 blocked shots.  That is good enough for 8th in the NHL.

Ken Dick of @RealKenDick said coming into tonights game, “So...in nearly *22%* of their games the Isles have let their opponent score within the first five minutes of the game.”

I will be away for Friday’s game at home against the Rangers @ 7 p.m. and Sunday’s away game in Ottawa at 5 p.m.  I will try and summarize before going into next weeks games.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Frustration Evident


Dee Karl, @7thwoman of the Isles Blogbox asked me if I could fill in for her today to cover the Isles game vs the Ottawa Senators.  I forgot it was a holiday matinee and the Islanders would be in their alternate black jerseys, so I said yes.

Boy, am I stupid.

But seriously, I want to thank her for the vote of confidence and it was a pleasure to help out a Mentor.

Keep a box of tissues and a bucket close by after reading about this game.


http://7thwoman.blogspot.com/2012/02/isles-lose-to-sens-frustration-evident.html?spref=tw


And Dee gives me a mention on Hockeybuzz.com:

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Dee-Karl/Presidential-Race--Meeting-With-the-Senators-Today-6---0-Sens/129/42347

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Isles Sweep Canes In 4-3 Win





Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Martin-Bailey-Rolston; Niederreiter-Reasoner-Pandolfo

Defnsemen: Streit-Staios; MacDonald-Ness; Eaton-Jurcina.

Kevin Poulin in net.


Your New York Islanders defeated Kirk Muller’s Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night by the score of 4-3.  It marked their first-ever 4-game sweep of the Hurricanes and helped the Isles reach the 25-25-8 mark and pull to within 6 points of the final playoff spot once again.


1st Period:  Kyle Okposo (13) Wrist Shot - Assists: M. Grabner (10) & M. Streit (27)

2nd Period:  John Tavares (23) Wrist Shot - Assists: A. MacDonald (8) & P. Parenteau (40)
PPG - Frans Nielsen (12) Slap Shot - Assists: J. Tavares (34) & P. Parenteau (41)

3rd period:  John Tavares (24) Wrist Shot - Assists: M. Moulson (25) & M. Streit (28)


The Islanders played with spirit and urgency on Saturday.  They passed the puck well and managed to pull together on defense to lend support to their goaltender, giving themselves a chance to win.  And when the defense does its job, the offense led by John Tavares can focus on doing the same.  When the Islanders can play their game, they have shown they can beat anybody.

Kevin Poulin made some spectacular saves, especially late in the game, to preserve the win for New York.  The Islanders were outshot by a 36-31 margin, but Poulin made 33 saves on 36 shots with a .917 Sv%.  With his proven success in the AHL and his strong play for the Islanders, Poulin continues to impress.  He has made a strong case for himself to be given an opportunity with the big club next season, or maybe even sooner.

Arthur Staple reported that Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan, tells Newsday that contract talks with the Islanders will likely start soon.  If this holds true, it may actually be Al Montoya who would become expendable if the confidence is there for Poulin by team management. 

The trade deadline is coming.  What, if anything will it hold for the Islanders?




Tomorrow, I’ll be covering the President’s day matinee vs the Ottawa Senators at 1 p.m. for Dee Karl’s Islanders Blogbox, NY Islanders 7th Woman’s blog. Thanks to Dee for the shout!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Islanders Black N' Blued In St. Louis

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau; Martin-Bailey-Rolston; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Niederreiter.

Defensemen: Streit-Wishart; Ness-MacDonald; Eaton-Jurcina.

Nabokov was supposed to be in net tonight, but has flu like symptoms, so Al Montoya will get the start.

Ty Wishart will see his first NHL action of the season with the Isles tonight in St. Louis, in for Steve Staios who has the stomach flu.


###


After starting off with a sweet Frans Nielsen goal, your New York Islanders are getting outworked and once again unable to come up with a defensive game plan to move bodies from in front of their net.  Al Montoya looks shaky with no back up on the bench due to Evgeni Nabokov’s bout of the flu that sidelined the starter for tonight’s contest prior to game time.  Montoya seems unsettled ever since coming back from the concussion he suffered on December 21st as a result of being run over by Winnipeg’s Evander Kane’s while trying to make a play in his crease.

