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Written by Christian A. | 14 October 2011

Uniondale NY- The Islanders played their best game of the young season against the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning 5-1 at Nassau Coliseum.  John Tavares scored two goals, albeit one was actually put in the net by Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman. The Islanders played a full 60 minutes defeating one of the best teams in the NHL.

By now you’ve read all the game stories so here are some post game quotes and video.

Mike Mottau

I think we limited the time spent in our zone we’ll be fine.

It’s great whenever you know the goalies going to make the first stop, even if there is a rebound there you can clear it. That first stop is key. Hes seeing the puck well and also for a defensemen going puck for the puck the goalie touches he’s good at handling the puck and making the right decisions according to their fore check.

I mean we played bits and pieces of the first two, but it was good right from the start. We managed the puck well. We got a lot of opportunities through good decision making, so there’s a lot to build on from here.

Well it was a good test. They do have a good lineup. They had a lot of success last year in the playoffs, but it’s a new year and we’re really optimistic and confident in this room. Early on in the season any team you beat is a good two points, but against the lightning it’s a nice measurement.

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Written by Kenny Cari | 11 October 2011

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Written by Christian A. | 10 October 2011

The Minnesota Wild make trip to the Nassau Coliseum today to take on the Islanders at 1pm.  The Islanders are looking to put the Saturday night loss to the Panthers behind them and get the win today.

Meet the Opponents:

The Minnesota Wild enters the game fresh off a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.  Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi both scored in the victory on Saturday night and helped earn rookie head coach Mike Yeo his first win as an NHL coach.

-The Islanders and Wild do not meet again until December 17. The last time these two teams met the Islanders won 4-1 at the Coliseum back on March 2.

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard was suspended two games for high sticking on Columbus' Matt Calvert. Bouchard has appealed the decision. His agent Allan Walsh did what agents do best and stuck up for his player in a very passionate email to the Minnesota Star Tribune. (Star Tribune)

-Niklas Backstrom is expected to start against the Isles tonight. He is 4-1 against the Islanders with a .913 save percentage. (Star Tribune)

-The Wild are 8-4 lifetime against the Islanders. (Star Tribune)

-Mike Lundin, Matt Kassian, and Cody Almond will all miss today’s game with injuries. Bouchard will also miss today’s game due to suspension.

Islanders News & Notes:

-No starting Goaltender has been announced for this afternoon’s game. Taking a guess I would say Capuano stays with his gut again and has Al Montoya start against the Wild.

-Would also expect similar lineups for today as the ones we saw on Saturday.

-Attendance for today’s game will be an interesting thing to watch. Last years Columbus Day Matinee only drew around 10,000 or so fans and that was against the Rangers. Columbus Day has sort of become an insulting holiday to many and some schools and businesses do not give the day off for it. It won’t be the same raucous crowd that was there on Saturday, but expect a crowd of around 13,000 or so.

-It was revealed that the Islanders goal song for this season will be Crowd Chant by Joe Satriani, a native of Long Island. Will be confirmed today when the Islanders score a goal.

Side Note:

Unfortunately I will not be able to catch today’s game, so no twitter updates. Expect a post game piece up later tonight though.

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Written by Kenny Cari | 09 October 2011

Islanders Opening Night video

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Written by Christian A. | 09 October 2011

The stage was set for the Islanders to make tonight a special night and start the season off with a bang. Effectively the complete opposite happened, as the Isles were shutout in their home opener, 2-0, for only the second time in franchise history.

Stephen Weiss’s goal 16: 37 in the first period would prove to be the game-winning goal, with an insurance goal coming 3 minutes later in the closing seconds of the first period.

Offense (or lack there of):

The Islanders were supposed to be an offensive threat this season, but they hardly lived up to it.  The Isles were out shot 10-5 in the first period and could not generate to many opportunities early in the game.  Passing also became a problem for the Islanders. Sloppy passing and the Panthers ability to take away passing lanes hurt the Islanders chances of making a comeback. They also seemed to try and force the play too much at times.

The offense did pick up as the game progressed, the Islanders recorded 12 shots in the second period, tying the Panthers for SOG, and then outshot them in the third 10-7. The Islanders were ultimately outshot 29-27.

John Tavares seemed to be a strong point for the Islanders tonight. The third year pro created several good opportunities, looked strong on his skates and handled the puck well.

Al Montoya:

Montoya was the best player on the ice wearing the blue and orange.  He stopped 27-29 shots he faced. The only bad goal he let in was the Stephen Weiss goal, which he let slip through his pads and Weiss was able to push it over the goal line. Other than that the Montoya was key in keeping the Islanders in the game making several huge saves. The fans appreciated his effort, his name was chanted several times through out the game.

Bad ice and broken sticks:

The Coliseum is notorious for having bad ice, but tonight it seemed especially bad. The Islanders passing was not where it should be, but the playing surface did not help their cause. The puck seemed to have more of bounce in it than usual, which contributed to several of the poor passes seen.

