Andy Graziano

Andy Graziano is a writer on Islanders Point Blank

New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a Josh Bailey (12) goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a Josh Bailey (12) goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders' recent turnaround could help the team keep captain John Tavares long term, Craig Custance of ESPN suggests.

"If this is the beginning of a turnaround under Weight that has staying power, one that is rooted in reality and not just a short-term bounce, you have to believe the inclination would be to find a way to make it work beyond next season," Custance writes.

The Islanders have gone 6-3-1 over their last 10 games and are in a virtual tie with the Panthers for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference...

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

In his last four starts, J-F Berube has struggled, while Jaro Halak has posted a 1.96 goals against average and a .931 save percentage since being demoted to the AHL. Should the Islanders make a change at the backup goalie position? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

J-F Berube is fighting it of late to the tune of a .876 save percentage over his last four starts. Meanwhile, Jaro Halak is playing lights out at Bridgeport. Andy, should the Islanders consider recalling Jaro to be the backup for the stretch run?

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The roadie from hell has officially begun. Nine straight games away from Brooklyn for the New York Islanders, who entered play last night tied for fewest road wins in the entire National Hockey League at seven.

After a first period that saw them take the lead on a beauty from Josh Bailey, still their most consistent offensive player all season, they fell asleep at the wheel with the clock running down and surrendered an awful goal to Henrik Zetterberg with 0.1 seconds remaining to tie the game.

Instead of getting down, they picked themselves up, went out and executed simplicity on the road, exactly what is needed to pick up two crucial points at this juncture of the regular season, when the grind of an 82-game schedule really starts to wear down the body, no matter how conditioned or prepared you think you might be.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) takes a backhanded shot against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) takes a backhanded shot against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The New York Islanders will now take to the road, where they are 7-13-4, tied for the fewest road wins in the National Hockey League, for three weeks as Barclays Center welcomes the circus and ACC basketball tournament. New York will play their next nine games away from home, not returning until Monday, March 13 for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

"There's not a good feeling, not a good vibe on the road right now," said interim head coach Doug Weight after the Islanders 6-4 win over New Jersey. "We're built to be a good road team. We've been here (in Brooklyn) a lot and we've been great, so it's a bit of a crutch. Hopefully we get out on the road and get together as a team."

After a 3-2 loss in Newark on Saturday evening, thanks to a sleepy start and one stingy goalpost, the Islanders bounced back for the win last night against the same pesky opponents who, no matter their record, always seem to give New York fits, regardless of their lifetime record against them. It's never been easy.

Tags: John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (50) and goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) hit the puck away from Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (29) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (50) and goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) hit the puck away from Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (29) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The March 1 trade deadline is just two weeks away, and the Islanders have a decision to make. Should Garth Snow be buying or selling? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

The Islanders have made up a ton of ground, and entering play on Wednesday, are just three points out of a playoff spot. So, Andy, with the trade deadline just two weeks away, should they be buyers or sellers?

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

By Doug Weight's and his own players' admission, not much has changed systematically for the Islanders since Jack Capuano was fired on January 17 and replaced on an interim basis by the NHL veteran of 1,238 games -- including 107 with the Islanders.

A 'tweak' to defensive zone coverage has been all that's been mentioned to the media ever since the switch, and the results have been strangely similar under both coaches. The Islanders have not lost consecutive games in regulation since December 13-15, when they were defeated by the Capitals and Blackhawks -- a run that has spanned 25 games: 13 under Capuano and 12 under Weight.

After Sunday night's victory over the offensively challenged Avalanche, the league's worst team, New York is now 8-2-2 under Weight, only two games better than the 6-4-2 they went in the previous 12 games under Capuano's leadership. Diving into more team-based statistics from the same time period, the results once again come out very similar.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

After allowing five goals in three consecutive games against the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs, you would not have been alone in not liking the Islanders chances too much heading into their own 'house of horrors' against a team they do not seem to match up well against, the Philadelphia Flyers.

