Brian Erni

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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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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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

The Islanders' 4-2 victory over their crosstown rival New York Rangers was as big of a win as the team has had in the 2016-17 season. Don't get me wrong, it's not nearly enough to get this thing turned around on its own. But by taking down the Metropolitan-leading Rangers, it shows the Islanders and their fans that a run back to playoff contention this season, while improbable, is still a possibility.

Now 4-0-1 in their last five games, the Isles should certainly feel like they have some positive momentum. Wins against perennial divisional contenders the Penguins, Capitals, and Rangers have a way of making both the team and the fan base see the glass half-full. But a quick glimpse at the standings shows how difficult it is to pick up points in this era of the NHL.

The Isles are six points back of a playoff spot (albeit with a game in hand over the Caps, who currently hold the second Wild Card), behind six other teams on the outside-looking-in. In order for them to get back into the postseason conversation, they have a lot more heavy lifting to do, particularly inside the Conference, and they know it.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Thomas Greiss, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have points in their last four games, and have nine of a possible 14 over their past seven games. Things are improving. The problem in the era of the loser point, it's hard to make up significant ground once a team puts themselves in a hole. Still, the Isles enter Tuesday night's game against the Rangers optimistic that they can keep their momentum going, and they have a plan to do so: be aggressive.

Everyone is begging the Islanders to open up their system and try to escape the dump-and-chase monotony that has befallen the team over the past year and a half, and for good reason. New York has seen their possession metrics slide all the way to the bottom of the league. Entering play, the Isles are 28th in Corsi For Percentage at even strength, just two teams from the cellar. It stands to reason that if the Isles could tighten up their neutral zone play, ultimately leading to more Zone Entries (as perfectly outlined by Garik16 here), the team would have a lot more success on both ends of the ice.

The problem is that, far too often, the Isles seem contest to flick the puck deep. It kills them against bigger teams that they can't win battles against the boards against, and it looms particularly large late in games when players' legs start to go. It's probably not a coincidence this team has had so many missteps in the final minutes of the third period

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Thursday night's game against Washington had all the makings of a letdown. The Islanders were coming off a hard-fought, last-second win against the Penguins. They had to travel to the nation's capital. Thomas Greiss, who has emerged as the team's number one goaltender, wasn't even dressed.

They had skated hard and played an impressive two periods against the Capitals. But we were all bracing for the inevitable in a scoreless third period, and it came just 37 seconds in: the power play opportunity that would inevitably break New York's back.

After the Isles had killed off their first four chances down a man, two of which came late in the second period, Johnny Boychuk swatted a puck in the air out of play without it touching the glass. The delay of game minor gave Washington another shot on the power play just 29 seconds after Anders Lee's high-sticking penalty had expired, and the Caps were starting to buzz.

Washington hadn't converted on their last eight power plays, and they knew it. They were due, and smelled blood in the water. The way this season had gone, it was only a matter of time before the Capitals set up Alexander Ovechkin for one of his patented blasts from the circle that beat Jaroslav Halak and broke the tie.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, 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)

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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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

It's hard not to notice that the Islanders are in a jam, and it has put both their head coach and their general manager on the hot seat. But believe it or not, Jack Capuano is not the first head coach to get the axe this season, as the Florida Panthers dismissed former Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant late on Sunday night. But Forida's loss could be New York's gain, and the team should pick up the phone, if they haven't already.

Gallant was as an assistant coach for the Islanders from 2007 to 2008 before becoming a special assistant to GM Garth Snow.

"Gerard has been an essential member of our coaching staff," Snow said at the time. "He will serve as a valuable asset within the hockey operations department."

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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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 (Watchara Phomicinda)
(Watchara Phomicinda)

The Islanders have expressed interest in trading for Sabres LW Evander Kane, though nothing seems imminent. 

"The New York Islanders came in and starting kicking tires on Evander Kane, but nothing came of that," Bob McKenzie of TSN reported. "Nothing is imminent at this moment, but the Buffalo Sabres will consider it for the right defenseman."

Kane, 25, has zero goals and two assists in eight games this season.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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Andrew Ladd celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates during the second period. (AP)
Andrew Ladd celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates during the second period. (AP)

Entering play on Tuesday, the Islanders are 5-8-4, with just 14 points. That putts them dead last in the Eastern Conference and tied for last in the NHL.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Lighthouse Hockey has started a movement to have J-F Berube be voted into the game as captain of the Metropolitan Division's All Star team.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Brian Erni
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Islanders have had trouble early this season findings ways to put the puck in the net -- among other things. So how long until they dip into their talented pool of young forwards at Bridgeport and give first round picks Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang an opportunity?

Dal Colle scored his sixth and seventh goals over the weekend, giving him nine points in 15 games. Ho-Sang, who had a few beautiful set ups, brought his assist total to eight and his point total to 10 in 14 games. Both have proven to be very effective playmakers in Brett Thompson's system, and it stands to reason that these two could give the Isles an offensive boost. One of them may even be the answer to the perpetual opening on John Tavares' wing. So how long will we have to wait?

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

Are the Islanders capable of salvaging their 2016-17 season? We're going to find out, and it's not going to hinge on a coaching change -- at least not yet. 

GM Garth Snow is trying to make a deal for a top-flight winger to try to improve his stable of forwards. But even if he's able to pull it off, the Isles are going to need to tweak how they play if they hope to spur a renaissance.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Brian Erni
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Rick DiPietro is never one to sugarcoat things, and he had plenty to say when asked to diagnose the Islanders' recent failings.

