Kukla's Korner

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Category: New-York-Islanders

Video- Billy Smith With The Stick Work

On occasion, I like to look through YouTube for old NHL videos.

How long do you think Billy Smith would survive in today's NHL?


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The New York Islanders Continue Their Winning Ways

from Andrew Gross of Newsday,

The Islanders are proving they can play with the NHL’s best teams, even during stretches in games when they’re not playing all that well.

Thanks to some spectacular goaltending by Thomas Greiss, it meant a fourth straight win Thursday night as the Islanders earned a 3-2 shootout victory over the Penguins at Barclays Center to sweep the home-and-home series.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said right wing Josh Bailey, who scored the lone goal in the shootout and whose shorthanded goal as he exited the penalty box tied the score at 1-1 at 14:46 of the second period and extended his point streak to seven games. “We’re not going to get too carried away, but it was two games we felt we played well in.”

The Islanders (7-4-1), wearing their blue alternate jerseys with the “NY” logo for the first time, opened a three-game homestand and will end a five-game stretch against divisional opponents on Saturday against the Devils.


Watch the game highlights below.

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Charles Wang Passes Away At Age 74

from David M. Schwartz of Newsday,

Charles B. Wang, 74, founder of CA Technologies and former Islanders owner, died Sunday, his attorney said.

The cause of death was not provided. Wang was surrounded by his family at the time of his death in Oyster Bay, attorney John McEntee said in a statement.

Wang was born in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 19, 1944, and moved to the United States with his family at the age of 8. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and graduated from Queens College with a BS in Mathematics and Physics. In 2015, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Stony Brook University....

In 2000, with the Islanders facing an uncertain future, Wang purchased the hockey team, "in recognition of the team’s importance to Long Island, despite having previously attended only one hockey game," according to a statement from McEntee. He was the majority owner until 2016, when he became a minority co-owner.

"He treasured his association with the team and its devoted fans," according to a statement from Wang's family.


added 1:44pm,


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The LA Kings Wanted To Get Off To A Fast Start This Season, They Haven’t

from Curtis Zupke of the LA Times,

Jonathan Quick fished the puck out of his net and sent it down the ice with a fling that showed his disdain.

This was only after the Kings gave up their third goal. Then came a fourth goal, and a fifth and a sixth. In a game they could have used to get back to their defensive identity, not only did the Kings fail spectacularly Thursday, they drifted into disinterest.

“First of all, it’s embarrassing,” Alec Martinez said after a 7-2 loss to the New York Islanders at Staples Center.

“I think we have some soul-searching to do. I think what happened there at the end was unacceptable. It’s not about a guy in particular, it’s all of us. We’ve got to figure some things out.”


The Kings are 2-4-1 this season.

Below, watch the game highlights and John Stevens after the game.

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The New York Islanders Are In Good Hands With Barry Trotz

from Marik Herrmann of Newsday,

Little did those fellow Long Island Rail Road riders realize early Monday that the quiet, bespectacled fellow in their midst, wearing jacket and tie, is one of the best in the world at what he does. No one recognized Barry Trotz, Stanley Cup-winning coach, which was fine with him. He was just happy that someone assured him he was going in the right direction.

“I was a little bit nervous this morning. I didn’t want to end up in New Jersey,” Trotz said after making his first commute by rail as Islanders coach. “I had to double-check on everything. I had to ask some people: ‘This train is going to Barclays, correct?’ and ‘This is the stop, correct?’  ”

Once he gets to a rink, Trotz truly knows where he is going, probably as well as anyone behind any bench. There is no guarantee he can instantly turn the Islanders into something they are not, but he sure is going to make them better than they would have been if he were not here.

Put it this way: If the Islanders decide they want to really tank it this season and try for the top overall draft pick, they definitely have the wrong coach. By any other measure, though, Trotz is the guy.

“He’s very detailed and structured but he’s got a human element to him. He’s easy to talk to, he jokes with the players. He’ll tell jokes in meetings,” said Matt Martin, who had the third goal in a surprisingly resounding 4-0 win over the Sharks, considered one of the NHL’s best teams, on Monday afternoon. “He’s relaxed but he’s detailed at the same time. He doesn’t yell on the bench. Even in Carolina when we were getting outshot by double, he was like, ‘Don’t worry about the shot clock. Don’t think about it, don’t focus on it.’  As long as we’re working, he doesn’t have a problem. At the same time, he’ll let you hear it if you’re not going. It's  kind of the best of both worlds.”


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Lou Lamoriello Is In Charge Of The New York Islanders

from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,

Barry Trotz’s snow-white goatee is gone.

He works for Lou Lamoriello now, and Lamoriello prefers that his employees adopt the Yankee Look — clean-shaven, hair trimmed, neatly dressed. It is the way George Steinbrenner wanted his Yankees to look and the way they still look today.

