sleep 5What a bizarre dynamic, this notion in some quarters of the Toronto media that somehow they and the Maple Leafs are above the game because - you know - hockey is very popular there.

 

Where does this come from, the idea that John Tavares somehow belongs to them and teams like the Islanders are not worthy?

 

Maybe it's because the Hockey Hall of Fame is there. No wait, I got it. It must be all the Stanley Cups captured in Ontario over the last four decades.

 

After the lottery on Tuesday night, I wrote about how Leafs Prez Brian Burke would immediately go to work on his "fawning media corps." Sure enough, he did yesterday morning. He called Garth Snow and then he let word out that he called Garth Snow. Of course, the media jumped all over it - never mind the fact the Leafs do not have anything of value to offer the Islanders.

 

Anyway, I received an email from a major Toronto sports columnist taking exception to "fawning media corps." It was from a writer I've known for a while and I like and respect, in large part because he doesn't fawn. He's tough, he stands by what he writes and he doesn't let anyone - let alone a GM or PR flak - try to tell him what to do.

 

But instead of him bashing me in the email for what I wrote, he managed to turn it into a dissertation of how hockey matters in Toronto and doesn't on Long Island.

 

"Should I interpret 'fawning media corps' to be a reference to hockey media in a town where people actually care about the team and thus significant numbers of media people actually get paid by independent media organizations to cover the team, not just blog from their basements? Too funny coming from Long Island of all places."

 

(Ah yes, the ol' everyone-blogs-from-their-basements counterpunch. I'm surprised he didn't say we all write in our pajamas at mom's house).

 

The hockey haughtiness in some parts of Toronto can be a little scary. Correct me if I'm wrong, but did any local sports columnist write that A.J. Burnett should sign with the Yankees and bolt the Blue Jays because baseball is much more popular in New York?

 

Funny thing about that email on Long Island's lack of passion for their hockey team. Around the same time the Toronto writer sent it, Islanders fans were pounding this blog with more than 300 comments in the first 20 minutes after I posted a draft poll.

 

sleep 5In Toronto, you have a Sun columnist telling John Tavares for two months that he shouldn't join the Islanders. There's the recent piece in the supposedly higher-standard Globe & Mail advising Burke to essentially tamper with Tavares ("the right phone call here, the proper whisper there.").

 

A radio reporter breathlessly bragged in his online column about how he called JT right away to tell him the wonderful news that Burke wanted him. Okay, while you're at it you might want to let the kid know the Leafs don't have anything to offer. Remember now, Luke Schenn - the next Scott Stevens, the way he's billed in TO - is already untouchable.

 

And then there was the excellent, pre-eminent Star columnist who authored a fairly respectful column on the Islanders, but chose not to take one minute to make a phone call or Google to get some vital facts correct: "Owner Charles Wang is threatening to move if he can't get public money for a new arena on Long Island." Besides the fact Wang isn't looking for public money, the deal is already done with Nassau County for the land and the entire project is centered around a renovated NVMC and not a new arena, the columnist got everything in that sentence right.

 

The Toronto writer ticked off about my "fawning media corps" comment and I exchanged some follow-ups. I told him my jab wasn't aimed at him. I made my baseball in New York analogy. I defiantly boasted that he could thumb his nose at hockey bloggers in New York all he wants, but I work as hard and I'm as passionate about the sport as any writer in Toronto.

 

He countered that I should have been specific, that by taking a broad swipe at every media person in his city, I brought down a lot of hard-working people. That was completely fair, and I told him I was wrong to do that. For the record, there are countless members of the Toronto sports media who are outstanding, dedicated, accurate and who are not Leafs booster club members.

 

And then I informed him I write most of this blog in my den, not my basement.

 

 

Comments.

Tags: News

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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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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.

Mayfield last played on Nov. 30 against the Penguins, tallying his only two points of the season.

He has appeared in just two games this season.


 (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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Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for the Islanders on Wednesday night against the Kings, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Cal Clutterbuck will be a game time decision.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak
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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)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

In professional baseball, there are some pitchers who have been known to have 'personal catchers', players who go behind the plate only when said hurler takes the mound. The New York Islanders and head coach Jack Capuano might want to anoint Thomas Greiss as their 'personal goaltender' after he stole a badly needed two points in Anaheim last night, defeating the Ducks in a 14-round shootout, 3-2.

The problems that have plagued New York all season are still present, from bad defensive zone clearances to a poor breakout and neutral zone play, which instead of creating speed and flow into the offensive zone, more often than not forces a dump-in. But there were flashes, even if they were not sustained over 60 minutes, but rather the first 30, of some of the Islanders hockey that made this team very tough to play against over the past two years.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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 (Watchara Phomicinda)
(Watchara Phomicinda)

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

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

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

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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 (Jae C. Hong)
(Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Nick Leddy scored the winner in a marathon 14-round shootout, lifting the New York Islanders over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Thomas Greiss made 39 saves and Adam Pelech and Josh Bailey scored in regulation for the Islanders, who had been 0-4-1 on the road this season.

Each team had four goals in the shootout through 13 rounds. After Kevin Bieksa missed on a slap shot to start Round 14, Leddy waited out Jonathan Bernier before snapping in the winner.

Anaheim nearly won in the 12th when officials reviewed a tying goal by New York's Thomas Hickey, but officials determined that Hickey did not interfere with Bernier on his attempt and awarded him the tally. Read more >>

Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Nick Leddy
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders play the Ducks in Anaheim on Tuesday night. According to STATS...

  • The Islanders dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Penguins at Barclays Center on Friday night, losing their season-high fourth straight game. New York has allowed at least three goals on 11 occasions this year, and is 1-7-3 in those contests.
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver have little to be thankful for from the Islanders, as the season looks almost lost before Thanksgiving. They talk about Garth Snow speaking up and giving out votes of confidence, potential trade partners, and the continuing mess with the goaltending.

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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will start for the Islanders on Tuesday against the Ducks, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Alan Quine will take the place of Shane Prince in the lineup.

J.F. Berube will be backing up Greiss in goal. 

Tags: Alain Quine, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
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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)
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)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Two teams whose seasons are heading in opposite directions will meet Tuesday night when the Anaheim Ducks play the New York Islanders at the Honda Center.

The Ducks share first place in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings and the surprising Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders, meanwhile, own the worst record in the Eastern Conference following a frustrating November. New York has lost four consecutive games this month and seven of eight. Two losses took place during overtime, another two in shootouts.

Scoring has been such a big problem for the Islanders that first-line center John Tavares has seen a constant rotation of different wingers all season. So has left winger Andrew Ladd, who signed a seven-year contract worth $38.5 million as a free agent but has just two goals, one assist and a minus-4 rating after 17 games.

Tags: Anaheim Ducks
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New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

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

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

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

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

Tags: John Tavares, Brian Erni
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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 numbers show why the Islanders are the worst team in the NHL as they begin a three-game West Coast trip.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Andy Graziano
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