In dropping the first two games of the season series and allowing over 80 shot attempts both times, New York fell to 33-77-11-6 lifetime in Philadelphia with one regulation win over their last 24 games in the city of brotherly love. But this is a team riding high in the confidence department lately with a remarkable turnaround from the first half of the season, and they put a halt on all the bad mojo in capturing a huge 3-1 victory.

Although they did allow another 80 shot attempts, 36 came in the opening twenty minutes of Flyers domination, where the Islanders were fortunate to come out of tied at one thanks to a power play goal by Anders Lee, as he deflected John Tavares' bullet snapper from the right wing faceoff circle to collect his 19th goal, pushing him to within one of his second 20-goal season and just six off his career high, set in 2014-15 over 76 games.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

On Tuesday morning, the Boston Bruins fired Claude Julien, who helped lead the franchise to the 2011 Stanley Cup. Could he end up at the helm of the Islanders? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It didn't take long after Claude Julien was dismissed on Tuesday before Islanders fans began to wonder if he could be a solution to the team's coaching search. What do you think, Andy. Is Julien a good fit?

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

After a weekend that saw the Islanders collect only one of four possible points in losses to the Red Wings and Hurricanes, thoughts of a late-season playoff push were temporarily put on hold, especially with results around the league teaming up to go against them.

Then a welcome sight to Brooklyn entered the picture on Monday evening. The Maple Leafs came into the borough with a stable of talented, young, dynamic forwards in Zach Hyman, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and, of course, Auston Matthews. But this year, while the team rebuilds its core, defense is the sacrifice. Only Tampa Bay and Philadelphia have allowed more goals in the Eastern conference and to make matters worse for head coach Mike Babcock, Frederick Andersen didn't bring his A or B games, either.

The Islanders, who allowed 10 goals in the back-to-back 5-4 losses to Detroit and Carolina, continued their own inept play in the defensive zone, so what happened on the ice at Barclays Center was completely expected. An offensive explosion with defense worthy of an all-star game led to an exciting, but sloppy, 6-5 overtime win for New York, who have now allowed a whopping 15 goals over their past three games.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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Feb 3, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (52) battle for the puck in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 3, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (52) battle for the puck in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

The New York Islanders lost in regulation for the first time in seven games under interim head coach Doug Weight (5-1-1) on Friday night in Detroit, falling to the Red Wings, 5-4, in a game that featured some lackadaisical defense and critical mental errors that cost New York one of its games in hand on the Philadelphia Flyers.

  • New York is still five points back of the Flyers for the second and final wild card spot in the Eastern conference, with three games in hand. Sportsclubstats took 10 percent off the Islanders' playoff chances with the loss, dropping them to 35 percent, as Carolina, Florida and New Jersey all picked up points last night. Needless to say, a win tonight in Brooklyn over the Canes and it's not the end of the world.
  • Hard to fault Thomas Greiss, and nobody should, for last night. Left on an island and a couple of fluky deflection goals was more than enough to put a statistical blemish on what has been an outstanding run for the newly signed goaltender.
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New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Fans and media alike had written the Islanders off after a poor start had them hovering at NHL .500 and put the team into a tailspin that threatened their playoff hopes. After three consecutive losses to open 2017, which included dropping points in Colorado, Arizona and Florida, those cries became louder, with myself very much at the forefront.

Since then, the team has set out on a personal mission to prove us all wrong. A 7-1-1 run, which included the firing of head coach Jack Capuano, has New York three points out of the second wild card spot, holding three games in hand on the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, don't get me wrong, they still might not make the postseason, as sportsclubstats currently has them at 45%, but at least we can safely talk about the prospect instead of focusing on the 2017 NHL Draft.

Tags: Alain Quine, Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Rumors are swirling about the Islanders' relationship with Barclays Center, and it's led to a new round of arena speculation. Where will the Isles end up? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

I know you're tired of hearing it, Andy, but it's time to talk arena news again. Give me your take on the situation that is playing out in Brooklyn between Barclays Center and the Islanders. It seems to be clear that the relationship between the franchise and Barclays Center is extremely frayed. Does that jive with what you've heard?

