The trade deadline has come and passed for the 2014 season, and while the rest of the league was busy making blockbuster deals, the Hawks were quietly adding depth in a relatively low-key deadline. GM Stan Bowman has made similar moves like this in past few deadlines with minor acquisitions Michal Handzus last year and Johnny Oduya the year before, who, while not marquee names, were key role-players in the Hawk’s cup run last year. At this year’s deadline, the Hawks got four new players- Peter Regin, David Rundblad, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and Mathieu Brisebois. Here’s a closer ...
Garth Snow and the Islanders front office should not have gotten any sleep last night. They should be on the phone with every team in the NHL shopping their 2 biggest trade chips, Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald. The compensation that the Isles receive for Vanek and MacDonald will determine Snow's legacy as the Isles GM. If he fails, the Islanders must move on to new leadership.(flickr/Nassau News Live)
The NHL trade deadline is scheduled for March 5th, just a few days shy from officially being one month away. Typically, that would leave for plenty of hockey to be played between now and then, but that isn't the case this year with the Winter Olympics coming up in just a little over a week.
In fact, there are only seven NHL games to be played between now and then.
They currently hold a 21-28-8 record that is good for 50 points and 14th in the Eastern Conference. They are also 10 points away from the eighth placed Philadelphia Flyers.
With the Islanders having lost their last five games in a row, all signs point to this team becoming sellers at the deadline.
It has become incredibly clear that no matter what Garth Snow does this season it will either be hit or miss, home run or strike out, black or white. There has been no gray area for the 8 year Islander General Manager and finally his decisions appear to be trending in the right direction for the team again.
With Ryan Strome now a permanent fixture with the Islanders, the main focus of the prospect pool turns to Anders Lee. Lee has been quietly productive for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and is the team point leader among players currently on the Sound Tigers' roster. So when will Anders Lee get his chance to prove himself in the NHL?
Ryan Strome has showed exactly why he got his call up to the NHL. His play has been great and even though he has yet to record a point, you notice him every shift. What speaks bigger volumes to his value however is how the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have struggled since his departure.
It's been repeated dozens of times before: the Islanders defense is not as good as it needs to be, and the goaltending between the pipes is a major area of concern. But what hasn't been acknowledged is that the Isles offense, which has more or less been excused, needs improvement as well (Photo credit: THEFANBLOG/Flickr).
There's no denying that Matt Carkner's play has been less than superb, and that Matt Donovan has continued to make the expected rookie mistakes. Both of these players have led to Travis Hamonic and most notably Andrew MacDonald being forced into accepting more minutes and responsibility that is perhaps too much for this duo to handle on a nightly basis.
Add that Lubomir Visnovsky's veteran leadership has been missing for quite some time now and you have every hockey pundit saying "ya think?!" when asked if the Isles defense may be one of the reasons why they have slid in the standings.
But see if you can answer this: aside from John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Vanek (while healthy) and Frans Nielsen, where has the offense come for this team?
With injuries to key players such as Lubomir Visnovsky, Thomas Vanek and Evgeni Nabokov, the New York Islanders are struggling in more ways than one. Their power play is ineffective, the defense is porous and they cant string together a streak of wins no matter what they do. Different players stepping up to lead and the youth in Bridgeport being ready to contribute could be the difference for the Islanders playoff aspirations this season.
The Islanders came into Pittsburgh Friday night for the first time since last season's playoffs, and just like that series, the Isles caused a lot of headaches for Sidney Crosby and company as they ended up pulling out a miraculous 4-3 win. New York earned their 2 points in over a week and did it in comeback fashion.
The New York Islanders returned home after a disappointing road trip, losing back-to-back games to the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. But their losing ways would follow them back home as they fell 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres after being defeated in the shootout.
The first period opened with the Isles controlling the play for the entire period. Although both teams had plenty of shots, the Isles led the way with a 16-11 advantage. Evgeni Nabokov had to make some key saves, but the fore-check that the Isles put on in the offensive zone eventually led to a goal from Frans Nielsen.
The Danish center-man toe dragged the puck in the high slot and let go of a wicked wrister that beat Ryan Miller just over his glove and inside the far post. The assists went to Pierre-Marc Bouchard, his first as an Islanders forward, and Josh Bailey.