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 ET / 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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 5 2 3 2 5
J. Tavares 5 1 3 0 4
K. Okposo 5 2 1 1 3
N. Leddy 5 0 3 -2 3
R. Strome 5 2 0 0 2
B. Nelson 4 2 0 0 2
C. Clutterbuck 5 1 1 1 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
C. Cizikas 5 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 5 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 2 3 1 .913 2.61
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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