The following is a collection of unedited feedback we received from Islander Country following Wednesday's announcement. We weren't able to include everyone who wrote in but thank you to all who submitted your story.

***

Today is a day filled with mixed emotions.  While our loyal fan base will always remember that Nassau Coliseum was our home for over 40 years, we all know that the building has come to serve as a microcosm of Nassau County's political, provincial, and short-sighted agenda.  Beginning in the 2015-16 season, players, fans, and management will no longer be ridiculed that their arena should be called the "Mausoleum."  There will be no more cloud of uncertainty as to "Where will we play?", no more Coliseum invasions by jilted Quebec Nordiques' fans, and no more concerns that our future is in the hands of NIFA, Kate Murray, Wayne Wink, and others.  I will not miss the facilities at the Coliseum, nor should anyone.  I will, however, miss the convenience of the short car ride to Uniondale and back, the car horns honking the "Let's Go Islanders!" chant, and the passion and roar of the crowd during those fleeting moments of success over the past 20 years.  This is a new start.  It is a new opportunity.  Today, we continue to keep the Drive for Five Alive.  Here's to the future success of the Islanders.  Your resilient fans are behind you.
- Jacob R.
I have mixed opinions. On one point ill miss the 5 minute commute to a game. On the other hand I'm happy the arena situation is done with and I can go back to enjoying the Islanders knowing they will be staying in New York. There is no excuse for not bringing in free agents and spending above the floor. We have the building blocks to be succesful again and now the arena will not be an excuse anymore.

- Brett C.

As a Suffolk County resident, it will undoubtedly be a touch less convenient to attend games. Instead of a 35-40 minute car ride, it's an hour plus investment via the LIRR. But you know where it would have bee a lot more inconvenient to get to games? Quebec. Or Seattle. Or Kansas City.

I've seen some members of the media presenting this as a Nassau vs. Brooklyn thing. Sophisticated fans know that's a false choice. It was never between Nassau and Brooklyn. It was always Brooklyn or bust, and bust was an out-of-state relocation.
So to know that I will be able to raise my kids on New York Islanders hockey for at least the next 28 years? That's priceless to me. And the knowledge that this franchise will now benefit from the full exposure of the New York City market, play in a state-of-the-art facility, and become infinitely more attractive to impending free agents? Well, that's all the better.
I truly believe this will be a day we'll all remember as we watch JT hoist the Cup over his head on a float going down Atlantic Avenue.
- Brian E.
I could not be happier with this move. As an Islanders fan who has since moved from NY, it will be great to be able to get back to Brooklyn to see the Islanders in a state of the art building and I have no doubt that the residents of Brooklyn will embrace this team. I could not be happier for my father, who was lucky enough to have experienced the dynasty years. I cannot imagine what he would have done if the Islanders have left New York. Is this situation perfect? No, but it is far better than our current situation and infinately better then KC, Quebec etc…Thank you Charles Wang and GO ISLANDERS!
- Jonathan M.
Huge fan of the blog since the Botta days.  Love what you're doing over there.  I'm 24... been watching the Isles since I was 2.  I live in Suffolk.  It's a sad day that they are moving for sure, but for the first time in a long time, they finally have some clarity and direction with the future base of the franchise, and that excites me the most.  No more having to hear rumors of them leaving the area and going to Canada, or KC or Seattle.  Now they have a sticking point and a sales pitch.  They move to a great arena, and bring a whole new sector of fanbase into the equation, and they become a hugely attractive place to play for players around the league.  I think the positives of the move for the future stability of the organization out-way the negatives.  Thanks for letting me give my input, and Go Isles!
- James H.
I don't know how to feel. As a 19 year old, I have no memories from the 80s or 90s but of the 2000s. The Coliseum was old and decrepit but loud and beautiful. I could sit in 315 or 112 and enjoy the same high quality views, sometimes 315 was better for the experience. But the writing was on the wall and it's better Brooklyn than anywhere else so credit goes to Wang. I will miss the Old Barn as much as anyone but I look forward to a fresh start in the best arena in the city. 
PS Memo to Markowitz- "The Stanley Cup is not in New York. It's on Long Island"-Billy Smith
- Christian A.
I have mixed emotions about the move but at the end of the day it is really exciting. I currently live in Nassau but will be moving to Western Suffolk so the commute will not be ideal, but you can't commute at all to Kansas City, Seattle or Quebec. I think the players and us fans deserve better and now we are going to get it. While not in our backyards anymore they will still be the New York Islanders and I will continue to cheer for this team until the day I die.
- Daniel L.

As a resident of Nassau County, I am upset about the hole this will blow in the Nassau County's tax revenue. I wonder what fees County Executive Mangano will raise (if he is still in office) so he can continue to say that he did not raise property taxes?

