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New York Islanders: The Week Ahead

Kyle Okposo. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York Islanders (26-29-9) will conclude a heartbreaking road trip with a 1:00 p.m. face-off against the Boston Bruins (38-21-3) on Saturday.  New York started this road stretch on an emotional high, picking up a huge 4-3 shootout victory over Metropolitan-area rival the New York Rangers last Friday night.

Since that victory, the Islanders have dropped three-straight in what could have been vital points to the Ottawa Senators, the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers. Each game had the guys starting out strong, but costly turnovers and sloppy play costing the guys in Orange and Blue a vital two points.

In order to open any eyes, and to prove that they are in fact a team to watch for in the future, this team needs to show what they are made of in these final two months of the season.  There is plenty of talent and plenty of young-stars to watch for; it is just a matter of finding the pieces that will help win hockey games for the rest of March and April.

The rest of the season will not be an easy one, as the guys will take on playoff caliber teams, starting on Saturday with a game against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. New York will have a three-game home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils, as the Islanders will host New Jersey twice-while going to the Prudential Center once for a Thursday night face-off.

The Islanders will end the week of Metropolitan-area rivalry week on March 11th with a Sunday night face-off concluding the Battle of the Big Apple with a 7:00 p.m. face-off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.Ca

News and Notes:

Bailey’s back: Isles center Josh Bailey has opened the scoring for the team in the game against the Capitals and the Flyers, in returning from back spasms. In order for New York to have any success in the future, the young center as well as other secondary scoring needs to be established.

Congrats Casey Casey Cizikas assist on the first Bailey goal at the 1:35 mark in the first period, was the first NHL point for the center. Cizikas earned his second point, on the helper on the Kyle Okposo goal at 9:11 in the third period.

The rookie center continues to impress in his time in the Orange and Blue, logging quality minutes for the team. In the game against the Flyers Cizikas tallied 10:35 ice time, while also recording two hits and blocking one shot.

Block PartyThe Islanders continue to sacrifice bodies while increasing their lead in the NHL in blocked shots. The team had 24 blocked shots in the loss against the Flyers, good for 1,099 in the league. Ten different Islanders had at least one against the Flyers; with Steve Staios leading the team with six.

Familiar Faces: There is a chance that the Islanders will see familiar faces in Boston, as former teammates Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau, will possibly be in the line-up for the Bruins. Mottau was a healthy scratch, while Rolston is 0-00 in two games for Boston.

Information for the News and Notes were found on the New York Islanders and Yahoo.com websites.

Written on March 2, 2012

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