POSTED ON Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 4:51 PM ET

Last night, in their first exhibition game of the 2011-12 preseason, the Boston Bruins were downed 2-1 in overtime to Calgary. Heading back to Boston for their first game since winning the Stanley Cup, the coaching staff will likely want a fresh set of legs when they face the Islanders on Friday night.

Purely speculation after some research, here is a reasonable guess for tomorrow’s lineup in Boston.

After releasing six players from camp early yesterday afternoon, the Bruins have cut their roster to 27 forwards, 17 defensemen and four goaltenders.

Jamie Arniel, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Chris Clark, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Josh Hennessy, Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Lane MacDermid, Kirk MacDonald, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley, Benoit Pouliot, Max Sauve, Tyler Seguin, Ryan Spooner, Jamie Tardif, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield

Matt Bartkowski, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Zdeno Chara, Colby Cohen, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton, Steven Kampfer, Nathan McIver, Zach McKelvie, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Dennis Seidenberg, David Warsofsky

Michael Hutchinson, Anton Khudobin, Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas

Last night’s roster in Ottawa was as follows:




If Boston decides to sit the players who played in Ottawa to go with fresh legs, and through a process of elimination, this is who could be suiting up for Boston in tomorrow’s exhibition:


POSTED ON Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 2:01 PM ET

After the second on-ice session at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday morning, Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano would not confirm the roster headed for Boston. However, he admitted a majority of the players out on the ice for the second session would be in the lineup.

Second session:


Donovan-de Haan


Following the skate, Capuano addressed the injuries the team has faced thus far in camp. Mitchell Theorett and Rhett Rakhshani both sustained concussions during the Rookie Games against the Boston Bruins at the start of last week.

“When you have head injuries like that, it’s tough," Capuano said. "You have to go through testing and work through a lot of stuff. There is protocol that you have to go through. I’m sure if you ask those guys, they’ve missed quite a bit of camp, once they’re healthy they’re going to get right back out there.”

Center Marty Reasoner skated in his first practice since last Friday, while veteran winger Brian Rolston missed today's session. Capuano said Rolston should be good after a few days of rest, but admitted he's disappointed these new additions have missed time in the first full week of camp.

“You know what they can do, but at the same time, they’re missing conditioning that we’re going through," Capuano said. "On the opposite side of that, they are pros, they have been in the league a long time. They know how to take care of themselves. They are still doing some off-ice workouts, so I’m not overly worried. Obviously as a coach, you want to have your guys out there, but I understand it’s early and we have plenty of time. So hopefully we get those guys back out there in a high-tempo practice as quick as we can.”

As for why Kirill Kabanov didn't skate in either session, Capuano said, "Just day-to-day right now.”
POSTED ON Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 10:36 AM ET

The first group got on the ice at Nassau Coliseum at 8:45 this morning. The groups have changed from previous sessions in preparation for the preseason games this weekend against the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, just like Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano alluded to earlier this week.

After the second session Capuano is expected to address the media, where he will divulge which group is headed to Boston. Look for an update later in the day.

First Group:
Frans Nielsen
John Tavares
Matt Moulson
Kyle Okposo
Michael Grabner
Ryan Strome
Nino Niederreiter
Matt Martin
Marty Reasoner
Tim Wallace
Casey Cizikas
Sean Backman
Tony Romano
Brett Gallant
Mark Streit
Andrew MacDonald
Mark Eaton
Milan Jurcina
Aaron Ness
Travis Hamonic
Benn Olson
Anton Klementyev

Evgeni Nabokov
Al Montoya
Kevin Poulin

Compared to their recent skates, this one was one of their less strenuous days, which permitted Andrew MacDonald (hip surgery) and Marty Reasoner (tweaked knee) to ease back into practice.

“It was kind of one of the easier practices today, you saw out there with the flow and whatnot, a lot of passing and flow drills,” MacDonald said. “So it’s just a progression back into what they’ve been doing.”

Both players will take their recovery day-by-day and will work with the trainers and coaches to make sure they’re staying on target.

“I felt pretty good,” Reasoner said of his first on-ice session since last Friday. “I was getting pretty anxious to get back into it. I was kind of shaking off the cobwebs a little bit. It was nice to get back with the guys and get on the ice and feel like you’re actually doing something here.”

MacDonald said, “I haven’t been skating full-fledged in like eight days, so I felt good considering. I felt a little heavy considering I was off for so long, but I felt strong, I felt good. My timing was off a little bit, but that will come.”
Neither player was sure when they’d see some preseason game action, but both hope to get into at least one before the regular seasons starts.
POSTED ON Wednesday, 09.21.2011 / 12:41 PM ET

As the first on-ice session of the day ended and a swarm of media entered through the Islanders locker room doors, it was clear that media day had begun.

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is surrounded by members of the media inside the locker room during the team's media day on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011.
Present were credentialed media from all forms of print and web publications, as well as radio and TV stations. Writers from Newsday, the NY Post, and our Blog Box members are here to bring Isles fans their normal dose of hockey coverage, but there were also reporters looking for more community-based features and non-hockey content.

