Tag:

Thomas Hickey

 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

The Colorado Avalanche are shopping their top offensive stars, but they have a steep asking price. Should the Islanders engage? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss… 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

The Avalanche are seeking a "top-level" defenseman, a first round pick, and more in a deal for Gabriel Landeskog, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Andy, have you heard if the Isles have had any talks with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic on Landsekog?

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

What will the Islanders trade deadline strategy be? It's anyone's guess, but ESPN's Craig Custance suggests GM Garth Snow should entertain being an aggressive buyer.

In his Eastern Conference trade season preview, Custance says that, while he would normally advise teams as out of it as the Islanders are to sell off some useful parts (Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan are two pieces he mentions by name), he thinks the John Tavares situation complicates matters.

"If the Islanders start selling off parts and continue the slide backwards, it gives Tavares little reason to commit long-term, even for someone who has been as loyal as Tavares has been to the team that drafted him," he writes. "Keeping Tavares has to be the priority, and Snow has to give him a reason to stay. Instead of selling, the better strategy would be to aggressively pursue another cornerstone to add to Tavares long term."

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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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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GEICO SportsNite: Isles' trouble 00:00:54
Islanders captain John Tavares and head coach Jack Capuano discuss how the team is looking to get by their recent struggles.

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv 

There are many questions concerning the New York Islanders these days, from network and local media, ownership, management, players and most loudly, fans. And almost all those questions are justified. But there is only one small problem - nobody seems to have any answers.

Yesterday, general manager Garth Snow held a meeting with season ticket holders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After making some canned remarks about having belief in the players and them still possessing plenty of fight, Chris Botta on Twitter remarked, "No real talk. No anger. No "I screwed up and have to fix this." No leadership. Just self-serving spin."

Snow has never been known to make any of his thoughts public through any discussion outside of his inner circle, whether that be media or the hard working season ticket holders that keep this franchise from crumbling at his feet. As real Snow as you're ever going to get would have been about a month back when he addressed reporters at Northwell Health Ice Center and proceeded to make a joke out of wasting two years of J.F Berube's career.

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

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

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

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

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

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


Overtime:

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

What's next:

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

Tags: Calgary Flames, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

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

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

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) reacts during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) reacts during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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Andrew Ladd celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates during the second period. (AP)
Andrew Ladd celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates during the second period. (AP)

Entering play on Tuesday, the Islanders are 5-8-4, with just 14 points. That putts them dead last in the Eastern Conference and tied for last in the NHL.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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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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New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

The Islanders have some uncertaintly awaiting them in the years ahead, and at least one writer thinks it create a ton of intrigue. In his latest edition of 30 Thoughts on Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman says the Isles' future is both interesting and difficult to predict, and that both ownership and the team's approach to their own free agents will have a lot to do with the direction the team will take in the coming years.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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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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New York Islanders' Thomas Hickey plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (Jay LaPrete/AP)
New York Islanders' Thomas Hickey plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

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.

Thomas Hickey, 27, Defense

Contract: Signed through 2017-18 - $2.200M cap hit, $2.250, $3.100M salary - unrestricted free agent

Tags: Thomas Hickey, 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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 (AP)
(AP)

The Islanders and their fans alike started making playoff memories in their new home in Game 3.

Thomas Hickey scored 12:31 into overtime to set off a celebration in Brooklyn. The goal gave the Isles a 4-3 win and a 2-1 series advantage.

"It was incredible," Hickey told reporters when asked about the atmosphere in the building. "I love our fans. I didn't know it was going to be that good. We have a great new culture they seem to be developing here, and we really fed off of that today."

Tags: Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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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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 (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

 (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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Feb 15, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) controls the puck in front of Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm (43) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 15, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) controls the puck in front of Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm (43) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Thomas Hickey bailed the Islanders out for the second time in a week.

Hickey scored with just 7:05 remaining in regulation to give the Isles a lead they barely clung to, improving New York to 4-1 on their seven-game road trip. The Islanders were held to just two shots on goal in the first period, and were outshot 33-24 for the game.

"Not really a good night for us.," Hickey told reporters after the game. "The positive thing is you end up winning it, but to a man in here I think we all understand that's not going to win too many hockey games. Our goalie sort of bailed us out there and we got lucky."

Tags: Thomas Hickey
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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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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey shoots the puck against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USATSI)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey shoots the puck against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USATSI)

The Detroit Red Wings' most recent win came against the New York Islanders in their final game before the All-Star break. Back-to-back road losses followed, but the start of a five-game homestand might not provide much relief.

Detroit has dropped five in a row at Joe Louis Arena and looks to avoid its longest skid there in two seasons in Saturday's rematch with the Islanders.

Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser scored in a 1:11 span of the second period to lead the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory over New York on Jan. 25. Detroit (25-18-8) was then outscored 9-4 in back-to-back games in Florida.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders defenseman Marek Zidlicky (28) is congratulated after scoring a first period goal against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders defenseman Marek Zidlicky (28) is congratulated after scoring a first period goal against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)

Marek Zidlicky had been looking far more comfortable of late, and on Sunday, the Isles veteran d-man notched a few goals to boot.

 

Zidlicky opened the scoring just under eight minutes into the game, just shortly after an Islanders' power play had expired. He added a second goal with 43 seconds to go in the second when he threw the puck on net and beat Keith Kinkaid.

 

"Throughout his career, he's been known for his shot," Jack Capuano said of Zidlicky after the game. "It's his release. There's a lot of velocity."

 

In 27 games this season, Zidlicky has three goals and seven assists.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

Twitter | Archive Posts

Zidlicky got off to a rough start this year, and some fans were ready to relegate him to the press box. But how much of that was attributable to being paired with Brian Strait? The way Zidlicky is playing right now, it looks like that may have been the bulk of the problem. Since Thomas Hickey's return, Zidlicky has three points, 11 blocked shots, and is a +2. I'm not blaming all of Zidlicky's early season troubles on Strait, but that pairing together was a liability. Neither could compensate for the other's shortcomings. Now that Hickey is back, it's allowed Zidlicky to focus on the core components of his game, and he looks far more comfortable.

 

I think as we head down the stretch and into the playoffs, Zidlicky is going to be an important part of this team. He's going to need to be rested occasionally, like he was on Saturday in Columbus. But as long as he is kept on a pairing with Hickey, I think this is turning into a very reliable five-six for the Islanders' blue line that can do a little bit of everything. That added element of depth will be big in keeping the top pairings' minutes down, and hopefully will get the Isles to April fresh and healthy.

Tags: Marek Zidlicky, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

John Tavares' power play goal and Kyle Okposo's shoot out tally may have been the difference on the scoring sheet, but the Islanders' defense was the star of the show on Wednesday night.

 

Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic led the way with 26 minutes a piece, while Johnny Boychuk assisted on the Tavares' 5-on-3 power play goal. Islanders defensemen registered 13 of the team's 37 shots on net.

 

After the game, Jack Capuano sung the defense's praises, specifically Thomas Hickey, who played his third game since his return from a lower body injury, all of which have resulted in Islanders wins.

 

"He's been great," Capuano said. "He takes hits to make plays. To me, that's toughness. He does a lot of good things that really go under the radar." 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

Twitter | Archive Posts

The defense is a mile better with Hickey in the lineup. Now that he's healthy, it's easy to appreciate just how steady Hickey makes that third pairing, and how it improves the Islanders defense core from top to bottom. On Wednesday, all three pairings did an incredibly job getting the puck to the net. They played lose with a cautious aggressiveness, staying mindful of the Rangers' speed, but still making sure they kept attacking the offensive zone. Leddy was back to his old self, executing a few beautiful carry-ins. I thought Calvin De Haan was a force all night, and Hamonic may have played his best game of the season, asserting himself physically and still being able to force Henrik Lundqvist to turn away five shots.

 

To me, this is the key to the Islanders' season. The offense is there. There are plenty of guys who are going to find the back of the net. But if the defense can play to the level it did last season, there's just no telling how far this club can go. On Wednesday, the defensive corps announced to the world that they can play with anyone in this division, conference, even the entire league. Let's see if they can sustain this level of play.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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Islanders Coach Jack Capuano had very little information on Travis Hamonic when practiced ended on Monday.

?We don?t have any update on him at this point,? Capuano responded to the first of several questions about the injured defenseman. ?We?ll just take it day by day.?

Not the response Islander fans were hoping for just two days before the puck drops in Washington D.C. for Game 1 between the Isles and Washington Capitals. Hamonic was injured during the first period of Friday?s win in Pittsburgh and missed the rest of the game. He also missed Saturday?s season finale at Nassau Coliseum.

Tags: Islanders, jack capuano, john tavares, Johnny Boychuk, new york islanders, News, thomas hickey, travis hamonic
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It's safe to say Thomas Hickey has had a successful first half of the season.

The Islanders' defenseman has 15 points (two goals, 13 assist) through the first 45 games of the season. Hickey is third among Islander defensemen in points this year, but he has also contributed in a big way defensively for the team.

Hickey has been a reliable defenseman since he arrived on Long Island before the start of the lockout shortened season in 2013. However, his presence during a stretch in which the Islanders did not have Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk on the ice, was big.

