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Isles Retake Ice, React to Tavares Injury

The Islanders were back on the ice for their first practice after the Olympic break.

Wednesday, 02.19.2014 / 4:55 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Isles Retake Ice, React to Tavares Injury
The Islanders were back on the ice for their first practice after the Olympic break.
Kyle Okposo and the Islanders practice at Islanders Iceworks.
The Islanders Olympic break effectively ended Wednesday afternoon, as players retook the ice at Islanders Iceworks for the first of seven skates before league-action resumes on Feb. 27.

Head coach Jack Capuano had his team – minus Olympians Michael Grabner, Thomas Vanek and John Tavares – on the ice for a hard skate, in what was largely a conditioning practice. With three Islanders in Sochi, two othersheld off the ice and one loaned to Bridgeport for the break, Wednesday’s line combinations were unusual – Matt Carkner and Radek Martinek dressed as forwards – but ultimately a secondary concern to coach Capuano.

“There weren’t a lot of bodies, but I’ll give the guys credit, for the drills that we did, I thought the pace was excellent,” Capuano said. “The bottom line is you can’t perform your best if you’re not in the best condition… As we move on, we’ll work on some structure, but we’ll maintain our conditioning as well.”

The Islanders utilized the nine-day break to rest, recover and recharge for the final 22 games of the regular season. While not skating together as a unit, many continued their off-ice workouts and found time to skate with family and friends back home.

“It feels good to get back out there and get your timing,” Travis Hamonic said. “We've got our work cut out for us in the second half of the season and the last 22 games. To be quite frank, it starts today and we have to make sure we're ready when the puck drops.”
The Islanders return to game action Thursday, Feb. 27 at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Reaction to Tavares Injury:

The Islanders sit and watch the Olympics before practice on Wednesday.
After practice the Islanders were briefed on the reported injury to captain John Tavares during Team Canada’s quarterfinal win over Latvia.
Tavares was injured in the second period, did not return to the game and was ruled out of Canada’s final two Olympic contests.
Tavares’ linemate Kyle Okposo and Team Canada camp invitee Travis Hamonic shared their thoughts on the captain’s injury.
Okposo: It's hard for him. You know how hard he worked for that honor. I think he's had a pretty good tournament to this point. Probably not getting the production that he wants, but I think he's making things happen. Anytime you see a teammate get hurt you definitely feel for him.
I'm sure he'll get reevaluated once he gets back here. We'll take it from there.
Hamonic: I just heard the news. As a friend that's tough to hear. As a teammate that's tough to hear. Quite frankly as a fellow Canadian it's really hard to hear. He's an important player for that team. You want your best players playing in each scenario. It's unfortunate that John got hurt and things worked out that way. There's a lot of depth on that team and they're going to push forward. On a personal standpoint and a friend point of view, it's tough to see a guy go through that.

Nielsen, Martin Skate:

Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin skated after Islanders practice. Both players sat out the conditioning session with minor injuries.

Practice Photos:

Colin McDonald and Kyle Okposo battle during the Islanders practice.

Travis Hamonic and Eric Boulton battle during the Islanders practice.

Casey Cizikas and Lubomir Visnovsky look on during the Islanders practice.

Matt Carkner hustles in a skating drill during the Islanders practice.

Thomas Hickey passes the puck to Travis Hamonic during the Islanders practice.

Andrew MacDonald and Brock Nelson battle during the Islanders practice.




1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31


J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and 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 © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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