Steve Staios

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Isles Evaluations: Getting Defensive

The New York Islanders have 34 games remaining on the season, having surpassed the mid-point of the season a few games ago. They currently sit 13th in the Eastern Conference and ten points out of the last and final playoff spot, trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils.

With the second half of the year already seven games in, the Isles find themselves in a tight spot. There is still hope that they can compete for a late season rush, hoping to charge their way into the playoffs. However, losing both games to the Leafs this week, only earning one out of possible four points, has hurt their chances drastically. But if the Islanders commit to another second half-season in which they suddenly play their best hockey in the final stages of the year, they might just meet my prediction of falling just short of the post-season between the 9th and 11th spots.

Earlier this week I took a look at the team's forwards and how they have produced so far while considering where they might fit in the team's future.

Islanders Cannot Let Flames Rise At The Coliseum

The Islanders take on the Calgary Flames tonight at the Coliseum. The Flames have a record of 18-15-4 and they take on the Islanders squad of 11-17-6.

The Islanders have announced that Evgeni Nabokov will be starting in net tonight and Nilsson would be backing him up. For the Flames, veteran goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is between the pipes.

Place Your Bets On The Vets

(Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)

Brian Rolston, Jay Pandolfo, Marty Reasoner and Steve Staios were added to this Islanders team during the off-season to provide veteran stability throughout the line-up; Rolston was acquired for cap room and an added offensive punch over Trent Hunter, Pandolfo and Reasoner were brought in for defensive support on the bottom line, and Staios added grit and experience to a relatively young defense crew.

Let's take a look at their numbers to see where they stand...

Isles D-Men Are Stepping Up

(Photo Credit: Dan4th/Flickr)

The Islanders, who are boasting the worst offense in the league with only a dismal 59 goals for (the second worst team is the L.A. Kings with 63), were heavily criticized for one specific thing over the past three months; not scoring enough goals. (Shocking, right?)

After being shutout several times this year, the Isles were becoming a one-trick pony; if the line of Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau wasn't scoring, then there wasn't anything to worry about if you were the opposing team. However, the Isles have been on a recent streak after coming away with points in their past six games played.

Isles Fight Back to Grab Point Against Blackhawks

The Islanders took their five game points streak into Thursday night's matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Point Taken, Point Given Away - Islanders/ Flyers Post Game

The Philadelphia Flyers love playing against the New York Islanders.

For the 22nd time in 23 meetings the Flyers came away with two points, erasing a 3-1 deficit, and defeated the Islanders 4-3 in overtime.

 

Danny Briere scored his second goal of the game with 2:26 remaining in overtime, seconds after the Flyers killed a rare overtime penalty.

 ...

Mile High Meltdown - Avalanche Roll Past Islanders In Overtime

For 38 minutes, you had a glimpse of what could be for the New York Islanders.

 

Josh Bailey, Brian Rolston, and Michael Grabner all had goals. The Isles were up 3-0 and cruising to an easy two points.

 

A 5 on 3 advantage, and power play goal for the Colorado Avalanche later.. Game on.

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Islanders Prepare for Avalanche

“And with the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders are proud to select John Tavares.” 

After months of speculation leading up to the 2009 NHL draft, the Islanders rewarded their fan base after a long and painful season by using the first pick to select the longtime #1 ranked player in the draft.  It has been said that when top prospects remain at the top of a draft board for a long period of time, analysts tend to search so hard for their flaws that when they finally find one, it becomes significantly over exaggerated. 

So it was with Tavares, who was ranked at the top of his draft class since about age 14. ...

Islanders Look to Ground the Jets

The bad news: The Islanders head into Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets having lost 5 straight games.  The good news: The Islanders recorded a point in each of their last two games, falling in a shootout to the Penguins, and in overtime (amid a controversial call) to the Sharks on Saturday. 

Head Coach Jack Capuano has had since Saturday night’s game to focus on getting his team back to playing 60 minutes of winning hockey.  The Islanders controlled much of the play in their past two games, but fell to a red-hot Marc Andre Fleury and were victims of a referee’s error which resulted in the Sharks’ game-winning goal in overtime.&nbs...

Islanders Get Hammered Up By The Sharks

Depending on who you speak to after a game, you might find someone who is very eager to say that the refs cost the home team a game. But in regards to last night's Islanders game against the Sharks, that person might be right.

The New York Islanders decided to honor the 1992-1993 team prior to puck drop, with several memorable players making their way onto the ice. Such players included Benoit Hogue, Mick Vukota, Darius Kasparitis, Vladimir Malakhov and of course, Pierre Turgeon. Al Arbour could not be in attendance but had a recorded video air on the overhead to try to inspire the current squad while paying their respects to a team that many thought would make their way to the ...