Jason Chimera may have started his Islanders career slowly, but the 37-year-old is on pace to have another remarkable NHL season.
Just 25 seconds after Josh Ho-Sang had pulled the Isles within one, Chimera wound the puck around from the blue line and all the way to Cam Ward, who kicked the puck toward the boards. Cal Clutterbuck crashed to prevent Carolina from taking possession. The puck hopped off the glass and took a fortuitous bounce back to Chimera, who gained the puck in the circle, and used a quick release to go top corner far side on Ward to tie the game at two.
"Those [goals] are huge, especially in the last minute of the second period, to get the goals," Chimera said. "Going [into the third period] 2-2 is a lot different than going in down 2-1."
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera
Jean-Francois Berube and Thomas Greiss both allowed four goals as the New York Islanders lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, 8-4, on Monday at Barclays Center. >> Read more
- 9:11 NYI Ryan Strome; Assists: Andrew Ladd, Thomas Hickey
- 14:14 CAR Jaccob Slavin; Assists: Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask
- 14:40 CAR Joakim Nordstrom; Assists: Lee Stempniak, Slavin
- 17:32 NYI Stephen Gionta; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Nikolay Kulemin
- 2:43 NYI Calvin de Haan; Assists: Joshua Ho-Sang, Hickey
- 6:51 CAR Justin Faulk; Assists: Jordan Staal, Noah Hanifin
- 8:02 CAR Jeff Skinner; Assists: Elias Lindholm, Matt Tennyson
- 8:58 CAR Faulk; Assists: Noah Hanifin, Patrick Brown
- 11:45 CAR Slavin (short handed)
- 13:50 NYI Ho-Sang; Assist: Anthony Beauvillier
- 3:43 CAR Skinner (Penalty Shot)
- 10:57 CAR Slavin; Assists: Teuvo Teravainen, Staal
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Carolina Hurricanes, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:
Now that the trade deadline has come and gone, players can relax that they have not been moved and fans have had a night's sleep to recuperate from the anxiety that the day brought.
Islanders GM Garth Snow made no moves Wednesday, choosing to not meet the exorbitant price set on number one target Matt Duchene by Colorado GM Joe Sakic, who was under no pressure to move a highly skilled, coveted player with two years remaining on his contract.
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Andy Graziano
Josh Ho-Sang will make his NHL debut Thursday night when the Islanders face the Stars at 8:30, interim head coach Doug Weight said.
Thomas Greiss will be in net.
Shane Prince and Cal Clutterbuck will return to the lineup, while Anthony Beuavillier (illness) is out.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
Brian Compton, Mike Carver, and special guest Andy Graziano of Islanders Point Blank discuss the Isles' strong start to their road trip, the prognosis of Cal Clutterbuck, and the latest in arena news. Later, with the trade deadline fast approaching, the guys debate whether Garth Snow should acquire Avalanche center Matt Duchene.
Click below to listen!
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck
Andy Graziano, SNY.tv
The climb continues, and if you believe in fairy tales and the stuff dreams are made of, the story written on the ice in Montreal Thursday evening had the perfect ending.
Anthony Beauvillier, the Islanders 19-year old rookie forward who made the team, to some measure of surprise, out of training camp, played for the first time as a professional in his hometown in front of 50 family and friends.
The night started for Beauvillier with a 'gift' from his teammates, as they sent him out for pre-game warmups alone, without following him onto the ice. It's an old gag reserved for when the team wants to shift the attention to one singular player in hopes of showcasing him….or embarrassing him.
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Andy Graziano
Thomas Greiss will start in goal tonight for the Islanders, Doug Weight told reporters Thursday morning.
Cal Clutterbuck is day-to-day with a lower body injury, and will miss Thursday's game against Montreal. Shane Prince, dealing with an upper body injury, will also miss tonight's game.
Stephen Gionta and Bracken Kearns will take their spots in tonight's lineup.
Casey Cizikas has been placed on injured reserved retroactive to Feb. 21, the Islanders announced Thursday.
He will miss four weeks due to an upper-body injury, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported Wednesday.
Cizikas suffered the injury during Tuesday night's win over the Red Wings...
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Shane Prince
Andy Graziano, SNY.tv
The roadie from hell has officially begun. Nine straight games away from Brooklyn for the New York Islanders, who entered play last night tied for fewest road wins in the entire National Hockey League at seven.
After a first period that saw them take the lead on a beauty from Josh Bailey, still their most consistent offensive player all season, they fell asleep at the wheel with the clock running down and surrendered an awful goal to Henrik Zetterberg with 0.1 seconds remaining to tie the game.
