Islanders goaltender report card, presented by Long Island University

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Last season, the Islanders were hurt by their goaltending, or lack their of it. Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin had their moments, but in the end we’re not enough to help a struggling Islander team.

Long Island University SmallThis year, though, the Isles strength has been in net. Aside from an ugly game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson have been huge in getting the Islanders to a 5-2-0 start this season.

Johnson was solid in Thursday night’s win over the Bruins, especially making some big saves in the final five minutes of the contest. Halak has had some impressive games as well, keeping the puck out of the net in some big moments during several of his recent starts.

The only thing that knocks the Islanders goaltending grade down was Tuesday’s loss to the Leafs. Halak gave up four goals in the second period of that game and the Leafs took seemed to sneak shots by when could shot towards his blocker side.

Grade: B-

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Josh Bailey has a broken hand

LW Josh Bailey suffered a broken hand during Thursday night’s game against Boston (Staple, Oct. 23).

According to the club, Bailey is out indefinitely.

Bailey, 25, has notched 2 goals and 2 assists so far this season.

Game Recap: Isles 3 – Bruins 2

Recap: The Islanders (5-2-0) edged the Bruins on Thursday night in Boston.



Need to Know: The Islanders broke through early, grabbing a 1-0 lead when Frans Nielsen (assisted by Josh Bailey and Nikolay Kulemin) beat Niklas Svedberg 6:21 into the first period. Boston evened things up with under two minutes left in the first when Milan Lucic found the back of the net.

With 1:30 gone by in the second period, Kyle Okposo batted the puck out of the air and past Svedberg to give the Isles a 2-1 advantage. Midway through the second, Cal Clutterbuck took a centered pass from Matt Martin and found the back of the net to increase New York’s lead to 3-1.

Chris Kelly beat Chad Johnson midway through the third period as the Bruins cut the lead to 3-2. However, Johnson and the Isles withstood nearly constant pressure from the Bruins the rest of the way to hang on for the victory.

Josh Bailey left the game early after injuring his hand.


Links: AP recap | Box Score


What’s Next: The Islanders host the Stars on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Game Day (7): Islanders at Bruins, 7 pm

at
TD Garden — Boston, Mass
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Bruins… Boston has started 2014-15 with a 4-4-0 record and are coming off back-to-back wins over the Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks… The Bruins were 1-2-0 against the Islanders in 2013-14… Chris Kelly and David Krejci lead the team in points with six each.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders are still looking for the elusive fifth win and will try to capture it in Boston against the Bruins.

It will be an emotional night for Johnny Boychuk as he makes his return to Bean Town. Boychuk played nearly his entire career in Boston before being traded to the Islanders in early October. Now he is an Islanders and a visitor in a rink he called home for so many years.

“It’s gonna be a little bit different,” Boychuk said following Wednesday’s practice. “But it’s going to be nice to go back and play against them. It will be a good game that’s for sure.”

The fact the game come so soon since the trade happened does bring back some of the initial emotion he had after he found out about the trade. Boychuk also still stays in touch with the guys in Boston he grew to know.

“They’re still the same team over there,” he explains. “It’s all the guys you know and you’ve been playing with the last five years. And been hanging out with every day of your life. It will be nice to go and see them, but it’ll be a good challenge for our team.”

Chad Johnson, who will start in net for the Islanders on Thursday, will also be making a return to the city he called home for one season.

Thursday will also serve as the season debuts for both Lubomir Visnovsky, who has been sidelined by injury, and Anders Lee, who was recalled from AHL Bridgeport Wednesday afternoon.Visnovsky will take the spot of now injured defenseman Travis Hamonic and Lee was skating with Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson during the morning skate, according to Arthur Staple.

Nikolay Kulemin was placed back with Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen.

Visnovsky off IR

The Islanders have activated Lubomir Visnovsky off injured reserve.

The defenseman was placed on IR, retroactive to September 29, with a back injury.

Roster changes coming for Islanders

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano hinted that changes could be coming to the lineup Tuesday night after their 5-2 loss to Toronto.

On Wednesday, some changes started to happen. Capuano had put Cal Clutterbuck back down on the fourth line wing and had placed Eric Boulton with Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome.

“I think we’re going to have to make some tweaks eventually if we don’t start scoring some goals even strength,” Capuano said in response to a question about line shakeups before the Isles next game. “We’ll start with lines and then maybe tweak a few things personal wise.”

It would appear as though Boulton’s presence with Strome and Nelson was a temporary situation. The Islanders waived Colin McDonald following practice on Wednesday and recalled Anders Lee from AHL Bridgeport later in the day. The team also placed Mikhail Grabovski on injured reserve retroactive to October 16.

Capuano has come under some criticisms from the ever vocal fans on Twitter about lines and time on ice for certain players. The Islander coach said that he determines ice time by how guys are playing.

“I look at the guys that are playing well are going to get more minutes and guys that aren’t are going to get less minutes. That’s the way we go into every game,” Capuano said.

In particular, the Islanders’ fourth line is one that Capuano sees as doing all the right things.

“I know you guys don’t see what we do after games as coaches,” he said. “But when you break down the game the way that we do and you see the amount of scoring chances that they give up, they don’t give up many. Not even close to what the other three lines have given up. To me there is a lot of confidence in that line. They know their role, they know what they have to do. They may not be as skilled as some of the other players, but their work ethic and the way that they play within the team concept. They know exactly how we need to play.

“They have success. They don’t play in our end very much.”

Ledecky and Malkin using two year transition as on the job training

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin said all the right things on Wednesday afternoon. Ledecky even knew what team to dislike to get on Islander fans good side.B0ktoIgIEAAczCL

“I can tell you all that I don’t care much for the Penguins as a team,” Ledecky said. “I’m sure our fan base feels the same way.”

But for the next two years Ledecky, a former owner of the Washington Capitals, and Malkin, a London-based investor, will spend much of their time getting a crash course in NHL ownership. Their teacher? Charles Wang.

As part of the sale of the Islanders, there is a two-year transitional period that has Malkin and Ledecky holding minority ownership until 2016. Wang will then move into a minority role as the pair of new owners jump into the drivers seat of franchise. To read more of this story, click here