Andrew Raycroft

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What Went Wrong in 2013 Part 2: Sophomore Slumps

Flyers fans will always remember where they were on June 23, 2011 when two of the biggest trades in team history took place.

In some ways it feels like an eternity ago, while in other ways it feels like just yesterday. But forget who and what left Philadelphia that Thursday afternoon two years ago.

The only thing that still matters most today is the acquisition of the 1st round draft pick that became Sean Couturier and the acquisition of 21 year old Brayden Schenn.

The trades changed the face of the franchise, and suddenly the Flyers became a team of youth with not only two but three of the best rookies in the NHL during the 2011-12 season thanks to those trades and the slick signing of college free agent Matt Read almost exactly three months prior.

That trio of rookie forwards shined in Philadelphia throughout the 2011-12 season, and the future was looking bright. But unfortunately what happens to even the best players in the NHL after a stellar rookie season is the dreaded sophomore slump.

(Sean Couturier. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)

Dallas Stars - New York Islanders Preview

The New York Islanders will welcome the Dallas Stars to Nassau Coliseum this evening to conclude the season series between the teams. Dallas, the current Pacific Division leaders, has exhibited some streaky form of late. Their 35 points, however, leave them eleven points better than the struggling Isles, though New York has played one fewer game.

Fresh off of 1-0 shutout of a the New York Rangers, coupled with some recent unsteadiness in the New York crease makes Dallas a significant favorite tonight.

Islanders Look For Two Points Tonight In Dallas

The Islanders come off of a 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks to face the Dallas Stars. The Stars enter the game being a banged up team with a record of 15-9-1.

The Stars will start goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who has taken over the starting role recently after Kari Lehtonen substained an injury. Raycroft, the 31 year old netminder on his sixth NHL team, seems to have finally found the right home for him. Raycroft played earlier in his career with Boston, Toronto, Colorado, and Vancouver.

The Stars have had the offensive touch from Eric Nystrom lately, putting up points in 5 of his last 6 games.

The Islanders need to play the game they have been playing for the past week; putting pucks on net instead of just dumping the puck into the zone.

Although Jack Capuano has not announced tonight's starting goaltender, it would be assumed that Al Montoya will be the started. Montoya has been on fire this past week and there is absolutely no reason to sit him.

Coach Capuano should not have to scramble his lines for tonight's game looking back at last night's game. It is his defense he needs to be concerned about. It's usually the little things the defense does that cost the team and Jack needs to make sure the defense is on top of their game.

Tonight is meeting 1 of 2 this season between these two team and it should be an exciting one based on how these teams have been playing as of late.

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