Islander News Articles 12/18:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 10:49:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang basically repeats the quotes from ITV with Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Brendan Witt who will have his hearing in Toronto on Tuesday.

"He's very remorseful, he's very sorry for his actions, and we as an organization don't condone it and don't appreciate the thing he did the other night," Nolan said, "but on the flip side of it, we have to have some compassion, some understanding and some support, and that's exactly what we're going to do."

"This is a tough thing he's going through," Guerin said. "He knows he messed up, he knows he needs some time off, and I'm sure he'll get it from the league, but he knows he's got some support here."

"The league's going to make their statement [Tuesday]," Witt said. "Whatever it is, he's man enough to take it and we're here to support him."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article is about how Simon has done nothing for the club all season unlike a year ago where he did a lot to lift the club so he will not be missed anyway.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It could be true about Simon's impact but he has not seen the first line minutes he saw a year ago with the signing of Ruslan Fedotenko and the promotions of Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini or the signing of left wing Jon Sim.

For Mr Herrmann to show up for the first time since Mr Logan's last vacation and use statistics to make an argument of Simon's value is not fair because there are other things players do to help teams that go beyond stats, especially on a team where scoring is down from last season.

Having written all that, Chris Simon could be the teams leading scorer and it would make no difference here.

Updated 8:30am
What's the bigger story, Simon or the Times, Post and Daily News found enough money in their sports budget's to assign a writer to cover practice when they do not even cover games?

NY Times: Dave Caldwell reported Chris Simon after meeting with Wang, Nolan, Garth Snow and four veteran players Monday in an office overlooking the practice rink addressed his teammates in the locker room.

NY Post: Dan Martin was allowed to write on an off day and visit practice to report on Chris Simon and speculates Simon's suspension will be announced today, even though his meeting is reportedly today in Toronto.

Daily News: Peter Botte who was not assigned the Coyote game with AP only coverage makes the trip on an off-day and is provided a little more space then he is alloted for games?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Only act worse than Simon's is the double-standards by the sports editors in letting their part time beatwriters appear to get reaction on an event like this. If the want to cover hockey, cover everything.

Edmonton Joural: Jim Mathewson checks in with a Simon article asking if it is worth the trouble keeping him and has reaction from Geoff Sanderson.

"You want those guys to play on the edge, but sometimes it's hard to stay on the right side of the line," allowed Oilers winger Geoff Sanderson. "He might be done." Jeff Tambellini was nominated for AHL player of week but did not win.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Today's the day we likley find out why Tambellini did not speak with anyone after Sunday's game where he had a hat-trick.

Islander statements on Simon, Comeau

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 07:31:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Released statements by owner Charles Wang and Chris Simon, who has been granted time away from the team.

"The Islanders and I agree that the right thing to do is for me to take some time away from the team. I have enjoyed a long career achieving my dream of being a player in the National Hockey League and I’m proud of my accomplishments. But I acknowledge that time and assistance is needed before I return to the game.

"I want to thank the Islanders for providing the environment for me to become a better player and person, and our fans for their support along the way."

Islanders TV: Has comment from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Brendan Witt where Nolan said there was no consideration to releasing him. Upper management briefed the team leaders, who then had a team meeting.

Newsday: Katie Strang wrote a brief article quoting the Islanders press release. No ruling has been made from the league at this time.

THN: Ken Campbell in the Hockey News jumped all over Simon and called for the league or the Islanders to cut ties with him for good without even including the club's statement. Michael Farber's article has one of those un-named executives saying the Islanders statement was an interesting tactic and that the club beat the league to the punch. Colin Campbell, who will meet with Simon tomorrow gave his comments.

"I don't want to say anything before a hearing," Campbell told On the Fly Monday afternoon. "Certainly, the player deserves time in front of the league. But this is a serious matter, especially because he's a recidivist. In fact, a multiple repeat offender. There is a lot of concern from the league. Luckily' neither one resulted in major injuries, but these are not minor infractions."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Chris Simon needs counseling, I hope he receives it and the club supports him in that endeavor. Having written that I have serious doubts he will ever wear an Islander uniform again.

Personally, if I were Chris Simon I would announce my retirement but I can only speak for myself. Only he knows if playing hockey brings this reaction from him.

What is Michael Farber talking about when he writes:
precisely the kind of things that Canadian-born hockey players are taught never to do.

Are there players in other countries taught to do otherwise Mr Farber?

Simon's not settling new standards here for anyone regardless of what country they were born in. One look at Canadian born Dale Hunter, Marty McSorley or Todd Bertuzzi and their past actions with countless others tell us where someone is born has no place here at all.

Islanders Website: Also issued a release on the promotion of forward Blake Comeau.

Logan blog update on Simon:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 12:30:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged Sunday night and ripped Chris Simon for his selfish action against Pittsburgh with Brendan Witt's comments about the play. Mr Logan questioned why he would repay Ted Nolan's loyalty for bringing him back by embarrassing his coach and the Islander organization.