As an Islanders fan, I am sad that they are leaving their historical home. I have had half or full season tickets for the last 5 years. There is no way I will continue to do that when they are in Brooklyn. It will be a weekend plan at best starting in 2015-2016. Though, it will be nice to go to a building that is not as old as I am.

- Brian from Massapequa
As a former resident of Nassau County who grew up 15 minutes from the Coliseum during the glory years I admit there there is a part of me that is sorry to see the Isles leave.  For my generation they helped to forge an identity for Long Island when they won the cups.  However given the franchise's trajectory and the inept/corrupt political scene on Long Island (and Hempstead in particular), the move to Brooklyn is the best thing that could happen to the Isles.  The team moves into first class facilities, the potential fanbase goes up astronomically, and they become a magnet for free agents with their solid core of young talent.  I no longer live in the area so I won't comment on getting to the arena, but it's always more exciting to watch a game with people actually in the seats.  
Thanks to Charles Wang for putting up with the mess he bought into, and for keeping the team in the area.  Now its time to build a team that contends for the cup on an annual basis, and makes the Rag$ look like the pathetic franchise that they truly are.
- Tim from St. Paul, MN
I'm thrilled! As a longtime season ticketholder who has been schlepping from Brooklyn on the LIRR for years, This is great pwrsonally. But more importantly, it's a great move for the team.  It keeps the team on Long Island - remember that Brooklyn and Queens are part of Long Island.
- Faye from Brooklyn

As a lifelong fan who grew up in Bethpage off of Hemp. Tpke, played travel hockey and even got to play a few HS games at the Coliseum and who currently lives in Manhattan I could not be happier about this move.

It is sad that it is now official that Nassau will never be home to the Isles again but we knew that the dream was dead when the referendum failed. This is the only way the Isles would stay in the area and hey we still get to say we're on Long Island.

Living and working in Manhattan I only got to 3-5 games a year, now I plan on buying season tickets so this is nothing but the best outcome for me personally.Big Picture this is will make the Isles relevant again, with the cache that comes from playing in Brooklyn, the prospects of young talented Isles team in a sparkling new arena, I mean the sky is the limit to how far this will take them in terms of new fans an being recognized as a true NY team.

I am sad the coliseum will be torn down and Kate Murray will look to build a Target and maybe the Source II and the loss this will all have on the local economy, but Nassau has no one else to blame than themselves.

Wang is no angel but I thank him for keeping the NY ISLANDERS alive and well!!

- Mike C.
Had season tix personally over a decade, old man had them before me since the mid '70's.  Ecstatic the team is staying in NY, hate losing the island/suburb identity.  Hate becoming the big money corporate sports entity even though we all know its the only way the team survives.  Hate even more that I must give up my tix, moreso for my kids who have become big fans over the last 5 or so years.  I hate that when I was 12 I was celebrating a cup win on Hempstead tpke., and my son at 12 will be watching as the old barn is falling apart, knowing that there are only 3 yrs left til "our" team becomes less personal.  What was a 4 1/2 hour night coming from suffolk just turned into a 7 hour night, and we all know prices are going up, let alone the train costs.  Good for team, crappy for those of us who have stuck with it for so long will no longer be able to attend.
- J.C.

As a former season ticket holder (from New Jersey) and Islander fan since 1975, this is a great move.  But I'm being selfish.  The presence of mass transit makes this a great buy, especially during the week and most especially if you work in Manhattan. 

Let me take this opportunity to address how and why (in my opinion) the Islanders' attendance has eroded over the last 25 years. It's not just the mediocre or bad teams. It's the move from 8:00pm weeknight starts to 7:00.  Commentators forget how many Islanders' fans work in "the city" and must contend with the LIE going eastbound at rush hour.  I remember seeing fans routinely arrive at weeknight games during the second period!  Prior management played to its "fan base" and I guess that works...if you work in Jericho and live in Merrick. Many other longtime fans felt the inconvenience, and guess what? Over the years, they stayed away. They've had no shortage of reasons.

The move to Brooklyn will immediately make the Islanders "major league" in the eyes of the overall metropolitan area media, in the exact same way the Nets' move to Brooklyn and even the Devils' move to Newark changed how they were perceived almost from the date their moves were announced.  The Islanders are not covered by any of the big three city dailies, and in a move reminiscent of minor-league teams, rely on a college radio station for their game broadcasts. They will get more fans, more advertisers, more sponsors, and they will sign up quickly in advance of the actual move.  It's a win-win for the franchise, the NHL and for fans living west of the Queens/Nassau border.

On the other hand, Suffolk County fans will essentially lose their team.  This is a 30-to-45-minute move west, even in the best of circumstances.  For them, this will be almost as bad as the Jets moving from Shea Stadium to Giants Stadium.

