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Day 7: Tampa/Practice Updates

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
The Islanders made the quick trip from Sunrise to Tampa Bay after last night’s game, arriving in Tampa around 1 a.m. This morning the Islanders got back to business, holding a team practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

A panoramic view of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s practice:

Strome Loaned to Bridgeport: The Islanders loaned Ryan Strome to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this morning.

Capuano on Strome: The first thing he probably realizes, and we talked about it, is that he wanted to create more from an offensive standpoint. The defensemen are bigger and stronger [in the NHL], the forwards track a lot harder and you don't have that time and space, but the fact that he recognizes those things shows his attention to detail and the willingness to get better. That's what I really like about Ryan and he knows he has to get stronger to play better down low and away from the puck. It's not a demotion, it's a process and it's good for his development to continue to play as we move forward.

We put him in a top-nine role. We put him on the power play a little bit. It's not like we didn't give him some offensive opportunities. He got some minutes. Late in tight games, I cut his minutes a little bit and put Casey on that line because of the inexperience and the strength and [Strome] was great. He watched the video and asked a lot of questions. I think he has a bright future. He's an offensively-gifted player, and to hear him say he wanted to create more; he understands how he has to create more. That's being heavier on sticks, getting into those battle levels and defending a little harder because as a centerman, good defense is going to lead to offense. I think his opportunity, as we move forward, he'll have a bigger role on our hockey club.

Martinek Skates: Radek Martinek skated with the Islanders at today’s practice. Capuano said he will be ready to go if called upon. Martinek was placed on IR on Dec. 12 retroactive to Nov. 29 (back spasms).

Radek Martinek skates during practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Nabby Skates: Evgeni Nabokov was on the ice for the second day in a row to work with goalie coach Mike Dunham. Capuano said Nabokov’s status was still day-to-day.

Power Play: The Islanders used Wednesday's ice time as an opportunitiy to practice their power play.

The Islanders top power-play unit practices at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Kevin Poulin takes shots before Wednesday's practice. Poulin was the first Islander on the ice.

Michael Grabner skates to the corner after a drill on Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Islanders switch sides after a drill on Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
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