The Long Island-based community paper, Patch, was performing restaurant reviews about some of the Islanders players’ favorite places to dine as well as the Bailey’s Buddy program. A few members of the media who write for a video game website talked to players about their gaming habits and their favorite games to play.

Newsday and WRHU business reporters showed up for interviews with the SVP of Sales on the summer’s season ticket success as well as the recent hiring boom.

So no matter what kind of Isles content you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something that suits you in the next few days. As always, brings you the latest team news.
POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 3:25 PM ET

With just two days until the Islanders play their first preseason game, the team concentrated their practice on drills and systems. Jack Capuano and the rest of the Isles coaching staff definitely worked the players hard, but everyone seemed to be good spirits.

Capuano was pleased with the practice. He said, “We covered a little more systematically of what we wanted to do, but the work ethic, the pace, the tempo was all good again.”

A story about the team’s systems will be coming later in the day.

John Tavares takes a shot on Anders Nilsson during Islanders training Camp at Nassau Coliseum.

Here's a full team shot as the players take instruction from Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano.
POSTED ON Monday, 09.19.2011 / 1:15 PM ET

Islanders forward Michael Grabner has had a pretty busy off season. With just six games left in the 2010-11 season, the Austrian winger became a father. As could be expected, his summer was full of firsts: changing diapers, giving baths and soothing the baby back to sleep.

“He’s (Aidan) pretty big now,” Grabner said. “He’s starting to roll over, so he’s kind of getting more of a personality.”
As soon as his small family could travel, Grabner flew them out to his native Austria where they set up a new apartment they’d call home for the next three months.
“I got home and for three weeks straight, I got my apartment finished, bought new furniture and then I had (charity) appearances back home for kids,” Grabner said. “It was a busy summer. I just had the baby, so I didn’t really think about last season too much.”
Even though he didn’t reflect on his team-leading 34-goal season, it wasn’t because he spent hours playing Call of Duty. Having a baby cut into his video game schedule, but did not affect his training.
“I try to come in (to camp) a little heavier, not overweight, but a little stronger and more muscle, because I know I’m going to lose it (over the course of the season),” Grabner said. “But I feel pretty good on the ice. I think my testing was really good, conditioning and stuff too.”
Although all the players were prepared, the strenuous on and off-ice workouts have been grueling for all the guys.
“The first day was just off-ice testing and you just do what you have to do, but the second day was pretty tough with the on-ice testing, the practice and a couple laps after,” Grabner said. “But it’s camp. You’re trying to get in game shape.”
With just under three weeks until opening night, Grabner’s more than happy to put in the hard work.
“There are some tough days ahead of us, but it’s what we need to get in game shape and be ready for October 8th,” Granber said. “Everyone is putting in a good effort out there, so it’s going to be good.”
Even with the busy summer, there’s no doubt that Grabner’s head is in a better place than it was this time last year. Last preseason, Grabner was acquired by the Islanders after the team which drafted him (Vancouver) traded him to Florida, which then waived him a few days prior to the start of the season.
One thing’s for sure, with his new five-year deal, he’s feeling more confident.
“I just want to have a good season,” Grabner said. “It’s the NHL, it’s tough, but I want to try to do whatever I can to help the team win and play my role the best I can. I love to score goals, so hopefully I can score a lot this year for our team.”
Surely, his teammates and Islanders fans hope he’s able to score a lot, too.
POSTED ON Monday, 09.19.2011 / 9:36 AM ET

With their first skate session on Saturday and an intense day of off-ice training on Sunday, the players are back at Iceworks for their third day of camp. Group A takes the ice at 9:45, with an off-ice session to begin at 11:45. Group B takes the ice at noon with their off-ice session set to begin at 2 p.m.

Group A

Donovan-de Haan

Group B



POSTED ON Sunday, 09.18.2011 / 4:56 PM ET

Goalie masks are a unique piece of art. No two are exactly alike, but that hasn't always been the case. Prior to 1968, masks were all the same. That is, until Boston Bruins goaltender Gerry Cheevers began adding "stiches" to his mask everytime he was hit in the face with a shot, to mark where he would have been cut.

Today, each mask is custom painted, giving a goaltender his identity.

"That's why a lot of young kids become goalies," said Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro. "I know that's why I became a goalie, is because I loved the equipment and I loved the masks. It just gives you an opportunity to let your personality show by doing something a little different than everyone else."

Rick DiPietro

"I usually go with a tribute to the veterans, the military and the fire department, but last year with my injury, I had to switch things up," DiPietro said. "I became pretty comfortable with the new one and a lot of people have commented that they like the look."

Going with this type of mask is somewhat of a tribute to Chris Osgood, an NHL veteran and former New York Islanders goaltender.

"Ozzy was great when he was here," DiPietro said. "He's not only a great goalie, but he's a fantastic guy. So everyone says that I look like Ozzy with the mask, and that's not a bad thing. I'll take a couple of those Stanley Cups."

DiPietro said he even has another mask in the works.