St. Louis scored 5 unanswered goals on 17 shots through the second period and have the Islanders frustrated and confused.  Nothing seems to be going their way against a Blues team that holds the 4th place spot in the West with an impressive record of 35-15-7.  A sloppy effort is putting the Isles into man down situations and causing them to attempt desperate plays, despite starting to shoot more on St. Louis’ Brian Elliot who looks like a different goalie from the first 5 minutes of the contest.  Elliot finished with 26 saves on 27 shots and a .963 Sv%.  Montoya was 21 of 26 with a .808 Sv%.

The Islanders weakness on offensive proficiency was really evident again in the game.  St. Louis played a tight game and forced the Islanders to try and stop the rush.  New York wasn’t able to do so and made some mistakes in the process.  Too many second and third rebounds resulted in goals.   Islanders lose 5-1 and fall to 24-25-8 and 8 points out of a playoff spot. 

The defense has to be accountable against a good team like this and their inefficiency showed tonight. 


** I will be away this weekend so I’ll try and post an update for the game against the Hurricanes as soon as I can get to it. On Monday, I’ll be covering the President’s day matinee vs the Ottawa Senators at 1 p.m. for Dee Karl’s Islanders Blogbox, NY Islanders 7th Woman’s blog. Thanks to Dee for the shout!


Isles Notes:

Dee Karl reports that the Islanders lead the NHL with 971 blocked shots coming into tonight’s game and Andrew MacDonald owns 126 of those. 

Brian Compton mentions the Islanders are now 8 points behind Toronto with 2 games in hand. 

Katie Strang points out that with a goal in the 3-1 win vs. WPG, Matt Moulson has put together three straight seasons of 25 goals or more.

P.A. Parenteau and his agent Allan Walsh say the focus should be on making the playoffs with the Islanders.  Contact talks can wait.

Eric Hornick reports that Piere Turgeon’s son, Dominic Turgeon just signed in Portland of the WHL where Travis Green is the asst GM/ asst coach.

@BDGallof's take on the aftermath of the Legislature’s meeting. http://cbsloc.al/vZjSVy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Islanders Endure, Shoot Down Jets

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau; Martin-Bailey-Rolston; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Niederreiter.

Defensemen: Streit-Staios; Ness-MacDonald; Eaton-Jurcina

Evgeni Nabokov is in goal for the Islanders with Al Montoya backing up.

Marty Reasoner returns to the line up. Tim Wallace and Ty Wishart are scratched.


###


The Islanders are unable to convert on the chances they are given in the 1st period.  A  loose puck in front of Nabokov’s net turns into a goal for the Jets, where was the Isles defense there?  Andrej Pavlec looks strong for Winnipeg thus far and Nabokov keeps New York in the game.  1-0 Jets after the first.  Isles are being out shot 16-10.

Niederreiter & Reasoner go on a 2 on 0, Nino passes to Reasoner and they get nothing to show for it.  The top line comes through as Moulson scores his 25th goal of the season from J.T.  Nabokov looks strong in the second period, continuing to make some big saves.  The Islanders are starting to play better as a team and passing the puck well.  A-Mac protecting his goaltender, I love to see that.

P.A. Parenteau gets shoved into the glass from behind by Antropov, Stephen Walkom calls Antropov for Interference and Parenteau for embellishment?  Unreal.

Then J.T. plays the puck up on the glass and it’s called "in" by the closer Official.  The Jets protest and the trailing Official, Walkom changes the call.  The Islanders are killing off a 2-minute penalty for delay of game as a result.  Isles being out shot 10-7 in the period and 26-17 for the game after 2 periods.

P.A. Parenteau deflects Jurcina’s shot and the Isles take a 2-1 lead to start the third.  Nino Niederreiter in scoring position twice, but comes up empty.  His stronger play hasn’t resulted in a goal just yet.  No call on an “embellishment” from the Jets, sends Rolston to the box for another Winnipeg power play.  And P.A. Parenteau called on a cross check for a push into a Winnipeg player's back to play for the puck.  This is an amazing display of officiating for the NHL.  I think that each poorly called game is as bad as it can get and then they make an even worse series of calls in another game.  Jets are buzzing late in the game.  P.A. Parenteau keeps the puck behind the empty net and dishes it to Matt Martin for the empty net goal to seal the deal.  Islanders win 3-1.  The Isles were out shot 12-8 in the period and 38-25 in the game. 

