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Czuczman Arrives on Long Island

The newest Islander arrived for his first practice on Thursday morning.

Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 2:28 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Czuczman Arrives on Long Island
The newest Islander arrived for his first practice on Thursday morning.

Recently signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman (pronounced Church-man) arrived at Islanders Iceworks for practice Thursday morning for his first NHL practice.

Czuczman skated as the ninth defenseman in a crowded practice on the blueline. The newest Islander noted the different style of play after his first practice under head coach Jack Capuano.

“The coaches are trying to ease me into the transition from college," said Czuczman. "It’s a totally different style of hockey. It’s much more efficient. It’s not run and gun like it was in college. They are helping me with that and trying to take the next step in my career.”


Kevin Czuczman skates during a drill at his first Islanders practice.

There are other obvious differences between the professional game and the college ranks, including the length of the season – Czuczman played 36 games at LSS this year – and the facial protection, as the NCAA mandates a full-face cage.

“It’s a lot easier not wearing the cage,” Czuczman said. “It’s not much of a transition. But it’s a lot clearer out there. Going the other way is a lot harder.”


Kevin Czuczman gets ready for a drill at his first Islanders practice.

The highly-courted NCAA standout at Lake Superior State cited his relationships with Islanders scouts and offseason training partner John Tavares as one of the main reasons he signed on Long Island.

Czuczman is expected to graduate from Lake Superior State this spring with a Finance and Economics degree.


Colin McDonald and Brock Nelson pass the puck during a drill at Islanders practice. 

11 Forwards: The Islanders skated with 11 forwards for the second consecutive practice. Capuano said he still hadn't determined a call-up for Friday’s game.

McDonald: Colin McDonald is currently riding a four-game point streak (two goals, two assists). McDonald deflected the praise to the strong play of his linemates – Ryan Strome and Anders Lee – but said the points have increased his confidence on the ice.

Penalty Kill: The Islanders worked exclusively on their penalty kill for about 20 minutes before practice on Thursday.


Evgeni Nabokov talks to Brian Strait, Anders Lee and Thomas Hickey during a break at practice.


Kyle Okposo skates during a drill at the Islanders practice.


Anders Nilsson makes a save during a drill at Islanders practice.


Brock Nelson looks for a deflection during a drill at Islanders practice. 

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
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10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
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12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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