Islander News Articles 11/7:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2007 11:37:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan recaps the Islanders 3-2 win on Tuesday.

"For us, it's great that we are able to turn the last two games being down after the second period," Satan said. "It's a good confidence-builder for the future, but hopefully, we can play better in the first two periods so we don't get into too many of these pressure-time situations."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann compares the goalies and gives this round goes to Rick DiPietro. He also notes the Ranger defensive system as Captain Bill Guerin talks about his goaltender.

"He's the backbone of our team," said Bill Guerin, who should know, considering he is the captain. "This is a guy who we rely on every night to be our best player. He's a guy who invested in this organization with his whole career. He's a kid who's into it. He's happy to be here, he wants to win here and he comes to the rink every day and works."

Newsday: Steve Zipay has the Ranger centric point of view.

NY Times: Lynn Zisner's Ranger centric coverage.

Espn: David Amber did a Q & A with Mike Comrie and asks him all about signing with the Islanders, if he wants to sign a long term deal here and what he thinks of the team so far.

Q: Why did you sign only a one-year deal?
A: I wanted to see how I fit in on the top line and to see if I enjoyed playing in the New York area. It's better to see that it works for me and works for them, then we can move forward.

Q: So, how has it been so far?
A: I like it here. We have a great group of guys. We have to win games by everyone chipping in. We don't have a $10 million player on this team. Everyone has to come and play hard every night.

Q: So, if they were to offer you a contract extension right now and the money and terms were right, what would you do?
A: [Laughs] We'll see. You're trying to hurt my future negotiations [laughs]. We're actually not allowed to talk until after January because of the new collective bargaining agreement. So, that's my excuse right now [laughs].

NY Post: Larry Brooks was the only writer assigned the game. He covered the Islander side of things a little which means he kept asking Bill Guerin about how important it is for the Islanders to beat the Rangers. Rick DiPietro's outstanding efforts or a quote from the Islander goaltender or even Ted Nolan were not included.

Daily News: Peter Botte was allowed to cover game and did a limited space article but had the following from Miroslav Satan and Ted Nolan:

"We were talking about the character of this team from the beginning and it's showed the last two games, to be able to come back like that," said Satan, who had scored just once in the first 10 games. "We're on a nice little streak right now."

Ted Nolan walked into the locker room and asked if his players were giving their all.

"They said, 'We can give more,' and they did," Nolan said. "That third period was a total team effort."

Daily News: John Dellapina's Ranger article has their viewpoint on why they lost.

Journal News: Sam Weinman blames the Rangers being tired as the reason for losing the game in the third peirod.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Three games in four days with virually no travel is tiring? Islanders also won earlier against the Rangers playing in a five game in seven day stretch to start the season.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on the penalty killing, the club's system and more roster changes with Bootland leaving the team for a game. Bridgeport plays at home this morning at 11am in a school day game for the kids.

"It's a developmental league. Obviously, you're trying to win hockey games," Capuano said. "At the same time, Teddy (Nolan, Islanders coach) and Garth (Snow, the GM) and their staff, if they need guys, we have to make sure they're well-conditioned, they know the system and they can be put into positions to help any way they can."

Worcester Sharks at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Today, 11 a.m.
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

New York 3, Rangers 2:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2007 10:25:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Islanders Website: Has the recap of tonight's come from behind 3-2 win against the Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders after only two peirods had twelve shots and no goals. Third peirod both teams had fifteen shots. Islanders broke the Ranger trap, wore down their defense and that led to quality chances. More and more the media is talking about this trap too which made for a game that had intensity but for a long stretch looked like a chess match.

Quality win top to bottom against a team on a very good run. Nolan seems to have Tom Renney's number in these games and always comes up with a game plan that seems to get the club two points.

Early in the season but that's five out of six wins for a team predicted to finish at the bottom of the conference. Satan, Hunter again came through with goals and this team found a way with injuries. Comrie and Fedotenko made Snow, Nolan and the hockey staff look very smart tonight.

Share of first place and a 8-4 record with games in hand.

Updated Wednesday pm:
Saw a picture of the Rangers trap and thought I would put it up. No criticism of the Rangers for playing this way beyond the fact it's boring to watch. If you win and it protects the goalie while outshooting the competition most games you have to play to your teams strength. DiPietro went a few long stretches without shots so that protects him too.

You see Fedotenko looking solid every game with a lot of and skill and start to think he can be a first line player for eighty two games. Comrie's move with the four on three and pass for a goal was just a great setup.

Full credit here to Andy Sutton and Bergeron because they played a second straight game where both had a little chemistry against teams that have a lot of potential scoring. DiPietro reacted like he should have stopped Drury but aside from that was fantastic on Nigel Dawes a few times. That pass to Sillinger in the third was incredible and would have brought down the house if he scored. Park, Vasicek were fantastic down the stretch and ate up Avery's line. Ben Walter, Jackman and Simon worked very hard when they saw the ice and almost finished. Mara got a nice backdoor goal on Gervais but overall all six defenders were solid. Witt did a great job on Jagr.

Satan is officially on one of his hot streaks and it has to continue. Guerin needs a goal or two here, so does Comrie and Sillinger needs that break out game. Hilbert threw a few hits and played his defensive game. Hunter took a big hit but again was dominating when he got the puck and finished his chance.

11/6: New York vs Rangers 7pm Versus

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2007 09:19:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here

AP/Islanders website: Has an early preview of tonight's game against the Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The over saturation of the Islanders-Rangers rivalry continues tonight at Nassau Coliseum, this game does seem to be a let down after Saturday.

No word on who replaces Johnson or anything on Bates, Bergenheim or Berard or a goaltender being called up if necessary. To this point Ben Walter is still with the club and DiPietro's playing status will be determined after the morning skate.

My guess is DiPietro will play but with no game until Saturday and Dubie more than capable of stealing a game if there is any doubt at all Dubie should start.

Islanders are going to have to get into the trenches and break the Rangers trap or it could be a long night if they fall behind because they are more then content to let Lundqvist stop thirty saves on low percentage shots. Nolan's forwards have to wear them down and make the defense work to move the puck, on offense they have to get players in front of Lundqvist or Valiquette.

Make no mistake Rangers play a heck of a good trap these days that is limiting quality shots against and generating a lot of quality chances for them but is very boring to watch for sixty minutes. That written if it's working they have no reason to change anything because it's successful and it protects what is already a talented goaltender on a very good team to begin with. This is their third game in four nights and last night was a physical game with Philadelphia. Rangers will be more than content to play a 2-1 or 1-0 game but also have the talent and confidence to blow the Islanders out of the building if they are not sharp.

Another 0-6 perimeter power play like on Saturday and the Islanders are not going to win here and I would not count on many more bounces off the end boards this time.

Islanders are 7-4 with games in hand and need a win or points here to maintain their standing and put pressure on Philadelphia.

Updated 11am:
Media Blog: Cory Witt reported Tim Jackman practiced with the Islanders today.

Updated 1pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan updated his blog and reported Rick DiPietro will start tonight. Berard and Bergenheim could return by Saturday. He promises another blog later today on Al Arbour night for those interested.

Islander News Articles 11/6

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2007 07:40:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
NYI Point Blank: Chris Botta in his blog had a few choice words for Jim Baumbach's article and responded in the paper himself. He felt Mr Baubach's intent was to incite reaction and generate interest in his work as motivation which would get his credit from his editor.

Newsday: Greg Logan's article confirms DiPietro's playing status for tonight will be decided after practice, goes into questions about Saturday's injury and his collison with Sean Avery last season which gave him a second concussion that Rick DiPietro felt was not intentional. Mr Logan also speculates Tim Jackman will be the Islanders call up to replace Johnson.

Daily News: Peter Botte in a first for this season attended practice and updated Rick DiPietro's playing status and if his equipment will be altered to protect him better.

