Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Islanders Looking For Defensive Help

From the Fourth Period.com

The Islanders will monitor Vanek's situation, and how he performs with center John Tavares, and likely offer him a large contract after the season concludes, but in the meantime, Snow appears to be focused on improving other areas of his team.
According to two league sources, the Isles are exploring the possibility of bolstering their blueline.With veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on the shelf after suffering a concussion, the Islanders could up their efforts to find a temporary replacement on the backend, but one source told TFP the Isles aren't looking for a short-term fix.

The Islanders have roughly $11.5 million in available salary cap space.
My take: Snow is always looking for ways to improve this Islanders team. However, considering that the Islanders have given up less than three goals in only two contests, one would have to think that a move will be made sooner rather than later. With 2014's first round pick now gone from the Vanek trade, it could be a current player or a prospect that gets moved in any deal for a defenseman. Stay tuned.

Islanders Recap: Rangers 3 Islanders 2

This is starting to become a broken record at Isles Talk. The Islanders had a lead heading into the third period and lost both the lead and the game to their cross-town rivals the New York Rangers tonight at the Coliseum. Watching from the TV you can hear the excitement from both teams fans and it truly sounded nice to have a packed barn again. Having said that, it was the end result that keep Isles fans from celebrating louder. Continue reading

The Bridge Report: The Good, Bad & Ugly

I wanted to let the Moulson-Vanek trade settle down a bit before I bring to you a new weekly segment here at Isles Talk. The title basically gives it a way but every week, Isles Talk will be doing a quick recap and assessment of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Since the Sound Tigers were formed over 10 years ago, I can honestly say that I have never seen this many drafted Islanders prospects on one team, ever. That’s a good sign. Their record (1-4-1, last in the Division & Conference) is a reflection of their youth but it’s a long season. Since this is the first write up of the year, let’s take a look at the players you should be concerned about. Continue reading

Islanders Defense Is A Concern

The Islanders had an opportunity to improve their record, move up in the standings, and take some momentum into Tuesdays match up against the New York Rangers. After beating the Pittsburgh Penguins the night before, the Islanders returned home to face the lowly Philadelphia Flyers and lost. The term “consistently inconsistent” is in fact the theme that this team is currently going through.  Many fans are looking for some kind of change made. Some want Ryan Strome up, Brock Nelson playing everyday, Eric Boulton to be off the team, some have even said a coaching change is needed. Two problems I see with those suggestions. First, the Islanders are scoring goals and two, Capuano is not going anywhere, especially when the assistant coaches and General Manager are on the same page. So let’s take a look at the defense, a group that did not change much from last year. Continue reading

Friday, October 18, 2013

Complete Win For The Islanders



I told you it was going to be a fun game to watch! I knew I was watching on a rerun last night so I purposely did not look at any of the scores until the game was finished. Other than Phoenix, this was probably the best
complete game the Islanders have had when the score was close. There wasn’t much to dissect in terms of what the Isles did wrong because there was definitely more  good to watch. Here are some pluses and minus from my thoughts of the 3-2 Islanders win over the Oilers. Continue reading

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Rivalry Renewed Tonight

This was a game I was hoping to make tonight because there is a lot of history between these two teams. Back in the early 1980′s it was either the Islanders or the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Championships, one dynasty against a future dynasty. Both franchises would leave their marks in NHL history. For the Islanders you had Bossy, Trottier, Gillies, Potvin & Smith and for the Oilers it was Gretzky, Messier Kurri, Coffey & Fuhr. Now 30 years later, the NHL and it’s fans will be witnessing a possible rebirth of this once great rivalry.  The Islanders have Tavares, Grabner, Okposo and Hamonic while the Oilers counter with Hall, Neugent-Hopkins, Eberle & Schultz. Continue reading
   

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From Around The Isles Blogosphere

Photo Courtesy of NHL.com
Check out Dee Karl's piece from Hockey buzz here:

My Take: What Capuano was saying and what the players were more like a two-part story last night. Yes, as Capuano said, the Isles came to play than the other two previous games, but the players knew they let one slip away again. Bottom line: Need to finish games.

Buffalo Earns First Win Over Isles




Once again the Islanders had a 3-2 lead in the final minutes of the third period and lost the lead. To their defense, that last goal was lucky. Foligno turned around and put the puck on net and this time good things happen when you put the puck on net. Buffalo makes it 3-3 and end up beating the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why Brock Nelson Should Be Sent Down

With the news that Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck has been taken off the IR, and 2012 first round pick Griffin Reinhart sent back to juniors, coaches and management now have a difficult decision to make once Clutterbuck is ready to return to the ice. As of this writing, no one knows if Clutterbuck is skating well enough to play and if he is, no one is sure who will be starting against the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks. For the first time in a long time, depth is a good problem to have if you’re the New York Islanders. But if you’re the Islanders, you make the toughest choice and send Brock Nelson down to Bridgeport. Continue reading

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Islanders Must Learn From Their Mistakes

I know it’s early to the season, but I’m seeing a pattern that I saw last year, noticed it in one preseason game and in the first two games of this year. The Islanders cannot hold a lead. In the past, they’ve been so accustomed to being the underdog: coming back and winning hockey games that gave most fans heart attack each and every game. Fans would brush off the first goal by the opponent because they knew that it would wake up their team and the Islanders came back to get a victory.  That cannot happen anymore. Continue reading

Isles Stumble To The Jackets




A couple of positives is that Nabokov has been solid and the defense continue to get on the score sheet. This time it was Visnovsky getting in on the offense. Tavares now has two points in two games, so I wouldn't worry folks, he'll be scoring soon enough. Okposo has been close as well. When the top players do start scoring, the flood gates will be open.

The one thing that bothers me is that I'm still not seeing a killer instinct to finish off a team when the Islanders have a lead. To me, that's learning on how to win hockey games. Columbus should not be that close to the Islanders crease with half a period to go in the game. The Islanders must focus on clearing the crease and getting the puck out of the zone over the next few days before Phoenix arrives on Tuesday. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Isles Beat The Devils 4-3



Granted, this was not a pretty game but two points is two points and when you're not playing the Devils until around Christmas, this was a big win for the Isles.

Michael Grabner came out flying and he's showing to the rest of the NHL that John Tavares is not the only goal scorer on this team. From NHL.com

"[Our top line is] getting a lot of attention, and Johnnie is one of the best players in the game," Grabner said. "If they don't have an offensive night like they're supposed to, other guys have to step up. It's not always easy to score every game. I'm not going to score two goals every game. Sometimes your stuff doesn't work, so other guys have to step up. Fortunately our line could do that and I'm confident [the first line will] have a good game [Saturday]."
 Matt Donovan got his first point as an Islander. The defense needs to continue to be a factor on the offensive side and this was a good start.

In net, Nabokov looked like he was shaking some mental rust the first period, but by the end of the game, he was near perfect and shut down the Devils during the shootout.

The Islanders need to stop with dumb penalties, like the one Brock Nelson hooking penalty that eventually led to the Devils tying the game up at 3.

Next up, tonight against the Blue Jackets who are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames last night.  Same lineup for the Isles.

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