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Written by Christian A. | 16 November 2011



The Story line for the Islanders season continues to be that even when they play well, they cannot pull out a win. That was the case last night when the islanders lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers.

The deathblow to the Islanders came at 15:05 when Josh Bailey attempted to clear the puck out of his own zone. The attempt was cut off by Brandon Dubinsky and got the puck over to Brad Richards, who scored from the left face off circle.

“At that time of the game… when you get the puck you want to make the right play with the puck,” head coach Jack Capuano said following the game. “It was an unfortunate bounce for us and it was in the back of our net.”

The loss cannot sole be put on the shoulders of Josh Bailey, although the play was a bad giveaway in Islanders zone, but also Islanders inability to convert on the power play.

Matt Moulson scored the tying goal on the Islanders fifth power play chance, but it was the four other chances that should be looked at. The first and fourth power plays were the weakest for the Islanders, who could not generate any buzz on either chance. The second and fifth were the Islanders strongest, with Moulson scoring on the fifth power play chance. Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist robbed the Islanders during the second power play chance several times.

“I don’t know what to say,” Frans Nielsen said after the game. “It’s tough right now. I feel like we battled hard, competed hard for 60 minutes and still came up short, so it’s definitely not fun right now.”

The Islanders did play hard, they outshot the Rangers 33-30, they created chances on the 5 on 5 and came up with a huge kill late in the second period when the Rangers had a 5 on 3 power play chance. "We sacrificed ourselves on that 5-on-3," Capuano said of the Islanders penalty kill.

“We played some decent hockey,” Capuano later added. “But tonight I thought we played one of our better games of the year and obviously we came up short. if anybody that watched us play tonight I would think they thought the guys worked extremely hard. We right in the game, we did a lot of good things, but we’re not a team that scores a lot of goals right now.”

Nielsen sees the “positives from tonight’s game, but realizes the Islanders need to turn it around immediately.

“We gotta stop this bleeding now,” Nielsen said. “We can’t wait cause then it’s gunna look like last year. We don’t want to be out of it by Christmas, so we gotta turn it around right now.”

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Written by Christian A. | 11 November 2011



Due to prior comments I did not catch the game, so a post game analysis of last night’s game would be hard to do. Below are links to post game recaps from different blogs and newspapers:

AVALANCHE 4, ISLANDERS 3 OT - Islanders Point Blank

Isles blow 3-0 lead, lose to Avs in OT - Newsday

The recap from Denver: Isles lose, 4-3 (OT) - Isles Files (Newsday blog)

Recap - Avalanche 4, Islanders 3 (OT) - Lighthouse Hockey

Mile High Meltdown- Avalanche Roll Past Islanders In Overtime - The Checking Line

Avalanche's Quincey comes through, scores game-winner against Islanders in OT - Denver Post

Colorado Avalanche "Must Win" against the New York Islanders Was Won - Mile High Hockey



 

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Written by Christian A. | 05 November 2011



The Islanders broke their six game winless streak tonight with a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. The Islanders get the much needed win just as they prepare for a three game road trip this up coming week.

The Islanders would fall behind in the first period when Joel Ward scored 5:24 into the game. The score would remain that way until 18:41 when Alexander Ovechkin blasted a one timer from the point to make it 2-0 Capitals.

The Islanders would cut the lead in half when Frans Nielsen was able to score a back hander through the legs of Thomas Vokoun to make it a 2-1 game. After consistently strong play through the second period for the Islanders, Brian Rolston was able to tie the game at two with a slap shot that beat Vokoun.

The Islanders strong play continued into the third period and 6:28 into the period Matt Martin scored on a rebound to give the Islanders their first lead of the night. But the Capitals responded three minutes later after Steve Staios took an interference penalty at 8:44. Less than a minute later Brooks Laich scored the power play goal tie the game back up.

The Islanders would maintain composer and continue to pressure the Caps. It eventually paid off at 18: 14 Pa Parenteau was able to push the puck into the net. Milan Jurcina shot the puck from the point and it made it’s way through the pads of Vokoun. Parenteau was there to finish the play.

John Tavares scored the empty netter to secure the win for the Islanders.

(More game breakdown after the jump)  
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Written by Christian A. | 04 November 2011



Uniondale, NY--
A frustrated Jack Capuano will be making changes to the Islanders lineup come Saturday night when the Islanders host the 8-2 Washington Capitals.

The Islanders created opportunities during last night’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets, but continued to have trouble producing goals. The Islanders are currently 30th in the NHL in goals for with just 18 goals in ten games. In comparison, the 29th ranked team, the Anaheim Duck, have 26 goals through 13 games.

“You have to score goals,” Capuano said during his post game press conference. I’m not going to keep harping on; they have to find a way to get it done. So, probably change some lines, do some different things going into the Washington game.”

Through the first ten games of the season the offensive production has come through the team’s top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and PA Parenteau with some scoring coming from other players like Mark Streit, Michael Grabner, Andrew MacDonald or Frans Nielsen. Add Matt Martin to that group and you have all the Islanders that have scored a goal this season outside of the top line.

