Apr 4, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) makes a save on New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during a shootout at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf - Islanders Daily 11/18/13

Mar 10, 2012; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson (45) against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders goaltending situation is once again at the forefront of conversation. On Sunday afternoon, Arthur Staple reported that Evgeni Nabokov was expected to miss “4+ weeks” due to the injury he sustained versus the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, and that Anders Nilsson would be joining the team from Bridgeport. While many are excited about the prospects of Kevin Poulin taking over the starting job, the backup situation is once again muddled.

In the AHL, Nilsson hasn’t exactly been playing up to expectations this season. With a 3-6-1 record, and a subpar .880 SV% and 3.57 GAA for the Sound Tigers, Nilsson clearly needs more time to develop in the minors before earning a spot with the big club. While the big Swede has played well in previous NHL opportunities, his recent statistics suggest the Islanders would be better served searching for outside help; however, don’t get your hopes up.

Staple also mentioned that the organization is not currently in the market for another goaltender.

The next few weeks should be interesting for the Isles. Keep an eye on both Poulin and Nilsson, who should be expected to split time before the team decides on whether or not they need to make an additional move.

In case you missed it:

Nabokov’s injury creates a huge opportunity for Poulin. (EOI)

Anders Nilsson will join the Islanders. (Isles Talk)

Strome is working to follow Tavares to Long Island. (Islanders website)

Poulin now No. 1 with Nabby on the shelf. (Newsday)

Will Aaron Ness stick with the big club? (EOI)


Around the NHL

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Ottawa Senators 1: CBJ (Johanson, Umberger, Tyutin, MacKenzie), OTT (Karlsson) – The Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

Washington Capitals 4, St. Louis Blues 1: WSH (Ovechkin [2], Grabovski, Carlson), STL (Sobotka) – Alexander Ovechkin scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season, tying him with Alex Steen for the NHL lead.

Los Angeles Kings 1, New York Rangers 0: LAK (Toffoli) – Ben Scriven stopped all 37 shots to earn his second consecutive shutout – third in 2013-14.

Chicago Blackhawks 5, San Jose Sharks 1: CHI (Pirri, Sharp [2], Toews, Versteeg), SJS (Pavelski) – Kris Versteeg scored a goal and added an assist in his return to the United Center.

Minnesota Wild 2, Winnipeg Jets 1: MIN (Koivu [2]), WPG (Byfuglien) – Mikko Koivu scored twice, including once with 3:12 remaining, to lead Minnesota to a win.

Dallas Stars 2, Vancouver Canucks 1: DAL (Nichushkin, Cole), VAN (H. Sedin) – Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves en route to his 10th victory of the season.


Tags: Daily HOCKEY New York Islanders NHL Notes Top Shelf

  • shlo

    It is SO clear that the team needs an upgrade in goal. If they are not looking for help, it is gross negligence on Snow’s part. If nobody is available for us via trade, look in Europe. There are plenty of good goalies who just might be interested.
    The question is do we have a scout in Europe who is capable of locating one.

  • LIslanders

    Based on them already stating that they were not going to seek external help for their goaltending situation (for some strange reason), it seems like it is clear to everyone but Snow that an upgrade is needed.

    After what happened last spring, and knowing that goaltending was an area that needed to be addressed, for Snow to choose to go with the SAME 2 goalie tandem, and to choose to not (also) try to acquire someone else as a back-up that would have had more experience than Poulin and therefore could have been considered as a bit more reliable, such as Khudobin, who was available for ONLY $800K, and instead hope that neither Nabby or Poulin would get hurt, and hope that both would play well, and if one did get hurt, to have no back-up plan but to HAVE to go to Nilsson, was a bit short-sighted and wishful thinking on Snow’s part.

    Did Snow even try to make inquiries about Khudobin (as he should have) last summer, despite having already signed Nabby?

    If he had at least chosen to go the safer route, and acquired Khudobin, Poulin would have played in Bridgeport and, if Nabby or Khudobin got hurt or played poorly, then Snow could have brought Poulin up at that point. At least that way we would be looking at a Khudobin/Poulin tandem instead of hoping for good play out of Poulin/Nilsson.

    Too much reliance on “hope” and irrational sense of confidence, when instead they could have chosen to take a step to try to help the team’s chances while the opportunity was there during the summer.

    But of course, Snow ALWAYS knows what’s best. He is obviously infallible.

    While of course nobody could predict how any of them would play, or if
    anyone would get injured (or not), it would not have taken a lot to have
    acquired insurance just in case, especially knowing that Nabby is only
    getting older.

    So, not taking a step to provide insurance against the possible eventuality of such a situation that they now have is still on Snow as far as I’m concerned.

    And it is now all on him to make it a point to ensure taking action to
    do something to address this problem, other just choosing to “see what
    they got in Nilsson” and “hoping” for the best.

    Nilsson has been sub-par and nothing indicates that will change significantly for the better at the NHL level. And what if Nilsson winds up being a disaster, or Poulin doesn’t play as well as we are all hoping that he will? Or if, God
    forbid, one of them gets injured? Snow will then go to Reiter and then state that is all we have and all we can do? The same problem of lack of NHL experience translating into either inconsistency and/or questionable reliability will still be present.

    All I’m saying is that it certainly would have served the team better had Snow thought about and anticipated the possibility of “what if” and acted upon it
    accordingly last summer to have some sort of better contingency plan, but by choosing to not do so at that time, is now seemingly coming back to haunt him and the team. Hindsight is 20-20, as they say, but choosing to not shore up an area (adequately) that that was known and acknowledged as needing to be addressed, was (somewhat) foolish on Snow’s part.

    But instead I guess we are all just supposed to be happy with Snow’s choices, no matter what he does or doesn’t do.
    At this rate they are certainly not trying to take steps to get as close as they can to winning a cup BEFORE they go to Brooklyn (like they should and ought to be trying to do).

    Just great.