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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 ET / 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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
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