Kate Murray will forever have a place in the annals of Islanders history, and fans are not letting her forget it.
Murray, the Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, was one of the major opponents of the Lighthouse Project, Charles Wang’s privately-financed plan to keep the Islanders in Nassau County and develop the surrounding area of the building.
Murray, now running for Nassau County District Attorney, has joined Twitter to kick off her campaign.
As you can imagine, things are not going too well on the social media front. Since Murray joined Twitter on Tuesday, her account has been inundated with Islanders fans blasting her for her part in the team moving off the Island. I may have sent a tweet or two myself…
Let me say that, if you’re going to express your displeasure with the situation, do so intelligently and respectfully (i.e. keep in clean). But I do encourage Nassau residents to speak out, not only with their words, but with their actions when they go to the polls this November. The politicians that let Long Island’s only team (and the jobs that go along with staffing the arena) leave should be held accountable, and they should be accountable when you vote.
Josh Bailey: Left Wing, 6’1″, 194 lbs, 25 years old
Regular Season Stats: 15 goals| 26 assists| 41 points| Plus-3
Playoff Stats: 2 goals| 3 assists| 5 points| Plus-1
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Josh Bailey is an underrated member of the Islanders core. The fans weren’t thrilled with him this season, but Bailey added a lot to the team away from the puck and even with it.
Bailey’s 26 assists were a testament to his playmaking ability that often gets over looked during the season. Those skills became more evident when head coach Jack Capuano paired him with John Tavares on the top line and the two created chemistry with one another. It was also at that point when Tavares really started to heat up for the Islanders. To read more of this story, click here
Brian Compton and Christian Arnold look back at an exciting and emotional Islanders season. The guys discuss the early season trades of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, the best fourth line in the NHL, and of course, the final season of Nassau Coliseum. Plus, Brian sits down with Matt Martin (13:20), who was a major part of this year’s team.
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With the pain of Game 7 subsiding, the question becomes what’s next for the New York Islanders.
As the team begins to look toward the 2015-16 season, Newsday lists five burning questions for the team leading up to training camp in September. Chief among them are how to improve the club’s special teams.
“The power play went 0-for-14 in the playoffs and looked stagnant,’ Art Staple writes. “If [Ryan] Pulock has a chance to earn a roster spot, it might be through his power- play work. He scored 13 of his 17 goals with Bridgeport on the power play.”
Staple also discusses who needs to step up, the future of Michael Grabner, and what the team needs to do to win a playoff series.
The way the first few months of the season went, it’s amazing to think that the power play is actually the area that most needs a jolt, as opposed to the once-beleaguered penalty kill. But Greg Cronin made some great midseason adjustments, and the kill was actually a strength from February until the end of the season. The power play is a different story. When the team got pucks to the net, they were extremely effective. But often, they relied on too many passes around the perimeter, ultimately telegraphing their shot opportunity. How many times against the Caps was a shot attempt from the blue line blocked? It seemed like barely anything got through.
That’s why I do believe Pulock will make the team next year, especially if Lubomir Visnovsky retires. If the Islanders want to take the next step, they need to get their power play to the point where it’s an asset in crunch time. Pulock has a monster right handed shot and would automatically require some extra attention, which could open up some space down low. Having two defensemen with incredible shots — Johnny Boychuk, the other — on Doug Weight’s unit might make all the difference. The battle for the last couple d-man spots could be the storyline of camp, and right now, I think Pulock has the inside track.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
The Islanders season may be over, but Brock Nelson and Anders Lee’s season is not.
The two have been competing at the 2015 IIHF World Championships since they started on Friday. Nelson has been playing well since the tournament began and had several chances to score in Saturday’s game against Norway. In the second period, Nelson scored his first goal in the 2015 World Championships.
The Islanders’ forward was able get his stick on a shot from the point and redirect it in past the Norwegian net minder. Nelson has three points for the United States through two games. He had two assists in Friday’s 5-1 win over Finland.
The Islanders will not be making any coaching changes in the offseason after the team failed to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season (Newsday, Apr 30).
Head coach Jack Capuano, assistants coaches Doug Weight, Greg Cronin and Bob Corkum and goalie coach Mike Dunham will all return for the 2015-16 season, which will be the team’s first in Brooklyn. Islanders’ general manager Garth Snow was satisfied with the job the they did with the team this year.
“Our coaches did a great job, whether it was preparing our players or with the communication between coaches and players, which was outstanding,” Snow said. “There were some aspects of our game, whether it was with our penalty-kill that struggled early on and became a strength for us by the end, or our power play, which was a strength at times early on and we didn’t have one in the playoffs. That’s an area of concern. We’ll analyze all different areas of our team and try to get better.” (Newsday, Apr 30)
Capunao is the second longest tenured coach in Islanders franchise history having coached 359 games. He is also the second winningest coach with 165. Only Al Arbour has more wins and games coached.
Capuano took over behind the bench on November 15, 2010 after Scott Gordon was let go following a 10-game losing streak. The 2015-16 season will be Capuano’s sixth season overall as head coach of the Islanders.