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Blog: Playoff Bracket Is All About Momentum

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! When you live in my neck of the woods, this is my hunting season. This is every nerds Comic-Con. This time of year not to think about baseball until it’s absolutely necessary. Basketball playoffs don’t matter until the NBA Finals, and by then Golden State should win it all anyways. This time of year brings out all the trash talkers from every bandwagon fan there is until you see them a year from now. This is the time of year where everyone at ESPN does everything wrong with hockey. The one time of year where anything is possible and upsets are abound: the NHL playoffs. For me, there’s a theme to this years playoffs: Momentum. Who has it, and how will it shape out.

Isles on WFAN for the Playoffs

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wfanSports Radio 66 and 101.9 WFAN, the radio station for the New Jersey Devils, will broadcast the Islander games for the remainder of the playoffs.

One of the strongest signals in radio, will broadcast Islander games, along with the current Islanders radio network.  The Devils, eliminated for postseason play, gave permission for their flagship station to cover the Isles for the playoffs.

With the pockets of places that normally can not hear the station even on Long Island, it will be nice for anyone to be able to listen to John Tavares and the rest of the Orange and Blue, take on Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers.

Chris King and Greg Picker will be calling all of the action.

Blog: Learn About Your Enemy So You Can Beat Them

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After going over the New York Islanders season and showing how depth and goaltending helped them reach the 100 point plateau for a second straight season, it’s time to look at the other teams in the Eastern Conference from my predictions article back in October and see what has changed and what it may mean for the playoffs. I’m going to specifically look at the Islanders and Panthers after going over the rest of the teams and will be making my playoff predictions tomorrow morning based off what I’ve been able to find.

Core Teams: Islanders, Rangers, Penguins, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Washington.

Blog: Depth, Greiss Help Isles Into Playoffs

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The New York Islanders ended their 2015-16 season yesterday with a loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, but still managed to accumulate 100 points. For most who like to predict a season’s outcome like myself, I had the Isles finishing between 98-103 points and one of my “Core” teams that even with injuries should have made the playoffs. Mission accomplished. During the season however, we witnessed teams like Tampa Bay and Montreal drop in the standings for various reasons and it was an opportunity of sorts for the Islanders to improve in their own standings, yet they ended up 5th in the Conference and 4th in the Metro Division. The Conference part I got right, but 4th in the Division would’ve been the Pittsburgh Penguins. First let’s take a look at the Islanders themselves and then see what happened and maybe this will give you some more info before picking your playoff bracket.

Blog: Isles Clinch, Who’s The First Round Opponent?

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The New York Islanders clinched a playoff spot a few days ago against the Washington Capitals and are going for the second year in a row and their third year in four. A gutsy player performance and a coach, whose job mayor may not still be on the line, finally called out a few players and the team responded after they had a team-only meeting before the game. Before I continue about who the first round opponent could be, there was a reason why I have not written in a while and I wanted to discuss this. I have written this all season long: Don’t look at the point standings alone, look at and play the percentages or point pace. In doing so, many would’ve been much more relaxed like I was about a team just making it to the playoffs. There are a few fans (and a few in the blogosphere) that were still concerned about the Islanders not making the playoffs.

Hamonic out for Regular Season… Does Isles Nation Panic???

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Oh no – not again…

It is an extremely significant blow at the totally wrong time of the year.  For the second straight season, the Islanders lose mainstay defenseman Travis Hamonic with a LOWER BODY INJURY.

There is no speculation of anytime after that, but this will be a bitter pill for Islander nation to swallow.

Blog: Islanders Prevail; Lose Halak

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The New York Islanders continued to keep the winning attitude alive but it came at a cost. They defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 2-1 and continue to climb in the standings. The Isles scored the 2 goals on the powerplay from Anders Lee and John Tavares. Those goals pushed the team into a tie for 10th place I the League. The penalty kill continued its mastery of not allowing the Penguins to score on the man advantage and the kill continues to be in first place with an 86.6%.There was nothing fancy about the game and that special teams was certainly the advantage for this game. The only drawback is the injury to Halak. I know they’re calling it a lower-body injury, but if you were ask anyone who watched or played that position (hand raised here) he appeared to have done something to his groin. The real question is how bad is it? That answer will come in a day or two.

