Although the New York Islanders missed the playoffs this season, many players that were dressed for the team and traded made significant contributions to their new team's post-season run to the Cup (Photo credit: Michael Cummo Photography/Flickr).
The upcoming Olympic break will give every team in the NHL a chance to pause, reflect, and evaluate what they need to do to improve in the future. More importantly, it will allow them to look at potential trade targets to finish off their season. More than most, the defending Stanley Cup champions cannot relax and rest on their laurels; they have a brutal Western Conference to survive before they can even start thinking about a return to the post-season and a chance to defend their title. Fans betting on NHL know the team have not been performing lately and look as though they need fresh blood and some fine-tuning, although it would make no sense for them to make wholes...
Okay, someone has to say it: the Philadelphia Flyers are building wrong.
Going back through the last five Stanley Cup winners (2009-13) and the Flyers Eastern Conference Champion team in 2010, there is a huge discrepancy when comparing the make-up of those teams to the Flyers of 2013.
The winning teams being talked about are the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks, 2010-11 Boston Bruins, 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings, and 2012-13 Blackhawks.
(Photo: Chicago's Patrick Kane just realizes he scored the game-winning goal of Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, beating the Flyers.)
Although he is second on the all-time list of wins as head coach of the New York Islanders, Jack Capuano's job may be slowly becoming in jeopardy with every Islanders loss (Photo credit: OneTigerFan/Flickr).
This is his fourth season behind the beach of the New York Islanders as the head coach of the team, now working closely with assistant coach and former captain Doug Weight. Like many of the previous coaches to hold the position, Capuano's future with the team has always been mired with plenty of criticism.
The New York Islanders return home to host the Philadelphia Flyers after playing the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road last night, which resulted in a 4-3 win.
The Flyers arrival on Coliseum ice tonight also means the return of former Islanders captain Mark Streit. The puck-moving defenseman was let go over the summer and signed with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent. He currently has two assists and is a -4 on a struggling Flyers team that is 2-7-0, sitting in last place for the entire league.
On the other hand, the Islanders have continued to find ways to earn points and win hockey games, currently holding a 4-3-3 record on the year. They sit 7th in the Eastern Conference and are in second place in the Metropolitan Division.