Islander News Articles 12/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2007 10:06:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang has more from Ted Nolan, Marc-Andre Bergeron on what happened in the Atlanta game and comments from Ruslan Fedotenko on the scoring problems.

"I've already turned the page on that, and my point of view is that it's said and done," Bergeron said. "It's not the thing you want to share and have everyone know about."

"I think sometimes we're waiting for that perfect play," he said. "Sometimes we just need to create a little bit and take advantage and just not wait ... and bring the puck to the net, crash the net and score some goals."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Apparently this was the same person interviewing Ted Nolan on ITV.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is about Sound Tigers Television with comments from the Sound Tigers' director of media relations and game operations, Kimber Auerbach.

Islanders watch: Bates Battaglia on waivers

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2007 05:56:00 PM | | | | Comment Here Reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Bates Battaglia on waivers Monday.

The 31-year old has zero points in 13 games this season, has a minus-6 rating and is signed through next season.

NYI Fan Central Comments: is the only credible media source reporting this. As a left wing with speed and good defensive skill this is the kind of player the Islanders have been targeting so it's worth watching.

His production last year makes his comparable in some ways to Jon Sim, he has only played in about thirteen games for Toronto and his minutes were trimmed down to four minutes from twelve last season.

Islanders Practice Summary Monday:
Many players took the day off from the skate.

Islanders TV: Ted Nolan reported Ruslan Fedotenko is still sore but was at practice and could return against Buffalo.

Also included was Ted Nolan's comments that Marc-Andre Bergeron was not benched and there is no friction between him or Gerard Gallant, that it's an open competition for a spot and whoever steps up and does better will play.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good stuff from the person doing the interview who pressed Ted Nolan for answers on Bergeron-Gallant when he tried to downplay what happened. He was also pressed for an answer on Fedotenko's injury and toward the end just said some things he cannot disclose or words to that effect.

Latest poll at NYI Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2007 05:19:00 PM | Comment Here
Easy poll topic this week, where do you see the Islanders finishing in the Eastern Conference this season.

Choices are as follows:
Division winner top three
Four through seven
Eighth again
Out of contention
Bottom of conference

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Going into the season I picked the club to finish sixth. Unfortunately based on the clubs problems scoring I have a tough time seeing that happen unless this team finds it's offensive game at even strength and on the powerplay.

In terms of defense and goaltending they look like a solid playoff team. Complete confidence in Campoli-Gervais out in any circumstances. Martinek and Witt have been outstanding for the most part. Sutton has been much better (outside of his mistake against Boston) and has settled in. Bergeron was playing well on defense but his comments and what looks like a benching could mean all bets are off. Berard for the most part has been steady on defense.

If things continue as they are with the Islanders not being able to score or improve the powerplay I see them at the bottom of the conference. No NHL team that has this many problems scoring can hang in for eighty two games. Thirteen games is much more than a slump and the frustration level is very obvious.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2007 01:53:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has a Monday blog on Bill Guerin's hit to Florida's Bryan Allen, how the Islander captain felt his play was over the line and the league must protect the players.

"I don't like being the guy hitting someone or even getting hit. It happens too much in our league. So it was a deserved penalty. It was a bad hit. I regret that it even happened. You don't want to see guys get hurt on stupid hits like that." Scott Burnside has a good article on the Islanders father & son road trip with comments from Andy Sutton, Mike Comrie's dad & Bill Guerin.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Well done feature with comments from the players as to what this meant to them. I see Burnside's name and almost expect some kind of insult these days about the organization. Just hope he keeps score of everything Mr Wang does.

Buffalo News: John Vogl has some comments from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff about the Sabres very tough schedule and how they will be playing a fourth game in six days against the Islanders on Wednesday.

Portland 3, Bridgeport 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2007 10:33:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 3-2 loss to the Portland Pirates Sunday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's post game blog has the second peirod as one of the worst the Sound Tigers have played this season.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage was on the loss to Portland had Jack Capuano questioning why his club came out flat for a second peirod against an opponent playing it's third game in three nights, down a man on the roster and still held the Sound Tigers without a shot for over seventeen minutes of the second peirod.

It's probably one of the worst periods of hockey we've played," coach Jack Capuano said, and only a handful rival it. "It tells you a little bit about your team, from a coaching standpoint. I think some guys let us down (Sunday). It's a team game. It's a unit of five on the ice."

Portland Press Herald: Pirates game coverage.

Expecting changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2007 03:45:00 PM | | Comment Here
No inside information and it could be something minor in the end that is only a callup.

Usually when a team struggles this long and finally wins one with a few days off to reflect a change is finally made.

I just think this team is at the point where something has to give on a lot of fronts because it has problems on offense that goes beyond any one player or beyond what the coach can do because he has tried almost everything. I do not see anything they can do to fix the problems with one move unless it's a trade but I think we will see some kind of shakeup.

This team has been working hard most games, that's another reason I see something happening.

It also says quite a bit about Marc-Andre Bergeron's status that he was benched again in favor of Freddy Meyer on a night the club was playing it's fifth game in seven days.

With Fedntenko's status up in the air combined with Richard Park shaken up we could easily see something happen before the next game. Bridgeport does play Wednesday for those wondering so we'll see the ripple effect from Utah to Bridgeport to New York coming if it is a callup.

Andy Hilbert scored his goal, I'm not sure that guarantee's him a spot but he has made plays in two games that led to important goals.

Tambellini had one nice give and go but offensively speaking is not having much impact and seems to be knocked off the puck too easily. For now the Islanders have to give him this season and see if he can finally raise his overall game.

I would be shocked if Bergenehim's status changes. You either have the ability to get into scoring position or do not have that ability. It's been no coincidence Bergenheim always seems to be the player in position to score or works to get a shot. I'm not sure Ted Nolan is willing to trust him to do more at this point but the talent is there.

Only the medical staff knows what Shawn Bates hip injury is about this time. If it's related to what's gone on for close to a full year is this the end for him or is it minor that will keep him sidelined? On the telecast he was considered out indefinitely so that seems to be long term.

Just guessing here but Aaron Johnson should be a month away from skating based on the original six to eight week injury report.

I could be wrong. Ted Nolan could do what he always does and play his winning lineup in Tampa against Buffalo, that's been his trend.

I just have a feeling these three days off will bring changes for the team.

Islander News Articles 12/9:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 11:57:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Greg Logan has an early article on the Islanders win in overtime against Tampa.

Newsday: Greg Logan's article with quotes from Mike Sillinger on his game winning goal in overtime.

"I don't care who scores goals; I just want to win," Sillinger said. "But it's nice to get the game-winner, no question. Right now when we're going through a little bit of a funk scoring goals, I'm not going to lie. It feels good . . . We had a couple of four-on-threes in overtime, and you have to put the game away."

"Yesterday, we were down in the dumps, and today we're flying home and all the dads have a smile on their faces."

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article is speculation on a possible trade with Anaheim, Bill Guerin's regret for hitting Panther Bryan Allen and that Atlanta claiming Mark Recchi meant the Islanders had no interest in him, despite Mr Logan not making clear how the waiver process works or how the Islanders could have had the right to choose him before Atlanta.

Tampa Tribune & St Pete Times Forum: Have the Lightning coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's Sunday coverage was on how the club scored by going to the net with coach Jack Capuano, Tim Jackman quoted The teams poor shooting percentage this season with a few words on the Islanders similar problem were also discussed.

"I think shooting percentage reflects (the lack of a big-gun scorer) a little bit," Capuano said. "At the same time, it's the work ethic of your linemates, the unit of five who you're out there with. Offensive-zone play has to be a unit of five. You have to move your feet constantly. You have to have a third guy high. You have to go into the paint and convert rebounds."

Portland Pirates at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Today, 4 p.m.
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason in a Sunday feature had a section on players from the Buffalo area with a few words on Islander prospect Shane Simms.

Shane Sims, D, Ohio State: The Buckeyes were 4-11-1 going into the weekend. Sims was minus-9, but he will get every opportunity to succeed. The freshman from East Amherst will improve with experience and time on the power play. He was selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.

