Optimistic Islanders charge their way through camp

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 15, 2013
The New York Islanders, one of few teams that made news during the NHL's lengthy lockout, hope to continue to ride the attention wave into the shortened season. And maybe make the postseason along the way. The Islanders, who announced in October that they will leave the Nassau Coliseum for Brooklyn and the new Barclays Center in 2015, haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2007. Still, members of this franchise - a proud one that won four Stanley Cups in the 1980s - believe that drought could end before the team closes the doors on Long Island ... and maybe even sooner. ''Every team is optimistic,'' center John Tavares said. ''I think it's trying to be consistent. It's critical for us to be sharp.'' New York was the only member of the Atlantic Division last season to not reach 100 points. The Islanders went 34-37-11 for 79 points, and are a collective 159-198-23 since 2007-08. An issue that has cost the Islanders the last two seasons is a slow start. New York lost 63 of 98 games between October and January in that span. And now, with an abbreviated schedule, quicker travel, and not much turnaround time between games, a solid opening is imperative. ''It's up to us to get off to a good start,'' goaltender Rick DiPietro said. ''Adrenaline is going to be flowing.'' Wherever they go, Tavares will lead the way. The top pick in the 2009 draft, Tavares finished last season with 31 goals and landed in the top ten in NHL scoring with 81 points. Tavares spent the lockout playing for HC Bern of the Swiss league. He played with Islanders teammate Mark Streit there. ''Just glad to be here. It's been a great first couple days,'' Tavares said. ''Looking back it was 100 percent the right decision. It's a great league (in Switzerland). I feel it will benefit me.'' While acknowledging the potential hazard of having players injured while overseas, Islanders coach Jack Capuano believes the work will be a benefit, as well. ''It is a double-edged sword,'' Capuano said. ''But I'd rather have guys playing.'' One issue Capuano is dealing with this week is the fate of defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who refused to return from KHL to rejoin his Islanders teammates this week. But under the terms of a deal struck between the NHL and the KHL, players must come back to the former. The KHL announced Tuesday that Visnovsky could not play for Slovan Bratislava until an agreement is put in place with the Islanders. Visnovsky did not dress, as a result, for the team's game on Tuesday. ''Lubo has personal reasons for not reporting to the Islanders right now, all of which have absolutely nothing to do with the New York Islanders,'' Visnovsky's agent, Neil Sheehy wrote in an email to the AP this week. ''Lubo admires (Islanders general manager) Garth Snow and we will have to see how this situation plays out.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker