10/15/07

Islander News Articles 10/16:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/15/2007 10:48:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article has quotes from Mike Sillinger on how the offense must produce and compares the five on five scoring from last year vs this year. Logan notes Bates might be a candidate to play as soon as Thursday at Washington after Nolan said last week he is at least two weeks away.

"For this team to be successful, everyone has to play to their potential or above their potential," Sillinger said. "Do we have the team in here to do what we did last year? I think we do."

"Ricky's giving us a chance to win those games, and we didn't come through offensively," Sillinger said. "I hate comparing years, but I know one thing. We played some pretty good five-on-five hockey last year and scored some pretty timely goals. We have to keep it simple and have the middle guy drive the net.

"Right now, we just seem a little hesitant. You've got to find those rebounds, really go to the net and be hungry. It just seems to be the common denominator, not only with our line but with every line. We're not scoring five-on-five ... It's like a snowball effect. I remember last year, once our line got one goal, it seemed like we scored game in and game out. What happens is contagious."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's kind of interesting Sillinger said this at a time when his line has been the one struggling the most over the six games. Around the start of the season he basically defended the organization's decision to let Yashin go but now he's talking about even strength scoring.

Bottom line this team must repeat what it did a year ago at even strength, it must cut down the disparity of penalties to power plays that was minus ninety and Sillinger, Guerin must get their twenty-thirty goals for this club to win.

Wonder what Bates return means for the fourth line? At this point would the club demote Bootland which may force his exposure to waivers?

Not sure what the club is going to do with Johnson because the Sound Tigers are not playing much either.

Tribune Democrat:: Islanders Pro Scout Toby O'Brien had an article supporting his local team.

Several articles: Report Kyle Okposo's left wing, Ryan Stoa sustained a season ending knee injury in Minnesota's last game where Okposo had the game winnner
here.

Where do they get these SI writers?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/15/2007 02:17:00 PM
SI.com Daren Eliot, a long time NHL writer for SI today does an article on how the tough guys in the league now have to produce to see the ice and that the role of the fighter is changing among other NHL subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What caught me in this article was the following by Eliot:
Even Simon made the switch from puncher only to tough guy who could also take a regular shift.


Timeout. Anyone who follows hockey knows Simon has always been more than a guy who fights and has been going back to his days with the Capitals. The kicker here is in Eliot's own article after he wrote this it shows a picture and mentions in the caption Simon was +17 last season and scored 29 goals for the Capitals in 1999-00.

Basically the caption writer contradicted Eliot in his own article and knew more than the writer about someone who's been in the league over a decade.

So my question is what switch did Simon make that Eliot is referring to or was he so lazy here he simply lumped him in with other players because his record suspension just ended and wanted to include him somewhere?

Daren Eliot is not some baseball writer who does two hockey articles a year, this is someone who covers hockey on a regular basis for SI. If Simon had Eric Godard's scoring stats for his career then he would have a good point if Godard started scoring for the Calgary Flames.

Is this kind of lazy reporting that fans read and buy into.

Islander News Articles 10/15:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/15/2007 01:04:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is about the lack of scoring at even strength which was something the Islanders were very good at last season and Bergenheim's impact Saturday.

"Well, our offense is no secret," Nolan said. "It's not going to come tic-tac-toe and fly down and score off the rush. We're going to have to get a lot of those dirty goals. The way we played in the third period is the way we have to play."


"Bergy helped us a lot," Vasicek said. "He played a great game. He opened so much ice for us. We had a lot of chances. Bergy had one in the second period, and I hit the post."

"I'll do whatever, but playing on the second is much more fun," Bergenheim said. "If we play that way, I know we're going to score goals. My role on that line is to get Miro the puck, and if I get a chance, I've got to score, also. It's a pretty good mix, I would say. We have a little bit of everything in that line."


Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garroich reports the Senators are concerned that C Randy Robitaille may not clear waivers once a contract is completed. Robitaille has to go through waivers because he played in Russia.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm following this because Garroich reported Islanders had mild interest and with Sim out for the season would have an opportunity to claim Robitaille if he did sign a contract with the Senators. That said Garrioch puts out a lot of wild rumors, but it is Ottawa centric and he is a former Islander twice.

Personally, I would rather any prospect get a spot before Robitaille III because he cannot score and we have enough forwards who cannot finish.

Cory Witt's media blog: Today confirmed Newsday's Neil Best 1.8 rating on Versus for Islanders-Rangers reported last week here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
1.8 was as high as any Ranger playoff game last year so for a rating like that for Versus is very good. That said with Dolan hiding Islander games on FSN-2 and networks like Time Warner not even listing the game on it's cable guide it's fair to write as usual all that can be done to keep Islanders ratings intentionally low to justify lack of coverage is in place as always and many fans are shut out.

Unless your a die-hard fan with a computer you just are not going to go looking for FSN-2 which here is the TV guide channel that again does does not even list the game so no casual fans can find it.

Hockey News:
Mike Brophy in an NHL centric article ask were the Islanders signings of Guerin, Fedotenko and Comrie more important than the Rangers signings and are the Islanders the team to watch?

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.

Kyle Okposo Update:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2007 07:25:00 PM

Pioneer Press:
Bruce Brothers has an update on Kyle Okposo centering the Gophers's top line and how his club is off to a 2-0 start.

Islander News Articles 10/14:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2007 10:07:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the recap and reaction to the Islanders 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"We didn't go to the net hard enough," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "We had some chances, but we didn't go through the seam to get to the rebounds. In the third period, we skated much better, and a lot of that had to do with young [Sean] Bergenheim. He skated hard and created a lot of chances for us. I thought Vasicek was our best player tonight. If he plays like that, we've got ourselves a player."

"Overall, we played a smarter team game," DiPietro said. "That's the big key. In Toronto, we tried to do too much with the puck at both blue lines. As we know, those are dangerous areas. We've shown we can score goals, but the big thing for us to continue to improve on is team defense, especially on the road."

Newsday: Logan confirms Jon Sim blew out the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in the home opener against Buffalo, will undergo complete knee reconstruction surgery sometime within the next two to four weeks and miss the rest of the season.
Comments from Bergeron on being scratched and Ted Nolan are also part of the article.

"I had a bad game last game, and I could have played a lot better," Bergeron said. "So I'll be sitting out. My game is not where it needs to be right now, obviously, but it's early in the year."

Sutton and Bergeron haven't quite clicked, for whatever reason," Nolan said. "If you don't work, there's always somebody going to take your job. [Bergeron] let his game slip a little bit and Berard started to get his game going. We want to have competitiveness within our own team. That's no slap against someone. It's the nature of life."


For the Philadelphia Centric Coverage:

Philadelphia Inquirer:
Philadelphia Daily News:
Phillyburbs:Delco Times:

Sound Tigers Website: Has the recap of the 3-2 loss to the Lowell Devils.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's aricle was about six penalties in 14 minutes, killing Bridgeport's momentum, and two goals.

"When you take that many penalties, when you give up that many five-on-threes, you get out of synch, certainly," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "When you give them that many chances, it's a shooting gallery on the five-on-three."

"The loss tonight (Saturday) doesn't sit well with us," said Bridgeport captain Mark Wotton, a top penalty killer. "We'll take tonight and learn from it. We talked after the game. We know what we're doing wrong, and we're going to correct it."


Ct Post: Also has an outstanding feature article on Kevin Colley. His career, what happened the night he suffered his injury and why he's now a coach in the ECHL. Steve Stirling and others contribute quotes.

Lowell Sun: Has coverage of the Devils new affiliate.

10/13/07

Philadelphia 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2007 10:08:00 PM
Islanders Website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Do not want to beat up the Islanders too bad because it is going to take time. It was also an opponent that was home opening night that just scored eight goals in Vancouver and it was an Islander team just lost 8-1.

Another mediocre goaltender in Biron and defense again had a very easy night for more than half a game and you do not win in this league unless your club can put on pressure all three periods and not shooting early when they did get chances may have also been a factor.

Islanders only earned one abbreviated power play the entire game which tells me they did not force the Flyers to take a few.