"If I decide to change, my new mask will be a tribute to the troops and the New York fire department, police department, POWs, MIAs. My dad is a Vietnam Vet, he flew helicopters, so there will be a helicopter on there."

He added, "It's just a way to keep the men and women who are fighting for us, not only in the past, but today, in our minds and in our hearts, just to let them know how much we appreciate what they do."

Evgeni Nabokov

"My mask doesn't really have a story. Twelve years ago, the guy (who was painting my mask) asked me what I wanted and I said I didn't know," Nabokov said. "I told him I wanted something cool, something different, and he came up with the style."

"Initially, the monster was ripping the fish head and blood was dripping with Sharks coming up from the bottom. I liked the idea, so I kind of stayed with that and changed it up a bit when I got here."

Though Nabokov said he doesn't really have a story about the goulish creature on his mask, the back plate holds a lot of significance.

"On the back plate, there are names of some really important people who have since passed away," Nabokov said. "When I first came to North America, they helped me a lot. My goalie coach, Warren Strelow and a woman named Anna Gorouven, who helped me with all off ice stuff. We became really good friends. Unfortunately they've both passed away. My kids (Andrei and Emily) names are on there as well."

Al Montoya

When it comes to the design, Montoya was very vocal about what he was looking for.

"I wanted to be original as well as incorporate the Island theme," Montoya said. "I know people didn't really like the fisherman, but I talked with the artist I had and we thought if he could make a cool fisherman, it would look really nice. So he put the Captain on one side, with a nautical compass, anchor and chain, which I thought was really cool. I also wanted a lighthouse."

On the back plate, Montoya incorporated a lot of personal history, including the initials of his parents, his brothers and his wife.

"On the back plate, I've always had a character smoking a cigar," Montoya said. "I also wanted to represent the University of Michigan (with the M on the cigar) and Team USA (the moon's bandana). I've had the 'Big Cubano', which has stuck with me since the day I was drafted."

Kevin Poulin

Poulin's new mask is still at the painter, but he's going with the same theme as last year.

"My helmet is a tribute to the Islanders," Poulin said. "I have Mike Bossy and Billy Smith pictured on one side with the logo on the other. On the back plate there is a picture of the Canadian flag, representing where I'm from."

Mikko Koskinen

"My painter in Sweden came up with the design," Koskinen said. "He had a few new ideas this year and I just let him go with it. I like it more than last year. I like the white cage."

Anders Nilsson

"It's always fun to do something different with your mask from year to year," Nilsson said. "With this mask, I decided to go pretty simple and keep it with the Islanders theme."

Nilsson added, "I wanted to have a lot of small New York Islanders logos, but after talking to my painter back home in Sweden, he thought it would look better simplified. I also wanted glitter, so it's a basic idea, but it turned out cool."
POSTED ON Sunday, 09.18.2011 / 10:24 AM ET

On the third day of Islanders training camp and the second day of workouts, the team will not be skating. Instead, they're testing their limits in the weight room. Check back later for new stories and updates from today.
POSTED ON Friday, 09.16.2011 / 3:21 PM ET

Training Camp opened bright and early this wonderfully chill fall morning. It's hard to believe just two days ago it was bright and 80 degrees, when today’s walk across the street from the Long Island Marriott to the Coliseum was about half of that.

No one likes the seven a.m. arrival time, but everyone was anxious to start training camp. They had a series of different fitness tests, mandatory physicals and then some exhilarating (or not so much) picture and video shoots for the upcoming season.

We all love those videos of the players from last season, where Josh Bailey wore chains and Matt Moulson talked about his dream of playing the NHL, being cut from teams time and again, and never giving up.

This year, the players were in full gear for their video shoots with the Islanders game-operations crew. I won’t completely spoil the videos, which will debut on opening night, but if they’re anything like last year’s they should be classics.

Here are a few pictures from the shoot:

The players’ least favorite part of the morning was their merchandising photo shoot. Each player had to model 10 different articles of clothing from hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets. Thankfully, a couple guys helped the camera guy (Mike Stobe from Getty Images) make the shots look good.

Matt Moulson was the most photogenic and had some pretty great poses for the camera:


Mark Streit and Josh Bailey made some Isles swag look good:

But the modeling wasn’t quite over. One last photo shoot took place before they were finished with the morning’s work. Every year, the players get their headshots taken for the media guide and the website.

Kyle Okposo looked extremely stoic:

Matt Martin decided to go for a new look, he's growing out his facial hair:

Micheal Haley looks tough:

In other news, Islanders Assistant Coach Scott Allen did well doing his best "American Chopper" impression.





J. Tavares 78 33 37 6 70
K. Okposo 79 22 42 -4 64
F. Nielsen 81 20 32 1 52
B. Nelson 81 26 14 -3 40
N. Leddy 81 5 35 -9 40
A. Lee 80 15 21 -2 36
J. Bailey 81 12 20 -7 32
C. Cizikas 80 8 21 4 29
R. Strome 71 8 20 -9 28
M. Grabovski 58 9 16 3 25
T. Greiss 23 11 4 .925 2.36
J. Halak 18 13 4 .919 2.30
Pro Shops
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