After spending months of extensive research, by watching countless hours of game tape and interviewing potential draft prospects along with their respective junior hockey league coaches, it is my pleasure - here on Islanders Point Blank - to file the first annual IPB’s 2012 NHL Mock Draft.


The 2012 NHL Entry Draft – the 50th edition – will be held on June 22-23, emanating from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.


1. Edmonton – Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia (OHL) – The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Yakupov has been the consensus top overall choice since the first draft rankings were announced back in September. Nine months later, no other draft-eligible prospect has made the 18-year-old winger even break a sweat. By winning the draft lottery for a third straight season, becoming the first team since the 1989-91 Quebec Nordiques to select first overall three consecutive years, the Oilers hold all the cards. Yet, despite the fact that its most glaring need is on the blue line, Yakupov’s overall skill-set might just be too much to bypass. Accepting feeds from 2011 first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will give older Oilers fans the opportunity to relive their youth, as they envision Mark Messier feeding Wayne Gretzky back when the team won four Stanley Cups in five seasons.


2. Columbus – Filip Forsberg, LW, Leksands IF (SWE) – Is this the day that the Blue Jackets finally send seven-time, 30-goal scorer Rick Nash packing? If so, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Forsberg would fill a glaring need. Drawing comparisons to Anaheim’s Corey Perry, the 17-year-old Forsberg would be a tremendous complement to 2010 first round selection Ryan Johansen. Yet, despite the fact that his stock has grown since arriving last week at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto, all indications are that he will return to his junior team in Sweden for the 2012-13 campaign.


3. Montreal – Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL) – Despite only dressing for two regular season games this past season – after suffering a torn ACL - the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Galchenyuk returned to the Sting postseason line-up without missing a beat. The Wisconsin-born, Belarusian-raised center has fully recovered from his injury. He took part in all the physical tests at the NHL Scouting Combine. Scouts marvel at his playmaking abilities, believing that it was he who elevated line-mate Yakupov’s overall play at Sarnia. Canadiens fans should be excited at the prospects of 18-year-old Galchenyuk and 23-year-old winger Max Pacioretty playing off one another, in hopes of of reviving an offense that ranked 20th in the league in goals scored.


4. ISLANDERS – Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL) – Filling an immediate need, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Murray, who grew up patterning his game after former New Jersey Devils defenseman and future Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer, would be a steadying force to a blue line that only returns three players – Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew McDonald – from its 2011-12 roster. The 18-year-old also played admirably for Team Canada at the recent World Championships, filling in for an injured Marc Methot. He drew rave reviews from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. The most NHL-ready defenseman would be given every opportunity to win an opening night roster spot on Long Island.


5. Toronto – Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL) – In his first season playing on North American soil, Faksa stepped into the shadows left behind by former Kitchener captain and current Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog and excelled. Faksa collected 67 points – 29 goals and 38 assists – in 62 games. Ranked 17th in TSN Craig Button’s latest prospect rankings, Faksa’s meteoric rise up the draft boards draws similarities to that of Ryan Strome, who was selected fifth overall by the Islanders in the 2011 draft after a late surge up the draft rankings. The 18-year-old Faksa, who is also able to slide over to the wing, draws comparisons to current Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski.


6. Anaheim – Matthew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL) – The six-foot, 185-pound Dumba is the prototypical high-risk, high reward selection. Not afraid of throwing his body around, Dumba has drawn comparisons to Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf, despite giving up three inches and 30 pounds to the 27-year-old Leaf. As veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is considered a question mark to return to the Ducks lineup for the 2012-13 campaign, the 17-year-old Dumba – with a solid training camp – could find his way onto the Ducks’ opening night line-up to play alongside fellow youngsters Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa.


7. Minnesota – Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP (USHL) – Born in neighboring Rochester, Minnesota, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Trouba showcased his talents by playing for the U.S. National Training Development Program in Ann Arbor. A stay-at-home physical defenseman in the mold of Chris Pronger, Trouba has the make-up fit for the cold winter nights in Minneapolis, St. Paul. Despite the fact that Trouba plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall, the Wild – with patience - might be getting the draft’s top-overall defenseman in the long run.


