Tag:

Kyle Okposo

 (AP)
(AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Matt Moulson wants hospitalized Buffalo Sabres teammate Kyle Okposo to know he has the team's support.

"You're family here," Moulson said after the Sabres closed their home schedule with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. "And no matter what type of injury or what you have, you always feel for them and their family and giving them support."

Okposo has spent the past three days in a Buffalo hospital undergoing a battery of tests to determine an undisclosed illness that has sidelined him for more than a week.

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

And then there was one.

With the dismissal of Jack Capuano on Tuesday, the spotlight has officially shifted to the team's general manager. And while the seat under Garth Snow may have seemed hot before, the temperature is bound to be cranked up a few notches now that he has survived the third coaching change of his tenure.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Frans Nielsen, Jason Chimera, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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Dec 9, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center. Washington beat Buffalo 4-1. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 9, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center. Washington beat Buffalo 4-1. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Islander, and current Sabres forward, Kyle Okposo is excited for the opportunity to play against his old team for the first time this week, he told Newsday's Arthur Staple. 

After spending eight-plus seasons with the Islanders, Okposo left for the Sabres in the offseason, signing a seven-year deal with Buffalo. Okposo's Sabres will host the Islanders on Friday night and travel to Barclays Center on Dec. 23. 

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) scores the game winning goal in a shootout against New York Islanders at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso - USA Today)
; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) scores the game winning goal in a shootout against New York Islanders at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso - USA Today)

Everyone knew the Islanders lost talent this offseason. Jack Capuano referred to the production that departed for Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto again in his postgame scrum after the team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But one factor that was certainly overlooked was that his club may have gone from one of the better shootout teams in the league to one of the worst. Well, Thursday night's skills competition shined a bright light on that shortcoming, and it wasn't pretty.

Where Frans Nielsen, the best statistical shootout performer of all time, would usually lead off the shootout, Cal Clutterbuck took his place and missed. Josh Bailey went second, in a spot usually reserved for Kyle Okposo, and had Michal Neuvirth beat low, but shot it right into the path of Neuvirth's glove. Strike two.

By the time Claude Giroux unpantsed Jaro Halak with a sweet deke, the game was on the stick of John Tavares. And while that's normally a spot no one would mind, the fact is that JT has been brutal in shootouts for the better part of two seasons. He once again fell short, as he came in slow, made a bunch of moves, and eventually had the puck poke checked away from Neuvirth to seal a 3-2 win for the Flyers.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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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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General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner)
General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner)

Steve from St. James, New York asks: Assuming the Islanders make no other moves this offseason, will they make the playoffs in 2016-17?

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

I think so. The one move they definitely will make it re-signing restricted free agent Ryan Strome to a new deal. I know some fans are worried that it isn't done yet, but the Isles have plenty of time, and there's absolutely no reason to assume something won't get done. Of course, this would be retaining an in-house player, so your point remains.

Tags: Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver discuss Kyle Okposo's written goodbye to the fans and Garth Snow's interview on SiriusXM Radio.

Later, the guys chat with Arthur Staple of Newsday about the team's moves this offseason and the job security of Snow and Jack Capuano as Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin take over as owners of the franchise.

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

There's a lot to digest in the wake of the initial flurry of free agency. Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen have new homes, Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera are coming to Brooklyn, and the Isles still have some work to do.

The Okposo-Ladd exchange is a bit of a strange one. In going with a player two years older, the Isles saved $500,000 per year on the AAV. But it sort of makes you wonder though why GM Garth Snow wanted to move on from Okposo. Did he feel like the Isles needed someone with a Stanley Cup pedigree to come in? Were the Isles worried about the long-term prospects of Okposo's health (i.e. his eye)?

Tags: Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Kyle Okposo has signed a seven-year deal with the Sabres worth $42 million, reports Elliotte Friedman.

Islanders GM Garth Snow had suggested during an interview on Sirius XM NHL earlier this month that the club would not be retaining Okposo.

When asked about the future of Okposo Snow responded, "We wish him nothing but the best."

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The frenzy of Wednesday's moves around the NHL has Islanders fans asking what's next for their club, and justifiably so.

Taylor Hall was dealt to New Jersey, Steven Stamkos came off the board. and Kyle Okposo became probably the most coveted forward about to hit the market. All while the Isles moved a few swing-and-misses on free agents away from being left holding the bag.

