Archive for the Islanders Category

The Coliseum was Rock’n on MLK Day

Posted in Islanders on January 16, 2012 by EAST SIDE RYNO

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Looks like Uniondale is where it’s at.

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The Islanders are 3-1, Does This Mean They’re Good?

Posted in Islanders on October 17, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Is this the year John Tavares Becomes an NHL Superstar?

So the Islanders have won three of their first four games. Am I excited? Absolutely. But I’m not going to make the same mistake I made last year when I got a little pumped too early (after I posted that article, the Islanders lost their next 14 games). But I have to admit, this team is playing well. John Tavares is starting to look like a young Steve Yzerman, while his supporting cast has been outstanding. Matty Moulson and Michael Grabner have started where they left off at the end of last season. Plus, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov have been impressive in net so far. Even in the shutout loss against the Panthers, Montoya was solid after a rough first period. Nabokov looks great in his Islanders debut against the Rangers on Saturday. With DiPietro hurt (shocker), I’m hoping this goaltending consistency continues into this upcoming road trip.

Overall, I am not surprised by the Islanders fast start. Unlike the rest of the hockey world who still thinks the Isles are a joke, I believed they would start hot. Maybe this is the year this young team can put together a strong season? Maybe John Tavares is going to have his breakout year? It certainly looks like that so far. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Islanders being 3-1 only means they’re 3-1, nothing else. Still 78 more games to go. The Islanders take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

There’s Nothing Like Front Row Seats at the Nassau Coliseum

Posted in Islanders on October 10, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

One of the perks about being an Islanders fan is that front row seats are only 45 dollars. In comparison, last row tickets of a Rangers’ game are 99 dollars. So if you ever want to save some money, drive out to Long Island. In the Isles’ second game of the season, they came out strong in the first period and scored two goals. Man it feels good having Mark Streit back on the ice. His assist on the second goal was unbelievable. Fending off a defender, he shot a perfect pass in front of the net for Frans Nielsen to tap in the net. Best Islanders goal I’ve seen in a while. Even though the Isles didn’t look great in the last two periods, Al Montoya looked fantastic with 20 saves. Coming into the season, I thought Nabokov would be the starter (where the hell is he?), but it looks like Al has been doing a fine job so far even in the opening game’s loss to the Panthers. This is great for the Islanders to get their first win of the season, but I think I’ve learned my lesson last year when I got excited about them being on top of the Eastern Conference after five games. The Islanders started off last season 4-1-1, but then didn’t win another game until late November. So let’s hope that doesn’t happen again. Isles take on the Lightning at home on Thursday night.

Islanders' Pre-Game

Josh Bailey

Nick Schultz of the Minnesota WIld

Isles' Captain Mark Streit

The Lovely Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on a Beautiful Monday Afternoon

2011-2012 Islanders Season Preview

Posted in Islanders on October 5, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Captain Mark Streit and John Tavares look to lead the Islanders to their first playoff birth since the 2006-2007 Season

Hockey is back! Have to admit, it feels like the Bruins raised the Cup yesterday. You gotta love the short off-season. This is a very promising year for the New York Islanders. With all of the young yet experienced talent on this team, anything less than a playoff birth would be a disappointment. Last season, the Isles didn’t have an overrall impressive record. But if you eliminate their horrendous slide throughout November and early December, they have a pretty decent record. From January through April, they had one of the best records in the league. Now with a fresh start, I’m expecting the Islanders to continue their strong play into this season. John Tavares enters his third season with a new contract and high expectations. Since he is the leader of this team now, I’m expecting even better numbers from JT. I can’t see why Tavares can’t have a 100+ point season. Here is the 2011-2012 Islanders broken down by postion:

Forwards:

Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Jay Pandolfo, PA Parenteau, Marty Reasoner, Brian Rolston, Ryan Strome, John Tavares

Just a great young group of forwards. I’m expecting big things from Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. KO was hurt for most of last season, but was a huge factor at the end of the year. If he has a full healthy season, he will contribute immensely. Mark my words, Frans Nielsen is the most underrated player in the NHL. Brian Rolston was a nice pickup from the Devils. His experience is great to have since this is a group of young forwards. PA Parenteau and Blake Comeau should have respectable numbers since both of them scored 20+ goals last season. I was surprised the Islanders’ 2011 first round pick, Ryan Strome, made the team in his first season. This guy has tremendous potential, but I’ll predict that he will be back in the OHL with Niagara after his first nine games. Finally, John Tavares is the best player on this team and an MVP-like season shouldn’t be out of the question.

