The Islanders have already surpassed the midway point of the season, embarking on the second half of a year that is marking the end of an era for this organization.
There are currently 40 games remaining of the regular season, leaving only 24 games left to be played at the only building they have called home for the past 43 years; Nassau Coliseum.
With the off-season moves that GM Garth Snow made this summer, many predicted that the last year at the Madhouse on the Meadowbrook would be a memorable one. But it’s doubtful that many Islanders fans and hockey pundits expected the Islanders to be sitting atop the Metropolitan Division as they prepare to face their biggest rivals tonight, the New York Rangers.
It's still a long shot, but the Islanders have pulled themselves back into playoff conversations with a 1-0 win yesterday over the New Jersey Devils that has put them within five points of the last spot in the Eastern Conference. But even so, there are plenty of questions that surround the New York Islanders hockey club, ranging from the uncertain future of the arena to whether or not Tim Horton's will ever return to the concession stands. The most important questions, the ones that impact the immediate future, are the ones that need to be answered first; GM Garth Snow has to figure out where certain players will fit on his roster as the rebuild pushes forward.
I've already talked about the possibility of Evgeni Nabokov re-signing with the Islanders, as well as teammate P.A. Parenteau returning in an orange and blue sweater. But Snow will have to take a long look at some of his current regulars and decide where they fit with the team long term as some young, fresh faces are pushing for NHL jobs.
The Philadelphia Flyers (22-10-4) and the New York Rangers (23-9-4) will meet today at Citizen's Bank Park and take part in the fifth annual Bridgestone Winter Classic.
Although the rivalry between the Flyers and Rangers is a familiar one, the confines in which this game will be played is not. There will be some factors in this game that can not be game planned for, one of which is the wind.
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...