by Chris Zadorozny (@Zads07)
In the fourth preview of 15 Eastern Conference teams, lets examine a team that made the playoffs for the first time in six years and could contend once again this season. With a move to Brooklyn coming soon, the New York Islanders only have a year or two to win a Stanley Cup in Uniondale.
- Founded as an expansion franchise in 1972 to rival a possible WHA expansion into the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
- 4 Stanley Cups (1979-1980, 1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1982-1983)
- 6 Conference Championships (1977-1978, 1978-1979, 1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984)
- 6 Division Championships (1977-1978, 1978-1979, 1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1983-1984, 1987-1988)
2013 stats: Top 5 players
John Tavares (28 G, 19 A, 47 PTS), Matt Moulson (15 G, 29 A, 44 PTS), Brad Boyes (10, 25 A, 35 PTS), Frans Nielsen (6 G, 23 A, 29 PTS), Mark Streit (6 G, 21 A, 27 PTS)
2013 Team Rankings
7th in Goals/Game (2.81), 21st in Goals Against (2.83), 11th in Power Play (19.9%), 21st in Penalty Kill (80.3%)
- Evgeni Nabokov (41 GP, 23 W, 11 L, 7 OTL, .910 SV%, 2.50 GAA)
- Kevin Poulin (5 GP, 1 W, 3 L, 0 OTL, .893 SV%, 3.02 GAA)
- Islanders backup last season, expected backup this season
Nabokov was one of the better goaltenders in the league last year and he will be the #1 on Long Island once again. Unless something crazy happens, don’t expect to see a lot of Poulin, even though the goaltending carousel has spun a lot lately for the Islanders.
Additions: F Shane Harper (Trade/Philadelphia), F Peter Regin (Free Agent/Ottawa), F Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Free Agent/Minnesota), F Cal Clutterbuck (Trade-Free Agent/Minnesota)
Losses: D Mark Streit (Trade/Philadelphia), F Nino Niederreiter (Trade/Minnesota), F Jesse Joensuu (Free Agent/Edmonton), F Keith Aucoin (Free Agent/St. Louis), F Matt Watkins (Free Agent/Washington), D Jon Landry (Free Agent/Minnesota), F Brandon Defazio (Free Agent/Vancouver), G Rick DiPietro (Buyout)
Games vs. Red Wings
- Saturday, November 16, 2013 @ NY Islanders (7:00pm)
- Friday, November 29, 2013 @ NY Islanders (4:00pm)
- Monday, December 23, 2013 vs. NY Islanders (7:30pm)
The Islanders are a young, up and coming team with a great core led by Tavares, Moulson, and Okposo. While they lost their captain Streit to a trade, a young defensive core will certainly learn from veteran Lubomir Visnovsky.
The Islanders have a star goaltender in Nabokov and picked up a few gritty, but offensive-minded forwards. Defense will be the big question mark this season, but if Nabokov and their forwards can help lead the team, the Islanders could be a feisty playoff team come April.
To read the original post that appeared on Sports Radio Detroit on August 27, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com