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Blog: Isles Must Throw Out The Under Dog Role

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With the NHL moving forward beyond the quarter mark and the New York Islanders playing tomorrow against the Philadelphia Flyers, it’s time to take a deeper look into the Isles and see where things could be headed for over the next quarter mark. In the preseason, I went for the Isles finishing anywhere between 100-105 points and making the playoffs. I also stated that the second half of last season, where the Isles finished at a 107 point pace under Islanders head coach, Doug Weight was not a fluke. So far I believe the Isles are on a good pace and that the isles are in fact the real deal. However, I do think they could be better than what their record stands at.

Blog: The NHL Rankings At the Quarter Mark

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Welcome to the first quarter mark of the NHL where I will not only go over the NHL’s top 10 teams, but the current lottery teams as well as a brief look at where the New York Islanders current are. If you’re a first time reader, welcome! If not, then you already know that I’m a writer who looks at the percentages or point pace of each teams instead of looking at just the points. The reason I do this is for two reasons: First, not every team plays on the same day and when it’s this early in the season. I do take into consideration the amount of games played by each team. Second, I’m not a big fan of drama (yet here I am on an Islanders blog, go figure). With that said, let’s take a look at the Top 10 NHL teams after the Islanders completed their 20th game last night.

The East After 10 Games; Isles Thoughts

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In my usual custom, I rarely look at the standings until at least the 15th game and sometimes if there’s still some congestion, I won’t really look until most teams finish around the 20th game. It has always been important and emphasized by teams to get off to a good start, but there was always that one team that just flopped before the season really began. The prime example this year are the Arizona Coyotes who currently sit at 1-10-1. Most in the hockey world did not have them making the playoffs, but they’re better than this current record indicates. The Buffalo Sabres of a few years ago come to my mind and the Columbus Blue Jackets two years ago are also in this class of never really getting a good start to a season and miss the playoffs. But my curiosity kicked in and since the Islanders are in the eastern conference I wondered if there were teams that just got off to a slow start and even though they would rebound during the season, they still missed the playoffs.

Blog: Isles Must Keep “Misery Loves Company” Door Closed

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The Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and to an extent, the Edmonton Oilers are in a room with the door closed and there’s a sign in front of the door that says “Misery Loves Company.” These are the bottom five teams in the entire NHL and the New York Islanders have a chance to make two of those teams feel utterly demoralized within a weeks time. I’m not going to delve into the Oilers as I feel they will eventually get things back on track and I had the Buffalo Sabres as one of the least likeliest teams to make the playoffs this year.
After last night’s loss to the Kings, some fans are already trying to trade Carey Price, so there’s no need to even go near that team. The Rangers, Sharks and Coyotes are the next three teams the Islanders must face and there could be some major implications, especially for the Rangers should the Islanders win tonight.

Isles Talk 2017-18 Eastern Conference Predeictions

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So we’re just about two weeks away from the start of the regular season and it’s time for my predictions segment. Now unlike many, I love doing predictions. It gives me a chance to really look into researching other teams (It’s also part of my regular job) and I pride/curse at myself on how that research comes to fruition/destruction. As always I will break down each conference into four categories: The Core; Bubble, Sophomores, and Lottery. When it comes to predicting where I put each team, I had to decide how many points will be needed to make it to the middle of April. As far as the East goes, I believe that 97 points will be the minimum requirement. From there I’ll determine if each team has a shot at reaching that point total. Where each team will land in the standings will be anyone’s guess, but if a team mentioned in the Core or Bubble sustain enough injuries, the points total could slightly drop and of course, the standings would change.

Isles Talk 2017-18 Western Conference Predictions

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So we’re just about two weeks away from the start of the regular season and it’s time for my predictions segment. Now unlike many, I love doing predictions. It gives me a chance to really look into researching other teams and I pride myself on how that research comes to fruition. As always I will break down each conference into four categories: The Core; Bubble, Sophomores, and Lottery. When it comes to predicting where I put each team, I had to decide how many points will be needed to make it to the middle of April. As far as the West goes, I believe that 95 points will be the minimum requirement. Where each team will land in the standings will be anyone’s guess, but if a team mentioned in the Core or Bubble sustain enough injuries, the points total could slightly drop. I’m also adding another element to the prediction piece, each teams projected end of year total which will roughly have a span of five points. So without further hesitation, let’s start with the Core.