The former Isles goaltender told MSG's Shannon Hogan during the postgame coverage on Tuesday that New York isn't sure what their identity is right now, and it's making them a far too easy matchup for their opponents.

"Well, you know what? I think the Islanders are too easy to play against," DiPietro said. "I understand you're not going to win every game, but at home, the Islanders have been a pretty dominant team […], and right now I think they're searching for their identity."

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New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on his bench in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy)
New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on his bench in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy)

Although the Islanders have struggled mightily so far this season, general manager Garth Snow is still confident in Jack Capuano as the team's head coach.

"Jack is an excellent coach," Snow said. "We have good players. I love our coaching staff. In fact, last time I checked, he coached in the World Cup and there were some pretty good coaching staffs."

While he still thinks Capuano can turn the team's fortunes around, Snow admits he has heard the loud chants coming from the Barclays Center calling for him to fire the head coach.

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The Islanders do not intend to fire head coach Jack Capuano at this time, says Bob McKenzie of TSN.

McKenzie added that he has "no reason to believe the new owner would blow things up from the top down in the middle of the season" 

There has been "zero talk" of the Islanders replacing Capuano, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported on Nov. 4.

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New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow speaks at a press conference at Yankee Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow speaks at a press conference at Yankee Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Chants of "Fire Cappy" have been raining down from the rafters at Barclays Center this year, but one writer thinks that gives Garth Snow a free pass.

The New York Daily News' Peter Botte says the Islanders general manager is complicit in this failure as well, as to place the blame solely on Jack Capuano is to overlook where the Isles' rebuild has truly stalled out.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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Lighting forward J.T. Brown (23) fights with Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Vincent Carchietta - USA Today)
Lighting forward J.T. Brown (23) fights with Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Vincent Carchietta - USA Today)

Rick DiPietro is never one to sugarcoat things, and he had plenty to say when asked to diagnose the Islanders' recent failings.

The former Isles goaltender told MSG's Shannon Hogan during the postgame coverage Tuesday that New York isn't sure what their identity is right now, and it's making them far too easy a match up for their opponents.

"Well, you know what? I think the Islanders are too easy to play against," DiPietro said. "I understand you're not going to win every game, but at home, the Islanders have been a pretty dominant team […], and right now I think they're searching for their identity. Last year, you knew what you were getting with the New York Islanders. You were going to roll four lines, and they had - you called it the fourth line - but the best fourth line in all of the NHL. Right now, they're struggling to find who they are, and for me, when you watch this game and the recent games, the forwards for the Islanders are the problem."

DiPietro went on to say that the forwards are leaving the defensemen out to dry, particularly on the backcheck, pointing to Nikita Kucherov's goal in the second period.

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Islanders fans were left scratching their heads searching for answers in the wake of Saturday night's final second failure, something that has become all too commonplace in this young season. 

In a game that, quite frankly, the Isles didn't even deserve to be in, it seemed as though Jaroslav Halak had stolen them one, giving them a much-needed boost in the fight for a playoff spot.

Then it all went down the drain.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Brian Erni
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Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic will return on Monday night against the Lightning, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Hamonic, who participated in the morning skate, had been placed on IR on Nov. 7 (retroactive to Nov. 5) due to an upper-body injury sustained when blocking a shot.

The Islanders initially said he would be out four-to-six weeks.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, 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)

Firing a head coach is always an unfortunate situation. More often than not, it's not so much a conviction against that specific leader as it is indicative of a team's lack of performance. But unfortunately, the time has come for Jack Capuano to be a scapegoat, and it was never clearer than after the Islanders' 4-1 loss in Tampa on Thursday.

The team played a sloppy, uninspired, lethargic game, a sight that has become all too common in the first fifth of the season. The loss sent the team to its first 0-4-0 start on the road in the history of the franchise, as they couldn't stay out of the penalty box, which allowed the Lightning to capitalize with three power play goals. Jaro Halak, who has taken to showing visual frustration ad nauseum of late, was pulled for the second time in as many starts against Tampa.

Should this all fall on the head of Capuano? Probably not, but the buck stops with him. And while the team has been serviceable at 5-on-5 in the last few contests, their special teams has been an abomination, and for the first time in a long time, their goaltending is letting them down. It certainly feels like it's all getting away from the Isles, and in a hurry. And the only choice they have right now is to try and make a coaching change.

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New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (11) skates with the puck during the second period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland)
New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (11) skates with the puck during the second period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Mathew Barzal is on his way back to his Juniors team in Seattle. J-F Berube is still rotating between the press box and the bench, as the Islanders' three goaltender boondoggle continues to infuriate both fans and the goalies involved in the situation alike. Sort of makes you feel like P.A. Pareanteau could have easily had a spot on this team had the Isles exercised a little more foresight.

To make matters worse, Parenteau notched his fifth goal of the season on Tuesday night, pulling him into a tie for the Devils' team lead with Taylor Hall. With plenty of space, Parenteau roofed a wicked wrister for his sixth point of the season. That would be good enough to tie him for first in goals and sixth in overall scoring on the Islanders. What's more, he's playing to a 55.5 Corsi For and 55.4 Fenwick For through 12 games this season, an admittedly small sample size, but marks that put him on pace for the best possession metrics in his career.

Tags: Nick Leddy, P.A. Parenteau, Brian Erni
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