John Tavares

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Hats Fall To The Ice for JT as Isles Defeat Rangers 4-2

The 2011-2012 season is starting to take shape for the New York Islanders and Saturday’s opponent, the New York Rangers, added the always great rivalry aspect to the fourth game of this young season. The Rangers entered the game at 0-0-2 while the Isles entered the game at 2-1-0.

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano announced before the game that Evgeni Nabokov would get the start against the Rangers, which caught many Islanders fans by surprise based on how well Al Montoya was playing. But look at it this way, it is only three games into the season at this point. Montoya has played very well, but after Saturday’s game, the Islanders don't play again until Thursday whic...

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 Need To Search For Offense

The New York Islanders currently sit 1-1-0 on the season, following their lackluster loss to the Florida Panthers on opening night with a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in a Columbus Day matinee on Monday afternoon.

The goals came from Andrew MacDonald on the power play and Frans Nielsen at even strength. Both goals were also scored in the first period, a twenty minute time frame where the Isles put on the pressure early and kept the shot count to their advantage at 9-2. But the offense then began to fade off in the next two periods, only managing two and three shots respectively.

The Wild managed to increase their shot total from two to 12 by the end of the second period, fo...

Islanders vs. Panthers - Opening Night

Preview: An opening night battle between last year's overall 27th and 28th best teams - the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers. However with opening night comes the promise of new hope, a fresh start, and in the case of the Islanders and Panthers, a lot to be excited about.

The Islanders are opening their 40th season in franchise history and have set their goals high. GM Garth Snow has stated that the goal is for the team to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons.  The team is also looking for their first playoff series victory in 18 seasons.

The Islanders offseason was relatively quiet following a furious finish last season, whe...

"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 ...

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...

Thoughts On Recent Rash of Extensions

Despite the period known universally as "free agent frenzy," passing weeks ago, there was still some unfinished free agent business left. As training camps approached around the league several high-profile RFA's remained unsigned and dangerously close to "holding out." No one benefits from holding out. The player can damage his reputation among his peers, clubs are usually left without one (or more) of their better players, and fans are left bewildered at all parties. In a perfect world all RFA's would be signed ahead of camp. This week several of them did reach new accords while a couple still remain unsigned. Let's take a look.

Brad Marchand - To be...

Tavares Nets Six Year Contract Extension With Isles

The news was running rampant all over the twitter feeds and message boards yesterday that the Islanders were going to have a big announcement regarding number one center John Tavares and his future with the New York Islanders franchise. But as of today's 1 PM press conference, it became official: John Tavares has signed a six-year contract extension worth $33 million.

The contract has been said to be worth $5.5 million a year.

Tavares is only 20 years old and has led the team in scoring for back to back seasons while improving his numbers in the process. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft ended his rookie campaign in 2010 with 54 points in 82 games (24 goals, 30 assi...

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...