Tag:

Johnny Boychuk

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss defends the goal against Ottawa Senators center Christopher DiDomenico in the first period at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss defends the goal against Ottawa Senators center Christopher DiDomenico in the first period at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Sunday at Barclays Center in their season finale. >> Read more


First period:

  • 3:23 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Alan Quine, Johnny Boychuk

Second period:

  • 8:17 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson
  • 13:52 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield
  • 18:54 OTT Bobby Ryan; Assist: Ryan Dzingel

Third period:

  • 2:34 OTT Jean-Gabriel Pageau; Assists: Alexandre Burrows, Chris Neil
  • 18:52 NYI Jason Chimera (ENG); Assists: Nelson, Leddy
Tags: Alain Quine, Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ottawa Senators
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal tonight, Doug Weight told reporters Thursday morning.

Johnny Boychuk will be in the lineup for Thomas Hickey.

Boychuk has not played since suffering a lower body injury on March 3.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The roadie from hell has officially begun. Nine straight games away from Brooklyn for the New York Islanders, who entered play last night tied for fewest road wins in the entire National Hockey League at seven.

After a first period that saw them take the lead on a beauty from Josh Bailey, still their most consistent offensive player all season, they fell asleep at the wheel with the clock running down and surrendered an awful goal to Henrik Zetterberg with 0.1 seconds remaining to tie the game.

Instead of getting down, they picked themselves up, went out and executed simplicity on the road, exactly what is needed to pick up two crucial points at this juncture of the regular season, when the grind of an 82-game schedule really starts to wear down the body, no matter how conditioned or prepared you think you might be.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood after scoring during the first period against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood after scoring during the first period against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

Taylor Hall had three points but Keith Kinkaid allowed six goals in the New Jersey Devils' 6-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 9:15 NJ Miles Wood (Power play); Assists: Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri
  • 14:33 NYI Ryan Strome; Assists: Anthony Beauvillier, Dennis Seidenberg

Second period:

  • 2:44 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Stephen Gionta
  • 9:32 NYI Strome
  • 11:59 NYI Andrew Ladd (short handed); Assist: Johnny Boychuk
  • 13:21 NJ Palmieri; Assists: Travis Zajac, Hall
  • 17:55 NJ Steven Santini; Assists: Zajac, Hall

Third period:

  • 0:26 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Strome, Anders Lee
  • 1:00 NYI Jason Chimera
  • 8:37 NJ Hall (Power play); Assists: Damon Severson, Keith Kinkaid
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta, Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac
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New York Islanders celebrate scoring during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders celebrate scoring during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Strome had two goals and one assist as the New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils, 6-4, on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 9:15 NJ Miles Wood (Power play); Assists: Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri
  • 14:33 NYI Ryan Strome; Assists: Anthony Beauvillier, Dennis Seidenberg

Second period:

  • 2:44 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Stephen Gionta
  • 9:32 NYI Strome
  • 11:59 NYI Andrew Ladd (short handed); Assist: Johnny Boychuk
  • 13:21 NJ Palmieri; Assists: Travis Zajac, Hall
  • 17:55 NJ Steven Santini; Assists: Zajac, Hall

Third period:

  • 0:26 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Strome, Anders Lee
  • 1:00 NYI Jason Chimera
  • 8:37 NJ Hall (Power play); Assists: Damon Severson, Keith Kinkaid
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta, Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac
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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates with the puck in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates with the puck in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)

Nick Leddy has looked like a completely different player since the calendar turned to 2017, and it's paying dividends for the Islanders.

Leddy opened the scoring for the Isles in the first period on Sunday evening, then chipped in two assists, ultimately surpassing the 200 point mark for his career.

