Category Archives: NY Islanders

The fight for the final NHL playoff spot will come down to the last weekend 

Heading into the final weekend of the NHL season, fifteen out of the sixteen playoff teams have been determined. The last spot remaining is in the Eastern Conference and has come down to the Maple Leafs, Islanders, and Lightning. 

With a shootout win over Boston on Thursday night, the Ottawa Senators locked up their playoff hopes. On that same night, both the Islanders and Lightning won in regulation while the Maple Leafs lost in regulation. The young Toronto team now finds themselves in a precarious situation, however they do control their own destiny. 

All three teams currently sit with 80 games played. Toronto has 93 points, whereas Tampa Bay and New York each have 90. In terms of ROW (regulation plus overtime wins), the denoted first tie breaker in the NHL, Toronto has 38, the Islanders have 37, and Tampa Bay has 36. 

For scheduling, Toronto has definitely been dealt the worst hand on the surface. They play Columbus and Pittsburgh over the final three days of the season. However, both of those teams have already punched their ticket to the playoffs and already have their seeding (second and third place in the Metropolitan Division respectively) locked down. The Penguins and Blue Jackets technically have nothing to play for heading into the final weekend, so it is possible that they will rest their star players and starting goalies. But, the argument could be made that the Penguins and Blue Jackets want to win in order to pass the Blackhawks in points, in the case that one of those teams meets up with Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final. 

The Islanders and Lightning each play a team in the playoffs and a team outside of the playoffs in their final two games. For the Islanders it is going to be New Jersey and Ottawa, and for Tampa Bay it is going to be Montreal and Buffalo. 

In order for Toronto to fall out of a playoff position, they have to lose their final two games in regulation and either the Islanders or Tampa Bay need to win their final two games. If Toronto loses one game in overtime or a shootout and loses the other in regulation, only the Islanders can overtake them if they win both of their games in regulation. Two overtime or shootout losses by Toronto would put them into the playoffs. 

There are still a lot of moving parts and a lot can change over the course of the next 72 hours. Tampa Bay plays tomorrow, Friday night, in Montreal. A loss of any kind and they will be eliminated from playoff contention. 

Although there is not as much as usual, the end of the NHL season will have some drama to keep an eye on. Toronto has their fate in their own hands, but New York and Tampa Bay remain knocking at the door. 

Keep up with our Twitter for updates on the playoff race. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles 

Three winners and three losers from the 2017 NHL trade deadline 

The 2017 NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Quite frankly, it was pretty boring this year. No big or surprising names were moved. However, there was certainly enough action to determine winners or losers of the past few days.

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Looking back at the Jack Capuano era in New York 

The Jack Capuano era, which started on November 15, 2010, is officially over in New York.

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Five Players Off to Disappointing Starts in 2016-2017

As every new season rolls around, there are bound to be players that come in hot and players that come in cold. Most of the time these come as surprises, especially for teams paying big money for players that start the season slow.

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The next two years for the Islanders are about retooling, not winning

After two straight 100-points seasons and three playoff appearances in four years, things are looking pretty bleak for the New York Islanders.

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Four potential forwards the New York Islanders could trade for

It’s no secret that the New York Islanders desperately need help this season.

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Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen.  Read the rest of this entry

Andrew Ladd needs to provide John Tavares with consistency 

The last word you can use to describe John Tavares’ career with the Islanders is consistency. Whether it’s playoff appearances, linemates, or goalies, John Tavares has not had a steady routine in any of his seven years in the NHL. But, the acquisition of Andrew Ladd is expected to provide the star center with that luxury.  Read the rest of this entry

Analyzing the probable 2016-2017 Islanders lineup 

The Islanders made a trio of moves in the opening two days of free agency, solidifying their roster for the upcoming season. Andrew Ladd (seven years), Jason Chimera (two years), and PA Parenteau (one year) were all signed to deals. Although long-serving members of the team Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin are all gone, the Islanders lineup still looks formidable and ready to compete. 

