Cal Clutterbuck had the goal winning goal on Friday night, but he had to put the puck in the net twice to get credit for it.
It looked as though Clutterbuck had given the Islanders a two goal advantage just over four minutes into the third period, but the on-ice officials waved it off claiming Brock Nelson had made “incidental contact” with Karri Ramo.
With the score still 1-0 in the final minute, Clutterbuck banked a shot off Calgary d-man Dennis Wideman and into an empty net. It turned out to be the game winner after the Flames broke up Jaro Halak’s shut out bid with 20 seconds to play.
Clutterbuck really played a complete game on Friday. Had the waved off goal counted, it would have been a reward for a great job crashing the net by both Nelson and Cal. Brock was obviously checked into Ramo, and thankfully, the missed call didn’t end up mattering. But the non-goal and getting his own rebound off the post to hit the empty net were both a great second effort that the Isles needed to get them over the final hump.
Additionally, I think he’s been one big reason the PK has picked it up as of late. I’m not the biggest Clutterbuck-on-the-PK advocate. For whatever reason (and this could be my eyes lying to me), it has seemed like he has struggled in that role since last season. That said, he was a revelation on the kill against the Flames, as the Isles pressured Calgary’s point men well and never really let them get set up.
Recap: Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak set a franchise record with his 33rd victory this season and came within 21 seconds of his fifth shutout as the Islanders moved back ahead of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
Need to Know: The Islanders’ Ryan Strome scored a power-play goal with 8:21 left in the first assisted by John Tavares and Travis Hamonic. It was the first power-play goal against Calgary in 13 games.
Cal Clutterbuck, who had a goal disallowed in the third period, scored an empty-netter with 42 seconds left after hitting the post on an open net.
The Flames’ Josh Jooris scored with 21 seconds to go.
Halak, who surpassed Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro in the Islander record book, had 26 saves. That included one on Michael Ferland’s penalty shot with 6:20 remaining in the first.
Tavares went scoreless for a season-high fourth straight game.
The Islanders outshot the Flames 39-27. . .Flames goalie Karri Ramo had 37 saves.
Before Friday, the Islanders were 2-for-25 on the power play in their previous nine games. They were 1-for-4 Friday. … The Islanders killed off all three Calgary penalties.
Before Friday, the Islanders were 32-6-1 when scoring at least three goals. They have scored five 13 times in 2014-15, tied for third most in the NHL.
Links: AP recap | Box Score
What’s Next: The Islanders end their four-game home stand Saturday against Carolina at 5 p.m.
The Islanders will host the Calgary flames at 7 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on MSG plus 2, along with WRHU 88.7 FM and LI News Radio 103.9 FM.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Tonight will be the first game of a back-to-back for the Islanders. Up first is the Calgary Flames (33-24-4).
The Islanders (40-20-2) have gone 3-1-0 in their last four games against the Flames at the Coliseum. The Islanders defeated Calgary earlier in the year in a 2-1 victory in January. John Tavares scored twice in the win.
Calgary will be without defenseman Mark Giordano due to an upper body injury. Even without Giordano, the Isles know that the Flames are tough team to play against and one that is in the playoff hunt out west.
“They’re a good team,” Josh Bailey said. “They’re obviously in a similar position where they’re fighting for playoff positioning. Two teams playing for a lot, so it should be fun. I think we’re going to have to bring our best here to win tonight.”
The Islanders will have Jaroslav Halak in net and Frans Nielsen will play tonight as well.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Jaroslav Halak returns to net for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames. He will once again look for his franchise record 33rd win of the season.
Halak has appeared in 45 games this year with the Islanders and has compiled a 32-13-0 record. In his last start, Halak allowed three goals against and the Islanders lost 4-0 to the Vancouver Canucks. One thing the Islanders coach staff has begun to do is to monitor the number of starts they give Halak down the stretch.
“It will be one of the things we manage,” Islanders’ head coach Jack Capuano said. “Chad [Johnson] has been playing real well for us. Obviously you don’t want a goalie to sit too long, but we had three games this weekend. We discussed it last week that Chad will go two out of the three.
“As we move forward both guys are going to get an opportunity to play and I think it’s good for both guys, because they work extremely hard. And Jaro is obviously at a point now he has played a lot of hockey.”
The rest of the Islanders lineup will remain the same as it was on Tuesday, during their 5-1 win over Arizona.
That means Frans Nielsen will play tonight for the blue and orange after missing practice due to a “maintenance day,” as the team labeled it. Nielsen was dinged up during the Isles loss to Vancouver on Sunday, but did play on Tuesday.
“We were a little worried after the hit that he took, but fortunately for us we limited his minutes in the last game. Gave him a couple of days rest and he went out this morning before the team and felt really good. So that’s a positive sign for us,” Capuano said.
Nielsen being in the lineup is good news for the Islanders, who have had their forward depth tested. They are already out Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas and Mikhail Grabovski. Losing Nielsen would have only hobbled them further.
The Danish winger did not look like he was impeded during Tuesday’s game and the few days of rest certainly came at an opportune time for him.