"I felt good. I'm just trying to do all the right things to get back as soon as possible," DiPietro said. "It was scary, it's not something that you ever think is going to happen.

"The stick actually did catch me in the eyeball, but I guess I was fortunate that I blinked upwards and took it off the white part of the eye rather than the pupil. I feel really fortunate that it's not serious. I was trying to participate as fully as I could today and get a gauge where I am, and we'll see how it responds (this) morning."

NY Post: Dan Martin showed up at practice and got quotes from coach Ted Nolan, DiPietro and Bill Guerin.

"Anytime you have an injury where he had one, in a very crucial part of his body, that's scary," coach Ted Nolan said. "We're thankful nothing real serious happened. He looked good [in practice], and we'll see how he feels [today]."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let's see if this token coverage from the Daily News and Post holds up beyond one day or if only the Ranger beat writers will be covering the Islanders home game tonight. Everyone sure seemed to go over the concussion angle thoroughly.

Yahoo Sports: Ross McKeon did an article and picked the most underrated players on each team and picks Mike Sillinger for the Islanders.

Having just eclipsed the 1000-game milestone, the well-traveled 36-year-old checking center deluxe remains one of the best faceoff men in the game and a welcome addition to any playoff contenders roster. Sillinger has played for 12 different NHL teams, his leadership and versatility topping a long list of assets.

Aaron Johnson out six weeks

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/05/2007 07:46:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Reported today Rick DiPietro will be a game day decision tomorrow depending on how practice goes, but lost forward-defenseman Aaron Johnson with a knee injury for six weeks and that someone will be called up from Bridgeport.

You never want to see that with a guy as dedicated as Aaron Johnson,” said Nolan. "The good news is, when it happened it looked like the injury could have even been worse. I'm glad to hear we'll get AJ back.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Remember that depth we had on defense to where Berard could not be signed? Gone and that's barely playing games the last few weeks. No update on Bergenheim or Bates. I guess a winger means Bootland, Tambellini or Blake Comeau. DiPietro by all reports was lucky and with the next game Saturday no reason not to give Dubie the start against a team he beat in a must win game last year if necessary.

Injuries piling up early to a lot of players no one expected to be injured given their history.

DiPietro practices, Baumbach bombs

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/05/2007 01:48:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan returned and reported in his blog Rick DiPietro practiced and was pleased with the way he performed. Aaron Johnson suffered an unspecified injury to his right knee in a collision with Brendan Witt. Nolan declined to say who might be called up if Johnson can’t play.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach who did not cover Saturday's game or event has a hard time accepting the fact that Al Arbour gets credit for the win, writes his presence was completely ceremonial and contacted NHL spokesman Frank Brown & Craig Campbell to see if his record or his plaque at the Hall of Fame would be changed.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Jim Baumbach first put out his disclaimer Al Arbour Night seemed to be loads of fun to see him behind the players on the bench provided what had to be an emotional lift and sports needs nights like these. Then he dumped all over the greatest coach or manager in the history of New York Sports outside of Casey Stengel.

That said if he tried this in a Canadian City with a Hall of Fame player or coach he or his editor would be out of a job.

I guess Mr Baumbach needed some attention at the paper or wanted a reaction and my guess is it will come from not only the fans but the organization. He does a perfect job confirming my last blog on media that just does the job required and at times does go out of it's way to keep things negative and in this case seemingly vindictive.

Baumbach did all he could to compare the New York Islanders with a lot of teams and individual accomplishments that do not come close to matching what Al Arbour's Islanders accomplished that are still standing records today for all of professional sports.

First Mark Herrmann makes one angle on the alumni a story for Arbour to comment on now this?

Ted Nolan said what led him to do this since last summer. It was billed as Al Arbour coming back to coach a 1500Th game against a top team which could have beaten the Islanders as badly as Carolina did with Arbour behind the bench.

As for Mr Bambach's claims maybe this is going to start a trend in sports the Islanders should be setting the trend because they set the standard and to this day still hold it. Same thing that was behind Bill Torrey and Al Arbour dressing Bobby Nystrom for one shift for his milestone.

Thanks Jim Baumbach of Newsday for confirming my previous blog on the media correct.

To answer Mr Baumbach the Islanders can do this because they set the standard.

Islander print media needs life-long fans

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/05/2007 09:49:00 AM | | Comment Here
I want to start this blog update by stating that the hockey media works very hard and are very professional. They are under no obligation to be fans of what they cover. They are assigned a subject and paid to write about that subject to the best of their ability. The space they are given in the paper is decided by their editor.

I read what Greg Logan had to go through to get from Canada to Philadelphia earlier this year in Chris Botta's blog. I write this knowing full well Mark Herrmann's blog says it was updated at 1:40am on Sunday morning and he had another update Sunday afternoon. Michael Fornabaio's had a lot of stories on how much travel he has to do covering an AHL team which led to an accident a few years ago where he was injured and could not cover playoffs.

I do not think I have gone a single day since camp opened where Newsday did not have at least one Islander article in it's paper.

It's not a question of work ethic here for people in the media who read this but it is a question here of what motivates them besides their paycheck and their editors deadline. The hard work is there but is the passion for what covering the Islanders means to them matter?

To me that answer is clearly no.
In other words, it's just a job.
Is the writer to be blamed? Absolutely not.

If someone asked me to blog about something I was not interested in I would be professional and work very hard but have no passion beyond the work itself. If I was asked to blog for the Devils, Flyers or Rangers I would have the knowledge to do a good job as a hockey fan but I would have no passion at all for the subject and would privately have the calender out waiting for the Islander game.

Mike Bossy wrote in his book back in the late eighties the Islanders got their fair share of coverage but never what they deserved and he was absolutely correct. In those days we did have a Pat Calabria or a George Vecesy. They could write with passion about the club and you could see in their work that the Islander beat was kind of a public trust and personal to them whether they were praising the club or ripping the club for how it played. Even in those days there was not nearly enough writers who felt the same way to compete with the life long hockey writers who were fans of other teams.

That Islander team was so great it even won over a Mike Lupica who displayed a passion for the club in his work and some other long time media at times but it was few and far between and Bossy said it best.

Larry Brooks of the Post was the beat writer for the Islanders in 1980, covered Saturday's game and did a classy respectful article. That written everyone knows where his hockey roots are and what hockey team is his passion and he is entitled to that like I am about my passion for the New York Islanders because it's not something you turn on and off.

It also goes without writing it what Howie Rose passion is and no doubt he does a professional job.

And that's what this blog centers around today.

Today that fair share is completely gone.

Islanders used to have Marc Berman at the Post who wrote with passion about the club who's family had season tickets for decades before being assigned the Knicks beat where he still is today. When he had the Islander beat you could sense in his work how personal he took things in the late nineties with the former ownerships and the trade of Zigmund Palffy.

Alan Hahn claimed to be a life-long Islander fan when he had the beat in Newsday and started off fantastic his first few years but anyone who followed his work saw a regression his final years with the beat or he felt outnumbered by the beat writers of opposing clubs. There was friction with the club also when Chris Botta ripped Newsday's coverage late in the year so even the team saw something wrong.

It also must be noted later on Mr Hahn's father passed away after he left the beat.

This is no criticism of former Ranger beat writer Greg Logan who has had several assignments at Newsday. He is under no obligation to do anything during his vacation for his job and he reported he suffered loss in his blog recently so it may not be possible for him to cover the club at this time.

That written if it were my beat covering this team for Newday and if it was possible for me to be there I would want to be there covering that game Saturday because it's where I would want to be as a fan. George Vecsey, Larry Brooks and Peter Botte going to the Coliseum Friday seem to confirm this (or their editors) understood this obligation.

That written Greg Logan on vacation is entitled to do anything he likes and may have wanted to attend. For all I know he went Saturday on his vacation and will tell us what he thought when he comes back to the beat. Anything is possible until you know one way another so I'm just asking here.

