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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Islanders Dominate Penguins


Road Trip, Part 2:

Tonight, your New York Islanders faced the Pittsburgh Penguines at the Consol Energy Center in pittsburgh, PA right near that tacky statue of Mario Lemieux outfront.  They came to play.  And play, they did.
 

Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas


Defensemen

2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner

Goaltenders


20 Evgeni Nabokov
39 Rick DiPietro


In the 1st period, the Isles started a strong road game.  They kept it simple and forechecked well.  They were physical and the Defense held up against the normally explosive Penguins.  Casey Cizikas scored his first NHL goal with a sweet wrap around to give the Isles a 1-0 advantage.  Travis Hamonic playing hurt, took a hard shot to the lower body, but returned to the ice almost immediately.  Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald were solid all night. 


The 2nd period saw Michael Grabner score (Streit and Reasoner,) to increase the Isles lead to 2-0.  Per Eric Hornick, "Marty Reasoner's assist on Grabner's goal is his 1st assist since 2011. (12/15/11 v Dallas; 1st in 41 games.)"  John Tavares scored in a strongly played period by New York, off a one touch Moulson pass to make the score 3-0, Isles.  Later on in the period, Matt Moulson scores off a nice feed from Boyes.  4-0, Isles.  Colin McDonald took an ill advised major penalty when he slammed Lovejoy from behind into the boards.  Suspension incoming.  They would kill off the 5 minute major.


In the 3rd period, the Penguins benched Fleury in favor of Vokoun to try and change things up.  The Isles controlled most of the third, until the Penguins scored a "garbage goal" with under 2 minutes left in the game to spoil the shutout for a 4-1 final.



Overall in the contest, the Isles played a solid defensive game and kept up the forecheck against a struggling Pittsburgh squad.  Offensive opportunities were there throughout the period, but failed to connect.  The Penguins looked very flat at times and the Isles dictated the tempo.  Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were completely neutralized in the game. 
 

The Isles offense is obviously greatly improved from last season with secondary scoring coming from several sources.  Their PK has been rock solid.  Guys sacrificed the body, made the hits when they could and were solid throughout the game.  They played a text book, consistent game for a full 3 periods against an elite team.  They are now 2-1-1 on the roadtrip and 3-2-1 on the season.  John Tavares had this to say on the Isles PP, "In the last few games, we've really developed an understanding of the what we need to do to be successful"


Evgeni Nabokov played a great game with 37 saves on 38 shots with a .974 Sv%.  The Nabokov story is an awesome lesson to any player who downplays what they can accomplish as NHL'er playing on an improving Islanders team.


This game was a great showcase opportunity for the New York Islanders on national T.V. broadcast to show what they are made of against the NHL darling Penguins.  Maybe they have earned more respect in the eyes of the NHL community?  Nah.  Thats OK.  I think things are falling into place for the New York Islanders. 


Its a good time to be a fan.

 
 
Photo credit:  Carissa Nichole Smith, Lets Go Islanders.

 
Isles Notes:


Per NYI, Jesse Joensuu will miss 5-7 weeks after surgery to repair a sports hernia.


The Islanders play the New Jersey Devils on Thursday @ 7:00pm and Sunday @ 3:00pm.  Thursday is the final game of the current road trip.
 
 
Other Notes:
 
I plan to attend @TheSoundTigers game on Thursday night vs. the Providence Bruins.  I will update KoC ASAP.


 
 
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Islanders' Weekend


Road Trip, Part I:

Over the Weekend, the New York Islanders started a 5 game road trip.  They would travel to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets.  They showed that they were better equipped to stay in games and fight back from multiple goal deficits, and they played pretty well, even in a loss.  Their defense is still struggling to find their stride.  I am sure Lubomir Visnovsky will help after his arrival on the Island in February, but team play needs to improve overall.  I am not impressed with Joe Finley or Matt Carkner thus far.  I but do like how Brain Strait has fit in, although his play can improve.  I want to see more of Thomas Hickey on Defense.