Instead of getting down, they picked themselves up, went out and executed simplicity on the road, exactly what is needed to pick up two crucial points at this juncture of the regular season, when the grind of an 82-game schedule really starts to wear down the body, no matter how conditioned or prepared you think you might be.
Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders' game against the Red Wings on Tuesday, Doug Weight told reporters Tuesday morning.
The Isles will use the same defenders as Sunday's win over New Jersey.
13 forwards participated in New York's morning skate, but Cal Clutterbuck will definitely be in the lineup Tuesday. Clutterbuck has not played since Feb. 3.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Thomas Greiss
Andrew Ladd's two-goal night came at a perfect time for the islanders, but it wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of Stephen Gionta.
Six-and-a-half minutes into the second period, Gionta forced Marc Staal into a turnover behind the net, gained possession, and quickly sent a centering feed to Ladd who flicked a quick wrister past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.
For Gionta, it was his third point (all assists) in his seventh game this season
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta
Thomas Greiss will start in goal tonight against the Maple Leafs, Doug Weight told reporters Monday morning.
The Islanders will keep the same lineup as Saturday's overtime loss to the Hurricanes, with Shane Prince in for Cal Clutterbuck, who left Friday's game with a lower-body injury.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
Andrew Ladd (upper) and Cal Clutterbuck (lower) are both day-to-day, while Travis Hamonic (knee) is week-to-week, Interim Head Coach Doug Weight told reporters on Wednesday.
Ladd missed Monday's game against the Bruins, but could be available for tomorrow's game against the Stars. Clutterbuck also missed Monday's game with what is being described as a minor injury.
Hamonic injured his knee on Jan. 7 against the Coyotes in a knee-on-knee collision, and was placed on IR last Thursday.
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Travis Hamonic
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV
Snap your fingers…go ahead, just do it.
Just like that, the Islanders went from a team that won four of five and looked to be righting their wobbly, patchwork ship to set sail toward at least getting back in the playoff conversation, to a team that has now lost four of their last five, including back-to-back loser point 'efforts' in Colorado and Arizona -- the two easiest buildings of 2016-17 to win in.
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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.
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV
Another game where the Islanders enter the third period tied. Another game where the Islanders come away with zero points.
In what has become an ugly, repetitive pattern for the 2016-17 Islanders, they surrendered two goals to Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in the third period of a 4-2 loss.
Niskanen, who came into the game with zero goals, notched his first on a precise snap-shot over the blocker of Jaroslav Halak after the Islanders forgot how to play basic defense. His second came in the closing minutes, on a power play, a slap shot that seemingly went right through Halak, who did not look to be screened on the play.
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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
The Islanders have signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year extension through the 2022-23 season, the team announced Friday.
The average annual value of the deal is $3.5 million, reports Elliotte Friedman of HNIC.
The 29-year-old Clutterbuck, who has two goals and seven assists in 25 games this season, was named an alternate captain before the season.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Thomas Greiss
Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.
John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.
Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.
Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight - including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season - before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders.
Jaroslav Halak allowed the game-winning goal to Danny DeKeyser in overtime after Josh Bailey tied it up late in the third period as the New York Islanders lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more
- 5:16 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas
- 12:53 DET Mike Green; Assist: Frans Nielsen
Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Detroit Red Wings, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey
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
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
In professional baseball, there are some pitchers who have been known to have 'personal catchers', players who go behind the plate only when said hurler takes the mound. The New York Islanders and head coach Jack Capuano might want to anoint Thomas Greiss as their 'personal goaltender' after he stole a badly needed two points in Anaheim last night, defeating the Ducks in a 14-round shootout, 3-2.
The problems that have plagued New York all season are still present, from bad defensive zone clearances to a poor breakout and neutral zone play, which instead of creating speed and flow into the offensive zone, more often than not forces a dump-in. But there were flashes, even if they were not sustained over 60 minutes, but rather the first 30, of some of the Islanders hockey that made this team very tough to play against over the past two years.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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
Thomas Greiss will start for the Islanders on Tuesday against the Ducks, head coach Jack Capuano said.
Alan Quine will take the place of Shane Prince in the lineup.
J.F. Berube will be backing up Greiss in goal.
Tags: Alain Quine, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Can you hear that? Listen real close……Hear it?
Peace and serenity across Islanders social media. Everyone might as well be sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya.
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd scored in the third period as the New York Islanders beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-2, Monday at Barclays Center.