8. Carolina – Mikhail Grigorenko, C/RW, Quebec (QMJHL) – The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Grigorenko recorded 85 points – 40 goals and 45 assists – playing for Patrick Roy and the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Once looked at as a sure-bet, top-five overall pick, Grigorenko’s work ethic has come into question. Still, at this point of the draft, the offensively-challenged Hurricanes - who still have their eyes set on reuniting Eric Staal with his brother Jordan in a potential offseason trade with the Penguins - would be foolish to let an Evgeni Malkin-clone slip through its fingertips.


9. Winnipeg – Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL) – The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Reinhart might be the most imposing physical defenseman to be selected in the entire draft. Yet, having just completed his second full season in Edmonton, many still question whether the son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart is still yet too raw to play on the NHL scene next season. Whether it has to wait an extra season or two, envision the 18-year-oldReinhart – a Shea Weber-type defenseman – clearing bodies in front of a raucous crowd at MTS Centre. He and 2008 first round pick Zach Bogosian could form a beautiful partnership.


10. Tampa Bay – Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL) – The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Maatta - just 17 years old - played his best hockey at the most opportune time for both the Knights and his personal draft standing. After collecting a respectable 32 points – five goals and 27 assists – in his first season outside of Finland, Maatta – the first overall pick in the 2011 CHL Import Draft – would became a playoff sensation playing alongside Jarrod Tinordi – a 2010 first round selection by Montreal. In 19 games, Maatta scored six goals and registered 17 assists, as he helped the Knights capture the 2012 OHL Championship Title. Maatta, who has drawn comparisons with impending UFA Ryan Suter has his sights set on playing in the NHL in the fall. He and 2009 second overall selection Victor Hedman could be a deadly duo in the Sunshine State.


11. Washington (from Colorado) – Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL) – With both offensive defensemen Mike Green (RFA) and Dennis Wideman (UFA) expecting to test the free agent waters, a huge gap is left on the Capitals blue line. As John Carlson continues to mature into a bona-fide top pairing defenseman, the void on the power play – without Green or Wideman – would be glaring. Morgan Rielly, a 6-foot, 190-pound defenseman, might just be what the doctor ordered. Despite missing 50 games last season with a knee injury, the 18-year-old Rielly – who has drawn comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson - is an offensive dynamo from the blue line. Considered by many the top offensive defenseman in the entire draft, Rielly might need some fine tuning back in Moose Jaw, but he isn’t long for an NHL invite.


12. Buffalo – Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (Finland) – While the team continues to pursue Jordan Staal from Pittsburgh in a offseason trade, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Teravainen would be no consolation prize to a team in dire need of scoring punch. Having played the past four seasons in his native Finland, the 17-year-old Teravainen – who has been compared to Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky - would follow in the footsteps of fellow diminutive forwards Nathan Gerbe (5-foot-5) and Tyler Ennis (5-foot-9) on a journey to upstate New York. He is a project with top-six upside and 30-goal potential.


13. Dallas – Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL) – The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Ceci more than doubled his previous two seasons’ point total – 46 - with a 60-point campaign in 64 games for the 2011-12 Ottawa 67’s. Finishing second to Niagara’s Dougie Hamilton (72) in OHL scoring for a defenseman, also helped him elevate his overall draft status. A projected top-four NHL defenseman, Ceci would provide immediate depth on an aging Stars blue line, as both Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray’s NHL careers are winding down. The 18-year-old Ceci has drawn comparisons to Calgary’s Anton Babchuk.


14. Calgary – Matt Finn, D, Guelph (OHL) – As both Cory Sarich and Scott Hannan head into free agency in the next couple of weeks, the Calgary Flames are sure to be looking to add quality depth on their blue line. Enter 6-foot-2, 200-pound Matt Finn. When interviewed earlier this year, Finn referred to himself as a defenseman who plays “a quiet game”. Quiet to some might mean non-descript, yet to other’s Finn’s steady play could translate into a defenseman ready to embark on a 10-to-15 year NHL career. Compared to Carolina’s Tim Gleason, the 18-year-old Finn isn’t showy or flashy, yet he might be a player who could be a building block in Alberta.