Kyle Okposo needs to regain his form from last season, but I see him struggling with the puck and in his forechecking.  I agree with Anthony Stabile when he says about Okposo, "He is playing his way off that (First) line."  Since last season, Marty Reasoner has been difficult to watch.  His is often a liability on the ice and I'd much rather see a spirited younger player like Casey Cizikas get the minutes on the bottom two lines.  David Ullstrom is the real deal and I've said it since last season.  His play has been impressive with the big club and he should only get better.
 
 


 
Below is a brief summary of the 3 weekend games:
 

The New York Islanders came back from an early deficit, only to answer back with six of the last seven goals to win by a 7-4 score over the Maple Leafs.

Michael Grabner went 2 and 1 for 3 pts, and Brad Boyes went 1 and 2 for three points.  Matt Moulson scored 2 goals in the game.

“It’s huge,” Aucoin said. “Especially with the new group of guys we have here, getting to know each other. To come back from a 3-1 deficit like we did took a group effort tonight. It was good to see, and great to get this road trip off to a good start.”

Per Eric Hornick, "6 goals tonight; didn't do that in any game all last ssn. 1st 6 goals on road since 2/13/11 in Buffalo (W 7-6 in OT on Grabner goal)."

 
Forwards


26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas

Defensemen


2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait
47 Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic
52 Joe Finley - 7 Matt Carkner

Goaltenders


20 Evgeni Nabokov
39 Rick DiPietro

 

##

Even with Keith Aucoin netting a pair of goals, The New York Islanders lost by the score of 4-2 to the Boston Bruins on Friday. Rick DiPietro, made 23 saves on 27 shots with a .852Sv% for the Islanders, his first start since Dec. 3, 2011.


Per Islanders.nhl.com, Islanders Defenseman Andrew MacDonald said, “It’s pretty frustrating because we played a pretty solid game and we thought it was a winnable game,” he added, “Maybe we ran out of gas a little bit in the third, but we still expect a lot more.”


Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas

Defensemen

2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait
47 Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic
52 Joe Finley - 7 Matt Carkner


Goaltenders

39 Rick DiPietro

20 Evgeni Nabokov


##

The Islanders looked unpolished throughout the first half of the game, but in the third period, held a two-goal third period lead.  Winnipeg tied the game and forced O.T. after scoring 2 goals in just over a minute of play.  In overtime, after making the initial save in O.T., Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov let in the losing goal after Evander Kane crashed the net and knocked the puck over the goal line.  Its how Kane likes to score I guess.

John Tavares scored his first goal, going 1 and 2 for 2 pts in the game, while Matt Moulson went 1 and 1, helping the Isles get a point in the O.T. lost.

Per Islanders.nhl.com, Capuano said “We got pucks to the net, which was something we talked about over the last couple days."  He added, “That was a positive. We still had some guys that need to battle a little bit harder, and were a little soft on the walls tonight. We’re going to have to address that problem.”

Thomas Hickey made his NHL debut with New York against the Jets in Winnipeg. The 23-year-old Defensemen, registered 12:22 of ice time and had 3 shots on goal.


Forwards

21 Kyle Okposo - 91 John Tavares - 26 Matt Moulson
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
36 Eric Boulton - 16 Marty Reasoner - 17 Matt Martin

Defensemen


2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait
3 Travis Hamonic - 47 Andrew MacDonald
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner

Goaltenders


20 Evgeni Nabokov
39 Rick DiPietro


 

Isles Notes:


The Islanders have a record to 2-2-1 and sit 8th in the Eastern Conference.  The Islanders have games this Tuesday in Pittsburgh vs. the Penguins at 7:30 pm and Thursday, vs the New Jersey Devils, 7 pm.
 

Per Arthur Staple, "D Travis Hamonic has a sprained ankle. Left MTS Centre last night in a walking boot. Likely out tomorrow vs. Pitt."


Per NHLhistorygirl, "On this date in 1986, Isles Denis Potvin scored his 271st NHL goal and supplanted Orr as the top goal-scoring defenseman in NHL history."
 