Tags: Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Kyle Okposo seemingly has played his last game in an Islanders uniform, and some writers can't figure out why.

In a video report from the draft, ESPN's Scott Burnside and Craig Custance discussed the most intriguing storylines heading into free agency, and Burnside listed the Isles' willingness to let Okposo walk at the top of his list.

"For me, it's Kyle Okposo. I remained mystified that the New York Islanders seem not interested in having [him] come back. To me, brings so much to the table; big, talented. Much loved in that room. John Tavares talked earlier this year to me about how much he respects him and relies on him in terms of leadership. For me, he's a 30 goal, 70 point guy in the right circumstance, so I'm curious to see where Kyle Okposo may end up."

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver discuss the latest Islanders' off-season news and rumors, focusing on the team's own free agents - Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Martin - and other team's players - Taylor Hall, James van Riemsdyk, and Jordan Eberle.

Plus, Corey Pronman of ESPN hops on the phone to chat about the upcoming NHL Draft.

Tags: Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Update 6/17 9:15 am: 

Islanders GM Garth Snow conducted an interview with SiriusXM NHL on Friday morning

When asked about the future of unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo Snow responded, "We wish him nothing but the best."


Islanders winger Kyle Okposo is "all but certain" to become a free agent, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Tags: Kyle Okposo, Tim Reilly
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The Islanders' Frans Nielsen (51) has three goals in his past three games. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
The Islanders' Frans Nielsen (51) has three goals in his past three games. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have three significant unrestricted free agents that need new deals, and if Jiggs McDonald was forced to pick just one to retain, he'd go with Frans Nielsen.

McDonald recently spoke to Patrick Hickey, Jr. of The Hockey Writers. When asked which player he'd choose if he could only keep one of the three UFA, McDonald said that, while he loves all three players, the Isles would probably benefit the most from retaining Nielsen.

"That's like asking me which one of my children I like best. Each individual brings significant value whether in the dressing room, on the ice, or within the community. Put to the wall, it's Frans Nielsen," McDonald said. "His ability to play center or the wing, as well as his shootout talent, is one thing. His defensive abilities are another. Does he hit like Matt? No. Does he equal Kyle's potential goal-scoring numbers? Probably not. Factor in his age, too, and I've got another argument going with myself. But I will stick with keeping Frans on the roster. Doing so probably leaves a little more wiggle room with the cap numbers to replace Kyle and or Matt as well."

Tags: Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Brian Erni
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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

Kyle Okposo, 28, Right Wing

Contract: Signed through 2015-16 -- eligible for unrestricted free agency

Season stats: 79 GP - 22 G - 42 A - 64 points - 202 shots - 18:12 ATOI - 50.6 CF Percentage

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

All is quiet in contract talks between the Islanders and Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Martin.

Newsday's Art Staple tweeted that nothing has changed in negotiations between Nielsen and the team. Nielsen has expressed a desire to stay and had preliminary talks with the club, but they have not progressed past that stage.

Staple also added the Isles have not had further talks with Okposo and Martin either. Staple speculated earlier this month that Okposo and Martin will likely leave the club when free agency opens.

Tags: Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

This summer, coming to general manager Garth Snow's office near you, the long awaited sequel to the blockbuster hit "The Departed." Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin star in…"The Unrestricted."

Now that we have gotten that poor attempt at humor out of the way, Snow does face some challenges, maybe for the first time in his tenure, in deciding what to do with three very core members of the Islanders organization -- three players who have never worn another sweater in their careers and bring different attributes to the table.

With the unrestricted free agent market looking average yet again outside of superstar Steven Stamkos, Nielsen and Okposo especially will be highly coveted by rival general managers looking to improve their clubs over the summer. Snow will be talking to Nielsen's agent soon and opening up dialogue. As far as Okposo and Martin go, there has been no contact to date and, specifically in Okposo's case, an uphill battle awaits to keep them in the fold.

Tags: Brian Strait, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Marek Zidlicky, Matt Martin, Steve Bernier, Andy Graziano
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On this week's show, Brian Compton and Mike Carver look back the Islanders' 2nd round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The guys chat with Arthur Staple of Newsday about the play of Kyle Okposo, Ryan StromeBrock Nelson, and discuss the surprising return of Travis Hamonic.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Players will always say when referring to their contract status during the season that they're "not thinking about that. Just playing the game and that will get worked out in due time".

