How many goaltenders will we see in an Isles uniform by the end of the season? That was a question that a few of my readers asked me before the start of the year. Last year the Islanders featured Dwayne Roloson, Rick DiPietro, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, Al Montoya and Nathan Lawson. And oh yeah, they also tried to claim Evgeni Nabokov off waivers to only say, "No thanks" before joining the roster this year.
That's a total of six goalies (with a 7th one that rang off the post) that dressed for the New York Islanders in 2011. The count now is at five for this year between DiPietro, Montoya, Nabokov, Poulin and Anders Nilsson, who earned his first NHL start against the Pittsburgh Penguins the day that Sidney Crosby returned to action.
Koskinen has been playing for KalPa in the Finnish Elite League as John Link explains to us in his latest prospect report since there has been a crowd in the crease for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Both Poulin and Nilsson had been playing so well that there was simply not enough room for Koskinen, choosing him to opt for overseas play.
Adam Foote might be the only NHL defenseman more despised by Wings faithful than Chris Pronger over the past 15 seasons. That's a big might. Pronger is strong, mean and skilled; he's a player you hate for your squad to play against but would love to have him on your team. Whether it was with St. Louis, Edmonton or Anaheim, Pronger gave the Wings trouble in the postseason with crunching hits and booming point shots. His battles with Tomas Holmstrom were epic and memorable.
Unfortunately the concussion epidemic sweeping the league also struck Pronger who is shut down for the remainder of the season with post-concussion syndrome. It's a detriment to the league when any play...
The Islanders are heading into the Big Apple to face their archrivals, the New York Rangers. Coming off back-to-back shootout wins (courtesy of Frans Neilsen and his patented forehand-backhand-top shelf move), the young Isles team is carrying a bit of momentum into the World’s Greatest Arena. They are playing with more confidence and finding ways to win hockey games.
This is a good thing. Because they will need every ounce of momentum, confidence, skill, (and maybe even a little luck) to leave Madison Square Garden with 2 points against the Rangers in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers (with 3 games in hand) are currently tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they each have managed 42 points so far this season.
After the Philadelphia Flyers practiced in Dallas Tuesday, the revelation that Claude Giroux may be close to returning surfaced.
How close? Possibly Wednesday for the team's contest against the Dallas Stars.
There's no way of knowing if Giroux's return will be too soon for the young star's health. What is known is that he's the most important player on this year's team. He's been fantastic in every aspect of the game.
Giroux is the difference between a good team and a possibly great team. When the rubber hits the road for the Flyers, one player can extend himself to the point of being able to shoulder the load.
He can elevate the team's play with one pass, one shift, one shot. He does what superstars are expected to do, and he does it well.
With his return looming, the question of his readiness will surely be questioned, as well it should be.
The Chicago Blackhawks (22-9-1) go into Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening to face the Penguins with a 7-0-1 record in December, and looking to collect their sixth straight road win. Not counting preseason match-ups, Chicago and Pittsburgh usually only face off once per year, so there's always anticipation around their games.
As the Blackhawks continue their hot streak of games, the team has gained a lot of confidence, and it is showing in their play. Solid, consistent effort across all three periods is becoming more frequent, and Sunday night's game saw the fourth line chipping in offensively as well. The team has consistently flirted with the top spot in the league and cur...
The statement was deafening, as if a booming voice was speaking it over a loudspeaker.
"Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion"
Not feeling very good, gotten worse, out indefinitely?
In a year where Claude Giroux was proving his superstar-like talent every night in the NHL, it’s stunning. With one hit, those who have grown accustomed to watching the Hearst, Ontairo native are now relegated to the waiting game.
It’s eerie timing in the wake of the latest news regarding Sidney Crosby. Crosby, the game’s ubermensch is out for as long as symptoms still remain. Sadly, the let down after what many thought would be his final, and maybe last, return seems to tell the tale of the future.
When you hear that the Islanders and Penguins are facing each other again, the first thought that pops into the average NHL fan's mind is the February 11th game (or "The Brawl Game" as I like to call it) when these two teams went over 400 penalty minutes. But that game is in the past, tonight the Isles face the Pens in search of two points and move up in the standings.
We should probably preface all of this by declaring that, outside of Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens probably didn't deserve to win tonight (Jeez, haven't heard THAT before, eh?).
The Habs played a sloppy and inconsistent game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre tonight, and the end result was a 4-3 overtime loss against what was obviously a better team.
That's what should have been the game story following tonight's game. Instead, we're left to sift through the wreckage of the hockey equivalent of a nuclear missile. No, the story of tonight's game wasn't Carey Price's amaz...