Tags: Islanders, new york islanders, thomas hickey
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The Islanders have suffered injuries to the defensive corps in the past and this season is no different.

The difference has been that the Isles have been able to still find ways to win in spite of them. Tuesday night was another example of that as the Islanders defeated the Ottawa senators 3-2 in overtime, in a game that saw New York lose a third defenseman to injury.

Travis Hamonic suffered, what Islander Coach Jack Capuano called, an upper body injury after taking a hard hit into the boards in the second period. The Islanders have already been without both Johnny Boychuk and Lubomir Visnovsky due to ailments.

Tags: Islanders, jack capuano, Jaroslav Halak, new york islanders, thomas hickey
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Thomas Hickey just felt a numbness right away after his face got cut by the skate of Mike Santorelli on Tuesday night. He immediately left the ice.

"It's just scary cause you're a little numb and I didn't know if it was a lit cut or a real big one," Hickey said about the incident. "I just assumed it was bad and it was, so I just had to get off right away."

The 25-year-old was no worse for the wear on Wednesday. Hickey was back on the ice for practice sporting new head gear to protect the roughly 20 stitches he received. Tuesday was not Hickey's first brush with a skate blade However. Earlier this season, according to the Islander defenseman, a skate blade came close to catching him.

Tags: Islanders, new york islanders, News, thomas hickey
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Defense has been a major issue for the Islanders, as the team ranks 28th in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 3.27 per. That?s a stark difference from last year, when the team allowed 2.79 goals per game, good for 21st.?The Islanders have surrendered two goals or less in a game six times and are 4-1-1 on the year in those games. Outside of that, they?re 4-12-2.Today their bedraggled defense may have taken another serious hit, as Andrew MacDonald was reportedly hurt in practice.For?Thomas Hickey, who was hurt blocking a shot on Saturday night in Philadelphia, the news is better than it could have been. After today's practice at the Coliseum, Coach Capuano called Hickey's condition "day-to-day".With Lubomir Visnovsky out, Hickey has been the Islanders best defender in terms of possession. Heck, he's actually been the team's best skater based on possession. Hickey has a corsi% of 54.9%?at 5-on-5, which bests everyone else (min 12 GP). That means that when he's on the ice at even strength, almost 55% of the total shots taken go towards the opponent's net rather than the Islanders' net. If we move out to a smaller sample, minimum 6 GP, Thomas Vanek is the only player that bests Hickey.Earlier this season, Visnovsky suffered a concussion and has now missed about a month?s worth of games with no speedy return in sight. More nebulous is Brian Strait?s injury, which has kept him out a few weeks. With Hickey and MacDonald's statuses cloudy, the Islanders could be missing up to four defenders off of their opening night lineup when they return to the ice Wednesday. And to add to that, there's also goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on the shelf with an injury.?For what it's worth, Bridgeport's defense is a bit banged up as well. Andrey Pedan and Joe Finley are both out with injuries.
Tags: Islanders, thomas hickey, Kevin Schultz

Throughout the next month plus, we'll be continuing our review of the season that was and over-analyzing the various players that?contributed?to it. That's what the offseason is for, after all. This post is part of a series.?Read them all here.

Thomas Hickey -- D -- #14

1-3-4 in 39 games

Tags: Islanders, summer report cards, thomas hickey
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The Islanders have announced that they have re-signed defender Thomas Hickey to a two-year deal. Hickey was acquired off waivers from the Kings in January. He had been a restricted free agent and was tendered a qualifying offer earlier this month and was not eligible to elect arbitration.

Last season, Hickey had 4 points in 39 games, his first season in the NHL. He spent much of the season in an effective pairing with Lubomir Visnovsky. The pair were among the top players on the team in corsi.

 

Tags: Islanders, thomas hickey

The following is a guest post from Garik, written exclusively for Point Blank on the Isles early season waiver claims. It was originally written prior to Sunday's game against the Panthers.

In preseason this year, the Islanders picked up three defenders off of the waiver wire. Those guys were Brian Strait, Thomas Hickey and Joe Finley. Strait's out for the year, but I'd like to talk to you today about the other two guys -- Hickey and Finley -- who GM Garth Snow took a chance on for this season. Both of these guys have seen a good amount of action this year; Finley has played 16 games and Hickey 23. But is either one a part of the Islander future? Well, neither guy has shown much scoring ability -- Hickey has three points, Finley one -- so if either of these guys is to be a part of the Islanders going forward, it's going to have to be because of the things they do as a defender.

