John Tavares

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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...

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 ...

Islanders Forward Lines Breakdown

I know, I know – it’s only August and I’m talking about line combinations.  However, for all those Islanders fans out there who believe that General Manager Garth Snow is still lurking in the shadows ready to pull off an absolute blockbuster of a trade, I’m here to tell you that I just don’t see that happening. 

Despite my desire as a fan to see them try to go after the oft-internet-rumored Zach Bogosian or (dare I dream) Drew Doughty, I am confident that what you see on the Islanders roster today is what you will be cheering for come Opening Night.  Below, I outline the players and line combinations that I believe will allow Head Coach J...