Tags Posts tagged with "New York Islanders"

New York Islanders

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Piecing together the right mix of talent

This young squad made a good impression in last year’s playoffs. The young team took Pittsburgh to 7- a strong argument for the level of progression. Yet, it’s still early to tell if the young core can handle the 82 game work load and stay in the playoff hunt. It is also hard to believe that next season the Islanders have a full roster and over 15 million in cap space to work with. But that’s exactly what GM Garth Snow.He assembled a team that plays a fast paced style of hockey. They have a young core in their forward group, their defenseman are quickly becoming more NHL ready as seasons pass and the only area that needs fine tuning is goaltending.

John Tavares is an elite talent in the NHL; he makes the players around him better and will be the Isles’ leading scorer. Matt Moulson has developed a good bond with him and will complement his play. Brad Boyes will not be coming back however and the top line spot could be filled by Kyle Okposo. Playing with Tavares could be a sure way to put this 25 year old on the opposition watch list. Nino Niederreiter was exchanged to Minnesota for Cal Clutterbuck, One teammate that is happy to have Clutterbuck- a multiple league leader in hits, is Matt Martin, who led in that category last year. This amount of physicality can wear down the opposition and while having them in the lineup may not put pucks in the net, it will spark the team to score. It will be interesting to see Pierre-Marc Bouchard on the roster. A history of concussions makes him risky but he does have the ability and leadership skills to set up on the wing. Regular time on the second powerplay is possible for him this season. This season could mark the emergence of Ryan Strome, 5th overall selection in 2011, has been a force in the OHL and in the AHL recorded 7pts in 10gp. If he cracks the lineup he could do as well as take the #2 spot down the middle for the Isles who could use Frans Nielsen at the #3 spot giving them a legitimate depth at center ice. The Isles are ultimately counting on John Tavares to keep his elite production going while getting good secondary scoring. Having players like Nielsen contributing in a checking role will be essential this season

With the departure of Mark Streit the Isles lost their captain as well as a powerplay quarterback. His role on the powerplay will be replaced by 37 year old Lubomir Visnovsky. Although it is an asset to have scoring assistance from the blueline, the Isles hope the blueline holds the opposition. Last season, they finished 21st in the league in Goals Against per game. One of the players that Islanders goalies are enjoying having in front of them is Andrew Macdonald. Macdonald finished the last 2 seasons in the top 5 in blocked shots and logs the most time- on- ice on the roster ( 23:31/game), playing a vital role on the penalty kill and top line shutdown. The emergence of Travis Hamonic turned up many smiles as he tied for second in TOI at roughly 23min/game behind, he appeared in all 48 games this season and while his offensive ability was not a stand out, there’s hope that this season allows him to develop more at the NHL level.

Finishing in the top 10 in goals-for league-wide helped the Isles win games but goaltending is still an issue. 38 year old Evgeny Nabokov started in 41 of the 48 games and put together a .910sv% in a condensed schedule. His play dropped off in the playoffs, probably as a result of fatigue. If the Isles hadn’t been able to match the Penguins in goal scoring there would not have been a game 7. They will need to find a way to split games, or give the aging goalie time off. This is where 23 year old Kevin Poulin fits in. Although he played in a handful of games last season, he also has to improve on his sub .900sv% last season. Unfortunately, he has little NHL experience to fall back on. With a NHL third-most 18 back-to-back games, they’ll need a solid tandem to secure a playoff chase come spring.

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Join our host Corey Collard, along with Lady Loves Hockey’s Stephanie Darwish, Nick Murdocco and Dave Kellerman as they review another victory by the Canadiens, this time by a score of 5-2 against their season-long nemesis, the New York Islanders. They also discuss the GM Meetings in Toronto, and some of the proposed rule changes being thrown around.

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Match-Up:

The Canadiens (19-5-5) are in New York Thursday night to face the Islanders (13-13-3), the last team to defeat the Habs in regulation. The puck drops at 7:00 and the game can be seen on RDS.

