My Islanders Account

NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Preseason on the horizon

Islanders rookies report Saturday, the rest of the team begins Sept. 16

Wednesday, 09.7.2011 / 4:19 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
X
Share with your Friends


Preseason on the horizon
Once the grueling 82-game NHL season ends, many of the Islanders players take a month or so off to heal. By early June, the players had picked up their regimen with a strict schedule of off-ice workouts. By the time July rolled around, it was time to hop back on the ice and prepare for training camp in September.

“I haven’t changed too much (from years past),” said Islanders forward Frans Nielsen. “I keep working on strengthening my legs and core. I try to keep improving my skating and I work on my overall form to make sure I can stay consistent for the whole year.”

Over the course of the last few weeks, players have trickled back to Long Island where they’ve begun informal workouts at Iceworks, the team’s training facility in Syosset.

“I like being here and seeing the guys,” Nielsen said. “You don’t see too many of them during the summer, especially when you’re the only guy from Denmark. It’s a little far from here (laughs). I saw some of the guys earlier in the summer, but you’re mostly just by yourself without your teammates, so it’s always fun to be back, talking to them and hearing stories about their summers.”

Wednesday morning, more than 25 players dressed for an informal skate, run by defenseman Mike Mottau. He’s not the new team captain, as the Islanders captain hasn’t been decided yet, but each day someone new takes the reins.

“We just have someone put drills together to have a little structure to the practice,” Mottau said. “So I just tried to keep it up-tempo with some flow drills and some two-on-ones and then we scrimmaged. We had a pretty good skate yesterday, so we didn’t do any conditioning today. I thought with the practice and the skate, we got enough skating in.”

Tomorrow, they’ll pick up the pace again, with more conditioning drills designed to get the players ready for their big conditioning test during camp. And before we know it, the season will be under way. The team’s training camp begins in just nine days and rookies report early Saturday morning.

“I guess, especially when you miss the playoffs, it’s a lon
I guess, especially when you miss the playoffs, it’s a long, long summer and you just can’t wait to get going again. It’s been too long. You miss the game. The closer it gets, the more exciting it gets. You just want to get going. - Frans Nielsen
g, long summer and you just can’t wait to get going again,” Nielsen said. “It’s been too long. You miss the game. The closer it gets, the more exciting it gets. You just want to get going.”

Mottau is excited for more than the season. He spent a majority of last season at home on the couch or sitting in the press box, away from the team.

“Last year was a really difficult year injury-wise,” Mottau said. “I have my health. I’m extremely excited to get here and get settled.”

He added, “Seeing a lot of guys for the first time since last season is great, but now I’m a part of it. Before, it was just guest appearances here and there. It’s difficult when you’re not in the lineup and you see the guys going through the ups and downs of the season.”

The Islanders prospects will get a little jump on their veteran counterparts as they compete in two rookie games at Nassau Coliseum against the Boston Bruins early next week. The reigning Stanley Cup Champions’ prospects will bring a lot to the table in their preseason matchup with the Islanders rookies, but Rhett Rakhshani, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers leading scorer last season, isn’t worried.

“I think we have a really good team,” Rakhshani said. “We have a lot of the same guys that were here last year and a couple new faces that are really going to add a lot, so we have a good group. I know pretty much everyone. There’s a lot of really good talent out there, so I’m excited to play with them.”

Some of those faces who have already arrived on Long Island include Nino Niederreiter, Aaron Ness, Matt Donovan and David Ullstrom.

Last year’s rookie game was a physical one as players were trying to establish a name for themselves. Niederreiter, the Isles fifth overall selection in 2010, got into the first fight of his life, sticking up for Ullstrom, who was making his North American debut.

By game’s end, the Islanders rookies fell 5-2 in Boston’s TD Garden. This year, they’ll have a chance to respond in a back-to-back set at the Coliseum.

“Their level of play was definitely higher than expected, but it was what it was,” Niederreiter said. “Unfortunately we lost there, so it’s not a good memory. I had my first little wrestling match, I believe against (Tyler) Randell, but it was definitely fun.”

Getting even might be one driving force, but the Isles rookies will really be trying to showcase their skills.

“It’s the future of the Bruins and the Islanders, so it’s always a great game and it’s always nice to play a game against a team that is battling for the same thing you are,” Niederreiter said.

Rakhshani added, “It’s a lot of guys’ first training camp experience, some guys not. Everyone is trying to make a good impression, so it’ll be a good tempo for sure.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 161 110 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 146 132 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NJD 53 26 20 7 117 118 59
7 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
8 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 117 128 55
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 17 19 -4 36
K. Okposo 47 12 24 -9 36
B. Nelson 49 20 11 1 31
F. Nielsen 49 15 16 -2 31
M. Grabovski 49 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 48 8 15 5 23
A. Lee 49 7 14 1 21
N. Leddy 49 3 16 -12 19
R. Strome 38 5 13 -6 18
N. Kulemin 49 5 9 6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 10 4 .921 2.18
T. Greiss 13 6 2 .927 2.32
Transportation
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks
NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use