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TEAM NOT FAZED BY DISTRACTIONS

Monday, 02.26.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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TEAM NOT FAZED BY DISTRACTIONS
Islanders stay focused in midst of swirling trade rumors

You couldn't tell from the atmosphere in the locker room that it was the eve of a day that none of the players have control over the trade deadline. Like it's been since the All-Star break, the practice was upbeat and the players all smiles. Why not, considering the Islanders are currently on a three-game winning streak and have only lost two games in regulation since January 16th.

When asked about his take on the trade deadline distracting the team, Mike Sillinger, who has been part of a number of deals during this time of the season, responded:

"It's our job as professional athletes to worry about what we can control and that's our on-ice performance. Tomorrow is going to come and go. Management is going to do what's best for the team. They're aware that any moves could disturb the chemistry of the team, but if they can better the team, they will."

While the players try to put the trade deadline in the back of their minds, they can think about the success the team is having. After a 4-1 start on their seven-game home stand, the Islanders have accumulated 70 points in 62 games and moved into an eighth-place tie with Montreal, a team on which they have two games in hand. Not too far ahead is seventh-place Carolina with 71 points and Atlanta with 72. The Islanders also have two games in hand on both the Hurricanes and Thrashers.

"It's an important time of the year," said Sillinger." And it's the best we've been playing all year. The feeling is good in the locker room, since we're in the playoff mix. We have a long home stand and we're finding a way to win the one-goal games. Like I've been saying from the beginning of the season, everyone is contributing. Last game, the fourth line stepped up. Every night there is someone different. That's what good teams do, they find ways to win. Ricky has given us a chance to win every game. Everyone is playing their role and contributing in their own way."

Not only have the players been contributing, but so have the fans, whose support has been growing all season. The players are aware of the larger crowds and have been feeding off the energy.

"It's noticeably louder in the building recently," said Freddy Meyer. "It helps when you're in an intense situation and you hear the crowd cheering you on. It has been appreciative. Hopefully, during this stretch-run more and more come out to support us. It means a lot to us, as players, to have the fans come out."

The next opportunity for fans to show their support is tomorrow against the division-rival Philadelphia Flyers. Don't be fooled by the Flyers' position in the standings, they are still a dangerous team with the likes of Simon Gagne. Head Coach Ted Nolan is certainly not taking anyone lightly, including the Flyers.

"They're going to come out hard, especially considering they're a young team," said Nolan. "We have to make sure we match their work ethic. We'll be ready for them."

 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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