Line #1: 

LW – Andrew Ladd

C – John Tavares 

RW – PA Parenteau 

Breakdown: John Tavares will technically have two new linemates this year, although Parenteau did spend most of his two seasons with the Islanders on Tavares’ wing. Parenteau put up 120 points in 161 games in that span, which took place from 2010 to 2012. Ladd, however, is completely new and is expected to add a much needed dynamic presence to the wing on the top line. When Matt Moulson was on the left wing to this duo, he put up 31 and 36 goals respectively in the two years. With more skill and a similar playing style, how many can Ladd pot? Only time will tell, but this line should be a good one. Also, it’s possible Mathew Barzal gets a crack on the right wing next to John Tavares if he makes the opening night roster, but with the addition of Parenteau it is likely Barzal heads back to Seattle. 

Line #2:

LW – Anders Lee

C – Ryan Strome

RW – Shane Prince 

Breakdown: Ryan Strome finally slots back into his natural center position with Frans Nielsen gone. How long that will last, no one knows. But regardless, it’s a great opportunity for Strome to rebound from his pitiful 2015-2016 campaign. As for his wingers, Anders Lee returns to top-six action after his season was ended last year by a broken leg. Although he struggled to get on the scoresheet early last year, he was doing everything right. There is no reason to worry on that front. As for Shane Prince, he’ll be entering his second full season. An analytical darling, he has a chance to put his tremendous shot and speed to work in the top-six. He could be a breakout candidate this year. 

Line #3:

LW – Nikolay Kulemin 

C – Brock Nelson 

RW – Josh Bailey 

Breakdown: This line is up in the air. It has the potential to be good with a two-way forward (Kulemin), a sniper (Nelson), and a playmaker (Bailey), but all three have to bounce back from bad years. It’s almost a misfit line where the players don’t fit anywhere else. It was together for a short stint last season but was very, very bad defensively. But maybe it’ll work out. 

Line #4: 

LW – Jason Chimera 

C – Casey Cizikas 

RW – Cal Clutterbuck 

It’ll likely take a little while for Cizikas and Clutterbuck to get used to their new linemate, but this line will have the ability to inflict some serious damage. Will all respect to Matt Martin, Jason Chimera is flat out a better player. He put up 20 goals and 20 assists last year on a deep Capitals team and still skates with speed like he’s 23 years old. All three members of this line will be pests to play against, both defensively and offensively. If you liked the old fourth line, you’ll love this one (probably). 

Defensive pair #1:

LD – Nick Leddy

RD – Travis Hamonic

Breakdown: This pair saw most of last season’s action together. Both are extremely talented skaters and are good at both ends of the puck. They can be deployed in all situations without worry. 

Defensive pair #2:

LD – Calvin de Haan

RD – Johnny Boychuk

Breakdown: Like Hamonic and Leddy, these two have seen a lot of time together. One thing that is worth keeping an eye on is Boychuk’s progression this season. He took a big step back last year, albeit still while being a serviceable defenseman. The Islanders can’t afford to have him drop off even more. 

Defensive pair #3:

LD – Thomas Hickey 

RD – Ryan Pulock 

Breakdown: Ryan Pulock is ready (finally!) to step into a full-time top-six role next year. Thomas Hickey, his counterpart, had a tremendous end to the season and playoff run. 

Goalies: some combination of Greiss, Berube, and Halak

Breakdown: Something is going to give in the three goalie situation eventually. The ideal scenario is Jaroslav Halak being traded, but suitors are thin and he has had health problems. JF Berube going through waivers and down to Bridgeport is another last-resort option if Halak can’t be moved, but he has a high chance of being claimed. The only safe one right now is Thomas Greiss. 

Scratches: Alan Quine, Mikhail Grabovski, Adam Pelech

Breakdown: Quine and Pelech are youngsters who have proven their keep but just can’t find a spot in the lineup right now. They’ll be the first ones called on when injuries happen. As for Mikhail Grabovski, it is unlikely he sees much playing time this year, due to a combination of concussion issues and poor play. It is not even known if he is fully healthy yet. 