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New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have points in four straight and are within striking distance of the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference. Can they pull off this comeback? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

Alright, Andy. The Isles are four points out of the final playoff spot, and have two and three games in hand on the two teams directly above them in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers, respectively. The rest of the Eastern Conference has come back down to Earth. Are you a believer that this team can somehow, someway find their way into the playoffs?

Tags: Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The New York Islanders are now three games into the head coaching career of interim bench boss Doug Weight, who took over for the terminated Jack Capuano last week. 

Some of the changes we have seen have trended positive for New York, others neutral and some have slipped. The 'newness' of a coaching change has now worn off, and three games remain on a six-game home-stand that will either position the team better for a late playoff run or potentially knock them further behind.

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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Jan 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) reacts after scoring a short handed goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) reacts after scoring a short handed goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

As if life being a fan of or covering the New York Islanders could ever be simple. Some adapt to change expertly, with the fluidity of water flowing out of a faucet. Others simply resist it, choosing instead to be the unmovable object - the rock, if you will, that if left in one spot too long, falls behind, growing moss while everything around it moves forward.

I have found that the simplest path is simply being adaptable. Adaptable to a changing environment, a changing world, family structure, work status or financial status. The more adaptable you are, the less prone you are to the stresses of change itself.

It's only been one game, a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars, but the Islanders resolve will be tested more this weekend as they play their second and third games under new interim head coach Doug Weight. With the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers invading Barclays Center, another test in a challenging 2016-17 season awaits the team. How adaptable will they truly be?

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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

It didn't take long for the puns to start via social media regarding Doug Weight and his head coaching debut for the New York Islanders as they prepared to take on the Stars in Brooklyn on Thursday night. 

Admittedly, I joined in leading up to faceoff and at select times throughout the game. After all, why should you have all the fun?

Tags: John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Jack Capuano is out, and Doug Weight is in for the interim. But who will be the next permanent man behind the bench in Brooklyn? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

Alright, Andy. After 483 regular season games and three trips to the playoffs, the Jack Capuano era is over. It begs the question: Who will be the next permanent head coach of the New York Islanders? Is it safe to assume that it won't be Doug Weight.

Tags: Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) skates during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) skates during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

My SNY colleague, Brian Erni, and I once breached this topic in our Wednesday 'Shooting from Point Blank range' column about wanting your team to lose in a lost season. Wanting them to lose to get a better draft pick. Wanting them to lose to force a coaching change. For whatever reason, I had said then and still believe now that to be a crazy overreaction and even though one is obviously entitled to have it, I will never agree with it nor understand it. Well, same can be said of a player on such a team with a diverse and divided fanbase.

Of course, we're talking about none other than Josh Bailey, who has been the whipping boy of Islanders social media for almost as long as he has been a member of this organization, stretching way back to 2008-09, when Josh was a first round draft selection, 9th overall, and rushed into the NHL at 19 years of age for a team desperate for….well, anything.

Bailey has been the victim of severe over-expectations of what he brings to the rink from the fanbase and a victim of sub-par development after being thrust into the spotlight way too soon by the organization. But that hasn't deterred the Islanders winger from going out and just continuing to play his game, silencing what's being screamed from the stands or being 'written' on Twitter. 

Tags: John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Andy Graziano
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

The Islanders, coming off a 4-0 win over the Bruins, fired head coach Jack Capuano on Tuesday.

While the timing seems strange, it's a move that had been widely discussed in hockey circles and clamored for by an upset and disappointed fanbase, compounded by the team's 17-17-8 record after 42 games.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV

Snap your fingers…go ahead, just do it.

Just like that, the Islanders went from a team that won four of five and looked to be righting their wobbly, patchwork ship to set sail toward at least getting back in the playoff conversation, to a team that has now lost four of their last five, including back-to-back loser point 'efforts' in Colorado and Arizona -- the two easiest buildings of 2016-17 to win in.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

The Colorado Avalanche are shopping their top offensive stars, but they have a steep asking price. Should the Islanders engage? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss… 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

The Avalanche are seeking a "top-level" defenseman, a first round pick, and more in a deal for Gabriel Landeskog, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Andy, have you heard if the Isles have had any talks with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic on Landsekog?

