New York 2, New Jersey 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/10/2007 09:33:00 PM | | | | | 4 Comments

Islanders Website: Has the recap of tonight's 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This live blogging is fun and a lot of work.

Even though I have done this a lot of times on Islander-Sound Tigers or the boards at HF as moderator over the years it makes me respect the job the other bloggers who do it in person at a live event. I'm doing this with no pressure and found myself falling behind a few times. I'm rooting for the bloggers to break through and find themselves covering this team for a newspaper someday if that's what they wish to aspire to.

I hope everyone enjoyed tonight's live blog and thanks for reading.

A special recognition and thanks to my former co-moderator and HF writer Tom Liodice who I discovered today was on a radio program that does a very good job I have been casually following for a short time called Hockey Night on Long Island Saturday afternoon. I gave the program a quick call and thanked Tom who has an outstanding blog called The Tiger Track and talked hockey for a minute or two. Tom does an excellent job covering not only the Islanders but has been covering the Sound Tigers back to last season on a few websites and in print. His blog's content is outstanding and a must read for Islander fans.

As to the game:

This might be the first game in countless years the Islanders played a full game without being shorthanded. Howie Rose did not follow up on it but it says a lot about both teams, especially New Jersey.

Scary game with Guerin leaving, Comrie holding his shoulder, Fedotenko down after a play and Martinek leaving.

Hardly a classic for either team but the Islanders had the better pressure and Brodeur had to be very good in the second peirod. The Devils looked terrible after watching how they beat the Flyers 4-1 and my guess is Brent Sutter will be furious with the player (turned out to be an assistant coach) who took the misconduct because that decided the hockey game.

Solid team defense, Brodeur somehow let the cross-ice pass from Hunter get through to Satan for the winner, but Satan-Vasicek had good jump for two periods with Park and it looked like a mistake to take Park off that line for most of the third which former Islander coach Butch Goring asked on the post-game.

Campoli set up both plays that led to the goals, first jumping in off the point for a shot to Brodeur's far side, the other the pass down low to Hunter.

Defense did it's job and Sutton, Bergeron again looked sharp. DiPietro did not have to be fantastic. Interesting how cool he was in the final seconds stopping and holding two outside chances. No doubt Witt and or/DiPietro will get abuse for knocking in the only goal.

Vasicek almost has matched his season's goal total from a year ago. Sillinger and Hilbert just cannot get un-tracked offensively but are doing the job on defense and of course Sillinger value on faceoff's cannot be replaced.

Scary how tough they made it on themselves by missing those open nets. Richard Park needs a goalie to shoot against.

Again no classic, but Islanders move to 9-4 with a very balanced offense overall as the homestand ends and so does all the time off between games. We see what a Guerin or Comrie injury means and who returns.

Jackman and Walter looked very good when they got on the ice for a second straight game.

NYI Fan Central goes live for NY-NJ

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/10/2007 06:27:00 PM | | | Comment Here

For the first time since pre-season NYI Fan Central will go live from my blog box.

Check back beginning at 7:10pm for constant updates as the game unfolds.

First period:
Welcome to NY Hockey, Brodeur going for # Five Hundred and no one even knows which is terrible.

Islander lines:
Guerin opens with Sillnger and Hilbert


* First four minutes-Witt-Martink draw Parise, Gionta line, a few times Islanders forgot the puck in their own end.

* Good shift by Hunter line.
* Park had forever to set up Satan from bad angle for far-post goal. Isles skating better.
* Parise-Gionta good setup hard shot, good save for DiPietro.

No whistles under 12:00 left:
* Satan line great play, took puck to side instead of shooting on backhand from fifteen feet out dead center, Satan draws games first pp. Devils seem willing to trade chances and not sharp in their own end.

* PP Isles:
Sloppy first half of pp with Guerin-Fedotenko-Comrie, turnovers, one Bergeron shot from point. Islanders ice puck. Hunter-Satan-Sillinger second pp unit, no pressure, no quality chances. PP over.

* Fourth line good shift after pp, Jackman, Simon shots. Eight minutes left in first, few whistles.

* Simon gets a shift with Satan-Vasicek, some good pressure but no quality chance.
Seems like Satan-Vasicek vs Parise-Gionta combos most dangerous for each team early, but only quality chance was DiPietro save on Gionta in opening fifteen minutes.

* Gionta-Parise best chance of game on centering pass that lands under DiPietro's pad. No review.

* Comrie over handles puck shots 6-3 Islanders three minutes left in first.