15. Ottawa – Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda HC (Sweden) – No better introduction to the NHL game than learning from fellow countrymen Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Collberg possesses a deadly snap shot. Compared to Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, the 18-year-old Collberg could use another year or two of development time in Sweden. Yet, when ready, he should see 2011 first round pick and fellow countryman Mika Zibanejad on his line.


16. Washington – Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL) – Mature beyond his years, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Gaunce was named assistant captain of his OHL team at just 17 years old. Learning from older brother Cameron – a Colorado Avalanche draft pick – who himself played alongside Steven Stamkos and Michael Del Zotto, back in their school-boy days in Markham, Ontario, Brendan elevated his play in his second OHL season, collecting 68 points in 68 games. With hopes of transitioning their play from the frustrations that impending UFA Alexander Semin brought to them on a nightly basis, the Capitals need not worry about Gaunce – a future NHL captain – who will bring his proverbial lunch pail to the office and play with maximum intensity.


17. San Jose – Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL) – Coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Koekkoek could be the type of jewel that San Jose is looking for. After suffering through another early playoff exit, transitioning a hungry Koekkoek into a veteran lineup might be the juice that this organization is needed. Learning from perennial all-stars Dan Boyle and Brent Burns could help ease Koekkoek’s transition onto the NHL scene. Compared to Vancouver’s Alexander Edler, the 18-year-old Koekkoek was recently cleared by medical doctors at the NHL Scouting Combine with full bill of health.


18. Chicago – Tom Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL) – Once the Windy City takes a first glance at the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Tom Wilson, they will instantly fall in love. Blue collar by nature, the 18-year-old Wilson could be the spark that this organization – frustrated by a first-round exit to Phoenix – needs. He is willing and able to engage physically. One should expect Vince Vaughn to don Wilson’s sweater just days after he steps foot on the United Center ice. Wilson draws comparisons to Boston’s Milan Lucic.


19. Tampa Bay (from Detroit) – Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL) – Needing much-needed depth on the blue line, the six-foot, 190-pound Pouliot is another one of those steady defensemen destined for a long and productive NHL career. Playing against the likes of Dumba, Rielly, Reinhart and Murray in defensive-laden Western Hockey League has matured Pouliot to the player that he is today. Finishing fourth amongst WHL defenders in points scored, the 18-year-old Pouliot couldn’t ask for two better mentors to hone his game than Lightning defensemen Eric Brewer and Mattias Ohlund.


20. Philadelphia – Brady Skjei, D, USDP (USHL) – Having already committed to the University of Minnesota, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Skjei provides the Flyers organization a presence on the back end. As defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger are fully aware that their best years are behind them, the 18-year-old Skjei could be that big, physical defenseman that should help the likes of Niklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn in the future. Yet, patience is a virtue. Don’t expect him to don a Flyers sweater for at least three seasons.


21. Buffalo (from Nashville) - Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL) – Committed to the University of Vermont in the fall, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Girgensons possesses a skill-set that have many scouts comparing him to Chicago’s Jonathon Toews. A native of Latvia, Girgensons has honed his skills stateside, playing for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. In his two seasons in Dubuque, Girgensons has collected 104 points in 100 games. The 18-year-old Girgensons is projected to be a top-six forward on the pro level, and could provide the Sabres some desperately needed scoring punch, come 2014.


22. Pittsburgh – Tomas Hertl, LW, Slavia (CZE) – Having selected Jaromir Jagr fifth overall back in the 1990 NHL Draft, the Penguins are definitely not shy in plucking young talent from overseas. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Hertl – who has drawn comparisons to Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal - plays a strong two-way game, and projects as a top-six forward on the NHL level. Having just completed his first full season playing for Slavia Praha HC, one would expect the Penguins to allow Hertl to develop even more, until ready.