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas after scoring during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas after scoring during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The New York Islanders believe a turnaround to their season has to "start now" as they sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference.

Speaking to News 12 Long Island on Monday, via Newsday, the Islanders believe there is a lot of hockey to be played, however as they rank 28th in the league, it is likely too late. That said, the players' expected "never-say-die" attitude is admirable.

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Andy Graziano
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Jan 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) scores the winning goal past New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) in overtime at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Islanders 2-1 in overtime. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) scores the winning goal past New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) in overtime at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Islanders 2-1 in overtime. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV: 

And on the fifth day, let there be practice. … The New York Islanders returned from their league-mandated bye week a day early by approving a practice in Denver on Thursday, a day before they were defeated by the Avalanche, 2-1, in overtime. Tonight, it's on to Arizona to take on another of the league's bottom dwellers, the Coyotes.

The time immediately after the holidays is always the toughest to get through. Family, some you don't get an opportunity to see much, have gone. Decorations come down, leaving a vast expanse of emptiness, the air gets noticeably colder and yes, it's back to work. No wonder why there is such a thing as "seasonal depression." I get it, I get it.

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Entering play Friday night, the Islanders trail the Metro's third place (and last guaranteed playoff spot) Rangers by 19 points with five games in hand. In other words, not happening. Look elsewhere for your entry.

They are nine points behind the second Wild Card team in the Eastern conference, the Flyers, with four games in hand. Not too shabby, you think, especially when you peek at their next five games and see Colorado, Arizona, Florida (twice) and Carolina.

But wait…to even get to the Flyers, New York has to jump seven other teams. Yes, I said seven...

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Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Islanders can start talking about an extension with John Tavares on July 1, but that hasn't stopped everyone from weighing in on the matter. SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.tv:

Andy, John Tavares and his eventual contract extension seem to be popping up in every story written about the Islanders lately. ESPN said the Isles should force the issue with their star player to find out where he stands. What's your take on Tavares? Do the Isles need to extend him this summer, no matter the cost?

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) is congratulated by left wing Josh Bailey (12) and center John Tavares (91) after a goal against the Bruins last month. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) is congratulated by left wing Josh Bailey (12) and center John Tavares (91) after a goal against the Bruins last month. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have been playing solid hockey over their last 16 games, offering the slightest glimmer of hope that a berth in the playoffs for a third consecutive season, while still slim thanks to a rocky beginning, might still be possible.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Thursday night, the Islanders continued their inconsistent season, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Wild in St.Paul. After winning three straight by defeating the Bruins, Sabres, and Capitals, New York got the offense they needed but once again failed in the basic concepts of team defense, paired with shoddy goaltending.

Head coach Jack Capuano, who previously had gone to great lengths to avoid speaking about particular players to the media following wins or losses, and who has repeatedly dodged questions about the crease, saying, "I won't comment on the goaltending", took a different approach last night in his postgame comments.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

The Islanders, after a summer of major change, brought in some new veteran leadership in an effort to replace three mainstays who chose for a change in venue to begin the 2016-17 season. 

Andrew Ladd, with two Stanley Cup rings in tow, was one of them, signed to a massive seven-year, 38.5 million dollar contract this past summer. And the early returns were anything but complementary for the veteran winger.

When first signed, the safe assumption by, well, just about everyone, was that Ladd would get a chance to play wing with captain John Tavares and would continue to provide the offense that produced an average of 27 goals over his last six professional seasons -- something that doesn't just happen by accident. After being given one preseason game and a little over a week, Ladd was removed from the top line and has not returned.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) reacts after scoring during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) reacts after scoring during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

All of a sudden, the Islanders are hot, but are they simply ruining their chance at grabbing a higher draft pick? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

The Islanders have won three straight, including an impressive victory over the Capitals on Tuesday night. Andy, we agree this season probably won't end in the playoffs, right? 

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Joshua Ho-Sang, the Islanders' second first round draft pick (28th overall) of the 2014 NHL entry draft, was scratched yet again on Monday night by Bridgeport of the AHL -- the fourth time this season he's been a healthy scratch.