In addition, Leddy and his pairing mate Johnny Boychuck played to a +3 rating for the evening, and were on the ice for all five Islanders goals. According to Islanders statistician Eric Hornick, Leddy is averaged just shy of a point per game (4-11-15) in the last 16 games, and has a +9 rating over that span.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders forward Anders Lee (27) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)
New York Islanders forward Anders Lee (27) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Anders Lee has been one of the NHL's premiere goal scorers over the last three months, and it's helping to form a dominant top line for the Islanders.

According to Elias, only Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty (24) has scored more goals in the NHL over the last 35 games. Lee, who now has 21 on the season, had just one goal in his first 18 games.

"I think him and Bails have proved a lot of people wrong as far as guys who can play those kind of minutes," Doug Weight said of the Islanders top line. "They've helped Johnny in a lot of ways, too."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates his power play goal against the Colorado Avalanche with New York Islanders center Anders Lee during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates his power play goal against the Colorado Avalanche with New York Islanders center Anders Lee during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders beat the Colorado Avalanche, 5-1, Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 8:12 COL Joe Colborne; Assists: Andreas Martinsen, Fedor Tyutin
  • 12:01 NYI Nick Leddy; Assists: Stephen Gionta, Casey Cizikas

Second period:

  • 14:46 NYI Ryan Strome (power play); Assists: John Tavares, Leddy

Third period:

  • 1:21 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Tavares, Johnny Boychuk
  • 11:22 NYI Lee (power play); Assists: Boychuk, Leddy
  • 13:48 NYI Jason Chimera; Assist: Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Colorado Avalanche, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta
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 (Matt Slocum (USA Today))
(Matt Slocum (USA Today))

The Islanders scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, Thursday in Philadelphia. >> Read more


First period:

  • 12:07 PHI Wayne Simmonds (power play); Assists: Shayne Gostisbehere, Jakub Voracek
  • 16:40 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey

Second period:

  • 2:13 NYI Jason Chimera; Assists: Andrew Ladd, Dennis Seidenberg

Third period

  • 1:21 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Johnny Boychuk
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome
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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson plays the puck while being defended by Florida Panthers center Jinathan Marchessault during the second period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson plays the puck while being defended by Florida Panthers center Jinathan Marchessault during the second period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders beat to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-5, in overtime Monday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 1:23 NYI Ryan Strome; Assists: Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk
  • 13:27 TOR Nikita Soshnikov; Assists: Nikita Zaitsev, Morgan Rielly
  • 14:51 TOR Auston Matthews; Assist: Morgan Rielly
  • 18:13 NYI Nikolay Kulemin; Assists: Casey Cizikas, Shane Prince

Second period:

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Toronto Maple Leafs
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New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have points in four straight and are within striking distance of the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference. Can they pull off this comeback? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

Alright, Andy. The Isles are four points out of the final playoff spot, and have two and three games in hand on the two teams directly above them in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers, respectively. The rest of the Eastern Conference has come back down to Earth. Are you a believer that this team can somehow, someway find their way into the playoffs?

Tags: Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The New York Islanders are now three games into the head coaching career of interim bench boss Doug Weight, who took over for the terminated Jack Capuano last week. 

Some of the changes we have seen have trended positive for New York, others neutral and some have slipped. The 'newness' of a coaching change has now worn off, and three games remain on a six-game home-stand that will either position the team better for a late playoff run or potentially knock them further behind.

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Goaltender J-F Berube will start for the Islanders on Saturday against the Kings, while defenseman Johnny Boychuk and forwards Andrew Ladd and Cal Clutterbuck will sit. 

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Johnny Boychuk
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

Thomas Greiss will be in net Thursday night when the Islanders face the Stars, interim head coach Doug Weight said.

Johnny Boychuk is day-to-day due to an upper body injury and will be replaced by Scott Mayfield.

The rest of the lineup will be unchanged from Monday.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV

Snap your fingers…go ahead, just do it.

