Snow ready for playoff push to begin

Islanders general manager Garth Snow in an undated

Islanders general manager Garth Snow in an undated file photo. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Garth Snow said he isn't giving up a goaltender or the idea of making the playoffs. With at least one of the Islanders' three goalies often injured, he may have been stating the obvious on the trade front while reinforcing his position that the team has the personnel to make a playoff run.

Snow said there has been no consideration given to trading a goalie. "I haven't been looking to do that by any means," he said after yesterday's practice at IceWorks. "If anything, I'm glad we have the depth we do have with our goaltending, not just here but in Bridgeport as well.''

Al Montoya, Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov were healthy to start the season, but each has been injured at some point in the first 27 games. Nabokov is about to return from his second groin injury. DiPietro, who has a similar problem, is not. "I think he's going to start skating sometime this week,'' Snow said. "We'll take a look at it day to day.''

The Islanders (9-12-6) seemed to be on an upward swing, going 4-0-2 before an ugly 6-3 loss to the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins on Saturday. "We're in no position to take any kind of game easy,'' P.A. Parenteau said. "We're still not in the playoffs, we're still under .500, so I don't see why we would think a game would be easy. There are no easy games.''

Snow expects the playoff push to start now, saying, "In the short term, we've got to get to .500 as quickly as possible and take it from there. We obviously had a letdown the other night against Pittsburgh. We're not in position to take anybody lightly. In the case of the Penguins, when they lose a top player like that, they play a better game because they are trying to pay attention to detail. That's just something I've always found to be a common theme when teams lose certain players.

"Our goal is to get to .500 and get ourselves in the playoffs. The group that we have can win on any given night. We're a lot like several teams across the league where we do have some players out with injury. That's something that the good teams and playoff teams deal with.''

Notes & quotes: F Nino Niederreiter (concussion) is not likely to accompany the team to Montreal for 's game. "He's still in the early phases'' of recovery, coach Jack Capuano said.

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