We're talking about practice! The NY Islanders spent the week getting better

Dallas Stars v New York Islanders
Dallas Stars v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Practice. Game. Practice. Stadium Series Skate. Practice. Practice.

The New York Islanders have hit the ice for six straight days during a "break" in the schedule, with four consecutive days "off" before their Stadium Series matchup with the New York Rangers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

"Our focus has been on getting better this week," said Cal Clutterbuck. "We put in a lot of time and effort in making sure we are prepared. I think we feel we've prepared for it [Sunday's game] well. The one thing that's going allow us to enjoy it is a big win."

The nearly week-long practices gave off a training camp feel as head coach Patrick Roy focused on fundamentals and, at times, loudly and forcefully made corrections when players strayed from making the proper play in a given situation. On Saturday, there was an example of this when Pierre Engvall turned his back on the puck, leading Roy to respond in a way that brought silence from all those watching, according to those in attendance.

"The first day was about fundamentals," said Roy, who said Thursday would've been an off day if it wasn't for the Stadium Series. "Yesterday was a good one; we wanted to scrimmage and see the things we can improve as a good structure and individually. Then today was very short, twenty minutes, intense, but a good twenty minutes."

In Roy's view, the team will have plenty of days off ahead. The team will be playing every other day until Feb. 27 and 28, with no practice days likely until then. While it's a lot of practice time during this time of the year, Roy felt the benefits outweighed any thought of overworking the team. He wanted them to touch the ice more, get their hands and legs going, and, most importantly, get into a rhythm.

"I thought we had good practices. It was short, but it was intense, and that's what I'm looking for, intensity," Roy said after practice. "If we have that, I know that our compete [level], our fundamentals, and our structure are going to be there."