With Pittsburgh beating Ottawa 4 - 1 and Los Angeles beating San Jose 2 - 0 last night, The Checking Line: Isles Edition will take a look into the other two semifinal series. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The New York Islanders kick of their final stretch of games for the 2013 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The Isles play their last 5 games of the lockout-shortened season away from Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders head in to Toronto 1-0-1 against the Maple Leafs this season. After a huge 7-4 win over the Leafs back in January, the Isles lost 5-4 in overtime against Toronto in February, where Nazeem Kadri tallied his first NHL hat-trick for the Leafs.
Are the Islanders finally better than the Rangers? It has taken years to ask that question and not be mocked for sheer insanity or stupidity. With the resurgence of the Isles’ play and unexpected rise up the Eastern Conference standings, fans of the Islanders would answer with a resounding yes.
Supporters of the contrary would argue the results of the 2013 season series between the heated rivals. The Rangers bested the Islanders 3 out of 4 times. Aside from the first meeting of February 7th, where the lifeless Isles were drubbed 4-1 at MSG, each game has been close.
The games were so close that, in reality each contest could have went to either side. Who could forget Saturday’s epic battle that saw the Isles fall in overtime? Fans of the orange and blue wanted to blame the referees but after the loss settled, it became evident that they just had a better goaltender. Henrik Lundqvist, when on, is the best goalie in the NHL.
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 extended their best home-winning streak this season to 4 on Tuesday night by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. The Isles, who are now 7-1-1 in their last 9 games, are now tied for 6th place in the Eastern Conference at 44 points with the Ottawa Senators.
After Michael Grabner scored the go-ahead goal towards the end the of second period, the Isles held their composure in another stellar third period effort to come out on top of the Atlantic Division's bottom club. (Photo Credit: IslesPunkFan/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)
The Islanders face the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon for the 5th and final time this season. After winning the first matchup, the Isles fell to the Pens in the three following games.
The Islanders come into today's 1pm matinee game at Energy Consol Centre tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers. Thanks to a huge shootout victory against the Flyers on Thursday night, New York is currently on their best win streak of the season at 3.
The decision remains optional, but recent history suggests that the use of visors on hockey helmets should be mandatory.
Simply put, the eyes are the most important part of a hockey player, and they must be protected.
Last night in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, a Kimmo Timonen slap shot deflected off of a Flyer stick and straight up into the face of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Staal was left in a pool of his own blood on the ice, holding his right eye.
Staal left the game immediately after being hit directly in the eye, and is out indefinitely. According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos, the injury is not believed to be career-threatening.
(Pictured: A trainer tends to Rangers defenseman Marc Staal after getting hit in the right eye by a puck Tuesday night. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Any Islanders fan that has been at the Coliseum in the past couple of years will be able to support everything I am about to say.
It takes more than a house to make a home and the 2013 NHL season on Long Island continues to prove that.
Somehow, someway fans of every other team get their hands on boat loads of tickets creating an environment that wipes out home ice advantage.
This epidemic has been obvious in almost every home game this year. Every team from near and far, will fill the Nassau Coliseum with their loyalties and jerseys. The Devils, Flyers, Bruins and Leafs have all taken over the Coliseum recently.
How embarrassing was it for fans to watch hats rain from the ceiling when Toronto's Kadri netted his third goal to complete a hat trick on Thursday?