Isles Files

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

On Olympic picks and Islander goalies

Thomas Vanek of the Islanders celebrates his second-period

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

TORONTO -- The big deal up here Tuesday is the Canadian Olympic roster announcement at 11 a.m.

From an Islanders perspective, there isn’t much mystery. John Tavares will be named to the squad for the Sochi Games and it was a lock even before Monday night’s hat trick/five-point game, though that was probably a nice bonus for Steve Yzerman and the rest of the Canadian brain trust.

Thomas...

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Time for Isles to rebuild again?

Islanders prospect Ryan Strome skates during minicamp at

(Credit: James Escher)

ST. LOUIS -- Of all the questions that could be asked about the Islanders right now -- too many to list here, and I’ve got a plane to catch -- here’s one:

Is it time to rebuild the rebuild?

Garth Snow earned praise for jumping in as an inexperienced general manager seven years ago and committing to a bottom-to-top rebuilding of the organization. He stayed small-budget and low-key, amassing...

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Capuano sticks with same Isles lineup

Michael Grabner of the Islanders skates against the

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

ST. LOUIS -- Jack Capuano is a superstitious man. He’s proven that over and over in his tenure as Islanders coach, so sticking with the same lineup for a third consecutive game Thursday night here against the Blues is not a huge surprise.

That’s even with the major struggles of several forwards, and rookie Brock Nelson being a healthy scratch.

So Capuano will stick with Michael Grabner,...

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Too many points-less Isles right now

Islanders' Frans Nielsen controls the puck against the

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Jack Capuano admitted he’s not a “stat guy” after the Islanders’ latest debacle on Tuesday -- don’t get excited, advanced-stats gang, he wasn’t even talking about those -- but even he had to mention the most ridiculous of all the ridiculous numbers coming out of this 8-15-5 team.

The Islanders are now 0-13-3 when scoring two goals or fewer. In a defense-first league, in a division where teams...

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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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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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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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Michael Grabner's playoff thoughts

Michael Grabner of the Islanders skates against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Michael Grabner scored 16 goals this season, harkening back to his rookie season with the Isles in 2010-11. The speedy winger did play nine playoff games with the Canucks in 2010, so he’s been to the postseason before.

Here are his thoughts on this season’s achievement:

“It means a lot. Obviously the last two years it’s tough when you go home and see the other teams playing. For me,...

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Michael Grabner looks forward to 2014 Winter Olympics

Michael Grabner (40) celebrates his goal against the

(Credit: AP)

Michael Grabner has something special to look forward to next February. Austria, Grabner’s native country, qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics hockey tournament in Sochi, Russia, with a 3-2 overtime loss to Germany on Sunday — Austria needed only one point to win the qualifying group. Grabner, who played for his hometown Villach during the lockout, will certainly be on the Olympic roster if the...

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