POSTED ON Saturday, 09.24.2011 / 3:41 PM

For the Islanders top selections in each of the past two NHL Entry Drafts, having the opportunity to play in tonight’s preseason matchup against the New Jersey Devils is pretty exciting. What’s going on in the head’s of Ryan Strome and Nino Niederreiter? To show they belong in the lineup come Oct. 8 for the regular season opener.

“I’m a skill guy, but I think right now it’s important that I show that I fit in and play good defensively and be accountable on all ends of the ice,” said Strome, who was selected fifth overall in 2011. “It’s important that I give the coaches that mindset that if they put me out there, they can be comfortable.”

As Strome will see his first NHL action tonight, centering a line for Jay Pandolfo and Tim Wallace, he said there are definitely nerves, but he knows he has to play his game and prove he belongs out there.

“I’m pretty nervous,” he said. “I actually slept pretty well last night. I didn’t think I would, but I got a good night’s sleep and I’m just looking forward to the opportunity. It’s a big responsibility, but I’m excited and I hope I fit in pretty well and have a good game.”

He added, “Watching the game last night, it was a lot faster and a lot more physical. I think I’ve adjusted pretty quickly here. I’ve never played in a game, but hopefully I can adapt to all of the different changes out there.”

The situation is slightly different for the Isles fifth overall selection in 2010. Niederreiter played in preseason games last season and suited up for the Islanders during nine regular season games in the 2010-11 campaign before being sent back to his junior team, the Portland Winterhawks.

“I just want to play as best as possible and just make the little things, that’s all I can do,” Niederreiter said. “Preseason is a pretty high, intense level. It reminds me of last year, but it’s definitely different. I think I’m more prepared for it (this year).”

Niederreiter will play on the top line alongside last year’s leading scorer, John Tavares, and his linemate, Matt Moulson, in tonight’s game.

"Obviously, I have the pleasure of playing with Johnny and Moulson, that’s going to be amazing,” he said. “It’s the first game for them. I already had two rookie games under my belt (this year), so tonight is the first time we really can see if we have good chemistry or not.“

Niederreiter’s play in those two rookie games was noticed by Head Coach Jack Capuano. His expectations for Niederreiter tonight are to play loose and play his game, complimenting Tavares and Moulson.

“He’s been good, he’s in a great shape,” Capuano said of Niederreiter. “He’s paying attention to detail. I think I can see it in his eyes. He’s not a guy that I’ve spent a lot of time around, but he’s all business. He’s serious. He wants to make a push hard.”

He added, “I want to make sure that’s he’s not out there tight and nervous. He’s at the point now where I think he knows what he needs to do.”

Nerves or not, Niederreiter said, “It’s definitely going to be great and I’m just very excited.”
POSTED ON Monday, 09.19.2011 / 5:07 PM

Day two of on-ice training is a wrap. There was a lot less wincing on the faces of the players who skated in both groups today – an indication that guys are getting back into form and inching closer to the start of action this season.

For Isles forward Josh Bailey, getting back to normalcy is just what they need.

“It was good to get a normal practice in, but it was tough,” Bailey said. “We were pretty tired after that skate Saturday. Today was more in depth – a lot more skating drills and some breakouts to try to get back into game-like shape.”

He added, “After a few months of not doing them (the drills), you need a refresher. We went through a couple things today. I’m sure we’ll go through some more tomorrow.”

Along with the different puck-movement and shooting drills, defenseman Travis Hamonic said the early days are also about getting more acclimated and fighting hard to prove you deserve a spot on the final roster.

“With almost a full season under my belt, you’re a little more familiar and comfortable with your surroundings and the guys and maybe not as nervous on the ice,” he said. “There are a lot of good d-men here at camp – not only defensemen, but also forwards – so everyone is coming in and really trying to earn their spot again this season.”

Both players skated in the second on-ice group of the day, but Hamonic arrived early just so he could watch the first group take the ice to see what was in store for him and the rest of his group.

“I thought the guys in our group had a good skate today,” Hamonic said. “It seemed that the first group that went on had a good, hard skate as well. The first couple days of camp guys are usually flying out there, really trying to get noticed. I thought the tempo was good. It was really good today.”

When it comes to change, Bailey, who’s entering his fourth NHL season, isn’t going to alter much of his own game. He said the team is sticking to the system that worked well for them to close out last season.

“We’re going to keep generally the same outlook on things like we did the second half of last year,” Bailey said. “I think things went well and I think guys adapted to it well. I’m sure we’ll tweak some things here and there when need be, but I think right now, there’s not really a need to change it too much.”

As day three of camp came to an end, Hamonic said nothing is ever guaranteed.

“No ice time is just going to be given – everything is going to be earned,” Hamonic said. “I think that’s the message that the coaching staff sent pretty early on. Guys are really battling for their spots out there. That’s what makes a great team.”
POSTED ON Monday, 09.19.2011 / 1:28 PM

Another new player to attend his first Islanders training camp is forward Tim Wallace.

Wallace, 27, signed with the Islanders on July 21 after spending his entire professional career within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. Skating with a new team didn’t change any of his preparations coming into training camp. Instead, he said it’s all about getting back into the swing of things.

“I think the first couple days have been high intensity and about trying to get back into shape,” said the Achorage, AK, native. “You just come in and prepare the same way. You want to be in the best shape you can and then try to do whatever you can to make the team.”

Last season, the 6’1”, 207-pound forward scored 20 goals and 17 assists in 62 regular season games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Prior to his time in the Penguins organization, Wallace spent four seasons with the University of Notre Dame.

Wallace may be a new face to Islanders fans, but he isn’t necessarily a new face in the locker room.

“I played with Mark (Eaton) in Pittsburgh,” he said. “We met and talked in the past because he also went to Notre Dame. I also knew Trevor Frischmon through a friend from back in Alaska. I definitely played against a lot of the other guys, too, and it seems like a great group.”

If his former teammate Eaton gave any advice on what to expect: “I think by now we know what to expect in training camp,” Wallace said. “You have to come in, get in shape and be ready to work.”

During his five seasons in the Pittsburgh organization, Wallace tallied two assists and 12 penalty minutes in 24 career NHL games. He hopes to soon add to those totals by wearing an Islanders uniform.

“Obviously, there are a lot of good, young players here,” he said. “Hopefully, I can make the team out of camp and do whatever I can to help the team win.”
POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 1:48 PM

Robert Norton of East Meadow voted yes because of the need for jobs in Nassau County. He said that the county is not only going to lose the Islanders, but also concerts and all of the local businesses near the Coliseum.


Bill and Kathlyn Parkinson of East Meadow both voted yes because their son is a carpenter and a new arena will help him and as well as many others by bringing in new jobs “for now and for the future.” They want to build up Long Island not tear it down.
POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 11:51 AM
With a high volume of travelers at the Mineola train station, it was a great location to continue spreading the word about the importance of voting yes at the polls today.

There was an overwhelming support for a positive result tonight from the various commuters waiting for their trains.

It was very encouraging to see so many supporters who stopped by to discuss why they already have or are voting yes today. Keep up the support, Nassau County. We need your help!




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3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
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14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
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J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
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B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
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