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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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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