Per nhlfreeagents.com, former Isles Defensemen, "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton signed (D) Mark Eaton to Pro Tryout Contract."
 

On 1/24 in Isles History: "Mike Bossy becomes 2nd player to score 50 goals in 50 games, joining the great Rocket Richard."
 


Sound Tigers Notes:
 

1/26  The Norfolk Admirals shut out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-0 at Norfolk Scope on Saturday night. The Sound Tigers fall to 19-19-2-2 record after the loss.
 

1/25  The Norfolk Admirals came from behind to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 at the Norfolk Scope on Friday night.

 
1/23  Bridgeport SoundTigers released (D) T.J. Fast from Pro Tryout Contract.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013



I'll be away until this Sunday.  I will try and catch up on Isles news by early next week.

 
Joe

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Niederreiter's Ultimatium


Per Katie Strang, Nino Niederreiter's camp has requested a trade from the New York Islanders.  Arthur Staple has confirmed the report.


Niederreiter was the fifth over all pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.  In 2010-11, he played for the Isles in a 9 game evaluation and went 1 and 1 for 2 pts and a -8 rating after which, he was returned to Bridgeport for more development.  Niederreiter made the Isles in the 2011-12 season, where he played for New York in 55 games and scored 1 goal with a -29 rating.

 

This season, the Islanders kept Niederreiter in Bridgeport to get top line forward minutes and he has responded  so far with 19 and 17 for 36 pts in 39 games and has been selected to represent the Sound Tigers in the 2013 All-Star game this AHL season.



The Isles have been criticized by some for rushing players like Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo in their development.  With Nino, they have opted for giving him time to excel and learn what it means to  have the responsibility of being a star player and team leader.  Maybe its just a diminished AHL salary getting to his ego.
 


As I expect and B.D. Gallof has said over and over, Niederreiter would be one of the first call ups from the BST in the event of an injury or a roster spot opened on the big club.  Islanders GM, Garth Snow has said to Katie Strang, "Yeah, absolutely. (about the possibility of an NHL call up this season) Nino is one of our top prospects in the organization. We felt it was best for his development long-term to play in Bridgeport."  Today, the Islanders started a campaign on twitter for fans to check in with the AHL to vote Niederreiter in as a starter to the All-Star team.

 

Arthur Staple adds, Garth Snow: "All convos with players remain private, but I haven't heard from Nino himself that he's unhappy."  Obviously, these are the things an Agent can stir up to get his client into the news.  Despite recent positive events, the Islanders have been an easy target for the news media who enjoy making them the butt of jokes that focus on the misfortunes and mistakes made by the franchise in recent years.  So a rumor like this by an agent whose clinent is having a good season in the minors may casue another GM to make a hasty trade, but not the kind of GM that Snow has shown to be.  Snow is patient, holds things close to his vest and only makes a move if it makes sense for the team.

 

I think Niederreiter or his agent, should understand that the Isles are evaluating some fringe assets right now and seeing who will fit into their team dynamic.  Not inviting a player like Nino to Isles camp is no slight to him.  With last season in the rear view mirror, the Islanders want him to continue his breakout season and allow him to flourish in the AHL, enjoy the All-Star experience and continue learning how to be a team leader and professional hockey player. 

 

Niederreiter is a key piece of the rebuild in managements eyes.  Here is hoping that he gets better counsel, wakes up and starts acting like it.





Update:

1/23

Mike Flannery attended the BSTBC Snowflake Dinner last night.  When he asked Nino Niederreiter if he requested a trade, he said,"No it was my agent, not me." 

 

Isles Notes:

 
Per Arthur Staple, Isles are off today. Josh Bailey (knee) told me he was hoping to start skating today, but won't practice until team returns from 4-gm trip.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Isles Hold On To Beat Lightning






Head Coach, Jack Capuano was behind the bench this afternoon for the New York Islanders after having surgery for kidney stones that caused him to miss the season opener on Saturday. Some 15,322 fans came out to see the Isles play the Tamapa Bay Lightning at the NVMC. Even Commisioner Bettman was in attendance.



Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas

Defensemen


37 Brian Strait - 2 Mark Streit
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
52 Joe Finley - 7 Matt Carkner

Goaltenders

20 Evgeni Nabokov - Starter
39 Rick DiPietro

Scratches: Martinek, Hickey, Boulton. Casey Cizikas in for Boulton.

 

The New York Islanders came out ready to play and applied good pressure early, including two stopages for fighting, not even 5 seconds into the contest. Frans Nielsen looked good early and came close to getting the opening goal. Casey Cizikas looked good as well, but saw only about 5 minutes of ice time.


Michael Grabner scored on a sweet breakaway off a nice pass by Mark Streit to put the Isles up,1-0. Matt Moulson went into the locker room after falling onto his shoulder, but came out shortly after. Matt Martin was sprung from the penalty box, takes a John Tavares pass and makes it 2-0 Islanders. Okposo moves in with an odd man rush and looks as though he is making a pass, but buries it for a 3-0 New York lead.



In the third period, a Keith Aucion give and go to David Ullstrom allows Ullstrom to put a sick shot over Linback's right shoulder, short side to make it 4-0 Isles. These guys are a great combination. The Lightning would rally and reduce the Isles lead to 1 at 4-3 with over 11 minutes to play in the third period. Coach Capuano called a time out to chance the tempo of the game and it worked. During this time, the Islanders still forced offensive opportunities, but came up short. They continued to pressure Tampa Bay and in the end, were able to hold on and win the game, improving their record to 1-1-0-0.

Per islanders.nhl.com, "Aucoin, who was 8-for-10 Saturday in the faceoff circle, won 9-of-12 draws Monday. The line of Aucoin, Ullstrom and Colin McDonald combined for 11 shots on goal while averaging 10:53 of ice time between the three of them.


Following the game, Nabokov said that the win was huge for the Islanders, especially with the team heading on a five-game, eight-day road trip beginning Thursday at Toronto."


The Isles outshot Tampa by a 45-26 margin. While the PP was only 1 for 7, the PK was 3 for 3 against a dangerous TB PP unit. Nabokov was solid again.  I thought it was a breakout game for Martin, Grabner and Okposo. Tavares, Mouson and Boyes looked good as well. Credit Ullstrom for showing he belongs and I am gaining more respect for Keith Aucion every shift he plays. He works hard and is a great roleplayer. Strait was pretty good again. So far, all of Garth Snows "bargin bin" waiver pick ups are working out. I just need to see Hickey play, and soon. Depth is a good thing everyone. The "sexy" player acquisitions will come in time. Enjoy the little things for now.


John Tavares was named the games first star while Matt Martin was given second star honors.
 

 

Matt Martin, "we're sick of not making the playoffs"

 

Isles Notes:

Per @NHLhistorygirl, "I don't think you ever really get over that fear [of losing] and I don't think you ever really should get over it." - Denis Potvin

"It's a seven-game series. If we win four of them, then I'll talk about how good we are." - Denis Potvin, 1980

"We'll beat [Isles] in four games." - Leafs Harold Ballard prior to first round of 1981 Cup playoffs.

"The Islanders aren't champions, they're chumpions." - Leafs Harold Ballard, prior to 1981 first round against Isles, where Leafs lost 3-0.


Sound Tigers Notes:

1/20

Sound Tigers score w/ 29.0 left in 3rd period on PP, Combs puts rebound past Dainton to avoid shutout, final score 4-1 Springfield.


NHL Notes:

 
Per Brian Compton, "Vinny Lecavalier gets ovation from Coliseum crowd. Playing in his 1,000th NHL game today."


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Isles Lose Season Opener, But "Not Going Away."


 
The Islanders opened the 2013 NHL season to a boisterous sell-out crowd of pumped up fans.  The house system introduced the roster of players in uniform.  Cheers could be heard for crowd favorites like Matt Moulson and John Tavares, while Rick DiPietro heard from his detractors the loudest, but still skated down the length of the line up and tapped each  and every one of his teammates.  When the fog cleared and the lights came on to a chant of "Lets go Islanders," it was Game On.


