Many were immediately calling for the removal of head coach Jack Capuano at the start of the season once the New York Islanders' record began to slip from 3-1 to way below .500. However, there were some, like myself, who argued that it was premature to blame the coaching staff for the poor start due to the fact that the roster from last season hadn't changed much and for the other simple fact - the season was still young. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)
Since then, the Islanders have managed to be a consistent below .500 team for the year. They have come close on a few occasions from jumping over the hurdle but would then find a way to take two steps back after taking one step forward. This past week has been the most disheartening of the year for Isles fans in relation to how the team has continued to perform. Not only have they lost games, but they have done it with such depression that even the U.S. economy cringed.
Three of the last eight games saw the Islanders either blow a three-goal lead or lose the game in the final few minutes of the third period. It started when the Islanders went into the second period against the Washington Capitals with a 2-0 lead on February 28th. The Caps would score two goals in the final three minutes of the game and then go on to have Alexander Ovechkin score the early game winning goal in the extra frame. The Islanders also had a 1-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils just this past Saturday, only to see their opponent score two goals just 14 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the hockey game. And most recently, the Islanders blew a 4-1 lead last night against the Caps to lose 5-4 in the shootout.
Rick Nash won't be donning an Islanders jersey tomorrow night; the Islanders didn't get a first round pick for Evgeni Nabokov and/or P.A. Parenteau; Al Montoya will still be on the bench to back up the Islanders number one goaltender; and the defensive play of Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Steve Staios will still be seen for the rest of the season.
Staios, despite popular reports from a fake twitter account, was not dealt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 6th round draft pick.
BUT Garth Snow did manage to rid himself of the putrid play of Brian Rolston and the defensive relapses of Mike Mottau. Both were sent packing to the Boston Bruins for a couple of prospects; Yanick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
After the New York Islanders hosted the Florida Panthers this afternoon, MET-Rx sponsored a "Skate With The Greats" game where lucky, everyday hockey players that won their sweepstakes got the chance to play against Islanders alumni and other sports celebrities. Among the active participants were goaltender Chico Resch, forwards Doug Weight, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Bobby Nystrom and Butch Goring, defenseman Eric Cairns, General Manager Garth Snow (who skated out instead of playing net), and TV host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.
Boomer's son Gunner, who battles cystic fibrosis, dressed for the game as well and played on the same team as his father. Both of them were on the white team which also featured Bossy, Gillies and Snow. The blue team had Cairns, Nystrom, Weight and Goring dressed as the opposition. Resch played between the pipes for the first period for the blue team but then sat out for the remaining two periods in favor of another goaltender.
Each period was 15 minutes long in running time with a three minute intermission in between each period. Penalty shots were awarded if penalties were taken; believe it or not, two were called. The first came when Boomer wrestled Weight in the corner, yanking his stick out of his hands and throwing it over the glass. Weight managed to get his stick back from the fan, who returned it willingy, and then failed to convert on the penalty shot, rifling a one handed shot over the crossbar.
The Islanders took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night in both teams final game before the holiday break. With the loss to the Rangers on Thursday night, the Islanders were definitely lacking confidence and it showed.
The Isles faced a Maple Leafs team who are having a pretty good season so far. Even with some injury...
Depending on who you speak to after a game, you might find someone who is very eager to say that the refs cost the home team a game. But in regards to last night's Islanders game against the Sharks, that person might be right.
The New York Islanders decided to honor the 1992-1993 team prior to puck drop, with several memorable players making their way onto the ice. Such players included Benoit Hogue, Mick Vukota, Darius Kasparitis, Vladimir Malakhov and of course, Pierre Turgeon. Al Arbour could not be in attendance but had a recorded video air on the overhead to try to inspire the current squad while paying their respects to a team that many thought would make their way to the ...
Media day came and went yesterday with a grand announcement: Mark Streit is the new captain of the New York Islanders.
The Swiss defenseman is the first ever Swiss captain in NHL history and is also the 13th captain in Islanders history.
My original belief was that the Islanders were going to consider giving the "C" to John Tavares, but once his contract extension was announced at a press conference with only the six-year deal to discuss and nothing else, I started to think more and more that Streit would be their man.
Streit carries veteran leadership, a respected presence in the locker room and is a contributor on and off the ice. He is the anchor of the blue...
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 ...
I originally lived in Brooklyn, NY, which for those of you outside of New York is not very far from New York City, Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers. I lived in Brooklyn as a kid for most of the 90's but couldn't tell you a damn thing about hockey. My closest friend and his father were die hard Rangers fans so every now and then I used to see a game on TV, especially when they were in the playoffs. But still, I couldn't say I knew much. Only when I went to my friends house would I pick up a plastic stick and fool around with a ball in his driveway, but other than that, the game of hockey was a complete unknown.
I moved to Long Island with my family in 1996. ...
There have been many great hockey players who have played for the New York Islanders that were honored in wearing the C on their jersey as captain. The most recent is Doug Weight, who announced his retirement a few weeks back and has accepted a new role with the team as an assistant coach. His leadership and advice will continue to serve well in the locker room and on the ice, but it will be time for someone new to fill the void.
Many feel that Mark Streit would be fitting for the next captain. He's one, if not the most reliable veteran on the team and produces consistently as the team's offensive defenseman who quarterbacks the power play. He arguably has been one of Garth ...