All I can write is my perspective as a fan which is I was disappointed when the teams primary beat writer is not there to cover an event like this.

Unfortunately in my opinion right or wrong today there is no one in the newspaper media who actually is a long time hockey fan of this team who has passion for the assignment of covering the team beyond the job requirement. I also think the provervial glass is kept half filled intentionally which goes beyond the club's
on-ice performance which has been mediocre but better than expected overall.

Why do you think whenever someone plays well here the disclaimer comes with it nationally if he played someone else this would be a big story or that player is considered under rated. Good play receives virtually no hype out of this hockey media. I think that also influenced the Canadian media which filters to the rest of the American Hockey media about the club which gives fans, players and their agents an impression about the club whether it's right or wrong.

Evan Grossman who was the last full time Islander beat writer for the Post one rare time showed passion for the club picking them to beat Ottawa in the playoffs. It made headlines and drew personal criticism to him. Funny thing was I had no idea in his very small space at the Post how passionate he was about the Islanders or how good a writer he was until he got to and did some excellent features.

Mark Herrman's latest blog and article seemed like he wanted to stir the pot a bit
and raised an issue on the alumni for Al Arbour to respond to that was not mentioned in any prior article since the idea was first written about. Of course on Sunday with no new information on Neil Smith or updated quotes Larry Brooks decided to create his own issue as his lead story in his Sunday column.

Herrmann's work seemed to question why the club does these kind of celebration events and he even finds Pat Lafontaine for his comments on the subject who came back for the night despite his resignation a year ago. But the answer here is an easy one Herrmann does not bring up or want to write about. No NHL team (in US) has the storied history the New York Islanders have and no team accomplished what they did during their championship era and no team has matched it since in any professional sport.

In other words the Islanders have to set the standard here for all pro sports teams and cannot be compared with other franchises as Herrmann seems to suggest.

A lot of writers are life-long fans of the hockey teams they cover and you can always tell who they are because when those teams struggle those writers complain like the fans do in their articles and question the club like fans do. When they win they are front and center praising the club's efforts. Their special columns or Sunday features talk up the team for that publication's national circulation and these writers do vote for some player awards.

In other words the passion for the job is there and clearly these writers are fans of the club and that's a good thing provided they have some balance in their reporting.

I want to briefly note the fans on blogs, message board, mailing list and their websites are not to be compared with the professional media employed by newspapers unless they have that credential established.

That written these are the kind of passionate people you want to see hired by newspapers to cover the Islanders for a decade or longer because they will treat the job like it's a public trust. They will not only be professional like our current writers but passionate about the assignment which is lacking in the work we see in the Islander media today with the singular exception of Michael Fornabaio in the Ct Post.

Islander News Articles 11/5:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's Monday article has more on Saturday night's event and what it meant to the alumni and the current players. The team provided nothing Sunday on DiPietro's eye injury beyond the initial report it's not considered serious or career threatening. A new report will be issued today as to his playing status. Article claims Berard is progressing in his recover from a groin injury.

Sound Tigers Website: Has more on Sunday's 3-0 win at home against Norfolk.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game recap singles out Pascal Morency and Mike Morrison for their efforts in the win among other players.

Virginina Pilot: Paul White has a brief recap.

Boston Herald & Boston Globe have more on Petteri Nokelainen's recall which has him a fourth line.

Sound Tigers win Sunday at home

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2007 08:12:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here

All good things must come to an end which means an incredible weekend for Islander fans is over. The special Al Arbour page header up for the weekend goes into moth balls but the new fifteen hundred banner is saved on the page for posterity along with some great new memories.

The old header is back and has been sharpened up as has Bill Torrey's picture.

The Hockey continued today with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers shutting out Steve Stirling's Norfolk Admirals 3-0 on home ice. Jeff Tambellini had a goal, Ben Walter was not in the Sound Tiger lineup as Bridgeport just finished up a three game in three day stretch which is common for those who follow the AHL. Mike Morrison had twenty two saves for the shutout.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported on the win in his blog and notes former Islander Petteri Nokelainen was called up by the Bruins.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann updated the Islanders Newsday blog Sunday afternoon and wrote Rick DiPietro will return to the doctor tomorrow to determine whether he can play Tuesday along with some other peripheral items.

Thoughts on New York 3, Pittsburgh 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2007 11:20:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Perfect night for an extra hour of sleep for free Saturday, gave me some more time to do the game recap in a separate thread after devoting last night's blog to Al Arbour.

I was wrong about the Pens going into this game. They did not look confident and seemed to have less killer instinct than Tampa after losing a game in Colorado and they did look like a one line team despite a rare soft goal let in by DiPietro on a short side screen. Call it travel from Denver to the East coach or a lot of things but they did not look very good.

Forgetting the pressure of Al Arbour night the Islanders did not play a great game despite the shot disparity and it did seem like the ghosts got the Islanders two points in this game. Sidney Crosby may have hit the wrong spot on the board but his play to Hunter for the first goal was better than any Islander setup for two periods. It's been a long time since I have seen a shot go wide at the Nassau Coliseum to a wide open forward on the other side for an easy open net goal and Satan made a perfect shot on the game winner.

Islanders best shift in the first period came from Ben Walter, Chris Simon and Aaron Johnson who cycled very well before Walter just missed tipping one in and looked good every time they were on the ice. Comrie almost finished a rare giveaway by Pittsburgh.

The power play set up on the perimeter and did not press a defense with Mark Eaton, Rob Scuderi and former Sound Tiger Alain Nasredine among others or a team with Ryan Whitney out of the lineup. They forced the Pens into few mistakes and gave struggling Marc Andre Fleury confidence with a lot of low percentage shots and he made a few very strong saves as well, the Pens defense blocked a few that easily could have gone in so they deserve some credit too.

Defensively Andy Sutton and Marc Andre Bergeron had their best games as Islanders this season. Radek Martinek had a very poor decision that almost cost the club skating out in front of his own net and again it seemed like the ghosts were again present when a puck bounced over his stick and the whistle stopped play as a Pens penalty broke up a sure two on one break. Brendan Witt had an absurd call made on him for a clean open ice hit in the first period. Campoli and Gervais were solid, Hunter for his shots did not get into the high quality area's but worked very hard. Hilbert did not finish but his work ethic was noticeable again as was Richard Park's.

Team defense got in the passing lanes and when they did not DiPietro made a few big saves, Dubie had to be sharp and was with again the ghosts stopping Crosby who hit a crossbar after the Islanders tied the game on their best setup of the night with Satan finishing an excellent play where you have to wonder if the ghosts knocked down Vasicek so he was behind the play and was in position to make that pass.

Pittsburgh seemed very willing to trade chances with the Islanders at times with their firepower and it did remind me of last year's games for a few stetches.

Overall Islanders are 7-4 and have won three of their last four games. It's not close to perfect and this club seems to need a period plus of being outworked and out skated before they get into the trenches and start creating quality chances but they are finding ways to compete and get points and take the game from the opposition when it's in the balance.

Islanders can do without DiPietro for a short stretch because Dubie can handle the work but for now everyone has to hold their collective breath as to the extent of his eye injury. Martinek got Crosby's stick and lifted it so to blame him here for something intentional just does not appear to be the case. I was worried DiPietro got another concussion when I saw the play and it says a lot he was in the building through the ceremonies but did not go onto the ice.

The trapping Rangers come to Nassau Coliseum Tuesday in a game that already seems anti-climatic after last night.

Islander News Articles 11/4: DiPietro update

Newsday: Anthony Rieber has reaction on an incredible night and Rick DiPietro's eye injury.

"It was an electric atmosphere," Trent Hunter said. "It was a lot of fun for the guys. We were grateful to get that win for him."

