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Islanders Fan guid to the Atlantic Division | September

If you've ever Checked out Bloguin's hockey blog section you might have noticed the same thing i did. Many of the great hockey blogs on this network cover Atlantic Division teams and i am utilizing this unique situation. In the 82 game regular season the Islanders face Atlantic Division teams 23 times this season, 12 of which will be played at the Coliseum. Thanks to the help of the geat bloggers at Pensblog, Running with the Devils, Flyers Goal Scored By..., and The Manic Ranger, we will be able to give you a preview of what to expect when the Islanders face each of these teams during the season. Each blogger does outstanding work and their sites are work checking out all year long to keep up on all the teams in the Atlantic Division 

Pittsburgh Penguins:
As much as we should hate the Islanders, out of all the teams in the Atlantic, they are the team we want to see return to dominance.   Just the thought of some big-time playoff series on Long Island gets us going. 

As far as the Pens go, their nucleus of star players is growing together exactly how everyone envisioned.  Malkin and Crosby, in their early 20s, have been compared head-to-head the last two post-seasons with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, both of which are in their late 20s, early 30s.  Malkin and Crosby will be scary-good this season, and we don't even want to know what they're gonna be like in two, three years.  The Isles are trying to get their legs under them, and it's actually good for them to be in the same division as the defending champs.  The Isles will be treating the six games with the Pens this season as their Stanley Cup Finals.
We're not even saying this to be nice, but the Pens and Isles will split the season series 3-3 this season.   The Islanders always steal some joke game away from us, and even the mystique of the Nassau alone will leave the Penguins powerless in another game.
-Courtesy of the Pensblog


Philidelphia Flyers:
In short, what Islanders fans should expect from Islanders-Flyers match ups this season is one of two things: 1) to feel that they could have spent the money they just paid to see that ass-whomping on LIRR tickets or 2) that they just missed out on an opportunity to catch up on Nip Tuck. I don't mean to come off as a crass Philadelphia blog with no tact, especially on a fellow Networker's site, but the Flyers are a team that is done with their ups and downs, their months of inconsistency, and their pre-Stanley Cup Parade exits from the playoffs.

There was even some talk that the Flyers would be entered into the Olympics as their own country this year but the IIHF decided against it when it was determined that they'd have to make a platinum medal in honor of an undefeated team that didn't even give up a goal in the whole tournament and also managed to win the Gold in that sport where you cross country ski and shoot targets.

Kyle Okposo, specifically, should watch out for Ole-Kristian Tollefson. The rest of the team will want to be on the look out for Daniel Carcillo, Arron Asham, Mike Richards, Ian Laperriere, Chris Pronger, and maybe even Riley Cote - because you never know when he's going to get his one win of the year.

Over the past two years we've beaten you 13 out of 14 times. We're a lot better than we've been and you're a little better than you've been, depending on whether or not John Tavares goes all Stampkos. So while most Flyers fans of late actually dislike the Islanders less than any other team in the Atlantic, and possibly in the Eastern Conference, I can't see anything except that we will go 6-0-0 against you this season. And if I'm you reading this I'm totally thinking "who does this asshole think he is?" And I'm not generally like this, but there's no need to sugar coat it. 6 wins, and if they need to be like the March 28th game they can be but Daniel Carcillo is literally going to bite Marty Biron in the throat for being an idiot if things get hairy.
-Courtesy of Ryan, Flyers Goal Scored By...

New Jersey Devils:
When the Islanders and Devils met last season, it looked as if the Devils might sweep the regular season series but the Islanders convincingly won the final two meetings making the series a 4-2 edge for the Devils. So what's going to happen this season? In the 4 wins racked up by the Devils last season, Zack Parise had 10 points and the bad news for Islanders fan, Parise seems to turn it up an extra notch in all divisional games. When it came to fighting between the two teams, there was very little, with only 3 fighting majors in the series (two of them being Salvador and Jackman) and I wouldn't expect that to change very much. Of course protecting John Tavares could change that statistic between the two teams.

We in NJ look to be getting ready to welcome Yann Denis to the bench as Marty's backup this season and being that Marty went 1-1 against the Isles last season and 1-7 the season before, maybe Denis should do the work against his former team this season.

So my prediction isn't going to be much different that the 2008/2009 results with the Devils taking 4 of the 6 meetings. While Parise will continue to put up numbers on the Islanders defense, I would expect that Brian Rolston will be making more noise against them this season. With Lemaire back in town, all Devils fans are expecting Rolston to have a much bigger impact all season long.
Courtesy of Darren, Running with the Devils
New York Rangers: 
expect the Rangers to be a much more difficult team to play against than they were last season. Their newly adopted run and gun style is going to keep opposing teams defenseman on their heels. They are much stronger up front with the additions of Gaborik, Higgins, Prospal, and Kotalik along with the maturations of Dubinsky and Callahan. However the Rangers are going to be weak on defense and Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to erase plenty of mistakes. It's sad that I'm going to worry about another man's groin, but if Marian Gaborik goes down with an injury for any prolonged period of time, the Rangers might be dead in the water.  

When it comes to the Isles, well aside from the fact that I hate 'em and nothing would make me happier but to see John Tavares be Alexandre Daigle 2.0, I think they're a much improved team. Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, and Tavares is a solid core, I just hope Ricky Dipietro actually plays so I can admire that shiny hair piece of his. On a serious note, the Rangers play like garbage when they play the Islanders (or is it the Islanders play really well against the Rangers?) so I expect the season series to be relatively even with a slight game or two edge to the Rangers.
This is a very monumental season for the Islanders and from the looks of it some of the Atlantic Division seems to see the Islanders as an up and coming team that will give them a run for their money this season. Only time will tell and right now were are so close to regular season hockey it's going to drive some crazy.