23. Florida – Henrik Samuelsson, C/RW, Edmonton (WHL) – Son of former Pittsburgh Penguins Ulf Samuelsson, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Samuelsson transitioned quite well to the North American game this past season. While playing 28 games for head coach Derek Laxdal and the Edmonton Oil Kings, Samuelsson scored seven goals and added 16 assists. He also racked up 42 penalty minutes, much to his father’s approval. In 17 playoff games, Samuelsson raised his play, scoring four goals and adding 10 assists, as he helped the Oil Kings capture the 2012 WHL Championship Title. For the Panthers, Samuelsson’s frame would be a welcoming addition. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.


24. Boston – Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville (OHL) – Brother of Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban – a pest to Bruins nation – Malcolm, 18, is more mild mannered that his older sibling. Subban also plays between the pipes, and has the athleticism to be a franchise goaltender. With word that Bruins net-minder Tim Thomas is unsure whether he wants to play in the 2012-13 season, the Bruins might be ready to groom a potential franchise-building goaltender. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Subban, whom scouts compare favorably to Canadiens net-minder Carey Price, posted a 2.50 GAA in 39 games played.


25. St. Louis – Pontus Aberg, LW, Djurgardens (SWE) – A speedster off the far wing, Aberg’s lightning quick first step has already intrigued NHL scouts. The Blues, who are always looking to add quality depth up front to complement a defense that was the stingiest in the entire NHL, allowed a league-low 1.89 goals against per game. Compared favorably to Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Aberg’s offensive awareness is the reason why many project him to be a top-six forward when he comes stateside. The 18-year-old is expected to play for Djurgardens in 2012-13.


26. Vancouver – Colton Sissons, RW, Kelowna (WHL) – Born in Northwest Vancouver, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Sissons would be a popular choice amongst Canucks fans. Projected to play power forward in the NHL, the 18-year-old Sissons is already mature enough to captain his WHL team at age 18. Sissons, who models his game after fellow Canuck Ryan Kesler, plays a similar two-way style alike his future mate. He should be an instant fan favorite.


27. Phoenix – Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa (OHL) – The six-foot, 170-pound Laughton models his two-way game after Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards. In his second season in Oshawa, the 18-year-old Laughton collected 53 points – 21 goals and 32 assists – in 64 games. Projected as a second line center, Laughton might need another year of seasoning to build up his body before joining his brethren in the desert. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Boston’s Brad Marchand, based on his willingness to throw his body around and having the ability to be a thorn in an opponent’s side.


28. N.Y. Rangers – Stefan Matteau, LW, USNTDP (USHL) – A product of the infamous Notre Dame Academy in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound Matteau is projected as a power forward on the NHL level. Matteau, son of former Rangers playoff hero Stephane Matteau, played the past two seasons for the USNTDP juniors, where he collected 19 points in 46 games. He is scheduled to play for Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL in the fall. The 18-year-old’s game compares favorably to current Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. Can a “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau” be in the cards for the 2015 Rangers?


29. New Jersey*(&) - Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (WHL) – The six-foot, 195-pound Thrower is known for his hard-nosed, no nonsense play on the back end. Yet, this past season in Saskatoon, Thrower showed a propensity of being more of an offensive threat. He recorded 54 points – 18 goals and 36 assists – in 66 games. In his first two seasons in Saskatoon, Thrower was only able to muster 27 points in 123 games. Still, Thrower lives and dies with his intensity he brings onto the ice – night in and night out. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, and would be a solid replacement to Bryce Salvador, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.


30. Los Angeles* - Scott Kosmachuk, RW, Guelph (OHL) – The six-foot, 185-pound Kosmachuk collected 59 points – 30 goals and 29 assists – in his second full season at the ’O’. Known as a smooth skater with a quick release, Kosmachuk possesses a quick motor that doesn’t stop. Having an opportunity to learn from Kings captain Dustin Brown can’t help but expedite the 18-year-old’s development. He has drawn comparisons to Colorado’s Steve Downie, and should be a potential top-nine forward when he is physically ready to play in the NHL.


* - Pick to be decided between Stanley Cup Winner and Runner-up.