* Park back with Satan, line buzzing pass again Islanders had time to set up behind net (Elias lost stick) Campoli read play and jumped in for shot, Vasieck rebound 1-0 New York...

* Guerin puck to eye goes off.

* One minute left in first, Fedotenko to net, save Brodeur. Park stick breaks on shot with that line as it changed.

* A few big hits, end of first 1-0 New York.

Satan line seems to have plenty of time to create chances, is gaining line easily and is a match the Islanders seem to be able to exploit early.
Second Peirod:

* Bill Guerin returns.

* Jackman nice setup to Hilbert.

* Satan drop pass to Bergeron setup to Park save Brodeur, Zubrus chance, nice glove save DiPietro.

* Former Islander line with Asham-Rupp some pressure.

* Hilbert-Sillinger-Guerin, save Brodeur on a top circle shot by Guerin.

* Shots ten-six Islanders, fourteen minutes left.

* Simon-Jackman-Walter great shift, Sutton came in and missed high from ten feet out on Jackman rebound. Islanders top line now buzzing, Hunter rocket stopped by Brodeur.

* First whistle in a while 11:25 left.

* Guerin left ice again, seems like some juggling will happen now.

* Nice save on Devils chance by Madden. Bergeron blocker save Brodeur. Satan long pass to Park, wrap-around, save Brodeur. Devils giveaway to Martinek, save on setup, good pressure again by Satan-Vasicek line.

* Fedotenko hit by Comrie who was checked by Devil, is OK. Redirection, save on Zajac.

* Hunter-Simon-Comrie on as a line. Hunter power move and shot, save.

* Jackman get's Guerin's spot with Hilbert. Park semi-break off Sutton pass, save Brodeur.

* Satan-Park-Vasicek buzzing again.

* Witt caught on pinch, save DiPietro on Gionta, counter by Islander, Hunter robbed by Brodeur who stayed low enough to stop shot on backhand. Devils penalty, best stretch of game.

* 4:27 left second period.

* PP sloppy start, Satan-Fedotenko-Comrie. Bergeron shot, Fedotenko shot wide. One shot on pp, little pressure. Two minutes left in second period.

* Satan line again great pressure, Martinek shot from point, all forwards waiting for rebound which is held.

End of second 1-0 Islanders.

Islanders could have had another two or three goals, Brodeur was very solid but body language on some plays looks sloppy. DiPietro had to make two good saves.

Satan line with Park and Vasicek doing everything but finishing.

Side note-It's only 8:30pm, few whistles.
Third peirod:

* Guerin out.

* Park now out with Sillinger and Hilbert. Sillinger just missed net on good setup.

* Zubrus scores on sloppy play in front of DiPietro, where it hit Martinek, bounced to Zubrus, who bounced it off Witt and in the net 1-1.

* Sutton flattens Asham. Simon on left wing with Satan and Vasicek.

* Islanders icing.

* Save DiPietro on point shot, goal has give Devils some jump. Shots 19-14 Islanders.

* Fedotenko taken down on rush at net, good pressure with the goalie out. Islanders pp.

* Second Devils penalty, play five on three, bench minor for misconduct.
Key to game here.

* Perimeter shooting, Islanders lose puck, offsides. PP struggling.

* Satan scores on cross-ice pass shot from Hunter and Campoli, 2-1 New York.

PP over. Witt vs Brookbank, Witt skates away. Despite goal pp looked tenative and did not go near Brodeur until Satan snuck in on far side and put in Hunter's pass/shot from other side of ice. Vasicek did not screen Brodeur.

* Twelve minutes left:
Devils offsides, have to expect they will get a pp to even up that misconduct.

* Guerin was cut, some swelling, will not return.
* Fedotenko-Hunter good pressure shift.
* Islanders icing 9:34 left.
* Devils good pressure, Islanders icing again.
* Another icing Islanders.
* Devils offsides, Martinek not on Islanders bench.

* Sutton clears puck. Zajac save by DiPietro, Zubrus and Sutton pushing.
* Hilbert-Park some pressure....MARTINEK RETURNS WITH WELT UNDER EYE.

* Six minutes left.

* Comrie hit, shoulder looks it's hurt, Devil player slashes him, he slashes
hits back, no penalties. Hand pass Devils.

* Comrie staying in, four minutes left.
* Devils dumping puck in, long scrum in corner for about twenty seconds before whistle.

* Martinek was a skate repair but has welt on face/eye, icing Islanders.