Islanders fans, despite looking at a completely reformed roster, have a lot to be excited about next season. The injection of new blood and veteran leadership will hopefully push them over the ledge and bring them to a conference finals and beyond. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

2016 New York Islanders prospects guide 

This list is in no particular order. 

Forwards:

Mathew Barzal, 19 – Seattle (WHL)

Last season: 58GP, 27G-61A-88P

Considered the best of all Isles prospects, Barzal exhibits great hands and vision. He has a real opportunity to make the 2016-2017 team 

Anthony Beauvillier, 19 – Shawinigan (QMJHL)

Last season: 47GP, 40G-39A-79P

Selected 28th in 2015, Beauvillier is a hard worker and has risen the ranks in the Isles system as the year has progressed. Small, but skilled. 

Michael Dal Colle, 20 – Kingston (OHL)

Last season: 30GP, 27G-28A-55P

Dal Colle had a rough few months with Oshawa but took off on Kingston. Has the ability to be a top-six forward, but also could be a trade chip for Garth Snow. 

Joshua Ho-Sang, 20 – Niagara (OHL)

Last season: 66GP, 19G-63A-82P

Arguably the most offensively-skilled forward prospect in the system, but has had his fair share of issues in the past. Can become a solid NHL regular if he puts that aside when he transitions to the AHL. 

Kieffer Bellows, 18 – Sioux Falls (USHL)

Last season: 58GP, 33G-19A-52P

Pure goal scorer selected 19th overall in this year’s draft. Likely to convert to wing when he transitions to the NHL. 

Anatoly Golyshev, 21 – Yekaturinberg (KHL)

Last season: 56GP, 25G-19A-44P

Older prospect selected in 2016 but still has oodles of skill. Under contract in the KHL for a few more years. 

Otto Koivula, 17 – Ilves U20 (SM-Liiga)

Last season: 49GP, 26G-32A-58P

Big Finnish winger that still needs time to round out his overall game. Has a natural scoring touch as a power forward, though. 

Collin Adams, 18 – Muskegon (USHL)

Last season: 59GP, 27G-34A-61P

Much like Beauviller, works hard every shift he is on the ice. Exhibits a nice amount of scoring as well. 

Nick Pastujov, 18 – US U18 Team

Last season: 21GP, 3G-5A-8P

Forward that’ll need time to grow. Committed to play college hockey next season. 

Taylor Cammarata, 21 – U. of Minnesota

Last season: 37GP, 7G-12A-19P

Drafted a few seasons ago and has not progressed much since. The tiny forward has little real chance of making the NHL. 

Kyle Schempp, 22 – Ferris State (WCHA)

Last season: 41GP, 9G-16A-25P

Makes a living below the hashmarks and is not afraid to get into the dirty areas if it means scoring a goal. 

Carter Verhaeghe, 20 – Missouri (ECHL)

Last season: 20GP, 8G-17A-25P

Acquired in the Michael Grabner trade, it’s uncertain what will become of Verhaeghe. He potentially possesses a two-way game fit for a bottom-six forward in the NHL. 

Defensemen 

Mitch Vande Sompel, 19 – Oshawa (OHL)

Last season: 46GP, 10G-28A-38P

The high scoring defenseman has a good year on a bad Oshawa team. Still needs to round out his overall game, but the offense is there. 

Parker Wotherspoon, 18 – Tri-City (WHL)

Last season: 71GP, 11G-45A-56P

A hidden gem in the Isles system, Wotherspoon is prepared to make the leap to AHL play next season. The Isles have a special two-way defender with him. 

Matt Finn, 22 – Bridgeport (AHL)

Last season: 33GP, 6G-8A-14P

Another piece acquired in the Grabner deal, Finn has struggled with injuries. His ceiling is a bottom pair defenseman. 

