Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

What's wrong with the Islanders?

New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov gets beat

(Credit: MCT)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- It’s time to ask and break down the following question: What’s wrong with the Islanders?

Let’s dive in.

Is it the goaltending?

Certainly, Evgeni Nabokov has not been good enough at times this season. The difference between what I like to call “Twitter Reality” and “Hockey Reality” is that not every goal in a bad game such as Tuesday’s is the goaltender’s fault....

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Evgeni Nabokov to start against Capitals

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

WASHINGTON -- Jack Capuano is going back to Evgeni Nabokov in goal on Tuesday here against the Capitals, despite Kevin Poulin’s solid outing in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Bruins -- and Nabokov’s shaky outing in the 5-4 shootout win over the Senators on Friday.

“You look at the history, Nabby has played well here,” Capuano said of Nabokov, who is 12-1-3 with a 2.09 GAA and .926 save percentage...

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Thomas Vanek trade a solid move, but can Islanders keep him?

Buffalo Sabres' left winger Thomas Vanek eyes the

(Credit: AP)

After the biggest Islanders trade in quite a while -- perhaps since the last time these two teams made a meaningful trade, when the Isles acquired the rights to Michael Peca for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt in the summer of 2001 -- we’ve all had a night to sleep on it and gather our thoughts.

Here are some of mine after the Isles dealt popular, steady Matt Moulson, their first round pick...

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Isles are up and down in Pittsburgh

John Tavares of the Islanders and Sidney Crosby

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

PITTSBURGH -- The Islanders have a rather mixed bag, history wise, in this city and this relatively new building where the Penguins play.

Friday night’s game should add to that memorable list either way.

If the Isles can pull out a win over the 7-2-0 Penguins with a defense that will feature Matt Carkner and recent signee Radek Martinek, plus goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who gets the start...

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Bouchard back in lineup for Isles

Islanders right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard skates against the

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Pierre-Marc Bouchard returns to the lineup Tuesday night for the Islanders and both of Jack Capuano’s rookies will be healthy scratches against the Sabres.

Capuano said he’d yet to make a determination as to which forward will come out of the lineup to allow Bouchard to return, but it was likely to be Brock Nelson, who was a healthy scratch in Chicago on Friday.

Matt Donovan, the Isles’...

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Kevin Poulin gets first start in goal

Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin stops a shot against

(Credit: AP)

CHICAGO -- Kevin Poulin is in goal, Cal Clutterbuck is in the lineup, Matt Moulson is en route and Brock Nelson is a likely scratch.

There are a few changes coming for the Islanders on Friday night here against the Hawks, topped by Poulin getting his first start of the season in net after Evgeni Nabokov had three strong games.

Nabokov will play on Saturday in Nashville and it was just...

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Nelson, Donovan to play season opener

Brock Nelson of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers prepares

(Credit: Getty Images)

A few notes off the Friday morning skate here in Newark:

-- Jack Capuano will go with the four lines and top six defensemen from the last week of training camp, meaning Eric Boulton is out among the forwards and Matt Carkner and rookie Griffin Reinhart will sit among the defensemen. Matt Donovan will make his first Isles appearance since 2011-12, and Brock Nelson makes his regular-season debut.

“We...

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4 Islanders who need to produce now

Islanders defenseman Matt Donovan chases the puck against

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Jack Capuano said Friday morning that the Islanders’ game with the Predators on Friday night at Nassau Coliseum is “a big game for a few guys.”

He wouldn’t elaborate, as usual, but let’s take a look at the evidence from this preseason to see who needs to have a productive night:

Matt Donovan

Like any rookie, Donovan needs to take advantage of an opportunity in a game. He’s definitely...

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Isles' young defense, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee

Islanders prospect Anders Lee skates during minicamp at

(Credit: James Escher)

Some notes from Thursday’s Isles-Devils game in Newark:

-- Jack Capuano was particularly pleased with the work of his very inexperienced defense against a Devils team that had about 75 percent of its opening night roster on the ice. Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Andrey Pedan and Scott Mayfield all played very capably; Mike Dalhuisen, the 24-year-old out of The Netherlands and Quinnipiac University...

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Isles' Cal Clutterbuck will miss 'extended time' with leg laceration

Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck skates during training

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The Isles' first night of the preseason was a costly one. Cal Clutterbuck, the energetic forward acquired from the Wild on draft day for former first-round pick Nino Niederreiter, suffered a skate laceration to his leg and "will miss some extended time," according to Islanders coach Jack Capuano.

Clutterbuck played in the split-squad game against the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday...

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