After the Islanders' 4-0 loss Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the second round of the playoffs ended their season, there is now nothing but time to think about the uncertain future that awaits some long-time organizational soldiers.

New York was never really in Game 5 but they were in the series. The Lightning showed every reason why they were the Eastern Conference representative last season in the Stanley Cup Final. They know how to close and did a remarkable job in Games 2 and 5 in putting on a clinic that should be videotaped and shown to each team in training camp.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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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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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

John Tavares may have been the difference on the score sheet, but two Islanders defensemen made big plays the set the stage for the captain's heroics.

With a minute remaining in regulation, Nick Leddy made an incredible end-to-end rush up ice to force a shot on net. That allowed Nikolay Kulemin to get a chance in front that Luongo made a spectacular save, but the puck stayed loose, and Tavares cashed it in to tie the game, 1-1.

Then, with just under 10 minutes remaining in double overtime, Marek Zidlicky made a great positional play to regain the puck after Florida had dumped it deep in the Isles' zone. On the ensuing Islanders possession, Tavares scored the winner to send New York to the second round for the first time since 1993.

Tags: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Marek Zidlicky, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Florida Panthers. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Florida Panthers. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Thomas Hickey scored 12:31 into overtime to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Sunday in Game 3 of their first-round series, giving New York a win in its first playoff game in Brooklyn.

Ryan Pulock, Shane Prince and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss had 36 saves. John Tavares and Kyle Okposo each had two assists.

Hickey scored on a one-timer off a pass from Brock Nelson from behind the net to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is in Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Florida Panthers, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders left winger Brock Nelson (29) clears the puck in the final seconds of the game in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. (Robert Duyos)
New York Islanders left winger Brock Nelson (29) clears the puck in the final seconds of the game in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. (Robert Duyos)

It's been an uneven year for the Islanders' young forwards, but they stepped up in a big way in the team's Game 1 win over the Panthers on Thursday.

 

Brock Nelson scored on a breakaway off a Ryan Strome feed to get the Isles even at 1. Then, with the Isles up 4-3 in the third, Alan Quine made a great rush and flipped a shot on net that created a rebound that Strome cashed in.

 

"I thought we were opportunistic tonight," Kyle Okposo told reporters after the game. "Guys really stepped up, Quiner made a terrific play on the last goal, Stromie was good. We got the job done."

 

Strome finished the night with a goal and an assist, one of four Islanders to have multi-point games.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The Isles' youngsters seemed determined to show the hockey world that the Panthers aren't the only team in this series with good, young talent, and they came through when they needed to. I thought Strome was a revelation. He had been much better in the closing week of the season, and his Game 1 performance was a continuation of that effort. Nelson put himself in a nice position offensively, and finishing off that breakaway was much needed at that point in the game. I'd like to see him be a little more aggressive along the boards in his own zone. And Quine was so impressive. For a guy who was never even expected to contribute to the club this year, his speed and skill have certainly been a welcome addition.

 

This is exactly the kind of effort New York needs from its secondary lines. If the Isles can get this kind of production from their second and third units, they're in great shape to take this series. Let's see what they can do for an encore on Friday.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders left winger Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his first period goal as Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (7) reacts in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. (Robert Duyos)
New York Islanders left winger Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his first period goal as Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (7) reacts in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. (Robert Duyos)

John Tavares had a goal and two assists, including one that set up Kyle Okposo's go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the New York Islanders beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 in Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series on Thursday night.

Thomas Greiss survived a shaky beginning and made 42 saves for the Islanders in his first playoff start, and Brock NelsonFrans Nielsen and Ryan Strome added goals for New York.

Home-ice advantage in the series now belongs to the Islanders, and they can take a 2-0 lead back to Barclays Center if they prevail when the series resumes in a quick turnaround on Friday night.

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51), center John Tavares (91) and right wing Kyle Okposo (21) (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51), center John Tavares (91) and right wing Kyle Okposo (21) (Geoff Burke)

John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen made up a dynamic first line in the final week of the season, and they could give the Islanders an edge in their first round match up with the Florida Panthers.