It's more difficult to measure defense than offense for obvious reasons in hockey. There's no defensive equivalent to goals and assists and the only conventional statistic we have to measure defense is +/-. If you were to simply use +/- to look at Hickey and Finley, you would see Hickey at +4 and Finley at -5 and assume that Hickey was a better defender.

Tags: garik, guest post, Islanders, joe finley, News, thomas hickey
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Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7:00pm ET

Uniondale, NY -- Nassau Coliseum -- MSG+

Tonight the Penguins visit the Coliseum, the first matchup between these two teams since an ugly affair in Pittsburgh a week ago Sunday. The Pens won that matchup 6-1, chasing Evgeni Nabokov after two periods where he allowed five goals. Nabokov will be back in net for the Islanders tonight after Kevin Poulin played last night against Montreal.

Tags: Islanders, joe finley, thomas hickey
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The Islanders have a lot of decisions to make in the next couple weeks, as the trade deadline looms on April 3rd at 3pm. The team has a number of veteran free agents who could either be moved or re-signed, among them are Evgeni Nabokov, Brad Boyes, Mark Streit, Lubomir Visnovsky, Marty Reasoner and Tim Thomas.

In today's Newsday, Arthur Staple notes that talks are either underway or will be soon for Nabokov, Streit and Visnovsky. Visnovsky, obviously the longest shot of the three to re-sign, is at least open to listening. Whether that is just polite courtesy or actual interest, remains to be seen.

Brad Boyes, Staple mentions, is likely to be seriously talked to as well regarding a new deal. Boyes has been clicking extremely well with the first line and is third on the team in points.

Tags: anders lee, Brenden Kichton, Islanders, larry brooks, lubomir visnovsky, mark streit, News, Editorial Aside, Prospects, scott mayfield, thomas hickey, travis hamonic
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As part of the new deal between the League and the Players, teams will have the opportunity to buyout two uninjured players this summer. But for whatever reason, teams couldn't buy anyone out right now. So what's a team with Wade Redden or Scott Gomez on it to do? Why pay them to sit at home and not get injured of course. That's just what the Rangers and Canadiens have been doing with Redden and Gomez. That is, until this weekend.

In a disturbingly fast amount of time (considering how long it took to end the lockout) the League and Players agreed to allow teams to use one of their compliance buyouts this season. As as of Saturday teams can put players making $3 million or more through waivers -- basically a formality -- and then will be free to buy them out after which the player can sign for another team or accept a minor league assignment. There's not much benefit for the team to do this. They'll still be dealing with the player's full cap hit all year. It's more of a way to allow the players to find an employer who wants them.

All that being said, it's not likely that Rick DiPietro would get bought out via this method. The Islanders could use a second goalie on the bench, as sitting Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson behind Nabokov for the year does those players no good. Also, in this special buyout period, the player has to agree to it. Rick DiPietro still wants to play and doesn't seem to mind doing it in an Islanders uniform.

Tags: Islanders, lubomir visnovsky, mark streit, News, Editorial Aside, Rick DiPietro, scott gomez, scott pellerin, thomas hickey
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The Islanders grabbed another defender off the waiver wire today in Thomas Hickey a day after they got Joe Finley. Finley is rather large defender whose attributes and shortcomings are fairly straightforward; he fights, hits people, stays at home and skating could use work. With Hickey, it's a tad more complex. Hickey is a fourth overall pick who has spent the past four seasons in the AHL. So why did the Kings put him in a position to get plucked off the waiver wive and why didn't he make the Kings? For answers to those questions, we turn to the people who know the Kings better than just about anyone, the Kings blog the Royal Half:

[sny-box color=E6F1FF]It was June 22nd, 2007 when myself and the 100 or so other fans at the LA Kings Draft Party turned to each other and said "Who the eff is Thomas Hickey?" When he was announced as the 4th Overall pick by the LA Kings even Pierre McGuire had a hard time knowing where this defenseman played his junior hockey. (Just kidding... kinda.)

Even thought Hickey was viewed as a long-term project by the Kings scouts it was a total "off the board" pick to be 4th Overall that year. Hickey did show some promise after his draft year playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds and even Captained the 2009 Canada WJC team that won Gold. Heading to the AHL in 2009, Hickey struggled through injuries during his 1st two seasons at Manchester but since then has been a regular Top 4 defenseman for them.

Tags: Islanders, News, Prospects, thomas hickey
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The Islanders have claimed defender Thomas Hickey off waivers from the Kings.

Hickey was the fourth overall pick 4th in 2007.

He is 5-10, 182 and has never played an NHL game, spending the last four years for the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings AHL affiliate.

Tags: Islanders, News, thomas hickey
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