Isles Files

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

Kevin Poulin and the NHL playoffs

Kevin Poulin blocks a shot as the Philadelphia

(Credit: AP)

Kevin Poulin didn’t get much work in goal after being called up two months ago, but he’s still part of his first NHL playoffs at 22. Here’s what the goaltender thinks of this moment:

“Personally, every year you make the playoffs, it’s a good year, right? Unfortunately my first year I got injured, we didn’t make the playoffs. Last year we made it in Bridgeport, fell in first round.

“This...

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Why the Islanders should fear the Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby participates with the team

(Credit: AP)

The Islanders have plenty to worry about in this series if they’re busy scanning the Penguins’ roster. From Sidney Crosby, who nearly won the NHL scoring title despite missing a dozen games, to 20-goal scorers Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, on down to Evgeni Malkin and James Neal, over to deadline pickups Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow.

This is a fearsome Penguins lineup.

They are...

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Islanders vs. Penguins matchups

Travis Hamonic of the Islanders defends against Sidney

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

1 Sidney Crosby vs. Travis Hamonic The Penguins’ superstar will return from a broken jaw and it will be Hamonic’s (and Andrew MacDonald’s) job to contain Crosby and his linemates. Hamonic has the capability to be physical with Crosby, but he’ll have to be careful not to overdo it. The Islanders likely won’t get many calls when matched up against Sid the Kid. 2 John Tavares vs. Brandon...

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Andrew MacDonald's playoff thoughts

Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders skates against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Andrew MacDonald’s pro career has had a few twists and turns -- he started out in Utah of the ECHL and gradually worked his way up to the top pair of the Isles' defense. He’s also played in the playoffs at every level along the way, completing that run with the Isles reaching the postseason:

“It’s safe to say everyone’s dream and goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and making the playoffs is part...

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What the playoffs mean to Thomas Hickey

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin is hit

(Credit: AP)

Thomas Hickey didn’t get his name on the Stanley Cup, but he was on hand when the Kings won it last June. Hickey was the No. 4 overall pick by the Kings in 2007, but never played a game for L.A.

After joining the Isles on waivers in January, he’s had a big hand as one of the top four defensemen in what the Isles achieved this season -- his only goal was the OT winner in Montreal in February...

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3 likes and 3 dislikes for Isles in playoffs

Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov eyes the puck during

(Credit: AP)

Three things we like about the Islanders heading into their first-round NHL playoff series against No. 1 Pittsburgh:

JOHN TAVARES

The Hart Trophy candidate had 10 goals in the final 17 games of the regular season and has the fire to succeed in his first playoff trip.

EVGENI NABOKOV

The 37-year-old goaltender has loads of playoff experience and has played his best hockey of...

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The Islanders' playoff history

The Islanders' Mike Bossy, a Hall of Famer,

(Credit: AP)

A snapshot of the Islanders' playoff history:

Appearances: 21

Record: 134-106

Stanley Cup Finals: 5

Championships: 4

1975: Defeated Rangers, 2-1, preliminary round; defeated Pittsburgh, 4-3, quarterfinals; lost to Philadelphia, 4-3, semifinals

1976: Defeated Vancouver, 2-0, preliminary round; defeated Buffalo, 4-2, quarterfinals; lost to Montreal, 4-1, semifinals

1977:...

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Eric Boulton: 'Teams worry about playing us'

Eric Boulton and Arron Asham trade punches during

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Eric Boulton may not make it into any of the Isles’ playoff games, but the 36-year-old enforcer was on the roster during the Devils’ run to the Stanley Cup final last spring and knows what it takes to get there.

He also knows what it’s like to be part of a team that could surprise some people:

“Yeah -- I think a lot of teams worry about playing us. We don’t have a lot of experience,...

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What the playoffs mean to me: Brian Strait

Brian Strait of the Islanders carries the puck

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Brian Strait was a bit sour that the Penguins let him go on waivers in January; now, he’s looking to remind Pittsburgh that it made an error in letting the 25-year-old defenseman go.

Strait will be on the blue line with the Isles for this series and here’s what he thinks of the wild ride he’s had this season:

“Just thinking about it, it’s kind of fitting we’re playing the Penguins. When...

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What the playoffs mean to me: Matt Martin

Islanders left wing Matt Martin celebrates his score

(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

As one of the most popular Islanders, Matt Martin maybe doesn’t have the on-ice influence of some of his bigger-name teammates, but he’s about to lead the NHL in hits for a second straight season.

He’s also a locker-room leader, and here’s what he had to say about his first playoff trip in our "In Your Own Words" series:

“We’ve been through a lot as a group, been through some...

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