Anders Nilsson

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A Disservice to The Sound Tigers

For any team to be successful there must be contributions by everyone and The Bridgeport Sound Tigers recent winning streak of eight games proves just that. During their eifght game run (one short of the franchise record) thirteen different players have scored a goal (fourteen if you count Scott Howes shootout goal).

Thirteen different players in eight games - impressive. By comparison, the Islanders have seen 17 players score in 46 games and two Sound Tigers (Ullstrom and Reese) are among the seventeen. With everyone contributing it is probably a disservice to select three stars but as that is the tradition I humbly offer mine.

Draft Dodgers

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers and their fans had little to celebrate on New Years Eve, other than “Thank God that month is over”. Having gone one win in twelve December games, the only bright spot was that the win came against our in-state rival, the Hartford ‘Whale Pack’. 2012 had to be better, and it has been.

Invited by Rob McGowan, I was given the opportunity to join The Checking Line – Isles Edition as a writer covering The Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Bridgeport has not lost a game since.

Erol Bal on the couch chatting Isles Hockey

Erol Bal answers fans questions about our beloved NY Islanders

Islanders Looked Lost in the Desert; Fall to Phoenix 5-1

Another frustrating loss for the New York Islanders. Falling 5-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes for their second straight loss. A 1-2 road trip leads them to their next game, at home on Tuesday, against the Detroit Red Wings.

But let's talk about last night's game. It was yet another Islander game of the whole team just not having it. The team looked sloppy and just could not make a play. As for the Coyotes, being a team currently out of a playoff...

One, Two, Three, Triple Deke - Ducks 4 Isles 2

The Ducks top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan had a coming out party Friday Night.

Unfortunately, it was at the New York Islanders expense.

Bobby Ryan had two goals and Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal, his first in over a month, as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Islanders 4-2.

Ryan started the scoring at 14:18 of the second period only seconds after their first power play of the game ended. Matt Martin answered back under two minutes later tapping home a rebound to tie the game at one. It was his fifth goal of the season, tying his career high.

DiPietro; Salt In An Open Wound

(Photo Credit: xjowell/Flickr)

It was reported yesterday that Rick DiPietro was being sent home for medical evaluations before the road trip even began as he had sustained yet another injury to add to the many setbacks of his career. Mike Mottau was also returned to Long Island with an upper-body injury. However, the story surrounding DiPietro is that this guy hadn't been playing; he was already on the Injured Reserve.

You have to wonder how a guy like Rick finds a way to injure himself while he is already...well...injured. He wasn't playing in games, although he had been skating on the ice. And according to Art Staple of Newsday, DiPietro wasn't even close to dressing as a back-up for any of the games on this road trip that saw them play Carolina last night, Anaheim on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday.

Islanders travel to Carolina for their first meeting of the season

The Islanders start on a 3 game road trip and look to continue their 2 game winning streak. The first stop on the trip is visiting the last place in the Eastern Conference Hurricanes. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. The two teams are currently tied at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and the Islanders will look to change that with a win.

The lines from the Islanders practice Sunday stayed the same from the game against the Oilers. They were:

Moulson-Tavares-Okposo

Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau

Grabner-Bailey-Martin

Niederreiter-Reasoner-Wallace

One of the bigger stories for this road trip is that Rick DiPietro will be making the trip as a 3rd goalie. There hasn’t been a report yet on whether or not he will play or dress during the trip. DiPietro has been out with a groin injury since December 3rd. Andres Nilsson is still currently with the team on loan from Bridgeport and is expected to dress with the Islanders until DiPietro is ready to play. DiPietro has had his struggles this season before the injury so hopfully he has had enough time to heal from the injury and also work on his game. The other news coming out of Islanders practice Sunday was that Micheal Haley was returned to Bridgeport. With the team starting to get healthier he was no longer needed.

Strome Looks At Home In World Juniors

(Photo Credit: mandelux12/Flickr)

Ryan Strome displayed that he has the hands, the vision and the speed to compete at the highest level of hockey when he put on a show at the Islanders rookie scrimmage this past summer. He was making plays everywhere he was on the ice and then finished the game with an unbelievable shootout goal in the skills competition on Islanders goaltender, Anders Nilsson.

This move still makes my jaw drop when I watch it. Granted, will he ever be able to pull something off like this in a real game? Highly unlikely, especially if he doesn't want to be jumped by the opposing goalie and all of his teammates. But it just goes to show how much skill this kid really has.

Strome is currently participating in the World Juniors tournament for Team Canada to add on to his impressive season with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL. In 24 games with the Ice Dogs, Strome has 16 goals, 17 assists and 33 points along with a +11 rating and 34 PIMs. He had 106 points in 65 games played last year with the Ice Dogs and appears to be on pace for another great season.

Islanders Cannot Let Flames Rise At The Coliseum

The Islanders take on the Calgary Flames tonight at the Coliseum. The Flames have a record of 18-15-4 and they take on the Islanders squad of 11-17-6.

The Islanders have announced that Evgeni Nabokov will be starting in net tonight and Nilsson would be backing him up. For the Flames, veteran goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is between the pipes.

Isles Injuries Starting To Mount

(Photo Credit: cincyhockey11/Flickr)

When you think of the New York Islanders and associate the word "injury" to their name, you automatically think of all the man-games lost by this team over the past few years and immediately think of the infamous Rick DiPietro. But right now, the injury bug is starting to bite in places other than the 15-year man's knees.

Brian Rolston was placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec 15th due to a concussion he sustained during the team's 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars this passed Thursday. He left the game and did not return and has not played since.This has allowed Nino Niederreiter to return to the line-up without their having to be any major changes to the roster.

Other players, like Tim Wallace, have been getting extra playing time as well. Although Wallace has previous NHL experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he really hasn't been all that impressive.