The Islanders have finally found a few days to relax now that their stretch of five games in seven days is over.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
After Tuesday’s win over the Arizona Coyotes, the Isles have had a rare two days in between games. The month of February has been pretty compacted even before the five games in seven night stretch. The Islanders have played games essentially every other night since returning from the All-Star break.
Head coach Jack Capuano gave the team off on Wednesday, but skated them on Thursday at Nassau Coliseum. The break in between games comes at a crucial time to allow guys to catch their breath before jumping back into action.
“Rest is a necessity at this point,” Colin McDonald said. “It’s been hard to come by as of late, but this is the cards we were dealt and we’re just trying to make the most of it. Coaches are good about keeping the practices short, they’re not too hard.
“Workouts haven’t been too much, so they realize the importance of rest and it’s been good.”
The days off also give some banged up players an opportunity to recuperate. The Islanders have three injured players — Casey Cizikas, Mikhail Grabovski and Kyle Okposo — and Frans Nielsen did not skate on Thursday. Capuano called Nielsen’s absence a “maintenance day.” To read more of this story, click here
Barclays Center has filed a set of trademarks for three versions of a “Brooklyn Hockey” logo.
The logos are part of a collection of marks Barclays Center has applied for. NetsDaily notes that some of these logos (including the college hoops and boxing logos) are used inside the arena.
SNY’s Brian Erni asked SportsLogo.net owner Chris Creamer if it’s possible a version of the Brooklyn Hockey logo could be used as the rumored jersey patch the Islanders will be incorporating onto their existing home and road uniforms next season. Even though Creamer has not yet seen the new patch, he said he doesn’t believe this logo will appear on the uniforms in 2015-16.
“I’d consider that extremely unlikely,” Creamer told Erni on Thursday morning. “If the Isles were to wear a patch next year (which they probably would), it would be owned either by the NHL or by the Isles ownership group.”
UPDATE: Deadspin has picked up this story and has a quote from Barry Baum, Chief Communications Officer at Barclays Center:
“We have a platform at Barclays Center for each of our non-core tenant businesses, including BROOKLYN HOOPS for college basketball, BROOKLYN BOXING for boxing, BROOKLYN SHOW for concerts, and BROOKLYN FAMILY for family entertainment. BROOKLYN HOCKEY is our latest platform, which includes NCAA college hockey that will be staged at the venue. This is not an Islanders logo and has no connection to the Islanders. As promised, we are keeping the current Islanders logo and color scheme, while adding a black and white third jersey.”
Take a deep breath, Islanders fans. Creamer makes a good point: anything that would be used on a uniform would most likely be owned by NHL Properties and/or the Islanders, so it makes sense this is just promotional. I know most, if not all, of you do not want the uniforms changed, and we’ve been assured that’s the case (with the probably exception of a new third jersey). So when the team moves to Brooklyn, we’ll still be named and look like the New York Islanders. That said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some version of this on the boards at Barclays Center.
It’s worth noting that, even though the Brooklyn brass is in love with their brand, the Islanders are a much stronger entity than the Nets, both in terms of on the ice/court performance and fan support. It’d be a hard sell for Brett Yormark and company to push too much in “Brooklyn” on the Islanders, considering the Isles are in much better shape the the Nets.
Nick Leddy‘s seven year contract extension made waves around the NHL, as one of the league’s youngest premiere defensemen committed to the Islanders into the next decade.
Now, it’s Johnny Boychuk‘s turn.
Boychuk, who scored his seventh goal of the season in Tuesday night’s win over Arizona, will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The 31-year-old has been in negotiations with general manager Garth Snow this season, but there has been no clear indication on how much progress they’ve made. Elliotte Friedman’s latest edition of 30 Thoughts for SportsNet.ca does indicate that the Islanders may have made at least one very competitive offer to Boychuk.
“The team and agent are tight-lipped on the Johnny Boychuk front, but it’s believed the Islanders have made at least one offer that would make him the highest-paid player on the roster. Don’t go too crazy, John Tavares was at the top — $5.5M — which is now Leddy’s average, too.”
Over the weekend, Larry Brooks said it would likely take at least an AAV of $6 million to retain Boychuk.
Christian has some great quotes from Leddy on working to get Boychuk to sign, so make sure to check that out here
. In the meantime, let’s look at the economics of this…
An AAV of between $5.5 and $6 million seems very fair to me based on what Boychuk brings to the table both on and off the ice. Plus, the Islanders have the room for it. To put that into perspective, here’s a good break down of where the Islanders will stand heading into the offseason cap-wise. Leddy’s $5.5 AAV is extremely reasonable, and it’s an escalating deal that will actually pay him $4 million next season, $4.5 million in 2016-17, and $5 million in 2017-18 before he starts getting up to $5.5 million and above. That gives the Isles more flexibility to give nice RFA deals to Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Thomas Hickey, while still being in great position to retain Boychuk.
Keep in mind, the Islanders are paying Lubomir Visnovsky $6 million this year. So, in theory, if New York decided to let Lubo walk as a UFA and fill his spot from an internal option like Matt Donovan, Griffin Reinhart or Ryan Pulock, that could free up even more space. Between that and the indication that Boychuk has seemed to enjoy his time here and believes in the direction the Islanders are going, I wouldn’t be shocked if a deal is eventually struck.