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At the Skate: Monday, January 31

The Islanders practiced at Iceworks in Syosset before heading to Atlanta for a set of back-to-backs

Monday, 01.31.2011 / 4:36 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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At the Skate: Monday, January 31
After having four days off to rest, Tuesday's 2 p.m. practice at Iceworks was pretty skating intensive. While doing some one-on-one drills, Andrew MacDonald and Michael Grabner went head-to-head. Grabner, of course, used his speed to his advantage, but MacDonald did a great job on the backcheck and even cracked a smile as he limited Grabner's scoring opportunity.

Post-practice, I caught up with Grabner and talked about All Star Weekend:



Eight Defensemen

Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina has missed the last six games with an upper body injury, so it was nice to see him out on the ice skating with the team. He's going to make the road trip to Atlanta and Pittsburgh, but he's still day-to-day and isn't guaranteed to play on Tuesday night.

"It's good to be back finally, especially after the break," Jurcina said.

The hockey veteran also said that having a break like this one is good for the team.

"It's good to be able to recharge the battery and not have to think about hockey for a few days. So that's a good thing and now we are just back in the room, we're sharp on the ice and we're ready for the next 33 games."

Following the Islanders last game before the break, management sent Kevin Poulin and Dylan Reese down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but both players were recalled again on Monday morning and participated in the practice before boarding the plane to Atlanta.

Another new addition, defenseman Ty Wishart, was recalled from the Sound Tigers. In 43 AHL games, the 22-year-old has recorded 4 goals and 19 assists (five with the Sound Tigers) for 23 points. The defenseman, who stands at 6'4" and 224 pounds, will make his first road trip with the Islanders this season, but with eight healthy blueliners, he's not guaranteed to see any ice time. If it comes, Wishart will surely welcome the opportunity:

“It’s always exciting to get an opportunity,” Wishart said. “After the trade, I’ve been really looking forward to getting a shot up here. Hopefully I’ll do well. I know a few guys coming in here, so it makes the transition pretty easy.”

Moulson’s Deal
With the news of his three-year contract extension, a big weight has been lifted off of Matt Moulson's shoulders. He no longer has to listen to trade rumors or hope that he can work out a deal to stay on Long Island. As a result, he skated with confidence and bared the smile that fans have come to love. His linemates are happy for him:

“I’m pretty happy for him,” PA Parenteau said. “It’s a big deal. I’m glad I was part of his success this year. I love playing with this guy; he’s so good around the net. I love playing with Johnny (Tavares) too. He’s kind of the same type of player. I just try to make the plays to get them some goals.”

John Tavares added, “It’s nice to see him get rewarded for all his years of hard work. He deserves it. It’s great to see him want to stay and be a part of this going forward. He loves it here. I think for him, he’ll tell you that he’s happy it’s over with. He’ll be happy that the questions are done as well. He wants to just play hockey and help this team. That’s what is most important to him.”

Lines from the day's practice:

Forwards
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 15 PA Parenteau
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
57 Blake Comeau - 12 Josh Bailey - 37 Jeremy Colliton
17 Matt Martin - 28 Zenon Konopka / 44 Rob Schremp - 14 Trevor Gillies

Defensemen
47 Andrew MacDonald - 36 Travis Hamonic
27 Milan Jurcina - 24 Radek Martinek
38 Jack Hillen - 42 Dylan Reese
6 Ty Wishart - 8 Bruno Gervais

Goaltenders
39 Rick DiPietro
52 Kevin Poulin

Out
Nathan Lawson (Knee)

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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