* Devils pressing, Bergeron clear. Zajac save DiPietro, Zubrus hurt, Islanders clear puck. Pressing in Devils end, running off time. Gionta chance, Brodeur pulled, Islanders ice puck, cannot change unit but try.

* Time out New Jersey, one minute left.

* Islanders make it tough on themselves, two point blank chances with open net blocked, Devils counter, DiPietro save.

* Paul Martin point shot, save DiPietro holds in big traffic.

* Elias shot, save and hold by DiPietro in big traffic again.

* Scramble off faceoff, puck in corner, comes in front.

New York 9-4 record.

Three Stars:
Satan-1st-Third straight game winning goal.

Freddy Meyer back with Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/10/2007 03:50:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders Website: Announced the club reacquired Freddy Meyer on re-entry waivers Saturday.

"The injuries we've recently had on our blue line prove you can never have enough depth," said Snow. "We've always liked Freddy. He's an intense competitor and he's a very solid defense man in all areas who is still just 26 years old. We only lost him earlier in the season because of a numbers game. We are very happy to have Freddy back as an Islander."

Newsday: Greg Logan updates his blog on the specifics regarding Meyer's contract obligation and injury update on Aaron Johnson and Bryan Berard.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Timing is everything in these situations and the timing was right now to reclaim Meyer. A short time ago Thomas Pock was available and cleared waivers but before Aaron Johnson was injured. Now Johnson is out, Berard will likely return within the week but you look at the Bridgeport NHL depth after that and there is not much in that department beyond Drew Fata and Mark Wotton.

As a re-entry waiver Phoenix will pay part of Meyer's contract.

11/10: New York vs New Jersey 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/10/2007 10:07:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders Website: Jason Lockhart has a preview for tonight's game against the Devils.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
New Jersey outworked and out skated Philadelphia Thursday in a win and Dainus Zubrus finally had a breakout game for the Devils. Martin Brodeur will be in the net this time for New Jersey. Brent Sutter no doubt has not forgotten the loss to the Islanders and will have his team ready. On the Islanders end I expect Ted Nolan to play the same lineup because he does not like to change after a win. The newsday report says Bergenheim and Berard may need a little more time to get into game condition.

Games in hand are nice but mean nothing unless the team wins. Islanders are 8-4 and those two blow out losses to Carolina and Toronto have them about even in terms of goals scored and goals allowed. In terms of finishing Guerin, Sillinger, Comrie are all due to score a few goals. Hilbert, Simon and Richard Park also could use a goal to get them going despite how they are doing other things to help the club win.

A small complaint but a reasonable one because it's not the first time I have seen this. When the club does it's own preview it only tells fans on Long Island where everyone can catch the games on television. Not just a Long Island fan base watching these games, please make sure every Islander fan in the Tri-state knows where they can view the game.

For instance if your a Devils fan with Time Warner Cable looking to see Emrick and Resch on FSN-2 in the New York area, Time Warner does not activate FSN-2 when it's two local rivals so Devils fans would have to watch the Islander telecast until the replay later where FSN would finally show the Devils version of the telecast in the middle of the night.

Islander News Articles 11/10:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/10/2007 09:33:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article is on Miroslav Satan who has had the game winnners in the last two Islander wins and his hockey background in Slovakia.

It feels like I'm doing things right," Satan said, adding that he had not felt like he was doing things wrong earlier. "The only difference is you feel a certain satisfaction when those are going in and you feel like you're contributing to the team."

"I was noticing it today at practice," coach Ted Nolan said Friday, after the team prepared for the Saturday night game against the Devils at the Coliseum. "He was shooting the puck as well as he has since I've been here."

NY Post: Mark Everson reports the Devils are getting close to being fully healthy after coming off a big 4-1 win against Philadelphia, but Colin White and Jamie Langenbrunner will not play against the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updates his blog on the Sound Tigers 3-2 ot loss against Philadelphia Friday where Bridgeport led 2-0 with two minutes left in the game.

Sound Tigers website: Has a game recap on it's website.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the newspaper coverage on another very tough loss with comments from coach Jack Capuano, Jeremy Colliton and Frans Nielsen.

"If we think we're going to be a team that competes at a high level in this league, this is not acceptable," Jeremy Colliton said. "It can't happen."

" At the same time, you can't get down about it. There needs to be a change made — I don't know if that's the right word, 'change,' but we have to find a way to get it done if we want to be at the next level."

Philadelphia Times & Philadelphia Daily News: Has full coverage of the Phantom's.