Just like that, the Islanders went from a team that won four of five and looked to be righting their wobbly, patchwork ship to set sail toward at least getting back in the playoff conversation, to a team that has now lost four of their last five, including back-to-back loser point 'efforts' in Colorado and Arizona -- the two easiest buildings of 2016-17 to win in.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Brian Erni, SNY.tv

There's a crunch coming to the Islanders defensemen. That's because the upcoming NHL expansion draft, set to take place this June, is undoubtedly going to mix some things up on New York's blue line, and it should create some urgency for Garth Snow in the next few months.

The rules of the draft allow teams to protect either seven forwards and three defensemen, or eight skaters overall. Players with no-move clauses must be protected, so Johnny Boychuk isn't going anywhere. The Isles will also undoubtedly protect Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic. And if they choose to protect Ryan Pulock, which they will have to do based on his eligibility if they don't want him exposed, that will leave them room for four more skaters (three once you factor in John Tavares).

It all adds up to the reality that Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey will both be left unprotected, which forces Garth Snow to make a decision. Either trade one (or both) before this year's trade deadline and not risk losing one of them for nothing, or roll the dice and watch his old assistant snatch one up for the Knights' inaugural roster.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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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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 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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 (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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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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 (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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New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Barclays Center. Clutterbuck scored the game-winning goal. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Barclays Center. Clutterbuck scored the game-winning goal. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Can you hear that? Listen real close……Hear it? 

Peace and serenity across Islanders social media. Everyone might as well be sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya. 

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd scored in the third period as the New York Islanders beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-2, Monday at Barclays Center.

Tags: Alain Quine, Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Vancouver Canucks
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Islanders Point Blank takes a look at the week that was. The good, the bad and yes, even the ugly. We will also check where the Islanders stand in comparison to the rest of the NHL and where they might be going, analyze roster moves that were made and analyze and break down what it all means.Friday, October 21 through Thursday, October 27Record: 2-2-0, 13 GF, 12 GA, 2/12 PP, 10/13 PK10/21 - Islanders 3, Coyotes 2: A game the Islanders stormed out of the gate only to quickly let their opponent back in it. They took an early two-goal lead and looked solid in doing so on a snipe from Dennis Seidenberg and a stuff home by Ryan Strome, playing for the first time against his younger brother, Arizona 2015 first round draft pick (3rd overall) Dylan. Two goals in 13 seconds, coming less than a minute after New York had taken that apparent commanding lead, erased the inspired start faster than you can snap your fingers. New York would dominate the second, outshooting the Coyotes 16-4 but it would take a Johnny Boychuk knuckle puck, while shorthanded, to win it for the Islanders at 4:24 of period three.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Johnny Boychuk was unhappy with a non-call late during Thursday's game against the Penguins that resulted in Sidney Crosby's go-ahead goal.With the score tied, 2-2, with 2:55 left in the third period, Crosby hit Boychuk high behind the net with what most Islanders felt was an elbow to the head. Boychuk lost his stick and Crosby then potted the goal that gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead."It's frustrating when you get elbowed in the head and that guy scores the goal," Boychuk told Newsday after the game. "I'm sure if it was reversed, I'd be getting a phone call from the league and a suspension."

Tags: Johnny Boychuk
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

John Tavares scored two goals and the New York Islanders scored three goals in a span of 3:08 in the second period en route to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at Barclays Center.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Minnesota Wild, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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Oct 21, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) after scoring during the first period against Arizona Coyotes at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) after scoring during the first period against Arizona Coyotes at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

