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Islanders practice fun

Nothing gets the legs going like a skills competition practice.

Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 12:53 PM / 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." 

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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