July 4, 2012

Belated thoughts on Isles Day 1 of UFA

Once day one of Free Agency came and went, I had to hurry up and finish packing to head out to the beautiful state of Arizona. So, I never had the chance to give my thoughts on the Islanders day one signings aside from the thoughts on Twitter.

The Islanders signed three new players on July 1: Brad Boyes, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton.

Let's start going through the signings in chronological order.

June 30, 2012

UFA: Potential Isles Targets?

Sunday the calendar changes to July 1st, a day which holds special meaning for NHL fans across North America. By the end of the day some fans will have shiny new toys they can talk about and analyze to their hearts content until training camps (hopefully) open up in September.

For Isles fans in particular, unfortunately the day never brings much excitement. Even Sean and myself have found ourselves getting our hopes up at times in past years only to be disappointed. Regardless of that, every team has holes and they try and fill them via free agency. The Islanders already filled one hole in their trade for Lubomir Visnovsky at the draft. But what about some of the other holes?

June 24, 2012

Day Two of Draft Provides Even More Defense

Clearly, Garth Snow and the New York Islanders were uncomfortable with the depth that they had on defense. So much so, they didn't even consider drafting a forward or a goalie.

The Islanders took defensemen with all 6 of their picks on Saturday at day two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. That's right - every single pick the team made this weekend was a defenseman.

June 23, 2012

Islanders Bolster D on Day 1: Deal for Visnovsky, Draft Reinhart

When the final seconds ticked off the clock on the Isles final game of the season, a brutal loss to the league worst Columbus Blue Jackets, a whole new set of questions faced the team heading into the offseason.

The Islander defense was a huge weak spot and they were set to lose three bodies from a blueline that finished the year 26th in goals against. Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina will no doubt be looking for new jobs this summer, while Steve Staios already has his new job as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Islanders have made it no secret that they want to add defensemen, and that they would likely have to come via trade due to the team's general lack of success on the free agent market. On Friday during day one of the NHL Entry Draft, Garth Snow got his summer off to a good start.

March 30, 2012

Bailey's Breakout Gives Isles Sweep of Pens

With the season rapidly winding down, the Islanders have been getting scoring out of some unlikely candidates of late. One of these individuals is Josh Bailey, who continued his hot play with a five point night on Thursday, seemingly telling the world not to count him out just yet.

March 28, 2012

Isles Win on Secondary Scoring, Strong Goaltending

All season long one of the Islanders' biggest issues had been getting offensive support from players not named John Tavares, Matt Moulson or P.A. Parenteau. Over the last couple of weeks that's slowly gotten better. On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, it was the best we had seen it in quite some time.

March 25, 2012

Isles Split Series in Florida

The Islanders took their usual road trip to play both Florida area teams this weekend, one which generally has given them headaches over the past few seasons. The Isles were able to walk away with a split of the weekend back-to-back series.

March 22, 2012

Evgeni Nabokov Signs One Year Extension

Evgeni Nabokov doesn't want to hear about last year anymore. He's made that much clear and reiterated that point again.

March 11, 2012

Devils Stun Islanders

Sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes for a game to go completely South, and a much needed two points can turn into walking away empty handed.

Or, it may only just take 14 seconds.

March 5, 2012

Anders Nilsson gets First NHL Win, Shutout

Seeing as how Evgeni Nabokov has had some recent issues with playing in the second game of back-to-backs, the Islanders did the prudent thing and decided to go with their back-up goalie for Sunday's meeting against the New Jersey Devils.

March 4, 2012

Isles Stop Skid in Boston; NYI FYI Show Sunday

The Islanders hadn't fared well against the Bruins this season, and haven't done particularly well on the road as of late. Set to return home for a Sunday matinee against the New Jersey Devils, the Islanders were looking for any positives they could take back to Long Island with them. They were able to get a few.

March 3, 2012

Isles Prepare for Tough Boston Matchup

When the Islanders fell to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, one of the key reasons why they did was due to the size of the Flyers. The Islanders got off to a quick start, but once the Flyers began using their big bodies things went South.

February 25, 2012

Isles Win Over Rangers; Rolston Waived; NYI FYI on Sunday

The Islanders latest test came from one of the NHL's top teams and their division rivals, the New York Rangers. On the surface, this game had the makings of a very tough match-up.

But the Islanders got some good news a day before the game when it was announced that both Travis Hamonic and Evgeni Nabokov would be returning to the lineup. Both were integral parts in helping the Islanders to a 4-3 shootout win over their rivals.

February 22, 2012

Isles Fall Short in Buffalo; Nabokov, Hamonic Return to Practice; Wallace Waived

The Buffalo Sabres have been playing some good hockey of late, and unfortunately it was the Islanders turn to go up against them.

While the Islanders played a much better game, and brought up the intensity a bit, they still were on the losing end in a tough 2-1 decision.

February 21, 2012

After Rough Loss to Sens, Isles Try to Regroup in Buffalo

"There was zero intensity in our game. We can't start a game like that, down two goals right away. We didn't find a way to respond and get back into the game."

Those comments from captain Mark Streit really say all that needs to be said. The Islanders obviously didn't play like they wanted to. They don't need to be reminded of that.

February 15, 2012

Isles Shutdown Jets

The Islanders couldn't quite get the job done Sunday afternoon, leaving everyone a bit subdued with the team embarking on a very difficult two game road trip in Winnipeg and St. Louis.