Third Period 

Three Stars

Tags: Arizona Coyotes, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Strome
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New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by right wing Josh Bailey (12) in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks at Barclays Center. New York Islanders won 3-2 in overtime. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by right wing Josh Bailey (12) in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks at Barclays Center. New York Islanders won 3-2 in overtime. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Last night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the New York Islanders opened up the home portion of their 2016-17 schedule by defeating the Anaheim Ducks in overtime, 3-2. It was a game that featured a first period where New York could do nothing wrong, outshooting Anaheim 16-3, John Tavares' first goal of the season, the continued early season excellence of Cal Clutterbuck and another strong performance by Josh Bailey, who would score the game winner 54 seconds into the extra session on a fantastic individual performance.Last year, in their first year playing at a new home, with all the pomp, circumstance and yes, distractions too, the Islanders managed to pull off a 25-11-5 home record, tied for fourth best in the entire Eastern conference. The ability to secure 55% of their season points total in comfortable surroundings clearly is what led them to a second consecutive playoff appearance and first series win in 23 years.This year, the schedule makers have been kind to New York yet again (perhaps a tip of the cap to the Brooklyn Nets for forcing the NHL's hand?), putting the Islanders at home 14 times in the season's first 22 games through October and November. This includes remarkable, and perhaps unheard of, stretches of 10 of 11 and 12 of 14 games in Brooklyn.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The final week of New York Islanders training camp promises to be busy. Players on the bubble hoping to make the 23-man roster, which has to be announced by Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. ET, will have plenty of opportunities to put forth their best case to management and the coaching staff.

New additions Andrew Ladd, P.A Parenteau and Jason Chimera have been assimilated into the squad, while captain John Tavares, goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg are expected to join their teammates as early as tomorrow.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Calvin De Haan, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

There has been a metric ton of speculation around the Islanders since the summer, mostly around one central question: Are they any better today than they were at the final buzzer of the five-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning? Ask them, and they'll tell you they absolutely are.

''[The Lightning series] was frustrating, but you learn from it and you move on,'' Travis Hamonic told reporters at media day on Thursday. ''[To win a playoff series] was good for our team, for our fan base to see that and have an opportunity to win the first one in a long time. It sets our bar and our expectations even higher.''

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jaroslav Halak, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic (3) takes a slap shot against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic (3) takes a slap shot against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

John from Saratoga asks: The Isles lost two assistant captains this offseason in Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo. Do you think that will hurt the room? And what two players do you think wear the 'A' next season?


Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

That's a great interesting question, John. As far as the locker room goes, I think you saw just how important Garth Snow thought bringing in strong leaders to replace his outgoing assistant captains were when he made his free agent moves. Not only did he make bringing in Andrew Ladd his top priority, but the Islanders were very aggressive going after Jason Chimera. Both of those players are known for their exemplary leadership skills, and both have a ton of playoff experience. So while it's never quite clear how a locker room is going to gel until the guys actually get to know one another, I think that Garth really prioritized that area, which was a bit of a need for this team.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

School is out and it's time for final grades here at Islanders Point Blank. Since June 1, SNY.tv's Brian Erni and I have been taking a look at each of the players and analyzing their 2015-16 performance, from the drop of the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks in October to that 4-0 loss in Tampa that sent New York home amidst roster uncertainty. Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.

Johnny Boychuk, 32, Defense

Contract: Signed through 2020-21 - $6.000M cap hit, $7.000 salary- unrestricted free agent

Tags: Johnny Boychuk
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) reacts against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) reacts against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Twenty-eight times in 289 instances. That is an insanely low number of teams that have been able to pick themselves up off the ground and rebound from a three-games-to-one series deficit in NHL history. The New York Islanders, if they are to survive and advance to the Eastern Conference finals to play the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals series, will have to be team No. 29.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Everyone knew it. Once Jonathan Drouin set up Nikita Kucherov with 39 seconds remaining in the third period in Game 3, there was a sense of doom that fell over Atlantic and Flatbush. On the precipice of taking a 2-1 series lead and having a chance to take a commanding advantage on Friday, the Islanders had let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers.

New York scored twice in the third period to grab a 4-3 lead, but faltered late, squandering two leads in the third period. Now, their fate might be headed in a very different direction.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders D Ryan Pulock could return to the Islanders' lineup for Game 3 against the Lightning, reports Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Head coach Jack Capuano said that once Pulock is healthy, the team will have a tough decision to make.