Huge win for Islanders.  It marks the first 4 game road-winning streak since 2008.  The Defense got better as the game went on.  Evgeni Nabokov was solid again with 37 saves and a .974 Sv%.  John Tavares is relentless when he wants the puch.  Patrick Flatley compared him to Pavel Datsyuk in that way.  A-Mac played tough all night, he’s a real leader on the ice for New York.  Aaron Ness was impressive again. 

With the loss by Toronto, New York finds themselves only 6 points out (in 11th spot, 24-24-8 with 56 pts.) of the final playoff position with the win against Winnipeg.  Still a long way to go.

Can the Isles sign P.A. Parenteau to an extension already!





Isles Notes:

Per Kevin Schultz, @Schultz88 on Islanders Point Blank, ABLI’s Vince Polimeni spoke to CBS yesterday, explaining his thoughts on the HUB site if the Islanders leave in 2015.

“Make the assumption they are leaving. Their lease is up in two years. We will then pursue other teams that are out there that would maybe want to relocate to the Island, because it’s a great spot. Or not. We can just do the development that doesn’t involve the Coliseum.”

Ok, then.  Next!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Cold Day On Long Island




Please read Chris Botta’s take on the latest meeting to discuss the future of the NVMC hub and the fate of the New York Islanders in Nassau County.  The valentine’s day massac… meeting will take place tomorrow at 2:00pm at the headquarters of the Nassau County Legislature.



Isles Notes:


The New York Islanders have recalled D Ty Wishart from Bridgeport; Rhett Rakhshani returned to Sound Tigers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Islanders Flat Against Panthers

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

Defensemen: Streit-Staios, Ness-MacDonald, Eaton-Jurcina.

Nabokov in goal, Montoya backing up


###


The Islanders start the game with a strong effort again by throwing checks and moving their feet in pursuit of the puck.  Frans Neilsen scores first, going five hole on a break away to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead early in the 1st period.  Evgeni Nabokov stands tall again making a couple of big saves.  Josh Bailey hits a post on a strong move to the net.  Bailey has almost found his game, but he has yet to finish regularly.  Michael Grabner, P.A. Parenteau and J.T. putting on the pressure early on in the game.  The Islanders seem to really be focused on good team defense thus far.  In a bit of bad luck, the puck deflects off Steve Staios and goes in behind Nabokov.  The game is tied at 1-1, with the shots on goal even at 9.

Florida seems to be getting the breaks early on in the second period.  They take the lead at 2-1 and then 3-1 early in the second.  Isles getting out shot 15-14.  Panthers have taken over, going up by a score of 4-1 now.  Isles seem to be slow to the puck now and may be tired, now feeling the effect of back to back matinees, especially the physical nature of yesterday’s game.  Most notably, Florida’s face off wins are turning into goals.  They have also been able to camp forwards in front of the Isles goal to create a screen so far this game with little exception shown by New York.

Al Montoya now in net for Isles to start the third period with Nabokov on the bench.  Isles showing a little more fight, but still can’t get a break to go their way.  Too many shots are regularly missing the net.  The Isles are playing flat and seem to always be missing the mark.  While they haven’t quit, they again seem to be grinding to make something happen with little success.  Inconsistency seems to be creeping back into all parts of their game, from passing to shooting to positioning.  Montoya didn’t allow a goal, but looks shaky again in his relief of Evgeni Nabokov today.

With recent success, there probably isn’t any reason to panic, but every point loss will help kill the slim playoff chances that remain for New York.  What can be unsettling is the way the team played in such a vital game to a team above them who hey need to start beating to take the next step.  The Islanders looked good at times, but overall, they played a bad game at home.  The Panthers dictated play for most of the game.  Their lack of scoring made itself apparent today when most shots towards the net were off target.  It made Theodore’s job easier in net for Florida when the shots that were on target hit him in the chest or pads.

They need to just forget this game and move on to the next one.  A win against a struggling Jet team should be an attainable goal.  They need to outwork their opponents because they aren’t quite good enough yet to out duel them in every game.  Focus and build on the positives while retooling the negatives.  The Isles need to get back to what was winning games and force the opponent to play their style of game.  What they can’t afford to do is spot their opponents an early lead and try and catch up if they want a realistic chance of competing for a playoff spot.

