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Islanders Hockey Blog | Page 4

Written by Christian A. | 14 April 2012

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers clinched the Northeast Division title last night after they defeated the Providence Bruins.

It is the first time the Sound Tigers have won the division since they did it during the 2001-2002 season. That year the Sound Tigers went all the way to the Calder Cup Finals lead by former Islander Trent Hunter and a young Rick Dipietro.

The win also locked up Bridgeport’s first round matchup, as they will meet the New York Rangers’ farm team, the Connecticut Whale.

The series is a best of three and it opens up on Thursday in Bridgeport. Game two will be at Webster Bank Arena, with games three and four in Hartford and game five, if necessary, back in Bridgeport.

Tickets for the playoffs are available here or you can go the old fashion route and call 1-800-745-3000.

Bridgeport closes out the regular season with a home and home against the baby Pens tonight and tomorrow no comments

Written by Christian A. | 12 April 2012

Color me surprised, John Tavares is moving on in the EA Sports NHL 13 cover tournament as the Islanders representative.

The first round saw Tavares go head-to-head with teammate Michael Grabner, with the person who received the most votes between the two moving on to the field of 32. Among the others advancing are stars like Ilya Kovalchuck of the New Jersey Devils and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

The second round begins today and runs until April 22. The top 16 vote getters will move on to the third round, which will be a round-by-round bracket style until two players remain. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards show on June 20.

Tavares has his work cut out for him since other players involved in the competition, like Scott Hartnell and David Perron, have taken to social media to campaign for fans votes.

Since Tavares doesn’t have a twitter account guess it’ll be on his buddies Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo to champion him online. If you’d like to vote just click here.

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Written by Christian A. | 10 April 2012

The Islanders learned tonight that they’d be selecting fourth overall in this years NHL Draft.

The draft order is how most people expected it to turn out with one twist. The Maple Leafs will pick fifth, Montreal at three, and then the surprise of the Blue Jackets picking second and the Oilers picking first for the third year in a row.

For the Islanders it will be the fifth straight year that they will have a top five pick in the draft. They infamously traded down to take Josh Bailey in 2008, picked John Tavares number one in 2009, selected Nino Niederrieter fifth overall in 2010, and picked Ryan Strome fifth in 2011.

Some in “Islanders Country” are saying the Isles should trade the pick for an established top six forward or top four forward. A move like that would make plenty of sense given the Isles already deep pool of young talent in their farm system. Plus, the Islanders need help now rather than later and the biggest thing that will get them over the hump, and into the playoffs, would be an established forward or defensemen.

But tell us what you think. In the comments section play Islanders general manager, who do you pick? Do you trade the pick? Let us know.

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Written by Christian A. | 10 April 2012

It may not be the Mega-Millions lottery everyone was talking about last week, but tonight the NHL holds its annual draft lottery at 8 p.m.

This is the fifth year the Islanders will be heading to lottery. They have 10.7% chance of having their name called and winning the “coveted” first pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

Below are percentages for the bottom five teams in the NHL:

Columbus Blue Jackets - 25.0%
Edmonton Oilers - 18.8%
Montreal Canadiens - 14.2%
New York Islanders - 10.7%
Toronto Maple Leafs - 8.1%

The NHL Draft Lottery will air tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and on TSN in Canada.

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Written by Christian A. | 06 April 2012

(Picture via the Isles Facebook page.)

The Islanders ended their home portion of the season with a 5-4 win last night over the Winnipeg Jets. Michael Grabner scored the game-winning goal with 46.8 seconds left in the game.

The Islanders opened the scoring 6:38 into the first period. Matt Moulson fired a shot past the Shoulder Jets’ starter Chris Mason for his 36th goal of the year. Less than two minutes later Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders a two-goal advantage. The Jets answered back A little over a minute later when Tobias Enstrom scored and then Andrew Ladd added a goal at the 17:08 mark.

In the second period the Islanders lost PA Parenteau to injury. The Islanders had 2 on 0 rush when Mark Stuart made a desperate diving attempt to knock the puck away from PA Parenteau. In doing so he took out Parenteau’s leg forcing him out of the game with an ankle sprain.