The Jets had a solid home record, and were eight games over .500 and one over on the season overall.

February 12, 2012

Isles Defeat Kings in OT

In what has become a string of must win games, the Islanders got back on the right track after beating the Kings 2-1 in overtime on Saturday afternoon.

It was a game that surely made Kenny Jonsson proud.

February 9, 2012

Four More Years for Frans

Frans Nielsen had one heck of a Tuesday.

With Evgeni Nabokov stopping everything in sight, Nielsen would do what he does best - score a goal in the shootout to help the Islanders to their 1-0 win. Naturally, he used his patented forehand/backhand deke, which has made him the most successful shootout scorer since its implementation in 2005 (20 for 34).

But this was how he celebrated. Just before game time, it was reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie that Nielsen had agreed to a new four year, $11 million contract to remain with the Islanders.

February 8, 2012

No-no for Nabby

The Islanders knew they were missing their best defenseman in Travis Hamonic as they got ready to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. A team that already towered over them seemed to get even bigger when Hamonic was replaced by Aaron Ness.

Prior to the game, Andrew MacDonald spoke about needing to "step up" in the absence of Hamonic as far as defense and hitting was concerned. Unfortunately, the Islanders didn't do a great job of that. But that was fine, because their last line of defense stepped up big time.

February 4, 2012

Eaton Scores Winner for Isles in Ottawa

The Islanders were successfully able to walk away with two points from a team that normally gives them headaches. After going to overtime, they got the winning goal from an unlikely source, however.

Mark Eaton put the puck past Craig Anderson, who was completely fooled by Eaton's spin-o-rama backhand shot (pass?) after a really nice pass by Milan Jurcina.

January 31, 2012

Tavares Picks Up Where He Left Off

I didn't get a chance to write over the weekend as it was happening, but John Tavares did a fantastic job of representing the Islanders in Ottawa during the All-Star break. He had some neat moves in the shootouts on Saturday during the Skills Competition, and was one of the final shooters in the last breakaway portion of the event.

January 25, 2012

Leafs Get Help to Defeat Isles in OT

As if things weren't already tough heading into Tuesday night's game for the New York Islanders, their opponents would end up getting help - and a lot of it.

To say that the officiating was a disgrace is putting it kindly. For those of you who have frequented this space over the years, you know it's not something we usually harp on, even in other games where it's been bad. I know for myself, I'm a staunch believer that these things even out, and that missed penalties are one of the adversities that good teams overcome.

January 24, 2012

Opportunity Missed

Coming off of the 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, the Islanders had a chance to do something special. Going on the road for the first part of a home-and-home series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Isles could have made up a ton of ground on the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

So much for that momentum.

January 22, 2012

Tavares, Nabokov Star as Isles Win Third Straight

John Tavares and Evgeni Nabokov are both playing like men on missions right now, and they are single-handedly trying to bring the Islanders back into playoff contention.

So far, so good. The Islanders have picked up a number of points over the past two weeks behind strong play from both, and currently sit eight points out of the picture with 36 games remaining.

January 20, 2012

Finally! A Win in Philadelphia

On Thursday night, the Islanders went into a building that hasn't been kind to them. But a funny thing happened, one that the Flyers have not been used to the last few years. That's right - the Islanders won a game in Philadelphia.

It was their first win at the Wachovia Center since April of 2007. Many Isles fans will remember that as the second to last game of the 2006-07 season, and the third of four straight wins to close out the season and clinch the final playoff spot.

January 18, 2012

Islanders not Intimidated on Road by Captials

Have you ever seen two Jekyll and Hyde performances in a row as much as we've seen with the New York Islanders? On Tuesday night, the Islanders tweaked some areas and came out in a completely different manner than they did in the game on Monday afternoon.

January 16, 2012

Isles Can't Solve Pekka Rinne

When one lists the best goalies in the NHL, Pekka Rinne is often overlooked through the first run through. However, Islanders fans got a first hand look at why this guy is one of the top three goalies in the NHL right now.

January 11, 2012

Isles Dominate Red Wings

They may have taken a couple of steps back with their two road efforts in Anaheim and Phoenix, but the Islanders were able to take one step forward on Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.

January 7, 2012

Isles Miss Out on Opportunity

Going into Anaheim with a good amount of momentum, the Islanders were trying to do something they haven't in almost a year - go on a four game winning streak. For a while, the Islanders played a solid game and even were able to grab a lead in the third period.

January 3, 2012

Isles Bend, Break but Escape with Win Over Canes

It's safe to say that the Islanders were hoping the start of 2012 would have gone much better than it did. But in a game that Scott Allen said had a few "peaks and valleys," the Islanders ended up getting the end result they wanted all along, even if it looked unlikely for a decent part of the game.

The Islanders were resilient, despite giving up a ton of shots, and were able to come back and win in a shootout.

January 1, 2012

Isles Finish 2011 on High Note

As we watched 2011 come to a close, we saw more of what had been good for the New York Islanders during the calendar year - strong play against opponents from the Western Conference.

On Saturday afternoon, the Islanders had one of their better games in the past couple of weeks. They provided offensive output for Evgeni Nabokov, and didn't let some weak defensive plays at the beginning of the game get to them.