Quick Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/09/2007 03:58:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Mark Herrmann covered practice in the Islander blog and reported it's likely the club will go with the same lineup on Saturday against New Jersey as Bergenheim and Berard continue to work their way into game shape. Bill Guerin who turned thirty seven received a birthday cake which did not apparently survive long.

Media Week: Anthony Crupi reports on the announced increase in local television ratings by Msg-Fsn.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hate to rain on the parade but if Msg is giving out these reports it seems like spin which is the same kind of spin were seeing from the Islanders on attendance increases. Two home games against the Rangers and neither game was sold out and one where " Loudville " tickets were sold did not fill the building.

Bottom line hockey needs it's hype and early in the season is a tough sell for hockey in such a baseball intensive market and some buzz does have to be generated that the media will not do.

Islander News Articles 11/9: Charles Wang

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2007 10:10:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday Mark Herrmann does an article on team owner Charles Wang that's a must read. Mr Wang and is not shy about looking back at his tenure as owner, poking some fun at himself and apparently will do whatever he can to help the club in terms of importing talent or getting more involved if the team struggles. He also talked about his head coach and what they share.

On the team as the season progresses:
"I know we're going to have our ups and we're going to have our downs," he said. "I'll go through it with them. I'll be there with them."

On Al Arbour coaching Saturday:
Al was just over the moon," Wang said. "And he did work. People don't realize it, but he studied films. He said he didn't know the players, but I told him, 'Don't worry, you'll have a headset on and I'll be upstairs talking to you.' He goes, 'Oh, no!' "

On his commitment to the Islanders for the long haul:
"I don't think it's anything specific to one night. I think people see and will continue to see we're trying to bring back the success," he said. "My view isn't just one game, my view is the much bigger horizon."

On Ted Nolan and the team:
"Teddy is a guy who was beaten down. And not being accepted, I probably understand that better than most owners, what it is to sort of not belong,"

"I think Teddy appreciates this opportunity. He's got a lot of interpersonal skills. His job is to get the most out of the players and make them feel this is a team. And they'd better enjoy playing because happy people do great things."

On the club's cohesion and players focusing on stats:
"We've got to get Satan going" instead of focusing on their own statistics (Satan has scored the winner in each of the past two games). If the team has rough spots, Wang said, "We'll tweak it," implying the Islanders might import talent.

If the team keeps going well, he promises to be quiet:
"Good leaders take less of the credit and more of the blame. You gave me a lot of the blame. But it comes with the territory. That's what sports is about,"

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not going to overquote often from articles but it's the first comments from Mr Wang in a long time. Aside from his curious comment on Satan he did a very good job and has seemed to learn from past mistakes. Win or lose this year he should extend Nolan's contract, he's part of the solution for the long-term. Interesting he did not comment on his gm but may not have been asked.

Newsday: Greg Logan updates his blog on the injuries to Berard, Bates and Bergenheim.

“When I come back, it’s going to be a totally new situation,” Bergenheim said recently. “Richard has been playing well on that line. My goal is to play myself into that role again. We’ll see how it goes. It’s not up to me. It’s all up to the coaches.”

In addition to his shoulder problem, Bergenheim also suffered a finger injury when he was slashed. “There’s no point at this time of the season to play hurt,” he said. “We figured we’d give it one more week to get my body 100 percent again. Now, it feels much better, so, I’m pretty confident. I would say Saturday is pretty realistic to come back.”

NYI Fan Cental Comments:
Anything is possible but Nolan as a rule never changes a lineup when the club wins, if there are any doubt to Bergenheim or Berard, Ted Nolan will dress the same lineup.

This is Bryan Berard were talking about here, when it comes to his injury history you play it as safe as you can and go slow because the next injury could mean his season.

Newaday: Elizabeth Moore has an update on the Lighthouse Project which the plans are about to be submitted to the Town of Hempstead.

Forbes NHL estimates, SBJ Turnkey Survey

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2007 07:12:00 PM | | | | Comment Here Michael K. Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen today released it's the yearly article on NHL franchise value so I put what they think of the Islanders here as they are listed with an eleven million operating loss including their guess work on the club's television deal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Michael K. Ozanian has been doing these articles guessing on teams revenue, profit loss and franchise value since before the lockout. During the lockout this person appeared on Msg Network and sounded like an NHLPA spokesman calling for teams he did not care about to be contacted so out of control player contracts from corporate ownership could continue.