This is the third and final meeting between the Canadiens and Islanders. So far the Habs have earned just one out of a possible four points against the Isles. Along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Islanders are one of just two teams in the East the Canadiens have not yet beaten this season.

What to Watch:

Colby Armstrong scored his second goal of the season Tuesday night to tie the game and force overtime against the Sabres. The goal came one game after he scored his first of the year. Watch for Armstrong to try to extend his goal scoring streak to three games against the Isles.

The Canadiens will have to pay attention to the dynamic duo of Matt Moulson and John Tavares, the pair have 7 points between them in two games against the Habs this year. Tavares is up to 17 goals and 31 points this season, Moulson is right behind with 30 points including 11 goals. If Michael Grabner is in the lineup Thursday he’ll also be worth watching, he has 10 goals in 26 games.

What’s at Stake:

The Canadiens have slipped three points back of the Penguins in the Eastern Conference race, but they now have a 2-point lead over the Bruins. Games in hand are still a factor, the Habs hold 2 over the Pens and the Bruins still have a game in hand on the Habs. The top three teams have broken away from the rest of the pack in the East, but with the Bruins right on their heels the Canadiens still need to keep piling on the points especially against weaker teams like the Islanders

Who’s Out:

It looks like Brandon Prust (shoulder) isn’t quite ready to return to the Habs’ lineup just yet, it looks like he’ll miss at least one more game. Rene Bourque (concussion) and Rafael Diaz (concussion) are also out.

The Islanders are missing David Ullstrom (groin) and Brian Strait (ankle). Michael Grabner (shoulder) has missed the last three games but could be back in the lineup Thursday. Matt Carkner (lower body) has been out for almost 6 weeks but he could also be back in action Thursday.

What Else:

Rookies Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk both picked up assists in Tuesday’s game. With 8 goals and 9 assists in 25 games Gallagher is third in rookie scoring behind Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Tampa’s Cory Conacher. Montreal’s star rookies are quietly seeing more ice time as coach Therrien increases their responsibilities. Galchenyuk has played about 14 minutes of ice time on average in the last 8 games, and Gallagher has played at least 14 minutes in each of his last 12 matches, hovering closer to a 15 minute average. At the start of the season, the pair could expect to see no more than 12 minutes on ice during most games.

The Question Mark:

The pregame question of the day is: Who are you more eager to see return to the lineup, Prust, Bourque or Diaz? Answer in the comments below or use the #MTLHockey hashtag to let us know on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

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After a  very emotional victory over the Bruins on Sunday, the Canadiens had very little left in the tank, dropping a 6-3 decision to the New York Islanders. Join Corey Collard, along with Jay Ferrar, Nick Murodocco and Amos Joannides as they discuss what they thought about tonight’s action.

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Match-Up:

After a stacked weekend against two of the Eastern conference’s best teams the Canadiens (14-4-4) are in New York next to face the Islanders (9-11-2) Tuesday night. The game starts at 7:00 and can be seen on RDS.

This is the second of three meetings between the Habs and the Isles. The last time these teams met the Islanders came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Matt Moulson scored twice for Long Island and Thomas Hickey scored his first NHL goal, the overtime winner, in that contest. The loss was one of just three the Canadiens have suffered in their last 11 games, and like all the other losses during that span, the Habs still earned a point.

What to Watch:

Max Pacioretty was named the NHL’s First Star of the week for his outstanding performances during the last four games. Patches had 4 goals and 3 assists last week bringing him up to 20 points in 18 games this season. And if Pacioretty is going strong, you can bet David Desharnais is not far behind. DD scored twice against the Bruins Sunday, including the game winner, he now has 5 points in his last 3 games.

The duo of Matt Moulson and John Tavares is still the most dangerous combination for the Islanders, together they have 23 of Long Island’s 62 goals. But the pair have struggled recently, Moulson has just a single assist in the past three games and Tavares has been kept off the scoresheet entirely, although he did score a shootout clinching goal Sunday against the Islander.

What’s at Stake:

After their victory over the Bruins on Sunday the Canadiens once again have first place in the Eastern Conference all to themselves, but that doesn’t mean the Habs can rest on their laurels. The Bruins still have three games in hand on Montreal so Les Boys will need to keep on earning points if they want to maintain their advantage.