Nabokov was good early and stayed that way, while the rest of the Isles look sloppy to say the least.  A plethora of giveaways and too much time in their own zone.  Bad changes continue to create problems.  Grabner with some good pressure, his efforts are evident that he is trying to make things happen.  New D, Strait looks comfortable out there, like he's been here forever.  Ullstrom and Martin are working well, Aucoin sound so far.  JT and MM are clicking in the 1st period.  The game is scoreless with NJ out-shooting NY by an 8-3 margin.


Evgeni Nabokov started the 2nd period right where he left it, in the zone while Hamonic and MacDonald are in sync defensively for New York.  PK starting to mesh and Okposo making big defensive play getting crowd back into it. The Isles start to make things happen.  Boyes and Granber seem as if they are starting to gel.  Another bad change creates 3 on 1 and a Devils goal.  1-0 NJ.  Period ends with Isles buzzing off NJ turn over, but fail to score.  NJ pulls away in shots, 21-11.  Isles need to refocus and get on target, its only 1-0.


Grabner comes close again with Brodeur on his back to start the 3rd.  He has been really good, but just like all of last season, Grabner needs to finish consistently.  Hard work will only get you so far.  The newly assembled defense had some trip ups, but looked pretty good considering their limited time together in a brief mini camp to start the season.  Offensively, the Isles haven' gotten anything going.  The Power Play clicks and Travis Hamonic wrists one, top shelf over Brodeur.  Game tied at 1-1.  The Devils get it back, 2-1 NJ.  Aucion continues to show his veteran savvy and why he has been around so long.  He looks really good on the PP and is a good fit thus far.  The team PP looks improved in my opinion.  Isles pull Nabokov, but come up empty.


Evgeni Nabokov was great and was named the games first star.  Although they did some things well, the Islanders never really found their offensive rhythm or their sustained attack.  They let the Devils dictate the slow, defensive style of play and were beat by Brodeur's solid effort.  Credit the Isles for forcing Brodeur to play at his best for the Devils to win. 


Eric Hornick mentioned, it was New York's fewest shots in season opener since they had 18 in Washington in 2003.  They were 30th in the 5 on 5 game last season and that needs to improve in a big way.  Also, credit them for not getting down and playing a more even game vs. the eastern conference champions.
 

But they need to do better. 

 
Weight: I liked our vigor comiing back, we're not going away.


 

Isles Notes:

The Islanders play the Tampa Bay Lightning at the NVMC on Monday at 1pm.


Sound Tigers Notes:

Sound Tigers WIN! Scott Campbell's first AHL goal proves to be a game-winner, Sound Tigers beat B-Sens 4-2!



 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Isles Claim Strait From Penguins



The New York Islanders have officially claimed D, Brian Strait off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.


The 25 yr old Strait has appeared in 220 AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  He has 8 and 32 for 40 pts and a +46 rating with 182 PIMs.  In 12 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was 0 and 1 for 1 pt.  Strait was selected in the 3rd round (65th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.


Strait spent two seasons with the United States National Development Team in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and in International play, Strait played for the U.S. National Team at the 2008 World Junior Championships and the 2006 Under-18 World Championships, winning gold as team captain in 2006.


 
 
The Islanders, Garth Snow has added depth and missing pieces from the waiver wire thus far this week when applicable free agent interests go sour.  Especially with Visnovsky's projected absense for at least another two weeks.  Call it dumpster diving if you want, but Snow is addressing team needs with low risk acquistions that he sees a value in as they become available.

 
If these acquistions dont pan out, no big deal.  If they do, the Isles could have another Matt Moulson or Michael Grabner on the roster.  The salary cap will make more quality players available from cap strapped teams as the shortened season goes on via trade.  And trades will happen from the Islanders side if tenured prospects or relied upon vets fail to live up to their projected skill levels as the team pushes forward in development.
 
 
Call the 2013 NHL season a live audition for the future product the Isles will want to introduce into the next stage of the plan.

