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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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 47 27 12 8 143 120 62
6 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
7 WSH 47 24 14 9 140 124 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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