"It feels really great," Arbour said afterward, "but I didn't really do that much."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann blogged at 1:40am, reported on DiPietro and wrote the tribute was dynamic and not a museum piece that made the game anticlimactic. He felt current players and today's fans were an active part of the show, not just witnesses with Pat Lafontaine
saying on his way to a reception afterward, we have not seen the likes of this anywhere else in sports.

Newsday: Former Islander Patrick Flatley tells some incredible stories about Al Arbour and how hard he pushed him to make him a better player that falls along the lines of the Arbour/Potvin bus story in 1975.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I never heard these stories before on the Arbour-Flatley relationship, fantastic stuff.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann does an article on what Al Arbour means to the Islanders along with a lot of great quotes from former teammates and Scott Bowman.

NY Times: Joshua Robinson covered the game for the Times.

NY Post: In a big shocker Larry Brooks covered the Islander game and put up a good article and praised the Islanders for putting on a great show. He praised Al Arbour, the alumni and talked of the history but as always Brooks fails to understand the Islanders are not the problem, the New York Post and their poor hockey coverage in the New York market is the problem. He questioned if DiPietro had vision problems before quoting the teams statement on the goaltenders health.

"For me, being an Islander now, this represents what the organization has done, and what we're capable of doing as we go forward," said captain Billy Guerin. "We're all happy to be here, we all want to play here. This is a franchise with such a rich tradition. We all want to do our part in carrying it forward.

"We wanted to win this one really badly. We wanted to win this one for him."

NY Post: Larry Brooks in the no good dead goes unpunished department of course does not talk more of Al Arbour in his regular Sunday NHL column but instead questions why Neil Smith's contract status with the Islanders still has not been settled.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Larry Brooks national past time and one of his favorite kinds of articles. Shots at Gary Bettman, a little airing of dirty Islander laundry on a day that it's not an updated story and not single quote from anyone with new information. This could have been written at any time in the last year so why now?

Daily News: Mike Lupica writes
Al Arbour was the same model of class and consistency and excellence when he was winning four Stanley Cups with the Islanders as Joe Torre was winning four World Series with the Yankees.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Absolutely true, but make no mistake, the New York Islanders did not have a two hundred million dollar payroll advantage to slaughter most of the competition long before the games were played on the field. Joe Torre was a model of class long before he became Yankee manager. Al Arbour could have went to a lot of teams on the rise after his first tenure as coach and written his own ticket and won more Stanley Cups but the Yankees will never be anything like the family concept that the Islander franchise is all about which is why he came back and why Joe Torre has moved on to another team again.

Point Blank: Chris Botta Saturday in his blog tells a wonderful story from the heart on Al Arbour attending his father's funeral days after Al Arbour's retirement night in 1997 and the pin which I still have from that night.

Daily News: Peter Botte covered the game and reported DiPietro told Ted Nolan by telephone before he arrived at the doctor's office that he thought he'd be fine in very limited space.

Canadian Press: Reports Islanders spokesman Chris Botta said DiPietro did not suffer a severe eye injury, but was taken from the arena to the office of team ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce Zagelbaum for an evaluation and remained in the building until post-game ceremonies honouring Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour were completed.

Nolan hugged DiPietro before the goalie left the building.

"I just asked him how he was and he said he was all right," captain Bill Guerin said.

Updated 12:15am:
Islanders website: Reported Rick DiPietro received the news from the team's medical staff that Rick DiPietro did not suffer any permanent damage to his eye but a facial contusion and cuts near the right eye. An examination late Saturday evening with team ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce Zagelbaum confirmed DiPietro did not any serious damage to the eye.

For now, DiPietro will be listed as day-to-day and the team expects to have its next update on Monday afternoon.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary wondered if it was like old times from the Pens side of things on the night Arbour made a 60-minute comeback predictable.

"Maybe it was the hockey gods," Penguins forward Ryan Malone said.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary also had quotes from defender Rob Scuderi who is from Syosset about Al Arbour.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Rob Rossi has the Penguin centric coverage and knew very well about the Islanders history against Pittsburgh.

Sound Tigers Website: Has full recap on the game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the Sound Tigers 4-1 win against the Hershey Bears Saturday night. Jeff Tambellini had a goal and three assist in the win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog talks about how many shots Bridgeport gave up for the win tonight.

Patriot News: Has the Bears centric coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sound Tigers again face Steve Stirling's Norfolk Admirals Sunday at home today in a 4pm start which is their third game in three days.

New York 3, Pittsburgh 2: AL ARBOUR # 740

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2007 10:38:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders Website: Has the recap on the Islanders 3-2 comeback win for Al Arbour's 740Th win as an NHL head coach on what was an incredible night.

ITV: Has Al Arbour's eight minute press conference after the game with Ted Nolan.

Islanders Website: Also had some fantastic pictures of Al Arbour and the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Normally I spend this space to talk about the game which I will do tomorrow in a separate blog. Beyond the comeback that made you wonder if the ghosts came back to the Nassau Coliseum to haunt Pittsburgh once again for tonight this blog will talk about the show the New York Islanders put on and what it meant to see Al Arbour behind that bench again for me. I have posted a lot of articles, video and will do more of that but I have not shared my personal thoughts about Al Arbour as a hockey fan.

I cannot get the smile off my face as I write this. I'm so happy for him as a fan that he had one more night like this and will go out a winner forever now.

Al Arbour did not look out of place on that bench in his familiar spot and at times I found myself forgetting this was a special night as he leaned in and talked to players or had his paper in his hand and he seemed to go right back to his spot behind the bench out of instinct.

Once again you could see the presence Al Arbour has behind a bench and as I worried if the team could win this game for him and felt older, Al Arbour seemed to get younger and even more involved. He did not look like a seventy five year old man who could not stand through a ceremony less than two years ago with leg problems that kept him in a wheelchair. I was shocked to see him walking up stairs at the Coliseum at practice the last two days and privately wondered if he could last the entire game standing this week. I was amazed to see him walking on the ice between periods but it was like he was twenty years young.

I saw the man who accomplished more than any coach in the history of pro sports in terms of team victories. Only team in pro sports history to win nineteen straight playoff series, last team to win four straight championships in any sport. An organization that won because of it's heart, character and the class of the people running it that made it a team that was unique and never about the individual which is why they won like no other team and as long as they did.

For the younger fans reading this blog you got a look at what New York Islander tradition means tonight. Incredible first class show put on by the organization tonight from top to bottom after a game result you could not script any better. The class of Al Arbour, Bill Torrey, the championship and community alumni and people like Scotty Bowman and Pat LaFontaine.

SNY had Neil Smith on live television praising Al Arbour tonight.

For a minute I saw that confetti coming down and the building going wild with the players on the ice and for a second I found myself thinking of the past cup celebrations with the current team and what it would be like if it happened again.

In the old days players did not do a group photo with the cup so that was not a tradition when the Islanders were champions.

The New York Islanders did something tonight I have not done in countless years, they made me think a Stanley Cup was possible here again someday.

11/3: New York vs Pittsburgh FSN 6pm coverage

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2007 06:25:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Video Tribute to Al Arbour:

Updated 3pm:
ITV: Has Al Arbour behind the bench at practice, addressing the team Saturday.

Islanders Website: Has the early pregame for tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It will be a special night for the alumni, the organization and everyone involved," said Arbour. "I'd like to thank Ted, Garth and the owner for making this possible for me. It's a great thrill for my family and me to be back in our hometown of Long Island."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If the Islanders cannot win the Stanley Cup this year, I want a win tonight.

Lot's of pressure on the Islanders and the staff here with an outstanding skating and scoring team that will not lack the confidence Tampa did. Bergenheim out and Ben Walter went to the Island according to the Ct Post.

A little risky and unheard of having a banner ceremony after a game. If they lose badly it could ruin it for some but hopefully the fans attending will separate the two regardless of result and understand that Al Arbour did not want any pregame distraction for the team if he is going to be behind the bench.

