Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders

Islanders ‘playing to win’ these days


Members of the New York Islanders will wake up Wednesday morning in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Islanders’ 44 points ties them with the sixth-place Ottawa Senators, who have lost five games in a row, however the Senators hold the tiebreaker with fewer games played to date.

The Islanders, now two points ahead of the New York Rangers, haven’t made the playoffs since the 2006-07 season, but they got one step closer to changing that with a 4-1 win over the fading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

“We played like we wanted it more – I think that’s why we got the two points,” Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov told

“Everything is positive right now, but you can’t get carried away because you know that it’s such a fight for the playoffs with eight games left. You can find yourself very quickly the other way. You just want to keep the focus and intensity at the same level, win or lose.”

It’s been nothing more than a simple change in philosophy from the Islanders. They are no longer a running joke in the NHL. They’ve gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and in the thick of a playoff race.

We’re not playing to lose, we’re playing to win,” Islanders forward Kyle Okposo told Newsday Long Island.

“That’s a big change around here. We’ve got a ton of confidence right now.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?