New York 3, Tampa Bay 2 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 10:34:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-2 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"The guys dug down and stuck to it tonight," said head coach Ted Nolan. "People have been questioning us, but we have faith in our group. It was good to see Billy Guerin and Andy Hilbert score and get a power play goal. And what can you say about Ricky, he was sensational. The way we played was a testament to the team and the leadership we have."

"It felt great getting that goal," said Guerin. "Every goal is a good goal even if it goes over five guys and lands in. Comrie made a nice play on the faceoff."

"I told Campy we have to control the puck," said Sillinger, regarding his conversation with Campoli before the goal was scored. "I told him we need to create a 2-on-1 and that last time we took a shot too soon. It feels good that we won. If we can win in Buffalo, we can make it a real successful road trip."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'll take the two points. Islanders needed them desperately any way they could get them and they found a way to score another three goals. It was far from pretty and as hard as they worked the problems with this offense and power play are downright scary. It could have been a far different result with the chances the Islanders gave Tampa Bay if DiPietro was not outstanding.

For most of regulation and overtime it seemed like only a matter of what before Tampa scored a shorthanded goal with the mistakes the power play made. Berard's behind the back pass was something Richards saw coming a mile away.

Sutton and the team defense did a very good job blocking shots, his huge hit drew a powerplay. Hunter created a goal for Hilbert, Guerin finally got something to feel good about and he got a few other chances. Sillinger had Holmqvist leaning the other way a bit on the game winner with the look that he was going to pass.

Overall for a team playing it's fifth game in seven days the hung in well they had some jump. Park had his breakaway, Sillinger had his breakaway until he was stripped of the puck. Hunter had an open net wrap-around at hit the post, Guerin hit a post.

Some of those go in it could have been an easy night for the Islanders.

Three out of six possible points, it could have been far worse. This seemed like a game that Tampa was going to find a way not to win as much as it seemed like a game the Islanders were going to find a way to win.

I looked long and hard at the overtime tape leading up to Sillinger and Campoli having their discussion, only thing I could see was Campoli letting up at the blueline on a play where Sillinger carried the puck into the zone which was not offsides. On the game winning goal no one screened Holmqvist on the Islanders, he used the Tampa defender.

Hardly a classic, but Islanders needed this win desperately.

Some live blogging for Isles-Tampa

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 07:04:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Once again New York Islander Fan Central is going to do a little live blogging tonight but with a fun new interesting twist.

I'm going to let do the live play by play and the virtual scoreboard. All you have to do is click on the links to follow the play by play and the scoreboard. Espn will also have a live scoreboard here also.

Live scoreboard and play by play

New York at Tampa Bay Live play by play blogging


Logan blog on scoring and last year's team

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 04:26:00 PM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's blog is on the lack of scoring with comparisions to last year's club. The five on five play was a key difference that goaltender Rick DiPietro discusses.

“Well, I think the big thing for us last year was our five-on-five scoring. I think we were rated pretty high in the league. We had a lot of guys overachieve last year, and that helps out quite a bit. But we’ve got the talent in here to score goals. It comes down to getting those power-play chances and capitalizing on them. It’s not happening right now.”

Mr Logan comments after this are very telling:
DiPietro’s point about five-on-five scoring is well-taken. The Isles’ ratio of
five-on-five goals for and against last season was 1.18, which ranked sixth in the NHL. Their current ratio is 0.82, which ranks 26th. This is a very important indicator. Of the top 16 teams in this category last season, 13 made the playoffs.

This is how you come out of the net

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 12:50:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

This so far is the play of the year in the NHL.

Sure beats diving head first as we have seen Rick DiPietro do by instinct again this season.

Incredible play in last night's Detroit-Minnesota game. Reportedly the Wild were losing 5-0 at the time. Hasek was given two minutes I guess for an entertaining play. Gaborik should have had his head up, good thing he was not hurt.

Mark Recchi claimed by Atlanta

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 12:34:00 PM | | Comment Here Report Mark Recchi was claimed by Atlanta Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Atlanta's win Friday night give them one more point than the Islanders but going into the time they could make a claim on Recchi Friday they had one less point than the Islanders. Some things I have read also claim waivers go in terms of winning percentage which means even on Friday the Islanders had the first chance to claim Recchi over Atlanta because the Thrasher had the higher winning percentage.

Could these rules be different in re-entry waivers? Maybe. This a rule that the league does not go out of it's way to update for the public.

Bottom Line: Mark Recchi was claimed by Atlanta.

12/8: New York at Tampa Bay 7:30pm Fsn

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 11:54:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Tampa Bay Lightning website: Has preview of Saturday night's game. Center Ryan Craig (knee) and defenseman Dan Boyle (wrist) are out. Johan Holmqvist who has never lost to the Islanders will start in goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write here. Holmqvist almost had a shutout his last game, Tampa's had an excellent home stand and the Islanders no matter what they do cannot seem to put enough pucks in the net to win a hockey game. If DiPietro starts his third game in four days after forty save effort last night he will have to be outstanding to keep his club in the game if the recent trends continue. Does Bergeron get a seat in the stands again or does Ted Nolan bench another player?

Islanders need any kind of win here to get something positive going form them. If they lose it will be a very long couple of days before the team plays Buffalo. For those thinking no chance tonight both Tampa and the Islanders have twenty eight points so in terms of standings this game is far from a mismatch. Islanders also have a 4-0 win against Tampa this season.

Islander News Articles 12/8:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 01:55:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
The losing streak made the top of the backpage at Newsday.
Newsday blog updates Friday: Steve Zipay 5, Greg Logan 0

Newsday: Greg Logan has reaction from Ted Nolan on the clubs effort, Mike Sillinger on lack of scoring and Bill Guerin on how the teams skating was not a problem earlier.

"No, I wasn't satisfied with the effort almost throughout the whole game," coach Ted Nolan said. "We have to play with some urgency and start winning some battles. If you don't work, don't expect to score. We've got to say it over and over again -- we have to work harder . . . Ricky keeps us in every game, but we have to support Ricky."

"We're having trouble scoring goals," Mike Sillinger said. "It's almost like we're sitting around waiting for the next guy to do it. We're not generating nothing . . . I think we sense some frustration. It's been [14 of 15 games] with two goals or below, and it shows in our play."

"We were winning games just a little while ago," he said. "We've got the pieces to the puzzle. When we're skating like we can skate, we're a good team."

Miami Herald & Florida Sun-Sentinel &
Palm Beach Post: Have reaction on the Panthers win Friday night.

Globe and Mail:Roy MacGregor has an outstanding feature on Ted Nolan, his background, why he has not been feeling well recently and why he had to move from his apartment. John Chabot and Chris Simon are quoted.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Best feature article I have read about Ted Nolan since he was hired and a must read for Islander fans. Too bad Newsday does not do features like this.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell's feature is on how many players want to play against the other conference and are tired of playing the same teams. Bill Guerin and Ted Nolan are quoted.

“As much as those rivalries are great, there are a ton of other teams out there, and we’re sick of seeing the same teams coming in all the time,” said Bill Guerin, the captain of the Islanders, who have already played the Rangers four times this season.

“This is just going to be better for the game,” Guerin said of the new system. “I don’t really believe that rivalries are built by playing a team a certain number of times in the regular season. This is my opinion, but rivalries are built in the playoffs.”

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio coverage on Bridgeport's win at Springfield Friday night includes the game was delayed from starting for twenty five minutes because snowfall and an accident kept the Sound Tigers' team bus from arriving until 6:55 p.m. for a scheduled 7:30 start. Frans Nielsen scored twenty eight seconds into the game. Ryan Kinasewich had two goals and Micheal Haley scored in his Sound Tigers debut.

"We had a good week of practice. We worked on a lot of things," said Tim Jackman, who was all around the net Friday night. "We're all starting to buy in a little bit to the system we're playing, how we have to play to be successful."

The Springfield Union-News and Sunday Republican: Has the Falcons coverage.

From Mr Prospects, who does a great job with daily prospect game logs on the
message board.

December 6
OHL-Kingston 6,Barrie 3-Tomas Marcinko,1 assist,-1.
WHL-Regina 6,Edmonton 3-Robin Figren,1 goal(13),1 assist, + 2.

