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Written by Christian A. | 11 March 2012

Hours after Mike Halmo signed an entry-level contract with the Islanders, the Owen Sound Attack forward laid a devastating hit to Nail Yakupov, junior hockey’s top prospect.

The hit came with 8:43 left in the second period as Yakupov crossed into the slot, going one-on-one with an Attack defender. The defender was able to tap his stick and Yakupov lost control of the puck. At that moment Halmo came from the other end side and caught Yakupov with his elbow.

Here is the hit:

From watching, when Yakupov lost control of the puck, he seemed to reach for it just as Halmo came in and laid the hit, leaving him in a more vulnerable position. Halmo also seemed to throw out his elbow at the last second when he saw Yakupov closing in.

After the game Sarnia head coach Jacques Beaulieu said that Halmo deserves to be suspended.

"I thought it was blatantly dirty, Beaulieu told the Canadian Press. "Nail took alot of stitches to the face, it's all marked up. Halmo didn't hit anything else, but his head. We've got to take these hits out of out game and protect our kids."

Back in January of 2010 Halmo was suspended five games for a hit to the head on Michal Jordan. 

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Written by Christian A. | 10 March 2012

Tracy Lynn Kraus is a fellow Isles fan who I’ve crossed paths with during my time cover the team the past two years. Over that time I’ve gotten to know her and her mission to help fight Leukemia after her, soon to be, 4 year old niece Aubri was diagnosed with the disease last year.

From here I’ll let Tracy explain the rest:

On July 27, 2011 Aubri was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Hearing the news was like a kick in the stomach. No child in our family had ever been diagnosed with a life threatening illness and I had never really given it much thought. As far as I knew all of my 11 nieces and nephews were healthy and happy kids. Until that day. It’s been a difficult time for the family but together we know we can help her win her battle.

While my niece fights the battle against leukemia in her tiny body we need doctors and scientists to battle it in laboratories, finding better treatment methods and, one day, a cure. Although the cause of leukemia remains unknown, recently developed treatments and steady advances in research bring us closer to a cure every day. These research advances were only achieved as a result of contributions made by companies, foundations and individuals such as you.

I will be completing the St. Anthony’s Olympic Distance Triathlon in honor of Aubri and all those fighting blood cancers. My goal is to raise $4,000 by March 15, 2012 (Aubri's 4th birthday!) and every single dollar donated brings me closer to that goal! Thank you for your support in this important endeavor!

At the moment she is 98 percent of the way to her goal. She has raised $3,927 at the time of this posting.

The hockey community is a tight one and has been know to rise to the occasion for a good cause. Help a fellow Islander fan reach her goal by donating just a few dollars to help fight disease that affects so many.

There are five more days left to donate and if you’d like to you can click here to do so. Also help spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors.

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Written by Christian A. | 10 March 2012



Update: The Islanders have recalled Michael Haley on emergency basis this afternoon. The move was made because Casey Cizikas will miss tonight's game with the flu. 

The Islanders and Devils will wrap up their three game set tonight at the Coliseum. New Jersey downed the Islanders, 5-1, Thursday night at the Prudential Center and the Isles will look to salvage the mini three game series.

Ilya Kovalchuk dominated the Isles last time around, netting his 13th career hat trick. Patrik Elias and David Clarkson also scored in the win and Andrew MacDonald scored the Islanders lone goal in the game.

Anders Nilsson will start in net for the Islanders. The Swedish goaltender has a 3.02 goals against average and .896 save percentage in three appearances. Nilsson received his first NHL victory last Sunday when he shut out the Devils.

Dylan Reese will be in tonight and Milan Jurcina will be a healthy scratch. Matt Martin will miss tonight’s game with the flu.

Pre-Game Reading

Dee Karl has a great one-on-one piece with Isles GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano. (Hockeybuzz)

Travis Hamonic talked to Newsday’s Arthur Staple about what it’s been like to play with a cage on and how thankful he was to not have been more seriously hurt. "I feel maybe God had something to do with turning my head at the last second. There's no telling what can happen when you take a puck in the eye.” (Newsday)

Lighthouse Hockey takes a look at some of the Islander prospects taking part in NCAA playoff action. (Lighthouse Hockey)

Matt Mouslon and Frans Nielsen are among the three-dozen hockey players supporting the You Can Play Project. Moulson said that it’s an important message to get out and that he’d welcome an openly gay athlete. "If you have a guy that can help you, I don't care if he's gay or straight, I'm going to treat him the same way as a teammate. We're a family inside the locker room. I don't think it matters about anyone's sexual orientation." (ESPN New York)

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Written by Christian A. | 09 March 2012



Here are some of this morning’s Islander headlines. Also, if you haven't read Islanders Hockey Blog's post game article check it out here. Try to enjoy.

Kovalchuk Scores three to lead Devils Past Islanders - Associated Press

Devils 5, Islanders 1 - New York Islanders

Islanders Don’t Do Enough, Lose to Devils - Newsday

Isles’ Michael Grabner a Healthy Scratch - Newsday

New Jersey Dominates Rematch - Islanders Point Blank

Kovalchuk Records Hat Trick in Devils’ 5-1 Win over Isles - NY Daily news

Kovalchuk give Devils ‘Trick’ and Treat against Islanders - NY Post

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Written by Roberto Scalia | 09 March 2012



In what was forecasted to be the single most important 3 games of the month for this team, the Islanders sure didn’t play like it tonight. After a 1-0 shutout victory on Sunday, and a 4 day break in between, the Islanders were completely uninspiring after getting blown out 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils.