I will be in attendance tonight and will update the blog tonight or tomorrow. I hope Islander fans of all generations have a great night and congratulations to Al Arbour.

As for the game I have a personal observation, could be dead wrong but it would be very interesting to see this come down to a shootout and something Al Arbour never saw in his career to decide a game he coached. Islanders are due to play one and I just have this feeling were going to get one tonight.

Dany Sabourin has challenged for the starters spot with solid play and is expected to start according to some publications. Ray Whitney sat out practice with a groin injury as a precaution and Georges Laraque is expected to play. Ben Walter should be in the lineup for the Islanders.

Islander News Articles 11/3:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has highlights on Al Arbour's press conference and how the current teams feels about him coaching them Saturday.

"Well, he coached one of the dynasties," Guerin said of Arbour after practice Friday at Nassau Coliseum. "There are not too many coaches out there you can compare to Vince Lombardi, but he's one of them."

As his news conference went along, the coach seemed more and more like the old Arbour. He joked that he hadn't read the contract. Snow said, "Trust me," to which Arbour replied, "I've heard that one before."

When it was mentioned that one of his former players called him a father figure, Arbour cracked, "Well, he didn't say that in those days, I tell you that. They called me all kinds of names in those days. I was very hard on some of the players, for one reason. I wanted to bring the best out of them."

NY Times: Legendary writer during the Islander dynasty era George Vecsey came out for Al Arbour's press conference and does an outstanding article.

“I wanted to be Guy Lafleur or Mike Bossy,” said Nystrom, who is still affiliated with the Islanders. “Al would talk to me quietly and tell me what he expected. He was a psychologist. We would practice three-on-two endlessly because Al wanted to cut down on our goals allowed. We might not always do it right, but we knew what he wanted.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yes everyone, believe it or not this is the kind of daily coverage we used to get at the New York Times for our hockey games. Vecsey called the Islanders the greatest team of it's generation back when they were winning the Stanley Cup and his work was at a level far above anyhing today. I only hope the Times let's him go cover the game tonight.

Daily News: Peter Botte makes a rare appearance today in the Daily News to cover the press conference.

" I'm sure I'll be a nervous wreck," Arbour said after watching his new assistant, Isles coach Ted Nolan, run practice yesterday. "I know Ted better do a good job (tonight) or I'll be on his back. ... Whatever they want me to do, I'll do. I'm hoping to have a good time."

"It's going to be an exciting time, an honor for all of us to get a chance to play for such a legend in the game," DiPietro said. "But this is a real two points. There's consequence to this game, so our main focus has to be Pittsburgh."

NY Post: Larry Brooks who was Islander beatwriter in 1980 showed up and covered the press conference.

"I don't understand the game today," said Arbour, who turned 75 Thursday and was surely underestimating himself. "I can't believe what I'm seeing."

"It's a no-name team, but it has a lot of character," said the Coach, accompanied on the trip to what he called, "home," by his wife, Claire. "They play hard every night."

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Shelly Anderson has Pens coach Michel Therrien's classy words about Al Arbour. Ryan Whitney was held out of practice with a groin injury.

"He had such a good career and was such a great coach," said Therrien, who hopes to meet Arbour. "I remember the first time I coached against Scotty Bowman, that was something special to me because I grew up watching him. And watching Al Arbour win all those Stanley Cups, to see him behind the bench is going to be special."

Cbs Sportsline: Wes Goldstein has an excellent feature on Al Arbour.

"That first year he came in, we knocked off 100 goals against as a team," said Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin. "We had allowed the most goals ever by a team in its inaugural season, but he had a system and a style of play that made us responsible, and ultimately it was a major reason for all our success."

"He took over that team when they were starting out and brought it up to the level of a champion," former Islanders captain and current New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "You can't understate the role he played there."

Newsday: Bob Glauber reports Islanders owner Charles Wang is interested in purchasing a team in the new UFL Football league that could play at Hofstra University starting next August.

NY Daily News: In the latest Ranger defeat and humiliation in court John Dellapina reports the Islanders were one of three teams to vote to keep control of their website.

Sound Tigers Website: Reports on Bridgeport's 5-2 loss at Binghampton Friday night. Blake Comeau and Frans Nielsen had the Sound Tiger goals.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Ben Walter will be called up to likely replace Sean Bergenheim in the Islander lineup Saturday and writes about the loss to Binghampton.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage is on the Sound Tigers getting lot's of shots but not finishing, second round pick Dustin Kohn and Gregg Johnson were scratched as Joe Rullier made his debut.

It's just a funk that — it's tough for us," Capuano said. "You can't fault the effort. You can't fault the way we played."

Press & Sun Bulletin: Has the Binghampton Senator's coverage.

Welcome Home Al Arbour

Updated 3:00pm
Islanders TV: Has Al Arbour's sixteen minute contract signing and press conference.

Any coverage I can find on this I will add to the bottom of this blog so keep checking back for updates throught the rest of the day. Has the first of several updates on what the club is planning to honor Al Arbour starting with FSN which will do a special one hour pregame with special highlights and interviews from former players. Also has Al Arbour's stats as a head coach who is first in games coached and wins with one organization and second in playoff games coached and wins. Dan Rosen had a feature article Thursday on Al Arbour, how the idea of him coaching again came about and a lot of other things in a must read with comments from Chico Resch and Denis Potvin.

“I got a call from Charles Wang and he talked about it and I said let me think about it,” recalled Arbour, who turned 75 Thursday. “I called Ted Nolan and said they want me to do this, but I didn’t want to cause any problems. He said; ‘Don’t tell the owner, but it’s my idea.’ I said; ‘OK, let’s do it.’ ”

“He called me and said; ‘I don’t know the line combinations,’ ” Nolan said. “So, I talked to him about naming Mike Sillinger’s line (Bryan) Trottier’s line, and calling Mike Comrie’s line (John) Tonelli’s line. So, every time he said Tonelli, Comrie knows he’s going over the boards. We’ll coach in code.”

“Al Arbour is getting ready now,” Denis Potvin, the former Islander great and Hockey Hall of Famer, said last week. “There was never a game he wasn’t ready.

ITV: Has highlights of the game day skate Thursday with Al Arbour watching from the stands. Steve Mears and Chris King report on Arbour watching game tapes and will run practice Friday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In the video Arbour is shown the current white home jersey. Could not see if the special patch was on it but going by that I'm guessing we will not see the classic white home jersey Saturday, I could be wrong. Darryl Haberman had this excellent article from 5/23/2001 on Al Arbour.

"We had a group of character players, character people," Arbour recalled. "They cared very much about each other and were very professional about how they approached the game. They would show up to the rink, go to the dressing room and prepare themselves. Once they got on the ice, they would help each other out, make sacrifices for each other, and nobody wanted to let the other guy down. I think that was the secret right there."

An old article from Islanders-Sound Tigers Mailing List:
1974-75: From Crawling To Running
A Comeback For the Ages

The Isles drew the Penguins as their quarterfinal opponent.
Pittsburgh was an offensive powerhouse, with six 20 goal scorers. The
first two games were in Pittsburgh, where the Isles had never won and
where the Pens had lost only five times all season. When reporters
told Arbour that the Pens were favored to win the series, he
replied "We were underdogs against the Rangers too. Odds mean nothing
in the playoffs."

Denis Potvin suffered a pulled muscle in the opener, and the
Islanders, still recovering from the emotional high of the Ranger
series, lost 5-4. Potvin returned for the second game, but wasn't his
normal self, and the Pens skated away with a 3-1 win.

