With the New York Islanders heading into another off-season without a playoff berth, the team will look to solidify its young core through the NHL draft, trades, and signings of free agents. (Robert Kowal/Flickr)
While the Isles might not be fortunate enough to land Nail Yakupov in this year's NHL Entry Draft, the team should focus on trying to scout the best defenseman out of this year's draft. Names like Trouba, Dumba, Rielly, Murray, and Reinhart are headlining the list of premier d-men that will be available to the Islanders come draft day in June.
Drafting a young defenseman will probably be the right choice for the Isles, but one can't simply ignore that New York has holes to fill for the 2012-2013 NHL Season. Mike Mottau, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, and Steve Staios tried to do their jobs as veteran rearguards, but it was painfully obvious on certain nights that the Islanders' d-men were simply outmatched. If the Islanders want to stay in contention in a highly competitive Atlantic Division, then General Manager Garth Snow must exhaust all of his resources toward signing or acquiring a top 4 defenseman.
The Red Wings have achieved one of their two deadline goals with the acquisition of Kyle Quincey from Tampa Bay. Quincey gives the Red Wings 8 NHL-ready defensemen, a second point man for the 2nd power play unit and some more abrasiveness on the back end.
The Wings still seek some additional depth up front. At different times, the Red Wings' desires have been stated to be a scoring winger to flesh out the top-six or a gritty, defensive forward to provide a physical presence on the 3rd or 4th line. The Wings' performance in their two games since losing Pavel Datsyuk to injury cannot be encouraging. Detroit has looked disengaged at times and has trouble maintaining offen...
The New York Islanders went into last night's game looking to pull themselves to a .500 record but failed to do so, squandering a 3-1 first period lead to the Buffalo Sabres and losing by a score of 4-3 in the shootout.
Frans Nielsen would have a three point first period, scoring two goals and adding an assist to help get the Islanders to an early lead despite starting off slow. The Isles were out shot 17-9 in the first period and Al Montoya seemed a little shakey in net. It was only his second start after missing about a month's worth of playing time due to a concussion. His first start was before the All Star break, so it wasn't a surprise that he looked like he needed to shake the rust off. But he would respond well in the second and third periods, continuing to give his team a chance to win the whole night.
“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” said Montoya after the game. “[There were] huge points on the line. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with two points.”
The Buffalo Sabres were in town on Tuesday night for a Northeast Division clash with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens, just two points up from the lowly Sabres, were unable to hold off their division rivals in a game that saw the Habs lose by a score of 3-1. The Sabres, who were 14th in the Eastern Conference heading into this one, are now tied with the Habs, but thanks to having two more wins will be ahead of them in the standings.
Very little separated these two teams going into the match-up on Tuesday night. Both teams fans had high expectations at the beginning of the season, only ...
The Sabres boast a very deep and balanced corps of forwards. The one thing they lack is a true star player. Many of the forwards (Leino, Gerbe, Roy and Vanek in particular) are highly skilled, but not (yet, at least) star players. This is not necessarily a problem, however, as history has shown that if a team has three lines that can score they can be a threat to win it all. The Boston Bruins have a good top line, but don't have a true star forward. The Penguins showed this when their big guns missed the second half of last year as well.
The Sabres made a splash on July 1st by inking former Flyer Ville Leino to a six-year deal. Ma...