Tavares earned first star of the week honors with Okposo and Nielsen on his wings. The three have continued skating together at practice this week, and they seemed prime to open the series together when it begins on Thursday in Sunrise.

"We want to keep building on the success we've had," Tavares told reporters on Wednesday. "What's great about those two guys is that they're very driven."

Tags: Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Thomas Hickey scored 2:13 into overtime as the New York Islanders rallied from two goals down in the third period to beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Tuesday night to clinch a playoff berth.

Hickey returned to the game after being cut by a skate and beat Braden Holtby to complete the comeback. Holtby allowed four goals on 27 shots and lost in his first attempt to tie Martin Brodeur's single-season wins record.

John TavaresKyle Okposo and Anders Lee also scored for New York, which got a 29-save performance from Christopher Gibson in his first career NHL start. >> Read more

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Hickey

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders play the Capitals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Capitals have won their first three meetings with the Islanders this year and are looking for their first season sweep against New York since 2010-11 (4-0-0).
  • Washington was shut out at Arizona Saturday, 3-0. It was the second time the Capitals have been shut out in their last five games after going 59 straight games without being shut out from November to March.
  • Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 45 goals in 2015-16, which would be his sixth career season leading the league in goals. Prior to his arrival in Washington, Peter Bondra was the only player to ever lead the NHL in scoring (1994-95 and 1997-98).
  • New York finished its four-game homestand with a 5-2 victory against Tampa Bay Monday. It was the most goals scored by the Islanders since March 6 (six at NYR).
  • John Tavares scored his 30th goal of the season Monday against the Lightning. It is his third career season with at least 30 goals, only four players in Islanders history have more such seasons.
  • Kyle Okposo recorded two assists and two penalty minutes (roughing) yesterday against the Lightning. He is one of ten NHL players with at least 60 points and 50 penalty minutes this season and his 51 penalty minutes match a career high (also 2013-14).
Tags: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo

New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in a shootout Tuesday night to further establish themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture that includes the top eight teams at the conclusion of play on April 10. But entering the dressing room to discuss the results with the players, you wouldn't have guessed it.

Typically after victories, the players enter to the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Downtown" and give the attendant who guards the doors religiously a combination fist/chest bump, putting the exclamation point on the evening.

Last night, there was no hooting and hollering, no extra yard taken. And the music, which typically lasts for a good two minutes before being silenced so we can do our jobs, lasted for maybe 30 seconds or so before being silenced even before we were waved in.

Tags: Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic
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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:36
The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 2-1 in a shootout as they look to build momentum heading towards the playoffs.

Kyle Okposo scored the only goal of the shootout and the New York Islanders rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

Derek Ryan put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 late in the second period but hit the post on his shootout attempt in Carolina's NHL-high 16th overtime loss. The Hurricanes have points in four straight games (2-0-2).

Thomas Greiss made 26 saves and Anders Lee scored his 13th goal of the season for New York, which won for the third time in four games. >> Read more

Tags: Anders Lee, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss

 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

Our latest edition of a new weekly column here at SNY's Islanders Point Blank, as Andy Graziano and Brian Erni will trade opinions on two of the hot topics working their way around the Islanders and give their two cents.

Sportsclubstats, as of this morning, had the Islanders at 98.5 percent for making the playoffs. It's still a possibility that they catch the Penguins (three points back, one game in hand, play Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn) and set up an epic first round matchup with the New York Rangers. Or they could settle back and finish in a wild card spot, resulting in Washington, Florida or Tampa. Let's quickly analyze each matchup.

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo chases the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo chases the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders face the Dallas Stars on the road Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

Tags: Dallas Stars, Kyle Okposo
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Pittsburgh's Kris Letang scored the only goal of the shootout with a pretty backhand past New York Islanders rookie goalie Jean-Francois Berube to lift the Penguins to a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Frans NielsenKyle Okposo and John Tavares in the shootout as Pittsburgh strengthened its hold on the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Fleury finished with 25 saves for the Penguins. Chris Kunitz scored his 14th goal of the season in the 800th game of his career. Sidney Crosby picked up the secondary assist to extend his points streak to nine games.

