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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Pregame Pigskin

by Jesse D. Eisenberg / New York Islanders

Heading into Friday night’s game vs. Buffalo, the Islanders had conceded the opening goal in eight straight contests. Even worse, seven of those games saw the Isles fall behind in the first five minutes of action.

Eager to break the trend, forward Zenon Konopka looked to shake up the team’s pre-game routine...

Throughout the season, Islanders players have been known to kick around soccer balls or throw baseballs before games, but on Thursday night, Konopka took it upon himself to introduce a football to the mix.

With Konopka, PA Parenteau and Rob Schremp taking turns at QB, the rest of the team faced off in wide reciever vs. cornerback, one-on-one battles.

Despite the somewhat tight quarters of the bowels of the HSBC Arena, many player-specific on-ice skills were brought to light on the makeshift gridiron. Isles speedster Michael Grabner burned cornerbacks on deep routes, while gritty winger Matt Moulson took pride in jamming opposing players at the line of scrimmage.

The Islanders didn’t concede a goal in the opening period that night. Better yet, they grabbed a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and won the game 5-2.

Something tells me that, come Sunday’s home game vs. the Sabres, the Jets won’t be the only New York sports team playing football.
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