For most of the week at training camp, head coach, Jack Capuano has placed Nino Niederreiter with top liners John Tavares and Matt Moulson.
Many already suspect Niederreiter will make the team right out of training camp and for good reason. Last season Niederreiter exploded in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks; he scored 41 goals and 29 assists for 70 points in 55 games. He also left a good impression on anyone who saw him perform in the Islanders two rookie games against the Boston Bruins.
One could assume the Islanders will field the Moulson-Tavares-Niederreiter line during the their preseason game against the Devils on Saturday.
Niederreiter’s line mates, Tavares and Moulson, spoke about their new line mate during Islanders media day.
John Tavares: “Ninos been great, he’s been asking a lot of questions. He works really hard out there. He’s always trying to do the right things out there and I tell him just play his game, use his skill, and most things will work out because of how talented he is. But it’s been great, we’re able to joke around as well.”
Matt Moulson: “The biggest thing you notice about Nino is that he’s an extremely hard worker. He wants to learn things out there, he wants to ask questions and obviously on top of that he’s a highly skilled player. I think he’s a little more physically mature, although last year he was pretty good for a young kid coming in. I think he’s matured beyond his years much like Johnny was when he came in. So I think he’s looking really good and he’s looking to get better each day. At his age he’s only going to go up and get better.”no comments
Staying with Nabokov, a question arose concerning his presence at camp and how he would be receipted.
Nabokov said he was a little concerned about how he was going to be how he would be welcomed after what transpired last season.
“Probably not everyone knows exactly the story,” Nabokov said. “They just hear about what’s going on from the papers and stuff, but I think I made myself clear about my reason why I didn’t come and its bee great so far.”
Also interesting to note is that Nabokov flew to New York in April, after the World Championships, to meet and have dinner with GM Garth Snow.no comments
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New Islander Evgeni Nabokov is finding himself enjoying his new home. The 36-year-old Russian goaltender is finding the young group of players in the locker room and the surrounding Long Island area to his liking.
“It’s so much fun,” Nabokov said about his new team. “Young legs on the ice just flying all over. (They’re) just a great group of guys.”
He’s also been able to check out the surrounding area around Long Island. “I go for dinners around the Manhasset area over there and around Roosevelt field mall,” Nabokov revealed after media day.
Most of the attention surrounding Nabokov has been about where the Isles will put him the goalie rotation. The Islanders have two other quality starters in Rick Dipietro and Al Montoya. Along with rookie net minders Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, and Mikko Koskinen.
Nabokov is aware of the crowded net, but is only focused on what he needs to do.
“To be honest with you I don’t pay attention too much,” Nabokov said. “I just control what I can control which is stopping the puck and after that it’s all up to management. To me it’s just business as usual.”
He was later asked if he felt he had anything to prove Nabokov gave a very firm answer.
“Isn’t it always like that, you have something to prove,” he responded. “If you have nothing to prove then you take a vacation and have fun with that. You have to prove your self every single night, every single period.”
He would reiterate that statement as the scrum went on.
“I cannot be surprised about anything in the NHL. I can only control what I can control, which is stop the puck and try and try and go out and practice hard.”no comments
There has been a lot of talk about the Islander goaltending situation heading into training camp. The team currently employs six goaltenders; Rick Dipietro, Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov, Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, and Mikko Koskinen.
On Saturday isles head coach Jack Capuano commented on what has been dubbed by some the “goalie shuffle.”
“I think the depth is great,” Capuano said. “I get a lot of questions about the goaltending, but for me its competition and you cant have anything better than that. That’s the way it should be and not just in goaltending. The guys that perform and play to the level they need to be, they’ll be in our line up to try and help us win hockey games.”no comments