 
 

The New York Islanders open the 2013 season tomorrow night against the New Jersey  Devils at the NVMC at 7pm.

 


Isles Notes:


Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Grabner-Nielsen-Boyes, Ullstrom-Cizikas-McDonald, Boulton-Reasoner-Martin-Aucoin


Per Arthur Staple, "Keith Aucoin splitting 4th-line C duties with M. Reasoner in Isles practice. Otherwise, lines and D-pairs the same."


"Isles announce that they have suspended Lubomir Visnovsky. Move to get to 23-man roster limit."


"Jack Capuano says still no timetable for returns of J. Bailey (knee), J. Joensuu (groin)."
 

B.D Gallof, " (Isles) Now at 23-man roster with D Brian Strait off waivers from Pens. 13 F, 8 D, 2 G."


Per NHLhistorygirl, "1973: Isles defeated Bruins, 9-7, at Boston Garden. The highlight of their inaugural season, most reporters thought score was a typo."

 

Sound Tigers Notes:


Per Michael Fornabio, "John Persson, Matt Watkins, Marc Cantin all on the ice in regular -- at least, non-non-contact -- jerseys. Couple of lines w/4 players.  In addition to today's full group, Scott Pellerin said Kirill Kabanov could be back to full contact as early as Monday."
 


NHL Notes:


Per Bob McKenzie, "NHL teams must submit official 23-man roster to league office by 5 pm ET today. Expected to be quite a few underage jrs on those rosters.  Underagers can play 5 games without burning first year of their entry-level contract. So many are on 5 GP - not team's 1st 5 games- trial."

 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Isles Claim Keith Aucoin Off Waivers


 
Arthur Staple said it.  "Also, I'd expect Isles to keep mining the waiver wire, perhaps for an extra forward. Only have 13 healthy now, including R. Strome."

They did it.  The Islanders claim C Keith Aucoin off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.  At age 34, Aucoin was 10 and 27 for 37 pts and a +7 rating for the AHL Marlies in 37 GP this season.  Aucion has compiled 233 and 581 for 814 pts and a +83 rating in his storied AHL career.  He has been named an All-Star 6 times, won back to back Calder Cups in '09 and '10 for Hershey and AHL's MVP in '09.  His career NHL numbers are 11 and 26 for 37 pts and a +7 rating.
 

 
 
 
Isles roster is now at 24 heading into cutdown day on Fri., with 2 injuries.



Islanders Notes:


Islanders have told Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart that they are going back to their JR clubs.

 
Islanders send D Jon Landry back to Bridgeport.

 

Sound Tigers Notes:

 
Congratulations to Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan.  They have been named All-Stars and will represent the BST in the 2013 AHL All-Star game.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Blue & White Scrimmage



The Islanders met the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the Blue & White scrimmage tonight in front of an estimated 2,500 fans (Arthur Staple).  Team Blue was made up of a mostly Isles roster while Team White was comprised of the Sound Tigers with Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart.  It was a tightly contested game, going back and forth on the score board.  The game ended in regulation by the score of 5-3 White, and a final score of 6-5 win for the Blue Islanders team, winning the shootout 3-0.  Nabokov and DiPietro switched nets half way through the contest to play with both squads.


While the Sound Tigers have gone 38 games into the season and have their team chemistry and routines in tact, the Islanders have only been together a couple of days and will only get a couple more until Saturday's opener vs. the New Jersey Devils.  Special teams were the difference in the game and need to be a focus of Isles camp.


For the Sound Tigers, I thought Nino Neiderreiter, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, Chad Costello, Johan Sundstrom, Ty Wishart and Griffin Reinhart stood out.  I also liked the play of Mike Halmo and Brett Gallant.  Jack Combs and Scott Campbell contributed in a big way.


For the Islanders, Matt Moulson, David Ullstrom, Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Colin McDonald and Jon Landry.  Newcomers, Thomas Hickey and Joe Finley played really well.


Rick DiPietro started the game strong making some big saves, including quite a few sprawling saves going side to side in the shootout.  Evgeni Nabokov looked comfortable, composed and ready for the season.


