With the preseason now behind us, Isles fans everywhere can collectively breathe a sigh of relief as the moment we have all been waiting for is upon us. The Isles are on the verge of playing the first meaningful games since the heart breaking game 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last May. We have all been eager to pick up right where we left off after exceeding all expectations last season. With all of this in mind, we can only hope for the success to continue so the Islanders can take their place among the elite teams of the NHL. Although the outcome of this coming season is yet to be determined, I think I speak for Islander fans everywhere when I say this is the most confident we have been in the last 20 years.
It was not your typical preseason NHL game between two longtime rivals the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils on a mid September Saturday night. This was a different kind of game and in some ways a regular season feel to it prior to faceoff as this night officially embarked a new era of New York Islanders hockey.
The Chicago Blackhawks open their championship-defending season on Tuesday, October 1st versus the Washington Capitals. Needless to say, that game will be the number one ticket on Blackhawks' fans lists when regular season single-game tickets go on sale Monday morning, as Chicago has earned the right to raise a handful of banners that night - tops among them, the 2013 Stanley Cup banner.
Three years ago, Capitals forward Troy Brouwer stood on the Blackhawks side of the ice, part of the 2010 Cup-winning team. Now he will return on the visitors' side, as part of a team that is still chasing their first Cup since being founded in 1974. The team will be hungry to mak...
The New York Islanders will take on the Boston Bruins at 7pm at the TD Garden in Boston. The Islanders (20-16-4) are looking to continue their success in the most serious playoff push the team has had in years, going 7-1-1 in their last 9 games.
Despite their recent point streak that has carried the Isles into the top 8 in the East, the Bruins (26-9-4) have been no walk in the park for the New York club this season. The Northeast Division leaders have won both meetings between the two this season and have outscored the Isles 8-3. (Photo Credit: Hazboy/Flickr)
The New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals took the ice on Thursday night in Washington D.C. for their third and final meeting of the 2012 - 2013 season. With the Islanders being victorious in the first two matchups, the red-hot Caps would take this one in a 2-1 shootout.
After the Capitals scored at the end of the first period, it wouldn't be until the end of the third when Kyle Okposo tied the game 1-1. After an incredible showcase by goaltenders Evgeni Nabakov and Braden Holtby, Alexander Ovechkin would notch the lone shootout tally to send the Isles off with only a point. (Photo Credit: clydeorama/Flickr)
Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?
Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?
The Islanders hosted fellow Atlantic Divison rivals, the New Jersey Devils, on Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum. The Isles evened up the season series at two-a-piece in another explosive game by John Tavares and the lethal power play unit.
Tavares led the way through this one, scoring his 4th career hat trick and adding an assist to the 5-1 win over New Jersey. Matt Moulson assisted on all three of Tavares’ goals, in addition to scoring one of his own, giving both of them 4-point games. (Photo Credit: T.J. Weber/The Checking Line)
The Islanders will play their third home game of the season later today against the New Jersey Devils. After a 5-game road trip, the Isles secured 7 out of 10 possible points, leaving them tied with the Devils for 2nd place in the Atlantic. (Photo Credit: Thomas Weber/The Checking Line)
These two teams last met on Thursday, where the Islanders put on a spectacular special teams showcase. The Isles killed all five New Jersey power-plays and went 3 for 4 on their own man advantage, winning the game 5-4 thanks to a Brad Boyes overtime goal.
With seven games in the books, Islander fans are left feeling oddly confident and pleasantly surprised with the team's success to begin their season. With a tough road trip that traveled through the cities of Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the Islanders return home accomplishing what they had intended to do.
One of the most refreshing commentary about this team is that they are in every game. Yes, it is still early but they have not looked over matched and they had opportunities to win every game they've played in this year.
The Isles are currently 2-1-1 on this trip after Tuesday night's destruction of the Pittsburgh Penguins. As always, the Islanders are led by their star John Tavares who has two goals and six assists for eight points in the season's first eight games.