“We have some guys in there that have obviously put some numbers up in the past,” Capuano later said. “It’s a game of inches and maybe if you work just a little bit harder in certain areas you’ll get that goal, but that’s what we’re looking for and as a coaching staff those are the guys you have to play I think we’ve given guys an opportunity now to see what they can do, but now the bottom line is minutes don’t mean anything to me anymore. We have to win games”

The Islanders play the Capitals next, then go on three game road trip starting in Boston followed by games against the Avalanche and Canucks. So Capuano is eager to find a solution to the Islanders scoring woes sooner than later.

“Come Saturday night if we have to play three lines we’ll play three lines,” Capuano said in a frustrated tone. “If I have to play five defensemen I’ll play five defensemen. We have to win a game. Guys have gotten a chance, they’ve gotten minutes that they want, I’m proud of the effort they’ve given every night, but obviously something’s not working here. We have to look at it and change it up a little bit. We’ve given guys an opportunity to play with one another that have been successful in the past, but again it’s not working.”

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Written by Christian A. | 04 November 2011



Uniondale, NY --
The Islanders lost their sixth straight game last night losing to the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 at Nassau Coliseum. Evander Kane, Johnny Oduya, and Alexander Burmistrov led the charge for the Jets offensively, while Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 34 Islander shots he faced in net.

“(Pavelec) was good,” Commented Josh Bailey after the game.  “He’s a good goalie, we knew this coming in, and we knew we needed to put a lot of pucks towards him. I thought we did that; it’s just a matter of putting pucks in the back of the net.”

Putting pucks in the net was the Islanders downfall last night. They had 34 shots on net and created opportunities throughout the game, especially in the second period where the Islanders were clearly the dominant team. Pavelec, allowed the Islanders two or three chances on a single rush at times by leaving “juicy” rebounds in front of the net. Unfortunately for the Islanders they would over skate them or wouldn’t be able to finish them.

“It’s one of those games where through screens the puck just seemed to find the goalie,” Islanders starter Rick Dipietro said following the 3-0 loss. “We had some good opportunities. Again you score one and you score two or three and it’s a different game. The forwards worked hard, I thought the D played a great game. We had a lot of cuts to the net, just didn’t capitalize.”

For his part, Dipietro held his own tonight looking strong stopping 23 of 25 shots he faced. The two goals he let in were not his own fault, although the fans will most likely blame him anyway, but the result of defensive breakdowns in front of the net.

Kane’s was able to score in the first period because he worked his way through Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald, who both seemed to back off Kane as he made his way to the net. Then Oduya scored in the third period as Travis Hamonic fell to the ice.

“Just came in and I don’t know if he faked, a couple shots got blocked and I was kind of like up down up down, Dipietro said about the Kane goal. “And the puck, some how, landed on his stick there. The third whack at it and that was it.”

The loss was a tough one for the Islanders, but they are trying to look at the positives and what they can build off of for Saturday nights game against the Capitals.

“You can’t really focus on that though,” Bailey said in response when asked if the team was snake bitten. “You don’t want to let it snow ball… you move on and focus on positives from the game before and I think there are a lot of positives to focus on tonight.”

Islanders’ defenseman Steve Staios expanded on Bailey’s thoug.

“We did a good job in the offensive zone,” Staios said. “We got pucks in deep, we played in our system, and we didn’t give up much defensively.”

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Written by Kenny Cari | 01 November 2011


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Written by Christian A. | 01 November 2011

Update 11:38: Islanders beat writer Aruther Staple says the team will not put a claim on Sean Avery

Talks have been swirling that the Islanders could claim Sean Avery off re-entry waivers. The talk started after NY Post hockey writer Larry Brooks published an article that suggested the Islanders could make a claim to the New York Ranger pest.

The Brooks article suggests that Isles GM Garth Snow was being “coy concerning claiming the winger on waivers.”

Avery has had run ins with several players on the Islanders, as well as a documented run in with Snow following the Islander/Rangers preseason Brawl game on September 24, 2007.

(Per Islanders Point Blank)
Sean Avery walks by and sees Snow and Shanahan talking. Although Avery did not play in the game, he cannot resist getting involved. “Way to go, Snow,” Avery yells. “Yeah, you’re bleepin’ awesome. Big bleepin’ win for you guys, you ———.”

Shanahan says to his own teammate, “You’re kidding, right”? and tells Avery to continue walking. Avery ignores Shanahan, draws nearer and says something unprintable again to the general manager.

Snow – a bit of a hot-head in his goalie days – is in a tough spot. As much as he may want to, as a GM he can’t throw rights with Avery in his business suit 30 minutes after a game in an arena hallway. No matter who’s the instigator, Snow would be suspended for a long time. But he decides he can’t just stand there as Avery gets closer and closer to his face.

So Snow suggests that Avery listen to Shanahan and continue walking…but can’t hold back a parting shot: “That’s what you’re best at, Sean. Talking (crap) while you run away and let everyone else fight your battles.”

Avery, now looking like an eighth-grader at the flagpole who knows the other guy can’t fight, tells Snow, “I’m standing right here, you ————-. Let’s go.”

Shanahan, exasperated because he thought his baby-sitting duties were over for the night, orders Avery to leave the Coliseum immediately. Avery screams a few more inane insults, turns around and leaves.

This is the kind of stuff Avery has become known for and distained for. Claiming him and having him in a locker room that is still young would be more detrimental than helpful.  No matter what he can do offensively he will only hurt the team in the long run.

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