Now, if we can only get a real coach...

- Eric D.
It's a bittersweet feeling; 20% bitter, 80% sweet. The Islanders I know are Long Island's team. They play, not necessarily at the Coliseum, but in the heart of Long Island. As a fan since 1992, when I was 7-years-old, their woes have helped ingrain the Islanders, in my mind, as our little secret. Hockey fans, as a whole, are a bit of a secret society in the States. The Islanders, due in part to their storied history, their arena, their woes, and their geography gave Long Islanders an underdog status the face of bigger, more popular destinations and teams in the area. It's an underdog status that helps build an identity, and our identity as Long Islanders included the New York Islanders. It remains to be seen how much of that will be lost. Still it is bitter to hear Mayor Bloomberg speak of a celebration down the Canyon of Heroes and not Hempstead Turnpike. It's bitter to hear Marty Markowitz speak of the Islanders as if they are Brooklyn's own  as if it were an expansion team. Brooklyn may be only twenty or so miles away geographically, but our New York Islanders are now lightyears closer to the heartbeat of the world. Our secret... it's out.
 
Yet it's sweet, so sweet, to hear of talk of a celebration in New York at all. And it's wonderful to hear about how the impact of more fans, more corporate sponsorships and above all, certainty will positively impact this franchise. It is sweet to know that positive impact will be effected close to its original home. It's easy for people to get bogged down in fantasy, such as plight to keep the team in Nassau County or relocate to a barren Suffolk. As Islander fans, as Long Islanders, reality has become all too real a spectre in the last 10 years, a negative reality.  This new reality, one of a propsperous and certain future for our beloved team, and for it to remain ours, is the best news we could have hoped for.
- Josh J.
Good for Wang and the organization, the Nassau County is a mismanaged entity and has zero business sense. Glad I left that hole 13 years ago. Great people, disgusting politicians. Hope the taxpayers enjoy their Molly Hatchett and Zebra concerts.
- Tom
 

I have some conflicting feelings about the Islanders move to Brooklyn.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled/relieved that the team has finally extricated itself from "The Old Barn", an arena everyone loathed and the owner couldn't make any money from.  Charles Wang has (presumably) moved himself into a situation where he can actually turn a profit from hockey operation, a propsect that should encourage him to invest more money into his team.  That's the Islanders fans' hope: with a new home, Charles Wang opens his wallet once again and lets Garth Snow sign some premier free agents.  From a competitive standpoint, the Islanders' future appears brighter than it's been in years (maybe even decades).

At the same time, though, I must confess to being dejected over the fact that Long Island is losing its only professional sports team.  I grew up on Long Island.  I have spent nearly all of my 43 years living on Long Island.  I plan on dying on Long Island.  The fact that the Islanders' address will soon have a New York City zip code depresses me.  So much more so because I won't be able to remain a full season ticket holder.  I live east of Port Jefferson.  Getting to the Nassau Coliseum was enough of a hike as it is.  To get to Brooklyn from where I live, I need to spend two hours on the Long Island Rail Road.  That makes remaining a full season ticket holder is out of the question for me.  I'll have to look into buying a weekend game package.  It's not the same thing as being a full season ticket holder though.  Other subscribers will know what I'm talking about when I say it's a point of pride to have tickets to an ENTIRE season worth of games.  (And let's not forget that Islanders season tickets are VERY affordable.  I fear how expensive they might become in Brooklyn.)

But in the end, I have to understand that Jay Jacobs and Kate Murray made it impossible for the Islanders to remain in Nassau County, and I am comforted by the fact that Charles Wang kept the team in the vicinity.  He didn't move them to Seattle or Quebec City or Hamilton.  He kept them within a two hour train ride from my house.  I'll manage it.  The commute will be tolerable for a winning team.

Let's Go Islanders!

- Keith D.
I'm thrilled!  Nassau County, and Hempstead in particular no longer deserve a major league franchise. They have tried to drive the Islanders away and now they have succeeded. Kate Murray can enjoy her weed-filled lot in Uniondale while I watch the Isles on TV Like so many other things in Nassau County, I grew up there, but I left for better living and opportunities in Nevada.

I think I'm a Nets fan now!  (I'm in the Kings DMA).