Hockey from the Blind Side, Good Teams Find Ways to Win

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The New York Islanders managed to steal 2 points in Winnipeg on Thursday night to make them 5 and 1 on their 7 game road trip. They have one more game today against their crosstown rivals, the New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden this evening at 5. The Isles currently have 77 points, and are 5 points behind the Rangers for 2nd place in the Metro Division.

There has been a lot of chatter and, within that activity, more than a little concern and worry about the future of the Islanders for the season. There is almost this perception that there is utter disbelief that they have managed to earn 77 points and are realistically a playoff bound team again. Furthermore, if you tell some fans the Isles are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games, I have received reactions of disbelief from some people.

Blog: Home Is Where The Heart Is

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Now that the NHL trade deadline has come and gone, most fans have one of two things to look forward to this hockey season: the playoffs or the draft lottery. For the New York Islanders, it’s the playoffs and this year the Islanders must make a run at home ice advantage in the first round instead of giving it away like they did with last years end of the year stumble at their old home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Could things have played out differently had they won home ice? Maybe. Which is why a stronger finish to this season will make getting out of the first round all more important. Beating a horse that not dead yet, I still believe it’ll be the Penguins, Rangers and Islanders battling for second from here on out and I think the Isles will win against either team in the first round with/without home ice, but before we go any further on the future, let’s take a look in the brief past to see how the teams improved at the deadline.

Blog: Hawks Making Moves; Isles Remain Silent

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The Chicago Blackhawks have bolstered their roster in the hopes of winning the Stanley Cup this year by acquiring forwards Andrew Ladd, Thomas Fleischman, Dale Weise and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The LA Kings got some familiar defensive depth in Rob Scuderi in a trade with Chicago that included Ehrhoff. The St. Louis Blues received some goalie depth in former Isles Anders Nilsson. Montreal and Toronto have already been selling off players and they’re not done yet. So why haven’t the Islanders gotten into the mix? Let’s take a look at the percentage standings. If the playoffs were to start today, these would be the first round matchups, with their expected point pace in front of them:

Dallas: 108 Avs: 89
Unless the Avs want to completely ruin the Las Vegas odds or Draft King’s, bet on the Stars to make it to the next round.

Kings: 104 Predators: 94
See Dallas and Avs

Blog: Isles Win In The Wild; Trade Deadline Looms

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With the New York Islanders continuing to win games on the road, defeating the Minnesota Wild 4-1 last night, they improve to a 32-19-7 record which is good for a 100 point pace. The Isles stopped the Wild’s 4 game winning streak with goals from John Tavares, Matt Martin and two from Frans Nielsen. The 9th place team (playing the %) are the New Jersey Devils, who are on pace for 90 points. At this point of the year, it just takes and Isles win or a Devils loss, and a Flyers loss and you can lock in the Islanders for a playoff spot. There’s no need to wait another 15 games and go by the traditional point system. The Devils, Flyers and Hurricanes simply won’t catch up to the Islanders.

Blog: Where’s The Consistency For The Islanders?

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The New York Islanders continue to torture its fan base with its lack of consistency. For many it’s the old cliché of one step forward two steps back this season. With the standings getting tighter and tighter by the day, many want Islanders general manager Garth Snow to get that forward or defenseman and not have to worry about consistency issues and to make a legit run past the first round of the playoffs. However, I’m going to give the fans some insight about why the Islanders are not as inconsistent as they seem and shed some light on a troubling issue that may linger into the playoffs if the Islanders do not make a trade or two in the upcoming weeks leading to the February 29th trade deadline.

Blog: What To Do With The Islanders

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The Islanders continued their trend of driving fans crazy by winning in grand fashion in some games, while not showing up in others. What’s hockey without a little drama? With last nights win, the Islanders continue to be on pace to finish the season with 98 points. Playing the percentages, the Isles are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference and third in the Metropolitan division. The difference between 3rd and 9th place however, is minimal, just like last year. There’s no question that the race is going to be tight from here on out, so for any hockey fan it’s an exciting time. So I’m just going to go all over the place and talk about a few different topics that have fans very concerned, some are justified.

The Playoffs: Will The Isles Make It?

Hockey from the Blind Side, Nothing is Set in Stone

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At the moment with the All Star Break upon us, the New York Islanders are still in the playoff picture, though a look at the standings indicates that their position is a bit precarious. In fact, I think that pretty much 2nd to 8th may be a revolving door situation as it seems only the Washington Capitals have a comfortable spot atop the East.

