Brian Erni

New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee with the puck as Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee with the puck as Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.
 

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September.

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New York Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang (66) celebrates his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang (66) celebrates his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV: 

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. 

Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.

66|Josh Ho-Sang|C/RW 

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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point. 

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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 (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Brian Erni
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 (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Nick Leddy, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Read More

 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

Reports have indicated that the Islanders are in the market for a top-six forward, and blue line mainstay Travis Hamonic could be a player New York deals to make it happen. Will the Isles trade a core piece away to improve up front? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

There have been some murmurs that the Islanders are getting ready to deal a defensemen to procure a top-six forward, and one name that has popped up is Travis Hamonic. Should the Isles trade Hamonic, under team control for another three seasons, to make that forward upgrade?

Tags: Brock Nelson, Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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The NHL Draft kicks off on June 23 at 7 p.m., and the Islanders currently hold the 15th pick? What should they do with it? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The Isles hold the 15th pick in what experts say is a very shallow draft. So, Andy, what strategy should the Isles take? Explore a trade up? Trade down or trade the pick away? Or just stand pat?

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk (71) shoots and scores a goal against Finland in the men's ice hockey quarterfinals during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome. (Scott Rovak)
Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk (71) shoots and scores a goal against Finland in the men's ice hockey quarterfinals during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome. (Scott Rovak)

Don't check your calendar. Yes, it's 2017 and we're talking about Ilya Kovalchuk. The 34-year-old is eyeing a return to the NHL, and he reportedly has a desire to play in the New York market. Could the Islanders be a fit? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

Elliotte Friedman said this week that the Islanders could make sense as a destination for Ilya Kovalchuk. What do you think, Andy? Any chance the Isles can land the former 50-goal scorer?

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

The NHL will expand for the 2017-18 season, as the Vegas Golden Knights enter the league for their inaugural season. At the June 21 Expansion Draft, Golden Knights GM and former Islanders vice president George McPhee will start to assemble his club. So how will the Isles protect their players, and who will they lose? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The expansion draft is just over a month away, and - when it comes to protecting a roster - the Islanders are one of the most intriguing teams in the league. So, Andy, what do you think Garth Snow does in preparation of the Golden Knights making their selections?

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Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates up ice with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates up ice with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. The guys have taken on Garth Snow's potential fate, and the chances of building a new arena at Belmont Park. In the final installment, it's the chances of signing captain John Tavares to an extension…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The Islanders have begun to prep their pitch for an extension to John Tavares. So Andy, what do you think is the linchpin to getting this thing done this summer?

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

As playoff hockey roars on into the second round, the Islanders faithful are back in that somewhat familiar position of waiting around for the NHL Draft. And with the lottery set to take place this Saturday night, the Isles know to a virtual certainty the ping pong balls hold no surprises for them.

The Islanders have the worst chance of moving up and grabbing the number one pick in the draft -- a 0.9 percent chance, to be exact. So while the Avalanche (18 percent), Canucks (12.1 percent), and Golden Knights and Coyotes (10.3 percent) wait around with bated breath for the right to draft Nolan Patrick, the Islanders know that they'll likely be picking 15th, saddled with the distinction of being the first team on the outside of the postseason looking in.

That doesn't mean much, though. In fact, the Isles' sprint to the finish that fell just short of the playoffs meant far more than any delusions of NHL lottery grandeur...

Tags: John Tavares, Brian Erni
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. First up: Garth Snow's fate and the possibility of a new team president...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. We now know Doug Weight will be back, as he'll be the main man behind the bench, but what about Garth Snow? Are the Islanders going to bring in a team president, and if so, will Snow stay on in some capacity?

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 (John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))
(John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))

Reports have started to indicate that John Tavares wants to have his mind made up about what to do about his next contract this summer. Have the Islanders given him enough reason to stay? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. Lots of John Tavares murmuring of late, with the Canadian media luminaries (like Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger) alluding to the idea that JT wants to have his mind made up on a course of action by June. Where do you think things stand at this very moment?

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

The Islanders lost Ryan Strome to a broken wrist, so what impact will it have on their playoff chances? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Barring a deep playoff run, Ryan Strome's 2016-17 season is over. So, Andy: What does this mean for the Islanders forward corps, and how will this impact them going down the stretch?

Tags: Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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The Islanders' Thomas Hickey, left, and center John Tavares show their frustration during Thursday's home loss to Winnipeg. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
The Islanders' Thomas Hickey, left, and center John Tavares show their frustration during Thursday's home loss to Winnipeg. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The Isles are just one point out of the final Wild Card with 13 games to go. So what does the team need to do to reach the playoffs? Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:  Andy, with their loss to the Jets on Thursday, the Islanders suffered a major setback in their quest for the second Wild Card. So what does this team need to do to make sure they qualify for their third straight postseason?

