Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
PITTSBURGH -- Jack Capuano said he wants to go with a more veteran lineup against the Penguins on Friday night, so he’s shuffled the deck a bit.
Thomas Vanek is back, and that was a no-brainer. After missing five games with a strained upper-body muscle, Vanek did not even need to skate Friday morning to pronounce himself ready to go for the first time in nearly two weeks. He’ll be back with...Read more »
Pittsburgh -- There are two words the Islanders hoped never to hear again in describing their team, words that are now looming close -- as close as the result from Philadelphia on Thursday night.
If the Flyers beat the Sabres on Thursday, they will leapfrog the Isles and Blue Jackets, leaving the Isles tied at 19 points with Columbus but with fewer regulation/overtime wins....Read more »
TORONTO -- A few thoughts on the latest blah performance from the Islanders here on Tuesday night:
-- The players kept the doors to the locker room closed for a few extra minutes after the game. They did the same thing after the loss in Columbus 10 days earlier. It wasn’t exactly a cure-all then, and I think these players-only meetings can be a bit overblown at times.
Nearly every Islander...Read more »
TORONTO -- Michael Grabner says he felt this move coming on.
Grabner will be a healthy scratch on Tuesday night here against the Leafs, the first time he’s missed a game without an injury or the impending birth of his son since Oct. 9, 2010, shortly after he was claimed off waivers from the Panthers.
“Everybody knows what my role is and I haven’t scored a point in 12 games,” Grabner...Read more »
The most maddening part for Jack Capuano and Garth Snow regarding the two injured defensemen, Lubomir Visnovsky and Brian Strait, is that both players’ injuries are so nebulous.
Visnovsky still has not reported back symptom-free to the team, now 29 days after suffering a concussion. Even when Visnovsky, who was sent to a specialist in Minnesota two weeks ago for an exam, does finally get to...Read more »
Despite his slow start, Casey Cizikas is still the best faceoff-taker on the team, winning 48.9 percent (133 of 267) of his draws entering Saturday night. The Isles as a team entered play on Saturday winning only 44.9 percent of their faceoffs, 29th in the league, ahead of only the Flames.
That’s not a death sentence as far as the postseason is concerned -- the Ducks and Avalanche are in the...Read more »
John Tavares was known earlier in his young career for being a player who had trouble letting go of rough nights. There were plenty of those for Tavares as a teenaged star on a losing Islanders team; now, at the ripe old age of 23 and wearing a captain’s “C” on his sweater, Tavares has learned how to channel his frustration and have the short memory needed to survive and succeed in the NHL.
Casey...Read more »
A few thoughts before the Wings come to town on Saturday and I take off for the weekend -- you’ll be in Jim Baumbach’s capable hands for Saturday night game coverage:
-- Thursday night was a real stinger, and it was evident after the game. Jack Capuano usually tries to zig when everyone else zags, so his mild postgame comments are not a sign of denial. He’s not one to pile on when he sees...Read more »
Kevin Poulin will make his second consecutive start in goal on Tuesday for the Islanders, his first set of back-to-back starts since Feb. 20-21, 2012 -- of course, Poulin only played 95 seconds of the Feb. 20 game, pulled after allowing two goals.
But it’s still a bit of a change for the Isles, going with the 25-year-old goaltender to see if he can help right the team after a four-game losing...Read more »
A few health updates from the Isles’ day off on Monday, with the Predators coming to the Coliseum on Tuesday:
-- It does not appear Thomas Vanek (upper body) will need to go on injured reserve. Vanek, who was hurt in the first minute of Saturday’s loss in Columbus and missed Sunday’s game in Montreal, is still likely out of Tuesday’s game. But if he comes through a Tuesday morning workout...Read more »