Uniondale, NY – It’s safe to say that Kyle Okposo may be most thankful for breaking his scoring drought last night against the Philadelphia Flyers this Thanksgiving. Okposo scored two goals and had an assist in the 4-3 loss at the Nassau Coliseum.
Up till last night Okposo had not scored a goal since March 22 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I felt good tonight and that’s the way I know how to play,” Okposo said following the game. “I don’t know what it was from the beginning of the year, but I wasn’t doing it. Something clicked mentally and I’m just happy to be back.”
In the first period Kyle Okposo scored from one knee off a pass from Michael Grabner from behind the net 37 seconds into the game. Then later in the period was on the finishing end of a great tic tac toe play, with Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner getting the assists.
It wasn’t just on the offensive side that Okposo played well. In the second period the Flyers seemed to have a break away opportunity, after the Islanders defense fell behind the play. Kyle Okposo rushed back to help on defense, broke up the play and prevented a scoring chance for Philadelphia.
“That’s the way [Okposo] plays,” Josh Bailey said of his teammates performance. “When he plays like that consistently he’s one of our best players every night and it was really good to see. He worked so hard and more of that’s coming.”
“Glad to see him contribute like that,” added PA Parenteau. “He played an unbelievable game tonight for our team and that’s what we need out of him.”
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano called Okposo one of the team’s beast players on the ice and it would be hard to argue with that. He finished the game with three points (2 goals and 1 assist) and finished the game a plus 1.
“It was big for my confidence and it was definitely nice to get that one,” Okposo later said about his play.
Going forward Okposo will try and play same way he did against the Flyers every game. “Just work as hard as I can,” Okposo said about future games. “Goals are just a byproduct of that.”no comments
Uniondale, NY -- During last night’s game PA Parenteau was called for a hit to the head on Maxime Talbot late in the first period.
After the game Parenteau said that it was a clean hit and not a hit to the head,
“No, absolutely not,” Parenteau responded when asked if he hit Talbot in the head. “I was low, hit shoulder to shoulder, I finished my arm high, maybe that’s why the ref thought it was the head, but it was shoulder to shoulder.”
Replay would seem to substantiate Parenteau’s statement; however according to Inside Hockey an off ice official said there was another angle that they saw that showed him getting his elbow up.
Talbot has history with the Islanders from last season when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Parenteau says that the bad blood has worn off and the team has turned the page.
“I didn’t try to hit him to hurt him,” Parenteau said. “I just tried to finish my check and get the team going.”
Parenteau will not face any supplementary discipline.no comments
Uniondale, NY -- The Islanders may be thankful for a point out of last night’s game, but some bad bounces are what prevented them from coming away with two points. The Islanders 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was one that stung for everyone involved because it was the best game they’ve played since last Thursday’s victory over the Canadiens.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped six of the nine shots he faced before he was pulled in the second period. His relief, Sergei Bobrovsky, kept the Islanders off the board for the rest of the game stopping all 23 shots he faced.
The game started off with Andrej Meszaros scoring just 18 seconds in for the Flyers to give them the 1-0 lead. But the Islanders Kyle Okposo would respond 19 seconds later scoring on a pass from behind the net from Michael Grabner. Okposo would get his second goal of the game on a tic tac toe play by Grabner and Bailey, giving the Islanders their first lead since last Thursday.
“[Grabner] threaded the needle,” Bailey started off saying about the goal. “There wasn’t much room there and he made a great pass. In that situation everyone commits like I’m gunna shoot. [Okposo] did a good job slamming back door, so it was a nice tic-tac-toe play.”
The Islanders would grab one more goal in the period before all was said and done. Grabner fired a shot from the right hand faceoff circle that beat Bryzgalov and made it a 3-1 Islanders lead. Kyle Okposo received an assist on the play.
The Flyers pick up their play in the second and third periods. They replaced Bryzgalov with Bobrovsky to start the second period as well.
The Flyers capitalized on a Steve Staios tripping penalty early in the second period. Scott Hartnell was on the lucky end of an odd carem that went right to his stick and he roofed over Dipietro to cut the lead to one.
The Flyers would tie the game at the 14:18 mark off another odd carem. Danny Briere dumped the puck into the Islanders zone, it hit off the boards and landed right in front of Dipietro, who had the puck bounce off his glove as he tried to cover it up, and Briere came in front and put the puck into the net to tie the game.
“It just hit the stanchion funny,” Dipietro commented after the game. “Just came right out to Briere on his tape and he didn’t make a mistake with it.”
The Flyer would get the game winner in OT off a Briere wrist shot that beat Dipietro.
The Islanders had the opportunity to win when Scott Hartnell took a hooking call 21 seconds into overtime, but the Islanders could not capitalize on the opportunity.
“I don’t think we challenged [Bobrovsky] enough,” John Tavares said about the OT power play chance. “I don’t think we were as efficient as we’d like to be. We gotta find a way and we definitely need to do better than that.”
Overall many of the guys in the locker room tried to stay positive about the game.
“I think we played a solid game overall,” PA Parenteau said about the game. “We were skating, we were hitting, and we were committed to win the hockey game. I mean a bad bounce on the tying goal, in overtime… we should have capitalized on the four on three and that’s on us, but besides that I think it was a solid effort overall.”