Islanders offense by the numbers

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2007 01:13:00 AM | Comment Here
Sorry gang, we can keep talking about character or hard work but when you come down to the offensive numbers there is no place to run or hide for the 2007-08 New York Islanders.

A year ago they had never had an extended scoring slump close to this. They had one stretch with two goals or less for five games but won a game in that stretch.

Islanders a year ago played one more game by December 7Th.
2006-07: 14-11-3
2007-08: 13-12-2

2006-07: 83 goals
2007-08: 60 goals

2006-07: 31 goals
2007-08: 26 goals

Nov-Dec 7Th:
2006-07: 52 goals
2007-08: 34 goals

06-07: 21 goals
07-08: 19 goals

06-07: 13 goals
07-08 12 goals

Nov-Dec 7Th:
06-07: 8 goals
07-08: 7 goals

A year ago Islanders had a six game losing streak in late December where they had eight goals in six games.

Now that I wrote the numbers I do have to include the most important comparison.
Islanders were 23-21-6 as late as January 30Th last year.

Something has to give on offense. Yashin did not have a point for eighteen games before he was sat down and was out for weeks with injuries and they did not struggle to this level on offense.

Florida 3, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2007 11:18:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.

"If you don't get to the net and get traffic, you can't score," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We have to find a way and take it upon ourselves. We have to give more. It's not rocket science. Rick keeps us in every game. We have to support Ricky and we have to generate offense and give him a chance. You have to use your intelligence to counter speed. The bottom line is we have to work harder. We have to find the solution from within. If you don't work, you won't get enough."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write about this game that Ted Nolan did not say. Florida is struggling but can do one thing and that's score on it's powerplay, this was the difference.

Islanders got outworked top to bottom, had problems with Florida's speed all night and unlike many games DiPietro had to be very good to give the Islanders any chance or it would have been over early. Nice to see Guerin try and spark his club with a fight. Too bad Bergenheim's goal did not count but it was kicked or Berard's shot did not find the net. Vokoun did not have to be very good for his shutout and that's a terrible sign because Florida was outshot in ten of eleven games going into tonight's game.

Ted Nolan can keep talking about the club having to work harder and that's true but it's clear they cannot produce enough on offense and it goes well beyond one player at this point. Every possible line combination has been used, Tambellini has been called up. The speed, skill and scoring are not there, if the hard work is not there this team will not win.

We'll see what happens tomorrow in Tampa who will no doubt use the same gameplan Florida did and had Friday off. Islanders shutout Tampa 4-0 which was the last time this club scored four goals in a game.

That was over a month ago. Has the summary of Bridgeport's 7-4 win at Springfield Friday night.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a post game blog on the win and reported Kenny Morrow was behind the Sound Tigers bench.

Islander Watch: Recchi re-entry waivers

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2007 03:13:00 PM | | | Comment Here
National Post/Countless sources: Report Mark Recchi was placed on re-entry waivers Friday which means Pittsurgh would pay only half of his $1.75 million salary. Recchi's agent, Rick Curran blamed Penguins coach Michel Therrien for his client's diminished playing time.

Courier Post: Flyer centric writer Chuck Gormley has more from Recchi's agent on what went wrong in Pittsburgh and if Recchi is claimed by another club.

NYI Fan Central Comments
Now or never for the Islanders unless a team lower in the standings claims him first and they do not get an opportunity.

Given Paul Holmgren's comments about possible interest from the Flyers, reported interest from Calgary and other teams he's likely going to be claimed by someone.

Either way we will find out soon.

A few quick NYI Fan Central Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2007 01:17:00 PM | Comment Here
* Thanks to everyone for voting in our recent poll on the media, the next poll will be released on Monday.

Who's to blame for the lack of hockey coverage in New York?

Other sports enormous fan support in this market 3
On ice product not winning in playoffs 3
Too small a niche for hockey in NY today 0
Over marketing of Long Island, not New York by pr department 2
Lockout killed coverage 0
Madison Square Garden, restricting Islander coverage 2
Editors send beat writers to where paper can make money 2
No blame here, just the way things are in this market 1

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Shocked no one voted for the lockout which is something the media uses constantly as a reason for the decline of coverage.

* Something called a schmapplet has finally solved our schedule/game report issue with the blog as I have been looking to upgrade our schedule section. This also has game results from Espn as well as the complete schedule with results and a map showing a view of the building. Credit to the folks for designing it and feel free to add it to your Islander website.

NYI Fan Central Comments
If nothing else it will keep everyone updated on the ever changing names of so many NHL arena's.

* No response to the Times, Post or Msg editors to have New York Islander Fan Central a linked at their pages or given a blog and no answer as to why any Islander blog cannot be added. I do intend to get an answer and post it here because I want our team to get more coverage in these papers. I can only ask for my own site and as I told everyone I do not want any money or my name in the paper.

Quick Q & A from the e-mails:
1. I scream at the TV shoot shoot. The Isles are too fancy. Shoot at the goalie and scramble for a rebound. Make the goalie work. Hire anyone who can shoot the puck. The Isles have too many defensive clones. Bates, Hilbert two players I'd like to see replaced for a shooter. Try Bergeron on a wing. He is not a very good defense man and he has a heavy shot. This is an old team. Bring up some young legs that don't look like they are skating in mud during the third period.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The shots on goal in games are there in terms of statistics. Quality shots are another story to the point even Mike Sillinger said recently the club is going out of it's way just to take shots but not working to get a good scoring chance. When this club sits on the perimeter and does not screen the goalie they do not score, when Vasicek and Guerin screen the goalie as they did against Atlanta they scored twice.

Clearly this club is trying to go with a defense first approach. Bates and Hilbert are signed through next season so it's not as easy as replacing them or putting their NHL salary in the minors. Hilbert also makes a lot of solid defensive play on the boards but in terms of goals it's an expensive luxury to have. Islanders are hoping he shows what he did in Pittsburgh when he had nineteen goals in twenty games.

Bergeron was asked about playing wing and is quoted as saying it's not something he wants to do or think's he can do.

2. Fans should write letter to the publishers of these papers threatening to
boycott them unless the Isles get better coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The sports editors and the publisher do not depend on the Islanders to generate revenue for their papers. When Chris Botta suggest fans should boycott some of these papers it says all you need to know because no doubt he fights very hard for increased coverage. Islanders are not blameless because they increased the Long Island mantra and posted it all over every comment. They gave the city media the excuse it was looking for along with the lockout.

12/7: New York at Florida FSN 7:30pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2007 12:30:00 PM | | | Comment Here
My cable guide list the pregame begins at 6:30pm for this 7:30 start.

Islanders Website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers. Florida has lost three straight one goal games after a four game winning streak but lost it's last game 5-4 in a shootout. Former Islander Richard Zednik has eight goals on the season.

Miami Herald: George Richards reports Thomas Vokoun will start for Florida after being pulled seven minutes into Wednesday's game. Garth Murray injured his right shoulder in Wednesday's game against Ottawa, and is out indefinitely. Tanner Glass was recalled from Rochester. The Panthers are 0-3 in their current five-game homestand. Left Wing David Booth has four goals in the past eight games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Florida has problems scoring but did score four times against Ottawa and came back in a game they trailed 2-0 before losing in overtime so they are going to be willing to trade goals in what has to be a desperate game for them after losing three straight on home ice. Jokinen tied the game in the final minute to get that game to overtime.

From the Islanders side of things they have to finish their chances and make something work with their powerplay whether it's with Vasicek or other players. Vokoun has to be fragile after being pulled in the first seven minutes his last game, he gave up two goals before he was pulled.

Defense has been protecting DiPietro well, he cannot allow a bad goal from his right side against the post which has been a trend this season. Defense cannot afford a night off on this team, Panthers had three goals on only eleven shots through two peirods against Ottawa.

Islander News Articles 12/7

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2007 10:06:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is about Bill Guerin's struggles this season and the pressure he has been feeling to contribute. Comparisons and circumstances are made to previous scoring slumps. Mr Logan also reports for the first time Bill Guerin lost his father before the season started which he will not use as an excuse for his struggles on the ice.