Having written that it's impossible to ignore the bottom line. This team only had one shorthanded goal to show for the game and did not have a quality chance (unless shorthanded) until Satan found Bergenheim with five minutes left in the second period. Your not going to win a lot of games when this happens.

After the second line got going they played very well and generated plays but did not finish beyond Vasicek's goal shorthanded on an individual play. Bergenheim looked great and little things like his touch pass for a shot and his work in the corners were outstanding. His speed seemed to get that line going too.

Fedotenko moved well. Comrie looked lost and Guerin looked every bit his age and did not move well at all. All you need to know is Philadelphia put their best defensive combo on the Vasicek line as the game progressed.

On the other end of things, the team defense was very solid, had a nice recovery game and Sutton settled down. Berard saved a goal when DiPietro thought he had the puck and was not covering the net by going down and blocking a shot. Overall they got in the passing lanes and did a solid job.

DiPietro played well enough to win but looked like he overplayed the shooter on both goals. Martinek played well but that puck that bounced over his stick led to the game winner. He crushed Ben Eager early and made his usual outlet passes that should have led to a quality chance early but Hunter did not shoot.

That's about it, the 3-1 start is now 3-3. Islanders are going to basically have another training camp the next few weeks with a few games sprinkled in.

Finally great to hear Jiggs McDonald call a hockey game, that in itself made it a good hockey night.

AHL.com: Has game report of Sound Tigers 3-2 loss at Lowell.
Ben Walter and Colliton had the Sound Tigers goals.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a blog on the game with some other notables. Jeff Tambellini between the Islanders and Sound Tigers played Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for those keeping score at home.

Have a good night.

10/13: Philadelphia vs New York FSN-2 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2007 10:37:00 AM
Islanders Website: Has the pregame for tonight's game against the Flyers which is their home opener after a long trip to the West Coast. Jesse Boulerice begins serving his twenty five game suspension.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hard to say what's going to happen here. Season opener for Flyers after a long trip west usually means a sluggish team but they bombed Luongo and the Canucks 8-2, was that who the Flyers are or the club that lost some games on the coast? Same questions for the Islanders, are they the club that beat Buffalo or the one who self destructed against a very fragile Leaf team.

Islanders have the edge in goal, that I do know. Now it's up to them to work hard and generate some chances while getting back to some defense. I don't think Raycroft who's one of the worst goalies in the NHL had to make one good save Thursday.

Newsday: If this Neil Best blog update recently on Jiggs McDonald is correct he will be calling tonight's game.

Updated 4:30pm
Islanders Chris Botta's blog: Reports (with a disclaimer) Bergeron will likely be tonight's scratch on defense with Johnson and that Bergenheim will move up to the second line with Vasicek and Satan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As anyone who has read this blog going back to it's beginning/previews know I think Bergenheim had the best NHL game for right now to this point comparing him with Tambellini and some of the other prospects. I'm happy he's getting a look on the second line but please let's not spin this like he earned it by great play recently.

Bergenheim threw a hit that led to the Islanders only setup for a goal by a forward combo this week against Washington but he barely played against the Rangers and was benched by Nolan for a lazy penalty against Toronto.

In other words he is getting a look now because Tambellini did not do enough and went down for Bootland to play on a fourth line with Simon and Park. Nolan can praise his work through camp and how he pays attention but it is what it is.

I just hope it works out and sticks for the long-term like it worked for a higher first round pick in Raffi Torres when he went to Edmonton and got a chance.

Sound Tiger Website: Has a game preview for tonight's game at Lowell. Check site for radio and internet webcast of game.

Islander News Articles 10/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2007 09:32:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan has a very good article with Chris Simon who returns from suspension tonight against Philadelphia where he goes into detail of his suspension and what happened on the night he chopped Hollewig. This against the backdrop of the Jesse Boulerice twenty five game suspension.

"I didn't swing my stick at him," Simon said. "I chopped him. I know it's wrong, but it wasn't a golf swing or a baseball swing like everybody else says. I don't want to do that again. But I'm still going to play the same way I always have. It was a reaction thing, not an action.

"Getting hit the way I did, I was injured on the play. I wasn't myself. I was half-knocked out. It wasn't like I was looking for anybody. I didn't even know who hit me. He came back towards me, I was hurt, and that's all I could do. I didn't want to get hit again."

"When I'm fighting, if I hit somebody hard and hurt him, I know what's coming. Because the guy is trying anything he can to not get knocked out. That's what happened to me. I think if I had been hit again on that play, I would have been out. That's the only logic I can put to it."

"I go out thinking about what I have to do to stay in the league, to play my game," Simon said. "I've always been the type of player who's stuck up for myself and, more importantly, for my teammates. All I've been thinking about is my first game against the Flyers. I'm really excited to get back out and help the boys."


Greg Logan: Updated his blog late Friday and reported Nolan put the team through a very hard practice Friday. Jeff Tambellini was sent back to Bridgeport because Simon was activated, Bootland will dress for the Flyers, Bergenheim is being moved up to the second line and only six defenders will dress and drew praise from Nolan. Bates is at least two weeks away from returning.

“I thought Jeff got much better,” Nolan said. “The game against the Rangers, he played a great game for us. The other game [against Toronto], it wasn’t just him. It was everybody.”

“We have to pull a ‘D’ out,” Nolan said. “I talked to the team. We’re not going to take anything for granted. You have to play hard if you want to play. It’s just that simple. If life were that easy, we’d just show up and play and not worry about anything. There’s only a few chosen people in this world that can do that. We can’t. We have to work or you don’t play.”


Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garrioch is reporting former Islander Randy Robitaille may be signing with the Senators and there has been mild interest from the Islanders in bringing him back as well. A source said the Senators' deal for Robitaille, who would be joining his ninth NHL team, was still being worked out late yesterday.

Espn: Reports former Islander John Vanbiesbrouck will be inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame Friday.

Sound Tigers Website: Has coverage of the 2-0 win against Norfolk and Joey MacDonald's shutout.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had three blog updates. Tambellini's return for the Sound Tigers in home opener, and a quick ECHL update, centered around a win in the home opener.

Ct Post: Also has an article on the game. Tambellini had a goal and an assist.

"In the third, I thought we dominated," said MacDonald, a free-agent acquisition this summer who earned his 17th AHL shutout and first for Bridgeport.

"Our goal is six penalties or less in a game, and we gave up seven. (MacDonald) kept us in the game," coach Jack Capuano said. "We were a little sluggish early, not moving our feet, which is not what we want."


Virginian Pilot: Paul White has the Admirals coverage of the game along with Steve Stirling's comments.

Sound Tigers play at Lowell Saturday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Busy off day top to bottom. A little surprised Tambellini got demoted for Bootland but this could be temporary. Good sign he went right back to the AHL and help the Tigers win by scoring. Interesting Bergenheim got promoted for taking a penalty against Toronto and was benched while Tambellini was demoted. A little surprised Nolan worked the club hard after five games in seven days, but apparently he wanted to send a message.

I'm not sure what Nolan's going to do with the defense after only five games where things have been unsettled. I do not think Bergeron has any special dispensation nor will Berard who was minus three and for that matter the same applies to Andy Sutton.

If Johnson outplays all three, Johnson should dress, I'm not sure what it means when Berard practices with Johnson but I can see Sutton and Bergeron both benched.

I don't put much stock in Garroich rumors and normally would not waste blog space here with them but this one is Ottawa centric and specific, let's just hope the Sens win this one and sign Randy Robitaille.

10/12/07

NHL Team Store opens in Manhattan

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2007 02:29:00 PM



NHL.com: Announced the opening of it's new team store today in Manhattan.



Goring, Carins are among the Islanders on hand to sign autographs along with the Stanley Cup.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I knew about this for a while, just forgot about it until Goring and Cairns were there for autographs today and then decided to post it.

Pictures look nice on the league website of the store but to place a store like this inside the baseball capital of the World just makes no sense. On top of that you can bet Gerry Cosby with his store inside Msg is very unhappy about this and I'm sure it's not going to help the Islanders team store sales either.

Starbucks alone should do enough business to keep the place running for a few years.