A few moments later after the injury to Parenteau, the Islanders were able to regain the lead off Okposo’s second goal of the game.

But the Jets would find the equalizer 7:03 in the third when Zach Bogosian put one past Montoya from the slot. The Isles would go ahead once again after Michael Grabner was hooked and awarded a penalty shot. Grabner buried the attempt putting the Islanders up 4-3 with 8:15 left in the third.

However, Winnipeg still had some fight in them and tied it a minute later.

In the end though it would be Grabner to score the winning goal in the final minute of the game to send Islander fans home happy.

The Isles outshot the Jets 28 to 25 and Al Montoya stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced for a .840 save percentage.

The Islanders play their final game of the season tomorrow night in Columbus.

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Written by Christian A. | 04 April 2012

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers clinched a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs with their afternoon win over the Springfield Falcons. David Ullstrom scored the game-winning goal with 4:45 left to play in the game. Long Island native Tony Romano and John Persson also scored for the Sound Tigers in the win.

Kevin Poulin made 33 saves and Bridgeport’s record improved to 38-24-3-6. Mike Halmo made his AHL debut and dropped the gloves with David Savard:

And there was a scrum towards the end of the game:

Parenteau’s Agent denies They’ve Made Contract Proposals to Isles

PA Parenteau’s agent, Allan Walsh, took to twitter to deny reports that his client had been asking for a new contract for four years and $16 million from the Islanders. The tweet seemingly came out of nowhere and unnecessarily called out Isles beat writer Arthur Staple.

The Islanders and Pareneteau have not reached an agreement on a new contract.

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Written by Christian A. | 04 April 2012

Pat LaFontaine may be one of the greatest players to don an Islander uniform from 1983 to 1991, but a rift between team owner Charles Wang and LaFontaine has caused the Isles to erase him from their history.

The issue was brought to light yesterday when the Wall Street Journal published an article by Mike Sielski called “Cutting a Star Out of the Picture” (a must read).

The tale is quite simple really: After spending 40 days as an unpaid senior advisor to Charles Wang, back in 2006, LaFontaine resigned hours after Wang had fired then general Manager Neil Smith. He told the WSJ that resigned because he didn’t like the direction the franchise was going. "I believe you treat people fairly," he said in the article. "And stand up for what you believe in."

Since then there has been a rift between the two sides.

In 2008, then Anaheim Ducks General Manager, Brian Burke wanted a credential for LaFontaine so he could sit with him when the Ducks played the Islanders. The team denied Burke’s request multiple times, to his bewilderment, so he provided a ticket for LaFontaine to sit in the Ducks owner’s suite. The Isles told the New York Times Slap Shot blog that he would have been welcomed to sit in a suite reserved for team alumni.

That was the last time he has stepped foot in the Nassau Coliseum.

Over the years the team has neglected to mention his presence in charity events, such as the bike ride from Toronto to New York that Steve Webb and LaFontaine both took part in. The WSJ article notes that the team issued a news release on their website mentioning Webb, but not LaFontaine.

The omission became even more blaring when the Islanders did not induct him into the teams hall of fame, even though he has 566 points and 287 goals as an Islanders, during the 40th anniversary ceremonies. They also left out his “Easter Epic” goal against the Washington Capitals in their opening video:

This, of course has drawn the ire of fans and media alike prompting a very passionate post from Justin Bourne, editor of the Backhand Shelf and son of Islander great Bob Bourne.

And it’s hard to fault anyone for criticizing the Islanders for, intentionally or unintentionally, omitting one of the greatest players to play for this organization. LaFontaine is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and has his number retired 16 retired in Buffalo. It’s hard to fathom why he has not at the very least been inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame.

Not to mention how much of a staple he is on Long Island. Between his well documented charity work to coaching the Long Island Royals to having one of the coolest back yards on the Island. Yet “Long Island sole professional sports franchise” seemingly forgets about him.

And LaFontaine would be great in a hockey operations position with Isles as well.

One can hope that the fractured relationship between the two sides can be fixed and LaFontaine can be welcomed back into the Islanders family.  That’s the very least they can do for a man who’s given them so many fond memories.


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