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Islanders Look For Two Points Tonight In Dallas

The Islanders come off of a 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks to face the Dallas Stars. The Stars enter the game being a banged up team with a record of 15-9-1.

The Stars will start goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who has taken over the starting role recently after Kari Lehtonen substained an injury. Raycroft, the 31 year old netminder on his sixth NHL team, seems to have finally found the right home for him. Raycroft played earlier in his career with Boston, Toronto, Colorado, and Vancouver.

The Stars have had the offensive touch from Eric Nystrom lately, putting up points in 5 of his last 6 games.

The Islanders need to play the game they have been playing for the past week; putting pucks on net instead of just dumping the puck into the zone.

Although Jack Capuano has not announced tonight's starting goaltender, it would be assumed that Al Montoya will be the started. Montoya has been on fire this past week and there is absolutely no reason to sit him.

Coach Capuano should not have to scramble his lines for tonight's game looking back at last night's game. It is his defense he needs to be concerned about. It's usually the little things the defense does that cost the team and Jack needs to make sure the defense is on top of their game.

Tonight is meeting 1 of 2 this season between these two team and it should be an exciting one based on how these teams have been playing as of late.

Don't forget to follow The Isles' Checking Line page on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! - @EvanPivnickNYI

Blackhawks Head to St. Louis to Challenge Blues

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to continue their winning ways tonight when they matchup with the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks are coming off of an exciting 5-4 shootout win against the struggling New York Islanders last night and look to build on that success.

This will be the second matchup of the season for these two teams, with the Blues taking a decisive 3-0 shutout win on Nov. 8th on strong goaltending by Jaroslav Halak in Ken Hitchcock's coaching debut for his club. 

The St. Louis Blues have been a revelation since Ken Hitchcock took over for former Blues coach Davis Payne, going 8-1-2 since that time. The Blues don't have what ...

Isles Fall To Blackhawks in Shootout 5-4

Friday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks was arguably the most exciting game the Islanders have played in all season. The Islanders came into this game looking for their third straight win but came out with a well deserved point.

The Chicago native Al Montoya was the one chosen by Jack Capuano to start for the Isles. Montoya, playing in his third straight game, made some unbelievable saves throughout the whole matchup. Facing the Islanders was the 26 year old Corey Crawford.

But enough about the goaltenders, let's talk about the offense. It was a real positive to see the Islanders scoring creative goals. Poking at rebounds and capitalizing on special teams. In past games, the Isles have used the dump and chase method, which obviously has not been working. It was great to see players go to the next and try to make a play instead of players just throwing the puck at the net and hoping for the best.

Chicago's penalty kill has not been the best this season and the Islanders definitely capitalized, scoring two goals with the man advantage. But the Blackhawks had their share of capitalizing on special teams as well. Chicago was able to score a powerplay goal and a shorthanded goal against the Isles.

The goalscorers for the Islanders tonight were Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau, and scoring his first goal of the season was Nino Niederreiter. Focusing on Okposo, it really seems as if he is in his required game shape. He is making plays and hustling much better than he had in the beginning of the season.

The Blackhawks offense never quits either; with goals coming from Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp.

So it came down to a shootout. Jonathan Toews was lone scorer and was able to claim victory over the New York Islanders, 5-4.

If the Islanders can play the way they have played in the last week for the rest of the season, they will be in good shape.

Be sure to follow the Isles' The Checking Line page on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter! (@EvanPivnickNYI)

Chicago pulls out win over the Islanders in a shootout

It was a sloppy win that felt more like a loss.

Last night, Chicago took on the NY Islanders at the United Center and came away with a 5-4 win in a shootout. The game was a mess on both sides of the ice, starting with the Blackhawks' too many men penalty at 2:28 that led to a PPG to open up the scoring, and reflected in the lopsided stats that marked the whole game.

Early in the first, Chicago had a couple good looks at the net and, as has often happened this season, came out strong. But a bad shift change led to that 2MM penalty, and Kyle Okposo put the Islanders on the board first at 4:07. Chicago tied it up at 10:27 with a very pretty pair of passes from Danie...

Hawks Prepare to Battle Islanders

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to rebound tonight from their previous 4-1 trouncing by the defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes when they get ready to face the struggling New York Islanders at the United Center. This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. 

All too often goaltenders are evaluated solely based on their recent statistics with little consideration for how the team in front of them is playing. This tends to happen because, well, it's just easier.

Corey Crawford, who is expected to get the start tonight, has somewhat unfortunate statistics in his last 5 games. More specifically, it's difficult to pin-down the inconsistency of not jus...

Hawks Thoughts - Where's the defense?

Still think Chicago should make that bid for Bobby Ryan?

Right.

Be sure to check out TCL's newest Blackhawks' writer Maggie Avila's game recap from last night.

Here's a brief goal analysis of last night's joke of a 60 minute effort by your Chicago Blackhawks in their 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes:

PHX Goal #1 - They scored off a really poorly timed change by the Blackhawks where Hjalmarsson looked like he was just learning to skate for the first time. He looked lost throughout the entire game. The goal was a nice stuff attempt that Langkow made count. And if Andrew Brunette is your only forward backchecking during a situation like that, consider ...

Chicago Blackhawks - Home sick or sick at home

 

Home is where the heart is or at least the Blackhawks were hoping home is where another win is. Tonight the Hawks took on another Pacific division rival in the Phoenix Coyotes. They were hoping to continue their recent circus road trip successes against the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings.

The Blackhawks needed to keep the winning habit going especially against all of their Western Conference foes. Points are becoming critical. They are currently only 2 points ahead of Detroit which the Red Wings having two games in hand on the Blackhawks. In fact they are only 4 points ahead of these Coyotes in the Western conference again with the Yotes having 2 games in hand on the Bl...

Hawks Thoughts - Toews Keeps Proving His Worth

Captain Serious, a.k.a. Jonathan Toews, gets paid the big bucks for many reasons. He scores goals, he sets up plays, he digs out the puck in corners in order to set up said plays and he shuts down some of the most lethal opposing offensive threats in the NHL.

Of course, you already knew that.

Good players in the NHL can provide offense for their teams throughout the season on a consistent basis. Great players can do the same thing, while scoring the big goal when their team really needs it to steal the win from their opponents grasp just before the buzzer.

And then there is Jonathan Toews. Somewhow, Captain Serious is able to do all of those things and more. A lot of pla...

Islanders Skate To First Road Win!

The Prudential Center was as loud as it had been the entire night. The New Jersey Devils just tied the game at 3 with 2 seconds remaining in regulation.

Or did they?

 

After a league review in Toronto, it was determined that Zach Parise’s skate directed the puck into the net and the goal was overturned.

 

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Hawks Thoughts - Hawks Soar Over 'Nucks

Last night's 5-1 Blackhawks' victory over rival Vancouver was the perfect example of how a successful powerplay can seriously steal the momentum for your team. 

The Blackhawks did a great job of exposing the Canucks lack of offensive depth last night at Rogers Arena. Despite the addition of David Booth, trading away both Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm, along with the continued absence of Mason Raymond, significantly leaves Vancouver with limited offensive options. It also remains to be seen whether Ryan Kesler is really 100% after his intense surgery for a torn labrum in the offseason.

Granted, the Sedin Twins are still the NHL's best one-two punch when it ...