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Are The Isles Better Than .500?

Once again the New York Islanders fell to the Florida Panthers last night in a 4-2 loss to end their Florida road trip. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines were held scoreless as John Tavares and Mark Streit did all they could with the support of strong goaltending coming from Evgeni Nabokov in net. For a full recap, read Evan Pivnick's post-game report here at TCL.

The Isles currently sit with a 3-3-0 record, placing them at 10th place in the East and fourth in their division. The New Jersey Devils sit in third with seven points, trailing the second placed Philadelphia Flyers with nine points. The Pittsburgh Penguins sit in first with 14 and the Rangers sit in fifth with six. All indica...

IT'S GAMEDAY! Islanders @ Tampa: Isles Look to Grab 4th Straight Win

The Islanders travel to Tampa to take on the Lightning tonight after a stretch of five days without a game. In their last bout, the Isles defeated the Bolts by the score of 5-1. A game which triggered John Tavares’ recent scoring outburst, putting up two goals and two assists in that victory.

Coach Jack Capuano announced yesterday that he would be bringing all three goaltenders on the road trip. Considering Rick DiPietro is recovering from a concussion, this is a good sign that he will be returning soon. As for the other two goaltenders, Coach Capuano has yet to announce who will be in goal tonight.

He could start Al Montoya and his glistening goals against average of 1....

P.A. Perfect?

The New York Islanders headed into the season with some question marks surrounding the roster. P.A. Parenteau, who had played nicely along side John Tavares and Matt Moulson in 2011, was a player who had plenty of fingers pointed at him on Isles message boards and blogs during the off-season as someone who could be replaced.

With fans wanting more offense coming from their top line, P.A. was someone that many felt could be dropped to the lower lines or even traded, despite putting up 20 goals and 53 points in his first full season in the NHL. But so far he has done plenty to silence even the harshest of critics.

In four games with the Islanders, Parenteau has registered one go...

Where Is The Isles Second Act?

The Islanders went into last night's game against the Rangers looking to cap off a four-game home stand with a decisive win in regulation against their cross-town rivals, and they did just that. John Tavares' hat trick, P.A. Parenteau's helping hands and Evgeni Nabokov's stonewall performance were enough to earn a 4-2 win, improving the team's record to 3-1-0.

The 3-1-0 start is the best that the team has had in ten years, dating back to the 2001-2002 season when they started off 4-0. And you don't have to remind many Islanders fans about how exciting that season was, ending in what was arguably the most brutal first round exit to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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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 Files: Inching Closer To The Season

Last time I checked in the Islanders had announced Mark Streit as the teams’ 13th captain in NHL history while another arena proposal had been put forth and published in Newsday. It’s safe to say that plenty has changed since then.

As far as arena news, the task force formed by the Association for a Better Long Island decided not to submit their plans for renovating the Coliseum. Too many disagreements from within the group forced the task force to dismantle. However, individual members will be submitting their ideas to County Executive, Ed Mangano this week.

Mangano has also recently stated that he plans on asking for state funds to help provide financial support ...

And The Islanders Will Finish In....

The New York Islanders are in the middle of training camp; plenty of fresh faces are looking to surprise the coaching staff and crack the line-up while a few other seasoned and whithered faces look to continue their NHL career with an impressive tryout.

But what everyone is hoping for is a successful season that will result in the Islanders FINALLY making the playoffs after the slow and steady rebuild began three seasons ago.

Let's take a look at some of the major events that have transpired in Islanders country during the off-season thus far:

1. General Manager Garth Snow re-signed Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner to five-year contract extensions at an affordable pri...

Jay Pandolfo Gets Tryout With Islanders

The New York Islanders announced today that former New Jersey Devils forward Jay Pandolfo will be attending the Isles training camp on a tryout basis. Pandolfo's tryout is likely in the hopes of him earning a roster spot with either the Islanders or another NHL organization.

The 36-year old left wing has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils and has won two Stanley Cups after being drafted in the second round at 32nd overall of the 1993 Entry Draft. Last year he played 12 games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. 

If Pandolfo were to crack the Islanders line-up, he would have to earn it as the Islanders already appear to be set at forward...

One-on-One With Brian Rolston

The Islanders went into the off-season with a game plan of finding a top-six forward that could help the team transition from the rebuilding phase into a playoff contender. With Marty Reasoner signed to round out the bottom two lines, the Islanders traded oft-injured winger Trent Hunter to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for 18-year veteran Brian Rolston.

Rolston carries a booming slap shot along with an impressive resume that will add veteran leadership and depth to the Islanders line-up.

With training camp just a few weeks away, Rolston called me this afternoon to discuss his expectations for the upcoming year, his experiences with the Devils last season and the potential ...

Islanders Forward Lines Breakdown

I know, I know – it’s only August and I’m talking about line combinations.  However, for all those Islanders fans out there who believe that General Manager Garth Snow is still lurking in the shadows ready to pull off an absolute blockbuster of a trade, I’m here to tell you that I just don’t see that happening. 

Despite my desire as a fan to see them try to go after the oft-internet-rumored Zach Bogosian or (dare I dream) Drew Doughty, I am confident that what you see on the Islanders roster today is what you will be cheering for come Opening Night.  Below, I outline the players and line combinations that I believe will allow Head Coach J...