Devils dominated play for the large part of the first, and the Islanders were having trouble getting pucks to the net from the very start, with David Ullstrom providing the only real scoring chances for the majority of the period. New Jersey would however gain the lead midway through the first, as a somewhat fortunous bounce from the boards on a one-timer, led to Ilya Kovalchuk to have his own rebound on his stick with an empty net in front of him. 1-0 New Jersey.

The Devils would add to the lead almost right away in the second, as a penalty by Steve Staios put the Islanders on the penalty kill early, and after a bit of cycling Kovalchuk would fire home his second of the game with yet another one-timer this time from the top of the faceoff circle.

The Islanders would get one back though, as time neared the end of the second period. David Ullstrom, one of only 2 Islander to finish with a +1 in tonight’s game, led a rush down the wing, cut to the middle, and took a shot. Andrew MacDonald, who’d joined the rush, went for the rebound behind the net, and what was simply supposed to be a pass to the front of the net became a goal as it hit Martin Brodeur and went in the back of the net. A fortunous goal, but a goal none the less.

And it was so that the Islanders entered the third period with hope, hope that all wasn’t lost and they could still get back into this game, as they were only down by 1. That’s exactly the mindset the Islanders entered the third period with, but not quite how they left it. Entering the Islanders were buzzing for a good five minutes, keeping New Jersey in their own end for the majority of it, and forcing Brodeur to make saves. However, the puck just wouldn’t seem to get through, at least not for the Islanders.

Seven minutes into the third, the Islanders were getting stuck in their zone for one of the first times all period, but New Jersey did what the Islanders couldn’t, capitalize. After the Islanders took a penalty, New Jersey would get the extra skater on the ice, Carter, who along with Elias, drove right to the net as Adam Larsson unleashed a bullet from the point. With traffic in front, Elias would drive home the rebound and give the Devils a 3-1 lead that the Islanders would never find their way back from.

It was all Devils from there, as Kovalchuk would shoot yet another one timer past Nabokov, this time from the slot, and earn himself a hat trick while giving the Devils a 4-1 lead. David Clarkson would later wrap up the scoring at 5-1 on a deflection in front.

The blame could be cast on almost anybody and everybody, but most of all the coach. On a game as important as this one, and with four days off to prepare for it, it’s unacceptable that Capuano didn’t have his team ready to go for this one. Things must change for the Islanders, the only thing is, is it too late?

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Written by Christian A. | 08 March 2012

Updated: Head coach Jack Capuano announced that the Islanders will start Evgeni Nabokov tonight in net. Dylan Reese and Michael Grabner are the healthy scratches.

The Islanders and Devils will face off for the second of three matchups this week tonight at the Prudential Center.

Last time, the Isles defeated the Devils 1-0 at the Coliseum, with Anders Nilsson stopping all 24 shots he faced to get his first career NHL victory, Kyle Okposo scored the lone goal in the game in the second period.

The win moved them within five points of a playoff spot in the east, but a victory by the Winnipeg Jets on Monday moved the Islanders back to seven points out. A victory tonight, baring another Jets win, will move the Islanders back within five points.

Several Islanders are entering tonight’s game on different streaks. Matt Moulson has six points through his last six games; Frans Nielsen has four assists in the last four games; Casey Cizikas has three assists in his last three games; PA Parenteau has 12 points in his last 14 games and Josh Bailey has four goals in his last four games.

Expected Lineup for the Devils (via the New York Islanders website):

Forwards

Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk
Sykora-Elias-Zubrus
Bernier-Josefson-Clarkson
Boulton-Carter-Janssen

Defensemen:
Fayne-Greene
Larsson-Salvador
Volchenkov-Zidlicky

Goaltenders:
Brodeur; Hedberg

Pre-Game Reading

Josh Bailey’s Move Pays Dividends for Islanders - Newsday

John Tavares’ Hard work Pays Dividends - Newsday

New Jersey Seeks Revenge; Should Parenteau Too? - Lighthouse Hockey

Devils Vow They’ll be ready for Rematch - The Star Ledger 

County Gets Two Bids to Develop Nassau Hub - Newsday



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Written by Christian A. | 04 March 2012



Islanders Prospect Ryan Strome was involved a wacky win for the Niagara IceDogs this afternoon. Strom scored five goals and one assist for six points in the IceDogs 13-4 win over the Erie Otters.

Ironically Strome’s stat line, 5-1-6, is the area code for Nassau County. An omen? Maybe.

But before anyone jumps up and down in excitement, there is a twist to this whole tale. The 13 goals were not given up by a goaltender; instead it was forward Connor Crisp who allowed the scoring palooza.  The Otters had only dressed one goaltender, they lost their other earlier in the week to injury, and designated Crisp as the back up. 1:25 into the game the Otters lone goaltender left the game and they had to call Crisp into the game.

“Well, I’m a road hockey goalie, ball hockey goalie, but that’s the first time I’ve put on goalie equipment and played on ice since I was five years old,” Crisp told the Canadian Press.

While it’s nice to see Strome put up that many goals in a game, it’s hard to say he’ll be able to do it again against a natural goaltender.

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