Isles Files

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

Faceoffs a problem for Isles

Islanders' John Tavares skates against the Buffalo Sabres

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

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...

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Casey Cizikas has struggled amid high expectations

Kevin Poulin and Casey Cizikas of the Islanders

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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Thoughts after Thursday night's loss

Casey Cizikas scores a second-period goal past Ben

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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Kevin Poulin to start again for Islanders

Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin stops a shot against

(Credit: AP)

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...

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Islanders injury updates

Lubomir Visnovsky skates during a game against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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...

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Islanders having another November swoon

John Tavares of the Islanders waits to take

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

MONTREAL-- Is this becoming yet another long Islanders November?

With Sunday night's 4-2 loss to the Canadiens, the Isles are 2-4-0 in November, emphasis on that middle number, since they¹ve lost four straight.

November has been the worst Isles month over the past three seasons -- with February of last season standing in for a usual November, since the season started in January. But...

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No talks with Andrew MacDonald just yet

Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders skates against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Aside from Thomas Vanek, the Isles have a pending UFA in defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who is coming off perhaps the most below-market deal anywhere in the NHL (he’s making $550,000 this season).

MacDonald is in line for a huge raise. Given the Isles’ depth woes on defense, one would think talks would have begun to keep him from the open market in July, but nothing has been initiated yet....

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It's about the Ws for Evgeni Nabokov

Evgeni Nabokov defends the net during a game

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Evgeni Nabokov is old enough to remember a time when there were only two numbers that mattered to goaltenders: Wins and goals-against average.

He piled up loads of the first and always was among the NHL leaders in the second category during his decade with the Sharks.

Now there’s not only save percentage that stands as the big statistic for a goaltender but even-strength save percentage...

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Thomas Vanek is Garth Snow's gamble

Islanders left wing Thomas Vanek skates during the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

COLUMBUS -- The Thomas Vanek Watch is on. But don’t expect any sort of resolution until this season is much closer to its conclusion.

Vanek has been an Islander for two weeks now and played his sixth game on Saturday night here. He has no contract beyond this season, which has confounded some observers and fans. How could Garth Snow have dealt popular top-line wing Matt Moulson plus a first-round...

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Nabokov gets start over Poulin on Saturday

Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders makes a save

(Credit: Getty Images)

COLUMBUS --  Evgeni Nabokov gets the call on Saturday night here against the Blue Jackets, who have lost five straight.

Cue the internet outrage!

But here's the case for Nabokov on Saturday and Kevin Poulin on Sunday, in his hometown of Montreal:

-- Poulin has started on consecutive nights in the NHL just once, on Feb. 20-21, 2012. He was pulled after allowing two goals in...

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