I would have put the store in the NHL markets that do the most business in terms of fan support and that would be Buffalo or Pittsburgh who combined to sell out an 80,000 seat football stadium for a hockey game in a day. People in New York City purchase Yankee and Met items, not Ovechkin, DiPietro, Jagr or Crosby jersey's for hundreds of dollars.

If I can get a Cairns or Goring picture, I will post it.

Islanders season at the crossroads already?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2007 10:32:00 AM
I know the Islanders played poorly last night and it was their fifth game in less then seven days.

Having written that last night's game did continue some poor early trends that do ask the question is this team at the crossroads and what happens next will determine what kind of season and team they will be?

Losing Jon Sim for this roster is also a major loss with his speed and grit that gave his line intanbibles his replacements so far have not shown to say nothing of his ten-twenty goals he was expected to produce on a roster lacking in offensive depth.

There have been some bad trends that go beyond coaching not only on the backline but up front that were asked going into the season that do need to be asked again because they have lingered for most of the first five games.

Poor Trends:
* Will this be a thirteen goal year for Bill Guerin or a thirty goal year.
* Is this the year Mike Sillinger slows down offensively.
* Can Hilbert, Tambellini or Bergenheim show something on offense.
* Is this the year Satan's decline becomes far more dramatic.
* Is the pressure now on Bergeron because there are expectations from day one here.
* Is Andy Sutton our next Ken Sutton.
* Wiil Nolan make a tough choice and go back to six defenders.
* Can Comrie play a two way game.
* Can Hunter finish.
* Different cast, same high penalty totals per game.
* High shots against and quality chances.
* Can Vasicek finish or is he a six-ten goal scorer on a second line.
* Where's the even strength scoring that defined last seasons team.

Good trends:
* Much more scoring from backline.
* Fedotenko looks like a top six forward who never stops working.
* Sim until his injury looked like an impact player.
* Campoli and Gervais look more confident.
* Witt and Martinek are steady as usual.
* Guerin is well respected by officials and opposition.
* DiPietro again looks like a franchise goalie.

I don't know if anyone noticed this but Daryl Bootland makes your best offensive play over three games it's not a good sign. It's not all about winning or losing but about signs that point to how your team does long-term.

Not sure what Chris Simon's return does but Nolan benching players for lazy penalties like Bergenheim took is not going to help his case for dressing.

My guess is Snow and Nolan do not care about contracts, salary or status. The players who give them the best chance of winning will be in the lineup. If that means Bergeron and Sutton sit and Johnson goes into the lineup Nolan will do it and not look back. If that means Satan sits in the stands and Blake Comeau is recalled Nolan will do that.

This roster was constructed on who will show up and work hard, it's going to be very interesting see how they compete (not win or lose) Saturday and if this is a crossroads because there are some trends here after five games that seem go beyond coaching to a degree and that's not good.

As Bill Guerin said it's not what you talk about in an interview but how you play.

Funny. Alexei Yashin said the same thing as captain and was off to a better offensive start then Guerin.

New York Islanders and Unrestricted Free Agents

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2007 09:36:00 AM
I find it very interesting last summer was the year basically the hockey media in North America decided the New York Islanders are not an attractive place for UFA to play in.

Garth Snow and even Mike Sillinger talked about the condition of the Nassau Coliseum inside the building from locker room to ice surface as being a major factor.

At this point I have to mention the Nassau Coliseum is not as old as Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh (is that's what it's called this year?) or Msg in New York City. No one is going to convince me the Meadowlands was a distinct selling point over the years for free agents or even Newark Arena for Brent Sutter?

Snow made it clear back in July that it is a factor when all things are even in negotiations and the media took it from there to an entirely different level which made Snow's comments a mistake to bring it up at all or poor excuses for not getting his first choices.

Most important the last two summer's were the first time the New York Islanders decided to lean heavily on unrestricted free agency to supplement their talent pool.

What they did do was give fair market contracts or walked away from their own free agents by choice. Ryan Smyth wanted to play out west but if the Islanders decided to give him an absurd contract around seven million he likely would have signed but by all indications that would have been a Yashin-like mistake.

What I find interesting that no one talked about is the Islanders the last two summers had their best UFA signing period in their history. Many of their signings have been to finals, won the cup or played for championships, not star players but people you can build a winning core around because they have been a part of it.

This is not like resigning Czerkawski as an unrestricted free agent, by comparison Islanders did very well based on the past.

Brendan Witt
Mike Sillinger
Bill Guerin
Mike Comrie
Andy Sutton
Ruslan Fedotenko
Tom Poti
Sean Hill

Before the new CBA dropped unrestricted free agency to below age thirty one Mike Milbury never tried for top level free agents or did not have the resources because Yashin and Peca were getting huge money and took up the bulk of the budget. Before Wang came in they had no money to retain their own players for close to a decade much less sign franchise talent.

What should be noted is all their restricted free agents did stay here for a long time.

Under Bill Torrey I cannot recall a major free agent signing unless were talking about David Volek's defection to North America. Most of Torrey's work was through the draft or trades and it was very tough for a player to become a free agent back then.

The bottom line is the last two years the New York Islanders did not overspend to land franchise players but did add more talent from UFA then ever before. They did not front-load contracts and pay someone a ten million dollars bonus for this season after what happened with Alexei Yashin or Michael Peca and this is not a corporate ownership that can write off losses to overspend on hockey players. If they did my guess is they would have gotten someone regardless of what the locker room looked like or the tunnel leading to the Coliseum ice.

As with most things money talks and if you offer a lot more than someone else you usually get what you want.

Islander News Articles 10/12:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2007 08:06:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article had Ted Nolan on the Islanders effort, singled out Bergeron and Satan performances as well as the team as a group for poor performance, the lack of scoring was discussed.

"It's almost laughable," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said with a disgusted look. "We're much better than we showed tonight. I don't know if they played all that well, but I know how bad we played."

"The way he played typified the way we all played," Nolan said of Bergeron. "He made some bad, bad decisions with the puck. He didn't skate, he didn't move his feet, he didn't do the things he's capable of doing."

"The bottom line is we just didn't compete, we didn't work, we didn't think, we didn't do a lot of things that our type of team has to do," Nolan said. "If they don't do it, that's the result you're going to get."


Newsday: Logan also did an article on former Islander Jason Blake.

"During training camp, I was feeling tired faster," he said. "This is when it wasn't out in the public. I had a feeling something was wrong. But I feel better every day."

"No, it's in the back of my mind every day," Blake said. "I'm faced with it every day because I've got to take this pill. Am I at ease? Probably 90 percent. But there's a little 10 percent that I [think about]."

"The support I've gotten definitely does mean a lot to me," Blake said. "It's not easy for anyone to go through it. I've had a lot of e-mails from guys around the league. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I'm just concentrating on hockey and my family and moving forward."

NY Times: Dave Caldwell, who's editor did not do an Islander artcle for Wednesday's home game did do a feature today on Bryan Berard with quotes from Witt, DiPietro, Berard and Bergeron. Interesting comment from Berard in that he felt he and Nolan share something in common because the game was taken away from both of them

“He sure didn’t take the easy way out,” said Brendan Witt, another veteran defenseman. “He could have taken his insurance money and left the game. Good thing he’s a stubborn man who loves the game of hockey.”


Daily News: John Dellapina among several articles is reporting former Islander, Dave Scatchard is trying out with the Rangers and practiced with them.

National Post
Toronto Star
Globe and Mail
Toronto Sun: Among the Leaf centric coverage, Chris Johnson does an article on the Islanders being a club of castoff's where Nolan's says he wants to get players here for the long-term.

Toronto Star: Kevin McGran had an article on Berard.

I know I haven't played a lot of hockey the last three years and a lot of people questioned my defensive abilities, too," said Berard. "That was frustrating. But it kind of lit a little fire under my butt.

"I know my offensive part of the game is still there. I'm older wiser, and solid defensively."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Gist of most of the Leaf centric coverage was Dubie proved last year was a fluke and the Islanders were playing tired, that the Leafs were not under any pressure once they got the lead and the win was not a good barometer. That at best Islanders are a playoff bubble team.