"Looking at Game 1, there were some matchups that weren't in our favor," Capuano said Thursday, according to Staple. "Ryan's a big guy, he's got the righthanded shot and he helps our power play with that big shot of his. No doubt as we move forward, once he gets healthy, we have some tough decisions to make."

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Marek Zidlicky
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New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock reacts after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock reacts after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

John Tavares got his 30th goal and two assists, and the New York Islanders scored three times in a 5:15 span to get a crucial 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.

Ryan Pulock, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson and Johnny Boychuk also scored for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss had 32 saves. New York holds the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot and won for the third time in four games to reduce its magic number to two over Boston to secure a third straight postseason berth.

Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, and Ben Bishop gave up five goals on 23 shots. Tampa Bay is two points behind first-place Florida in the Atlantic Division.

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Martin, Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas Greiss
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Islanders are only a few weeks away from filling out a playoff lineup for Game 1 of a first round matchup, but questions remain as to just what mix of guys gives the team its best chance to win a series for the first time in 23 years.

Chief among these is on defense. Provided they get through the next seven games unscathed, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan, and Thomas Hickey are locks. That leaves Brian Strait and Ryan Pulock duking it out to grab the sixth d-man assignment while Marek Zidlicky works his way back from injury.

"[Pulock] knows that when he first got here, when I talked to him, you're going to play some games and you're going to be in and out," head coach Jack Capuano told the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis, who tackled this very issue. "It's a great experience for him, just being able to practice with our guys, working on his feet. He's still a young kid. That's what it's about, too. I just like the fact that he's getting better every day. That's a big thing for me."

Tags: Brian Strait, Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Marek Zidlicky, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on the bench during the game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on the bench during the game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports Images)

As the final eight games of the regular season get set to unfold, the Islanders faithful is stuck in a strange purgatory. New York's performance has been so uneven this season that it has left fans to wrestle with the notion that a playoff run (or even a playoff berth) is in the cards. Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, though, has a theory on why the Isles haven't been able to sustain their best level of hockey for as long as anyone would like: injuries.

Capuano told Newsday's Steven Marcus the Islanders don't get enough credit for overcoming the rash of injuries they've sustained this season.

"We've got 40 wins this year. Nobody gives this team any credit," Capuano said. "There's some other teams that have had some significant injuries, they struggled. These guys have struggled, but they're competing and they're right in the race. That's what I like about this group. They're battling hard every single day [in] practice, games.''

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Marek Zidlicky, Mikhail Grabovski, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos celebrates as right wing Nikita Kucherov scores a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos celebrates as right wing Nikita Kucherov scores a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)

Tyler Johnson and Jason Garrison scored 23 seconds apart midway through the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 7-4 on Friday night.

Johnson had a go-ahead rebound goal at 10:09 before Garrison stopped a 26-game goal drought and put the Lightning up 6-4. Garrison also had two assists after going 18 games without a point.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos, Andrej Sustr and Victor Hedman, who had an empty-netter.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss looks on before the overtime period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss looks on before the overtime period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck/USA Today Sports Images)

David Pastrnak scored two goals, Tuukka Rask made 25 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Saturday.

Loui Eriksson added a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who have won their last five games against the Islanders.

Pastrnak's point-blank wrist shot beat Thomas Greiss for a 2-1 lead with 8.9 seconds left in the second period. He slid his 12th goal of the season under Greiss with 2:34 remaining in the third.