Blog: 2017-18 New York Islanders Season Preview

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This is not going to be the usual Islanders prediction preview where I spill the addition and subtraction of players and take a guess as to where the Islanders will land either in the Metro division or the Eastern Conference. Despite how I had warned you in the beginning of August about the drama-filled articles and the lower expectations from basically every hockey media and Vegas betting outlet, I will continue to write that the Islanders are not as bad as many are predicting them to be. I’m hoping that this is the completion of a transitional phase that started last year in the organization and everyone now simply don’t know where to put the Islanders in their predictions.

NHL Season Preview: Changing Of The Guards

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Welcome back to the NHL season everyone! It’s September and that means preseason hockey games, predictions and previews galore of your favorite NHL teams. I always try to pride myself on predictions so that I get a better understanding of the clubs, so during the summer I talk to a countless amount of fans, season ticket holders and media personalities who cover the NHL to get a good pulse for the upcoming year. Since this is usually New York Islanders centric, I wanted to go deeper in my research this year with readers so that they understand how I come up with my predictions. When I first make attempts at placing teams, I always look to see if there is a theme to the year, such as: what teams the media/fans are focusing on and who are not on much on anyone’s radar or what team has already been labeled to the 2018 draft in September. Are there any players still in the news or injuries that could shift a team in the standings.

Are The Islanders This Years Avalanche?

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From Sean McIndoe of SportsNet

Warning signs on the dashboard: John Tavares. I mean, this should be done by now, shouldn’t it? Heading into the off-season, we were assured that the Islanders were going to either extend their franchise player for as long as possible or, failing that, explore moving him. Instead, nothing seems to be happening, and it’s starting to feel possible that no news is bad news.
We tend to talk way too much about distractions in the sports world, but this year’s Islanders feel like a team where it could actually apply. If Tavares heads into the season without a deal and suddenly every minor thing that happens starts turning into a referendum on the team’s long-term future, things could get ugly.

Blog: Two Questions To Be Answered

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Since the NHL expansion draft, the New York Islanders have made some moves over the last few weeks to slightly show many fans that the time to go further than just the first round is now and that the salary cap is a key factor heading into this season. There were some moves that I was expecting and then their were some surprises. So since we’re now into the middle of July and where down to what I like to call “water cooler” talk, there are two questions that need to be answered: Are the Islanders a better team than from season’s end? The second, do I think the Islanders are done trading? This article will cover items such as my thoughts on the expansion draft, the NHL draft, any trades that were made and the coaching staff additions and after going over all of them, you should have a better picture and maybe an answer or two concerning the season.

The Expansion Draft

Path To The Draft 2017: The Isles Graduates of 2012

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We conclude our Path to the Draft segment with a final look of the prospects that were drafted five years ago, 2012. This was an odd year for sure as Islanders general manager Garth Snow drafted all defenseman that year, but it turned out to have a bigger impact than most would have thought. All together, seven defenseman were selected and all but one have played at least in the AHL. Two players have seen the NHL, but that number is sure to go up. For this segment some players are ranked but the others will not be because they are no longer in the organization. So let’s review the draft class of 2012:

1. Griffin Reinhart 2. Ville Pokka 3. Adam Pelech 4. Loic Leduc 5. Doyle Somerby 6. Jesse Graham 7. Jake Bischoff

5. Doyle Somerby D 125th overall in 2012
4. Loic Leduc D 103rd overall in 2012
3. Jesse Graham D 155th overall in 2012

Path To The Draft 2017: Islanders Professional Prospects

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In this next segment of the Path To The Draft, we’ll be going over five players who have a distinct theme this coming year. A few years back many Islanders fans were wondering who was going to replace Brian Strait as the 7th defenseman. My response was always Scott Mayfield. It was an easy replacement, so this next group of professionals (players too old for juniors, but not yet ready for the NHL at the start of this past year) I will simply coin “The replacements.” Believe me this is a good thing folks. When you have 5-6 players who are in the minors on the cusp of replacing regular Islanders players, something is going right.