Berube made 33 stops in his third NHL start, including several in the extra period. Okposo's score at 14:35 of the third sent the game to overtime, but the Islanders couldn't pick up the additional point when they failed to solve Fleury in the shootout. >> Read more

Tags: Frans Nielsen, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo

Cal Clutterbuck scored the game-winning goal for the Islanders on Monday night. (John E. Sokolowski)
Cal Clutterbuck scored the game-winning goal for the Islanders on Monday night. (John E. Sokolowski)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

There is a pretty big reason why the two most prevalent advanced hockey stat categories are driven by shots. The more you shoot the puck, the more it tends to go in, which ultimately results in winning games. The Islanders embodied that during their furious third period comeback on Monday against the Panthers.

After registering just 11 shots on goal in the first and second periods combined, the Isles put 17 on net against Roberto Luongo in the third. More than that, New York bested Florida in attempts 31-16, as they spent the majority of the period just throwing anything they could at the net. Eventually, three of which found their way behind the former Islanders draft pick, and the boys in blue-and-orange stole a big one in front 14,106 in Brooklyn.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports Images)

Cal Clutterbuck scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:39 remaining to cap New York's three-goal third period, lifting the Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey scored earlier in the third as the Islanders scored all their goals in a 5 1/2-minute stretch after trailing 2-0 heading to the final period. Thomas Greiss finished with 23 saves as the Islanders snapped a two-game skid and pulled one point behind the crosstown-rival Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist, Nick Bjugstad also scored and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots. >> Read more

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Florida Panthers, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss

New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) lays on the ice after being injured late in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center. Halak left the game and was replaced by goaltender Thomas Greiss (1). (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) lays on the ice after being injured late in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center. Halak left the game and was replaced by goaltender Thomas Greiss (1). (Andy Marlin)

Our latest edition of a new weekly column here at SNY's Islanders Point Blank, as Andy Graziano and Brian Erni will trade opinions on two of the hot topics working their way around the Islanders and give their two cents.

It never is dull in Islanders land... This week saw two huge divisional victories, 6-4 over the Rangers and 2-1 over the Penguins, followed by terrible news involving starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a disappointing shootout loss in Toronto against the league's worst team. Can the Islanders survive down the stretch here and into the playoffs without Halak?

Andy Graziano: Craziness. The Islanders got caught in a wacky first period Sunday at Madison Square Garden before settling down and grinding out a tremendous road win. They battled the Penguins Tuesday for every square inch, kept them to the outside mostly and Anders Lee was in beast mode, shoving Kris Letang aside like a rag doll on the game winning goal. And then? Boom. Halak news (out 6-8 weeks with groin injury) and a letdown game that maybe some saw coming in Toronto. 

All told, two back with two in hand on the Rangers, six up with a game in hand on the Pens (who play Columbus tonight) is a position New York is not unhappy to be in, as they are in full control of their own destiny. And they are fortunate enough to have the league save percentage leader to fall back on. Thomas Greiss has been remarkable (18-6-0, 2.23, .929) and looked the part against the Maple Leafs in his first start as the unchallenged go-to guy. Whether the Islanders 'survive' might be up to J.F Berube and how he performs in the inevitable starts he has to get to keep Greiss fresh for the playoffs. They will be going to the playoffs, barring an EPIC collapse, but at what seed? Lots of big points still on the table down the stretch.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

The Islanders don't appear close to agreeing to an extension with pending free agent RW Kyle Okposo, reports Darren Dreger of TSN (Mar. 8).

Dreger notes that many believe Okposo will hit the open market in July.

There was some dialogue between the Islanders and Okposo before last month's trade deadline, Dreger said, but those talks didn't heat up.

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have certainly been encouraged by their recent results, which include a number of lopsided wins.

The New York Islanders are probably feeling even better as they continue their upward surge in the Atlantic Division.

With both coming off big victories, the Penguins visit the Islanders in a crucial division matchup Tuesday night.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Jaroslav Halak, Kyle Okposo, Marek Zidlicky
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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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Shane Prince scores during the Islanders win 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.  (Bruce Fedyck)
Shane Prince scores during the Islanders win 4-3 in overtime on Thursday. (Bruce Fedyck)

It didn't take long for Garth Snow's deadline acquisition to pay off.

