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Islanders practice fun

Nothing gets the legs going like a skills competition practice.

Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 12:53 PM ET / News
By Katrina Doell
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Islanders practice fun
When the Islanders players arrived at the Coliseum for practice this morning they were informed things would be a little different.

“I wanted to keep it light today,” Capuano said. “We had some fun, we drafted some teams in the morning. We did three skill competitions.”

John Tavares and Bruno Gervais were selected as the Captains of the teams and each developed their selection process based upon the competition’s events – rapid fire, speed, a relay and the shoot out.

“It was a big strategy,” Gervais said. “We knew we had to do a lot of skating and some shootouts. Grabner and Katic were my key elements for the skating part. Schremp and Okposo for the shooting.”

Like Gervais, Tavares evaluated the players based on their strengths.

“I tried to pick guys depending on what they bring to the table. PA’s great with the puck, so he was great in the puck relay. Fransie’s great in the shootout and then you have to pick some guys that have some grit, some leadership. Just happy to prevail at the end.”  

Team Tavares beat Team Gervais in the tie breaker in the shootout.

“I thought I put a really good team together, the guys worked really hard but it didn’t go our way.”

Capuano’s intention was for the guys to have fun with it, and they definitely did. Kyle Okposo, known to be a big Harry Potter fan came out of the locker room wearing a handmade nameplate that said “Potter” on the back of his jersey, while Blake Comeau wore a helmet with no outer hard plastic and the name “Weasely” on the back. Matt Martin gave himself a taped on “A” while Zenon Konopka wore a “C” on the right side of his practice jersey. Perhaps the funniest example of embracing the skate was Michael Grabner’s red Flash Gordon underwear.

 “I try to think back as a player,” Capuano said explaining why he thought today’s practice was a good idea. “(Last night) We gave a pretty good effort against a pretty good team. We have a good group of guys here, and I figured they would enjoy something like that. It’s something we haven’t done since I’ve been here. We did the four skills and it went right down to the tie breaker in the shoot out. It was good.”




Rookie defenseman Ty Wishart was the last overall pick, going to Team Orange, but it was no sweat off his back.

“I got a car,” he joked in reference to the NHL All Start draft where Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel was selected last and won a car for the honor. “Mine was a Mazda.”

The Islanders will head to Washington tomorrow, and take on the Capitals again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. 

Notes:
Regarding Monday’s trade deadline, Capuano told Newsday: “From a coaching perspective it’s another day honestly. The players know it’s a business, it’s part of being in the best level in the world, the National Hockey League, and changes take place. They know that. We just try to keep them focused. It really hasn’t even come up in our room, guys aren’t talking about it. So for us it’s just staying focused and getting ready for Washington again.”

Capuano also said that Matt Moulson, Al Montoya, and Andrew MacDonald had the day off for "maintenance." 

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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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