Dwayne Roloson

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The Goaltending Carousel Continues

The New York Islanders goaltending carousel continues to spin as earlier this week Kevin Poulin was loaned to Bridgeport and Anders Nilsson was recalled. Goaltending is still something the organization needs to address through trade or free agency, but the home grown goaltending talent seems to be running out of time to prove their worth.

Keith Aucoin Is Making An Early Impression On The Island

It's early. The season is only four games old for the New York Islanders, who have come out of the gate with a 2-2-0 record. And although he has four assists on the year, it hasn't been John Tavares who has been scoring the majority of the goals (Photo Credit: MR_53/Flickr).

Keith Aucoin, who is tied for first on the team in goals with Michael Grabner, is slowly emerging as this year's key pick up by GM Garth Snow.

Grabner is expected to be on the score sheet after scoring 20-plus goals over his first two years with the Islanders. But Aucoin has only played 106 NHL games and only had the first two-goal game of his career last night against the Boston Bruins.

Ty Wishart Re-signs With Islanders For One Year

The Islanders announced today the defense prospect, Ty Wishart has re-signed with the club on a one-year, two-way contract for the 2012-2013 season.

UNIONDALE, NY (July 18, 2012) – The New York Islanders announced today that Ty Wishart has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal for the 2012-13 season.

Wishart, 24, scored 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) with the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, during his fourth professional season. The Belleville, ON, native also appeared in one National Hockey League game last year with the Islanders.

Blue Line Pipe Line

The recent rash of injuries (an annual occurrence of late) and an unexpected ‘defection’ to Russia has diminished but not drained the pool of talented blue liners available in Bridgeport. The return of Mark Katic (perhaps within 2 weeks) and Calvin DeHaan shortly thereafter bring the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to full strength for our playoff run.

The Islanders with 40 points needed in their remaining 29 games to reach 92 points are in a playoff run as well. The Isles might well be looking for some help on D before the Feb. 27 deadline, but given the talent already in the pipeline I thin that would prove money ill spent. Secondary scoring has been missing, not defensive.

The recent rash of injuries (an annual occurrence of late) and an unexpected ‘defection’ to Russia has diminished but not drained the pool of talented blue liners available in Bridgeport. The return of Mark Katic (perhaps within 2 weeks) and Calvin DeHaan shortly thereafter bring the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to full strength for our playoff run.

The Islanders with 40 points needed in their remaining 29 games to reach 92 points are in a playoff run as well. The Isles might well be looking for some help on D before the Feb. 27 deadline, but given the talent already in the pipeline I thin that would prove money ill spent. Secondary scoring has been missing, not defense.

Isles Evaluations: Between The Pipes

(Photo Credit: cincyhockey11/Flickr)

How many goaltenders will we see in an Isles uniform by the end of the season? That was a question that a few of my readers asked me before the start of the year. Last year the Islanders featured Dwayne Roloson, Rick DiPietro, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, Al Montoya and Nathan Lawson. And oh yeah, they also tried to claim Evgeni Nabokov off waivers to only say, "No thanks" before joining the roster this year.

That's a total of six goalies (with a 7th one that rang off the post) that dressed for the New York Islanders in 2011. The count now is at five for this year between DiPietro, Montoya, Nabokov, Poulin and Anders Nilsson, who earned his first NHL start against the Pittsburgh Penguins the day that Sidney Crosby returned to action.

Koskinen has been playing for KalPa in the Finnish Elite League as John Link explains to us in his latest prospect report since there has been a crowd in the crease for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Both Poulin and Nilsson had been playing so well that there was simply not enough room for Koskinen, choosing him to opt for overseas play.

Islanders Cannot Let Lightning Strike on the Island Tonight

The Islanders return home for a 3 game home stand tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are coming off on a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators last night. The Isles are coming off a 5-4 win over Dallas which may be referred to in the future as the "Moulson Game".

The Lightning have had a struggling season so far. At 11-13-2, the Bolts turn to their leading scorer Steven Stamkos (16 goals, 13 assists, to get them over .500. There is a defenseman the Lightning acquired over the offseason that has been putting points on the board in when he is in the lineup; hold on to your hats here Isles fans, but that player is Bruno Gervais. Gervais has 2 goals, 1 assist in 7 games so far this season for the Bolts and it seems as if he has found his fit in Tampa. 

Nabokov's Injury May Increase His Value

Evgeni Nabokov was excellent in the Islanders 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night and earned another start against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, but he would never make it to the end as he left in the first period with a groin injury. Rick DiPietro came in relief for the win with fans left wondering how serious the injury would be to the team's most valuable trading chip. After being re-evaluated, Nabokov has been placed on the IR retroactive to November 17th. 

Groin injuries can be tricky, especially for goaltenders. Although he is a forward, Nino Niederreiter missed near to a month of playing time after suffering a groin injury in the pre-season. ...

Flyers Look To Continue Energizing Play In Tampa

The Flyers kick off their three game road trip in sunny Florida tonight when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 PM. Philly is off to their best road start since 1993-94 season and will face a tough challenge tonight as Tampa is 4-1 at home and have won 6 of their last 8 games.

Thank You, Rick DiPietro

A letter of thanks to our "Goalie for Life"

 

Dear Rick DiPietro,

It has been an emotional rollercoaster since that fateful day in June, 2000 when we made you our first overall draft pick. 

Our relationship has gone through phases: anxious excitement to see you establish yourself as our number one goalie, the satisfaction of seeing you rise to being an All Star (and telling Rangers fans how much better you were than Henrik Lundqvist), the despair of watching you be injured, the frustration of watching you have setback after setback on your way back to the net, to where we are today. 

Today Rick, we write you to tell you that we are si...

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...