& - Pick might be forfeited after team circumvented the salary cap to resign Ilya Kovalchuk back in the summer of 2010.

Tags: 2012 Draft, News

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

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

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Brian Compton and Mike Carver are elated (for the most part) over Tuesday night's win over the Rangers. The guys discuss Jaroslav Halak's superb performance in net and the Isles' perfect penalty kill. Later, the podcast finally hears directly from its listeners as Brian and Mike respond to voicemails about Scott Mayfield, Andrew Ladd, and Garth Snow.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jaroslav Halak
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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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GEICO SportsNite: Isles heat up 00:00:27
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano discusses the team's 4-2 win over the Rangers at Barclays Center.

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 TavaresJason 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.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares
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Florida Panthers right winger Reilly Smith (18) controls the puck as New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuck (55) gives chase during the first overtime in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  (Robert Duyos - (USA Today))
Florida Panthers right winger Reilly Smith (18) controls the puck as New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuck (55) gives chase during the first overtime in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Robert Duyos - (USA Today))

The Islanders will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuck against the Rangers on Tuesday night.

Boychuck, 32, is dealing with flu like symptoms and is considered day-to-day (Islanders, Dec. 5). 

In 24 games played this season, Boychuck has scored five goals and recorded four assists. 

Tags: Johnny Boychuk
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New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

The Islanders (9-10-5) will face off against the Rangers (17-8-1) in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. 

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders picked up a point for the fourth straight game with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Red Wings on Sunday. The Isles did not allow a power-play opportunity for the first time since December 12, 2015, marking their sixth consecutive game without a power-play goal allowed.
  • The Rangers have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games following Saturday's 4-2 victory against the Hurricanes. The Blueshirts have scored at least four goals an NHL-high 13 times this season and are a perfect 13-0-0 in those games.
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrates with Islanders center John Tavares (91) after their game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrates with Islanders center John Tavares (91) after their game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

NEW YORK -- There is never any shortage of drama when the New York Islanders and New York Rangers meet. But the Islanders and Rangers each have far more on their minds than local bragging rights as as they prepare for the latest incarnation of one of hockey's best rivalries.

The Islanders will host the Rangers for the first time this season on Tuesday, when the teams are scheduled to meet at Barclays Center. The Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Saturday while the Islanders fell to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime on Sunday.

"They're always a lot of fun," Islanders center and captain John Tavares said of the games against the Rangers. "Never any love lost in these games, so easy to get up for."

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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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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Latest Update (Dec. 6)

11:55AM: D Scott Mayfield has been emergency recalled from Bridgeport, the Islanders announced Tuesday morning

Previous Reports (Dec. 2)

11:25AM: The Islanders have returned D Scott Mayfield to Bridgeport of the AHL, the team announced Friday.

Mayfield had been called up on an emergency basis on Nov. 14 to replace Dennis Seidenberg, who was activated off IR on Thursday.

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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

G Jaroslav Halak will be in goal Tuesday night for the Islanders as they take on the Rangers in Brooklyn, Jack Capuano told reporters early Tuesday.

Halak has gone 4-6-5 in 15 starts this season, with a 2.93 GAA and a .909 save percentage.

Other lineup decisions will be made right before gametime due to a small, flu-like bug circulating the Islanders' locker room.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

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


First period:

  • 5:16 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas
  • 12:53 DET Mike Green; Assist: Frans Nielsen

Second period:

Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Detroit Red Wings, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey
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Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)
Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to four games Sunday night when they face Frans Nielsen and the Detroit Red Wings for the first time this season.

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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Some thoughts from the week that was for the New York Islanders, as they rang up their first three-game winning streak of the season and collected six must have points to remain in the chase for a playoff spot in 2016-17.

