Isles Files

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

Thomas Hickey back in Isles' lineup

Thomas Hickey of the Islanders defends against Eric

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Thomas Hickey is in the lineup for Wednesday’s visit from the Jets, shaking off the bruised ankle he suffered blocking a shot on Saturday.

That’s good news for the Isles and their depleted defense corps, which could ill afford to lose another regular. Aaron Ness goes back in after sitting the last two games in place of Radek Martinek.

“It’s definitely fair to say we haven’t been at our...

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Fourth line working well for Isles

Casey Cizikas celebrates his second-period goal during a

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Things haven’t been going well for the Islanders in their own end the last three weeks, but one of the bright spots head coach Jack Capuano sees is his fourth line.

More than just providing breathers for the top lines, the fourth line has found itself on the score sheet in the past handful of games.

Eric Boulton chipped in with his first goal as an Islander on Saturday against the Flyers,...

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Notes: Hickey, MacDonald, power-play problems

Pittsburgh Penguins' Beau Bennett collides with Islanders' Thomas

(Credit: AP)

Some notes off Monday's skate:

-- Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Monday after practice that defenseman Thomas Hickey, who left Saturday's game in Philadelphia after taking a shot off his foot, is “day-to-day.”

Capuano did not provide any further comment regarding Hickey, who is one of the team’s more reliable defenseman. The Islanders’ defense has been marred with key injuries as...

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Idea: Maybe Isles should trade for Michael Del Zotto

Rangers defender Michael Del Zotto is seen on

(Credit: Getty Images)

The Islanders are in trouble on defense -- bigger trouble now that Thomas Hickey, one of the few remaining reliable defensemen, is likely out.

The Rangers need to make a change and want Michael Del Zotto to be the one moving out.

Here is a not-so-modest, but sensible, proposal: A real trade between the Isles and Rangers.

Garth Snow has been working the phones to find a defenseman...

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Isles in need of a win now

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff stops a shot

(Credit: AP)

PHILADELPHIA - Must-win on Saturday night? You bet.

It’s come to this for the Islanders, playing their 25th game of the season against the Flyers. They have lost six straight on the road, are 2-7-0 in the last nine and come into play tonight in last in the Metro Division -- they are four points out of third, but still.

Nearly everyone around them is headed upwards, most of all Saturday’s...

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Thomas Vanek back, Brock Nelson out for Penguins game

Brock Nelson celebrates his first-period goal during a

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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Islanders hope to turn it around, avoid last place in Metropolitan Division

John Tavares looks on during a game against

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

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.

Last place.

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....

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Test of leadership for Isles, Tavares

Toronto Maple Leafs' Jay McClement, left, battles for

(Credit: AP)

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...

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Michael Grabner expected the scratch

Michael Grabner of the Islanders skates against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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Still no timetable for Visnovsky, Strait

Lubomir Visnovsky skates during a game against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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