"Part of leadership is your production on the ice," Guerin said after practice Thursday at BankAtlantic Center, where the Islanders meet Florida Friday. "That's why, when you go through something like this, there's guilt involved. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform for this team. When you're not doing it, it's disappointing. It's something you know guys rely on you to do."

"I'm quite sure he will find his niche again," Nolan said. "He's a proven goal scorer in this league, a proven winner, and you stick with those guys."

If anything, Guerin said, he just needs a little "me" time. "I've been thinking about too much other than hockey," Guerin said. "I really have to focus on my game."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As fans all we know is what we see on the ice during games, the media reports and what the player/coaches are saying.

Sometimes we only get part of the story and a players private life is not the public's business. It's curious it took until now for this to be reported but maybe it's something that was kept private from the media too. Sometimes we do not even know a player was injured at all until after a season. Anything is possible in the end.

Goes without writing it making a player captain for the first time at age thirty six, switching back to the Eastern Conference where he has not played in years and being asked to be a primary offensive player after years of being surrounded by solid offensive players is asking for an awful lot. Now you add in what is going on behind the scenes and it's fair to see now why Bill Guerin has been struggling, even if he is too classy and professional to allow it to be a factor for him.

It's amazing he has carried himself so well off the ice and in the lockeroom, really says a lot about his professionalism.

All we know as fans is what we is reported and how he plays. To not be critical of his play based on what's been reported would not be fair from the vantage point of only being a fan.

The older fans remember Denis Potvin and Dave Langevin when they lost their fathers during the playoffs in 1984. Potvin talked about how the loss changed things for him because he grew up playing for his father Armand who felt great the day the Islanders won their final cup in 1983. Armand Potvin died after a two-year battle with cancer.

Would be interesting if former Captain Denis Potvin who announces for the Florida Panthers and current Captain Bill Guerin have a little talk considering they share something else besides being Islander captains with the club playing the Panthers he may be one of the few people who can relate to the circumstances.

On the ice things are not going to change until Guerin scores a few goals and contributes for an extended period so he can settle into his game and he has to do it on a club that has a lot of problems scoring. An awful lot is being asked here under the best of circumstances.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's coverage is on the Sound Tigers penalty kill struggling recently with comments from coach Jack Capuano, Joe Rullier and tonight's game against the Springfield Falcons. Callup Micheal Haley sustained an upper body injury at practice Thursday and is questionable for tonight's game.

"You see the desperation on the penalty kill slipping a bit,"Capuano said. "It's a good evaluation of the work ethic slipping a bit," he added. "You've got to do the little things: win faceoffs, get the puck 200 feet, keep your shift-time short, get in lanes."

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Springfield Falcons
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Logan blog on Bergeron-Gallant & Sound Tigers TV

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2007 08:50:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's late afternoon blog was on Marc-Andre Bergeron's confrontation with assistant coach Gerard Gallant in the third peirod because he was not out on a five on three powerplay. Ted Nolan says Bryan Berard will be back in the lineup Friday and explains why Berard has been a healthy scratch for some games. Mr Logan speculates Bergeron could be scratched or the club could dress seven defenders and once again give Sean Bergenheim a night off.

“At the time, it was heated, but it was really nothing,” Gallant said. “It was just about the power play setup is all. It doesn’t affect anything.”

“Yeah, I do have a problem with that,” Nolan said. “That’s going to be rectified. There’s times to do it, and there’s times not to do it. Definitely, that wasn’t the right time. We’ll be addressing both individuals, and we’ll make some corrections.”

“We need Bryan to play better than he has, and I’m quite sure he will,” Nolan said. “But you take into consideration he only played [55] games the last two years because he got hurt. We had a couple good practices, and you’ll see him back in tomorrow night.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ted Nolan is not going to show up his player or his coach to the media, but behind the scenes it will likely be far different. It would not shock me if this led to the end of Marc-Andre Bergeron's time in an Islander uniform at some point soon. Nolan is absolutely correct about Berard, the club needs to give him some games off when he struggles and it's easy to forget he has not played a lot of hockey the last two years.

Another benching of Sean Bergenheim for working hard is not the right message to send here. He has taken a few poor penalties but he is also one of the few forwards visible and creating chances.

Sound Tigers website: Announced the launch of Sound Tigers television for game highlights and several features.

"With NeuLion's cutting edge technology, fans have the opportunity to interact with their favorite players like never before," Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan said. "Our goal as a team is to increase the one-on-one interaction with our players and fans and by instilling Sound TigersTV, we are one step closer to achieving that."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This site has updates going back to the beginning of the season.

Sounds great but this club's radio coverage has taken significant steps backwards from it's early years with mostly pay per view games and no coverage. Seems like since Roy Boe had problems with his bills the local radio stations relationship with the Sound Tigers has faded away despite Mr Wang assuming ownership and bringing in Howard Saffin.

Sound Tigers tv feed has been added to their section on this blog for those wishing to check it out.

Isles Watch: Todd Marchant & Mark Recchi

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2007 12:36:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
With Scott Niedermayer returning to Anaheim's lineup off the suspended list and Todd Marchant a healthy scratch here it's worth keeping an eye on a possible Islanders trade if contracts or draft picks could be included on both sides because Anaheim apparently has to drop some salary. Bob McKenzie has a few words regarding Niedermayer's return and what Anaheim may look to do to free salary that mentions Marchant and some forwards but mostly centers around the defense where they have a surplus, including former Islander Matthieu Schneider.

Espn: EJ Hradek does some of his own speculating on how Anaheim will shed salary for Neidermayer's contract and includes the Ducks 08-09 contracts.

Philadelphia Daily News: Ed Moran reports Flyer gm Paul Holmgren could be interested in former Flyer Mark Recchi as a re-entry waiver.

National Post/several sources: Report a possible Mark Recchi buyout or his being placed on recall waivers is possible.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Based on some unconfirmed reports that the Islanders almost traded Jason Blake to Anaheim last year at the trade deadline and Brian Burke's comments about Garth Snow when he was named gm, it's fair to speculate Snow checks in at number two on the list of gm's Brian Burke does not want to talk with outside of Kevin Lowe unless he can rob him blind in a deal.

Having written that....

Todd Marchant earns $2.517 million this season and next. He has been only a support player for a few seasons with low production - too much for a fourth-line checking forward in Anaheim but a player who could play as a top six forward here. For an Islander trade with Anaheim the Ducks would need to take Bates contract for the next two seasons, include a high draft pick and more. Does not seem like a fit here for New York but it is a player who would not cost them a prospect or an impact player that Burke would likely be thrilled to have off his roster and may need a fresh start.

Based on Bob McKenzie's blog it could be a chance to end the log-jam with Bergeron, Berard, Meyer and bring in a veteran like Schneider to run the powerplay. Goes without writing it Andy McDonald is exactly what this club needs and who Garth Snow should target even if it means taking Marchant to make it happen.

Recchi is a good gamble if he is bought out or goes on re-entry waivers but it's easy for me to spend Charles Wang's money. Spending now may mean not being able to spend later when an impact player is available.

Bottom line: Pass on Marchant unless the scouting reports are very good and he only needs a change of scenery. Anaheim also has to give up their top draft pick and more combined with taking Bates salary to do this and if I'm Garth Snow I want Andy McDonald so that means a Schneider for Sutton swap.

Now I'm spending even more of Charles Wang's money.

This gives Brian Burke the cap space to resign Cory Perry.

Also fair to write this could be the end of the line for Recchi and he is not worth taking a roster spot from another player but he did produce last season.

What a difference a week makes

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2007 07:47:00 AM | | Comment Here
In this conference you need to be at least ten games over five hundred, between ninerty two and ninety six points to make the playoffs.

You lose three games in a row in a division like this where teams can go on long, sustained winning/unbeaten streaks you are going to find yourself tied for last or in the basement unless you can keep up.

Pittsburgh did it last year, the Devils are doing it now.

Things change quickly. For the Islanders, who have not won five games in a row in for close to a decade or longer they are going to have their own winning or unbeaten streak.

A week ago things were far from perfect but the Islanders were locked into third and with a win at Msg would have moved into a virtual tie for first place.