Chris Botta remarks, “With so much at stake for the first time in a long time, #Isles come up small in homestand against MTL, LA and FLA and lose 2 of 3.”

The Islanders are now 23-24-8.




Isles Notes:

Brian Compton reports “with 306 wins, Evgeni Nabokov has passed Billy Smith on the all-time list.”

NYI had blocked a league high 944 shots after the game vs the Kings.

The Islanders’ 48 hits vs the King’s set a new franchise record.

Eric Hornick reports that Evgeni Nabokov & Bruins goaltender, Tim Thomas have 0 OT/SO losses this yr. Only 3 goalies in the SO era have done so over full season (28+ gms) They would be Raycroft, Smith and Lehtonen.

Tom Mascioli of @islesinfo mentions that “Micheal Haley gets the hat trick, 8th of the season at 10:23 of the 3rd prd to give Bridgeport an 8-1 lead. Mouillierat & Landry assisted.”

Also, “Kirill Kabanov returned to action tonight with Shawinigan after missing just 1 game with what was reported to be a possible concussion.”

Dee Karl is reporting a Tuesday meeting for the New Development Group on the NVMC project.  It seems the Islanders will not have official representation at the meeting.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Islanders Dethrone Kings

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

Defensemen:  Streit-Staios, Ness-MacDonald, Eaton-Jurcina.

Nabokov got the start in goal with Montoya backing up.

Brian Rolston was in for Rhett Rakhshani. Kyle Okposo stayed on Tavares line. Aaron Ness paired with Andrew MacDonald.


###


In what would turn into an ugly and mean spirited contest on "KJ" day, the Islanders opened up with some good pressure on LA.  Nabokov made the first save.  Grabner scored off a defected shot from Eaton and K.O., Isles up 1-0.  Grabner and Streit are buzzing.  Aaron Ness continues to look like he belongs on Long Island in this emergency call up scenario.  The Kings out shot the Isles 12-8 in the first period.

The physicality continued in the second period.  The Isles generated some good scoring chances.  Kings tied the game on a rebound from Brown, uncovered in front of Nabby’s net.  Isles turned up their physical play again, got outworked by Kings in that period.  John Tavares even got physical.  Arthur Staple had it right, “Isles being outshot 24-12, scrambling in own zone and tied 1-1 with Kings after 2. Must have 2 points out of this.”

In the third, Matt Martin went hard into dasher finishing a check, went into locker room.  Jordan Nolan, son of Ted Nolan with a cheap shot to J.T.’s head for Kings.  More cheap shots applied by the Kings against the Isles on PP chance.  Then Moulson limped to bench after cross check, would return.  More stellar officiating by the NHL’s elite Referees.  Isles got a penalty called after 4-5 non-calls against the Kings.  Martin returned to bench and not soon enough.  You know it got ugly when Quick played dirty.  Quick looked strong to finish the third period, Isles out shot Kings 12-11. 

Mark Streit with the winner in O.T.  Streaks in with fancy foot and stick work through 3 L.A. Kings and buries it through Quick’s five hole.


Islanders get back to an NHL .500 at 23-23-8 with 54 points, 11th in the east and 8 pts out of the eighth playoff spot.

Nabokov looked solid at 34-35 and a .971 Sv% in the win and improved to 5-0 in O.T.’s and Shootouts.  In his last ten games, Nabokov is 7-2-0, 1.21 GAA., 2 shutouts.

Nabokov is becoming more and more un-tradable for N.Y. with the value he brings to the Isles net.



Isles Notes:

Dylan Reese has been placed on the team's IR list retroactive Feb. 7 (left knee MCL sprain)

Chris Botta stated, “Whatever #Isles could get for @PAParenteau would not equal his production until after the Coliseum lease ends.”  I agree.

Islanders are at home tomorrow, vs the Panthers at 3pm, and away at Winnipeg @ 8:30pm on Tuesday and St. Louis @ 8:00pm on Thursday.  They return home to face the Hurricanes on Saturday @ 7:00pm.


Honoring the Great "29"

This afternoon, the New York Islanders will induct defensemen, Kenny Jonsson to the Islanders hall of fame.  His banner and plaque will be dedicated at 1pm when the Islanders face the Los Angeles Kings.  Jonsson is the final player to be inducted this year for the "40th" year anniversary celebration of the team's commitment campaign.


Drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1st round, 12th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Jonsson was later traded to the Islanders along with Sean Haggerty, Darby Hendrickson and Toronto's 1st round choice (Roberto Luongo) in 1997 Entry Draft for Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith on March 13, 1996.  Jonsson quicky became the Islanders premiere defensmen and was a stabilizing force for Long Island during the darkest times in their history, and their return to the playoffs.
 

Jonsson was named the 8th team Captain for the New York Islanders during the 1999-2000 campaign, which he maintained for the better part of two seasons.  His career for the Islanders spanned from the 1995-96 season until  2003-04.  During that time, he scored 57 and 175 for 232 pts in the 597 regular season games while adding 1 and 3 for 4 pts in the NHL playoffs with New York from the 01-03 seasons.  Jonsson wore #3 and #29 for Long Island.


In 1995, Jonsson was named to the NHL All Rookie Team and represente the Islanders in the NHL All Star Game in 1999.  Among many great international tournament appearances, In 2006, he was voted best defender during the 2006 Winter Olympics where his Swedish national team won a gold medal.  Kenny Jonsson announced his retirement on June 20, 2009.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Islanders Pay The Price

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau; Martin-Bailey-Rakhshani; Niederreiter-Pandolfo-Wallace.

Defensemen: Streit-Staios; Jurcina-MacDonald; Eaton-Ness

Nabokov gets the start in net

Milan Jurcina returns to the line up.  Aaron Ness will get his first game at home as an Islander.

DiPietro out for 10 weeks with sports hernia/knee swelling.  Mark Katic sShoulder), Mike Mottau (concussion) and Marty Reasoner (broken hand) are out indefinitely or with no timetable for their return.

The Islanders lead the NHL with 907 blocked shots coming into tonight’s game.


###



The Montreal Canadiens came to town in a similar scenario as their hosts.  Your New York Islanders with a record of 22-22-8 and Montreal at 21-24-9 know the importance of each and every game left in the season. 


Arthur Staple reported that the Isles have allowed a goal on the first shot against for the 11th time in 53 games tonight, just 1:23 into the first period.  They were 2-6-2 when doing so previously.  The Islanders play tonight reminded me of Tuesdays’ game against the Flyers, loose and scattered.  They had some good chances develop as time went on, but failed to capitalize on chances with all four lines.


There was some good effort to start the second period on a power play opportunity.  Shots were 16-10 Islanders, 3 minutes into the period.   Montreal buzzed and Pacioretty scored again.  Price was in the zone and the Isles continued to fight, but could only manage outside shots and came up short.  Montreal controled play, capitalized on New York’s mistakes and limited the isles offensively as 2nd period ended.  Eric Hornick reported the Islanders scoreless streak was at 152:43 to that point.


In the Third period, Tim Wallace and Matt Martin continued to play physical.  Brian Compton reported that Head Coach, Jack Capuano had Parenteau back on top line with Tavares and Moulson.  And Gomez scored with his first goal this season and his first in over a year (2/5/11).  So glad it could come against the Isles (sarcasm).  Montreal lead 3-0 at the time.  Islanders scoreless streak was up to 163.11 at the time so far and they had difficulty getting shots on net.  Would they be shut out for the 9th time this season? 

The Islanders continued to battle and Matt Moulson scored a cherry picker goal from out of mid air.  It ended a scoring drought of over 172 minutes.  Evgeni Nabokov was pulled for an extra attacker, and just like that, Isles scored again.  Streit brought it to within 1.  Isles scored 2 goals in 48 seconds with the score, 3-2 Canadiens late in the third period.  The Islanders continued to buzz, but time expired. 

Officials missed an icing call in the final seconds of the game that could have given New York another face off in the Montreal zone with Nabokov pulled.  But instead, Pacioretty made it a 3 goal game with an empty net goal at the buzzer with just 1/10 of a second remaining.

The Islanders are under .500 again at 22-23-8, losing 4-2 to Montreal.  Its hard to keep playing from behind while you spot the opponent a multiple goal cushion, but it must be said that New York did not show any signs of quit and fought their way back into the game.  They had Montreal reeling, but just ran out of time.  Their record when giving up the first goal is now 2-7-2.

Give the credit to Carey Price (31 saves, .939 Sv%) and Max Pacioretty with his first career hat-trick.  Montreal move up and Isles move down in the standings, other games in progress.