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New York Islanders

Game 5 Notebook: Lineup Changes Workout for Islanders

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The New York Islanders deviated from their normal lineup on Thursday night against the Washington Capitals. Partially out of desire and partially out of necessity.

Ross Johnston made his postseason debut and Michael Dal Colle appeared in his second career playoff game. Out were Derick Brassard, a healthy scratch and Cal Clutterbuck, who was unfit to play.

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The Islanders coach had indicated the day before that some changes could be coming, but the absence of Clutterbuck came as a bit of a surprise.

“I found out this morning with Cal,” Trotz said. “Cal did skate and then after the skate he said, ‘for me to play the game that I need to play I think I’m just not quite there. We had a plan going into it just in case.”

Trotz described the decision to scratch Brassard as the Islanders bench boss wanting to get a little more weight and grind in the Islanders game.

Emotional Series Comes to Close for Islanders Barry Trotz | NYH+

“I just felt it was going to be a different style of game,” Barry Trotz said. “I felt last game that some of our guys got liberties taken on us and we needed to spend some time in their own zone.”

Johnston had 10:02 of ice time in Game 5, while Dale Colle put up 9:22 in the series-clinching win. Dal Colle and Johnston found themselves lining up Jean-Gabriel Pageauon the third line, while Leo Komarov was moved along Casey Cizikas And Matt Martin.

Johnston appeared in his first postseason game on Thursday. Dal Colle was in just his second.

“Both those guys coming in I thought did an excellent job,” Trotz said. “They were hard on pucks. They gave added some weight to us. They gave us some live legs. They gave us a different look and allowed us to put Leo with Casey and Marty, and take a little bit more of a four-line approach.”


After the New York Islanders capitalized for their second power-play goal in 20 chances, they got called for a phantom too many men on the ice penalty. A replay of the line change very clearly showed that no infraction occurred, but the Islanders were booked for it nonetheless.

The moment had all the makings of a possible momentum killer, but the Islanders rose to the occasion to kill off the penalty and maintain the 1-0 lead. It was just one of two chances that the Capitals had on the power play.

“Leo had a big block on an (Alex Ovechkin) one-timer and Varly made some saves,” Casey Cizikas said. “Our D did a great job of getting pucks down and boxing guys out. They had a lethal power play. They’ve been successful all series, so that was definitely a big kill for us.”


The Empire State Building was lit in New York Islanders orange and Blue on Thursday night to celebrate the Islander First Round victory over the Washington Capitals.

It was the third time this that the iconic New York City landmark has been lit up in the Islanders colors. The Empire State Building celebrated the NHL restart by doing so and did it again after the Islanders eliminated the Florida Panthers in the Qualifying Round.

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New York Islanders

Anders Lee Looks Back While Waiting for What’s Ahead with Islanders

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Anders Lee

While the hockey world looks forward and waits to find out when or even if the 2020-21 season will start, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee took a moment to look back and reflect.

Lee and the Islanders are now just over a month removed from their season-ending loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to Tampa Bay. It had been the deepest the Islanders had gone in the playoffs since 1993 and the run shocked much of the hockey world.

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New York Islanders

What Could Home Games Look Like for the New York Islanders Next Season?

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New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum

There are a lot of questions about the 2020-21 NHL season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed at the draft that the league was looking at a Jan. 1 start date. Outside of that, not much is known about their plan. The NHL has said in the past that they’d like to play a full 82 game schedule, but even that remains a question.

And for owners, the question of whether fans will be allowed in the building when games do start remains a major concern. The NHL, unlike NBA or NFL, is a gate driven league and relies heavily on paying customers filling the seats at arenas.

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Free Agency

Free Agency: Martin, Greene Likely to Return to Islanders for Next Season

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New York Islanders logo

It seems all but certain that Andy Greene is returning to the New York Islanders, and the same goes for Matt Martin.

The Islanders continue to sit in a holding pattern as they look to free up cap space via trades, but things seem to be pointing to a return for the two NHL veterans. General manager Lou Lamoriello called the return of Greene “a very strong option” during a Zoom conference call on Monday night and multiple reports indicated that the Islanders and Martin are working on a deal.

Greene’s return makes even more sense following the trade of Devon Toews to Colorado on Monday. Greene has worked with Noah Dobson, who will take Toews’ place on the blue line, in the past and proved extremely valuable during the postseason.

The soon to be 38-year-old — Greene’s birthday is on Oct. 30 — could be looking at a one-year deal from the Islanders to provide that veteran presence on the blue line. Greene had four points (two goals, two assists) in 21 playoff games with the Islanders.

Martin also had an impressive postseason of his own with five goals in 21 games, which matched his regular-season total. The fan-favorite has been a mainstay on the fourth line alongside Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas.

Martin’s deal with the Islanders, or anyone else for that matter should it get to that point, would be far less than the four-year, $10 million deal he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016. That carried a $2.5 million AAV and that is much higher than what the Islanders can afford at the moment.

Devon Toews Traded to Colorado for Second Round Picks

The decision to move Toews on Monday came out of necessity so that the Islanders could get back some pieces to sweeten any potential trades that would move some of their pricier contracts and free up some more salary cap room. The Islanders have been working with just $8.9 million in cap space.

The Islanders still need to re-sign restricted free agents Mat Barzal and Ryan Pulock and trading away the likes of Johnny Boychuk or another hefty contract would help make that task simpler.

The Fourth Period reported that the Islanders have been shopping Boychuk around. Boychuk has two years left on a deal that carries an AAV of $6 million and a list if eight teams he can be traded to. Leo Komarov is also reportedly being shopped by the Islanders.

Komarov also has two years left on his contract, which has a $3 million AAV and a seven-team no-trade list.

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