- John K.
I've been an Islander fan all my life, and am ecstatic to learn that my nightmares of this team moving to Kansas City or Quebec City will never be realized. At the same time, I'll be leaving for college next year, and am not effected by the team moving from a few minute drive to a marginally more expensive and lengthy time-wise train ride. I'm sadden that younger friends and family of mine won't be able to as easily take advantage of student seating that was more than affordable to me and several friends for more than half of home games. What troubles me is the ever fleeting reasons to remain in Nassau County. Aside from my family residing here and my favorite team playing only a few minutes away, there is little reason for me to return to the Town of Hempstead. Why should I stay here when I could live in Brooklyn or even Manhattan and have quicker access to the city and just as fast (if not faster) transportation to the Barclay's Center? I'm more than sure my parents will move out of their overly-priced neighborhood with the Islanders gone once I venture off into life. I also worry for local businesses around the Uniondale area, and how much they will suffer without generating revenue that surrounds the team. A small part of me does feel satisfied that this should lead to a slight decrease in tax revenue for the town; a last little "FU" to Kate Murray as Charles and Garth hop onto the LIRR and get as far away from her and Mangano as possible. 
- Ethan T.
For me, today can only be described as bittersweet.

Bitter because the Isles will no longer truly be Long Island's team; bitter because it illustrates in stark relief the truly dysfunctional nature of Nassau politics; bitter because in just a few more years, the old barn where I saw my first hockey game, fell in love with the team, and got to know like the back of my hand, will see hockey no more; bitter because all of the memories made there can never truly be relocated to a new arena...

But, it is also very sweet.  Sweet because we know our beloved team will stay (somewhat) local; sweet because we will finally have a new arena; sweet because now our owner and general manager have no excuses when it comes to signing free agents (other than a general unwillingness to spend); and sweet because the years full of "what ifs?" and "what will happen?" are finally over.

But when all is said and done, all I--all anyone--should really say is this:  LET'S GO ISLANDERS!

- Chris M.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Nashville Predators during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Nashville Predators during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Before the Islanders back-to-back against the Rangers and Hurricanes, there would have been no rationale behind predicting that the team would come out on the other side with a pair of high-save shutouts. Between two goalies, nonetheless. 

But that's exactly what happened. On Friday night against the Hurricanes, Thomas Greiss saved all 45 of Carolina's shots en route to a crucial 3-0 win. It was the perfect encore to Jaroslav Halak's 50-save shutout against the Rangers the night prior.

"He was outstanding," head coach Doug Weight said of Greiss, via Cory Wright of the Islanders official site. "He was just a big piece of that win. And on the team's behalf, I thought we had the best effort in front of Thomas we've had in the last six weeks..."

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Thomas Greiss
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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

Thomas Greiss posted a 45-save shutout, while Johnny Boychuk, Anthony Beauvillier, and John Tavares each netted a goal in a big Isles win over the Hurricanes on Friday night. << Box score

Second period

  • 10:06 NYI Johnny Boychuk; Assists: Brock Nelson, Ross Johnston

Third period

  • 12:00 NYI Anthony Beauvillier (Unassisted)
  • 19:28 NYI John Tavares (ENG)
Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

With the fog settling on what has already been a tenuous week, things still feel… chaotic.

Whether it was on the ice or off, there were almost too many threads to attempt to keep track of.

There was a bad loss to Columbus that hurt dimming chances in the playoff race. Then, there was Doug Weight's ensuing irate press conference. Somehow fans were to blame for another lackluster defensive performance.

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Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) shoots against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) shoots against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- As much as the New York Islanders needed a victory, they also needed to regain confidence in their back end. << Read more

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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)

After the Islanders beat the Rangers 3-0 at home, a familiar result as the Isles are 5-0-0 against the Rangers at the Barclay's Center, general manager Garth Snow could breathe a bit easier as fan discontentment has boiled recently. 

The Islanders got their first shutout of the season behind Jaroslav Halak's 50 saves and head coach Doug Weight hopes there is more to come from the team who has conceded the most goals in the NHL.

"It's not the be-all-end-all," Weight said, via Anthony Rieber of Newsday. "But yeah, it feels really good for him. I guess it was the first one of the year. We need to build on that..."

Tags: Josh Bailey
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Jan 16, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a glove save against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 16, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a glove save against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Jaraslov Halak earned his first shutout of the season with 50 saves as the Islanders beat the Rangers 3-0. << Box score

First period

  • 4:53 NYI Josh Bailey (PPG); Assists: Nick Leddy, Mathew Barzal

Second period

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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

NEW YORK -- Fans of the New York Islanders and New York Rangers hoping to see their favorite teams clash in the NHL playoffs are likely to be disappointed for a 24th straight spring. As a result, Thursday night will have to suffice.

The Big Apple rivals will play their first -- and possibly final -- game this season with a playoff-type atmosphere Thursday, when the Islanders host the Rangers at Barclays Center.

Both teams are coming off slump-deepening losses Tuesday that further lengthened their odds of emerging from the packed Eastern Conference wild-card race with a playoff berth. The Islanders fell to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1 while the Rangers lost to the host Minnesota Wild, 3-2.