Defense:

Mark Eaton, Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, Steve Staios, Mark Streit

This is a much improved defense from last year since young studs Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald have another year of experience under their belt. This second-line duo was a huge surprise last season and I’m looking for them to have an even better season this year. Mark Eaton suffered a season-ending injury last season, while Mike Mottau missed most the year with an eye injury. These veterans can make an impact on the third line if they stay healthy. Milan Jurcina is an absolute beast. I love this guy. Standing at 6’4”, Jurcina was a solid defenseman for the Isles last season. 17 year veteran Steve Staois is expected to start in the first line with Mark Streit this season. With the Flames last season, he only played in 39 games because of injuries but he has been a solid defenseman in years past. Finally, newly named captain Mark Streit will anchor the D. Streiter missed the entire season because of a shoulder injury, but he is back in full force this year.

Goaltenders:

Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov

For the first time in a while, the Islanders look pretty strong at goaltender. Of course, DiPietro’s health is always a factor. But the difference this year is that the Isles have depth. Al Montoya looked great last year after being acquired from the Coyotes. And finally, Evgeni Nabokov decided to get his head out of his ass and join the team after a drama-filled winter. Nabby is currently first on the Isles’ depth chart.

This should be a promising season on the Island. With all of the distractions about the new Coliseum voted down, it feels good that things can go back to normal. Now Isles fans just have to focus on the season and not the bullshit distractions of all of the politics with this franchise. We should be proud of this 2011-2012 team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Isles earn as high of a six-seed for the playoffs come February. First game is Saturday at the Coliseum against the Panthers at 8pm.

The Future of the Islanders is in Nassau’s Hands

Posted in Islanders on August 1, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

This is it folks – D-Day for Islanders Nation. If you guys haven’t been informed, tomorrow is the day Nassau County residents vote for a new arena for the New York Islanders. If the residents vote “yes,” the Isles will be well on their way for a new Coliseum in 2015. If they vote “no,” there’s a high possibility the Isles will move out of Nassau Country (and possibility New York as a whole). So if you’re a Nassau County resident and reading this, please vote “yes” to save the Islanders:

Update: Nassau County taxpayers have rejected Wang’s proposal…back to square one.

Ryan Strome Looks Good

Posted in Islanders on July 22, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

…and Nathan Lawson looks terrible.

Draft Week in New York

Posted in Islanders, Knicks on June 24, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

New York Knicks

17th Overall: Iman Shumpert – Guard, Georgia Tech

45th Overall: Josh Harrellson – Forward, Kentucky (traded from New Orleans)

Overall, I am pleased with both the Knicks’ draft picks. On Thursday night, the Knicks selected Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert. At first, I was very disappointed. I didn’t even know who the guy was. My mind was so set on the Knicks drafting Kenneth Fareid or Chris Singleton, I didn’t even consider them drafting any one else. But after looking up some stuff on Shumpert, I’m starting to get excited about this pick. It seems that the guy isn’t only a solid scorer, but he plays phenomenal defense. In this draft, all I wanted was for the Knicks to draft defensive players. I didn’t want a scorer. Just give me some guys who could rebound and play some physical basketball. In the second round, the Knicks made a great move trading with the Hornets for the draft rights of Kentucky forward Josh Harrellson. This guy can make an immediate impact in his rookie season.He bangs bodies and isn’t afraid to lay an elbow into someone. The Knicks need this kind of chipiness in order to have a strong front court. Harrellson reminds me of an Anthony Mason / Charles Oakley type player. If Josh matches Oakley and Mason’s intensity, the Knicks may have a chance to shut down some prime time players in the paint.

New York Islanders

5th Overall: Ryan Strome – Center,  Niagara

Once again, this is a draft pick I wasn’t expecting. As soon as Gabriel Landeskog was drafted, I believed the Isles would select either defenseman Dougie Hamilton or center Sean Couturier. But Garth Snow pulled a surprise pick with young center Ryan Strome from the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. After reading some scouting reports and watching highlight videos, I’m officially excited about Strome heading to Long Island. This dude is a true scorer. He hasn’t even 18 years old, yet he put up 106 points this past season in the competitive OHL. Every Isles fan should be excited about this pick, especially after hearing what Strome had to say after the draft:

Strome on the Islanders

“I love the colours and I think I’ll fit in great there,” Strome said. “I couldn’t be happier right now. They’re a young team. They’ve got a ton of assets. I want to grow with the team, and I want to win a championship. I know I’m young saying that, but that’s what you want to do. You want to build from the ground up and that’s what New York’s doing, and I hope to contribute to that.”

Just an all around good week for both teams. (If you want any news about the Rangers draft pick, maybe sammywestside will write an article about that. If not, that’s unfortunate for all you Blue Shirt fans).