Kevin Poulin

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One Year At TCL Isles For John Santamaria

It has been one year since I joined The Checking Line-Isles Edition. I wanted to take a trip down memory lane as I present my Top 10 TCL Highlights from the past year writing for this website.

TCL Isles Round Table Discussion: The Back-Up Goalie

The New York Islanders had many reasons for not qualifying for this year's quest for the Cup. One of these issues was lacking a steady force between the pipes. Although Evgeni Nabokov has been brilliant at times throughout his tenure with the Isles, he simply was not a strong enough net-minder to handle the starting role (Photo credit: spotboslow/Flickr).

Throw in multiple injuries and two inexperienced goaltenders, and you have added some major ingredients to the mixing bowl of inconsistency. Both Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson proved this year that neither are close to establishing themselves as full-time NHL goaltenders after posting dismal numbers and records.

Garth Snow is currently holding onto the negotiating rights to Jaroslav Halak, who would indefinitely become the Islanders number one goalie if signed to a new contract. However, Halak would not solve the goaltending issues altogether; the Islanders would still be lacking up a back-up keeper.

Adios Anders

Goaltender Anders Nilsson said today that he would no longer report to the AHL and is seeking only a 1 way contract as he enters RFA status this summer. This likely means the end of Anders Nilsson's career not only with the Isles but possibly in the NHL too.

Isles 2014 Year End Review

The New York Islanders have ended their 2014 season by finishing 26th in the league, good enough for the fifth overall pick in this year's draft lottery and a 34-37-11 record.

At this time last year, the Isles were 24-17-7, a record that was good enough to place them eighth in the Eastern Conference and allow them to play the Pittsburgh Penguins in a first round playoff series match-up.

Clearly, this was not the direction that the Islanders and their fan-base expected them to travel this year.

So Who's in Net? The Isles' Goalie Dilemma

Below is a collection of names that will either be free agents or that could be in play via the trade market. One item to note is that with many of these names, there is a reason why they are available. That is not to say they are bad or wouldn’t represent an upgrade over the current three-headed monster the Islanders have used this year (for a laugh, check out the league’s goalie leaders and scroll to the bottom of the list).

Options for the Isles' last Compliance Buyout

Having already used one of their two compliance buyouts from the new CBA, the Islanders have some decisions to make before the start of next season. Improvements need to be made and impact players need to be brought in if there is any hope of contending next season. Due to their already small budget, a compliance buyout may have to be used to make sure that they have money available to acquire the right players.

Islander Fans' Civil War

There’s a battle raging on with the hockey team from Nassau. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with playoff races or games on the ice or “X’s and O’s.” No. This battle goes beyond the ice, into the decrepit seats, into the parking lot and onto the streets. It’s the battle between all those who bleed orange and blue. The battle of the “glass half full’s” and “glass half empty’s.” Our own civil war. (Photo credit: Hazboy/flickr).

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.

Postgame 3/1/14: Devils defeat Islanders 6-1 at Coliseum

The first day of the new month was one the Islanders would like to forget having been defeated 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils at home this afternoon. The game was overall a poor performance and one like this that hasn’t been seen from the Islanders in almost two months.

Sound Tigers Update 2/5/2014

The Sound Tigers have gone 5-1-0 in their last 6 games, continuing their up and down trend that has gone on all season long. A lack of identity could be the cause of the inconsistency but there are some bright spots to take note of in Bridgeport.