The series moved back to Nassau Coliseum with the Islanders desperate
to get back into it. Arbour put together a line of Andre St. Laurent,
Bobby Nystrom and Garry Howatt (the "buzz-saw line") against the Pens
top line of Syl Apps Jr., Andre Pronovost and Lowell MacDonald. It
didn't work. Each of the Pens' top three scored a goal, and despite
the Isles unleashing 47 shots on Penguins goalie Gary Inness, the
Pens won 6-4 to take a three games to none lead. Potvin was hurting,
and Nystrom was slumping, having yet to score in six playoff games
after scoring 27 during the season.

Even with the big lead, the Pens were careful to respect their
opponent. "Those Islanders are like a disease you can't get rid of.
Most clubs, you get ahead of them 3-0 and they start making
reservations to get out of town," said Bob Kelly of the
Penguins. "But not the Islanders, they keep clawing and scratching."

"For three games, it looked like we were just happy to have beaten
the Rangers," said Potvin. "We felt like we'd accomplished everything
right there, it was our Stanley Cup."

The team faced an uphill climb. Only one team in the history of
professional sports had come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best of
seven series, the 1942 Maple Leafs.

One of Arbour's most famous speeches came after game three. "Al had
been having a lot of problems with his back, but he showed up for
games and practices, which showed us a lot," said Parise. Arbour had
a slipped disc, and was in and out of the hospital during the
Pittsburgh series. "We had a practice after the third game, and right
before we went on the ice, he called all of us around and made this

"Men," Arbour said, "I have to apologize to you for not being able to
coach you in the manner that I'd like. As you know, the back has been
giving me a lot of problems and I feel as though I owe you an apology
for not doing more for you all."

The players were stunned that their coach was apologizing for them
being down three games. If they were stunned at that, they were
floored at his next comments, as reported by J.P. Parise.

"He said, 'If there's anyone here who doesn't feel we can come back
and beat these guys, get off the ice immediately.' He said it with so
much conviction, it showed how much he believed in us. He made us see
that by concentrating on a shift at a time and not looking three
games ahead, it wasn't insurmountable. It worked."

"Who said we can't do it?" asked Westfall.

Chico Resch was back in net for game four, and the Isles finally got
into the win column with a 3-1 victory. Resch made 27 saves in the
game. But the Isles had to go through Denver for the win -- John
Denver. A concert by the popular singer had been scheduled for the
Coliseum but NBC, which was televising playoff games, wanted to show
the Penguins-Islanders contest. Denver was a hockey fan and
rescheduled the show, even though it was a sellout.

"We were looking to Philadelphia and forgot to beat the Islanders
today," said Penguin defenseman Dave Burrows. "We'll get them back

Torrey tried to change the team's luck any way he could. They flew on
a different airline to Pittsburgh and stayed in a different hotel. "I
was going to do whatever it took," the GM said.

Arbour stuck with Resch and the Isles won game five 4-2, with the
insurance goal coming on a 200 foot shot into an empty net by Drouin.
Resch made 36 saves in the team's first ever win at the Igloo in

"You could see everything turning," said Westfall. "They weren't
playing with the air that they were the team to beat. We weren't
thinking like a beaten team. We just kept saying, 'Let's keep trying
and don't change a thing.'"

The team flew back to LaGuardia and took a bus to the Coliseum. As
the team drove down the LIE, Hawley Chester, the publicity director,
spotted yellow forsythia blooming on the shoulders of the parkway,
the first sign of spring. "Look at that. The forsythia are blooming,"
he said. "Did you ever think this team would be playing hockey when
the forsythia bloomed?"

In game six, Gary Howatt scored twice, Resch was again solid, and the
Islanders evened the series at three with a 4-1 win. Resch stopped 31
shots, and got help from his goalposts as the Pens clanged the iron
not once, not twice, but three times. Ron Schock and Pierre Larouche
hit the posts just seconds apart during one sequence, leading Chico
to give the iron bar a little kiss, which delighted the crowd. Two of
the Islander goals were empty netters.

Penguins center Syl Apps' father had played for the 1942 Maple Leafs.
After game six, he was sitting in the locker room shaking his head in
disbelief. "I've never seen so many posts. Resch doesn't even bother
to get in the way of some of those shots. He lets the posts do the
work for him."

Before game seven, Pens coach Marc Boileau ordered Inness and backup
goalie Bob Johnson out of the nets during practice so the Pens could
shoot at empty nets. "Resch has them psyched out, eating from his
hands," said the coach. "We averaged more than four goals a game all
year but Resch has given us only four goals in three games. No goalie
should do that to us."

All of the pressure was on the Penguins now. The goaltending duel was
Resch vs. Inness, and they didn't disappoint. The game was scoreless
for two periods, with both goalies spectacular.

There were several fights early on, with Gillies taking on Bob
Paradise, and Lewis dueling with Bob Kelly, one of the top fighters
in the league. Apps hit the goalpost in the first period at least
once more. Pronovost hit the other post in the second, and Resch made
amazing stops against Larouche and Apps. The Pens had to be wondering
if they would ever score again.

Finally, with 5:18 to play, and the game headed towards sudden death,
Bert Marshall made a series-deciding decision.

"Bert went down the boards and took the puck away from a Penguin,"
remembers Westfall. "It wasn't where you'd expect to see Bert
Marshall. I was starting out of the zone when I saw what happened and
I stopped and headed for the net, yelling 'Bert! Bert!' all the way.
He shot it to me and I backhanded it into the corner of the net."

Westfall beat Inness on the backhander. "What could I do?" asked the
Penguins netminder. "He kept moving in from the side. I stayed as
long as I could, then I had to move with him. The instant I did, he
put it past me. Westfall's an old pro, he never panicked."

After Westfall's goal, the Islanders could have relied on Resch, but
for the final five minutes, they didn't allow a shot.

When the final buzzer sounded, Resch went into a little dance he
later called the "Chico Cha-Cha."

"Everybody was so proud of the fact that we didn't quit," said
Gillies. "We had enough pride and character to keep plugging to win
four straight."

The Isles had joined the '42 Leafs in the history books.

Updated 12pm: Prior to the game, there will be a ceremonial opening faceoff featuring two very important people in Arbour's legendary hockey career. Immediately after the game, Arbour will be joined on the Coliseum ice by his wife Claire, the Arbour family, Ted Nolan, the 2007-08 Islanders and several of Al's former players as the franchise raises a new banner celebrating his 1,500th game as the head coach of the Islanders.

Updated 2pm: Kevin Allen has a feature article on Al Arbour Friday.

Updated 5pm:
Newsday: Mark Herrmann had three blog updates today on former Islander Ken Belanger about his former coach, a second on the veteran hockey media turnout for the press conference and a third on Sean Bergenheim out Saturday due to a reported upper body injury even though he practiced today. He had no comment on why he will not play and a replacement will be called up from the Sound Tigers for Saturday's game.

Islander News Articles 11/2

Newsday: Mark Herrman has reaction to the Islanders 4-0 win Thursday against Tampa Bay starting with Mike Sillinger.

"I've got a lot of years left. I'd like to play 1,000," DiPietro said. "I don't know what the equivalent is for a goalie, but it would be exciting to have a day like Sillie had today."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has an interview with Islander legend Butch Goring on what one thousand games means, what the Islanders will do with Al Arbour's 739 banner if they win Saturday and Fedotenko's comments about playing his old team.

Neil Best: Has a blurb on Islander television ratings up a hundred fifty percent and some words about Al Arbour night and what FSN is planning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Imagine what they would be if Msg did not hide half the games on FSN-2 which has limited HD and put some of their ITV shows on FSN on gameday.

NY Post: Dan Martin in his limited space reported Rick DiPietro had problems getting into the locker room after the game as the lead in to his story.

NY Post: Michael Starr reported four Islander games will be appearing on New York Chinese Radio station WZRC. (1480 AM)

Daily News: Brian Bohl's work was only allowed a paragraph or two of space in today's New York Daily News. The News does not see fit to employ an Islander blogger to supplement coverage.

