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Islanders Amped to Start Preseason

Monday, 09.16.2013 / 12:29 PM / News
By Travis Betts
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Islanders Amped to Start Preseason
The Islanders begin the 2013-14 preseason with split-squad contests against the Calgary Flames

With the first pre-season game action of the 2013-14 season just one day away, the Islanders hit the ice Monday morning before their flight to Regina, Saskatchewan. With 51 players still in camp, the Islanders and Calgary Flames will meet for two split-squad games. One group will stay in Regina, while the other will continue on to Calgary, with both games scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

After four hard practices, defenseman Brian Strait is among those chomping at the bit to see game action for a change.

“I can't wait for this,” Strait said. “It's been a long offseason and you just wait for your next opportunity to get back out there and compete again. You don't do any kind of competition throughout the summer except playing golf against your buddies.”

Head Coach Jack Capuano plans on utilizing the eight preseason contests to take a hard look at his squad. With more players in camp than last season competing for limited roster spots, the Islanders coach wants to experiment with line combinations and pairings, a luxury he didn’t have a year ago.

“This is a good chance for a few different things,” Capuano said. “We can evaluate our young guys pushing for a spot, and see who needs more time in the American Hockey League. We’ll also see some of our older guys and what kind of summers they had and where they’re at. We have some new guys on our team, and that gives them an opportunity to get familiar with our system.”

Capuano also indicated that there could be personnel changes to the special teams units. He will try Frans Nielsen on the point for one power play unit, while giving many players ample opportunities on the penalty kill.

“Our special teams weren’t great down the stretch and in the playoffs last year against Pittsburgh,” Capuano said. “There’s some adjustments that we need to make with the unit of four that’s out there with our goaltender.”

The Islanders will start the preseason schedule with five games in six days. Last season, forward Josh Bailey missed training camp and the first 10 games of the regular season with an injury, and had the challenge of hitting the ice at full speed after a long layoff. This time around, he’s looking forward to the exhibition matchups to prepare for the season opener on Oct. 4 at New Jersey.

“These games definitely help,” Bailey said. “It’s certainly nice to get some preseason games and get your feet wet, and get a feel for things before the regular season begins.”

A video stream of Tuesday’s game at Calgary can be found on Newyorkislanders.com.

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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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