Who’s Out:

The Canadiens are missing Rene Bourque (concussion) and Raphael Diaz (concussion) as well as Petteri Nokelainen (back).

John Tavares missed practice Monday for the Isles with a cold, but should be healthy enough to play on Tuesday. The Islanders are without Matt Carkner (lower body), Brian Strait (ankle) and Jesse Joensuu (lower body).

What Else:

The Canadiens are in the midst of a 5-game road trip, their longest of the season. After Tuesday night the team heads down the coast to Carolina followed by a visit to Tampa Bay and finally South Florida to face the Panthers. Conversely, the Islanders are in the midst of a 7-game homestand, also their longest stretch of games at home.

Currently the Habs hold a 10-0-2 record against teams outside their division, losing in overtime on Saturday to the Penguins and dropping an overtime decision to the Isles in February.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren.

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montreal canadiens vs new york islanders Habs

Match-Up:

The Eastern conference leading Montreal Canadiens (11-4-1) ―feel free to read that over and over if you like― are home Thursday night to take on the Islanders (6-9-1). The puck drops at 7:30 and airs on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the first of three meetings between the Habs and Isles this year and the only one at the Bell Centre. The Habs went 2-1-1 against Long Island last season. The last time these teams met, the Canadiens got goals from Aaron Palushaj and Louis Leblanc in regulation, and shootout goals from David Desharnais and Rene Bourque, but the Islanders still managed to earn a 3-2 victory, spoiling a 36 save performance from Peter Budaj.

What to Watch:

The Canadiens will be looking for a better start to Thursday’s game, Tuesday night against the Rangers the Habs were kept without a shot for the first 16 minutes of regulation. The Habs have scored just one first period goal in the last four games.

It took a fluky goal to get things going, but Max Pacioretty finally lit the lamp Monday night against the Hurricanes, he picked up his second the next night in New York. Tomas Plekanec has never had a 30-goal season in the NHL but he already has 8 markers in 16 games this year. That means that in an 82 game season, Plek would be on pace to hit 40.

The Isles have been outscored 10-1 in their last 2 games and just 2 wins in their last 9. Despite this lack of success John Tavares and Matt Moulson continue to shine offensively. Moulson has 7 goals and 17 points in 16 games while Tavares has 11 goals and 20 points in that span. The duo accounts for exactly two fifths of Long Island’s 45 goals this season.

What’s at Stake:

After spending most of last season in the gutter, the Habs are now at the top of the conference looking down on their competition. The Habs will be trying to stay a step ahead of the Boston Bruins who hold enough games in hand to erase the Canadiens’ lead in the Eastern conference race. Montreal will also be trying to extend their 5 game winning streak and maintain their perfect record against out-of-division teams.

Who’s Out:

The Montreal Canadiens are missing Brendan Gallagher (concussion) and Petteri Nokelainen (back). Gallagher has not played since leaving Saturday’s game against the Flyers, the rookie has been feeling better of late but expect the Canadiens to play it safe and not rush him back into the lineup.

The Islanders are missing defensemen Brian Strait (ankle) and Matt Carkner (lower body). It seems likely that Radek Martinek, who hasn’t played since October 2011, will dress for Thursday’s game.

What Else:

Alex Galchenyuk scored his second NHL goal and his first game winner Tuesday against the New York Rangers, exactly one week after his 19th birthday. Coach Michel Therrien has been closely watching the rookie’s minutes meaning Galchenyuk averages about 12 minutes per game. Even though he hasn’t been playing top line minutes, Chucky has definitely been making the most of his time on the ice, he has 10 points in 16 games and leads the team in plus/minus with a +9 rating.

Galchenyuk is third in the rookie scoring race behind Tampa Bay’s Cory Conacher and Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues. Of the top 15 rookies in the scoring race, Galchenyuk is averaging the second least time on ice per game. He’s only ahead of the sixth highest rookie scorer, teammate Brendan Gallagher.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren.

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