Arthur Staple of Newsday sent out a series of tweets Monday in response to the benching, mentioning that there could be 'issues between player and organization at work' and that last year's much publicized oversleeping issue was not the first mistake by Ho-Sang since he joined the organization. 

Aside from all that, Staple said there is no truth to the trade rumors surrounding the 20-year-old and that the team is behind him to succeed.

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Nov 28, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) plays a puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Barclays Center.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Nov 28, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) plays a puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

The New York Islanders have had a tumultuous start to the 2016-17 season, there's no question about that. The old adage 'It's still early' is no longer applicable now that they are 32 games in and are well behind in the standings for a third straight playoff appearance.

Trailing the third place New York Rangers by 17 points for the last guaranteed spot in the Metropolitan division, they are also behind the last wild card spot holder, the Washington Capitals, by 12 points, giving a game in hand and having to jump seven other teams to make the impossible, possible. With the odds makers placing New York's chances around three percent and a road heavy schedule looming in 2017, there could be more Islanders activity than in years past before the NHL's trade deadline, set for March 1 at 3 p.m. ET.

With the first year of a bye week in the NHL instituted, the Islanders will play on New Year's Eve in Winnipeg and not again until Friday, Jan. 6 in Colorado against the equally puzzling and struggling Avalanche.

Tonight, in Brooklyn, they welcome Kyle Okposo back for his first game in a Buffalo Sabres uniform. After a career that spanned nine years and 529 games with the Islanders, he should get a warm welcome like the one received by Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen before him, after being, at times, under appreciated in producing 139 goals and 369 points.

Tags: Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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GEICO SportsNite: Isles' trouble 00:00:54
Islanders captain John Tavares and head coach Jack Capuano discuss how the team is looking to get by their recent struggles.

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv 

There are many questions concerning the New York Islanders these days, from network and local media, ownership, management, players and most loudly, fans. And almost all those questions are justified. But there is only one small problem - nobody seems to have any answers.

Yesterday, general manager Garth Snow held a meeting with season ticket holders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After making some canned remarks about having belief in the players and them still possessing plenty of fight, Chris Botta on Twitter remarked, "No real talk. No anger. No "I screwed up and have to fix this." No leadership. Just self-serving spin."

Snow has never been known to make any of his thoughts public through any discussion outside of his inner circle, whether that be media or the hard working season ticket holders that keep this franchise from crumbling at his feet. As real Snow as you're ever going to get would have been about a month back when he addressed reporters at Northwell Health Ice Center and proceeded to make a joke out of wasting two years of J.F Berube's career.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Calvin De Haan, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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Dec 15, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Richard Panik (14) celebrates his game winning goal in front of New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 15, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Richard Panik (14) celebrates his game winning goal in front of New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

At this point, the story of the 2016-17 New York Islanders season might already be written on the fact that, barring a miracle, they will miss the playoffs for the first time in two seasons and second in five seasons.

With a record of 11-13-5, they find themselves almost at the Christmas break in last place in the 16-team Eastern conference and 28th in the 30-team NHL. More important than the fact that they are only five points away from 16th place is that they must jump four teams and make up 14 points to reach third place and secure a playoff spot or pass over eight teams and recoup 12 points to make a wild card spot.

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Nov 10, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 10, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV

Another game where the Islanders enter the third period tied. Another game where the Islanders come away with zero points.

In what has become an ugly, repetitive pattern for the 2016-17 Islanders, they surrendered two goals to Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in the third period of a 4-2 loss.

Niskanen, who came into the game with zero goals, notched his first on a precise snap-shot over the blocker of Jaroslav Halak after the Islanders forgot how to play basic defense. His second came in the closing minutes, on a power play, a slap shot that seemingly went right through Halak, who did not look to be screened on the play.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez)
New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

Even with a sloppy, 6-2 loss in Columbus on Saturday evening, the New York Islanders have still made quite a recovery from the first two months of the 2016-17 season. Heading into the end of November with a record of 6-10-4, the team recovered and has since won five of seven, picking up points in six of those games to climb back to a reasonable mark of 11-11-5 as we near the middle of December.