Today the Islanders find themselves tied for last place in the Atlantic Division with far more questions/problems then answers. Hard to see a trade that helps unless Garth Snow wants to give up a player like Hunter, Bergenheim, Campoli, Gervais or one of his prospects which would only be a shortsighted move.

Fair to say Ted Nolan has the most offensively challenged team he's had in his entire NHL coaching career and it's becoming a grind for him. The character has been there but is being tested to the max because the players being counted on the most simply cannot score and the frustration is building as the coach has seemingly tried almost every possible line combination with mixed results at best because the team does not have enough skilled players who can finish.

The more some players press the more mistakes they make on a club playing with almost no margin for error and it does look like this group is simply not deep enough in the scoring department.

I have not written this but there is no doubt this club misses Jon Sim's speed and mid level offensive ability. On another club a player like Sim may be an important depth player but on this team his loss is critical because the players put in his spot simply do not have any scoring resume in this league to this point.

Islanders have had a poor week, starting Friday they need to have a good week or the alternative will be a last place team.

What difference will the next week bring?

Islander News Articles 12/6:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2007 07:00:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Of course the Post, News and Times goes AP only with the Islanders on the road.

Newsday: Greg Logan is only permitted one article to supplement coverage on an important game and does not blog after the game with the paper itself advertising his pre game blog. Ted Nolan talks about the mistakes his team made, a game he felt the club maybe did not deserve a point and possible changes to the power play among several subjects. Rick DiPietro, Mike Comrie are quoted.

"It's surprising," coach Ted Nolan said. "We talked about it before going out for the third period. We just can't do those type of plays from those type of players. Certainly, things are going to happen once in awhile, but Comrie gave it away twice on the same play. We just can't have that."

"Maybe we shouldn't have gotten the one point," an unhappy Nolan said, shrugging. "Giving up opportunities when you're on the power play is doubly bad."

"There comes a point where, if it ain't working, it ain't working," Nolan said of his struggling power play. "So, Vasicek has nine goals. Maybe he deserves a chance on the power play."

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Craig Custance's Thrasher coverage reports Johan Hedberg told Lehtonen to be sure he didn't give up the five-hole against Bill Guerin, who was a former teammate in Dallas.

"He actually told me exactly what he was going to do. That was a great help for me," Lehtonen said. "[Guerin] waited and shot to the five hole."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio checks in with his Sound Tigers weekly.

Winnipeg Sun: Jim Bender reports Winnipeg South Blues defenceman Andrew Hewett, 17, was one of five Manitoba Junior Hockey League players to be selected for the 2007 Canadian Junior A Hockey League Prospects Game which showcases the top
draft-eligible players in the CJAHL. A rep from the Islanders left him a message Tuesday night. Kevin Allen has a preview of team USA which included Islander prospects Kyle Okpposo and Rhett Rahkshani.

Atlanta 4, New York 3 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2007 09:59:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-3 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.

"We weren't disappointed in our effort," said head coach Ted Nolan. "These guys gave us all they have to give and tonight we just came up short."

"You can never say enough about our penalty kill guys," said Nolan. "You have to have guys that kill penalties and they’ve been doing that for us all year."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A few good signs but a lot of bad signs too.

* Coming back down 3-1 after losing three in a row is a good sign.
* Finding a way to score the third goal on the power play when they needed it is a great sign.
* Holding Atlanta to 0-9 on the power play is a great sign.
* Scoring the opening goal is a good sign.
* Bill Guerin getting some quality shots, an assist and on the ice for two is a good sign.
* DiPietro got stronger as the game went along and made a few huge saves in the third.

* Two shorthanded goals given up were pathetic and all off Islander mistakes.
* Another short side goal against DiPietro is becoming a trend.
* Tambellini, Comrie reads on some plays led to goals against.
* Power play despite Vasicek's screen on Hunter's shot was terrible and it was more about what the Islanders could not do.

You take the point because they had to get something here and hope it's something they can build on. Sutton and Campoli were outstanding in this game, defense played well overall and bailed out DiPietro on two open nets and Gervais jumped in a few times also. Guerin looked far better at even strength than on the power play where they read what he was going to do and was too slow handling the puck. Comrie looks like he's alone at times and forcing plays.

Offense worked hard but it seems to take a dirty goal to finish anything or an outside shot. A lot of undisciplined penalties, a few weak calls against the Isles too. Atlanta's speed gave them trouble but it was nothing like the Coliseum game where they were giving up breakaways.

Last year Islanders were six games over five hundred and lost six in a row. That team
could find a way to score, this team has to get in the trenches to score at all.

I'm not sure what happens next. Some good signs, some terrible signs. Nolan has some tough calls to make about the players who have to contribute for this team to have a chance in Comrie and Guerin.

Bergenheim looks very good and just cannot seem to get a chance for even reasons the broadcast wondered about. Park as always worked hard and Simon was in on chances.

One final observation. This team misses Viktor Kozlov in shootouts. Guerin has no move other than to look five hole.

NYI Fan Central Live Blogging Tonight

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2007 06:33:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Being that the club is 2-0 when I do a live blog tonight's a good time to see if the club can break out if it's slump.

I going to try some changes to my live blogging and post time of day with updates and time remaining in each period.

Game Notes:
Point Blake : Chris Botta blogged at around 2:30pm, reported on Islanders-Thrashers game day with comments from Ruslan Fedotenko, some peripheral items and speculates Bryan Berard/Freddy Meyer will be the scratches.

Newsday: Greg Logan updated his blog at 5pm to report Bruno Gervais will be back in the lineup and why he sat out the Boston game. Assistant coach Gerard Gallant is doing the game day interviews with Ted Nolan who is under the weather but also says seven defenders could dress.

Feel free to jump in with discussion on the game here or on the message board.
New York at Atlanta

Islander Forward lines:


7:07pm Thirty odd dad's and relatives, Bates day to day, did not make trip.

1st period
7:08pm.......20:00 min

Sillinger line against Kovalchuk line opens game.
Good opening shift off Witt point shot, rebound save.

7:10 pm..18:27 min
Comrie center ice penalty on questionable boarding penalty.

7:12 pm....16:28 min
Trail referee calls penalty on Witt which was very questionable, five on three for a short time.

7:14 pm...15:40 min
Thrashers penalty, Campoli robbed by Lehtonen on delayed penalty, solid pk.

7:22 pm.....10:49 min
Isles playing with fire, Kovalchuk unloading up outside. Enstrom very skilled, Hunter clearing attempt kept in but a few good blocks kills pk.

7:16 pm......14:69 min
Islanders doing nothing with powerplay, looked better shorthanded. Crowd booing Sutton.

7:18 pm.........12:44 min
Powerplay over some outside shots from Sutton. Atlanta good counter rush back at even strength. Islanders do not even look to set up down low.

7:20 pm.........12:19 min
Hilbert puts puck in stands second straight game, Thrashers powerplay.

7:24 pm.........10:02 min
Simon shot, rebound Campoli driving to net, goes to Comrie who scores on outside wrist shot 1-0 New York, Guerin big screen on Lehtonen.

7:27 pm............8:26 min
Hilbert goes off on hit to shoulder/hip/wrist/hand in corner with Havlat.
DiPietro disaster turnover on mix up with Bergeron, Sutton makes save on open net chance. Bergeron rush, shot saved by Lehtonen.

7:31 pm............6:57 min
Simon another shift with Comrie/Guerin

7:34 pm.....
Thirty seven dads, mentors on trip.

7:37 pm............3:10 min
Witt shot blocked, Kovalchuk-Hossa two on one off stick.
Hilbert returns, shot from left face off shoulder, save.

7:40 pm.............1:15 min
Another Thrasher power play, some good Islander pressure before with two on one broken up by Ken Klee.

7:41 pm.....
DiPietro good save on Kovalchuk, some blocks and a few clears...end first period.

Notes-Too many penalties by Isles, some good jump and pressure but not enough sustained work and Atlanta's speed a factor. Islanders defense looks on it's game so far with several broken up chances and blocks. Lucky to have lead after DiPietro mistake. Campoli hitting and jumping in twice led to chances and goal. Bill Guerin has been active in front of Thrashers net and his game tonight looks like he's due to make a play that leads to a goal.
Second period:
8:00pm..........19:35 min
Enstrom hit post from point, penalty over.....19:16 min

Thrashers taking advantage of Islander mistakes, DiPietro saves on Klee and Holik.

