The New York Islanders will take on the New York Rangers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight at 7:00 PM EDT in the biggest matchup these two teams have played in at least five years.
The Isles (21-16-4, 46 points) will try to extend their season-high winning streak at home to five games. They’ll have to do it against a Rangers squad (20-16-4, 44 points) currently chasing them in the NHL Eastern Conference standings.
The Islanders are just slightly past the quarter mark of the season after playing their 13th game of the year last night against the New York Rangers. They skated to a 4-3 shootout victory to give them a 5-7-1 record.
With 11 points, the Islanders sit 12th in the Eastern Conference; four points out of the eighth placed Rangers and last in the Atlantic Division (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).
Five of the Islanders top-six forwards have been producing from the start of the year. John Tavares has 16 points in 13 games, trailed by Matt Moulson with 13 and Brad Boyes with 10. Frans Nielsen has quietly put up nine points in the games that have been played, while Michael Grabner has seven.
With the New York Islanders heading into another off-season without a playoff berth, the team will look to solidify its young core through the NHL draft, trades, and signings of free agents. (Robert Kowal/Flickr)
While the Isles might not be fortunate enough to land Nail Yakupov in this year's NHL Entry Draft, the team should focus on trying to scout the best defenseman out of this year's draft. Names like Trouba, Dumba, Rielly, Murray, and Reinhart are headlining the list of premier d-men that will be available to the Islanders come draft day in June.
Drafting a young defenseman will probably be the right choice for the Isles, but one can't simply ignore that New York has holes to fill for the 2012-2013 NHL Season. Mike Mottau, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, and Steve Staios tried to do their jobs as veteran rearguards, but it was painfully obvious on certain nights that the Islanders' d-men were simply outmatched. If the Islanders want to stay in contention in a highly competitive Atlantic Division, then General Manager Garth Snow must exhaust all of his resources toward signing or acquiring a top 4 defenseman.
Coming into Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers needed to win the game.
The reasons are endless really: because it’s their hated rivals from Pittsburgh, because the Flyers are only two points ahead of them in the standings, because it’s a day game, because they’ve only won three of their last ten, because the Flyers play poorly at home, etc.
The list goes on and on.
However, the most basic reason the Flyers needed to win on Saturday is far simplier than all the other seemingly logical conclusions. The team needed to win above all else because the game was against a division opponent.
I knew this game would be emotional for the Blackhawks going back to Philadelphia where they won the Stanley Cup. I’m not sure if it was seeing the sea of orange jerseys or having my blood rise at the sight of Scott Hartnell but I was ready for a thrilling game between two teams and it did not disappoint. While these teams’ rosters have changed significantly and despite the fact they do not face each other often, there would be deep emotions running between them.
Both teams heading into this game were coming off of disappointing losses. The Blackhawks were looking for a win to keep pace in the Western Conference where they now reside in second behind their o...
It wasn't news to anyone that the NHL would be setting up a new realignment plan for the 2012-2013 season. Plenty of speculation went into this idea as to how it would effect the current Eastern and Western Conferences. The Winnipeg Jets, although presently in the East, seemed to be a team that would make much more sense in the West. Rumors began to run that the Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, or even quite possibly the Nashville Predators.
The bigger question, and one that still looms over the hearts of many fans out in the desert, is whether or not the Phoenix Coyotes will still be in any Conference next year. They are currently in what seems to be the final year of their lease agreement after almost being relocated this past summer. There's still a good possibility that they might be relocated in the near future as well, but all of that remains in limbo as the 2012 season moves forward.
However, the NHL and it's Board of Governors could not wait to see what happens in Phoenix and passed a very dramatic change to the current alignment. The Eastern and Western Conferences will ultimately be removed next year; the standard two conferences that consist of 15 teams will become four conferences with either seven or eight teams in each one.