FEBRUARY 29: 5:15 P.M. - ISLANDERS ACQUIRE PRINCE, CLICHE
The New York Islanders acquired Shane Prince and a 2016 7th-round pick from the Ottawa Senators on Monday afternoon, in exchange for a 2016 third-round pick.
Prince, 23, has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 42 games this season with the Senators.
The Islanders also acquired Marc-André Cliche from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Taylor Beck.
Cliche, 28, has played in 38 games this season with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, recording six goals and 13 assists. Cliché will report to Bridgeport.
FEBRUARY 28: 1:33 P.M. - PULOCK TO MAKE NHL DEBUT, BOULTON IN, HALAK STARTS
Ryan Pulock will make his NL Hdebut on Sunday night in Edmonton.
Pulock, the Islanders’ 2013 first-round pick, will skate in his first-career NHL regular season game. The young defenseman draws in for Marek Zidlicky, but head coach Jack Capuano did not specify Pulock’s defense partner. Pulock did take drills with Thomas Hickey at Saturday’s practice.
"I'm excited obviously," Pulock said. "It's a dream as a kid to one day play in the NHL. Today's the day and it's exciting."
Armed with a 105 mph slap shot, Pulock has seven goals and 17 assists this year for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He scored 17 goals for Bridgeport last year.
Eric Boulton also draws into the Islanders’ lineup on Sunday after being activated from the team’s injured reserve. Boulton was placed on IR on Jan. 8 (retroactive to Jan. 2). Mikhail Grabovski (upper body) was placed on IR (retroactive to Feb. 19) to make room for Boulton.
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders. Halak has won three straight games, stopping 90-of-92 shots over that span. The Islanders’ goaltender is 16-12-4 with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
FEBRUARY 25: 2:03 P.M. - HALAK IN GOAL VS. FLAMES
After an inspired 4-1 win on Tuesday night in Minnesota, Jack Capuano is adopting an if ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality.
Capuano is going back to the same lineup, meaning Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for a third straight game and the Islanders new-look lines will stay together. That means Josh Bailey will skate with John Tavares and Ryan Strome, Cal Clutterbuck will skate with Brock Nelson and Anders Lee and Steve Bernier will skate with Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas.
Halak has won two straight starts, stopping 54-of-55 shots in consecutive wins. He's won three straight games against the Flames, including a 29-save shutout in October.
The Calgary Flames announced that Jori Ortio will get the start tonight. Ortio was in net against the Islanders earlier this season at Barclays Center.
THOMAS HICKEY ON PLAYING AT HOME:
"I know that everyone back home has followed my career through the good and bad times and I know everyone is proud. That's the biggest thing, you come back, playing for a good team and play an important part of it. I think everyone is proud of that and it's nice to show them. A lot of people that helped you along the way get to sit in the stands tonight and be happy."
FEBRUARY 23: 1:11 P.M. - BERNIER IN, GRABOVSKI OUT, HALAK STARTS
Two Islanders – Calvin de Haan and Mikhail Grabovski – did not make the trip to Minnesota, causing Jack Capuano to make some adjustments in tonight’s lineup.
Steve Bernier draws in for Grabovski, who is nursing an injury back on Long Island. Capuano wasn’t specific about the injury, but said it was a very recent development.
“It’s something that’s come on over the last 48 hours,” Capuano said. “He just stayed back to get re-evaluated here. We’ll see over the next few days if he’ll join us on the trip or not. We’re at the number right now, so [General Manager Garth Snow] will make that decision if we’re going to fly another forward out for this trip or not.”
De Haan had missed the Islanders’ past two games, so there were no changes on the back end. Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk will play together, as will Travis Hamonic and Thomas Hickey with Brian Strait and Marek Zidlicky rounding out the third pairing.
That means that Ryan Pulock will not make his NHL debut in Minnesota. Capuano cited the fact that Pulock played back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday as his reason for postponing the 21-year-old’s debut.
“He just got here,” Capuano said. “At some point on this trip you’ll see Ryan Pulock get in there.”
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders. Halak is coming off a 24-save shutout over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
FEBRUARY 22: 12:48 P.M. - PULOCK RECALLED
With Calvin de Haan (lower body) going on injured reserve onSunday, the New York Islanders called up defenseman Ryan Pulock from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Monday.
Pulock, the Islanders’ 2013 first-round pick, has 24 points (7G, 17A) in 51 games for the Sound Tigers this season and will join the team on their upcoming road trip to Western Canada. If he draws into the lineup, Pulock would be making his NHL debut.