Tags: Boston Bruins, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders host the Penguins on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Penguins throttled the Devils, 6-1, at Prudential Center on Sunday night, snapping their two-game road losing streak in the process. Pittsburgh has potted six goals five times this season, with all those performances coming since February 2 (last 17 games).
  • The Isles beat the Rangers, 6-4, at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, winning their third straight tilt, and finishing up a season-long seven-game road trip with a mark of 6-1-0. New York has scored six or more goals five times in 2015-16 (tied with the Blue Jackets and Penguins for third most in the league).
  • Pittsburgh worked over New York, 5-2, in these clubs' first meeting of the season on January 2 at CONSOL Energy Center. Dating to the beginning of 2013-14, the Pens and Isles have played 10 times, each team skating off with five wins.
  • Evgeni Malkin lit the lamp twice Sunday night, earning first-star accolades, and giving him four goals in his last four skates. Malkin has 14 points (4g, 10a) in his last nine games against the Islanders.
  • Johnny Boychuk had two markers Sunday night, garnering first-star honors, and recording the first multi-goal performance of his NHL career (445 games). Boychuk has two helpers (zero goals) in 18 career skates against the Pens.
  • Pittsburgh is 27-0-0 when leading after two periods this season -- best in the NHL.
Tags: Johnny Boychuk

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Cal Clutterbuck scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:28 remaining in the third period and the New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 6-4 on Sunday.

Johnny Boychuk had two goals. Kyle Okposo had a goal and assist and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders and defenseman Nick Leddy had two assists. Frans Nielsen added an empty-netter with 1:01 remaining.

The Islanders, who led 3-0 and 4-2 before the Rangers rallied to tie it on Derick Brassard's goal with about 8 1/2 minutes to go, ended their season-high seven-game road trip at 6-1-0.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Derick Brassard, Frans Nielsen, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Nick Leddy, Oscar Lindberg, Tanner Glass
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New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders face the Carolina Hurricanes on the road Saturday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Hurricanes have scored multiple power-play goals in four of their last six games against the Islanders, while the Isles have scored 18 power-play goals over their last 16 games against Carolina.
  • The Islanders, who have won three straight contests, can match their season-long win streaks (four games -- October 12-20 and November 28 -- December 4) with a win on Saturday night.
  • The Islanders have scored at least one power-play goal in four straight games -- one shy of their season-long streak (five games -- October 23-31), and have allowed just three power-play goals over their last 13 games.
  • Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has scored two goals over his last three games, after scoring just two goals over his previous 34 games.
Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Johnny Boychuk

New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Islanders raced out to a quick start and cruised to a 5-2 win against the Pacific division-leading Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

New York scored three goals in the first in the first 14 minutes of the game on tallies from Johnny Boychuk, Casey Cizikas, and Anders Lee.

"They're an unbelievable team," Cizikas said of the Kings. "They've got size, skill, grit. For us to come out the way we did, it's big for our club moving forward."

Tags: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center John Tavares celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The Islanders raced out to a quick start and cruised to a 5-2 win against the Pacific division-leading Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

New York scored three goals in the first in the first 14 minutes of the game on tallies from Johnny Boychuk, Casey Cizikas and Anders Lee.

"They're an unbelievable team," Cizikas said of the Kings. "They've got size, skill, grit. For us to come out the way we did, it's big for our club moving forward."

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal as center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his assist during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal as center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his assist during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Locker room chemistry. It's this mystical element in sports that no one can pinpoint. In retrospect, it's obvious, as cases in Islanders lore abound. The 1993 team that made an unexpected run to the Prince of Wales Finals had it. The dynasty teams had so much they could sent some extra mojo around the league and still gone on their run. But how easy is it to spot in the midst of a season? And does this Islanders team have that elusive 'it'? 

 

One this is for certain. They're spending a lot of time talking about it.

 

"We've got a lot of good leaders in here, so there's calm, there's no panic," Ryan Strome told reporters after the Islanders 3-2 shootout win in Columbus. "We know how tight it is in the standings. We've been playing a lot of good hockey lately and we couldn't let this one slip away."

 

That may seem like a simple case of Strome speaking about a come-from-behind win on the road. But on Sunday, when Brian Strait took on the Oilers' Zack Kassian, who originally had tried to take on Thomas Hickey, Matt Martin showered Strait with praise, citing his contributions to locker room.

 

"Straiter's a hell of a guy in this room and he stepped up for Hicks there," Martin said. "That shows you something."

