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Players react to Nabokov signing

Back to business as usual at practice today, and the players were happy about Nabby

Thursday, 03.22.2012 / 6:02 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Players react to Nabokov signing
After a day off on Wednesday, the Islanders returned to the grind and hit the ice at Iceworks for practice. Evgeni Nabokov was busy in his day off, however, signing a one-year extension with the Isles. His teammates were happy about the news.

“I was very excited when I saw that yesterday,” Frans Nielsen, who recently inked a four-year deal, said. “Everybody in here is pumped that he is back next year. He’s one of the best goalies in the league.”

Evgeni Nabokov signed a one-year contract extension on Wednesday.
Nabokov is 17-18-3 this season and 11-7-3 in his last 21 games. What can’t be conveyed in his stats are the games and points he’s stolen for the Islanders, especially with a depleted blueline in early February.

“He’s had a great year and bailed us out of a lot of games,” Mark Streit said after practice Thursday. “I’m really relieved that he’s staying.”

The Islanders are getting a goaltender with 300-plus wins and a player a leader and a quality teammate with a veteran presence.

“Some goalies are a little bit quieter or a little different,” Streit said. “He’s a great locker room guy. He’s been to the playoffs, so he knows how to get there, how to win and that’s priceless.”

Nabokov has 80 playoff games under his belt, with 40 wins and two conference finals appearances, 2004 and 2010. He represented Russia at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games and was named the best goalkeeper at the 2008 IIHF World Championships, where he led Russia to gold.

With Nielsen, John Tavares and other young players signing extensions in the last year, they see it as a vote of confidence in the team and the trajectory in which they believe they are heading.

“It’s great to see a guy like him want to stay here,” Nielsen said. “He really knows what it takes to be a top team and if he didn’t believe that we could be that, I don’t think he would be here.”

He really knows what it takes to be a top team and if he didn’t believe that we could be that, I don’t think he would be here.” - Frans Nielsen
The signing also reflects the change of culture on Long Island. After admittedly having trouble attracting players, Nabokov’s extension embodies a positive change and goes a long way to reversing that reputation.

“It means once you get here, you love to play here,” Tavares said. “And you want to be a part of turning things around back to where we want to be. I’m glad he was able to see that and want to be a part of it for another year.”

Looking out from his crease, Nabokov likes what he sees. Looking back at their goal, the Islanders like what they see, too.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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