Also during the first period, there was a noticeable amount of broken sticks occurring in the game. It seemed like every shift there was another broken stick or parts of a stick lying on the ice.

Attendance:

Nassau Coliseum was packed with fans anticipating a great start to the 40th anniversary season. 16, 234 fans packed the Nassau Coliseum. The old barn was rocking, at least to start, which was great to see and will hopefully see more often this season.

Finally, FANS RELAX!:

The crazy thing about the NHL season is that there are 82 games and this was game one of 82. I know it’s crazy, but losing your season/home opener is not the end of the world.  All teams have bad nights and this may have been the Islanders.

Capuano will look to quickly resolve the issues he saw with his team tonight and get things going on the right track. The Islanders have three more games to play at the Nassau Coliseum and if they can come away with five of the available six points this loss will be an after thought.

Lets see how the next three games pan out and they we’ll have a better feel of where the Islanders are, as for this loss, let’s not jump off the ledge just yet.

Post game video:





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Written by Christian A. | 08 October 2011

The New York Islanders 2011-12 season is finally upon. The Islanders begin their 40th anniversary campaign against the Florida Panthers.  The Islanders were 2-2 against the Panthers Last season.

Meet the Opponents:

The Florida Panthers will be an interesting team to watch this season in the Southeast. Adding Jose Theodore, Kris versteeg, Ed Jovanovski, Scottie Upshall, and Brian Campbell make then look like a much tougher team than last year, on paper. How the new guys mesh together will be a different story.

-In net for the Panthers will be Jose Theodore.  Last season Theodore appeared in 32 games for the Minnesota wild going 15-11-3 with a 2.71 GAA and .916 save percentage.

-Yesterday, in a meeting at Nassau Coliseum, the Panthers named their four alternate captains for the year. Defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Brian Campbell, center Stephen Weiss, and right wing Tomas Kopecky were given the coveted “A” for the season. (Sun Sentinel)

-Here is tonight’s lineup according to Panthers beat writer Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel:

Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
Booth-Kopecky-Upshall
Bergenheim-Goc-Skille
Matthias-Carter-Bradley

Campbell-Garrison
Kulikov-Weaver
Gudbranson-Jovanovski

The Islanders:

The Islanders will look to get off on the right foot this year. The last two seasons the Isles have lost in overtime in their season opener; last season against the Stars and the year before that to the Penguins.  With something to prove this year, the guys are done talking about making the playoffs and looking to actually doing it. Expect, as always, a very emotional home opener tonight.

-The Islanders announced this morning that Al Montoya, not Rick Dipietro, will be starting tonight’s game A surprise to may since everyone had agreed that Dipietro would most likely be starting the year. Montoya was one of the many positives that came out of the second half of last season for the Isles.  He appeared in 20 games going 9-5-5 with a 2.39 GAA and .921 save percentage.

- Here is tonight’s projected line up for the Islanders:

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau
Michael Grabner-Frans Nielson-Kyle Okposo
Brian Rolston-Josh Bailey-Blake Comeau
Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasonor-Matt Martin

Mark Streit-Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic
Mark Eaton-Mike Mottau

Other Notes:

-The team is holding special pregame festivities on the box office plaza. Music, games and giveaways during, so make sure you check it out. Starts at 5:30.

-Also, make sure to stop by the Isles Meet up in Doolin’s prior to the game as well. Hockey This Week will be broadcasting live prior to the start of the game and will be joined by special guests Rob McGowan and other members of the NY Islanders Blog Box.

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Written by Christian A. | 05 October 2011

The 2011-12 23-man roster for the Islanders was announced this afternoon. As expected Dylan Reese and Trevor Frischmon were sent down to AHL Bridgeport and Kirill Kabanov will head back to the QMJHL.

Surprisingly Ryan Strome will remain with the team for the time being. According to Arthur Staple of Newsday Strome will not play in any regular season games, instead he will learn through watching for several games. Strome will most likely be returned to the Niagara Ice Dogs when Nino Niederreiter comes off the injured reserve list or after the Isles play their first nine games of the season, which is the cutoff point for Junior eligible players to return to their respective junior hockey teams.

The decision to keep Strome up on Long Island and not have him play in any games seems like an odd one. One would assume he would be better served getting playing time with Ice Dogs than watching games from the Nassau Coliseum press box. Although the argument can be made that practicing with guys like John Tavares, Matt Mouslon and the rest of the Isles NHL squad can also be beneficial for the rookie.

The Rest of the Lineup:

With the 23-man roster set, this is what the Islanders lineup will most likely look like come opening night on Saturday.

Forwards

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau

Michael Grabner-Frans Nielson-Kyle Okposo

Brian Rolston-Josh Bailey-Blake Comeau

Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasonor-Matt Martin

Defensemen

Mark Streit-Steve Staios

Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic

Mark Eaton-Mike Mottau

Goalies

Rick Dipiertro

Al Montoya

Evgeni Nabokov


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