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

Islanders C Anders Lee is asking fans not to donate to his Kancer Jam Foundation in light of the "Snow Must Go" movement, which is in reference to Islanders GM Garth Snow. 

Many fans believe Snow hasn't been the best GM, and after not making any moves at the trade deadline, they feel it is time for the team to look for a new one.

Lee can't back this movement as Snow was the reason the Isles drafted him back in 2009. He posted to Twitter to tell fans to donate to a different cause instead of his own, which raises money to fight cancer in an event that includes the famous backyard game "Kan Jam..."

Tags: Anders Lee
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Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

In a tailspin that has seen his club drop six of its last eight games, Islanders coach Doug Weight is hoping an upcoming matchup with the rival Rangers on Thursday at Barclays Center will turn things around.

"It's always fun to play them and they're in the same situation we are," Weight said. "They're playing for their lives."

The Islanders (27-25-6, 60 points) are one point ahead of the Rangers, who are in last place in the Metropolitan Division. Over their last 34 games, the Isles are 12-18-4 which puts them three points behind the Hurricanes for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They dropped a 4-1 decision to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, their fourth loss in five games.

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

To start off their "do-or-die" week, it was the night of the skating dead for the Islanders on their home ice.The Isles were ready to make a statement this week as they played three division opponents who are all looking for a wild card slot. But, instead of coming out with the same intensity, New York dropped a dud on their home ice as the Blue Jackets waltzed away with a 4-1 win. 

Head coach Doug Weight said "we were just flat" as they were outshot 51-30, and allowed four unanswered goals after John Tavares' power-play goal in the first period. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Have you ever felt sick, but just didn't feel like going to doctor's office because setting up an appointment gets to be a hassle? You rationalize to yourself that whatever's ailing you will calm down and ease up, but you let it fester and it only gets worse. 

That's kind of like what the Islanders are doing with their defense this season. 

It's been written about and discussed ad nauseam, but this team's blueline has been, to put it nicely, not up to snuff. The eye test is not pretty, and the numbers back it up...

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Feb 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (77) pursue a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (77) pursue a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Blue Jackets responded to John Tavares' first period goal with four unanswered goals of their own to cruise to a 4-1 victory Tuesday at the Barclays Center. >> Box score

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Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) and center Alan Quine (10) fight for the puck with Florida Panthers center Derek MacKenzie (17) and Florida center Micheal Haley (18) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) and center Alan Quine (10) fight for the puck with Florida Panthers center Derek MacKenzie (17) and Florida center Micheal Haley (18) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Two of the seven Metropolitan Division teams wrapped up in a tightly-packed race for the final two Metro playoff spots and the two Eastern Conference wild-card berths will face off at Barclays Center.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With three big games in the next five days, the Islanders are gearing up for a "do-or-die" week. 

The first of the three will be the Blue Jackets coming to Brooklyn on Tuesday, and Casey Cizikas speaks for the whole team when he says this game is the start to either good tidings or bad fortunes for the Islanders, who have been up and down all season long. 

"I think this week is do-or-die for us," Cizikas told Newsday's Brian Heyman at practice Monday. "We'd either be in a really good position or we can be in a tough position where we're kind of looking from the other side in. We want to make sure that we're putting pressure on other teams to keep up with us and we're not chasing them. So this week is massive."

Tags: Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal
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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:01:00
Islanders head coach Doug Weight discusses the decision to bench Mathew Barzal late in the team's loss to Calgary on Sunday.

Islanders rookie forward Mathew Barzal said he his holding himself accountable after head coach Doug Weight benched him for the final seven minutes of Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

"I'll own up to it," Barzal told Newsday's Brian Heyman after Monday's practice. "I didn't have a great game. I didn't deserve to be out there late in the game. He made a good coaching move. I've got to hold myself accountable. I'm not going to sit here and pout and be upset that I wasn't out there. I know I've got to play better."

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Feb 11, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic (24) controls the puck against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 11, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic (24) controls the puck against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Travis Hamonic never got a proper exit from the Islanders, but the fans made up for it in his homecoming Sunday night. 

The former Islanders defenseman was traded to the Flames this past summer for draft picks, and Isles Country couldn't send him off in the way they wanted to. That is why his No. 3 jersey was seen all over Barclays Center last night as the Flames came to town. 

Hamonic, who served as an alternate captain and spent seven years in the blue and orange, made an impact on head coach Doug Weight during his time in New York.

Tags: Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak makes a save against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak makes a save against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Jaroslav Halak surrendered a late goal to Matthew Tkachuk as the Islanders lost to the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:08 NYI Casey Cizikas

Second period:

Tags: Calgary Flames
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Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

NEW YORK -- A pair teams feeling decidedly different about their most recent games will face each other Sunday night when the New York Islanders host the Calgary Flames at Barclays Center.