  • It wasn't enough to lift them out of the Metropolitan division basement or the bottom of the Eastern conference but the Islanders were impressive in collecting six points this week, two from high quality opponents. That's not to say the Flames are a pushover by any means, but they were exhausted at the end of their six-game road trip and coming off a back to back. The wins over the Penguins and Capitals were exactly what this team needed at this stage to avoid a complete collapse.
  • When you've played as poorly as the Islanders early on, it's never too early to begin looking at playoff standings. As of this morning, New York is five points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning with two games in hand, but still have seven teams to jump. Earlier in the week, sportsclubstats has the Islanders playoff chances at 3.5%. After the week they had, that increased to 12.7%. Still, an uphill battle at the moment.
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have been on a search since the summer to bring in a new executive to run the team's hockey operations, reports Newsday's Arthur Staple

According to Staple, the new owners have worked to bring in a "big name" that would either work alongside GM Garth Snow or could make changes to the front office.

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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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Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save on Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) as Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defends. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save on Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) as Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defends. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders broke a scoreless tie with three goals in a 3:28 span of the third period to defeat the Capitals 3-0 Thursday in Washington. The Islanders won three in a row for the first time this season. 

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New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders (8-10-4) head to Washington D.C. to face off against the Capitals (13-6-2) on Thursday night.

According to STATS:

  • New York lost a 3-0 third-period lead, but came back to score two times in the last 27 seconds of the game to beat the Penguins, 5-3, last night at Barclays Center. The Islanders have now won back-to-back games for just the second time of the season (also October 21-23).
  • Washington dropped a 4-2 decision in Toronto last Saturday night, snapping its two-game win streak in the process. The Caps are 4-1-0 in their last five tilts at Verizon Center, outscoring opponents by a combined 17-8 in those contests.
Tags: Washington Capitals
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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Dennis Seidenberg has been removed from the IR, while Adam Pelech has been placed on the team's IR list, the Islanders announced Thursday evening.

Seidenberg suffered a broken jaw during New York's 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers on Nov. 12. Prior to the injury, the defenseman had four goals and four assists in 15 games.

Pelech left Monday's game overtime win over the Flames after absorbing a hard hit. The 22-year old has a goal and two assists in nine games this season.

Tags: Alain Quine, Jaroslav Halak
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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)

WASHINGTON -- The New York Islanders avoided a disastrous defeat Wednesday night and now have a chance to notch their first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Islanders (8-10-4) squandered a 3-0 third-period lead before Anders Lee scored with 26.6 seconds left and Nikolay Kulemin added an empty netter three seconds later to give New York a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After beating the Penguins, who are second in the Metropolitan Division, the last-place Islanders travel to Washington Thursday for their first meeting of the season with the Capitals (13-6-2), who are tied for third.

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

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

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

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

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (AP)
(AP)

Scott Mayfield had played just once since he was called up earlier this month, but that didn't stop the rookie for contributing in a big way in Wednesday night's win over the Penguins.

Mayfield played 14:22, registered a shot on goal, and tallied his first two NHL assists in the team's 5-3 victory at Barclays Center.

"I thought Scotty Mayfield stepped in and did a really good job," Jack Capuano told reporters after the game.

Mayfield, 24, has now played in 13 career NHL games. He was a second round draft pick by the Islanders in 2011.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

If you went to bed after the second period of Wednesday night's game, I wouldn't have blamed you. The Islanders were leading the reigning Stanley Cup champions, 3-0, and the nationally-televised start time of 8:00 had pushed the third period an hour later than usual.

So if you figured the Isles would win -- and even if they didn't, you didn't want to witness blowing a three-goal lead - you are forgiven for hitting the hay.

However, you missed a fireworks factory which included New York blowing that lead, then scoring three seconds apart in the final minute to put the icing on the most feel-good win of the season

Tags: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey
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Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

First Period 

Second Period

Tags: Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders look for their second victory in a row as they take on the rival Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday night. 

According to STATS...

  • The Penguins haven't played since Saturday, when they beat the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 in a shootout, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has not had consecutive wins sin November 5 & 8 (at San Jose, vs. Edmonton). In their last three games, the Penguins are 0-for-11 on the power play and have allowed five power-play goals in just nine opponent power-play opportunities.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders are said to have a team value of $385 million, which is good for the 18th spot in the NHL, according to Forbes. 

Forbes calculated the value of the team to have increased 18 percent from last year. 