Shane Prince, acquired from the Senators for a third-round pick on Monday, scored a third period goal on Thursday to give the Isles a 2-1 lead in a game they'd eventually win 4-3 in overtime.

Just under nine minutes into the third, Kyle Okposo sent a cross ice feed to Prince cutting up the wing. Prince knocked the puck down out of the air with his stick, then in one motion rifled a shot that Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson got a piece of with his glove, but couldn't keep from the back of the net.

Tags: Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)

Kyle Okposo scored one of the stranger game-winning goals you'll see to get the Islanders the extra point in Winnipeg.

 

Roughly midway through the extra session, Frans Nielsen broke out of the neutral zone and rushed the puck with a slight opening for a 2-on-1. As the Jets closed in, Nielsen pulled up in the slot and rifled a shot toward the net. The puck his Nikolaj Ehlers directly in the face, then caromed right to Okposo, who put the puck in the net to hand New York its fifth win in the last six games on this road trip.

 

"You take them any way you can get them now," Okposo told reporters after the game. "I got a lucky bounce off Ehlers' face."

 

Over his last 15 games, Okposo is averaging a point per contest.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Obviously, it was an unorthodox way to win a game, but Nielsen's rush really made the play. Pulling up and take the shot was the right move. The Jets got back well, and had Nielsen tried to force a pass, both men could have gotten caught down low, which could have led to an odd-man rush the other way. Instead, he took the shot and, with all due respect to Ehlers' face, when you get the puck toward the net, good things can happen.

 

I'm glad Okposo was the benefactor of the goal because I really like the way Okposo has been playing in the second half of the season. He really feels like he's poised for a big finish. While he was dissatisfied with the way he played in the playoffs last year, he could be a key player to watch come April. He's doing a lot to like on the ice right now.

 

Also, give the Isles some class points. The second Okposo and Nielsen saw that Ehlers was down, they called for the Jets trainer, and New York essentially decided to forego a big, on-ice celebration. Instead, they opted for a handshake line after Ehlers has been taken off the ice, with guys like Cal Clutterbuck skating the length of the ice to check on Ehlers to make sure he was okay.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders forward Anders Lee reaches for a loose puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders forward Anders Lee reaches for a loose puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders are currently at the 60-game mark this season with the trade deadline now in the rear view mirror. While top-flight rentals would have cost a first-round pick and a prospect (too rich for Garth Snow's blood) or a second-round pick that they didn't own thanks to the Johnny Boychuk trade, the only changes came at the AHL level. New York picked up Shane Prince for a third-round pick, and Marc-Andre Cliche for Taylor Beck.

At the NHL level, the Islanders are still searching for that consistent 60-minute game that they can ride into the final 22 games of the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs. Currently, according to sportsclubstats.com, New York has a 96.2 percent chance of making the postseason with a 69 percent chance of facing the rival New York Rangers in the opening round.

Even if the Isles were to crawl to a .500 finish at 10-10-2, they would still be looking at a 97.9 percent chance of being able to play for Lord Stanley, although 55 percent of that chance would be as a wild-card team.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

The Islanders are not looking to trade RW Kyle Okposo prior to Monday's 3 p.m. deadline, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday (Feb. 29).

Staple notes that the Isles are still looking for forward help.

Okposo, 27, has 15 goals and 31 assists in 58 games this season.

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty/USA Today Sports Images)

It's the stretch that will define the season. Six straight on the road, and eight of their next nine. It kicks off on Tuesday in Minnesota, then includes stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Madison Square Garden. Quite simply, if the Isles survive it, either by just even-pegging with the teams on their tail or making some hay and picking up points, then we'll be in for our first installment of playoff hockey in Brooklyn.

We know it, and they know it.

"It's make-or-break time for the season, pretty much,'' Kyle Okposo told reporters before New York embarked for Minnesota. "We could separate ourselves and give ourselves some room in the race or we could fall back and let other teams into it. That's what our challenge is right now. We've got five games on the long trip and then come home and play [at] the Rangers. So it's a huge five games for us.''

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

All eyes in Brooklyn are on Garth Snow, as the February 29 trade deadline approaches.

ESPN's Scott Burnside broke down each of the Metropolitan division team's needs headed toward the deadline, and says the Isles find themselves in a difficult position.