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Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Everything about Friday night's game against the Red Wings felt like a microcosm of the entire season.

Watching the first two-and-a-half periods of the game, it truly felt like one could fill out an Islanders bingo card - defensive turnovers, plenty of failures clearing the zone, an early deficit, subpar goaltending from Thomas Greiss and an angry #IslesTwitter calling for someone's head.

Even when it looked like there was a comeback in the works early in the third period, Darren Helm and Anthony Mantha dashed all hopes with two goals in quick succession...

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Feb 9, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with center Mathew Barzal (13) after Nelson scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 9, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with center Mathew Barzal (13) after Nelson scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The box score for the Islanders win over the Red Wings looked more like a low scoring football game than a hockey game. Isles head coach Doug Weight and his players hope the enthralling 7-6 victory will mean more than just two points and will act as a springboard for the rest of the season.

After going behind 3-0 in the first period and hearing boos from their home crowd at the Barclay's Center, the team rallied back. The Red Wings seemed to quell the first comeback attempt, extending their lead to 5-2, but four straight third-period powerplay goals pushed the Islanders into the lead. They'd eventually need overtime to seal the win, but a galvanizing win it was...

Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Brock Nelson capped off his hat trick -- and the Isles' big comeback -- with an overtime goal to defeat the Red Wings, 7-6, at Barclays Center. << Box score

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

NEW YORK -- Two teams on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference wild-card race will square off in a pivotal game Friday night when the New York Islanders host the Detroit Red Wings at Barclays Center. << Read more

 

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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Thomas Greiss will be in net for the Islanders tonight against the Red Wings, head coach Doug Weight said.

The forwards will remain the same.

Seven defensemen -- including the recently-activated Johnny Boychuk -- will take warmups.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss
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If you've ever wondered about the kind of things a general manager might say to his team's owners in the suite during a game, at dinner at a North Shore steakhouse, or on the phone to cover his hide the morning after the latest loss, wonder no more. This week, Garth Snow pulled back the curtain on the wizardry that has enabled him to remain GM of the Islanders for nearly a dozen years, despite any measurable success.

Perhaps emboldened by another "atta way!" from ownership and a strong cup of Starbucks, Snow was at his hypnotic best when speaking with Steven Marcus of Newsday on Wednesday. His team merely in a scramble for eighth place again, Snow has long since given up on trying to win over the fan base.

As he did in the Charles Wang era, Snow's primary focus is on retaining his power with ownership. Think that's being overdramatic? This is a man who failed for years and was given the added title of president and later a golden parachute by Wang. Imagine if his Islanders had ever accomplished anything!

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Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is among the team's top shot-takers. (Kim Klement)
Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is among the team's top shot-takers. (Kim Klement)

The Islanders activated defenseman Johnny Boychuk off injured reserve on Friday after he had missed the past six weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced.

Boychuk, who has not appeared in a game since Dec. 27, has recorded three goals and six assists in 34 games this season.

In Boychuk's absence, the Islanders have gone 6-10-4 and have given up 3.6 goals per game.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk
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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders fell behind the Sabres 3-0 on Thursday night but clawed back to tie the game 3-3 in the third period. Unfortunately, they couldn't complete the comeback and lost 4-3. 

John Tavares scored the Islanders first goal, launching the comeback that fell short, but blamed missed opportunities as the reason for the defeat. 

"They capitalized more on their opportunities than we did on ours," Tavares said, via the team. "It's just unfortunate because overall it was a pretty decent hockey game. We came back and had big goals, but just blown coverage in our own zone and it cost us."

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New York Islanders center Anders Lee celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with left wing Josh Bailey, defenseman Calvin de Haan and defenseman Adam Pelech (50) in the first period at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Anders Lee celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with left wing Josh Bailey, defenseman Calvin de Haan and defenseman Adam Pelech (50) in the first period at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders stormed back to tie the game 3-3 after being down 3-0, only to loss 4-3 late in the third period. << Box score

First period:

  • 7:41 BUF Jack Eichel; Assists: Casey Nelson, Sam Reinhart
  • 13:21 BUF Evan Rodrigues; Assists: Sam Reinhart, Marco Scandella

Second period:

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Jan 4, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The losses keep on piling up for the Buffalo Sabres.

With losses in all four games so far in a five-game homestand, the Sabres will look to end their home stretch on a more positive note when the New York Islanders visit on Thursday night.

The Sabres (14-29-10) were dominated in consecutive losses to New Jersey, Florida and St. Louis but Buffalo did put up more of a fight in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. In that game, Ryan O'Reilly forced overtime with a late goal before the Sabres ultimately fell in the extra period.

