Nielsen recalls first NHL goal on new teammate Halak

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

It’s a pretty safe bet that any NHLer will remember their first career goal in the league.

nielsenFor Frans Nielsen, that moment came on February 24, 2007 against the Montreal Canadiens. Nielsen scored 10:21 into the second period to put the Islanders ahead 3-1.

“I think I lost the face-off and Richard Park won it back,” Nielsen said while describing the goal. “He saw me I was wide open in front of the net. Something  you’ll never forget.”

So why is this all relevant today, you might ask?

Well, the goaltender in net for the Habs that night was none other than new Islanders’ net minder Jaroslav Halak. Ironically, both players had been recent call ups at the time by their respective teams — Nielsen being called up on January 5 and Halak making his NHL debut on February 18.  The Danish winger is very aware that his new teammate was also part of a career milestone for him, but it isn’t something that has come up yet in conversation.

“It’s definitely a goal you always remember,” Nielsen said. “No, I haven’t talked to him that much yet. I’ll probably let him know at some point.”

For the record, Nielsen did have goal prior to the one on Halak. However, that goal came in the shootout during a February 22 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so it did not count on his stat line.

The more you know.

MSG Network to broadcast Barclays Center preseason game

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders television home, MSG Network, will carry the team’s September 26 exhibition contest against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center, the network announced Wednesday. The Islanders will face the Devils at Barclays at 7:30 p.m.

BwT9q3kCIAAOrdJ.jpg-largeThe game is the second NHL contest held at the Brooklyn venue, which will be the Islanders new home after this season. Chris King and Butch Goring will be the broadcast team for the night. King will return to the television booth for the first time since a short stint last season filling in for Howie Rose.

It will be the first time fans will see how a hockey game will look on TV from the Barclays Center. The arena received mixed reviews from fans after the initial preseason contest there last season, in which the Islanders lost 3-0 to New Jersey. Some fans were unhappy with the view from different sections of the arena while others did not like that the scoreboard was off-center.

In addition, the Islanders announced that the September 24 preseason game against the Carolina Hurricanes and the October 3 contest versus the Boston Bruins in Bridgeport, Connecticut will be streamed on the team’s website.

Meet the Metropolitan Division: Philadelphia Flyers


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

From the nation’s capital to the city of brotherly love, we’ll take a look at the 2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers finished the the 2013-14 regular season with a 42-30-10 record. It was good enough for third in the Metropolitan Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia’s run in the post season was a short one however, as they lost in the first round to the New York Rangers.

Following the season the Flyers made some adjustments int he front office. Philadelphia named Paul Holmgren the new team president and Ron Hextall was installed as the team’s general manager. Changes to the Flyers roster were minimal in the offseason because of cap space restrictions. The Flyers added forward R.J. Umberger, via a trade, as well as defenseman Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zatto through free agency.

The biggest names departing Philadelphia are forwards Scott Hartnell, who was traded by the Flyers on June 23, and Steve Downie, who left via free agency.

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Nassau Coliseum Memories: Sean Leahy

Throughout the season Islanders Point Blank will speak with fans, players and media about their favorite memories at Nassau Coliseum…


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

For the next installment of this series, we spoke with Sean Leahy. If you didn’t already know, Leahy is the associate editor of Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy Blog. He lives on Long Island and has been around Nassau Coliseum for quite some time.

Leahy was nice enough to sit down with Islanders Point Blank and recall some of his best memories a Nassau Coliseum…

IPB: What was the best game you’ve been to at the Nassau Coliseum (as a fan or reporter)?

Leahy: Probably the first ever hockey game I attended. It was 1988 or ’89. The Islanders beat the Penguins. My uncle got my dad I and seats five rows from the ice right next to the tunnel where the Penguins came out. Mario Lemieux had to come off the ice for an equipment issue at one point; when he came back down the tunnel the game was still going on so he had to stand by the rink door for a few minutes until a whistle stopped play. Pretty cool to be that close to a superstar at that young of an age (I was 7 or 8); especially seeing the giant 66 just a few feet away.

IPB: What was the most memorable moment you’ve experienced at Nassau Coliseum during an Islander game? 32jZqvTb_400x400

Leahy: Another Penguins-Islanders game… the infamous brawl from 2011. I was in a seat in the lower bowl behind one the nets. At one point in the game it seemed that play only stopped because of either a fight or a scrum. Looking at the benches late in the third period and seeing only a handful of players left made it not only the most memorable game at Nassau Coliseum for me, but also one the most ridiculous hockey game I’ve ever been to.

IPB: Do you have a funny story or memory from attending or covering a game at the Coliseum?

Leahy: My memory is from attending a game but not in the traditional sense. I used to work for the Long Island Rough Riders soccer team. During one of the Islanders’ mascot days they invited us to attend with Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders mascot. Being the new guy, I was picked to get in the suit and walk the concourse and greet fans. During one of the intermissions, they introduced all the various mascots and had us walk to center ice. Now I’m not a person fully knowledgeable in the art of walking on ice in giant mascot shoes, so I ended up slipping and falling on my ass. I almost wound up taking out the Geico gecko. (Luckily my head stayed on so I didn’t end up scaring any kids.)

IPB: What will you miss the most about the Coliseum?

Leahy: As Islanders fans know, when the Coliseum is packed and rocking, it gets loud. Really loud. That was proven during their first home playoff game against the Penguins in 2013. The fans were loud even before the teams skated onto the ice for warmups.

I’ll also miss the amazing sight lines in that building. There really is no bad seat in the Coliseum, and whether you’re sitting high, low or in a corner, you’ll have a great view for a game.

Islanders announce rookie camp schedule and roster

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Islanders’ rookie camp is set to begin on Friday, the team announced on Tuesday.

The annual camp, which is held prior to the team’s full training camp, will be held at Nassau Coliseum and will run until Wednesday, September 17. Rookies will practice each day except for Sunday.

The main training camp opens on Thursday, September 18, with players reporting for physicals. Below is the roster for this year’s rookie camp:  To read more of this story, click here

Okposo, Tavares take part in NHL Media Day


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Islanders captain John Tavares and star Kyle Okposo were two of 34 players to take part in the National Hockey League’s annual media held in Manhattan. The two teammates took part in interviews and promotional photo shoots. As John Tavares told, the day is always an indicator that the start of training camp is right around the corner.

“It always signals the season is right around the corner, training camp is coming up, the buildup [to the season] is coming. It’s an exciting time. You always enjoy increasing that buildup with all the media attention we get there [for a] couple days,” he said.

Here are some of the highlights from the duo’s media day trip:

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