Andrew MacDonald

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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. ...

Islanders Look to Ground the Jets

The bad news: The Islanders head into Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets having lost 5 straight games.  The good news: The Islanders recorded a point in each of their last two games, falling in a shootout to the Penguins, and in overtime (amid a controversial call) to the Sharks on Saturday. 

Head Coach Jack Capuano has had since Saturday night’s game to focus on getting his team back to playing 60 minutes of winning hockey.  The Islanders controlled much of the play in their past two games, but fell to a red-hot Marc Andre Fleury and were victims of a referee’s error which resulted in the Sharks’ game-winning goal in overtime.&nbs...

Can the Islanders Catch the Lightning in a Bottle?

Preview:  Islanders (1-1-0, 2 pts, 4th in Atlantic, 11th in East)

The Islanders are coming off of a pair of games in which they have failed to put together 60 good minutes of hockey.  A disappointing performance against the Panthers on Saturday was followed up by one good period and two "hang on for dear life" periods in Monday's matinee against the Wild.  As discussed in Rob McGowan's post here at The Checking Line on Tuesday, New York's young forward unit is having difficulty getting pucks to the net.  Rob also keys in on the Isles' difficulty staying out of the box through 120 minutes of competition.  Against the highly skilled a...

Isles Fall In Home Opener Vs. Panthers

"When you have, whatever we had, 8 shots going into the third, 9 shots, something like that, we obviously didn't create enough offense," said Kyle Okposo after the game.

And that was basically the story in the Islanders 2-0 home opening loss to the Florida Panthers. A sold out crowd of 16,234 fans left in mystery of what the new goal song would be for the year as the Isles failed to generate enough offense to get them on the board. The Islanders were out shot 10-5 after the first period and only had 8 shots through the first 30 minutes of the game.

Al Montoya got the nod in goal over Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov, a somewhat surprising choice but one that was ...