Personally I think Dubielewicz would immediately become the Leafs number one goaltender based on his career resume in Denver and Bridgeport where he's been an all-star and a goalie who thrives with more work, just had no chance last night in front of a club that did not show up.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog is about Stirling and Colley in Bridgeport tonight for the home opener against Norfolk and Mike Dunham in to work with the goaltenders.

Ct Post: Article is about opening night, Jon Sim's injury creating an opportunity with comments from players and coach, Jack Capuano.

"We've got to win at home. It's just one game at a time. I know everyone says it, but it's so true," forward Jeremy Colliton said. "Hopefully, we'll have a good showing (tonight). It's the only way we're going to build anything here."

"The home opener is always a lot of fun for the guys," coach Jack Capuano said. "I told them, the most important thing is to have fun."


To watch or listen to tonight's game:

Norfolk Admirals at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com

10/11/07

Toronto 8, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2007 10:15:00 PM
Islanders Website: Has the ugly recap of tonight's complete no-show by the Islanders.

"They played real well and with a lot of emotion," said Bill Guerin. "And the fact is we didn't. That wasn't acceptable, but we'll be back at it on Saturday."

"There are no excuses to be made," said Mike Comrie. "We need to work a lot harder as a group."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Maybe the Sound Tigers who have been waiting for a week to play it's second game should have went to Toronto instead because this was one of the worst Islander efforts as a team in a long time, even worse than the 8-6 loss in Toronto a few seasons ago. It's one thing for the club to be outworked and lose but their opposition was as fragile as a team could be going in and looked like a team waiting to lose in the first period. When the Islanders escaped down only 2-1 there was no excuse for them not to come out and start working.

Instead most of the team just gave up and Toronto did not even have to be good, but the Islanders made it a very easy night for a very mediocre club with poor defense and a terrible goalie in Raycroft. Once it was clear the Islanders were not interesting in working hard it only got easier for Toronto who were able to show some confidence.

Hard to put much of this on Dubie, Martinek did not work to clear a Leaf in front on the first goal and the second goal was redirected. After that it seemed the Islanders left Dubie hanging out to dry every way possible. Power plays/shorthanded they just imploded top to bottom. Outside of Witt, Fedotenko, Hunter and Park this was just a no show across the board.

In short this looked like the club the so-called experts predicted them to be. Guerin, Commrie could not get out of their own way. Bergeron was a disaster as was Sutton, Campoli and Gervais were making big mistakes and even a goal went in off Witt. When the Islanders were not watching the Leafs outwork them they were taking penalties and a lot of lazy ones. Pick a player between Bergenheim, Comrie, Tambellini in this department.

Islanders did not even pick a fight until Belak went with Sutton and Belak initiated it.

Were going to see how the club deals with some adversity now. A lot of offensive passengers so far. Simon's suspension is over and it does not seem like this defense should go with seven players.

Either way they lost tonight because they did not show up to play and that is very disturbing against a very mediocre and fragile opposition. Losing and working is one thing, some nights it's not going to happen, but losing and not working is another and in this game Raycroft was barely tested and neither was a very weak defensive team.

I know Islanders are playing a fifth game in seven days, but it's October and between the seven defenders, the forwards who played limited minutes and one trip on a plane, I do not see it as an excuse at this point.

Another Scott Burnside Disaster

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2007 01:06:00 PM
Thought today would be a good clean up day on Scott Burnside of Espn who decided to rank all NHL coaches.

Espn: Scott Burnside ranks the NHL coaches according to his own standards. Nolan was listed as number twelve.

NYI Fan Cenrtal Comments:
Top to bottom the usual shoddy job from Burnside.

So let me get this straight:

Burnside picks the Islanders at the bottom going into last season after his usual rip job on the Islanders. They have a ninety two point season with a lot of injuries and lose two one goal games to the club that won the President's Trophy in the playoffs, lose the other game by two goals after a tying goal for the Islanders was disallowed in the final two minutes and Ted Nolan is only twelve despite many mentioning him for the Jack Adams last season at times and after him calling some of the players malcontents?

To say nothing of his work in Buffalo?

Meanwhile Tom Renney who's club regressed from the previous year by about ten points who had only two more points than the Islanders and only won once in eight regulation head to head games last year is seventh, even though Jagr refused to take part in shootouts?

How did Peter Laviolette finish third for winning game seven of a final and Craig Mac Tavish finish fifteenth after both their clubs had terrible seasons a year ago?

Jacques Martin, who has been a diaster in Florida was ranked fourteenth? Alain Vigneault won the Jack Adams and was only ranked fifth. Yes, he had Luongo as his goalie but go ask Martin if that made a difference in Florida?

What was it Andy Murray did again last year to finish tenth over Ted Nolan besides not make the playoffs in Los Angeles or St Louis besides get a glowing off season review from Scott Burnside.

The bad news, Scott Burnside get's to write and be read/seen on Espn.com because our sport deserves better. The good news, Scott Burnside's preseason predictions usually turn out just as incorrect and once in a while his work can be put under the spotlight for fans to be critical of when merited.

Oh yes, Burnside had a far different perspective on Gretzky's coaching ability
here a few seasons ago.

10/11: Toronto vs New York 7:30pm FSN 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2007 09:50:00 AM
Globe and Mail: David Shoalts reports on the injuires, possible lineup changes and the Leafs struggles going into tonight's game coming off a poor performance against Carolina. The usual pressure is being applied by the Leafs media in several other articles which former Islander Bryan McCabe being booed by the fans who also has the third most turnovers according to NHL stats.

Islanders Website: Has the early preview of tonight's game in Toronto.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Toronto is a struggling team that should come out and play hard tonight after the all the abuse they are getting from the fans and media. I could have written the same thing going into the Carolina game that they just lost 7-1 so it's impossible to know how the Leafs or Islanders will respond.

Jason Blake will want to beat his former club in their first head to head meeting.

Reports out of Toronto are Toskala is stuggling with high shots (hope Satan read that) but so does every goalie.

Islanders (aside from DiPietro/Witt/Martinek) should not be tired carrying seven defenders in October, a lot of forwards need a breakout game against a weak defense and goaltender struggling with their confidence. Nolan after a win said he plans the same lineup.

Bergeron after imploding as an Oiler in a game at Toronto last season just before the trade was solid in his appearance there as an Islander. He needs a strong defensive game tonight and so does Sutton.

Pick a forward: Satan, Sillinger, Vasicek, Tambellini, Guerin are due to score some goals.

In other years I would expect Dubielewicz here but Islanders plan on using DiPietro they way New Jersey uses Brodeur and after Saturday, Islanders have only three games the rest of this month.

Islander News Artifcles 10/11:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2007 08:26:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's recap of the game talks about how the Isles will juggle seven defenders, Berard's impact, Bergeron's goal which was the club's first three on three goal since 1981.

"I know playing seven can be frustrating," Berard said. "You're in the game, you're out of the game. It's a tough decision for the coaching staff."


Newsday: Mark Herrman does a feature on Berard.

"I don't take things for granted now," he said. "I did have the game taken away from me for about a year and a half with the eye and almost [the same] with the back. I just love to play."

"What really led us to believe he was ready was his commitment to foot his own bill and stay here and want to be part of this," Nolan said.

"It would be kind of tough for me to describe what 'B' has been through because it's harder than anything I've been through," said Bill Guerin, the captain. "Now, obviously, it showed tonight. He's a big part of our team."


Newsday: Steve Zipay's Ranger centric coverage.

"If we were in a situation where we're not getting chances, that's when you've got to worry. What can you say? Three games in, Ricky played awesome. We threw everything at him."


New York Times: Ranger beatwriter Lynn Zinser had commentary from DiPietro and the Islanders.

“We came together pretty quickly here,” said Bill Guerin, the Islanders’ new captain. “In my opinion, the closer the guys are off the ice, the closer we’ll be on the ice. We’re not a star-studded team. We’re hard workers who have to play together. If we don’t play together, we don’t win any games.”

“We’ve got guys here who are selfless guys, who don’t mind jumping headfirst, feet first, whatever they can do to stop pucks,” DiPietro said. “That carries a lot of weight in close games like this.”