8:04 pm.......16:50 min
Bergenheim finally sees the ice and worked well with shot.

8:05 pm........15:50 min
Fedotenko draws power play.

Campoli bombing away, Sutton hearing boos again.

8:09pm.............13:55 min
Klee grabs puck on Hunter rebound of Sutton shot, Islanders powerplay, first penalty expires.

8:10 pm...............12:54 min
DiPietro gives up bad angle shorthanded goal to Hossa after Satan shot stopped 1-1.

8:12pm.................11:50 min
Powerplay over.

8:15pm.................11:17 min
Bergenheim penalty on hook in center ice, Atlanta powerplay.
DiPietro save on Kovalchuck bomb...penalty over.

DiPietro save on Holik.

Tambellini turnover, Kovalchuk easy shot off pass from Hossa 2-1 Atlanta.

Bergenheim almost scores out of box with Vasicek, Atlanta comes back and Satan makes save on open net rebound. Isles having problems with Atlanta's speed.

Atlanta taking over on Islander mistakes and their speed. Boulton, Slater almost score. DiPietro another head first diving poke check.

8:25pm...............5:54 min
Park draws power play with fourth line.

Guerin, Comrie turnover show, Dupuis scores after Gervais-Comrie go to same player, second Atlanta shorthanded goal 3-1 Atlanta.

Vasicek line some pressure, wrap around.

8:34pm.................18.9 seconds left.
Sutton point shot goes in off Hilbert pass, looks like Sillinger under review.......goal stands 3-2 Atlanta.

8:36pm..............period over.
3-2 Atlanta.

Notes-Trashers speed and skill forced mistakes that led to all three goals and DiPietro let up a goal a low scoring club cannot allow. Powerplay was horrible, Guerin looked slow and Thrasher forwards read his move and could see he was looking point and easily broke it up. When the puck went to the other side Comrie tried to make low percentage plays which led to chances/goals when puck came to his side because he did not take the player rushing to the net.

Let's see what the late Sillinger goal off deflection does and what team makes next mistake.

Islanders are going to need a third goal for the first time in twelve games and hold Atlanta scoreless if they want a point.
Third period
8:54pm...................20:00 min

Good shift for Guerin with three shots off speed from Bergeheim and Fedotenko.

Bergenheim/fourth line with nice pressure, good save by Lehtonen.

Hilbert penalty, Atlanta powerplay kills momentum.

9:01 pm........................14:12min
Shot hits post as penalty expires off Islander turnover.

Sillinger pulled down on good rush to outside......Islander powerplay???

Vasicek on powerplay with Satan and Guerin and Hunter.

Hunter point shot......SCORE OFF VASICEK SCREEN..........3-3

Immediate Guerin penalty off faceoff, stick on hands.

Holik misses wide open net off setup.

Islanders make a few blocks, penalty over.

Dangerous chance off Kovalchuk shot blocked. Some center ice play. Vasicek penalty after Atlanta player not called in offensive zone. Thrashers powerplay.

Islanders make some solid plays and kill penalty, shots 28-21 Islanders.

Satan has net but tries to go outside and get's pinned in corner, Fedotenko draws powerplay. More worried about giving up another goal with some of the gambles they have been making....need to get this game to overtime.

Vasicek line does little, another Thrasher penalty on Satan-Fedotenko feed, brief five on three. Timeout Islanders.

Gallant and Bergeron jawing at one another, telecast speculates it's because Bergeron wants to be out for five on three. Either way Bergeron was clearly not happy about something nor was Gerard Gallant.

9:27pm......................22 seconds left.
Five on three ends. Plenty of Islander pressure, Gervais almost scores on backdoor plan, Satan terrible crosscheck, even strength.
Overtime begins with Thrashers on four on three powerplay.

DiPietro robs Enstrom off rush, big save on Kovalchuk. Witt clears Holik.

Islanders exchanging chances, Vasicek hits post that looked in....REVIEW?
Made that clunking sound?.....replay was no goal.

Guerin shot wide.

9:38pm.........................21 seconds.
Campoli rushes net from angle, Kovalchuk counter rush..........shootout.
Atlanta 2-1 in shootouts, lost to Devils last Sunday.

Shootout lineups for each club:
Atlanta shoots first.

Hossa-Toe drag save DiPietro.
Guerin-Lehtonen stacks pads five hole save.
Kozlov-Scores going wide rolling off/over DiPietro's pads and in.
Satan-Satan goes left and is stopped.
Kovalchuk-Kovalchuk finds open side for winning goal.

Thrashers win shootout.

Islander/NHL notables

Canadian Press/Several news sites: Report Penguins forward Mark Recchi cleared waivers Wednesday. Sean Allen has a feature on the hard luck shooters and the good luck shooters. Josef Vasicek is listed among the good luck shooters, Bill Guerin, Viktor Kozlov, Jason Blake among the hard luck shooters.

Josef Vasicek, C, Islanders (9, 33, .273): I'm not sure you'll get too much for him in most fantasy leagues, but if you can ditch him for a No. 4 defenseman in deep leagues, do it. Vasicek is connecting on way too many shots, especially noteworthy since he has never had a season with a shooting percentage higher than .120. Jonah Keri in a special feature about Martin Brodeur has quotes from the future Hall of famer where he credits Rick DiPietro as the best puckhandling goaltender in the NHL and one of the three best netminders in the league.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog reports center Michael Haley was signed by the Sound Tigers to a PTO and practiced with the club after being brought up from the Utah Grizzlies.

Long Island Business News: David Winzelberg reports on the plans released today by RexCorp to transform the Marriot hotel next to the Nassau Coliseum.

Chico, Rico and the Mask

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2007 01:26:00 PM | | | Comment Here

 Kevin Allen has a feature on former Islander goaltender Glenn Resch, the orgions of his famous goalie mask and what he did to
re-acquire his second mask after the Hall of Fame requested the first artistic mask.

"Here is my proof," he says, laughing. "The mask sits prominently in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and that's as close as I'm going to get."

"There wasn't much pizzazz in the league back then; names on the back of the jerseys had just come in a couple of years before," Resch recalls. "At that point, I didn't know how long I would be in the league, and you hope to do something to get you noticed. But when I first saw it, I said, 'Wow, but this might be too showy.' "

Kevin Allen expands his artcle to other goaltenders and of course has some words about Rick DiPietro's mask. here.

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro decided to salute the military on his mask because his dad is a veteran and he plays in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"With a dad who served in Vietnam it seemed like the perfect concept," he says.

DiPietro receives letters from veterans touched by his gesture as much as his father was:

"It honors the flag and honors my service. It means a lot to me as a father," says DiPietro's dad, also Rick.

Although the younger DiPietro came up with the idea, the storyteller is artist Frank Cipra of Brockville, Ontario, who has painted masks for about 70% of the league's goalies:

"We usually have a five-minute conversation — I call it my mind-reading session — and then I take it from there," Cipra says.

After a few hours of research, Cipra did renderings about World Wars I and II, plus the Korean War, for DiPietro. The Iwo Jima and Vietnam memorials are also depicted on his mask. Most important to DiPietro, Cipra painted a Huey helicopter like the one his father piloted in Vietnam in 1969. "Black Jack 33" is emblazoned on the tailboom of the Huey because that was his father's call sign.

An ace of spades and jack of diamonds also are depicted to replicate a patch his father wore.

12/5: New York at Altanta 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2007 12:58:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders Website/Jason Lockhart/AP: Has the early preview for tonight's game vs the Atlanta Thrashers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ted Nolan has said a lot of things and tried a lot of things, now he's going back to what won early in the season. His club desperately needs to find it's offensive game against a team that dominated the Islanders a few days ago. If this does not work the only venue left is a trade or a major influx of players from Bridgeport.

Should be interesting to see if Bergenheim for all his hard work in the recent games is rewarded with a seat in the stands or a seat on the fourth line. Gervais was a healthy scratch but in the post game Ted Nolan talked about an injury of sorts so that will likely determine his playing status.