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:  Well, I'd say the change has to begin with their defensive coverage, which has been manically up-and-down for a couple of weeks now. Travis Hamonic has not been good since his return for injury, and the forwards look too lackadaisical in their back-checking.

Tags: Shane Prince, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

Josh Ho-Sang's NHL career is only four games old, but he has certainly turned some heads thus far. SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss:

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Josh Ho-Sang has made his presence felt in his first handful of games with the big club, and now he even has an NHL goal to show for it. So, Andy, what are your impressions of Ho-Sang thus far?

Tags: Shane Prince, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders GM Garth Snow talked to a lot of teams, but it didn't yield any results before the NHL trade deadline passed on Wednesday. SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Alright, Andy. Despite a lot of rumbling, the Islanders stood pat at the deadline. What are your general impressions of what transpired the last few days?

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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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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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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

It looks like Ryan Strome may have finally rediscovered his game.

Strome, who picked up the secondary assist on Anders Lee's first period goal on the power play Thursday night against the Flyers, now has points in five consecutive games (2-5-7). Strome, who was stationed at the right side of the Flyers net, took a feed from Josh Bailey and whistled a hard pass to John Tavares, who was stationed at the near circle. Tavares ripped a wrister that Lee was able to deflect home.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

I had a sneaking suspicion that Strome's production might pick up after Weight took the reins, and the early returns are good...

Tags: Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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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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General view of opening tip off during the first period between the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
General view of opening tip off during the first period between the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

It seems that everyone has an opinion on the Islanders arena situation, but there is only one that offends me personally. It's one I'd like to dispel, and it's the idea that the Brooklyn experiment failed because Islanders fans just don't come out to support their team. That's ridiculous, and if there is any reason Barclays Center simply doesn't work for hockey, it has nothing to do with a lack of support for this organization.

Scott Soshnick, the reporter who broke the Bloomberg story about Barclays Center becoming anxious to end their shaky marriage with the Islanders, said on many radio interviews that fans simply haven't come out in the droves that the arena brass expected. Whether intended or not, that has led to a degree of blame placed on this fan base by some of the national media (who is not nearly qualified to talk about this situation based on their lack of familiarity with all of its intricacies) and fans of other teams.

But make no mistake: Islanders fans are not the problem in this equation.

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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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Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

It had become a running joke in the waning days of the Jack Capuano era. The Islanders were so bad possession-wise that it had become laughable.

Critics of the Isles' system pointed to their gaping hole in their Corsi rating to show why any kind of sustained success was not possible as long as the team stayed on the current course.

Well, New York has charted a new path with interim head coach Doug Weight at the helm, and the team is responding in a big way. Most notably, the Islanders have been a much better possession team since Weight's first game as head coach on January 10...

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, 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)

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 left wing Jason Chimera celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Kings with teammates during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Kings with teammates during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Remember when Jason Chimera wasn't a productive New York Islander? That is a thing of the past, as the veteran has found himself during this recent hot streak.

Chimera scored the Islanders' fourth goal in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets when he tried to send a cross ice pass through the neutral zone, but it was broken up. The puck bounced back to him, so he skated into the high slot and ripped a wrister to beat Sergei Bobrovsky on his glove side.

The 37-year-old Chimera, who signed a two-year deal with New York last summer, has scored five of his 10 goals over the last seven games, as the Islanders have 11 points during that stretch.

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Jason Chimera, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (Bruce Fedyck/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (Bruce Fedyck/USA Today Sports Images)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Chaos can create opportunity, and that's exactly what a few New York Islanders players are hoping for in the wake of Jack Capuano's firing. 

Doug Weight's reign behind the bench started with his first practice on Wednesday, as he preached passion, identity and, wisely, less time spent in the Islanders' own zone. That all sounds great, but better than that, his new role stands to offer a reset of sorts for some players who had struggled in the waning days of the Capuano era.

Who could take this fresh start and run with it? Here are some candidates.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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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 general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

And then there was one.

With the dismissal of Jack Capuano on Tuesday, the spotlight has officially shifted to the team's general manager. And while the seat under Garth Snow may have seemed hot before, the temperature is bound to be cranked up a few notches now that he has survived the third coaching change of his tenure.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Frans Nielsen, Jason Chimera, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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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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Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) 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 Anthony Beauvillier (72) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV: 

The Islanders are guilty of a crime. The charge: The misuse of Anthony Beauvillier.

Once again, Beauvillier will sit and watch from afar, as Jack Capuano announced he'd be sticking with the same lineup for Wednesday's game against the Panthers. Beauvillier has not played a game since the calendar turned to 2017, and has appeared in 26 of the team's 38 games (68 percent).