Bottom line here is this publication has no access to any teams books or what revenue they make and it's all guess work a lot of fans who want information will accept because there is nothing provided by the league. There does seem to be a degree of homer ism in the work as well.

In other words, this report is of no value.

Sports Business Journal: Using a variety of factors in a fan survey for all one hundred twenty plus pro sports teams the Islanders came in at one hundred eleventh.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Survey was not very scientific from the way it's written out at the site and picks a ton of factors that are all based on opinion. New York Yankees were 29th on the list to give everyone an idea how many factors were included. Islanders ranked ahead of the Blackhawks, Coyotes, Capitals but the Devils, Knicks and Nets were 105th, 106th and & 108th respectively. Rangers were at 95th with the Jets 65th and the Giants 56th.

Given the Islanders have been to four playoffs in the last five years and the Devils success it's tough to even guess how this was drawn up if the Knicks are ahead of any local team.

Multi Channel News: Reports Islander ratings are up two hundred and fifty percent this season to a 0.21 rating for the initial six games despite most games being shown on restricted access FSN-2 and television ratings are up big for all three teams.

Imagine if the Islander telecasts were in HD and on FSN where everyone had access or if Msg actually promoted the club and put some of the ITV programming on that network.

Also pay attention to the disclaimer on Network officials giving these ratings reports because that means Msg which is false spin by Garden suits.

When games against the Rangers are blacked out on Time Warner in New York Msg is credited with a double rating because opposing fans cannot view their own broadcast.

Espn praise for Islanders?

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2007 06:37:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Espn: David Amber of our favorite network where Scott Burnside, Teri Frei and THN's Adam Proteau who make their living at bashing the Islanders today rates the moves that have worked out best to this point so far among NHL teams and has the Islanders signings this summer at third.

3. Comrie, Fedotenko and Guerin sign with Islanders
The Islanders took a huge hit this offseason after losing three of their five top scorers (Jason Blake, Alexei Yashin and Viktor Kozlov) and failing to re-sign Smyth. With 40 percent of their offense gone, GM Garth Snow had some work to do. On July 4, the fireworks began as free agents Mike Comrie, Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin were all signed within a 24-hour period, and Snow did it without having to destroy the team's salary cap by getting locked into long-term deals. In the Isles' first 10 games, the trio combined for 14 goals and 33 points. Comrie and Fedotenko are proven scorers who are both playing for contracts next season, while Guerin is coming off a 36-goal season and provides leadership to a young team.

The specs
Comrie signed a one-year $3.375 million deal; Fedotenko signed a one-year $2.9 million contract and Guerin has a two-year, $9 million deal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good job overall by Amber here and the words " so far " are the key.

It's kind of boring to write this but you cannot make a determination in July, August, September, October or November. Nice comments but a season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Islanders are off to a good start so far and have reached twelve games. Ask me when we get to March and April and if the Islanders are in contention and if they are built to win come playoff time. Then we'll know if these signings were the right call.

Would have been nice to see Burnside or Frei do this and give a little credit instead but its not laced with sacrasm or insults.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged and reported Scott Burt was sent back to Utah by the Sound Tigers with some other items.

Milbury finally drafts Spezza, takes Luongo again

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2007 12:53:00 PM | | Comment Here In the strange but true category Tsn had their panel do their own fantasy draft a while back. Former Islander gm Mike Milbury made some very interesting picks that is sure to upset Islander fans.

Team Selection Pos. Club
1. Milbury Sidney Crosby F Pittsburgh
8. Milbury Jaromir Jagr F NY Rangers
9. Milbury Jason Spezza F Ottawa
16. Milbury Brian Rafalski F NY Rangers
17. Milbury Jarome Iginla F Calgary
24. Milbury Tomas Kaberle D Toronto
25. Milbury Roberto Luongo G Vancouver
32. Milbury Peter Mueller R Phoenix

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder if this fantasy draft allows trades for Milbury to make which is where the fun would really begin. Incredible how he finally took Spezza and even picked Luongo. No current Islander was selected.

I would love to watch the NESN web cast of Mike Milbury calling the upcoming Islander vs Boston Bruins home and home coming up soon. I wonder if he is coming to the Nassau Coliseum.

I'm also wondering if Ted Leonsis or another team in trouble looks to hire him as coach.

Blake praises Islanders, look at former players

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2007 08:37:00 AM | | | | 2 Comments
Toronto Sun: Steve Simmons had some very interesting comments from Jason Blake about the Islanders in comparision to the Toronto Maple Leafs and how he needs the puck combined with his style vs Mats Sundin in an article where he held back.