It might be not enough, however, to lift them back into the playoffs for the third time in four years, when all is said and done.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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Dec 1, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) celebrates with Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 3-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 1, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) celebrates with Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 3-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Last week the New York Islanders were coming off a three-game winning streak, where they defeated the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. After the first such streak of the 2016-17 season as they entered December, some were cautiously optimistic as the upcoming schedule seemed just as daunting.

The results were close to being identical. The team picked up five of six points in the following three, beating the crosstown rival New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, while dropping an overtime decision to Frans Nielsen and the Detroit Red Wings.

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Belief in yourself can be a powerful thing. Belief in teammates can be even more powerful. The NHL locker room is a sacred hall, where teammates bond and forge an alliance to work as hard as they possibly can towards a common goal. Nobody can ever accuse the sport of being individualistic. It is one of the most team oriented sports outside of international soccer.

In baseball, one player can throw a gem from the pitcher's mound, one hitter can smash a ninth-inning grand slam to win a ballgame. In the NBA, a superstar can overtake the opposition by dropping 40-50 points in the bucket, accounting for sometimes half or more of a team's total. The NFL is the closest thing we have to hockey, as a running back needs his offensive line, a quarterback needs his receivers for team success but if you're Tom Brady and can throw a football into a pressure cooker from 40 yards, it becomes a little easier.

We have seen what happens when a hockey team tries to rely on one player, one superstar to lead them to victory. Captain John Tavares has, at times, tried to do too much, taking on all five of the opposition, with little to no success at all. The entire five-man unit on the ice struggles consequently. All five players need to be on the same page, working in cohesion on a multitude of challenges.

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

John Tavares spoke with Joe and Evan of WFAN Wednesday afternoon, covering a wide range of topics which included the team's 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival New York Rangers, the Islanders' slow start to the season, the ice at Barclays Center, and remaining with the organization for the long haul.

Tavares, who is once again pacing the Islanders offense with 7 goals, 13 assists for 20 points in 25 games this season. He has 2-3-5 over his last five games, with the Islanders' 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last Wednesday in Brooklyn being the only game in which he didn't tally a point during that stretch. He put forth a gritty performance in Tuesday's win over the Rangers while clearly not 100%, as the flu has been making its ugly face shown in the locker room, potting a crucial third-period power play goal to put the game out of reach.

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

This summer, Islanders GM Garth Snow signed Andrew Ladd to a big-money deal and signed Jason Chimera to replace the departed Matt Martin, hoping to add some additional veteran leadership to a team coming off its first playoff round victory in over 20 years.

Even though the offensive numbers have been slow to arrive (Chimera with 4-5-9 in 25 games, but three goals the past five games and Ladd 3-3-6 in 25 games, but 1-2-3 in his last five games), they have combined with existing veterans to help the Islanders out of the type of malaise that struck the team during October (4-5-0) and November (4-5-4).

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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General view of the ice during the third period between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
General view of the ice during the third period between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders are reportedly in the market for a team president to oversee hockey operations. SNY.tv's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Andy, Art Staple reported last week that Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin are looking into hiring a new team president that would oversee the organization, including the general manager position. Darren Dreger says that the team has met with ex-Islanders Pat Lafontaine, Patrick Flatley, and Glenn Healyas well as ex-Canucks executives Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman. What do you make of all this?

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The New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
The New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Remember, remember the month of November. Although that line is modified from the movie 'V for Vendetta', it very much applies to the New York Islanders, who are all too happy to move past their month of horrors and see the calendar flip to December 1.

Going back to the 2011-12 season, the 11th month of the year was not too kind to head coach Jack Capuano and his squad. New York went 4-7-2 and 4-10-1 in back to back full seasons, putting them firmly behind the proverbial eight ball as the season ticked past the thin red line that separates the playoffs from an early golf outing. Things seemed to improve in 2014-15 with a monster 11-3-0 month before the team tailed off yet again the following season with a mark of 7-6-1.

