Hockey player/MMA fighter Jeremy Yablonski signs with Islanders

2 Comments

Leave it to the New York Islanders to make a baffling yet potentially highly entertaining move. The Islanders signed a soon-to-be Bridgeport Sound Tiger Jeremy Yablonski to a one-year two-way deal. You, the good fans that you are, are now likely asking, “Who is Jeremy Yablonski and why do I care?”

For a scouting report, one-time prospect turned blogger Justin Bourne, son of former Islanders great Bob Bourne, gave a first-hand scouting report of Yablonski on Twitter.

Signing guys like Boogaard/Yablonski will be considered stone-age real soon. Waste of a roster spot. Sure Yabo is a 2-way, but man…

Was in Utah when Yabo was in Idaho. He left rink in painted-on tee, cage fought a yr later. Cannot actually “play hockey” unfortunately.

In 07 I lined up beside Yablonski, his stick at waist height. “Not even gonna put that on the ice, huh?” *puck drops* WHACK! What an athlete

All right, so Yablonski has a bit of a rough and tumble reputation. What do his stats tell us though? Pretty much the same thing.

Last year with the AHL Binghamton Senators, Yablonski played 27 games, scored one goal and racked up 128 penalty minutes, which is good for an average of 4.74 penalty minutes per game. Yikes. Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta too found the signing curious and oddly helpful as well.

The kids at both Bridgeport and New York need someone to have their backs. (The great Mike Fornabaio of the CT Post tweeted that the lack of toughness was “no laughing matter” in Bridgeport. If the Islanders are not ready to contend on the ice, it doesn’t hurt to win the occasional fight (“this guy throws bombs” tweeted Jeff Marek of the CBC about Yablonski). Whatever small wage the Islanders are paying Yablonski, he’s worth it.

This is probably more virtual ink than Yablonski has gotten in his career, but there’s a role for everyone in hockey, even a guy whose only talent seems to be beating the opponent’s face in. He does seem to be pretty good at that after all, not every hockey player gets invited to participate in Mixed Martial Arts after all.

Click here for a fight between Jeremy Yablonski and his potential future teammate Trevor Gillies.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

Leave a comment

After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP
1 Comment

It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.

Islanders believe Boyle should be suspended for hit before OT goal

boylehickeynbcsn
NBCSN screen
14 Comments

Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.

In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.

Many believe that hit was legal:

The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.

You’re not going to believe this, but the Lightning disagree.

Boyle clearly didn’t receive a penalty on that sequence, yet one would imagine that the league will at least take a look at that hit.

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

6 Comments

Brian Boyle was part of the fight before Game 3 even started … and then he ended it in overtime.

In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.

This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.

Also fitting? Boyle landed a big hit on Thomas Hickey, the guy who sidelined Jonathan Drouin for a chunk of this contest.

That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:

(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)

Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.

In some ways, this win feels like a microcosm of the Lightning’s season. They keep getting hit in the mouth with injuries and near-injuries, yet they just won’t stay down.

The Islanders saw three leads disappear in this contest, but one would think that they won’t roll over, either.