Daily News: Brian Bohl did another Islander game recap centered around Berard.

"I came in to prove I'm healthy," said Berard, who also suffered a career-threatening eye injury in 2000. "We came into the season with high expectations. I'm feeling good. I'm only going to get better."

"I can't imagine losing sight in one eye and continue to play at this level, and he's able to do that," DiPietro said about his new teammate. "We're excited to have him."


Daily News: John Dellapina's Ranger centric coverage credited Rick DiPietro.

Journal News: Sam Weinman would have looked good in the blog box for the Rangers considering all the positives he found in another Ranger loss but does quote Berard.

New York Post: Larry Brooks did not even mention the Islanders or send Dan Martin out to get the home team's perspective. Considering Martin in his very limited space Monday wasted it on attendance not sure anything lost here.

Ct Post: Michael Foranbaio's Ct Post blog has an eight minute video interview with the beatwriter previewing the Sound Tigers.

Ct Post: article is on Frans Nielsen.

10/10/07

New York 2, Rangers 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 10:16:00 PM



Islanders website: Has the early recap of tonight's 2-1 against the Rangers. Bryan Berard had the game winning goal in his return to New York and likely one more game winning goal then he had in his first tenure in New York.

Bergeron scored the other Islanders goal.

Nolan dressed seven defenders, Bootland was the healthy scratch.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog reports Jon Sim is facing season ending knee surgery pending a final examination on Thursday.

“It’s tough,” Nolan said of Sim’s possible loss. “You look at what we tried to add to our team, and he’s got that grit, the spirit and that competitive edge. Sim added all those things. To be without him definitely hurts, but someone else has a chance to come in. Now [Jeff] Tambellini will get a chance.”


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great game by DiPietro that got little attention in the papers, he moved well and was very steady and was the best player on the ice. Beyond that you go into these games knowing Nolan will likely outcoach Renney which was the case again tonight.

Witt and Martinek were outstanding, so were the penalty killers as a unit who got in the trenches and forced the Ranger shots from the outside which led to a lot of blocks.

Five on five was another story. Bergeron had some huge mistakes, forgetting the one in the first peirod with Shanahan what stood out to me was the one just before the Ranger goal where Bergeron lost his man in the corners and Sutton left another Ranger all alone. The commnication was very poor on that play. Seven defenders did not seem to work out in terms of shots against or coverage and several players had limited minutes. Sutton the first time he saw Jagr took a weak holding penalty with virtually no pressure on him and Jagr was kept on the perimeter all night and did not seem willing to work very hard to get to the net until the third peirod.

For all the complaining about Bergeron's defense his goal was amazing and the kind of shot lacking by everyone but Berard who scored the other goal on a Kozlov-like shot that went through the goalie. Pressure is on Bergeron here at the start of the season unlike when he came here from Edmonton and the pressure was off. Sillinger was mostly quiet but his faceoff win led to the goal. Hard to believe first three on three goal since 1981.

Not an easy game with the Rangers trapping in the neutral zone which led to Bergeron's turnover in the first peirod as even the announcer noted, they sit back and wait for mistakes.

Fedotenko had some very good shifts where he kept working hard and forced mistakes from the Rangers. Satan looked terrible in his five on three shift and the line with Vasicek just did not generate much. Guerin did everything but finish his five on three chance but his value to this point has been sticking up for teammates and setting up plays.

Funny thing I read today is how it's going to take time for the Rangers, but all we read all summer was how everyone on the Islanders left. Seems to me the Islanders strategy was a little better than the Rangers and when your goalie is your best player you got a great chance to win which Islanders did.

That said some players have to start appearing on the scoresheet among the forwards, cannot keep winning with the defense doing the scoring.

NHL will wait as Okposo returns to Minnesota

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 06:35:00 PM
USCHO.com:Brian Deutsch writes an article about Kyle Okposo, why he returned to school, and what's ahead.

* Playing at hockey's highest level might have been the easy choice, but for Okposo, it wasn't the right one.

"I've always wanted to play here (at the University) and one year is way too short," he said.

"Kyle is going to make the right choice off the ice and he's going to make the right choice on the ice," Lucia said. "He's everything you want in someone who's going to represent the University of Minnesota hockey team."

New Template for NYI Fan Central..

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 12:55:00 PM



As always I'm looking to upgrade the blog and message board and this will be an on going process. I did make a major template change yesterday so the full forum could be put to use for information.

I hope folks like the new sleek look and the new way articles are presented here for context and copyright purposes.

Of course comments and suggestions are welcome and my thanks to everyone for their support.

Jason Blake, Blogs and Forced PR

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 10:53:00 AM
The more things change the worse they seem to become at times.

Today I'm going to take a few shots at the Islanders and feel they are merited.

This morning I looked at the Toronto papers and they are posting letters from fans supporting Jason Blake after Blake revealed his illness on the Leafs official website. Greg Logan posted support for Blake in his blog at Newsday and several Islander players commented and expressed support for Blake in the paper.

My problem here is where is the organization he was with for over six years to rally
public fan support for Blake? We saw this in the past with Kevin Colley and Islanders who sustained major injuries. What are they waiting for with Jason Blake who deserves thousands of letters of support from Islander fans thought the club's website?

If I recall we even saw public support from the club in Blake's first year when his wife had thyroid cancer and he left the club so where is that same management today?

Where is the Islanders pr department?

You guessed it, selling their new blogger box at the game Saturday and today force feeding us selective messages from some low grade message board selling how well the club looked in the games against Buffalo. To top that off the club's website is advertising tickets at discounts for tonight's game so they can get another sellout.

This makes me think back to my moderation days at HF or my days owning Islanders
Sound Tigers and laughing. What would have happened, Botta would contact me and ask me to pick out ten glowing reviews among the posts so he could put them on the website?

Forgot. At HF Buffaloed or Holly Gunning would be pushing the moderators who do all the work aside here so they could take over for something like this and so the Islanders would give HF a plug or two?

I know the Islanders are working and fighting hard behind the scenes to reach out to fans and I know the club is forced to do these things because the hockey media in New York is terrible and they had to lower their standards and reach out to fans any way possible these days for coverage and support.

That written what happened with Jason Blake comes first in my view and the minute the Leafs website announced this the Islanders website should have been asking fans for letters or support for Blake and expressing their public support as an organization.

Even though Mr Botta and Mr Witt have blogs I do not consider that the Islanders website. That is for own province of what they wish to discuss but for those curious
neither mentioned Blake to this point and have written since Blake's announcement.

Botta did hit the nail on the head in discussing Post Dan Martin's attendance comments against Washington with his very limited Islander space.
*********************************************************************
As for bloggers:

Islanders have already added a rumor blogger from a low grade website and made that another official part of the site.

My thoughts on the Islanders selecting fan bloggers to go to games I think is interesting but also puts fan/blogger and management in a tough spot. For the reasons I gave above I understand why the club is doing this but being a veteran fan of the club in cyberspace I found some things curious.

Seems like no long-time Islander fans with established blogs or long time fans were selected outside of Tom Liodice were picked and even his blog is new. It's like they wanted fans bloggers like they want that kid element at games now to bolster fan support.

Personally, I would never go sit with other fan writers myself and then feel obligated to give the organization something positive in return whether it be merited or not. The hockey should always be the story, not a writers reaction.

Feels like a restaurant giving Zagat a free meal back when they were starting up restaurant guides.

How a writer blogs has to be strictly decided on how the club plays and their personal interpretation of the game.

Opening night at home they earned praise for their play so even there for these people it’s a fine line to walk.

If they wanted to pick my blog that’s fine but I would not go sit with anyone or interview players, I would simply cover the game as I see it from a fan perspective without any access.

Let's not kid ourselves, most of the established professional writers are fans of the
team they cover but hide it well in public but many publications have a vested financial interest in how a team does. Just ask the Yankee and Met media in New York the last week who now have to find something else besides the game to write about but you can bet hockey will not be it.

Bottom line this is again just a lowering of standards out of necessity.

SI wanted to do a real story it should watch established hockey writers and see if they are caught cheer leading for their clubs behind the scenes.

