Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 1/1/14

By Peter McEntee

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders can certainly say they gave fans something to smile about to close out 2013. With two come-from-behind wins against formidable opponents in the Minnesota Wild and the Boston Bruins, there’s an optimism buzzing through the air surrounding this team.

We’ve finally started to see what we expected to see from this team now, impressive wins against big opponents (and on the road nonetheless). The last few games the Islanders have played have looked like the Islanders of April 2013. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but there seriously may be a spark in this team, and I’m already getting excited just thinking about it.

Regardless, the Islanders have to prepare themselves for an even tougher upcoming opponent, the defending champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago has beaten the Islanders in their only previous meeting this season. The two teams are set to square off Thursday at 7 PM.

With that, I hope you all had a terrific New Year’s Eve, and have an even better New Year’s Day. We’ve got a great day for hockey, and please enjoy today’s Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. The Olympic Roster for U.S.A. hockey will be announced right after the game, as us Isles fans have one name in mind who should be a lock for that team (hint; he’s American).

-PM (@pjmcentee)

In Case You Missed It

Cal Clutterbuck Doing Exactly What He’s Supposed To (Eyes on Isles)

Kyle Okposo Punching His Ticket To Sochi (Eyes on Isles)

Mid-Season Report Cards: The Forwards (Eyes on Isles)

Kyle Okposo Has Evolved Into a Deserved Olympian (Eyes on Isles)

Around the NHL 

  • New Jersey Devils 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
  • New York Rangers 2, Florida Panthers 1 (SO)
  • St. Louis Blues 2, Minnesota Wild 1
  • New York Islanders 5, Boston Bruins 3
  • Carolina Hurricanes 5, Montreal Canadiens 4 (OT)
  • Winnipeg Jets 3, Buffalo Sabres 0
  • Dallas Stars 3, Los Angeles Kings 2
  • Colorado Avalanche 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 3
  • Anaheim Ducks 6, San Jose Sharks 3
  • Philadelphia Flyers 4, Calgary Flames 1
  • Phoenix Coyotes 4, Edmonton Oilers 3 (OT)

Across the Sound