Atlanta should come out determined to do the same things and put the Islanders away early. Lehtonen had a shutout and few tough chances. Islanders are going to have to put in the work in all three zones and finish their chances, especially on the power play.

We'll see if the road and the team bonding chances anything. Seems like they all cared enough at home and the intensity dropped when they did not score early against Boston. When Atlanta got the early goals the club looked like it just knew it was done.

Islander News Articles 12/5:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2007 09:23:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Erik Boland covered practiced Tuesday, with comments from Ted Nolan/Bill Guerin on the line changes and the club going out on the road.

"We'll keep shuffling," Nolan said Monday night. "We've got a real good group of guys here that are not trying to go out and purposely play bad."

"These are the times where you have to go on the road and bond again," Guerin said.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Craig Custance reports Kari Lehtonen will start Wednesday against the Islanders.

National Post: Report if Mark Recchi can be claimed by any of the NHL's other 29 teams until noon Wednesday. Waivers work in reverse order of the overall standings for those curious.

If Recchi clears waivers and is sent down he can be recalled and it would cost the team making the claim half his remaining contract. IE: Freddy Meyer.

20 Edmonton Oilers
21 Pittsburgh Penguins
22 Toronto Maple Leafs
23 Buffalo Sabres
24 Atlanta Thrashers
25 Florida Panthers
26 Tampa Bay Lightning
27 Calgary Flames
28 Phoenix Coyotes
29 Los Angeles Kings
30 Washington Capitals

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports director of pro scouting Kenny Morrow was on the ice working with the Sound Tiger prospects.

"It's awesome," defenseman Jamie Fraser said. "He gives you a little bit of information, and it's going to pay off in the long run. He can teach us a lot."
Morrow gets a hands-on look at the Sound Tigers, and the young players get a week of insight from one of the organization's legends.

"Just some one-on-one time," said Morrow, one of the Islanders' all-time great defensemen. "I'm a bit rusty with the coaching aspect, but for me, if anything, it's to be a little bit of a sounding board for some guys."

"I'm always amazed at how fast the game is now," Morrow said. "My reference is from when I played, but how fast the game is, the size of the players: all the cliches you hear, but until you get out and see it — I'm impressed."

Islanders selected WJC: Okposo, Figren, Rakhshani, Ridderwall

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2007 06:32:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments

Updated 9:15pm
Kyle Okposo and Rhett Rakhshani were named to team USA's roster for the World Junior Championship Tuesday night.

Updated 12/5 1pm:
Shinkdew noted that goaltender Stefan Ridderwall was also named to team Sweden.
Thanks Shinkdew. Henrik Lundqvist has the release on team Sweden's roster for the WJC which included Robin Figren and confirmed by Edmonton Sun here.

Edmonton Journal: Cam Tait has a brief update on Figren's wrist injury.

Team Canada: Announced a thirty seven man roster on December 2ND that may include later additions but no Islander prospect was on that list.

Updated 12/5:

NYI Fan Cenral Comments:
Other countries still have to select their rosters.

Islanders website:: Assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski comments on the four Islander prospects selected for the World Junior Championships.

Islanders go back to early season lines again.

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2007 02:31:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders Website: Announced after practice the club is going back to the lines from the beginning of the season and training camp with Jeff Tambellini being placed on the second line with Josef Vasicek and Miroslav Satan.

"We looked back to when we had some success when Billy Guerin, Comrie and Fedotenko were our best line," said Ted. "They're put in a position where they have to play well, so if we put them all together they can be accountable for one another."

"We looked back at the success the Sillinger line had the past two years," said Nolan. "You can't dispute that, so we put them back together." Reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have placed thirty nine year old Mark Recchi on waivers who has been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio does a blog on the changes in Bridgeport with Jeff Tambellini's callup to the Islanders and a few other items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Like the changes when it comes to Fedntenko and Guerin playing with Mike Comrie full time and was thinking about it during the game. I also like Satan going back with Vasicek. Bergenheim however is the perfect fit on the third line with Hunter and Mike Sillinger and one the coach should have stuck with because Andy Hilbert is not the answer. Bergenheim did everything but finish the last two games and worked to get into high traffic area's.

Last year this club did not have these kind of scoring problems, the third line needs to be more than a shut down line now.

On Mark Recchi:
Mark Recchi's interesting in that he had twenty four goals and sixty eight points last year. I know folks would quickly look at his age, his lack of production this year and injury concerns not to mention he's now been put on waivers so no deal could be made by Recchi or the club.

Personally, I would take a chance here if he is healthy. Bill Guerin needs a veteran up front, so does Mike Sillinger and Recchi can play the left side a little.

That being written for the Islanders to consider a claim the Pens must take Shawn Bates contract in another deal to balance out the salary.

Islander News Articles 12/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2007 09:39:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Erik Boland's game coverage on the loss to Boston is on the lack of scoring and the players fathers making the upcoming road trip as was done last season here. Jeff Tambellini's father, former Islander (and current Canucks assistant gm) Steve Tambellini will be making the trip as well.

We just have to work harder. It basically comes down to being a little more greedy, a little bit hungrier, have a better effort. We're OK, but OK doesn't cut it."

"We're not trying to split the atom here," said captain Bill Guerin, who has not scored since Nov. 1. "We know how to play. It's just a matter of fine tuning."

NY Post: Dan Martin game summary on the loss to Boston has comments from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Andy Sutton.

Daily News: Peter Botte's coverage is on the lack of scoring, with more of the same from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Andy Sutton. Chris Campoli's late goal brought the Islander power play to
6-66 over sixteen games.

"I shouldn't be making those at this point in my career," Sutton said. "It's definitely hard to rebound from mistakes when we're not generating a lot of scoring as a team."

Boston Globe & Boston Herald: Have the Bruins centric coverage on their first win against New York at the Coliseum since 2001. Kevin Allen has a quick feature on the US team for the WJC which will be announced Tuesday.

Islanders Website: Cory Witt once a week does a summary of the special features done on the team in the media and singled out Tom Liodice, who does an outstanding blog called Tiger Tracks. here

Tom has this ability to do a live blog that makes you feel you are at the game with a writing ability that you either have or do not have. He's at these games live blogging under pressure and does a fantastic job. It's far superior to my work blogging from home the few times I tried.

I highly recommend checking out his site.

Mr Witt also featured some lame blog called New York Islander Fan Central.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have to admit this puts a smile on my face. Not because of my blog, but because Tom Liodice and I worked together at Hockey's Future as mods/writers for a while and here we are together being recognized on the Islanders website.

I almost feel bad because this was posted at 11:30pm after what had to be a long day for folks like Mr Witt/Mr Botta and people behind the scenes after a tough game and doing this had to cut into the work day. If you do read this thank you very much for the kinds words and taking the time to do this.

Finally thanks to all the folks who visit, e-mail, post in the updates and a special thanks to Mr Prospects who does his daily prospect updates on a message board that's not getting much activity but will keep working hard to build a quality group for some hockey discussion. Of course thanks to all my former members at Islanders-Sound Tigers and the long-time board members at Hockey's Future for all the kind words and support.

Boston 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 09:36:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders Website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

"You just have to stay with it," said captain Bill Guerin. "The good thing is we're not out of it. Everyone has to get better and start producing. We all know how to play in this league and score goals, it's just a matter of fine tuning it and bearing down. With the start that we had, we're no secret anymore. We play hard, but teams are ready for us."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure what I can write that's much different than most of the recent losses.

Bill Guerin's best contribution was his comment in the post game that maybe teams have figured the Islanders out and they are no longer a surprise. I think he had a good centering pass in the first and one good chance late, aside from that the usual bad angle shots as players skated past him.

The passes and plays are too slow and predictable, the players paid to score cannot finish. Clearly the club is pressing and the more they try the tougher it becomes.

They played a Boston team that looked like they were content to lose the game that did not put much pressure on and just got in front of the Islanders chances because they were easy to read. Again the Islanders did not work to get in front of Tim Thomas often with their thirty four shots which there is no excuse for.