That's my blog for today. You can call it many things, but one thing it will always be is my own perspective and more honest then some may care for.

10/10: New York vs Rangers 7pm Versus

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 09:59:00 AM


Again combining the game preview with the news articles.

Feels like Islanders are playing the Minnesota Wild tonight with all the lack of hype from the media on all sides in our baseball centric market.

Twenty years ago even in early October this would get hype reserved around here for Yankees-Red Sox for days in advance.

Islanders Website: Has the early preview of tonight's game.

Newsday: Greg Logan's article speculates about the defense and if Berard can get into the lineup for tonight. Comments from Nolan and Guerin. More important is Jon Sim is out indefinitely and was hurt because of the poor Coliseum ice surface before he went knee first into the boards.

"If he comes in, someone has to come out," Nolan said. "That's the tough part about our job. He has enough experience to carry him over, but we have to make sure we're fair with him and put him in a good situation where he's ready to play as opposed to hoping he's ready."

Berard, who played only 11 games with Columbus last season after recovering from back surgery and has played a total of 55 over the past two seasons, can't wait to get going. "I've missed enough hockey in the last two years," Berard said yesterday. "The team's playing well right now, so, I don't know if they're going to want to shake up the lineup or what. But I'd like to be in the lineup, especially against the Rangers. I feel like I had a good camp and showed them what I can do."


Newsday: Steve Zipay's Ranger centric coverage is about Strudwick or Staal in the lineup for Paul Mara and his 3m contract as they shuffle lines for tonight's game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had an article about the new uniforms and what some of the Sound Tiger players think of them.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tough stretch here with a game tomorrow night against a team that lost 7-1 and will come out very angry tomorrow so things could snowball fast with a loss tonight.

Islanders have to get some scoring here from not only the top line but the second line whether Tambellini, Bergenheim or anyone else is on it. Does Nolan go seven defenders tonight which he does not seem to want to do and defeat the purpose of Bootland here for Simon? Rangers trapping defense only allowed two goals against Ottawa and one against Florida.

Updated 12:10pm:
Islanders Website: Reports Berard will be in tonight's lineup.

10/9/07

Berard saga ends, signs with Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/09/2007 03:53:00 PM

Islanders website: Finally announced the Berard saga is over agreeing to a one year contract.

"I came to camp determined to prove to the Islanders I belonged in the NHL and I’m very appreciative of Garth Snow and Ted Nolan for giving me the chance," said Berard. "The guys have already shown this season what kind of character this team has and how strong a team we are. My goal is to do everything I can to make us better.”


Newsday: Greg Logan reports Berard's contract is for 725k.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sure glad this saga is over because I was tired of blogging about it.

A lot of credit to Berard and agent Tom Laidlaw here. I don't know if he had offers the last few weeks from other teams and we have no idea what the Islanders promised behind the scenes in terms of how he would be played, but he kept quiet past the start of the season and let the situtation play itself out and was at practice without a contract several times.

As I wrote before seems Snow was stubborn and wanted to get something for Meyer or wanted to do something he could not make happen. I kind of like that he was stubborn and did not want to give up a player but having Berard quarterback the powerplay in practice and then not have him on the ice for three games made no sense and may have cost them against Washington.

Now we see who sits for Berard to play which also will be interesting.

Islander News Articles 10/9:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/09/2007 08:10:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the game recap where Poti and Kozlov praised the Islansders, Nolan and DiPietro were quoted about the loss with more speculation that Berard will be signed shortly.

Newsday: Logan also has an article with player reaction to Jason Blake having Lukemia.

NY Post: Dan Martin's game article centered around Mike Comrie's turnover that led to the game winning goal. Guerin and Comrie are quoted on the game as Berard's likely signing.

"When you expect a lot out of yourself and you're an important part of the team, there are going to be high highs and low lows," Comrie said.

"It can be heartbreaking when you lose and make a play like that, but you learn from it."

"You can shoot a lot and just fluff the goalie's pads all day," said Bill Guerin, who acknowledged that the Caps had more scoring chances.


Daily News: Brian Bohl showed up again, his article centered around Comrie's turnover, shot selection and thoughts from Nolan, DiPietro.

"Offensive guys like to make great offensive plays," coach Ted Nolan said. "Mike knows maybe he should have went up the boards with it. If he has one turnover a game and creates six on the other end, we'll take that any day."

"It's not always the shots, sometimes it's the chances that they get," said DiPietro, whose team held a 31-12 edge in shots.

"We just have to take better shots," captain Bill Guerin said. "I think we're shooting to shoot. Especially with bad ice, you have to keep things simple: get to the net."


Washington Post: Required registration for access to their game coverage.

Washington Times: Corey Masisak has the Caps Centric coverage of the game.

NHLPA Had a feature on Islanders goaltending coach Mike Dunham.

Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger, did an article on former coach Peter Laviolette's support for Jason Blake.

Edmonton Journal: Cam Tait, had another updated on prospect Robin Figren who again had a good game according to Oil King's management.

10/8/07

Washington 2, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 05:24:00 PM
Islanders Website: Has the recap of today's 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog commented on Jason Blake, Meyer, Berard practicing with the club on Sunday again and only fifeen hundred tickets available for Wednesday's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Cannot win them all but this was one game they kind of let get away themselves even though they did out work the Caps, it's one you remember late in the season when you need two points because it was a winnable game where the opposition seemed satisfied with a 2-0 record and did not have Semin in the lineup.

Shots for the Islanders was misleading but when you give up only twelve shots you have to finish your chances and force the Caps to open up which never happened who played a very patient game and made some good plays when they had to. Outside of a lot of individual plays that could have went in and changed the game, very little offensive chemistry. Islanders did not make it that hard on Kolzig or their defense and they looked terrible on the five on three and it really set the stage for the loss because they did not work to get the puck down low and Satan like last year looked lost on the point. Guerin lobbied the refs well for power plays and Islanders got a bit of a break on a Caps high stick goal that could have gone either way but Guerin looked slow and did not do much offensively.

Fourth line seemed to have the most jump and by the end it looked like Bergenheim had Tambellini's spot on the second line for a few shifts. Bergenheim's hit led to a good play by Bootland who fed Park perfectly for the 1-0 goal. Hunter had good jump as did Sillinger but Hilbert again could not finish when he was in position and Poti made a great play on a breaking Hunter.

Fair or not bad things seem to happen around Andy Sutton and Kozlov's goal on a great shot with Sutton in the way tied the game and a few times you could poor communication with Bergeron and made me wish we paid Poti. Martinek's two third peirod penalties did not help the Islanders get their offense going and he lost his man on the game winning goal which DiPietro had no chance on. Campoli had some good hits.

All Islanders can do is move on to the Ranger game. This one reminded me of a loss to Florida a few year ago on Columbus Day where they just could not win a game where they seemed to have control. In this league today you have to get games to overtime and get your points.

Unlike all of last year they now have a loss where they led after one period.

Freddy Meyer claimed by Phoenix

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 12:39:00 PM
Cory Witt: Reported in his media blog Freddy Meyer was claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports former Islander Ryan Caldwell was already sent back to the AHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Best of luck to Freddy Meyer in Phoenix. For selfish reasons you want him to stick around because you want the Islanders to have depth, but on the other hand you want the player to get a chance to play in the NHL and it did not seem likely that opportunity would be here. No doubt the club wanted to hold onto Meyer or could not make a trade.

Jason Blake has rare form of Lukemia

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 12:25:00 PM
Tsn and several media outs along with the Leafs Website: Report former Islander, Jason Blake has been diagnosed with Lukemia.

"This morning I shared with my teammates news that I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia," Blake said on the team's website.

"It is highly-treatable, and I have begun taking a pill on a daily basis that has proven to be very effective in controlling this cancer. The prognosis, and certainly the expectations of my physician, myself and my family, is that I will live a long, full and normal life. This situation will not impact my ability to live my life as I otherwise would, and will not affect my ability to perform at my highest level for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I'm looking forward to my first season with the Leafs and helping our club compete for the Stanley Cup."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Terrible news. One minute an article about how he's not scoring, now this.

