Jack Capuano

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Isles Fight Back to Grab Point Against Blackhawks

The Islanders took their five game points streak into Thursday night's matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Islanders to NHL: "We're Still Here!"

The Islanders have currently been riding a nice point streak and it has proven to the NHL that they are not just a small obstacle in the standings anymore.

Balanced Attack Beats Tampa Bay

When the New York Islanders last welcomed the Tampa Bay Lightning to Nassau Coliseum, it took just 36 seconds for them to establish their lead and roll to a 5-1 victory.

On Tuesday night, the Islanders allowed Tampa to score first, but the result would end up exactly the same.

Al Montoya, whose fine play has been carrying the Isles of late (with his 2.17 Goals Against Average and .931 save percentage coming in to the contest) started in goal. The Islanders faced Mathieu Garon in the other end.

Though they fired the first five shots of the game, none got past Garon. When Tampa Bay was able to get their first shot on net, a blast from the stick of Brett Clark near the point, Martin St. Louis redirected it past Montoya for his 800th career NHL point.

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. 

Islanders Look For Two Points Tonight In Dallas

The Islanders come off of a 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks to face the Dallas Stars. The Stars enter the game being a banged up team with a record of 15-9-1.

The Stars will start goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who has taken over the starting role recently after Kari Lehtonen substained an injury. Raycroft, the 31 year old netminder on his sixth NHL team, seems to have finally found the right home for him. Raycroft played earlier in his career with Boston, Toronto, Colorado, and Vancouver.

The Stars have had the offensive touch from Eric Nystrom lately, putting up points in 5 of his last 6 games.

The Islanders need to play the game they have been playing for the past week; putting pucks on net instead of just dumping the puck into the zone.

Although Jack Capuano has not announced tonight's starting goaltender, it would be assumed that Al Montoya will be the started. Montoya has been on fire this past week and there is absolutely no reason to sit him.

Coach Capuano should not have to scramble his lines for tonight's game looking back at last night's game. It is his defense he needs to be concerned about. It's usually the little things the defense does that cost the team and Jack needs to make sure the defense is on top of their game.

Tonight is meeting 1 of 2 this season between these two team and it should be an exciting one based on how these teams have been playing as of late.

Don't forget to follow The Isles' Checking Line page on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! - @EvanPivnickNYI

Isles Fall To Blackhawks in Shootout 5-4

Friday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks was arguably the most exciting game the Islanders have played in all season. The Islanders came into this game looking for their third straight win but came out with a well deserved point.

The Chicago native Al Montoya was the one chosen by Jack Capuano to start for the Isles. Montoya, playing in his third straight game, made some unbelievable saves throughout the whole matchup. Facing the Islanders was the 26 year old Corey Crawford.

But enough about the goaltenders, let's talk about the offense. It was a real positive to see the Islanders scoring creative goals. Poking at rebounds and capitalizing on special teams. In past games, the Isles have used the dump and chase method, which obviously has not been working. It was great to see players go to the next and try to make a play instead of players just throwing the puck at the net and hoping for the best.

Chicago's penalty kill has not been the best this season and the Islanders definitely capitalized, scoring two goals with the man advantage. But the Blackhawks had their share of capitalizing on special teams as well. Chicago was able to score a powerplay goal and a shorthanded goal against the Isles.

The goalscorers for the Islanders tonight were Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau, and scoring his first goal of the season was Nino Niederreiter. Focusing on Okposo, it really seems as if he is in his required game shape. He is making plays and hustling much better than he had in the beginning of the season.

The Blackhawks offense never quits either; with goals coming from Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp.

So it came down to a shootout. Jonathan Toews was lone scorer and was able to claim victory over the New York Islanders, 5-4.

If the Islanders can play the way they have played in the last week for the rest of the season, they will be in good shape.

Be sure to follow the Isles' The Checking Line page on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter! (@EvanPivnickNYI)

Montoya Holds Firm In Isles' Road Win

In yet another of a seemingly endless string of low scoring affairs, the Islanders went to Buffalo on Tuesday night and shuffled out of town with a win.

The Islanders, who hadn't won consecutive road affairs since March, were bouyed by the fine (and sometimes downright spectacular) play of Al Montoya.

Montoya, who improved his season's numbers to a 2.07 Goals Against Average and .933 save percentage, has clearly established himself as the best goalie employed on Long Island. For head coach Jack Capuano to even consider starting Rick DiPietro ahead of him at this point is laughable.

It took a power play after a hi-sticking call against Buffalo (you're going to...

Isles Face Sabres: It's Not Miller Time

Preview:  With 5.4 seconds left in the third period of Saturday’s contest against the Devils, Islanders fans rejoiced seeing Frans Neilsen win a defensive zone faceoff with a 1 goal lead.

With 2.1 seconds left, they gasped with horror as the puck somehow squeaked by Al Montoya with Islander-killer Zach Parise on the doorstep.

For about 2 minutes, the Islanders and their fans wondered “how the hell did we let this happen again?  What do we have to do to close a game out around here?”

Then, when all hope was lost, an act of mercy prevailed.  From the heavens on high (also known as the NHL offices in Toronto), the referees decreed the messag...

Where In The World Is Nino Niederreiter?

Twitter is a friendly application that many people use all over the world, whether it be for media purposes, to keep tabs on your favorite celebrities and athletes, to keep in touch with friends, or simply to say every little thing that shoots across your mind and at any point of the day.

Yesterday it was used by top Islanders prospect, Nino Niederreiter to answer a question that has been on the minds of almost every fan for the past three games. Although the tweet is no longer available as it has since been deleted, Niederreiter stated something along the lines of "I don't know" in regards to everyone's question: why has Nino Niederreiter been a healthy scratch?

Islanders get Second Crack at Devils

The New York Islanders (5-11-4) are hoping for a different effort on Saturday afternoon, in the second half of a home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils (12-8-1).

On Friday afternoon, the Islanders were shutout by the Devils at the Nassau Coliseum, 1-0. It was the 6th time the Islanders have been shutout this season, the 5th time on home ice.

Jack Capuano spoke a lot after the game about "getting more shots and bodies to the net." The Islanders had some moments where they did that, but their passing still looked out of synch.

Al Montoya returned from his stint on the IR and was one of the few bright spots for the Islanders. Montoya made 22 saves, includ...