The New York Islanders kick off their first road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It will be the first of three meetings between the two teams during the shortened 48-game season.
With healthy head coach Jack Capuano back behind the bench, the Isles came out on Monday afternoon with confidence and agility. They look to keep the momentum going tonight and pick up another two points. (Photo Credit: gbalogh/Flickr)
Recently the NHL canceled regular season games through Oct. 24th, thus pushing back the start date for many teams to the 2013 season. The Islanders have erased six games from their October schedule with the new opening game being set for Friday, October 26th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)
This would have been a marquee match-up ten years ago with every Islanders fan having this game circled on their calendars after a bloody, injury filled and violent playoff series with the Leafs in 2002. Those games were the start of the end for some players (Michael Peca) while the dawning of new beginnings for others (Trent Hunter). Steve Webb became a household name that still gets chanted at the Coliseum to this day, and no one will ever forget Eric Cairns' salute to the crowd after pummeling Shayne Corson at center Ice.
Isles fans have a way of forcing themselves to see the positives in most murky situations. They could hold a polluted, cloudy glass of water to the light and say “...at least its water!” The fan base is thirsty and have been parched for entirely too long. Saving the ‘stranded on an island’ metaphors, most fans that attend and/or watch each Islanders’ campaign needs something to bring them back after being consistently let down. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)
For the older generation of fans, the original cast that were around since the dynasty days, the reasoning is simple. They seemed to have accepted their apparent, under the table deal with the hockey demons as an exchange for those years as hockey’s prestige.
For the fans that weren’t around for those glory days, they hold on to moments or streaks of greatness. They hold the 1992-93 Islanders dear to their heart spending their days cursing Dale Hunter’s existence and asking hypotheticals about Pierre Turgeon’s unforeseen injury. They remember a good 1993-94 team that got dismantled by the Cup bound Rangers in a 4 game sweep but took the loss thinking they’d be right back eventually. How could they not?
Former New York Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald had to make a difficult career decision. At 31 years old, should he continue in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Detroit Red Wings as, essentially a career backup to Jimmy Howard, or take an offer to play in Russia?
On July 11, 2011, MacDonald chose to re-sign with the Red Wings and was assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
On September 7, 2011 a plane carrying the Russian hockey team; Lokomtiv Yaroslavi crashed just after take-off. The crash killed nearly the entire roster (only four players survived, all not on the plane) and the entire coaching staff.
The Flyers are considered to be buyers in the coming weeks as the trade deadline rolls near.
Players like Nashville’s Ryan Suter and Shea Weber as well as Toronto’s Luke Schenn have been mentioned in numerous possible trade situations and rumors. But in the end, will it all matter for the Flyers?
Before this turns into a column writing off the Flyers, take a step back and look at the situation the team is in. They are currently eight points behind the Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead while resting with the fourth seed.
But on the other side of the Flyers, they are only eight points ahead of the ninth place Capitals. The Flyers could very easily be in the bottom half of the playoff tree when April rolls around and their possible match ups could spell doom.
Well if there is one thing that can be taken away from the Islanders home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's that the Leafs' entire roster should be considered as finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy that is handed out to the most disciplined player at this year's NHL Awards Ceremony.
Although the whistle was blown against the Leafs after a scuffle in their end erupted after a tussle between Travis Hamonic and Phil Kessel, not once did the Islanders earn a power play tonight to total 120 minutes of hockey without an Islanders man-advantage going back to last night. The Leafs managed to beat the Islanders 4-3 in over time to complete the two-game sweep.
Game DayToronto Maple Leafs Vs. Montreal CanadiensBell Centre
I have decided not to bring up the last Habs’ game, actually I have decided not to bring up any games this season. Let just say the season starts tonight.
Whatever anyone else has to say or whatever anyone else thinks, the biggest rivalry in hockey anywhere in the world is taking place tonight in Montreal. The Leafs are coming off their first regulation loss and are looking for their second win against the Habs this season.
Yes, the Leafs started last season much the same way but we can all agree that this team is different and the optimism flowing on the sidewalks of Yo...
And now you see why I don't think most Leafs fans don't have brains. Well, all the Leafs writers here seem to be smart enough to figure out the inevitable was going to happen. They may have thought about it, and while a lot of teams probably did, it just wasn't going to happen.
Which leads us to today. Steven Stamkos is a Tampa Bay Lightning for another 5 years. He is making a little less than captain Vincent Lecavalier's $7.7 million salary at $7.5 per year, but I take this as a perfect contract. The term is enough that Stamkos will be around in his prime, and GM Steve Yzerman can build around him.