Let me first say that I don’t at all intend this post to be negative or some doom and gloom projection for the Isles. I believe they will make the playoffs, and thanks to my colleague, Paul’s previous post, I feel a bit more grounded in my assessment of the team. All things considered, they are still in great shape, and that’s a good thing in my opinion.

The problem is, the East is a mess. It seems that teams win and lose in streaks and the positioning of the standings alters faster than some people change clothing in a given day.

Blog: Islanders Facing Adversity & Are Better For It

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Despite the season long laundry list of injuries, the inconsistent powerplay, the “enigma” that is Islanders captain John Tavares, a trade request, and everyone’s favorite whipping boy Brian Strait, the New York Islanders are in second place in the Metro Division and are tied for third in the Eastern Conference with a pace for 98 points. Now a few posts ago I thought the Islanders would eventually surpass the New York Rangers in the standings and be able to catch up with the first place Washington Capitals. So far so good at surpassing the Rangers but Washington’s goalie Brandon Holtby took it upon himself to go on a 20-0-2 point streak and nixed my second idea. The Capitals are on pace for 129 points, so let’s just move on from Washington for now and see if they ever decide to come back down from that high pedestal.

Hockey from the Blind Side, Righting the Ship or Just More Inconsistency?

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The New York Islanders had a pretty good week after the egg they dropped in Philadelphia last Saturday. Now having two of their best defensemen out of the lineup because of injury in Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic, they definitely are facing even more adversity on top of the lackluster play of the Flyer game.

However, 5-2 and 3-1 victories Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Thursday against the New York Rangers at home certainly were important points to pick up and games to win. I had my concerns about both games, especially the one against the blue shirts. Fortunately, the Isles got some timely scoring and, as usual, a lot of solid goaltending to enable them to come away with 4 out of the 4 potential points.

Hockey from the Blind Side, on the Edge of Concern

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How many Islander fans had to be shaken back to consciousness after the completely lackluster effort against the Philadelphia Flyers in their 4-0 loss yesterday? For the halfway point in the season, I don’t want to go as far as using the word, “disgrace” to describe yesterday’s 60 minutes of hockey demonstrated by the New York Islanders, but my personal feelings are that it was pretty darn close.

How does a team follow up a loss in a really big game against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in game 7 by with such a listless effort? Then again, how do you not mentally show up to said big game against the Washington Capitals at home? These are questions, among others, that I have been left pondering.

Is It Time To Panic?

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With news that New York Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk will be out for the next 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, fans are wondering if it’s time to hit the panic button? Not at all. The Islanders are literally half way through their season and are now third in the Eastern Conference. Should they be concerned? Absolutely! Losing Johnny Boychuk is similar to losing Travis Hamonic in last years playoffs, the Islanders were in every game, but didn’t have enough to put them over the top. That experience should be a lesson to bring up in that there area few players who now need to step up and show not only that the belong on this Islanders team, but in the NHL.

What Is Going On With Meet and Greets?

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Do any of you remember when the news of the Islanders move to the Barclay Center, and the Islanders promised the fans that they would have autograph sessions and open practice for fans?
Well, you could forget about it!

Recently my dad emailed Dave Koblentz, who is the VIP Account Manager for the New York Islanders. The conversation was about the recent tweet that the Islanders have sent out about a meet and greet.

He contacted Koblentz about it and he said ” the player meet and greet is a full season ticket holder benefit.”

Is Sunday Night Hockey Good Idea?

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As of yesterday December 27th, the News York Islanders have lost six games on a Sunday.

You want me to be honest about hockey teams playing on Sundays, well Sunday games are honestly aren’t good for both players and fans.

One reason is that the team is not used to playing on Sundays. Last season, the NHL scheduled zero games on Sundays and the Islanders did pretty well in their division.

Another reason is sports fans don’t usually associate Sunday nights with hockey. Sunday’s are usually for sports fans to sit back and watch their favorite football team in action.

For the players, they are used to having Sundays off to rest after a game on Saturday night  and practice. Now they have to wake up and get ready for a game on Saturday and then get ready for another game on Sunday.

Yes, they are used to playing a lot, but in the past they didn’t have any games on Sunday.

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