New team owners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, paid $485 million to become majority owners, replacing Charles Wang, who is now a minority investor in the team. 

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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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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) work out prior to game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) work out prior to game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders Wednesday against the Penguins, head coach Jack Capuano told reporters Wednesday morning.

J.F. Berube will serve as Greiss' backup.

Ryan Strome is back in the lineup and will take the place of Alan Quine.

Tags: Alain Quine, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)

Mathew Barzal has been invited to Canada's World Juniors selection camp in Blainville, Quebec, on Dec. 10-14, according to Jason Brough of NBC Sports.

Barzal was on Canada's National Junior Team for last year's World Juniors, and registered three points on two goals and an assist in Canada's five games before being eliminated by Finland in the quarterfinals. 

Canada will host the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship for the 12th time this year. The tournament will feature 31 games between 10 nations.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver are back with another depression-filled podcast filled with some of our old favorites: Ryan Strome's benching, late-game losses, and rumors of a change that will never come true. Plus, Arthur Staple of Newsday calls in to the fun for his take on the team, and his thoughts on the likelihood of the Islanders reaching out to former Panthers head coach, Gerard Gallant.

Tags: Ryan Strome
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the overtime period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the overtime period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

To say Thomas Hickey has a knack for the dramatic could be the understatement of the 27-year-old Calgary native's New York Islanders career. Once again, New York was up against the odds, down a defenseman due to a late second period injury to Adam Pelech and forced to play the remainder of the game rotating the five still standing.

Having tied the most minutes he has played over the past six games, 19:48, the diminutive yet tough and rugged Hickey found himself as the lone defenseman in the three on three extra session, on the ice with captain John Tavares and Shane Prince.

However, defense was hardly on his mind as he set up shop to the right of Calgary goaltender Brian Elliott and deflected Tavares' floater from the high slot between the netminder's arm and watched it roll into the cage, giving his team a much needed, if slightly unearned, two points.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Islanders D Ryan Pulock has been activated off IR and sent to Bridgeport of the AHL on loan, the team announced Tuesday.

On Oct. 22, the team said Pulock would miss four-to-six weeks due to a lower-body injury, which Newsday's Arthur Staple later reported was a broken foot. 

Pulock, 22, has played in just one game this season.

Tags: Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Thomas Hickey scored the game-winning goal 1:53 into overtime as the New York Islanders beat the Calgary Flames, 2-1, Monday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


Overtime:

  • 1:53 NYI Thomas Hickey; Assist: John Tavares

What's next:

The Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Tags: Calgary Flames, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

The Islanders (6-10-4) will face off against the Flames (10-13-1) at Barclays Center on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Flames lost, 5-3, in Philadelphia last night, snapping their two-game win streak, and dropping to 3-2-0 on the current road trip. Calgary is 2-2-1 in the second of back-to-back tilts this season.
  • New York dropped a 3-2 decision in San Jose on Friday, losing its second straight game, and for the sixth time in the last seven contests overall (1-4-2 record). The Isles are 3-2-1 when getting two or more days off between tilts this season.
Tags: Calgary Flames, Nick Leddy
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New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto)

NEW YORK -- The Calgary Flames are staying afloat during a six-game Eastern Conference road trip. They will try to close the trek out in winning style Monday when they face the skidding New York Islanders at Barclays Center.

Both teams are coming off losses. Calgary fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 Sunday night, while New York dropped a 3-2 decision to the Sharks in San Jose on Friday. The Islanders return home to open a brief two-game homestand.

The Flames already ensured themselves of at least a .500 trip (3-2-0). They enter play Monday two points behind the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars in the race for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Tags: Calgary Flames
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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

He was also a healthy scratch on Friday night.

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

Tags: Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will be in goal for the Islanders on Monday night when they face the Flames, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Ryan Strome and Scott Mayfield will be healthy scratches.

Tags: Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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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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Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

With the New York Islanders just finishing the first quarter of their 2016-17 schedule and residing in last place in the National Hockey League standings with a record of 6-10-4, we took to social media to poll a reasonably anxious fan base about who they might want to see in an Islanders sweater should Garth Snow, rumored to be working the phones, swing a deal.