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Dec 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
		
		  (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Jaroslav Halak will be in net for the Islanders when they face the Sabres tonight, head coach Doug Weight said.

Ross Johnston will be in for Alan Quine.

Defensive pairings will be announced during warmups.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak
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Garth Snow doesn't often conduct interviews of any real heft, but when he does, they are almost always embarrassing to the franchise and insulting to the fan base. As for Snow, he has no shame. This guy has been trolling the customers and his employers since before Twitter really took off.

Snow did not disappoint on Wednesday, when he launched a dizzying torrent of turds at the dignified Steven Marcus of Newsday. Marcus has been a strong journalist for a long time on the Island. He did his job. He got someone to talk who usually runs away when the going gets tough, and then Marcus reported what his subject said.

There are two themes to any Garth Snow interview. The less important, but more hilarious portion is when Snow tries to send twisted messages to his bosses to illustrate what a brilliant general manager he is. On Wednesday to Marcus, Snow obliterated his own record for unleashing quality bullcrap in brief time, making Calvin de Haan a $10 million-a-year defenseman in the process by citing his injury as a primary "fact" behind his team's mediocrity. It was such an awesome display of desperately pumping himself up through fiction, it warrants its own post tomorrow. (Doug Weight, apparently bummed out over bloggers, deserves a break)...

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have placed Scott Mayfield (lower-body injury) has been placed on IR, retroactive to Feb. 5, the team announced.

Mayfield has two goals and 10 assists, and has amassed 41 penalty minutes in 43 games this season.

The 25-year-old agreed to a five-year contract extension in January that is worth $1.45 million annually, according to Newsday.

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

It was yet another painful loss for the Islanders Monday night, but this time they had the lead and failed to finish the game. 

The Islanders held a 4-3 lead going into the third period, and it looked all but over when the Predators couldn't convert on any of their opportunities. However, it took just one shot with 42.2 seconds left in the period to send the game to overtime. 

They may have notched a point, but it was a game in which the Islanders needed to win yet couldn't finish the job. 

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nick Leddy
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GEICO SportsNite: Weight on loss 00:00:30
Monday night's 5-4 overtime loss to the Predators was a disappointing one for Doug Weight and the Islanders, who were hoping to bounce back.

The Islanders blew a two-goal lead and lost to the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime on Monday at Barclays Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 4:55 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Josh Bailey, Anders Lee
  • 11:59 NSH Kevin Fiala; Assists: Kyle Turris, Craig Smith
  • 13:27 NSH Fiala; Assists: Ryan Ellis, Smith
  • 14:05 NYI Ryan Pulock; Assists: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson
  • 17:03 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assist: Jason Chimera

Second period:

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Nashville Predators, Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal skates the puck by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal skates the puck by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders stemmed a crisis and steadied their Eastern Conference playoff positioning with a narrow win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The Islanders' reward? A date with one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

Tags: Nashville Predators
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Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Pierre-Luc Dubois (18) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Pierre-Luc Dubois (18) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders D Nick Leddy finally snapped his goal-less streak Saturday against the Blue Jackets, and it was a big one too. 

Leddy's goal may have came in the first period, but it was needed as it appeared the Blue Jackets' forecheck was becoming too much for New York. It tied the game up, and for Leddy, he secured his first goal since Nov. 24. 

Along with the goal, head coach Doug Weight thought Leddy has a great all-around game, and it was the play he has been looking for him to produce all season. 

Tags: Nick Leddy
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Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) shoots against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) shoots against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jordan Eberle tied the game and Brock Nelson scored the go-ahead to help the Islanders overcome a third-period deficit and beat the Blue Jackets, 4-3. >> Box score

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Nick Leddy
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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

NEW YORK -- No playoff contender has scored fewer goals this season than the Columbus Blue Jackets. No team, period, has given up more goals than the New York Islanders.

Something will have to give Saturday night, when the Islanders host the Blue Jackets in a battle of struggling teams at Barclays Center.

Both teams are winless in two games following the All-Star Break. The Islanders lost for the second time in as many nights Wednesday, when they were routed by the host Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-0. The Blue Jackets began a back-to-back set Friday by falling to the visiting San Jose Sharks, 3-1.

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New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)
New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)

After Islanders head coach Doug Weight showed his team 20 clips from their 5-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, the players reacted with a hard practice. 

Weight says they were embarrassed by what they saw on film and was impressed with how the team responded in practice. 

"They saw themselves making mistakes and [it] embarrassed them," Weight said, via Cory Wright of the Islanders official site. "[They] responded with a vocal, competitive practice with life, with energy and execution. It can go two ways and we all have been a part of it, but I like how we responded..."