Tags: Alain Quine, Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Vancouver Canucks
Everyone knew the Islanders lost talent this offseason. Jack Capuano referred to the production that departed for Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto again in his postgame scrum after the team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But one factor that was certainly overlooked was that his club may have gone from one of the better shootout teams in the league to one of the worst. Well, Thursday night's skills competition shined a bright light on that shortcoming, and it wasn't pretty.
Where Frans Nielsen, the best statistical shootout performer of all time, would usually lead off the shootout, Cal Clutterbuck took his place and missed. Josh Bailey went second, in a spot usually reserved for Kyle Okposo, and had Michal Neuvirth beat low, but shot it right into the path of Neuvirth's glove. Strike two.
By the time Claude Giroux unpantsed Jaro Halak with a sweet deke, the game was on the stick of John Tavares. And while that's normally a spot no one would mind, the fact is that JT has been brutal in shootouts for the better part of two seasons. He once again fell short, as he came in slow, made a bunch of moves, and eventually had the puck poke checked away from Neuvirth to seal a 3-2 win for the Flyers.
The Islanders have some uncertaintly awaiting them in the years ahead, and at least one writer thinks it create a ton of intrigue. In his latest edition of 30 Thoughts on Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman says the Isles' future is both interesting and difficult to predict, and that both ownership and the team's approach to their own free agents will have a lot to do with the direction the team will take in the coming years.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
It took eight games, but it seems the Islanders' forwards are ready to start carrying their weight.Secondary scoring has been a problem for the Isles for the entirety of the John Tavares era, this year included. The Isles have gotten plenty of goal production from their defensemen in the season's early going, and fans never have to worry about the team's top line -- whoever that may be alongside JT. But practically all their forwards have been marred in a scoring drought to open the 2016-17 campaign.Finally on Sunday, it appeared the damn began to break.
Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
The New York Islanders are only seven games into the 2016-17 season. But it has been an eight-game stretch that has seen them capture only 42.8 percent of possible points, as their 3-4-0 start has them trailing their pace of 64.2 percent last season and 71.4 percent in 2014-15.Trying to figure out the reason for the regression could be an exercise in futility at this early juncture, as there are still 75 games left on the docket and 150 points to be won or lost before the dust settles and playoff dreams are realized or crushed. But since when has that stopped anyone before? Fans are antsy and unsettled even though four of the team's last five games have ended in 3-2 final scores with the 3-2-0 record not as bad as it might seem on the surface. Not to mention the losses were to the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens -- two pretty darn good hockey teams.
Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
Despite the Islanders' 3-2 win over the Coyotes on Friday, Cal Clutterbuck told reporters the conditions at Barclays Center were less than ideal. By the second period, Clutterbuck said, the ice surface at Barclays proved to be poor for all those involved. After a back-and-forth first period with four total goals, neither team scored in the second.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck
Last night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the New York Islanders opened up the home portion of their 2016-17 schedule by defeating the Anaheim Ducks in overtime, 3-2. It was a game that featured a first period where New York could do nothing wrong, outshooting Anaheim 16-3, John Tavares' first goal of the season, the continued early season excellence of Cal Clutterbuck and another strong performance by Josh Bailey, who would score the game winner 54 seconds into the extra session on a fantastic individual performance.Last year, in their first year playing at a new home, with all the pomp, circumstance and yes, distractions too, the Islanders managed to pull off a 25-11-5 home record, tied for fourth best in the entire Eastern conference. The ability to secure 55% of their season points total in comfortable surroundings clearly is what led them to a second consecutive playoff appearance and first series win in 23 years.This year, the schedule makers have been kind to New York yet again (perhaps a tip of the cap to the Brooklyn Nets for forcing the NHL's hand?), putting the Islanders at home 14 times in the season's first 22 games through October and November. This includes remarkable, and perhaps unheard of, stretches of 10 of 11 and 12 of 14 games in Brooklyn.
Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Andy Graziano
The Islanders lost their best penalty killer this offseason, but that doesn't mean they're inclined to regress.Despite adjusting to life without Frans Nielsen, New York's PK has killed off 14 of their first 15 shorthanded chances, good for a 92.9 kill percentage. That's the highest by any team with more than six kill attempts.The Isles are tied for the league lead in number of penalty kills, and are one of only six clubs who have had double-digit kills this season so far.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Brian Erni
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
The New York Islanders played Game one of their season last night at Madison Square Garden. Game one. That means there are 81 remaining. Yet, if you read through some of the comments on Twitter postgame from a passionate Islanders fanbase, you would think they were just eliminated from postseason contention.