“I’m excited to be here,” Pulock said. “Every time you get a chance up here, that’s really what I’ve been waiting for. I’m here to work hard in practice and just wait to get my opportunity.”
Known for a big slap shot – the Islanders prospect hit 105 mph during the team’s minicamp over the summer – Pulock scored 17 goals for the Sound Tigers last year, top among rookie defensemen and only two off the AHL pace for blueliners.
“He possesses a big shot which we know and he can get up into the play,” Jack Capuano said. “To me it’s about how you defend.”
Capuano and the Islanders wanted Pulock to develop his play away from the puck this season adding another dimension to his game. Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield were the first defensemen to earn call-ups this season, but that extra time in Bridgeport has been beneficial to Pulock.
“To be effective I have to be a two-way player,” Pulock said. “That’s an area of my game that I’ve really improved these last couple of months in Bridgeport. I’ve been getting more time on the PK and in those big situations late in games. It’s really helped me grow as a player and even my confidence as well.”
Capuano is happy that Pulock accepted his challenge to improve.
“He’s had a good attitude,” Capuano said. “He’s improved his game in a lot of areas that we talked about coming out of training camp. Everybody has to play without the puck. He has to play physical, he has to play down low hard. When you get to this level the difference for a defenseman is the ability to play in your own end.”
As for de Haan, he will stay home to start the road trip, but Capuano said he could join the team at a later date.
“We’ll leave him home to start to get some rehab and then as we move forward hopefully he’ll be able to join us at some point during this trip.”
FEBRUARY 21: 2:04 P.M. - DE HAAN TO IR
Calvin de Haan (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, retroactive to Feb. 15. De Haan skated after the Islanders’ morning skate on Thursday and hit the ice with the team on Sunday. NHL rules stipulate that a player must serve seven days on IR, so de Haan is eligible to return as early as Tuesday, but his IR placement suggests he’s not ready to return to action yet.
De Haan has nine points (1G, 8A) in 55 games this season. Brian Strait assumed de Haan’s spot on the back end in each of the Islanders last two games.
FEBRUARY 19: 11:58 A.M. - HALAK STARTS VS. DEVILS
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders on Friday. Halak retakes the crease after sitting the previous two games against Detroit and Washington. The Islanders goalie last played on Saturday in a 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Halak is 13-12-4 this season with a 2.42 GAA and a .914 SV%.
The Islanders will go back to the same skaters and defensive pairs from Thursday.
FEBRUARY 18: 10:58 A.M. - GREISS STARTS, DE HAAN OUT VS. CAPS
Thomas Greiss will start for the Islanders Thursday against the Washington Capitals.
Greiss has won five straight starts and seven of his last eight games. The 30-year-old goaltender is 16-6-2 and has only allowed six goals in his last four starts, picking up wins over Detroit and Los Angeles in the process.
“Thomas has been playing well and there’s no reason not to put him back in there against Washington,” Jack Capuano said.
The Islanders visit the New Jersey Devils on Friday and given Capuano’s tendency to alternate goalies in back-to-back situations, Jaroslav Halak is likely to draw back in then.
Calvin de Haan will not play Thursday against Washington, as he’s considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
“He’s one of those guys whose come in and played extremely well for us,” Capuano said. “He’s played some hard minutes against other team’s top players. He’s a great penalty killer for us and in every situation really. He has great hockey IQ and it makes him one of our best players on the back end.”
Brian Strait will take de Haan’s place in the lineup Thursday, skating on a pairing with Travis Hamonic. Capuano said Johnny Boychuk will likely pair-up with Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey will be with Marek Zidlicky.
While there’s no official timetable for de Haan’s return, the Islanders defenseman did take the ice at the end of Islanders morning skate in Syosset – an encouraging sign. Should de Haan not be healthy before Monday, Capuano said the Islanders will call up a defenseman from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the team’s Western Canadian road trip.
FEBRUARY 11: 10:55 A.M. - GREISS STARTS VS. KINGS
Thomas Greiss gets the start for the New York Islanders on Thursday night against LA.
Greiss showed no signs of a long layoff in his most recent outing, making 30 saves in an 8-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Don’t be fooled by the score, Greiss made some quality saves against a high-flying forward corps in that game. The Islanders’ goaltender has won three straight games and five of his last six. Greiss is 14-6-2 with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
The Islanders are going with the same lineup from their last two games – both wins.