They came out, worked hard and you could see the frustration taking over after they got nothing early and then a bouncing puck finds Glen Murray, who makes a nice
play and finds the upper corner with a perfect shot.

Bergenheim was the best Islander in the first period and almost wrapped one in. Jeff
Tambellini had a good angle chance but that was about it other than a few hits he threw.

Having written that before Satan's chance in the second period did Tim Thomas have to make one good save until the last few minutes when Fedotenko charged the net and then he made a save on Vasicek?

The powerplay strategy was to feed the point and no one crashed the net, easy saves outside of one bad goal given up to Campoli in garbage time. Of course Guerin and Comrie got chances and did nothing with them afterward.

After the game Bill Guerin and Ted Nolan are talking about the Devils struggles, that sounds nice but New Jersey demonstrated a scoring ability when they were losing the Islanders have not shown for thirteen straight games. Isles do not have Gionta, Parise, Langenbrunner or Elias, it's not the same thing at all.

You can see the frustration building. Hunter with a terrible penalty, Comrie taking his nightly bad penalty in the offensive zone. Andy Hilbert showed his best hand-eye coordination of the season and put the puck in the stands for a delay of game and a two man disadvantage.

It was too easy for Boston and frankly the Bruins were almost as bad as the Islanders. They read the passing lanes well and skated but put almost no pressure on DiPietro.

Defense overall was not bad, they blocked a lot of shots in the first. Bergeron gave up the puck for an odd-man rush by Boston before a late offsides whistle saved him in the first peirod. Boston had it's best chances close in late in the first on another Bergeron-Campoli miscommunication. I think Gervais was banged up and got a night off.

Do you really want me to comment on Sutton's whiff and Petteri Nokelainen showing the hands of Gretzky for the 2-0 goal and his first since before his knee injury?
Thought not.

Good thing the official gave the Islanders a break on a third peirod Boston
goal where they lost sight of the puck.

Ok, now the Islanders get out on the road and face teams who will be looking to score goals early to put them out of the game until the Islanders prove otherwise, starting with an Atlanta team that ate them alive Saturday.

Either this club starts scoring or they are going to keep struggling, it's that simple. Tonight was as easy as it get's and they looked lost and frustrated.

Active day at NYI Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 05:46:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Busy day at NYI Fan Central today.

Usually I do not like to write that much about it as I experiment with the page and add things in on a trial basis but some things I did today I think our visitors would want to know about.

Here's a recap:

* E-mails were sent today offering NYI Fan Central to be carried by the New York Post and New York Times on their websites. If I get a response I will let everyone know what the folks at both publications told me. I offered to post the blog free or just link to their page. I'm not interested in money or even my name published. I just want to see a blog for the Islanders at these papers to increase the club's exposure.

It will cost these publications nothing and I will just add my pre and post game comments here to those sites. If they are not interested in this blog I suggested adding someone else's Islander blog.

* This blog may or may not have been added to the league's website called Kulak's corner who has a fantastic site. I contacted Paul Kukla last week and asked if he would like to have an Islander blog on his page because they do not seem to have any Islander blogs? I got a response saying he liked this blog a lot and was planning to add it to his site, however at the bottom of his response he told me there was a problem because the blog box has some site called Hockey Buzz as a sponsor that I think engages in rumors that he does not wish to associate with because of it's ownership. I just do not know anything about that site or is it my business and I'm not sure if this blog was added as of today.

* I did reply to Mr Kukla and thanked him for his kind words about this blog and made it clear NYI Fan Central has no affiliation with that website and does not engage in the breaking rumors or news. I'm not even sure what they do so I cannot even guess.

* I opened a New York Islander Center for the World Junior Championships today with links to the International Ice Hockey Federation, team USA and will be expanding on those links as the tournament date comes closer with more coverage just above the prospect center.

* I'm not too sure what a widget or gadget is but I added one for Michael Fornabaio's blog to the Sound Tigers section today as well as one for the section. There may be a few repeats but I noticed the NHL feeder and gadget box each had some different content.

US team for WJC to be announced Tuesday

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 05:15:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Sports Illustrated: Adam Muir does an article on the upcoming 2008 World Junior Championships which begins in the Czech Republic on Dec. 26Th. Mr Muir's article has comments on Islander prospects Kyle Okposo and Rhett Rakhshani. Team USA's 22-man lineup will be revealed live during Tuesday night's Versus telecast of the Red Wings - Canadiens game.

Kyle Okposo (Islanders, eighth overall, 2006): Although he's struggling along with the rest of his Minnesota teammates, this power forward is expected to be the focal point of the American offense.

Rhett Rakhshani (Islanders, 100Th overall, 2006): Don't be put off by the late pick. The smallish winger led all Americans in scoring at their summer evaluation camp and is one of those rare players who seems to make something happen every time he hits the ice.

Bryan Trottier among the smartest ever

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 01:02:00 PM | | Comment Here John McGourty gives his list of the smartest player in modern times and selects Bryan Trottier as tenth overall on his list.

Bryan Trottier -- The best skater-without-the-puck after Gretzky and a superior performer with the puck. He was a voracious student of the game and a great leader. Trottier might have had the best peripheral vision of any NHL player. He had an incredible sense of where everyone else on the ice was. He picked at every weakness. Few players could expose opponents, individual and team, as well as Trottier. He won the Calder, Hart and Conn Smythe Trophies, which means he started great, got better and dominated at the highest possible level.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual quality work from Mr McGourty top to bottom. Three more Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and Colorado also speak to Bryan Trottier's contribution in a peripheral role helping players. Islanders are very fortunate to have him on the current staff.

Islanders need sprint to survive marathon

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 12:10:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Point Blank: Chris Botta in his blog makes a some good points on an NHL season being a marathon and that after the win against Ottawa the club was 9-4-1 over fourteen games. Now they go into the Bruins game tonight 2-7 in their last nine games after losing Saturday. Mr Botta also points out Carolina and Tampa Bay proved in their Cup years, the key is how your team comes together for the home stretch.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All fair and reasonable points, however when a team shows a weakness where they score two goals or less in twelve straight games with a captain making close to five million who has not had an assist since October 10th, there is a problem that goes beyond the record win or lose.

Like Mr Botta I enjoy the wins and the great defense this club has shown, it's a great long-term sign and without a doubt the team respects it's coach/captain and seem to like one another a lot, but the alarming lack of scoring for this long also is a terrible sign at present and moving forward.

If the Islanders defeated the Rangers and Atlanta 2-1, I would be asking the same tough questions just as I did when through most of the season because this is about a team coming together to be able to win come playoff time and show the character past teams have not shown.

I do the post games reviews here with my comments. I find myself constantly writing I'll take the two points and move on but in the end I want to see a team showing signs it's built to win long-term come playoff time. That was the idea behind making the decisions regarding the free agents the club decided not to resign.

Sometimes you have to show the ability to win a high scoring game. The Islanders have not only failed to do that but are producing at near record low numbers in terms of offense overall on the season. Right now the team defense and goaltending is keeping them in the marathon, but to stay in it, they have to start scoring and show this team is built for the long-term.

Too many night's this team needs a good thirty minutes before they start scoring.

It's time to see some sprinting from the opening minute.

12/3: New York vs Boston FSN 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2007 10:52:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders Website/AP: Has tonight's early preview against the Boston Bruins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Boston lost 4-1 at Tampa Bay on Saturday. Goalie Tim Thomas allowed four goals on 28 shots, but still leads the NHL with a .936 save percentage. Marc Savard, who enters tonight with a nine-game scoring streak, leads the NHL in assists (25) . . . Aaron Ward will be unavailable. He injured his right ankle during the second period Saturday and flew back to Boston yesterday.

From the Islander side of things either they start scoring or they get back to playing the same defense that allowed them to play close to five hundred during this twelve game stretch and hope for the best. Jeff Tambellini is not going to bail out this teams scoring problems, that is something they have to do as a group. I like the line with Bergenheim, hate Guerin going near Vasieck because he's producing well above expectations.

Islanders again have to scratch a second defender to go with Meyer or sit down a forward. Bates is out with a hip injury.

Either way a real road trip starts on Wednesday with no place to hide unless this club starts scoring.