If you're counting at home, that's 26-26-4 over the past four full seasons heading into 2016-17. With New York just completing their November last night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game they would will themselves to win 5-3 after surrendering a 3-0 third-period lead, it gave the Islanders a 4-5-4 mark this time around, just 46% of all possible points and only 2 regulation wins in 13 tries.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

When should Islanders prospects Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang get the call? SNY.tv's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...


Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

With the Isles seven points out of a playoff spot, a lot of fans are clamoring to see the future crop of forwards in Brooklyn. Andy, do you think Michael Dal Colle and/or Josh Ho-Sang should get the call to the big club at some point this season?

Tags: Alain Quine, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ryan Strome will be a healthy scratch Monday night when the Islanders play the Flames, head coach Jack Capuano said.

He was also a healthy scratch on Friday night.

Strome, 23, has two goals and four assists in 19 games this season.

Tags: Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Islanders captain John Tavares can be an unrestricted free agent after next season, and Bob McKenzie of TSN and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN recently weighed in on what the future might have in store.

"Right now [the Islanders are] on course to finish at the bottom of the league," McKenzie said. "And I know that John Tavares doesn't feel like he signed up anywhere in the National Hockey League to be on a last place team. It'll be fascinating to see where the Islanders finish this year and how that influences John Tavares in what he does or doesn't do as far as doing an extension. Keeping in mind he's still got a full year before he gets there."

LeBrun noted that Tavares has made it clear he wants to be an Islander for life.

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

Entering play on Thursday, the Islanders are 6-9-4, with just 16 points. That puts them dead last in the Eastern Conference and ahead of only Arizona in terms of futility in the NHL. With New York seven points out of a playoff spot and seven teams to leap if they're going to qualify for their third consecutive trip to the postseason, the situation looks bleak.

Still, the Islanders are confident they can get their season turned around. So what has to happen for the Isles to resurrect their 2016-17 campaign?

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) reacts during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) reacts during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

In professional baseball, there are some pitchers who have been known to have 'personal catchers', players who go behind the plate only when said hurler takes the mound. The New York Islanders and head coach Jack Capuano might want to anoint Thomas Greiss as their 'personal goaltender' after he stole a badly needed two points in Anaheim last night, defeating the Ducks in a 14-round shootout, 3-2.

The problems that have plagued New York all season are still present, from bad defensive zone clearances to a poor breakout and neutral zone play, which instead of creating speed and flow into the offensive zone, more often than not forces a dump-in. But there were flashes, even if they were not sustained over 60 minutes, but rather the first 30, of some of the Islanders hockey that made this team very tough to play against over the past two years.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is among the team's top shot-takers. (Kim Klement)
Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is among the team's top shot-takers. (Kim Klement)

The numbers show why the Islanders are the worst team in the NHL as they begin a three-game West Coast trip.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders just went through yet another tumultuous week where an expected coaching change never materialized and general manager Garth Snow broke his silence with the media, speaking to reporters after Friday's practice, in what was thought to be a forced move after Frank Seravalli of TSN revealed details of a discussion the two had in Toronto at the GM meetings.

With some sarcasm, snark and ill-advised humor, Snow offered a vote of confidence for his embattled head coach, Jack Capuano, whose system is either not working anymore with the current roster of players at his disposal, or the players have simply tired of the message being preached and have tuned it out. He also gave support to said roster, all while feverishly working the phones looking for offensive help.

Tags: Anders Lee, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Andy Graziano
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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

For a day, all focus shifted to a problem that too many people choose to not think about. The incredible rash of stray animals that are too often left behind in search of a warm, comfortable and loving home to lay their head.

There is a reason dogs are used within our military, trained to help someone who was the victim of an unfortunate accident do daily tasks we take for granted and offer grief counseling to those going through a difficult time in their lives. They always seem to make things better. They possess a 'sixth sense' that draws them even closer to those who really need their positive attitude and selfless dedication to please. And make no mistake, our feline friends can be just as comforting, albeit in a more independent way.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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General view of the ice during the third period between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
General view of the ice during the third period between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders are pushing hard to make a deal for a forward, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday

New York (5-8-3) is currently in dead last in the 16-team Eastern Conference, and are tied with Boston for 19th in the league in goals per game at 2.50.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jaroslav Halak, Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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