Put's things in perspective about what's important and makes me happy he has financial security with his new contract. Hopefully Blake goes on and has not only a long and healthy life but a long hockey career.

Where are they now? 2003-04 NY Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 07:24:00 AM
Sorry gang, no team picture available.

Fun topic before an October day game on Monday. Did management make the right decisions to let many of these players on the 2003-04 roster after the lockout?

One answer can be after the lockout Milbury qualified some players he never should kept while others signed elsewhere. Michael Peca was traded for Mike York.

One thing for sure is many of these players careers fell off the map completely after leaving the Islanders. In many cases Islanders made the right call in letting these players go because they have not been impact players where they have gone in most places, many for big dollars that hurt their current clubs.

So where are they now?

2003-04:
Mike Milbury: Is now working on television. After his post-lockout decisions resigned during a terrible 05-06 season. Worked last year in the business part of the organization.

Steve Stirling: Got this club to a playoff spot with a lot of injuries that year (and more points than Ted Nolan got last season) was fired after the lockout after the team struggled badly. Today is coaching the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL who visit the Sound Tigers Friday.

Adrian Aucoin: Got huge contract from the Blackhawks who never saw how his yearly groin injuries were getting worse with age and hurting his mobility. Missed the better part of two terrible seasons with Chicago as captain before the Hawks unloaded him to Calgary who did not want another former Islander, Roman Hamrlik.

Sven Butenschon: After playing in Germany during the lockout returned to the NHL after the lockout, played ten games for Vancouver but mostly played in the AHL before returning to Manheim where he still plays today.

Eric Cairns: After his giveaways in game one of the Tampa series never played another shift for the club. Signed with Florida, went to Pittsburgh but injuries took their toll and was not offered a contract. Is back with the Islanders as part of the alumni and was announced at the home opener.

Roman Hamrlik: Got a big contract with Calgary after the lockout and had his ups and downs before the Flames walked away this summer. Montreal signed him to a five year contract for over twenty million which looks like a bad response to losing Sheldon Souray.

Kenny Jonsson: Never played another NHL game after the Tampa series. Signed a contract with a job after his playing career with his home town team Rogel in Sweden where he still plays but has had at least one more concussion.

Alexander Karpovtsev: Cue the jokes and Pat Foley's comments. After he played his three games with the Islanders and went home, Florida signed him after the lockout where he played a grand total of six games. Since then he still plays in the Russian leagues and in 07-08 is still active with Sibir Novosibirsk.

Radek Martinek: Was signed by Milbury to a two year contract, improved his game dramatically on defense and despite major injuries is a critical part of the Islanders blue line. Was resigned to a three year extension by Garth Snow this week is the only remaining player from the 03-04 defenders.

Janne Niinimaa: I guess Steve Stirling was not the only problem because after being unloaded to Dallas he never found his game there before being dumped on Montreal who rarely used him last season. The injury problems that began back in Edmonton kept diminishing his game. Today he's listed as being on HC Davos but is not listed as having played.

Shawn Bates: Unfortunately unlike Adrian Aucoin, the Islanders did not let Bates go when it was clear to anyone watching he has the same chronic groin problems. Islanders resigned him and had limited impacts on the losing team in 05-06 or the playoff team of 06-07. His injury from last year is still lingering but he is still with the club and still skating at practice as he sits on injured reserve. Have to think Richard Park's two year extension could spell the eventual end of Bates Islander career if he can play.

Oleg Kvasha: After being unloaded by the Islanders in a steal for a third rounder was not retained by Phoenix. He plays now with Vityaz Podolsk in the Russian Hockey league.

Justin Papineau: After never making it with the Blues, Islanders or Devils organizations he signed in Europe for 07-08 with EHC Basel.

Michael Peca: After being traded for Mike York and a draft pick, had a very tough year in Edmonton where he was critical of management, could not stay healthy early and was relegated to fourth line duty. The Olympic break got him healthy for the stretch and come playoff time he was outstanding and almost led the Oilers to a cup but was critical of management afterward again and signed in Toronto where another knee injury shut him down for the season. Signed an incentive contract with Columbus and already was placed on injured reserve.

Cliff Ronning: After his forty games with the Islanders became a victim of the lockout and is retired.

Dave Scatchard: Scatchard wanted big money after the lockout and got it from Boston who paid him four years and around seventeen million. A few short months out of nowhere they dumped his contract on the Phoenix Coyoyes where he never had an impact on a bad team before a concussion last season led to a buyout this summer. No team has signed him and no updates on his health but have to wonder where the Islanders would have been if they paid him as many fan wanted after the lockout?

Alexei Yashin: Management's somewhat unfair scapegoat for years of mediocre support from supporting cast (as evidenced by mediocre/poor results from so many of these players after leaving) led to fan/media opinion finally convincing management to buy him out and take a long cap hit against the payroll. Blake himself said the fans expected miracles from him. His fifty eight point season and ten points the final ten games were one of the biggest reasons the club made the playoffs, but his playoff struggles continued and that was the final straw even though Satan, Kozlov and Zednik had poor playoffs also. In the end why not save ten million long-term and start over while winning fan support for the move? Yashin's unfair reputation kept teams from signing him at what his agent felt was fair so he signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl where some reports are he is injured again.

Arron Asham: After years of inconsistent performance under several coaches despite outstanding acceleration and a great shot, Islanders decided not to bring him back.
Asham was not in high demand and had to settle for a pay cut to sign with the Devils, kept reading about hand or wrist injuries limiting him last year.

Jason Blake: Blake to this point is the one franchise talent from the 03-04 roster that left at his peek because they felt he was not worth that kind of money for that long based on one season. In 03-04 and until they day he left gave all he had every game for the club and was it's most visible forward. Could make a good argument both ways about signing Blake but his age and how he scored here suggest he may never be as good anywhere else as he was here because of how the Islanders were constructed. For a few years he should be good with the Leafs but my guess is Toronto find's out he was never a first line talent but on the Islanders had to be.

Mariusz Czerkawski: After Stirling got another twenty five goal season out of him in 03-04 returned to the NHL after the lockout where he played parts of one season with Toronto/Boston before going back to Europe where he today plays for SC
Rapperswil-Jona. Outside of Blake the one player management got the most out of for the least money before moving on.

Eric Godard: Godard lost a fight after the lockout with the Islanders and was injured for a while but on the ice at the time was virtually useless on a very bad team that could not score before going to Calgary where he played only nineteen games for them last season as he was in the AHL. He's reportedly on the Flames current roster.

Trent Hunter: Still a productive impact player with the Islanders to this day, but has never showed the scoring skills he did in 03-04 before a knee injury.

Mark Parrish: Was traded to the Kings in the Jeff Tambellini deal, signed a huge contract with Minnesota where he had one of his worst seasons and found himself on left wing and on the fourth line. Had another invisible playoff for the Wild last season despite his comments he never felt he had a chance to win with the Islanders at playoff time before the postseason last spring. Bounced around the Wild's lines a lot to this point.

Steve Webb: Maybe it's unfair to call him part of the 03-04 Islanders because he was reacquired in a minor league trade at the time? He played one playoff game and five overall games, took a penalty and that was the it for Webb who's career ended with the lockout. Today he's part of the Islanders community relations department and was introduced opening night.

Mattias Weinhandl: Islanders gave him every chance in 03-04 to produce. After leading the SEL in scoring during the lockout never impressed Steve Stirling to where he got significant minutes again and if I recall was waived and the Wild picked him up where he did not impress them over parts of two seasons despite good AHL numbers in Houston. Went back to Europe and today plays for Linköpings HC.

Garth Snow: After losing his spot to DiPietro in the second half of 03-04 never saw serious minutes again and was injured on a very bad Islander club in 05-06 but somehow was given a three year extension before...........why bother, we know.

Today he is the general manager of the New York Islanders and retired as a player, but his contract does count against the cap.

Rick DiPietro: Franchise goalie who built on his outstanding second half in 03-04 and playoff where he became the full time starter. Had no chance in 05-06 on a terrible team and struggled early and had some injuries but was outstanding in the second half. Faced the most avg shots per game last season and recorded a 9.19 save percentage and led the club to a ninety two point season.

