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Moulson feels future is bright for Islanders

Matt Moulson believes the Islanders will be a playoff team next season.

Thursday, 05.19.2011 / 10:37 AM / News
By Emily Kaplan
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Moulson feels future is bright for Islanders
Those outside the organization might scoff at his prediction, but Matt Moulson believes the Islanders will be a playoff team next season, part of why he signed an extension with the team.
Matt Moulson can't even count the number of times he's heard the question.

It seems that after Moulson, the Islanders' 27-year-old left wing, signed a three-year, $9.45 million extension with the team in the middle of last season, everyone wanted to know one thing: Why was a rising young star so adamant about staying on Long Island?

The answer is something Moulson can explain, but doesn't think people understand unless they're in the organization. They can listen, but they won't truly get it unless they're at practices, in meetings or around the team on a daily basis.

"More often than not, the people who asked me that question are people outside of the organization," Moulson said. "Sometimes the Islanders get a bad rep. The organization isn't as successful as they want it to be, or how it has been in the past. But that's fine with us. We know we have a lot of potential to do well, and I think we have a real bright future."

Moulson signed the extension because he truly enjoys being an Islander and likes the direction the team is going in.

New York has finished dead last in the Atlantic Division in each of the last four seasons, and has missed the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.
But Moulson wholeheartedly believes that in 2011-12, the Islanders will make the playoffs -- and he's sticking to that prediction, no matter what anyone else says.

"We're definitely a playoff team," Moulson said. "And I don't think we'll be satisfied with anything less than that."

Moulson, who has posted back-to-back 30-goal seasons since joining the Islanders as a free agent from Los Angeles in 2009, said he has seen an attitude shift within the team even in the two years he's been around.

"I think previously, it had just been everyone thinking, 'We want to make the playoffs,' " Moulson said. "Now, I think the attitude is, 'We're going to make the playoffs.' "

Last season, when the Islanders finished with just 30 wins, the team was crippled by injuries.

"I think we did a good job for the most part, even missing a lot of key guys," Moulson said. "We could have used that as an excuse. Some guys stepped in and did real well, and that shows something about the character we have."

On top of that, and what makes the future even more promising for the Islanders, is that New York will have a top-10 draft pick in this summer's Entry Draft for the fourth year in a row.

Two years ago, the Islanders had the No. 1 pick, choosing John Tavares -- now the center on the Islanders' top line, which also features Moulson. Last year, New York chose then-17-year-old Nino Niederreiter, who played nine games for the Islanders before playing the rest of this past season for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, tallying 41 goals and 29 assists for 70 points in 55 games.

With that, Moulson believes the Islanders have what it takes to be a top-eight team in the Eastern Conference come 2011-12.

"[General Manager Garth Snow], maybe he'll add a couple more pieces," Moulson said. "But with the guys we have now, that's our goal and we're not going to be satisfied until we get there."

Author: Emily Kaplan | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 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 65 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 65 14 28 23 42
B. Nelson 65 17 20 7 37
F. Nielsen 65 11 25 13 36
A. Lee 59 21 13 13 34
J. Bailey 53 13 19 11 32
J. Boychuk 55 7 23 14 30
N. Leddy 65 8 18 16 26
T. Hamonic 55 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 1 .911 2.47
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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