The New York Islanders kick off their first road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It will be the first of three meetings between the two teams during the shortened 48-game season.
With healthy head coach Jack Capuano back behind the bench, the Isles came out on Monday afternoon with confidence and agility. They look to keep the momentum going tonight and pick up another two points. (Photo Credit: gbalogh/Flickr)
Isles fans have a way of forcing themselves to see the positives in most murky situations. They could hold a polluted, cloudy glass of water to the light and say “...at least its water!” The fan base is thirsty and have been parched for entirely too long. Saving the ‘stranded on an island’ metaphors, most fans that attend and/or watch each Islanders’ campaign needs something to bring them back after being consistently let down. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)
For the older generation of fans, the original cast that were around since the dynasty days, the reasoning is simple. They seemed to have accepted their apparent, under the table deal with the hockey demons as an exchange for those years as hockey’s prestige.
For the fans that weren’t around for those glory days, they hold on to moments or streaks of greatness. They hold the 1992-93 Islanders dear to their heart spending their days cursing Dale Hunter’s existence and asking hypotheticals about Pierre Turgeon’s unforeseen injury. They remember a good 1993-94 team that got dismantled by the Cup bound Rangers in a 4 game sweep but took the loss thinking they’d be right back eventually. How could they not?
The New York Islanders were very active yesterday, acquiring three new players on the open market on the first day of NHL Free Agency. Forward Brad Boyes was signed to a one-year, $1 million deal and was soon followed by defenseman Matt Carkner's three-year contract worth $4.5 million.
Not long after these signings, former Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau inked a four-year, $16 million deal with the Colorado Avalance. Although many on twitter felt that the Isles could have easily afforded Parenteau's new contract, it still made plenty of sense to let him go. Four years for a 29 year old hockey player that only had one season worthy of top line honors and only two full seasons of NHL experience is a lot to commit too. In addition, Matt Moulson presently makes less per year than Parenteau's new contract. Moulson has been a consistent thirty goal scorer since joining the Islanders and has maintained chemistry with his long-time buddy, John Tavares. GM Garth Snow must have seen the risks in possibly off-setting the locker room if he showed that he felt Parenteau was more deserving a higher salary to go along with the other risk factors involved in that contract. With that being said, I wish Parenteau the best of luck and will look forward to seeing him return to Coliseum ice.
But in every difficulty lies an opportunity, and that is what Brad Boyes has been given.
If the Islanders won all of their remaining games and the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres lost their remaininga games, then the Isles would have done the unthinkable and made the playoffs for the first time in years. However, miraculous combinations of wins and losses are hard to come by these days, especially when you are playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Bruins scored six goals this afternoon for the third time this season against the Islanders, taking the season series with a 3-1-0 record. The loss finally elimanted the Islanders from playoff contention, concluding the thoughts of even the most hopeless fan that thought somehow they would squeak in. The focus now will shift to finishing the season with a winning record for the first time since Ted Nolan was the head coach and ending up somewhere between 9th and 11th place.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
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.”
On Friday night, the Islanders hosted a viewing party in which fans would gather at Champions Sports Bar and Grill, a restaurant located in the Marriott next to the Nassau Coliseum, to watch a replay of the Islanders-Penguins game, or "The Brawl Game", which took place on February 11th. A game in which there were a combined 346 penalty minutes, three suspensions, and 12 goals.
On Thursday, just one day before the viewing party, the Islanders and the NHL announced that due to controversy and complaints, MSGN will instead show a replay of the February 13th game which featured the Islanders 7-6 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Although it was a very exciting game, incl...
The acquisition of Tim Connolly to the Toronto Maple Leafs' top-six unit will, on the surface, add depth to the team's forward ranks. But the hopes of playoff hockey in Toronto could well rest on the shoulders of the injury-prone centerman next season.
Not because Connolly is capable of vaulting the Leafs to new heights single-handedly---because he cannot---but his role as a stop-gap to centers Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne will play a pivotal role in the Leafs' short-term succ...