Franchise NHL goalie who is signed through 2021.

10/8: New York vs Washington FSN 2pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2007 05:58:00 AM
Combining the news articles with the game previews today because it's an early game.

Islanders website: Has early preview for today's game.

Newsday: Greg Logan's talks about Chris Campoli, Tambellini practicing on the second line with Satan and Vasicek and where Berard may fit if signed by the club.

"I'm just playing the game the way I know how to play it," Campoli said. "For me to help this team, that's the way I need to play. Right now, I'm shooting the puck and it's going in."

"Chris came into camp much more mature this year," Nolan said. "I think when you're younger and get things given to you a little too quickly, you take things for granted. Chris worked extremely hard this off season and it's paid off for him."


Washington Times: Corey Masisak has an updated on how former Islander Viktor Kozlov is doing well paired with Ovechkin.

Washington Post: Did not have an update this early on today's game.

The Toronto Star: Reports Jason Blake has been taken off the first line because both Sundin and Blake like to control the puck. Also talks about how many chances Blake creates with his hard work and skating but already the pressure is on Blake from the media because he has not scored in the first three games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Kolzig is coming off of a shutout. Oveckkin, Semin, Nylander, Kozov are a very good offensive combinatinonb and the backline is improved with Poti. Caps have been a hard working team for years under Hanlon and will give the Islanders everything they can handle and more today. My impression is Sim will be out for a long stretch and a knee injury can really linger as we saw with Yashin and so many former Islanders.

Islanders could use a big offensive game from Satan and the second line with Tambellini getting his opportunity.

A small sidebar today is finding out if Meyer cleared waivers. You want to keep him if possible because this is an injury prone defense and you need all the depth you can get. As for Tambellini this is his chance to prove he can play on a second line in this league. Unfortunately he's going to have to do it with a center who had six goals last season but he's a first round pick on his second organization at a point where he has to show he can play in a top nine position as Nolan indicated.

10/7/07

Tambellini recalled, Logan, Fornabaio blog update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 05:46:00 PM
Cory Witt: Media blog reports Jeff Tambellini was recalled and practiced with the club Sunday.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports Park's conract is for 1.5m/two years with quotes from Nolan, Tambellini practiced [with the second line and Meyer/Berard status going into Monday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did an update on the AHL and some items of interest.

Richard Park resigned through 2009-2010

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 12:39:00 PM

Islanders website: Announced Richard Park has been signed through 2009-10.

"Richard exemplifies the type of character players we want to be New York Islanders," said general manager Garth Snow. "He's a team-first guy who plays with his heart on his sleeve and battles every shift."

"To say I'm happy would be an understatement," said Park. "Since the first day of training camp last year, I was determined to make the most of the chance Garth Snow and Ted Nolan gave me. I love this franchise. My family has really made a home on Long Island. This is incredible news for us. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to stay with the Islanders for a long time."


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Do not know the terms yet of the contract, but unlike Radek Martinek who has standout skills in a primary role this is not a player you give this kind of extension to because it limits your options. Park is a very hard worker and gives his best and more but you cannot lock up a fourth line center for this long when that spot should be reseved for a prospect. Now they have Bates for two more years and Park for this year and two more. Different positions but who has best potential to do more, Park or Tambellini/Nielsen, Comeau, Colliton? What does this mean for Ben Walter who is a center who had not gotten much of an NHL look in Boston.

Like Richard Park, but he's not an impact player and in this league you have to keep your options open.

A quick NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 09:28:00 AM

I have gotten a few questions about the blog the last few days and wanted to answer directly here to save time.

* I have changed the news format somewhat to clean up the way articles and commentary are presented here. I feel it's important to credit all newspapers and sources while only quoting part of their work as I give my own commentary when I feel like it. With everything here I'm always looking to improve the blog and will keep experimenting.

* The message board is very easy to join, I would not have picked Bravenet if it were not so because I want it to be easy for myself. From day one my plan there was for a small group of diehards and it will take some time. Hopefully the folks visiting here want to talk hockey there and it catches on. Mr Prospects has been kind enough to do updates on the club's prospects so we have something there that folks can enjoy and I'll keep adding topics for folks to contribute to if they are not sure if they want to start a topic of their own.

* I have toned down some of Mr Botta's and Mr Witt's blog coverage in my blog because New York Islander Fan Central is not affiliated with the club. This blogger is not interested in promoting ticket sales or will do any advertising for the Islanders. In other words some of their blogs make for good discussion here while others are more their own and the same goes for the Islanders website. Either way I enjoy their contribution and have linked it to the page so all their work is available to our visitors.

* Finally, I do not believe in fan rumors from blogs or low grade message boards until a credible new source inside the media confirms it. Not a knock on anyone but for this blog the information does not have to be first but it does have to be correct every single time. I never want to put information on this blog based on fan speculation or rumor. I can do plenty of my own speculation based on rumor but to tell you something happened and is done I want it confirmed from a credible news source first. Not a fan blog, not my own blog.

Thanks again to all the folks who come here and visit.
NYIsles1/IslesTigers

Islander News Articles 10/7:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2007 06:51:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan kicks off the coverage of the home opening win vs Buffalo.

Newsday: Mark Herrman showed up to do one of his three or four Islander articles a season to remind us how bad a franchise we are while crediting the early results and specifically Mike Comrie.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny how Herrmann did an entire article the other day on the 94 Rangers and sold how things can be that way again for a few days but wrote the Islanders dynasty in 1980s might as well be ancient Rome to the current players?

Of course what's a Herrman feel-bad article without some reference to Alexei Yashin somewhere because he likely never watches the Islanders play and does not know the current roster. We may see Herrman Wednesday but my guess is we don't see him again until Al Arbour coaches against Pittsburgh.

Newsday: Greg Logan did an updated on Meyer being placed on waivers and what this could mean for a possible Berard signing.

Daily News : Someone named Brian Bohl
who likely is an A.P writer or associated with the Buffalo media covered the home opener.

"We know we're a skilled line," Comrie said. "We're not satisfied after two games. There's a lot more we can all do out there."

"Both teams tightened up," DiPietro said. "It's tough starting a season back-to-back, but I thought we did a good job coming off with a lot of energy."

"It feels great, but it can turn around just as easily," Campoli said. "I'm just staying even-keeled and hopefully we can keep winning."



New York Post
: Dan Martin showed up for his first game to remind us it was announced sellout in an article that read like someone who has not covered a game since last season and did not know the players.

"Comrie told us over the summer that he wanted to be the go-to guy," coach Ted Nolan said. "He's been our go-to guy."

"Our role is to score goals," Comrie said. "We've done that for two games."

"Mike Comrie is a dynamic player with the puck," Rick DiPietro said.

"The last 15 minutes, we kind of sat back," Comrie said. "We have to keep playing."


Buffalo News: John Vogal leads the Sabres coverage of the game.

“It was substantially better,” said goaltender Ryan Miller, who made 21 saves. “We didn’t have quite the offense we had on the first night, but again, the Islanders adjusted to us, too.


Sound Tigers website: Had game summary. Joey MacDonald played well. Tim Jackman, Ben Walter and Frans Nielsen (from Tambellini) had the third goal. Dustin Kohn had a good game in his AHL debut.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updated his blog on the line combos on the Sound Tigers won won their season opener in Hartford Saturday 3-2.

Ct Post: had article on the season opening win.

"The last two weeks, everything we've been emphasizing to our guys to do, they did," said Jack Capuano, who won his official debut as Bridgeport's head coach. "That's why we were successful."

"Give our young defensemen credit. This is a tough place to come into," Capuano said. "I'm proud of those guys. They sustained a lot of pressure from the forecheck. They made a lot of good decisions with the puck."

"The last two weeks, everything we've been emphasizing to our guys to do, they did," said Jack Capuano, who won his official debut as Bridgeport's head coach. "That's why we were successful."


Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlet leads the Wolfpack perspective on the game.

Sound Tigers next game is the home opener Friday against Steve Stirling's Norfolk Admirals.

Edmonton Sun: Jason Vogel reported prospect Robin Figren played well in his return from injury that kept him shut down in Moncton.

Canadian Media Slam Sports