Lamoriello, Trotz and Trotz’s clean-shaven face are all evidence of the Islanders’ extreme makeover this off-season....

Trotz, who left Washington in a contract dispute, said he would not have joined the Islanders had Lamoriello not been in charge. Trotz, in fact, thought he would take a year off after coaching the Capitals for four years. He knew Lamoriello only well enough to say hello at league functions.

But when Lamoriello calls, you listen. Nine years have passed since he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, his occupation’s lifetime achievement award, but Lamoriello still thinks hockey is challenging and fun.

“If hockey isn’t any fun, why do you do it?” Lamoriello said after a recent practice.

With the Devils, he built a model franchise that rolled to three Stanley Cup titles in nine seasons. The Devils had a no-frills structure centered on teamwork and work ethic. Good grooming is part of the commitment.

So Trotz, 56, decided he was all in, happily adopting the Yankee Look with other Islanders employees. Trotz rubbed his bare chin after a recent practice, then smiled and said: “I’m O.K. with that. It separates us from everyone. Lou gets it totally. Everyone pushes boundaries on everything.”

read on

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The New Look New York Islanders

from Andrew Gross of Newsday,

It’s clearly a new-look Islanders with Lou Lamoriello, who won three Stanley Cups with the Devils, assuming control as president and general manager and hiring Stanley Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz. Calder Trophy-winning Mathew Barzal is the presumptive new face of the franchise as the No. 1 center and successor to Tavares as the team’s superstar.

“It’ll end when you guys stop asking,” right wing Josh Bailey said, laughing, when asked how long Tavares’ absence would be a topic this season. “For us, that’s hockey. That’s the way this business works. We move forward, he moves forward. We’re worried about what goes on in here. We like what we’ve seen so far.”...

“I think there’s just a lot of potential we have within us,” added left wing Anders Lee, who set career highs last season with 40 goals and 62 points. “Barry’s been grabbing onto us, opening some doors. Kind of pushing us to a point where we know we have an extra step. I think that’s where we’re going to surprise some people. We have some familiar faces from the years prior but we’re going to be different.”

In short, they need to be because last season’s combination of a potent offense coupled with non-existent defense, goaltending and penalty killing was a recipe for failure.


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The New York Islanders Without John Tavares

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

Now what?

That is the question that is plaguing the Islanders in the aftermath of their captain and franchise cornerstone, John Tavares, leaving to sign a free-agent deal with his hometown Maple Leafs this summer. With a new team president in Lou Lamoriello and a new head coach in Barry Trotz, the team has established a new identity. Both have a history of winning, which the Islanders have lacked in the past three decades.

But the on-ice product is still something that is very much in flux. The questions abound with a team that might or might not be in the middle of a rebuild.

1. How to replace Tavares?

There is no way to fill the space left by a player who was a two-time Hart Trophy finalist. Lamoriello did what he could in filling roster spots with players who he considered “high-character,” but that hardly makes up for talent.


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Robin Lehner Facing His Issues

from Robin Lehner at The Atheltic,

The Meadows in Arizona helped map out my life and it was something I never had the courage to do. I always just suppressed things with substances, impulsive thoughts and behavior. The therapists went through my whole life and opened my eyes to what truly happened. For truly the first time, I found religion. I was baptized in Arizona during this time. This new faith is what helped me through. This was truly one of the best things that ever happened to me and I have to thank Pastor Greg for that.

Today, I am here a happy man that is, for the first time, trying to live in the moment, day-to-day.

The only way I was leaving those doors was when I was 100% certain that I was going to make it. I never want to make my family go through anything like that again. They deserve a dad and my wife, a real husband. If I felt I could not give them that, I wanted to die. I could not let happen what I did to my wife again. There was never domestic violence but the mental suffering over the years watching her husband killing himself slowly was brutal. When I was away, she was never sure I was going to come home.

more (paid subscription)...

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Questions Regarding The New York Islanders

from Andrew Gross of Newsday,

So, will the offseason ultimately be judged a good or bad one?

Does importing Lamoriello, who won three Stanley Cups with the Devils, from the Maple Leafs and Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz from the Capitals outweigh John Tavares’ messy departure to Toronto?

Did Lamoriello overreact to Tavares’ joining his hometown team by bringing in too many bottom-six forwards? Is Mathew Barzal, entering his second NHL season after winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, ready to take over as a No. 1 center and face of the franchise?

Will Robin Lehner, the ex-Sabre signed as a free agent, be an adequate upgrade as a No. 1 goalie?

And what about the defense corps, which lost Calvin de Haan and long-in-the-tooth Dennis Seidenberg but has, so far, gone without any additions? After all, the Islanders did allow an NHL-worst 293 goals last season.


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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