Today is Canada Day, which marks the opening day of free agency in the National Hockey League – a day that captures the attention of every hockey fan that hopes their team will improve their roster the easiest way possible.
However, this year comes with a twist for Islanders country. In previous years, fans were desperately hoping that Garth Snow would be signing a slew of top players. This year, the Islanders have a team comprised of both veterans and young players that is on the rise looking to fill a few holes. With that being said, they are some important holes that must be filled with the right players.
The top line will still continue to boast John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, the latter being the recent subject of trade rumors. Since Okposo was not moved at the draft, it looks as if he will be staying in an orange and blue sweater for at least one more season.
Below is a collection of names that will either be free agents or that could be in play via the trade market. One item to note is that with many of these names, there is a reason why they are available. That is not to say they are bad or wouldn’t represent an upgrade over the current three-headed monster the Islanders have used this year (for a laugh, check out the league’s goalie leaders and scroll to the bottom of the list).
The Flames welcome the Sharks to the Dome for the first time, for their second match-up of the season. They two combatants opened the season against each other as the Sharks defeated the Flames by the score of 4-1. The story for tonight’s game is the return of Miikka Kiprusoff, who will get his first start since going down with a knee injury on February 5th.
It was almost exactly a month ago when the Sharks kicked off their 2011-12 season with an opening night win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank. San Jose dominated that game by a score of 6-3, which doesn't really do it justice, considering just how much better the Sharks actually were. This was the first time fans and coaches alike had a chance to see just what this new, and hopefully improved, Sharks team would look like, and it looked good.
But then there were the dark times. A three game stretch where the Sharks played Anaheim, St. Louis, and Anahe...
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 ...
The Sharks are too talented of a team to play the way they did in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. After laying a huge egg against the Ducks, losing 1-0, the Sharks headed back home to play the Blues. Hoping for a better effort, the Sharks came out fairly flat, but did carry a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 goals (one empty netter) in the final period (deja-vu?) and lost 4-2.
It isn't like this team to play two games and not pull out at least one point, and this kind of play cannot continue. The western conference, and the Pacific Division even more so, is too competitive to only win one game out of three.
The worst part of these losses is that ...
That was almost exactly how the Sharks would have wanted to start the 2011-12 season. Sure, it would have been nice if less starters had been injured and if they could kill a freaking penalty, but all in all, a 6-3 win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the home opener is a great start to what hopes to be a great season.
No starting goalie? No backup goalie? No problem. Enter Thomas Greiss, who is just two years removed from backing up Evgeni Nabokov. He played...