Tampa Tribune: Erik Erlendsson had comments from Ruslan Fedotenko on meeting his former team for the first time.

Tampa Tribune: Mr Erlendsson Bolt's Report had several in game updates from last night for those interested.

St Petersburg Times: Eduardo A. Encina also had Ruslan Fedotenko's comments and a game article here.

Regina Leader Post: The local hometown paper for Mike Sillinger had a quick blub on the game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had two updates. One on the kids day for next week and the otherhere on tonight's game on the road against the Binghampton Senators. Head Coach Jack Capuano, Tim Jackman, Blake Comeau and Steve Regier quoted on what the club needs to do to start scoring.

New York 4, Tampa Bay 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/02/2007 05:45:00 AM | | | | 1 Comments

 Has the recap of Thursday's 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Superstars have a great way of coming back to have superb performances," said Nolan about DiPietro. "We knew he was going to rebound and he did."

"It just goes to show the type of guys we have on the team; they're a class act," said Sillinger. "They're a bunch of guys who really stick up for each other. The teams that win are the teams that care the most for each other. For these guys to give me and my wife Rolexes and shaking my kids' hands, that's a really classy thing.

"The guys have been working hard all week," said Nolan. "And they worked hard tonight for 60 minutes."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Classy ceremony by the Islanders for Mike Sillinger. Charles Wang and Garth Snow on the ice. Al Arbour upstairs watching.

You take the two points and enjoy the shutout win against a team that's been struggling and you credit the Islanders for some good stretches and you credit Rick DiPietro for outstanding play and a few posts. Defense got stronger as the game went along and made a few key blocks and more confident.

That written, Islanders easily could have given up for goals early and as skilled as the Lightning are when you see Sutton and Bergeron allow to two on zero by over reacting you wonder if this is ever going to work because that was not about Tampa's skill but just a defense that has major chemistry problems that go beyond coaching.

A few other stretches you saw it too where Tampa did not finish but got the puck into high quality area's of the ice and that was more about breakdowns and poor reads.

I know folks reading a blog after a 4-0 win do not want to hear the downside but this is about building chemistry for the long-term. I know the schedule can be part of this too with no game conditions and it's like going through the preseason again in terms of games, but if I did not write this it would not be an honest game assessment.

Witt as usual was fantastic and let Andre Roy take a bad penalty. Martinek did very well as did Gervais and Campoli, who stepped up and made the play that led to the second goal. Bergenehim did not seem to play after he took that penalty with Brad Lukowich. Simon finally got back on the ice in the third period.

Credit to Bill Guerin for a good shot, credit to Marc Denis for bad goal to allow.

Satan had a few nice plays but did not finish. Hilbert looked good shorthanded and hung in after high stick by DiPietro. He finishing skills look no better than last season.

Nice rush on the second goal and Vasicek got enough of the puck where it hit defense man Paul Ranger and bounced in. Third goal was best of all with Comrie making a skilled rush and Fedotenko finishing. Hunter scored on a delayed penalty for the 4-0 goal on some very nice pressure.

Once the Islanders got up 3-0 Tampa skated but they did not have the confidence and looked like a beaten team even with the chances and the goal posts. Tortarella's second period timeout reflected he knew his team needed a jump.

Ok, another game Saturday and no more need to talk about rust because things are going to get busy quickly now. Islanders are now 6-4 with a lot of players due to break out. You put the two points in the bank and you credit DiPietro for some outstanding play.

And you of course congratulate Mike Sillinger for game number one thousand and the classy player he is.

Welcome to Al Arbour Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2007 09:09:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
For the next few days I will be turning this blog over to our former coach as he will sign a contract Saturday and replace Ted Nolan as head coach. Not the greatest header but I did what I could and it was from the heart. Have the pin from his retirement banner night but no picture of the banner itself which hopefully can be changed to seven hundred forty to go with his fifteenth game behind the bench.

I will try and add in as many old articles as I can from my old mailing list and other sources but I do not want to miss whatever current and national coverage is included. New York Times: Jason Diamos had an article on the game from his banner raising night 1/26/1997 for those interested.

During his tenure as the coach of the Islander dynasty, one of the
most succinct, most meaningful phrases Al Arbour would scrawl on the
blackboard was "Winning is fun."

11/1: New York vs Tampa Bay 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2007 06:06:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here & Associated Press: Have preview for tonight's game against Tampa Bay.

Islanders TV: Chris King and Steve Mears archived seven minutes of practice Wednesday. No lineup changes expected but Brian Berard was healthy enough to skate in a coaches warmup suit.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Some may look at Tampa's 6-1 loss at New Jersey last night and see a club that has not won on the road all season. I watched this game and it was 2-1 with less then fifteen minutes left before the Devils took control and there were a lot of fights from a team that skated very well. The final score did not reflect how hard they worked. If Johan Holmqvist plays it will be his third game in four days, Marc Denis did come in when the Devils broke the game open.

You can bet coach John Tortarella will be pushing everything he can out of his team, Islanders better shake off any rust and excuses early and get into the trenches.

Tampa Bay has been outscored 9-2 on its current trip and 24-10 in five road games, it will try for a ninth straight victory over the Islanders since losing 3-0 on March 21, 2004 even though many of those losses were with Garth Snow and Mike Dunham starting. DiPietro is 2-5-0 with three ties and a 3.01 GAA in 10 starts versus Tampa Bay.

Note-I'm not sure many know there is a message board here but there is a game thread posted for every game for folks to talk about the games or post their own Islander-hockey related topics.

Feel free to stop by and talk about the game.

Updated 11am:
Newsday: Mark Herrmann had two blog updates on Mike Sillinger's night and a quick word from Ruslan Fedotenko meeting his former team tonight.

Regina Post Leader/Cam West News: Greg Harder
had an excellent feature on Mike Sillinger that's a must read with more than anything Newsday has provided for their hometown player. Bill Guerin is also quoted.

"I hate to sound modest about it because I'm very, very proud," Sillinger said from his Long Island, N.Y., home. "I just can't believe I'm at 1,000 games.

"There's not a lot of players who have done it. When you sit back and reflect, I guess you want to give yourself a pat on the back. It's quite an accomplishment"

"I'm very thankful," he said humbly. "Ever since I signed here last year, the Islanders organization has been fantastic to my family and myself."

Islander News Articles 10/31:

Media Blog: Chris Botta in his Point Blank blog reports the Islanders will honor Mike Sillinger with a brief ceremony tonight as he plays his 1000th career NHL game. Have had several updates on Mike Sillinger's career numbers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Amazing a player with his talent, ability and professionalism has been with so many teams but in the end many teams want him because he's such a character player who does so many things to win a game that do not show on a score sheet beyond his amazing face off ability. He never seemed to be in a situation earlier in his career where he was a major part of a winning teams core, even with Detroit. It's clear why so many teams want to trade for him.

In this organization the loss of him to this roster would be devastating at both ends of the ice and in the leadership department.

Congratulations to Mike Sillinger. Hopefully Islander fans give him a well deserved standing ovation for not only what he did last season but for a very good career.

Newsday Mark Herrmann has an article on Mike Sillinger and tonight's game against Tampa Bay. Former Red Wings teammate and Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant give his recollections, along with Ted Nolan.

"I was a first-rounder, so I knew I was going to get an opportunity to play in the National Hockey League. But never did I ever dream I would last this long," Sillinger said. "I'm in my 17Th season now and I think the average is seven. So I'm plus-10."

"He's a guy who comes out and plays the same way every night. He plays it hard," Gallant said. "People talk about him being traded a lot, but a lot of teams like him."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio discusses the Sound Tigers numbers game on defense with Joe Rullier added on a tryout contract and the same six defenders dressing for every game to this point.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio also
had a brief blog update along with noting Robert Nilsson recalled to Edmonton.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sound Tigers play their first of many three games in three day stretches starting Friday at Binghampton so this should solve itself.

Men's Fitness Magazine : Nate Millado has an outstanding feature on Rick DiPietro's diet, fitness, equipment and his training routine. A lot of things are discussed many folks have not read in the newspapers about his career.

NY Sun: Kevin Greenstein in dropping the Islanders to 13th in his power rankings felt a good pp is not enough to carry them.

1983 New York vs Edmonton: Odds/Ends

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2007 01:14:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Good day to go back into a little history as we all escape cabin fever from so few Islander hockey games.

Just a quick note-Islanders will wear white Saturday and raise a banner for Al Arbour. If anyone recalls he wanted no fanfare for the game, just to coach so we shall see. Please let them wear the 1970-80's white jersey's for one game. I saw a picture of Butch Goring at the NHL team store in the current jersey and it did not look right.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann updated the Islanders blog and reported
at 3 p.m. the new NHL Network (channels 401 or 429 on Cablevision will show the Islanders-Oilers game from May 17, 1983.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good news, bad news. The good news is it's on today for those who would like to watch it and are able to.

The bad news is once the free preview ended after a few days it's not worth the money to see them barely cover the Islanders. Only you know if your provider has this station.

Better news is the ITV service has a lot of great classic games and features. I still own Pride of the Islanders VHS from the 80's and was shocked to see it on ITV also because it was made in Terry Simpson's first year and that's twenty years old.

Oh yes, in those days they had had the basic version of Pride of the Island and the collectors edition with special clips from Al Arbour's vault. No, I got the basic one for those asking.

If you can access ITV for a lot of great old features I suggest you do.

Best News (not Neil Best) today's game was on FSN before the season opener in Buffalo and I was able to put it on DVD along with Vancouver, Minnesota cup winning games. Hope you did too because Msg has never shown them all in one day. I would not bet on it happening often.

Islander books I still have:
25Th anniversary book
Boss-The Mike Bossy story
The Dynamic Islanders-From Cellar to Stanley Cup

Do not have the Incredible Islanders or Denis Potvin's book. I have no interest in either Alan Hahn-Peter Botte book because of the poor editing and what many claimed was misinformation.

I recall some older fans were correcting Hahn's recollections in the 1980 book which he did not do with Mr Botte. I saw it last year for twenty four dollars at a Barnes and Nobel and reading it you could sense it was written by someone who was too young at that time. Also it was just not a very long book in terms of pages.

All this 1980 stuff had me thinking back to the channel nine days when we would see the road games.

Anyone old enough around here to remember the days of Tim Ryan calling Islander games? I cannot remember who did the color commentary but I can give you Tim Ryan calling a heck of a fight as an Islander announcer.

That series with the Kings in 1980 which was only a best of five. Anyone remember before Morrow scored in ot Bill Smith let up an early goal from center ice or the next game when Alex McKendry took Mike Bossy's spot and scored in the 6-0 series clincher.

Anyone want to take a guess who called that game on WOR-9.
It was not Jiggs McDonald.
It was not Tim Ryan.
It was not Stan Fischler.
It was not Jean Potvin, he did the radio side with Barry Landers for those who remember in the 80's. If I recall they did the Chemical Bank Feature album the Chemistry was just right on the 1980 Islanders.

Family history in New York broadcasting, later called Mets games.
Family member was announcer of Islanders 1981 sweep of Rangers on radio from Ranger side.

Answer: Steve Albert

Islander News Articles 10/31

Newsday:Mark Herrmann reported on the Islanders visiting a local school before practice.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had two blog updates on Mike Sillinger's 1000th game coming up on Thussday and a second blog here on Ted Nolan using owner Charles Wang's seats to attend a basketball game at Msg. Chris Botta had a great article on the teams website with Scotty Bowman giving his thoughts on Al Arbour who will be behind the bench Saturday to coach his Fifteenth Hundred game.

"As a coach, of course, Al Arbour put his stamp on the NHL forever. What he'll probably always be remembered for is how he molded a true TEAM. He had some brillinat players that had Hall of Fame careers like Denis Potvin, Billy Smith, Trottier, Bossy, Gillies. But it was Al who got them to be part of the team fabric. If the all-stars do not buy in to Al's concept, the Islanders do not become a dynasty.

"Al also worked wonders with the role players. Because he emphasized a team game and preached that the team always came first, the other players saw the commitment of the stars and the result was a team that worked as hard as any team in the league during that time. Al had a role for everyone on that team and was successful in getting each player to accept his role.

"Al had so much success as a coach because of his no-nonsense personality. I'm told that if there was ever a problem on the ice or behind the scenes, Al was a master communicator. He never let problems fester.

"And, of course, he was as good as anyone as a bench manager. They used to say the Islanders could beat you any style you wanted to play them. Al always pulled the right strings.

"He's always been a good friend and I'm so proud of everything he has accomplished. Saturday night is going to be an amazing time for Al and Claire and their family. I wish them nothing but the best."

Detroit News: David Goricki rates the top college current NHL goaltenders and has DiPietro second to Marty Turco.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinari who has the best mailbag among newspapers in the Eastern Conference in my opinion answered a question on Eric Cairns and why he was not picked up by another team with a quick blurb on his current role with the Islanders.

Hockey News/several articles: Report
the Boston Bruins traded defenceman Brad Stuart and forward Wayne Primeau to the Flames on Saturday for defenceman Andrew Ference and forward Chuck Kobasew.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an updated on the club's inability to finish off teams with comments from team captain Mark Wotton.

Mikka Kiprusoff signs

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2007 11:33:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Cam West News and countless articles: George Johnson reported Flames goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff signed a six year contract extension for thirty five million dollars (US) Monday in what many consider a bargain at 5.8m a year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Writer does a great job here with the following points:

*Nikolai Khabibulin of the Hawks is raking in $6.75 million this season.
*Jose Theodore of the Avalanche, will make $6 million.
*Sutter ups the length of term and lands him for $5.8 million.

* All credit here must go to Sutter for signing him at below what appeared to be market value.

* It seemed certain that a goaltender of Kiprusoff's could command $7 million a season.

It should be noted Kiprusoff got this contract in his thirties after he left another team while a first overall pick like DiPietro signed his contract at 4.5m a season for fifteen years where he said he felt he left money on the table at the time at a much younger age. Many may recall Brent Krahn was the next goaltender taken by the Flames that year at ninth overall.

As a fan you have to love when a player decides to stay with the club he established himself with, Only downside is we only see teams like the Flames very infrequnetly as if they are in another league. That could change next season and the Islanders do visit Calgary for the first time since before the lockout.

This could be a new trend among goaltenders. The Emery, Lundqvist and Miller future contracts could be effected by this.

For a little laugh check the NHLPA website. Things may be different now in season but back in the summer it always seemed when a player got a huge contract at what many felt was above his market value he was profiled on that site.

Islander News Articles 10/30:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has an article about Brendan Witt's shootout abilities after an upbeat practice Monday with more comments on the long layoff between games with the upside and downsides that come with. Four on four play was concentrated on as well.

"I think it's your mental edge," Witt said. "We had the energy." He said that when a team plays game after game, things flow naturally, adding, "It makes it easier to make plays if you don't think a lot."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles TV: Is is the next best thing to attending in person for those looking for a little more beyond the Newspaper coverage. Mike Comrie, Brendan Witt and Ted Nolan interviews are part of the six minute recap. Practice was at Iceworks for those wondering after the lights went out last week and the club moved a practice to the Coliseum.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had the following from team Sound Tigers President Howard Saffin on Trevor Smith's demotion to Utah.

"We see a kid with that much promise, we don't want to see him sitting on the bench," "It's no different than why (Jeff) Tambellini is with us rather than the Islanders."

Updated 9:30am
Calgary Sun: Steve MacFarlane had a very intersting article on former Islander Eric Godard's improved play with comments from teammate Adrian Aucoin.