 

Even when Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup, it wasn't solely his blue line presence Jack Capuano was eager to have back. He specifically called out Boychuk's leadership to bolster the room.

 

"For me, it's more of his leadership and what he can bring to the room," Capuano said. "He's been there before, started in the minors, worked his way up, he's won a Stanley Cup, he knows the grind that it takes. And he knows the accountability factor. Hey, it doesn't matter if you hurt somebody's feelings. And you need a guy like that."

 

These quotes are all in the last five days. It's almost as if the Isles are screaming upwards to Garth Snow, imploring him not to shake up this roster. Trying to convince him that the faith he showed in this young core this offseason will be rewarded. 

 

As fans, we're hard on players for what they bring on the ice, because that's all we see. We form notions about a guy with our eyes or our analytics, often eager to discard someone into the worthless pile. Strait is a good example of that. We're hard on him and, at times, that's justified. But does he bring more? Martin's comments give me pause. This is a game played by human beings after all. How many times have we heard about Eric Boulton's role as the man in charge of boosting morale? Just like working in an office, a better environment certainly leads to happier players. Are contributions from guys like Strait and Boulton worth just as much a timely carry-in or shot on net? And does a room ever become too comfortable, with the grind of an NHL season likened to an extended stay at hockey camp?

 

Answering these questions have to be one of the most difficult elements of a general manager's job. For the Islanders rebuild is over, and was overall a success. But during the course of what's been an extremely uneven season, the most vexing question is how do they take the next step? Is it just by letting their young players grow? Or is it with a move for that one, perfect piece that brings it all together? It seems like the Islanders know what they want, and only time will tell if they're justified in asking for it or not. It just all may come down to what Garth's gut is telling him.

 

Tags: Brian Strait, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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Detroit Red Wings right wing Tomas Jurco celebrates after scoring a gold during the first period of the game against the New York Islanders at Joe Louis Arena. (Leon Halip/USATSI)
Detroit Red Wings right wing Tomas Jurco celebrates after scoring a gold during the first period of the game against the New York Islanders at Joe Louis Arena. (Leon Halip/USATSI)

Dylan Larkin and Tomas Tatar each had a goal and an assist, and the Detroit Red Wings routed the New York Islanders 5-1 for their first home win of 2016, a game delayed 36 minutes by a malfunctioning Zamboni that chopped up a section of the ice.

The Red Wings, who were 0-4-1 at home since Dec. 20, also got goals from Tomas Jurco, Mike Green and Kyle Quincey. Petr Mrazek made 28 saves to improve to 8-2-1 in his last 11 starts.

John Tavares had New York's only goal. Jaroslav Halak was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots.

The start of the third period was delayed after a Zamboni ripped up a line of ice stretching from in front of the Red Wings net past the blue line. As a result, the teams changed ends at the midway point of the third so that neither team would get an advantage from the bad ice. >> Read more...

Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Johnny Boychuk will make his return to the Islanders' lineup on Saturday afternoon when New York visits the Red Wings.

 

Boychuk has missed the team's last 11 games sustaining an upper body injury on December 31.

 

"We never want to rush guys back, obviously, and the few extra days were important," Jack Capuano said of Boychuk on Friday, who originally was said to be close to returning on Thursday. "Our defense has been playing pretty well, too."

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Boychuk's original timetable was four-to-six weeks, and his return on Saturday would be just over five weeks since he got hurt in Buffalo. That's right on schedule, and the Islanders' light January certainly helped the team limit the impact of losing Boychuk for over a month. The team went 5-5-1 without one of their top d-men, but his return couldn't come at a better time.

 

We saw on Thursday just how badly the Isles miss Boychuk, a player who can step up in those final minutes. Don't get me wrong, the defense has done a solid job in holding down the fort, but with the Islanders back at full strength on the blue line, it should help them tighten up some of the slip ups. New York will play five games in a span of seven days this week, and having Boychuk back for it feels like a godsend. 

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Brian Erni
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