Grabovski leaves game with upper body injury

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The injury bug struck the Islanders in the first period of Thursday’s game against the San Jose Shark.

Mikhail Grabovski left the game late in the opening period after taking a big hit up high by John Scott. Grabovski was down on the ice for several moments while an Islander trainer came on the ice to check on him. Grabovski did skate off on his own power, but did not return to the game due to an upper body injury.

Fans in the arena wanted a penalty, but none was given to Scott. By the looks of the hit it was clean and required no discipline.

Isles activate de Haan from IR, send Reinhart to Bridgeport

The Islanders have activated Calvin de Haan from injured reserve.

To make room on the roster, the team loaned Griffin Reinhart to Bridgeport.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

It is hard to say that this move should come as a surprise to anyone. Reinhart has not looked NHL ready after three games. Being partnered with Brian Strait did not help him, but he has looked outworked during his shifts. Especially when during Tuesday’s win over the Rangers at MSG. Reinhart will get time to develop some more in Bridgeport and get the playing time he will need.

The Islanders will get back a defenseman they have missed in Calvin de Haan. He took great strides last season and will be a strong presence on the ice this season once again.

Game Day (4): Sharks at Islanders, 7 pm

Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Sharks… The Sharks are one of three teams that have gone 3-0-0 through their first three games… San Jose Head Coach Todd McLellan was drafted in the fifth round of the 1986 NHL Draft by the Islanders and played five games for the team… The Sharks are 12-3-1-2 in their last 18 games against the Islanders.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — It is a battle of two undefeated teams at Nassau Coliseum.

The San Jose Sharks and the Islanders have both started the year 3-0-0, something the Islanders have not done since 2001-02. The sharks hot start is nothing new for them as they began last season winning six games in a row and the year before that they won seven straight to start the year.

The Islanders will try have a better start than they did on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, where they beat the Rangers 6-3. Hot hand Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the Islanders against the Sharks and the forward lines that have been seen through the first three games will be out there again.

What is up in the air is the defense. Both injured defenseman Calvin de Haan and Lubomir Visnovsky were on the ice Thursday for morning skate. Visnovsky is still not ready to come back, but de Haan might be.

“I feel fine,” de Haan told Islanders Point Blank following the skate at Nassau Coliseum. “It’s up to the coaching staff and the management at this point. I feel like I can play, but at this point it’s up to them.”

Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano will make a decision on defense depending on the health of de Haan.

The Sharks will likely use the same lines as their previous game, but it sounds like defenseman Scott Hannan may not play. Below are the Islanders’ lines for tonight:

Corey Conacher – John Tavares – Kyle Okposo
Mikhail Grabovski – Brock Nelson – Ryan Strome
Josh Bailey – Frans Nielsen – Nikolay Kulemin
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck

Bruce Ratner discusses Nassau Coliseum redevelopment

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

When the Islanders finish the 2014-15 season they will vacate the Nassau Coliseum and Bruce Ratner, owner of the Barclays center and the man responsible for bring the Nets to Brooklyn, will redevelop the outdated arena. nassau

Ratner attended at a business breakfast at Eisenhower Park and spoke about some of the plans for the new Coliseum.

“It has the potential to be great again,” he said during the breakfast, according to’s Scott Clinco.

Details about plans for the venue have been scarce, but Ratner said, according to Clinco, that designs for the building are in the process of being finished. He also said that “he feels the arena will be one of the most beautiful in the world.”

The real estate developer also mentioned that ticket prices will include the price of parking and that — like the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — the new Nassau Coliseum will feature concession stands with a local flair. Ratner did discuss what content he plans to bring to the arena. Mentioned were concerts, six Islander games, college sports, Nets preseason games and an AHL team.

No specific AHL club was mentioned, though Ratner has discussed bringing the Sound Tigers to the Coliseum in the past. Moving the Sound Tigers would make the most sense to keep the Isles farm team close to the NHL club and keep a footing with the Long Island fan base.

The Nassau County Legislature approved Ratners plan for the Coliseum in September of 2013. Last month, a Barclays Center spokesman told Newsday that Ratner had submitted draft plans to the Town of Hempstead and will file a final application by the end of the year. 

Halak stars on Broadway in Islanders 6-3 win

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

There was a new star on Broadway Tuesday night and he was putting on a show for one night only at Madison Square Garden.

It would be fair to say that Jaroslav Halak’s 40-save night at MSG could rival even the best Broadway shows playing just a few blocks away. And after make the big stops the Islanders so desperately needed after two periods, he was rewarded by his teammates with a four-goal third period.

NHL: New York Islanders at New York RangersHalak made 19 fewer saves in his first start as an Islander on Friday in the team’s 5-3 opening night win, but Tuesday’s performance was a true test of how well he can do when he is under pressure.

“It’s good. That’s what he gets paid to do,” Islander Coach Jack Capuano said about the goaltender.

That was why Garth Snow brought him here to do for the Islanders. Although Halak allowed two goals in the first two periods, including a soft goal at 6:21 of the first, he made save after save after save when the team really needed it.

“It helps to have Jaro back there,” Kyle Okposo said. “He really backstopped us tonight. He kept us in the game and allowed us to get our legs going. Once we did we took the game over.”

Halak was quick to take responsibility for the first goal he gave up after the game and credit his teammates for the strong performance he had.

“I’m not happy about the first goal,” he said. “Just squeezed through my legs and bad angle shot. That’s got to be stopped, but overall, I felt good out there. And our PK tonight did a really good job killing all the penalties. The first two games we gave up four short-handed goals and we all knew we had to get better, be sharper and we were better tonight.”

That penalty kill success also came in large part because of Halak, who was put to the test as the Blue Shirts power play had several chances early on. Halak has taken to his new team well and after the game he said he liked the guys he is playing with.

“Great group of guys over here,” he said. “Young guys too. I feel like I’m old, but at the same time it’s fun. It’s fun to be here and it’s fun to play with these guys.”

Some thoughts on the Isles 6-3 win over the Rangers


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders are off to their best start since 2001-02 when they went 4-0-0 to start the year. Three games into the season and they successfully made it over their first big hurdle; beating the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers. A rough forty minutes gave way to a strong twenty in the third to overcome being outplayed in the first two periods.

For the game recap click here and for the game story click here

Below are some quick thoughts and notes from the Garden: To read more of this story, click here

Islanders perfect in standings, but still have work to do


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

NEW YORK — The Islanders are off to a perfect start this season, but their 6-3 win over the New York Rangers was far from it on Tuesday night.

And while the players and coaching staff were happy about the win, there was no back patting in the Islanders dressing room. The visitors from Long Island played a strong third period from start to finish. The dominating four goal period helped push them passed the city dwelling Blue Shirts, but their first two periods put them in a serious bind.

“I thought we weren’t playing a very good hockey game. We were turning pucks over a lot and we gave up over 40 shots tonight, so I think we feel fortunate to have a goaltender that really kept us in the game,” John Tavares said. “I just like the way everyone came out hungry, played aggressive in the third there and we got rewarded. We knew we had to be a lot better after the first forty.”

Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano went into the team dressing room after the second period to rally his troops after they did not play, what he called, the “Islander way.” To read more of this story, click here