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Practice Updates 2/21/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

The Islanders held their third straight day of practice, with heavy emphasis on conditioning and one-on-one battles. Jack Capuano asked for intensity and battle level and the Islanders responded, pushing each other in a spirited, physical practice.

The Islanders are off tomorrow and return to the ice Sunday. Michael Grabner and Thomas Vanek are expected to be with the team at that time.

Here are some pictures, quotes and video from today’s practice.

Head Coach Jack Capuano: Battle level is everything. You’ll hear coaches talk about compete level all the time. You can play any system in the world that you want – X’s and O’s are important – but at the end of the day it’s about those 50/50 pucks and your battle level and playing solid defense, but that’s where it starts.

The Islanders worked on one-on-one battles in tight on Friday morning.

Capuano: Any small area game, you’re working on your puck protection, strength in tight and that’s what it’s about in those hard areas, those greasy areas that we talk about all the time. That’s where are games are won and lost. We try to put a little bit of everything into these last few days.

The Islanders worked on one-on-one battles in tight on Friday morning.

Travis Hamonic: It’s probably been the most intense [practices]. We are trying to get ourselves back in shape. It was a long 12 days of rest back home. It’s nice to get back on the ice and obviously Cappy is pushing us pretty hard, but that’s what you have to do. We have a big stretch of games coming up and we know we have to raise our intensity on and off the ice and in and out of games and practices. It’s an old cliché that it starts in practice, but it’s hitting the nail right on the head for us right now.

Cal Clutterbuck gets open during a drill at Friday's practice.

Eric Boulton and Thomas Hickey during one-on-one drills on Friday morning.

Kevin Poulin handles the puck in tight during one-on-one drills on Friday morning.

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