"The Isles have won four of five but are in no way guaranteed a playoff spot. There is more than a little pressure on GM Garth Snow to upgrade his lineup, but don't look for him to move Kyle Okposo even though Okposo will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer and is likely to test the market in July. Travis Hamonic would presumably still like to move West, but that's more likely to happen in the offseason. Could the Isles use Andrew Ladd? Absolutely. And another body along the blue line? Sure. But Snow will have to be cautious that he does not spend too much of the Isles' promising future on a team that still appears not quite ready to be a contender, especially with the goaltending still not at Stanley Cup level."

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Tags: Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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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)

It's the debut of a new weekly column here at SNY's Islanders Point Blank, as Andy Graziano and Brian Erni will trade opinions on two of the hot topics working their way around the Islanders and give their two cents.

The last week (February 2-11) saw the Islanders go 4-2-0, with victories over the Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings. Their losses were to the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. They played extremely well in five of the six, with the Detroit loss being the only exception.

It begs the question, what do the Islanders need, if anything, at this year's trade deadline, set for Monday, February 29 at 3pm ET?

Tags: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) makes a save against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2 in a shootout. (Russell LaBounty)
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) makes a save against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2 in a shootout. (Russell LaBounty)

The Isles needed a savior after their sluggish first period in Columbus, and Anders Lee was happy to play the part with his game-tying goal in the third.

With the Isles on the power play, Frans Nielsen made a strong play on the puck to keep possession in the zone. He found Kyle Okposo, who sent a crisp cross ice feed down low to Lee. Lee deked to his backhand and slipped the puck in between Cam Atkinson's pads to tie the game at two.

Lee's goal was one of 15 Islanders' shots in the third, compared to Columbus' five. For the game, New York outshot the Jackets 46-31.

Tags: Anders Lee, Kyle Okposo, Brian Erni, Tim Reilly
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 (Leon Halip)
(Leon Halip)

The Islanders face the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Blue Jackets have won back-to-back games despite trailing after the first period in each. It is the first time Columbus has won consecutive games in which they trailed after the first period since January 19-22, 2011.
  • The Islanders have scored at least three goals in each of the last seven meetings with the Blue Jackets, their longest active streak against an opponent as well as the longest active streak against Columbus.
  • William Karlsson scored both goals in the Blue Jackets' 2-1 win in Calgary on Friday. Karlsson, who has all of nine career goals, has as many multi-goal games (3) as he does single-goal games (3).
  • Kyle Okposo recorded his second career hat trick and matched his career-high with four points in Sunday's win over Edmonton. Okposo is the first US-born Islander with multiple hat tricks since Jason Blake.
  • Joonas Korpisalo has saved at least 30 shots in three straight games. He is the first Blue Jackets rookie goaltender to stop 30 or more shots in three consecutive games since Steve Mason in March 2009.
  • John Tavares has won 10+ faceoffs in each of the last five games. It is tied for the fourth-longest streak of his career, and his longest since a seven-game run from February 19 -- March 3, 2015.
Tags: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo

 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Kyle Okposo's Islanders career began in controversy and could end with him leaving for greener pastures this summer as an unrestricted free agent. But in between, it's been a heck of a ride for the former first round selection (7th overall) in 2006 as he prepares to play in his 500th NHL game Tuesday night in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

In June of 2007, Okposo reconfirmed his commitment to the University of Minnesota to continue his development for the '07-'08 season under the guidance of head coach Don Lucia. But in December, he notified his teammates that he would indeed be leaving the program to begin his NHL journey. At that time, general manager Garth Snow told the Minneapolis Tribune that they weren't happy with the program, which was "not holding up their end of the bargain in working to make Okposo a better hockey player."

Lucia, in USA Today, didn't respond kindly to Snow's comments. "We have had numerous players sign and play in the NHL, but just as important many more move on to have successful careers after graduating from the University of Minnesota. We have always and will continue to work to ensure our players reach their potential on the ice and in the classroom."

Tags: Kyle Okposo, Andy Graziano
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver are steaming over Jack Capuano and Garth Snow's decision to start J.F. Berube in net vs. Minnesota. They discuss how this will impact Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss, and if Berube has trade value come the deadline.

Plus, Brian chats with Craig Custance of ESPN about the trade market, focusing on Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss, and Travis Hamonic.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic
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