Of course, this exists only on social media, in a perfect world, without giving specifics about what the Islanders might have to send out to make such a player attainable. Being an NHL general manager is certainly not easy, but it's much easier using the "PS4 X button" mentality.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders celebrate a scored goal in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders celebrate a scored goal in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to boost their performance, the Islanders have signed on with a Russian analytics group to track statistics and other elements of the team, according to a Bloomberg report

Iceberg, which has already worked with a team in Russia's KHL, is bringing along the Islanders and the Vaxjo Lakers of Sweden to use its data system.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) watches the puck in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) watches the puck in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders are off to a brutal start, and that includes Jason Chimera.

Chimera has one goal and five assists and has placed in each of the team's first 20 games. 

Chimera, 37, was signed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Islanders on the first day of free agency. 

On Friday against the Sharks, the Islanders scratched Ryan Strome.

Tags: Jason Chimera
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Nov 23, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) celebrates with center Trevor Lewis (22) after scoreing a goal in the third period as New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) and defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) defend the goal during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Predators 4-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 23, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) celebrates with center Trevor Lewis (22) after scoreing a goal in the third period as New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) and defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) defend the goal during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Predators 4-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

I've never been an alarmist when it comes to hockey. I made a conscious decision to not judge the team or player performance on a game-by-game basis, instead choosing to take the "wait and see" approach until a more complete body of work is available for analysis. Some people will use five games as their measuring stick. Others, ten. In my world, it's always been about quarters. It seems like a fair enough length of time to allow for a body of work before making rash judgments.

The New York Islanders hit that quarter mark yesterday, playing their 20th game in an 82-game season. There have been few positives and an entire laundry list of negatives in 2016-17 to this point for a team supposed to be on the rise. A team expected to be past the follies of the past, coming off two exciting 100-point seasons and their first playoff round win in over 20 years.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks celebrate after scoring the winning goal in the last 22 seconds of the third period of the game against New York Islanders at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks celebrate after scoring the winning goal in the last 22 seconds of the third period of the game against New York Islanders at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It happened. Again. 

On Friday afternoon, the Islanders found a new, agonizing way to give up a decisive goal late, and it may have been the final nail in the coffin of this season.

Tags: John Tavares, San Jose Sharks
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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Alan Quine (10) and San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney (50) fight for control of the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Alan Quine (10) and San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney (50) fight for control of the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

First Period 

Tags: San Jose Sharks
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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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Brock Nelson (29) shoots the puck in the first period against the L.A. Kings at Staples Center.  (Kirby Lee - USA Today)
Brock Nelson (29) shoots the puck in the first period against the L.A. Kings at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee - USA Today)

Anders Lee tied the game 1-1 for the Islanders with a goal early in the third period. However, the Kings would shock the Islanders by finding the back of the net three times in under a minute late in the third to pull away in a 4-2 victory.

Tags: Anders Lee
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November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders look to make it two wins in a row when they take on the Kings in Los Angeles at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. 

According to STATS...

  • New York beat Anaheim, 3-2, in a marathon shootout (14 rounds) last night at Honda Center, snapping its four-game losing streak with the win. The Islanders are 3-3-4 in one-goal games this season.
  • The Kings beat the Ducks, 3-2, at Honda Center on Sunday night, and have now won three straight games while allowing exactly two goals in each victory. Los Angeles is 10-1-0 when netting at least three goals this season (0-8-1 in all other games).
Tags: Los Angeles Kings
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New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) celebrates after scoring a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) celebrates after scoring a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

LOS ANGELES -- The New York Islanders bring a surprising surge of momentum into a Wednesday game against the red-hot Los Angeles Kings.

New York (6-8-4) broke a four-game losing streak by winning a franchise-record, 14-round shootout and emerging with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The road victory was the first of the season for the Islanders, who are 1-4-1 overall away from Barclays Center during an early-season schedule heavily weighted toward home contests.

 

Tags: Los Angeles Kings
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