What is this organization thinking? That's the line that keeps racing through my head, along with others that are littered with words that SNY probably wouldn't take too kindly to be dropping in this space. What is the point of carrying the 19-year-old for an entire season, burning a year of his entry-level contract in the process, to have him watch from the press box

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

What will the Islanders trade deadline strategy be? It's anyone's guess, but ESPN's Craig Custance suggests GM Garth Snow should entertain being an aggressive buyer.

In his Eastern Conference trade season preview, Custance says that, while he would normally advise teams as out of it as the Islanders are to sell off some useful parts (Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan are two pieces he mentions by name), he thinks the John Tavares situation complicates matters.

"If the Islanders start selling off parts and continue the slide backwards, it gives Tavares little reason to commit long-term, even for someone who has been as loyal as Tavares has been to the team that drafted him," he writes. "Keeping Tavares has to be the priority, and Snow has to give him a reason to stay. Instead of selling, the better strategy would be to aggressively pursue another cornerstone to add to Tavares long term."

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The days of the Islanders' black-and-white third jersey appear to be numbered.

NHL teams will not have alternate jerseys in 2017-18 in order to ensure a smooth transition for Adidas, who is taking over as the league's uniform supplier next season, according to a report in the Minnesota Star Tribune that was later confirmed by Sportslogo.net's Chris Creamer. 

Newsday's Art Staple said a source has told him this will indeed be the last season for the current third jersey. The traditional blue and orange sweater will remain the primary home uniform

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Jan 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) battle for control of the puck in the first period at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) battle for control of the puck in the first period at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV: 

If you looked at the standings, coupled with the Islanders hot streak just before the new year, and convinced yourself that the Isles could make one last-ditch effort at the playoffs, New York went and stomped out that flame of optimism before the embers could even truly get burning.

One goal on Friday in Colorado, one on Saturday in Arizona. Two of the worst teams in the NHL, and the Islanders couldn't mount more than a goal a game. Absolutely brutal.

There's no blaming the goaltending anymore. In a far cry from anything Jaroslav Halak was able to manage this year, Thomas Greiss was brilliant in both games, stepping up to ensure the Isles' anemic offense had a chance to get the four points on this road trip they desperately needed. Even the defense played better, as the club blocked 20 shots on Friday and 21 on Saturday and eased some of the onus on Greiss.

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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

There's a crunch coming to the Islanders defensemen. That's because the upcoming NHL expansion draft, set to take place this June, is undoubtedly going to mix some things up on New York's blue line, and it should create some urgency for Garth Snow in the next few months.

The rules of the draft allow teams to protect either seven forwards and three defensemen, or eight skaters overall. Players with no-move clauses must be protected, so Johnny Boychuk isn't going anywhere. The Isles will also undoubtedly protect Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic. And if they choose to protect Ryan Pulock, which they will have to do based on his eligibility if they don't want him exposed, that will leave them room for four more skaters (three once you factor in John Tavares).

It all adds up to the reality that Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey will both be left unprotected, which forces Garth Snow to make a decision. Either trade one (or both) before this year's trade deadline and not risk losing one of them for nothing, or roll the dice and watch his old assistant snatch one up for the Knights' inaugural roster.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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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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New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Matthew Barzal continues to turn heads at the IIHF World Junior Championship, and it led to him receiving a top accolade for the second consecutive year.

Barzal, along with the Ottawa Senators' Thomas Chabot and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Anthony Cirelli, was named as one of the tournament's top three players for Canada by the coaches.

This is the second consecutive year being named to the top-three for Barzal. According to Elite Prospects, no other Canadian has received the honor two years in a row since the award was first given out in 2007 (h/t to Corey Pronman).

Barzal has three goals and four assists and has a plus-3 rating on the ice in six tournament games. He and the rest of Team Canada will square off against Team USA in the tournament's gold medal game on Thursday. 

Tags: Mathew Barzal, Brian Erni
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Sep 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Sep 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle are two of the Islanders' best prospects, and only a few months into their first AHL season, they have their sights set on the big club.

"I know that they're in last place right now," Ho-Sang told WFAN's Peter Schwartz. "I just want to play better and force their hand. They obviously need to figure out some stuff up there. I can just control what I can and play as well as I can down here and, ultimately, they make the call whenever they feel like it. My phone is always on."

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

I know a lot of people's expectations are quelled on these two guys for a number of reasons.

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Dec 31, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano reacts on the bench during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 31, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano reacts on the bench during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

The new calendar year is upon us, and with it always comes resolutions to try to work on one's self over the next 365 days.

Everyone could use a little self-improvement, right? The Islanders are no different, so what should their resolutions be for 2017? Here are three suggestions to get them started.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

John Tavares a penalty killer? That's probably not something anyone expected before this season began, but circumstance has forced JT into the unfamiliar role and he's thriving in it.