FEBRUARY 6: 11:55 A.M. - BOYCHUK BACK IN, MAYFIELD LOANED
Johnny Boychuk is back in for the New York Islanders.
After missing 11 games with an upper-body injury, Boychuk was activated off injured reserve Saturday ahead of the Islanders matinee with the Detroit Red Wings. Boychuk will play with Nick Leddy, while Brian Strait comes out of the lineup.
Scott Mayfield was returned on loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to clear room on the roster for Boychuk.
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders, while the forward lines remain the same from Thursday.
FEBRUARY 5: 1:22 P.M. - BOYCHUK CLOSE TO RETURN, COULD PLAY VS. RED WINGS
Johnny Boychuk may return to the Islanders’ lineup on Saturday afternoon in Detroit.
That’s the word out of Detroit Friday, as Head Coach Jack Capuano said he was pretty sure Boychuk would be back in for the orange and blue against the Red Wings.
“He went through a really good day today and I’m pretty sure he’ll be ready to play tomorrow,” Capuano said.
Boychuk, who suffered an upper-body injury on New Year’s Eve in Buffalo, had been practicing with the Islanders since before the All-Star Break. Capuano said given the physical nature of Boychuk’s game, he wanted to make sure his defenseman was 100% before inserting him back into the lineup.
“We just wanted to make sure,” Capuano said. “I didn’t want to rush anybody back and our D had been playing well.”
The Islanders were 5-5-1 without Boychuk in the lineup. Boychuk, who has one of the heaviest shots on the team, has three goals and 11 assists in 38 games this season.
The Islanders and Red Wings play a matinee Saturday at 2 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit won the previous meeting 4-2 on Jan. 25.
FEBRUARY 5: 12:04 P.M. - SOROKIN NAMED KHL GOALIE OF THE MONTH
Ilya Sorokin was named the KHL’s top goaltender for January, winning seven of eight starts with three shutouts, a 0.98 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage.
Sorokin, the Islanders’ 2014 third-round pick (78th overall) is 17-6-4 with a 0.99 GAA and a .956 SV% this season for CKSA Moscow.
Read More from the KHL and check back for the Islanders Prospect Report on Monday.
FEBRUARY 2: 12:24 P.M. - BERUBE STARTS IN GOAL
In a bit of a surprise move Tuesday, Jack Capuano announced that Jean-Francois Berube will start for the Islanders against the Minnesota Wild.
This is Berube’s second start with the Islanders, his first start coming on October 10. That’s not to say Berube hasn’t played. The Islanders’ goaltender was on a conditioning stint in Bridgeport for the past two weeks, going 4-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average, a .967 save percentage and one shutout.
The method here, play the guy who’s in a rhythm while the rest of the league shakes off the rust.
“He’s been playing,” Capuano said. “The fact that he’s been playing, playing well and won his last four starts with a .967 save percentage, he deserves to get in there.”
Capuano added that with the Islanders crammed schedule – 35 games in 68 days – he wants to keep his goaltenders fresh, which could lead to more games for Berube down the stretch.
“We have so much hockey coming up that guys are going to have to be ready to play,” Capuano said. “Guys that didn’t maybe play as much in the first half are going to see some action, goaltenders as well. We have a 23-man roster and we’re going to use it.”
Scott Mayfield also draws back into the lineup on Tuesday, replacing Brian Strait on the back end. Mayfield was returned on loan to Bridgeport during the all-star weekend to get some reps, playing three consecutive games for the Sound Tigers. Mayfield said the experience helped him stay sharp.
Johnny Boychuk skated with the Islanders again on Tuesday and Capuano said there’s a good chance he could return later this week or this weekend.
“He started really getting involved in the physical activity, he’s getting close,” the coach said. “He’s a physical player and we want to make sure he’s 100 percent to where he needs to be because we don’t want the injury to happen again. He’s real close… midweek, later this week I think you’ll see him hopefully.”
The forward lines will stay the same from the Islanders last game before the break.
FEBRUARY 1: 10:15 A.M. - BERUBE, MAYFIELD RECALLED
Jean-Francois Berube and Scott Mayfield were both recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Monday morning. Berube had completed a conditioning stint with the Sound Tigers, while Mayfield was returned to Bridgeport for the duration of the Islanders’ all-star break.
Berube won four straight starts for the Sound Tigers on his conditioning assignment, posting a 0.97 goals against average and a .967 save percentage. Mayfield had an assist and 10 penalty minutes during his three games with the Sound Tigers.