Michael Grabner

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Are The Isles Better Than .500?

Once again the New York Islanders fell to the Florida Panthers last night in a 4-2 loss to end their Florida road trip. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines were held scoreless as John Tavares and Mark Streit did all they could with the support of strong goaltending coming from Evgeni Nabokov in net. For a full recap, read Evan Pivnick's post-game report here at TCL.

The Isles currently sit with a 3-3-0 record, placing them at 10th place in the East and fourth in their division. The New Jersey Devils sit in third with seven points, trailing the second placed Philadelphia Flyers with nine points. The Pittsburgh Penguins sit in first with 14 and the Rangers sit in fifth with six. All indica...

Isles Can't Strike Lightning Twice

In their first road game of the season, the New York Islanders dropped a 4-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Islanders fall to 3-2 on the season. 

Much speculation was made leading up to the game as the team announced Rick DiPietro would be making the road trip to Florida with the team.  Evgeni Nabokov was coming off an excellent game against the rival Rangers, and Al Montoya sported one of the top GAA’s and Save Percentages in the NHL.

Coach Jack Capuano gave Montoya the nod, and Montoya looked sharp at times when he was tested.  While Montoya did not play poorly in this game, perhaps only the fourth and final goal would be one that he woul...

Where Is The Isles Second Act?

The Islanders went into last night's game against the Rangers looking to cap off a four-game home stand with a decisive win in regulation against their cross-town rivals, and they did just that. John Tavares' hat trick, P.A. Parenteau's helping hands and Evgeni Nabokov's stonewall performance were enough to earn a 4-2 win, improving the team's record to 3-1-0.

The 3-1-0 start is the best that the team has had in ten years, dating back to the 2001-2002 season when they started off 4-0. And you don't have to remind many Islanders fans about how exciting that season was, ending in what was arguably the most brutal first round exit to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Can the Islanders Catch the Lightning in a Bottle?

Preview:  Islanders (1-1-0, 2 pts, 4th in Atlantic, 11th in East)

The Islanders are coming off of a pair of games in which they have failed to put together 60 good minutes of hockey.  A disappointing performance against the Panthers on Saturday was followed up by one good period and two "hang on for dear life" periods in Monday's matinee against the Wild.  As discussed in Rob McGowan's post here at The Checking Line on Tuesday, New York's young forward unit is having difficulty getting pucks to the net.  Rob also keys in on the Isles' difficulty staying out of the box through 120 minutes of competition.  Against the highly skilled a...

Islanders vs. Panthers - Opening Night

Preview: An opening night battle between last year's overall 27th and 28th best teams - the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers. However with opening night comes the promise of new hope, a fresh start, and in the case of the Islanders and Panthers, a lot to be excited about.

The Islanders are opening their 40th season in franchise history and have set their goals high. GM Garth Snow has stated that the goal is for the team to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons.  The team is also looking for their first playoff series victory in 18 seasons.

The Islanders offseason was relatively quiet following a furious finish last season, whe...

And The Islanders Will Finish In....

The New York Islanders are in the middle of training camp; plenty of fresh faces are looking to surprise the coaching staff and crack the line-up while a few other seasoned and whithered faces look to continue their NHL career with an impressive tryout.

But what everyone is hoping for is a successful season that will result in the Islanders FINALLY making the playoffs after the slow and steady rebuild began three seasons ago.

Let's take a look at some of the major events that have transpired in Islanders country during the off-season thus far:

1. General Manager Garth Snow re-signed Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner to five-year contract extensions at an affordable pri...

Tavares Nets Six Year Contract Extension With Isles

The news was running rampant all over the twitter feeds and message boards yesterday that the Islanders were going to have a big announcement regarding number one center John Tavares and his future with the New York Islanders franchise. But as of today's 1 PM press conference, it became official: John Tavares has signed a six-year contract extension worth $33 million.

The contract has been said to be worth $5.5 million a year.

Tavares is only 20 years old and has led the team in scoring for back to back seasons while improving his numbers in the process. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft ended his rookie campaign in 2010 with 54 points in 82 games (24 goals, 30 assi...

Bailey's Clock Is Ticking

Charles Wang has always had a very strict rule that he has enforced since the day he bought the New York Islanders; if any player that was considered property of the organization were to not have a new contract before the start of training camp, they would be forced to miss the entire season.

It's a rule that I have always approved of since it clearly sets the tone that this is Wang's team and he won't be jerked around by players who wish to play the waiting game for more money. He's also shown that he isn't shy about using it either.

Most Islanders fans remember the year that Sean Bergenheim spent playing hockey in Sweden since he refused to accept the con...

Jay Pandolfo Gets Tryout With Islanders

The New York Islanders announced today that former New Jersey Devils forward Jay Pandolfo will be attending the Isles training camp on a tryout basis. Pandolfo's tryout is likely in the hopes of him earning a roster spot with either the Islanders or another NHL organization.

The 36-year old left wing has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils and has won two Stanley Cups after being drafted in the second round at 32nd overall of the 1993 Entry Draft. Last year he played 12 games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. 

If Pandolfo were to crack the Islanders line-up, he would have to earn it as the Islanders already appear to be set at forward...

Logan Couture and the Runner Ups

As you may have heard, Logan Couture signed a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks this past week. The contract will bind him to the Sharks through the 2013-14 season and pays Couture $5.75 million ($2.75M the first year, $3M the second year). This was a smart move by Doug Wilson; now the Sharks top two forward lines, top defensive pairs, and number one goalie are all signed through 2012-13, security that many other teams would die for (namely the Devils and Predators with Parise and Weber, respectively). In light of his new contract, I decided to post this story I wrote a while ago shortly after the NHL Awards.

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