Scott Mayfield, 23 – Bridgeport (AHL)

Last season: 54GP, 5G-7A-12P

Mayfield has seen time in the NHL in recent past and uses his big frame to his advantage. He still needs to work on his skating to become an effective everyday player. 

David Quenneville, 18 – Medicine Hat (WHL)

Last season: 64GP, 14G-41A-55P

Drafted in the seventh round in 2016, Quenneville is much like Vande Sompel — good offensively but needs to round out his overall game. 

Jesse Graham, 22 – Bridgeport (AHL)

Last season: 52GP, 5G-12A-17P

His offensive numbers haven’t transitioned to the next level, but he still has the instincts to put them to work. 

Dylan Somerby, 21 – Boston U.

Last season: 39GP, 5G-8A-13P

Big defenseman is unlikely to ever crack the Islanders’ lineup, barring a major change. 

Jake Bischoff, 21 – U. of Minnesota 

Last season: 37GP, 6G-12A-18P

Smooth skating defenseman that will have to work his way up to the NHL. Solid at both end of the rink. 

Kyle Burroughs, 20 – Bridgeport (AHL)

Last season: 31GP, 2G-8A-10P

Similar to what Thomas Hickey is right now. Small, not flashy, but gets the job done regardless. 

Devon Toews, 22 – Quinnipiac U. 

Last season: 40GP, 7G-23A-30P

Was a backbone in the Quinnipiac defense and showed poise at both ends of the rink. Like Bischoff, he will need to work for his opportunity. 

Loic Leduc, 22 – Missouri (ECHL)

Last season: 21GP, 1G-1A-2P

Big stay at home defenseman, unlikely to amount to much. 

Goalies 

Linus Soderstrom, 19 – Vita Hasten (SWE-1)

Last season: 17GP, 7W, .927 SV%

Young goalie who has played well with Sweden at major tournament. Has the skillset to become a NHL caliber goalie. 

Ilya Sorokin, 20 – CSKA (KHL)

Last season: 28GP, 17W, .953 SV%

One of the best goalie prospects in the NHL, Sorokin currently plays in the KHL but should (hopefully) make the transition over in a few years. There’s plenty of reasons to be excited about him. 

Eamon McAdam, 21 – Penn State

Last season: 22GP, 13W, .913 SV%

Started for Penn State last year and has seen a little bit of pro action, but not much. Not a bad goalie, but not a star. 

Stephon Williams, 23 – Missouri (ECHL)

Last season: 7GP, 2W, .892 SV%

Has struggled over the years and it continued in Missouri last year. It’ll be a long, tough road if Williams ever wants to make it to the NHL. 

Other news and notes:

There could be no info pulled on defensemen Andong Song and Peter Hansson, both selected late in 2015. Additionally, Ryan Pilon, a fifth round pick in 2015, remains away from hockey. 

2013 picks Ryan Pulock and Alan Quine both have become formidable NHL players and thus are left off the list. 

Besides the listed Scott Mayfield, most of the 2011 prospects are gone from the organization or have transitioned to the NHL. This includes Johan Sundstrom (KHL), Robbie Russo (DET), Andrey Pedantic (VAN), Brendan Kitchton (WPG), and Ryan Strome (NHL). 

Anyone beyond 2010 is not listed. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

The Islanders cannot afford to lose Frans Nielsen

The Islanders may be losing Kyle Okposo, but it is imperative that they do not go the same route with Frans Nielsen. As the 2015-2016 season began, it seemed likely that the 32 year old center would re-sign with the team, but now, only 13 days until free agency, that is all but certain.  Read the rest of this entry

7 players the Islanders could target this offseason 

The 2016 offseason is the most important offseason in general manager Garth Snow’s career. On top of trying to re-sign Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, and Frans Nielsen, he needs to find a top line forward for John Tavares, or at the very least someone to bolster their forward group. Here are some options he could look at.  Read the rest of this entry