A few Sunday Islander & NHL observations.
First of all Happy New Year to everyone.
I'm going to be going to the DVD recorder for Islanders-Carolina and will be late with the game coverage and news articles New Year's day. I will have a game blog up Monday. Sound Tigers play on New Year's eve as well.
* I did not see Hilbert after that blocked shot, could be a call up for the Carolina game if he cannot go which is a shame because he's looked very good as a fourth line center.
* Any reason to rush DiPietro back for the Carolina game if there is any doubt when he can get a few more days before Florida at home?
* Cheap NY Post does not send Dan Martin or anyone to cover the Islander game against the Devils aside from Mark Everson who is New Jersey's daily beatwriter, Dan Martin was assigned the Marbury beat.
Islanders have been playing well and sold out the game last night so what's the problem other than the usual post double-standard? Nothing new but here it does have to be written about.
* Sorry Mr Witt, (not Brendan) I read your blog tell fans to support the Times by visiting their blog so they might send us a beatwriter. I will visit their blog but not spend one penny to help that paper until I see the Islanders have a full time beatwriter and blogger. That's what Chris Botta wrote earlier this year about the Post and I agree with it, best way to hurt them is vote with your wallet.
Let's see Dave Caldwell cover every game starting in Carolina tomorrow and I'll revisit this. If the budget is available to send a Ranger reporter on the road to Toronto now it should be there for all three teams so drop the SI act. Fans do not care about goal judge articles, we want game coverage every single day and people covering them with a passion for the job.
* No shock to see Mark Herrmann take a few digs at the Islanders today bringing up Milbury coming back to be gm for a day as well as a little dig at the Devils if they made the finals. I know it's only humor but it's clear to anyone the Islanders and Devils are not his favorite New York Hockey teams.
* Freddy Meyer had done a solid job to the point it seems he has passed Bergeron and Berard in the defensive rotation. You can put the final Sens goal on him but Gionta's move to Parise was just a great play. Aside from that he has been steady and at times shows a physical side. Ted Nolan has given him some powerplay shifts.
As Garth Snow's player x2 because he brought him back and traded for him, he may just keep his spot past Aaron Johnson's return.
* Anyone hear that loud noise in Boston? That was the Bruins losing their sixth game in a row. How about that loud bang in Ottawa? That was Washington scoring eight goals against the Senators and going 2-0 this year in the Islanders house of horror, that rattling along noise from Philadelphia is getting louder too.
Point being most games in this league are about who works harder and who wants it more combined with who gets the breaks vs who has the most mistakes. Only problem with the Islanders are they have shown a lack of scoring and a poor powerplay which are terrible long-term signs.
A year ago the Islanders were losing six in a row and going from six over to five hundred as the bandwagon emptied quickly at this point.
* My guess is Kyle Okposo starts off in Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers. Islanders have a full roster and a lot of players closer to playing for the big club in Tambellini, Nielsen, Colliton, Walter and Steve Regier. Are they going to trade Trent Hunter, Bill Guerin or Satan and give that spot to Okposo or play him in Jackman's spot on a fourth line for a few minutes?
Also if Okposo plays ten games with the Islanders he losses his rookie status and it counts as a year on his contract.
* For those keeping score at home Petteri Nokelainen has four goals but more importantly is half way to the Islanders getting a second round pick from the Bruins because he just played his twenty fifth game. If Boston falls out of contention that could be a good pick in a deep draft.
* For some reason I just do not have any enthusiasm for the outdoor game, maybe New Year's day?
* I do have a lot of enthusiasm for the Islanders heading to the West Coast to play teams I have not seen in a long, long time. Colorado lost Joe Sakic, Edmonton is not a very good team, not like the Islanders have never beaten Luongo before so if they get any kind of scoring they should be fine.
Go out on the road and take care of business and get points out of every game, what's needed here is a long streak of games the Islanders do not lose in regulation like last year.
* Richard Park is making fans like myself look foolish as he seems to do something every game to help them win after I did not want him on the roster, I love it too.
* Finally as Ted Nolan said the other day the second half defines the season, an NHL season to me works in levels.
The Islanders have made it past the first level and most of the second level, now we see if they are good enough to content through the all star break, then the trade deadline and then down the stretch.