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Matt Watling

Watling: Barzal’s off day hurts the Islanders with few games remaining to find momentum

For the first time in 284 games, Mathew Barzal did not suit up for the New York Islanders last night against the Buffalo Sabres. The typically dynamic forward was a healthy scratch on Tuesday’s contest, the second game of a back-to-back in which the Islanders recorded just one point against ...

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Islanders get their chance to practice as final stretch nears

With a final stretch of eight games left in the regular season, the Islanders are faced with a tough task: bouncing back from a mediocre 2-3-1 stretch, losing all four games to playoff teams they might face in the first round in the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. Despite the ...

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Watling: Wrapping up the trade deadline in the East Division and where the Islanders stand

Just two days after the NHL trade deadline, the MassMutual East Division saw 11 trades made by its eight teams over the last week. Out of the eight teams, only the New York Rangers did not make a move, opting to keep a slew of unrestricted and restricted free agents, ...

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Watling: Komarov Surprisingly Effective on Top Line, Despite Need for More Talent

After the injury to Anders Lee, it took some line shuffling, but head coach Barry Trotz seems to have settled on Leo Komarov playing on the top line alongside Mat Barzal and Jordan Eberle. While fans – myself included – loathe the decision,  Komarov has not hindered the line’s play ...

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Watling: Isles Need Hall Trade to Save Sputtering Offense

Just over a month ago, before the injury to captain Anders Lee, I wrote the Islanders needed to make a move for a talented forward. At the time the Isles were a middling 9-6-3, battling for the third or fourth seed in the East Division. Fast forward to now, they ...

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Watling: Despite similar roster, the Islanders are far superior to last year’s club

After sweeping three straight games against the Buffalo Sabres, the Islanders sit atop a loaded East division by two points over the Washington Capitals, who have a game in hand. At roughly this point last year, when the NHL went on pause, the Isles were badly struggling, just holding the ...

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Watling: Two years since ‘The Return,’ it is time for Islanders’ fans to forgive their former captain

It has been 974 days since that dreaded summer day when John Tavares spurned the New York Islanders and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sunday marked the two-year anniversary since he returned to the Coliseum, where the former embattled Isles captain was met with boos that were louder and ...

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Islanders need to make moves for talent before it is too late

When I first sat down to write this story, I had a great big idea lined up discussing Taylor Hall.  Why the Islanders need to trade for him and how much he may cost. But after about five minutes of research, Pierre LeBrun ruined my idea, thanks Pierre. In all ...

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