When asked how it was the Islanders had so much success, Blake showed how much trouble he is having adjusting to life as a Leaf.

"No. 1, they have an unbelievable coach," Blake said. "Ted Nolan's the best. No. 2, we played like the Senators, that way. We weren't as talented, we weren't as big, we weren't as strong but we moved the puck. We tried to hit the open guy. No. 3, we had Brendan Witt, one of the most underrated defenceman in the league."

And No. 4?

"The best goalie. The best upcoming goaltender in the league. (Rick) DiPietro will win the Vezina in the next three years."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Very interesting comments from Blake given the Islanders struggles vs Ottawa in his time here. High praise from a former player for Nolan, Witt and DiPietro. Clearly Blake needs the puck on his stick and to get his shots and his game was better suited for this team. Where he cannot go with the Toronto media is to say that Alexei Yashin set him up far better last season than Mats Sundin because he would be lynched for it, regardless of whether it's true.

Let's recap even though it's early:
Caps struggling with Poti, Kozlov on a team with injuries.
Zednik's has six goals but overall a marginal impact in Florida on a 7-9 team.
Blake getting asists but not scoring, defense and goaltending again struggling.
Hill on suspension but will join a winning team soon.
Asham's Devils struggling while he goes from top lines to fourth line.

One player Islanders wanted to keep doing ok in Ryan Smyth in terms of team success as they are tied for first but on same scoring pace he was on as an Islanders with far more first and second line talent.

Islander News Articles 11/8:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/07/2007 09:16:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's early Thursday article is on Mike Comrie's play making ability that was huge in Tuesday's win against the Rangers, despite the lack of goals in the recent games.

"When Comrie made that great play at the end, you don't draw up plays like that," Nolan said. "You let natural ability take over; that was a big-time play."

"We were trying to be patient," Comrie said. "We couldn't penetrate their triangle, so I decided to give them a different look and fake the pass over to 'Berger.' The defender gave me half a second, and Tank made a great play to bury it."

"Teddy does a good job of keeping [Hunter and Guerin] going back and forth and keeping us on our toes," Comrie said. "Trent's playing really well now, but they both have great shots and can get open."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's coverage of Wednesday's game.

Worcester Gazette and Telegram: Has the Sharks coverage of their win at Bridgeport.

Sound Tigers lose, Wednesday Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/07/2007 01:14:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here Reported the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost 3-2 in a Wednesday matinee at Harbor Yard again against Worchester Sharks (San Jose affiliate) where they again lost with a lead going into the third period. Mike Morrison started and made twenty three saves. Joe Rullier was suspended two games, Darryl Bootland had family business and did not play in this game. Scott Burt, who was called up from Utah was a plus one.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged about today's loss.

Islanders Website: Announced Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro are on the all-star ballot. The games will be Sunday, January 27th in Atlanta.

Canadian Press: Barry Melrose apologized after some inappropriate comments about the area surrounding the new Prudential Center in Newark that had the major of the city and many citizens upset. Espn says it will not discipline Melrose.

"I was trying to be funny and I'm sorry it didn't come through that way," he said by phone from St. Louis. "No excuse. When I talk I don't want to offend anybody. I love hockey and I want Newark to be a success. I certainly never wanted to hurt the feelings of the people of Newark or the people of New Jersey. There was no malice on my part."

"Barry addressed it and that was the important thing," Krulewitz said. "He obviously was remorseful and we feel it's in every body's best interests to put it behind us."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I add? He said something inappropriate and gave a public apology. Good thing it's hockey or it would have had career ramifications for Melrose and been a higher profile story. Fair to say he just lost any chance at a job coaching the Devils in the future and if Espn ever does get back rights to games the people at Espn will likely remember it when considering who they will hire.

The Star:Kevin McGran reports former Islander Jason Blake is clicking with Mats Sundin at even strength and has fourteen assist but only two goals but they have no pp chemistry and are being broken up. Blake has the worst shooting percentage for anyone with a goal on the Leafs. Darren Drager reports Eric Lindros is expected to announce his retirement at age 34 on Thursday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems like Lindros has been in retirement since Scott Stevens hit him. After going through the motions for years and more injuries the end is finally here. The question at this point is does anyone really care?

Albany Times Union: Pete Dougherty has a feature on Brandon Nolan who is now in the Carolina Hurricanes organization and Ted Nolan.

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.