Per islanders.nhl.com:

Blue Team

Forwards
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 53 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 36 Eric Boulton

Defensemen
2 Mark Streit - 4 Radek Martinek
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner
52 Joe Finley - 43 Jon Landry

White Team


Forwards
22 Nino Niederreiter - 29 Brock Nelson - 10 Ryan Strome
42 Brandon DeFazio - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 16 Sean Backman
40 Mike Halmo - 4 Scott Campbell - 20 Blair Riley
44 Brett Gallant - 18 Chad Costello - 5 Jack Combs

Defensemen
46 Matt Donovan - 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness - 8 Nathan McIver
72 Griffin Reinhart - 2 Dallas Jackson
 

 



Per Neil Sheely ,Lubomir Visnovsky said he looks forward to reporting to the NYI after tending to "personal reasons" which have kept him from reporting.  Matias Strozyk adds, Visnovsky "I've asked permission to play for Slovan for the next 2 weeks. If I don't get it, I'll just practice in Bratislava." - pluska.sk, "I still can't fly, need to stay for at least 2 wks. My son has health issues. Nothing serious, but recovery will take a while."



NHL Notes:

 
Here is a list of available free agents via NHL.com.







Other Notes:

Today marks the 112th Birthday of Frank Zamboni. The Inventor of the modern ice resurfacing machine.



 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Isles Add Hickey On D, Suspend Bailey & Joensuu, Lubo News





The New York Islanders claim, D Thomas Hickey off waivers from Kings.  Hickey, 23, is a former 1st round (4th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was 3 and 9 for 12 points in 33 games with Manchester this season.

 
Hickey represented Canada in the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships for Gold medals in both campaigns.  He served as Captain in 2009.

 




The Islanders announced that Josh Bailey & Jesse Joensuu have been suspended due to injuries incured overseas. They will come off of suspension once they pass physicals.  Per Larry Brooks, "Clear DiPietro from injured list over summer. Suspend Bailey for injury playing in Europe. Nickel, meet dime."  Point taken.
 




Per Dmitry Chesnokov, Citing the MOU with the NHL, the KHL did not allow Lubomir Visnovsky to sign with Slovan until the end of the season.  The KHL says they will meet with NHL reps to figure out a solution, but for now he cannot play in the KHL and was unable to play today as a result of the matter.

 
Per Brett Cyrgalis, “I see Lubo playing for the NYI, but the timing of that, I don’t know.” - Visnovsky's agent.  Arthur Staple adds, "Furthering reports, Visnovsky has a personal issue to tend to in Slovakia. May take 2-3 weeks to resolve. Could report to Isles after that."

 

 


Isles Notes:

 
Slight change on Isles lines 2day: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Grabner-Nielsen-Boyes, Ullstrom-Cizikas-Strome-McDonald, Martin-Reasoner-Boulton.
 
Strome now working as 4th F with Ullstrom-Cizikas-McDonald. Rest of lines the same. New D Joe Finley out for practice.
 
Joe Finley wore #52 today and Thomas Hickey will wear #14.
 
Per Eric Hornick abreviates the television network schedule for your New York Islanders.

Joe Finley's message to Isles fans: I'm excited to be here and looking forward to fitting in and being a part of the team.
 
 

Sound Tigers Notes:

 
Per nhlfreeagents.com, New York Islanders reassigned (D) Ty Wishart to BST.

Bridgeport SoundTigers Released (D) Daniel Maggio from Pro Tryout Contract.

Per Michael Fornabio, AHL goes back to touch-up icing on Friday. Consistency w/NHL.

 
 
NHL Notes:

 
Per Katie Strang, NHL and NHLPA have reached agreement on accelerated compliance buyouts. Will carry full cap charge for 2013 season.  The hit will then come off the salary cap beginning this summer and the buyout will then revert to 2/3 spread out for remaining years.  So in Redden's case, team pays him 100% of salary owed this year. Full cap hit minus $ saved.