Newsday's Art Staple took a look at Tavares' impact on the PK since Jack Capuano tried him out there last week in Boston. Since he joined the unit, New York is 9-for-9 on the kill. 

"You get those few seconds after the draw and they don't get a chance to set up, that's a big help," Tavares' kill partner Nikolai Kulemin told Staple. "JT, he's been in the PK meetings with us for a long time, he knows what we're doing and how we do it."

Tags: Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Brian Erni
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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 Cal Clutterbuck celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

What did it take to expunge underwhelming, early season performances from Ryan Strome and Nikolay Kulemin? Teaming the two with Cal Clutterbuck, apparently.

This new, makeshift fourth line is clicking on all cylinders, and it has brought Kulemin and Strome back from the brink of being complete NHL non-factors.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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John Tavares takes control of the puck in a contest at Barclays Center.  (USA Today)
John Tavares takes control of the puck in a contest at Barclays Center. (USA Today)

This summer was fun, wasn't it? Outside of the usual seasonal pleasantries, the Islanders' new owners had just taken the reins, and the front man of the duo - Jon Ledecky - was out in full force to pay lip service to the group's intention to make the franchise the championship force they used to be. But right now, as the team flounders and the fan base is on the verge of combustion, there is silence from the ownership box.

I'm a reasonable person, so I understand Ledecky and his partner Scott Malkin want to take an even-handed approach in evaluating the organization before hastily turning the ship in a different direction. The problem is that this downturn of a season couldn't come at a worse possible time.

John Tavares is eligible to sign a contract extension on July 1, one year before he is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency. The Isles need to retain their team captain and face of the franchise for life, and each loss makes the sabre rattling from the True North about a looming Tavares bidding war in the summer of 2018 louder and louder.

Tags: John Tavares, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome (18) watches his pass against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome (18) watches his pass against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

Maybe it's their 11-12-5 record, or maybe it's the wind chill cutting straight through me on this blustery, cold Long Island day, but when I saw Anthony Beauvillier was scratched for Thursday's game against the Blackhawks, I felt ready to lose it.

I'm not usually prone to knee-jerk anger. It's just in my nature to be a relatively measured sports fan. But if you were among the listeners of this week's Point Blank Podcast, you know that I was approaching my breaking point, and this one tipped me over the edge.

What's the disconnect between the Islanders front office and coaching staff and reality? The Isles are 12 points out of the final Wild Card spot. The majority of their division can't lose, with Washington (five), Columbus (seven), Philadelphia (10), and Pittsburgh (seven) on insane winning streaks. The projected point total needed to grab the second Wild Card is at 103 points. The harsh reality is the Islanders are not making the playoffs.

Tags: Alain Quine, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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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)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Cal Clutterbuck will be an Islander for the next five years, and that is a clear signal from Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin that their ownership group is very serious about winning a Stanley Cup. Yes, really.

Back in November, I wrote this about Clutterbuck's contract situation:

"How the Isles address Clutterbuck's impending free agency will probably be a good barometer of where the Ledecky/Malkin group thinks this team is, and where it needs to go. Clutterbuck should be set up to be paid handsomely. Matt Martin pulled a $2.5m AAV, and based on the fact that Clutterbuck kills penalties and has more offensive instincts than Martin, Cal should do even better than that. Will the Isles push to make sure they keep one of their biggest motor guys, even if the price tag is more than they care to shell out? If they do, it's probably a clear indication that ownership is happy with the current direction, and is willing to invest all they can to provide the Isles a nice, gaping window of contention."

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Brian Erni
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Anders Lee is red hot, and he's scoring exactly when the Islanders need it most.

Lee tallied two goals Thursday against St. Louis to give him seven in his last eight contests. The first came on a deflection in the high slot off a Nick Leddy wrister from the point. Lee slapped the puck out of the air and into the ice, which allowed it to hop over Jake Allen to even the game, 1-1.

"I think we kept it fairly simple," Lee told Shannon Hogan of MSG after the game. "It wasn't our best game to start, but then we just battled back and continued to play our game."

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano watching over his team. (Brad Penner - USA Today)
New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano watching over his team. (Brad Penner - USA Today)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

The Islanders have their groove back, or at least that's certainly how it seems after a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues allowed New York to improve their record to 5-0-1 over their last six contests. Head coach Jack Capuano thinks so too, and he told reporters as much after the team's victory on Tuesday night.

"I just think that we're playing with some resiliency and some emotion to our game right now," Capuano said. "Whether they tie it up, or we're down by one, I think that we have that no-quit attitude. We got our identity back a little bit."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, Thomas Greiss, Brian Erni
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