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Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (top) reacts after a video review disallowed an Islanders goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first 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 head coach Doug Weight (top) reacts after a video review disallowed an Islanders goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

It may have been hard, but it was necessary for head coach Doug Weight to show film from the 5-0 loss to the Maple Leafs Wednesday night. 

"One of the worst films I think I've ever shown," Weight told Newsday's Mark Hermann.

Weight showed 20 clips to his players, and he couldn't bear to watch as his players floated around the ice without regard for the speedy Leafs around them. 

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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders GM Garth Snow said he will not trade captain and leading scorer John Tavares, via Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

Currently, the Islanders are struggling to pick up points. They remain one point off the final wildcard place, though have played two more games than the two teams ahead of them. As such, questions have begun to swirl about the future of Tavares.

LeBrun reported that he asked Snow if the team would trade Tavares before the deadline. Snow's response: "I am not trading John Tavares..."

Tags: John Tavares
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Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV TwitterWhen you awoke Thursday morning, it might have taken an extra brushing or two to get the bad taste out of your mouth from the previous two games the Islanders 'participated' in.

A sleepy 4-1 loss to the Panthers at Barclays Center, their third straight home defeat, was followed by a no-show in Toronto, losing 5-0 to the Maple Leafs, getting outshot in the process, 50-28.

If you bothered to even check the current NHL standings after Thursday night's games, you would see that New York is still well within striking distance of a playoff spot, trailing the Flyers by one point (giving two games in hand) and Blue Jackets by three points (also giving two games) for the final two wild card spots in the Eastern conference...

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Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in overtime to win the game 3-2 during the overtime period go the game between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in overtime to win the game 3-2 during the overtime period go the game between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Mathew Barzal has been named Rookie of the Month for January after notching three goals and 12 assists in 13 games.

The 20-year-old Barzal has 16 goals and 35 assists in 52 games this season, which includes 4 power play goals and a +/- of 2.

Click below for videos

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Jan 31, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (13) battles for position with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Connor Carrick (8) in front of goalie Frederik Andersen (31) in the first period at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Jan 31, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (13) battles for position with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Connor Carrick (8) in front of goalie Frederik Andersen (31) in the first period at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Islanders surrendered 50 shots on goal to the Maple Leafs, who earned the 5-0 win on Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre. >> Box score

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Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) and center Alan Quine (10) fight for the puck with Florida Panthers center Derek MacKenzie (17) and Florida center Micheal Haley (18) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) and center Alan Quine (10) fight for the puck with Florida Panthers center Derek MacKenzie (17) and Florida center Micheal Haley (18) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs could have defenseman Nikita Zaitsev back in the lineup Wednesday in their game against the New York Islanders at the Air Canada Centre.

Zaitsev suffered a broken foot Dec. 15 in a game against the Detroit Red Wings and has not played since, missing 17 contests.

"It was pretty evident we missed him," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said.

The coach said that it would be determined at the morning skate Wednesday if Zaitsev will be in the lineup for the game as Toronto plays for the first time since the All-Star break. >> Read more

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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates a third period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates a third period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson)

The Islanders have activated Andrew Ladd and placed Shane Prince on IR (retroactive to Jan. 18), the team announced Wednesday.

Ladd, 32, has been out since Jan. 5 due to an upper-body injury. He has nine goals and nine assists in 42 games this season.

Prince, 25, has not played since Jan. 18 due to an undisclosed injury, has one goal and one assist in 12 games this season. 

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Shane Prince
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Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) and Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 30, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) and Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Panthers kept the Islanders off the board through the first two periods and held on for a 4-1 win on Tuesday night at the Barclays Center.  << Box score

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Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

NEW YORK -- Nostalgia will be in the air Tuesday night when the New York Islanders host the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center in the first game for both teams after the NHL's four-day break for the All-Star Game.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

John Tonelli is taking part in the ceremonial opening faceoff tonight before his Islanders face Florida in Brooklyn, and what a wonderful sight it will be.

You have to wonder if there is more news to come about the original - and for many, the only - JT.

Tags: Anders Lee, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) takes the puck from Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) takes the puck from Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders when they play the Panthers at home tonight at 7 p.m., head coach Doug Weight said.

Casey Cizikas will also see his return to the Isles' lineup tonight after missing about two weeks with a hand injury. He was placed on the IR on Jan. 13, and didn't have a timetable for his return.

"Casey will play the wing with Nelly [Brock Nelson] and either Fritzy [Tanner Fritz] or [Alan] Quine," head coach Doug Weight said. "We're excited to get him back. He's got a big engine and brings a lot of energy and he's a heck of a hockey player. Great to get him back. He's feeling really good and really confident."

Tags: Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Ross Johnston
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