Andrew MacDonald

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Jets want it, Giants want it, Sound Tigers are loaded with it. DEFENSE.

On the glass, above the glass, in the corners, center ice or behind the nets we all have our preferred seats. Mine has always been high above the glass, even with the goal line in the defense zone. I love watching the defense work and the goalie under siege. Don't talk to me during a five on three. At the Webster Bank Arena, home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers there are no bad sight lines and seaats in all sections are generally available, so preferred seating is rarely an issue.

This season the Islanders American league team is bursting with talent at the blue line. With four veterans - in the AHL that means you are 25 or older - we have solid protection for the rookies. Dylan Reese and Ty Wishart might already be known to Isles fans and Ben Olson and Steve Oleksy are rocks.

Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan, drafted in '08 as well as Calvin deHann and Anton Klementyev from the class of '09 fill out the roster as BST rookies (though it's hard to think of Klementyev as a rookie - euro rules). Sitting in my preferred seat in section 103 I can see the most talented d-man I have seen since A-Mac (Andrew MacDonald) left the building, and he is not on the ice.

Isles Cool Off Flames

The New York Islanders’ two games earlier this week against the New York Rangers showed how important a great goaltender is.

The Islanders found out tonight what it’s like to have one in their goal.

Evgeni Nabokov, after giving up a goal on the 1st shot he faced, stopped the next 29 as the Islanders got a much needed win 3-1 over the Calgary Flames.

Islanders Beat Wild in a Shootout

The Islanders headed into Minnesota to face one of the NHL's best teams, the Minnesota wild.

The Islanders had two players return from injury; one being forward Nino Niederreiter and the other being defenseman Andrew MacDonald. MacDonald being the player making the most noise last night scoring the first (and only) goal for the Isles in the second period.

But the Wild would score just one as well, but a miracle that they did not score more. The reason for them scoring only one was the reason the Islanders ultimately won this game...

Isles Look to Tame Wild

The New York Islanders will take on the Minnesota Wild tonight. The Islanders have been playing well lately, staying in every game they’ve played since breaking their long losing streak almost a month ago. Despite a 4-0-2 stretch which saw the young Isles climb back up the standings, their most recent games, regardless of their improved play, have not yielded the type of success they have needed in the standings. They have walked away from recent games where 2 points was well within their grasp.

There are many stages to a rebuild, and the Islanders seem to be on the right track for a slow, steady, and successful one. We saw this season during their long losing streak, that unlike last season when they took the ice for each game with a look of despair, that this team comes out of the locker room hungry and expecting to win every time they play.

The next lesson that this young group needs to learn is simple: Finish Games.

Isles D-Men Are Stepping Up

(Photo Credit: Dan4th/Flickr)

The Islanders, who are boasting the worst offense in the league with only a dismal 59 goals for (the second worst team is the L.A. Kings with 63), were heavily criticized for one specific thing over the past three months; not scoring enough goals. (Shocking, right?)

After being shutout several times this year, the Isles were becoming a one-trick pony; if the line of Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau wasn't scoring, then there wasn't anything to worry about if you were the opposing team. However, the Isles have been on a recent streak after coming away with points in their past six games played.

Moulson Is Seeing Stars

Matt Moulson scored the first four-goal game of his NHL career Saturday night against the Dallas Stars; it was also the first individual four-goal game of the 2012 season. As a result, the Islanders were able to hold on for a thrilling 5-4 win.

Although the win is what ultimately matters most for the Islanders, who took seven out of eight possibly points on their four-game road trip, Moulson was the recipient of this week's NHL's First Star honors.

Where Have The Isles Gone?

Before I begin to talk about the current state of the New York Islanders, I have to ask where this team that is portrayed in this YouTube clip (courtesy of user bufmemaud) has gone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E5f7dVNMnY&feature=related

"We saw it last year, I saw it. I saw the energy and the desperation in our game last year. The second half, we had the best record in the National Hockey League after the All-Star break. We were physical. We were tough to play against."

-Islanders head coach Jack Capuano after the New York Islanders 6-0 loss Saturday night to the Boston Bruins.

Ask the Boston Bruins and Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh...

What Concussion? Sidney Crosby Dazzles In NHL Return

59 seconds of icetime was all it took before the hockey world knew that “Sid the Kid” was not merely healthy – he was officially back.

Taking a pass from Pascal Dupuis at centre ice at the start of his second shift, Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby flew into the offensive zone like a man possessed once the puck arrived on his blade. After blowing the doors off of helpless defenceman Andrew MacDonald, he fired a backhander with a level of speed and accuracy that outweighed many players’ best shots on their forehand, making no mistake in rifling the puck into the upper portion of rookie Anders Nilsson’s net.

...

Sid Steamrolls the Sinking Isles

It took just 5 minutes and 24 seconds for Sidney Crosby to re-establish his National Hockey League presence.

Considering their play of late, it might take the New York Islanders another five years to re-establish theirs.

Amid much anticipation, hoopla, and frankly, excessive fawning, 'Sid the Kid' notched another career defining game in a career filled with them. He scored on Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson, who was making his first NHL start, at 5:24 of the first period.

Crosby used a beautiful backhanded shot to roof the puck past Nilsson, moments after breezing by Andrew MacDonald, who had been covering him, at least in theory.

It was just the start ...

Islanders Prepare for Avalanche

“And with the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders are proud to select John Tavares.” 

After months of speculation leading up to the 2009 NHL draft, the Islanders rewarded their fan base after a long and painful season by using the first pick to select the longtime #1 ranked player in the draft.  It has been said that when top prospects remain at the top of a draft board for a long period of time, analysts tend to search so hard for their flaws that when they finally find one, it becomes significantly over exaggerated. 

So it was with Tavares, who was ranked at the top of his draft class since about age 14. ...