I respect the passion, the wanting to win so badly at any cost, believe me. However, there has to be a sense of reasonableness that comes into play when the team you root for has played 1.22 percent of its scheduled games.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, Ladd will be an alternate every game, while Clutterbuck and Hamonic will rotate games serving as alternates.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Travis Hamonic
Islanders fans have grown accustomed to expecting big things out of their fourth line, but with Matt Martin in Toronto, who will take his place alongside Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck?
With the E=MC-squared line officially broken up, the Isles brain trust has given a lot of thought to how they want the lines to look, and Newsday's Art Staple has shared some insight into that thinking.
"It seems that the [Nikolay] Kulemin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck line is a thing that the Islanders are going to give a serious look," Staple wrote after the three were grouped together for Wednesday night's exhibition game against the Devils. "Kulemin and Matt Martin have a few things in common, notably that they could both clear space for their quicker, more offense-minded linemates on this line. Kulemin is better in his own end than Martin was.
And so begins the Brendan Burke era.
The Islanders' 3-2 preseason overtime win over the Rangers on Tuesday night marked the first time Burke's voice could be heard on an Isles broadcast, and Isles fans seem to be embracing the new soundtrack of their club.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck
The New York Islanders beat the New York Rangers, 3-2, in overtime on Tuesday at Barclays Center.
- 16:42 NYR: Chris Kreider; Assists: Marc Staal, Nathan Gerbe
- 17:33 NYI: Cal Clutterbuck
- 6:06 NYI: Cal Clutterbuck (power play); Assists: Josh Bailey, JF Berube
- 11:01 NYR: Nicklas Jensen; Assists: Chris Kreider, Dylan McIlrath
- 4:38 NYI: Josh Bailey; Assist: Dennis Seidenberg
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey
John from Saratoga asks: The Isles lost two assistant captains this offseason in Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo. Do you think that will hurt the room? And what two players do you think wear the 'A' next season?
That's a great interesting question, John. As far as the locker room goes, I think you saw just how important Garth Snow thought bringing in strong leaders to replace his outgoing assistant captains were when he made his free agent moves. Not only did he make bringing in Andrew Ladd his top priority, but the Islanders were very aggressive going after Jason Chimera. Both of those players are known for their exemplary leadership skills, and both have a ton of playoff experience. So while it's never quite clear how a locker room is going to gel until the guys actually get to know one another, I think that Garth really prioritized that area, which was a bit of a need for this team.
The five-year, $16.75 million deal Casey Cizikas received from the Islanders on Thursday was a significant price to pay for the fourth-line center, but could it actually hint at bigger spending to come later in the summer?
On the surface, that may sound counterintuitive. Essentially, by locking up Cizikas at a $3.3 million AAV, it gives him a big raise over his $1 million salary of a season ago, and exceeds the $2.5-3 million range he would have earned in arbitration this year. Why would the Islanders spend even more money when they handed out a raise and a long-term commitment before they had to?
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Twenty-eight times in 289 instances. That is an insanely low number of teams that have been able to pick themselves up off the ground and rebound from a three-games-to-one series deficit in NHL history. The New York Islanders, if they are to survive and advance to the Eastern Conference finals to play the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals series, will have to be team No. 29.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
Everyone knew it. Once Jonathan Drouin set up Nikita Kucherov with 39 seconds remaining in the third period in Game 3, there was a sense of doom that fell over Atlantic and Flatbush. On the precipice of taking a 2-1 series lead and having a chance to take a commanding advantage on Friday, the Islanders had let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers.
New York scored twice in the third period to grab a 4-3 lead, but faltered late, squandering two leads in the third period. Now, their fate might be headed in a very different direction.
Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
Wednesday night in Tampa, Florida, the New York Islanders continued their postseason run as they appeared in Game 1 of the second round of sports' best tournament for the first time in 23 years. Although much has been made of the drought, the game remains the same, however, no matter what round it might be.
The formula for playoff success has been tried and true over the course of the NHLs illustrious history. Get great goaltending, unexpected performances by previously unheralded players, be opportunistic and, lastly, get some good old fashioned puck luck.
The Islanders got every bit of those four things Wednesday night in their 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning -- one of last season's Stanley Cup finalists and the team possessing one of the three finalists for the 2016 Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender, Ben Bishop.
The Islanders have gone through plenty in just seven playoff games this postseason, but they're starting to discover that there is merit in paying your dues.
New York led 4-1 after two periods in Game 1, there wasn't a mind in Islanders country that wasn't racing, trying to push out the thoughts of a Tamp Bay comeback. The Isles withstood an 11-5 shots advantage in the second period, as the reigning Eastern Conference champions seemed determined to not let the opener of this series get away from them. The Isles, meanwhile, looked like they were just trying to cling to their early advantage.