Path To The Draft 2017: Junior Isles Prospects

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As we get closer to the draft in a few weeks, Isles Talk will be going over prospects already in the system, analyze several prospective players the New York Islanders could choose with the 15th overall pick, and then create a mock draft to guess which player the Isles will indeed pick. I have already stated in a previous blog that this month might be one of the biggest in franchise history, so it’s important to look at what the Islanders have in their system before deciding who to select in Chicago. Starting off our draft month are the junior prospects, players who were drafted either in 2015 or 2016 and who will be ranked according to my opinion of their development and not their potential as I feel potential can only go so far when it comes to actually becoming an Islander. I have the top 5 players in the junior prospects category, but I must add, this could have been a longer list.

Offseason Moves Begins Now For Isles

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Welcome back everyone and welcome to one of my favorite hockey times of the year, the NHL draft. Whether the Islanders end up last in the NHL or win the Stanley Cup, I love covering the weeks before this event because I have always been a believer of building a championship through the draft. I’ve spent the last month and a half researching potential Islanders draft picks to go along with current ones in the farm system. Over the next three weeks I will cover the expansion draft and who may go and who could be traded. Also during this month I’ll be going over my rankings of current Islanders prospects: the Graduates, the Professionals and the Juniors.

Worcester Becomes New ECHL Home For Isles

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From the New York Islanders:

“We are excited to partner with the Worcester Railers Hockey Club as our new ECHL affiliate and bring professional hockey back to an already established hockey city. The proximity of having our ECHL team within driving distance from Bridgeport and the Islanders is a definite benefit. The Railers great ownership group, led by Cliff Rucker, has set a platform for our prospects to develop their game in their brand new practice facility, Worcester Ice Center facility. We’ve had several members of the current Islanders team play games in the ECHL and look forward to continuing that trend with the Railers.” – Garth Snow

Blog: Let’s Play Catch Up & Speculate

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Since there hasn’t been much news on the Islanders front, I’m taking multiple stories from the last few weeks and putting it all on one piece. I’ll also add an interesting twist to the expansion draft for Islanders fans.

Berube Not Returning

This really isn’t a shock to me, but I did have higher hopes for him. He basically pulled a Kevin Poulin and failed to take the reins while Jaroslav Halak was in the minors. Had he performed, you were probably looking at the next backup for the New York Islanders and maybe even a future starter. Having the three-goalie system did not help matters, but when you’re given an opportunity, you don’t waste it.

Isles Talk Season in Review: A Year Of Transistion

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Every franchise goes through a transitional period. Some start as a rebuilding team and after a few years, they begin to improve and reach another stage in the organizations development, such as just making it to the playoffs on a regular basis. Then another period occurs when the team makes the playoffs more often or wins the division or finally gets to another round. There’s another transitional period when as a fan, you know your team is going after the Stanley Cup. Expectations are high, there’s a ton of optimism to begin the season and you’re ready to challenge any team that comes into your home arena.

Short Blog Q & A: The Day After

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As the Islanders clean out their lockers today there are a few questions that fans want answered heading into this offseason. So before the season in review comes out, let’s answer a few of those questions. ****These answers are my own opinion and does not reflect Isles Talk’s overall view****

Does Garth Snow return as GM? Yes

Will John Tavares sign with the Islanders? Yes

Will the Islanders come out with plans for a new arena during the offseason? Yes

Will the Islanders get Matt Duchene this summer? No

Who will the Islanders lose in the expansion draft this year? de Haan, Hickey or Halak

WGBB Talks With Brendan Burke & Alan Fuehring

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WGBB hosts Gary Harding, John Panarese and John Sweeney talk to New York Islanders play-by-play announcer Brendan Burke during the first half of the show and the voice of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Alan Fuehring. The guys talk about the Islanders previous road trip, what’s to come for the remainder of the season with Brendan and the impact of Jaroslav Halak and Josh Ho-Sang being promoted to the big club with Alan. Alan also discusses who Islanders fans could see in the future including Devon Toews. Just click here to listen to the podcast and enjoy.

PK

Blog: Ho-Sang’s Work Ethic, Commitment Is Rewarded

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With the trade deadline over and the New York Islanders failed attempt at landing Matt Duchene now in the rear-view mirror, they managed to make one minor move by calling up recent AHL player of the month, Josh Ho-Sang, for the remaining six games on what is a franchise record nine-game road trip. According to reports, Ho-Sang will play and get top six or top nine minutes. He’s come a long way from over sleeping in his first Isles training camp. He’s grown as a person and as a player and it is starting to show on the score sheet. He scored 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in the month of February. His total for the season is 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 points in 48 games. So for the month of February, he’s been able to rack up half of his points in one month.

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