10/14/07

A little late Sunday hockey ranting

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2007 07:53:00 PM
A day later I'm still wondering how the Philadelphia Flyers played a sixty minute games where Jiggs McDonald and Billy Jaffe pointed out some holds and interference calls on the Flyers and yet all the Islanders got was one brief powerplay?

The rosters for most of the teams have changed significantly, the Islanders and Flyers have a lot of new players. I want to know do the Islanders have to overcome a reputation with the officials for the powerplays and penalties to even out this season or are we in for another minus ninety disparity which likely means no playoffs this time around? I found it interesting at the end of the game in Toronto a marginal call was made and Howie Rose pointed out it was a rookie official and the pressure to call everything is there for them at all times.

At this point things evening out for the Islanders would represent a plus ninety turnover from a year ago.

Every time I see Colin Campbell I see the player in that Canuck jersey who got abused by the Islanders in the finals or the former coach of the Rangers or the person who had selective amnesia during the 2002 playoffs who's war room never gives this team a call or a replay in critical games. I do not understand how he is qualified to do this job in any way.

I'm still trying to figure out how Shayne Corson got only one game for intentionally trying to kick Eric Cairns, but that's me. Isn't the standard about intention to injure where one player kicks another he should sit for a long, long time injury or not?

I also think Campbell's over his head trying to change the standard to these hit to head suspensions and his call on Downie for a body check to me is just a terrible call.

And yes Jiggs and Jaffe got it right on the broadcast. They start suspending coaches for these hits and like bench clearing brawls they will go away forever. Goring had great points on the helmets changing (being required) and playgers being so well protected hits to the head increased.
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Who decided on this schedule for the Islanders?

Is there a problem where the Coliseum is booked so the club plays an absurd amount of games early and then winds up with the least games played of any NHL club in the month of October (even the Devils displaced from it's home arena) the first month?

This makes no sense to me, why did this club have to open with six games in eight days, then play three games in about eighteen days?

What's next Islanders finish with sixteen games in twenty days?
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Early impressions on the Division:

I have not seen all the teams but in this division much but all of the clubs seem to have some flaws.

I have discussed the Islanders scoring and defense enough.

New Jersey as much as the experts want to bury them as usual still have some young talent and are a little inconsistent but are worse on defense. I think Brent Sutter is going to alienate the players and is already making waves by benching Brodeur and has a lot of former Islander coach Terry Simpson in him.

For our younger fans, Simpson was a coaching legend in Juniors who came to the NHL with the Islanders and his scare tactics on NHL players did not work for
long. Islanders were not a good team by the time he left but it was clear he wanted to treat NHL players like he did prospects in the Western Hockey League and that does not work with veterans. I see a lot of the same tendencies from Brent Sutter who owns the Red Deer Rebels and won in that league. I'm not sure this is the template Lamoriello wants for his coaches but there is something about Sutter so serious and demanding that already I have read things about grumbling by the players. Sutter was on those Terry Simpson Islander teams and was named captain for those who want a connection.
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I have not seen many Flyer games but they hardly looked dominating against the Islanders and their goaltending and defense speaks for itself. Rangers have offense in terms of names but not chemistry. They trap a lot but their individual defense is not impressive and I'm not sure this coach has full control of the players. Jagr looks like a player who could care less with Nylander gone.

Pittsburgh can and will score, but for them the questions go to goaltending and defense and the early returns are they have not really improved.

Bottom line what I'm writing here is I do not see how the Islanders cannot compete in this division if Guerin, Sillinger and the players expected to score do.
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I could be dead wrong on this but it seemed to me outside of one Newsday report no one knew Jiggs McDonald was going to call last night's game and that this was a very ackward situtation behind the scenes. The club's website did not hype his return to long time fans or mention it in the preview. A reason for Howie not being around was not given during the game and the teams media people did not touch it like there was something behInd this no one wanted any part of.

Anyone who read Jiggs article when he was in Moncton sounded like a man who feels like he may have stopped announcing a few years too early.

Again, could be dead wrong, just my impression. Should be interesting if Howie is left home for other games for Jiggs. I remember last year Howie did not even thank Jiggs for doing all those games until his second game back as if he was reminded to.

Just to clarily Msg owns all the announcers and the Islander television broadcast top to bottom. Islanders only contracted announcers are Steve Mears and Chris King.
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I have to admit I hated the Islanders pregame show but I'm also not used to having nothing before the game starts. My only complaint is I do not want to hear Deb Kaufman pull Nolan aside after the game for a special interview, I want his live press conference to the print media.

After the Leaf game we got no Nolan interview. I know by league rules he has to meet the press. I wanted to see him on live television afterward getting grilled by the Islanders and Leafs media for the club's effort and his response. I want that for every game regardless of result.
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Finally I got a call from a friend who was at the new NHL store Friday after Bettman, Goring, the Cup had left and told me the place was terrible. No team jackets, only four kinds of skates. He went to go buy an Islander jacket and they had no jackets for any team, just the NHL jacket.

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