Broken Clouds 32° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 32° Good Afternoon

Kyle Okposo not setting goals, but hopes scoring touch from late last season continues

Kyle Okposo pauses during the New York Islanders

Kyle Okposo pauses during the New York Islanders training camp. (Jan. 14, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Kyle Okposo is done setting goals for his goal totals.

After finally breaking through the 20-goal mark in his fourth full season with the Islanders -- he finished with 24 last season, including nine in the final nine games of 2011-12 -- Okposo doesn't want to set any benchmarks for his personal success in the abbreviated 2013 season that starts Saturday.

"You start looking down the road a bit, thinking about a certain number, you get in trouble real fast," Okposo said after the Islanders' second practice of their six-day training camp at Iceworks in Syosset Monday. "I'm done with that stuff. You just go day by day and see where you end up."

After missing the first half of 2010-11 because of shoulder surgery, Okposo never found a groove, scoring five goals in 38 games. He started last season without a goal in his first 15 games, as frustrated as he's been in his days as an Islander. He even received a batch of sticks from his supplier that had lefthanded curves on the blades, not much help to a righty shot.

But with some time spent on the right side of Matt Moulson and John Tavares, he found his scoring touch, though a bit too late to help save the Isles' season. Okposo experienced nearly all of his late-season success playing with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey.

Coach Jack Capuano has Okposo on the top line with Moulson and Tavares to start camp and, given the incredibly short lead time, it would appear that the line will be on the ice for the drop of the puck Saturday against the Devils.

"We had some good chemistry last season and we're already starting to get that right away here," Okposo said. "You can't really carry any momentum over from last season because we haven't played in eight months. We're trying to get our feet under us and be ready right away."

Notes & quotes: D Lubomir Visnovsky still is with his Slovakian KHL team, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Newsday in an email that the wayward Islanders defenseman is not "allowed to play in the KHL without the Islanders' consent." Isles general manager Garth Snow declined to comment. Visnovsky's KHL team is playing in Prague Tuesday night . . . The Isles claimed D Joe Finley off waivers from the Sabres and placed D Ty Wishart on waivers. Finley, 25, is a 6-8, 247-pound former first-round draft pick of the Caps who has played five NHL games, all with the Sabres last season . . . The team's practices Tuesday (11 a.m.) and Thursday (10 a.m.) at Nassau Coliseum are open to the public, as is Wednesday night's 7 p.m. scrimmage with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Tickets and parking are free for all three events; discounted food and Islanders team store items will be available during the scrimmage.

New York Sports