“The effort was there tonight and there weren’t many lapses,” added Okposo, who put up three points in the loss. “We got hemmed in our own zone a few times, we hemmed them in a few times, that’s hockey, that’s how the game is suppose to be played and if we play like that every night we’re going to put ourselves in to win hockey games. Now we just gotta work on closing it out.”
The Islanders will take today to give thanks and get a short break from hockey, but they’ll go right back to work on Friday when they host the Devils.
Uniondale, NY -- Micheal Haley will make his season debut tonight when the Islanders host the Flyers at the Coliseum.
The team announced the call up of Haley last night after they placed Mark Eaton injured reserve. The move is to add some much need grit and toughness the Isles have been lacking this season. Haley is known to play with his heart on his sleeve and became a fan favorite during the infamous brawl game against the Penguins last season.
The Islanders are hoping Haley can help reignite the spark that turned them into one of the best teams in the NHL late in the season and Haley hopes he can help too, but knows he alone isn’t the quick fix.
“I want to change something,” Haley told reporters this morning at Nassau Coliseum. “We just wanna win. I mean that’s our number one goal. Obviously I’m not going to be the quick fix or anything… I think we just gotta bring some energy and I think we got it in here.”
Haley appeared in 27 games last season for the Islanders and score two goals, one of which he scored during the game against the Pittsburg Penguins on February 11. The appearances helped Haley in knowing what to expect and helped him move past the nerves that come with playing in the NHL.
“I know what I got to do here, I know I can do it,” Haley Said. “It’s not so much of the nerves anymore its more you wanna prove what you can do an make sure you bring your best game.”
Looking back to his game against the Penguins, Haley fondly remembered the impressive goal scored that night.
“To score my first NHL goal was what I take out of that game the most,” he said when asked about the February 11 game against Pittsburgh. “Well that and the chant of the name was pretty cool.”no comments
Uniondale, NY -- The Islanders look to turn the tide tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Coliseum. The Flyers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and 11-6-3 on the season.
The Islanders were swept in the season by the Flyers last year and are 24-2 in their last 26 games against the Islanders. Their last loss to the Isles came on April 1, 2010.
The Flyers are working off back-to-back loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
The Isles will catch a small break tonight with Flyers captain Chris Pronger out of the lineup. This will be the second game he’s missed due to a virus. But Jaromir Jagr will return tonight from a groin injury.
The Islanders will start Rick Dipietro in net. He is 2-2-2 in six games this season with a 3.34 goals against average and .886 save percentage. The Flyers will counter that by sending Ilya Bryzgalov to start in goal. The Flyers goaltender is 8-5-2 in 15 games with a 2.75 goals against average and .902 save percentage.
Brian Rolston, Marty Reasonor and Nino Niederreiter will be tonight’s scratches for the Islanders. Kyle Okposo remains in the lineup along with recent call up David Ullstrom.
Micheal Haley will make his season debut tonight, most likely in a fourth line role. “I just want to play my best,” he told reporters this morning. “Prove I can play here and obviously help the boys get a win.”
The Islanders will also debut their new third jerseys tonight as well.
Quote of the Morning:
(Mark Streit on Islanders identity)
“We certainly haven’t seen it enough. I thought at the beginning of the season you could see our identity playing simple, moving pucks, using our speed and forecheck hard. You know what we’re not the most skilled group, but we have to make sure we’re the hardest working team on the ice.”
Per New York Islanders:The New York Islanders announced today that forward Micheal Haley has been recalled from loan from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Haley’s first call-up of the season comes after the Islanders placed defenseman Mark Eaton on injured reserve with a left knee MCL sprain.
Haley, 25, has one goal and two assists in 16 games this season with the Sound Tigers. He ranks second on the team with 32 penalty minutes.
A native of Oshawa, ON, Haley played 27 games for the Islanders last season, scoring two goals and an assist for three points. He also accumulated 85 penalty minutes.
Haley received his first NHL call-up during the 2009-10 season, when he played in two games and had nine penalty minutes. Over the last four seasons, Haley has played in 212 AHL games with the Sound Tigers, scoring 51 points (26 goals and 25 assists) and totaling 546 penalty minutes no comments
Last night’s 5-0 loss to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburg Penguins was a tough game to watch. The Islanders have had several of those types of games this season, to the dismay of the fans of course. And as the Islanders slip to the bottom of the east, and the NHL, said fans are looking for blood with some calling for Capuano to be fired.
But how fair is to blame Jack Capuano for this mess? Following the 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins, Capuano tried to inject some fire into his team with a passionate post game presser.
“When you play this game, you need to play with fire, you need to play with passion, you need to play with determination, you need to play with desperation,” Capuano said following the loss to Bruins. “You need to have ice bags after a game, maybe a little blood dripping right now. When you lace your skates us, the guy across from you and the guy on the left and the right of you, they need to know that you’ve got their back and are going to play for one another and that just didn’t happen tonight and I don’t have the answers why.”
Chris Botta of the New York Times also reported that Capuano held a “lengthy team meeting in the Islanders’ locker room at Nassau Coliseum” following the Bruins debacle.
Capuano has done everything from staying positive, which he did possible too long, to vocalizing his agitation to the media and players. He’s sat Okposo, Comeau, Dipietro to try and send a message to the players and the team, yet they still come up short night in and night out.
At this point it’s on management to make moves, whether that means bringing in help from Bridgeport or bring in help from outside the organization, and the players finding their own motivation to turn things around.
It’s hard to blame the man who has done everything, but lace up skates and jump on the ice himself, to turn around this team.no comments