Jack Capuano

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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...

IT'S GAMEDAY: Isles Look To Bounce Back From Opening Night Loss

After a very disappointing loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the Islanders look to rebound on Monday for a matinée game against the Minnesota Wild. The Wild kicked off their season on Saturday night by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2.

The Wild now will travel to Long Island Monday with their newly acquired weapon, Dany Heatley, who tallied a goal and an assist in his season debut on Saturday night. Heatley was aquired on July 3rd, from the San Jose Sharks, this offseason along with his former Sharks teammate Devin Setoguchi.

Always a weapon for Minnesota, goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who looks to obtain his second victory in two tries on Monday. Backstrom, wh...

"Stay In The Net, Rick" A 2011-12 New York Islanders Preview

For the first time since 2006-07, the New York islanders season will have endless possibilities and playoff expectations. Islanders fans have suffered long enough, this HAS to be the year we see the fruits of our labor. I’m going to start my first blog on The Checking Line with the following statement..............

I guarantee that the New York islanders will make the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. The average person may have stopped reading after my previous statement. How can you say a team without a sniff of playoff hockey in five years has any shot of being relevant this year? If you watched the first half of the 2010-11 season and only the first half then I'd ...

Strome and Pandolfo Earn Contracts With Islanders

The New York Islanders announced today that former New Jersey Devils forward Jay Pandolfo, who had been playing with the Islanders during the pre-season on a tryout, and Ryan Strome, the team's 5th overall pick in 2011, were both signed to contracts with the team before today's 5 PM deadline.

Pandolfo's contract is for one year, likely serving as a member of the team's fourth line unit and a veteran penalty killer. Whether or not he will be in the line up on opening night is unknown as Reasoner will be at center with Matt Martin, Brian Rolston and Trevor Gillies competing with Pandolfo for the names to be on the roster.

However, Gillies is currently on the IR w...

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 ...

Isles Files: New Captain, New Arena Proposal

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...

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...

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 ...