“You don’t get any momentum going when you’ve got to kill a five-minute penalty,” Witt said. “That hurt.”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary reports the league office has not revealed when Simon will have a hearing.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan did not even bother reporting Blake Comeau was recalled. Time for more comp vacation days for the Islanders only full time beat writer while coverage by committee becomes the rule again.

Funny but Steve Zipay is almost never off and outblogs Greg Logan four to one most game days if a beat writer is required to blog at all.

Monday Islander coverage? Nope, just a blurb in the sports briefs on Simon from Greg Logan, not even in the on-line edition.

Katie Strang went to Msg with Zipay to get Gretzky's story. We will have to learn the breaking news from the Islanders directly or the shock jocks in the Canadian media.

Updated 10am
I have no interest in posting an article on Chris Simon in a publication like Maxim that likely held onto it like SI waiting for a problem to release it.

For all the folks who wish to read it I'm sure there are other sites that can do that for you. This will not be one of them. E.J Hradek gives his thought's on how long Chris should be suspended.

Bridgeport 4, Albany 3: Comeau to Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/17/2007 12:00:00 AM | | | | | 2 Comments

Sound Tigers website: Has the post game on Bridgeport's 4-3 win Sunday over the Albany River Rats where Bryan Trottier again was behind the bench.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game report is on Jeff Tambellini's hat-trick (shorthanded goal, even strength, powerplay goal) in a 4-3 win where he left before taking to the media, Albany having to use seven players on tryouts Sunday to replace eight flu-ridden players.

"Jeff's been playing well," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "He's been taking it to the net and scoring goals for us, which is great."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the Sound Tigers win Sunday and the callup of Blake Comeau to the Islanders after the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Love the callup of Blake Comeau, but he needs to see minutes, not fourth line shifts and less than five minutes a game. Ted Nolan had high praise for him last year.

Maybe the media just missed Tambellini but strange he had a huge game and left without talking about it.

Trots looked good behind that bench this weekend, I wonder what his involvement was in terms of the games or if he was just doing observing for the Islanders. Kenny Morrow was also working with the players and behind the bench recently.

Video of Chris Simon-Ruutu

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/16/2007 11:27:00 AM | | | | 4 Comments

Best view I have seen so far, about fifty seven seconds in the clip shows Simon's skate come chopping down.

A few thoughts on blogging & the Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/16/2007 08:44:00 AM | Comment Here
About NYI Fan Central:
I hope folks do not get the impression my blog is only about posting articles from other publications. I do put up the daily articles but instead of just doing that I also post comments about what's written about and do separate game, team and NHL updates.

In other words, more is more at a site called New York Islander Fan Central. I include the articles/my comments while maybe others just do comments for their sites.

Perhaps doing things this way gives an impression I only do the articles?

Most of my comments in the articles you can make a separate blog out of, but I like to give all sides of a story beyond my commentary on a subject.

I wanted to answer a question I got in an e-mail yesterday asking if it's tough to do negative reviews or it's been discouraged by the team because I'm a blogger listed in the box?

The folks at the Islanders (Chris Botta/Cory Witt)have not written one word to me about the content of my blog and outside of singling out this blog on their website at least twice for the time I put into it, I have received one e-mail from Mr Botta telling me how much he loved the energy and time I put into doing this and thanked me. Mr Witt sends a bulk e-mail for every game asking if we plan on attending to respond.

That's been my full contact with the Islanders to this point.

In short, they have been fantastic and it's an honor to have my blog linked on their website regardless of the club's record or whether I am critical or not. First class people who clearly respect our viewpoint whether we are right or wrong in the end.

As everyone knows I was not interested in interviewing players and want my blog seat reserved for an aspiring journalist because our team needs more fans in the primary media. I'm doing here what I do best as I have always did at Islanders-Sound Tigers and HF.

Only here there is no moderation so I can concentrate on hockey. How the club plays is how I write about it based on my perspective. I think I'm fair and what happens on the ice will tell whether the updates are positive or negative.

Regarding the Islanders on the ice:
I'm going to be honest, this is one of the worst Islander teams I have seen in a long time. They are tough to watch or get excited about and I have never seen an Islander team struggle to score like this and here come the forty shot games. I have
no doubt the players like one another but on the ice is another story.

Even the 2005-06 club that was awful was able to raise their game on a few select nights better than this team had done since the opening weekend. I hope things change for the better but I'm very skeptical at this point that they will because this team is setting all time lows in terms of offense for the franchise. I expect things to get worse as teams go all out to score early and force a club that cannot finish to gamble. Skilled teams like Carolina, Ottawa, the scoring teams like Toronto and a West Coast swing I expect will break this team's season and send them out of realistic contention.

I think it's going to get very ugly and I hope I'm wrong. Who's going to resign for this when they can get a fresh start?

I'm going to try to avoid being a broken record in the game updates, but the games played on the ice have been a broken record, it's tough to avoid.

On Chris Simon:
Let the flood of negative Chris Simon articles begin when he is suspended again because this time he cannot be defended. Mike Sillinger wants to say Ruutu maybe was faking his injury that's fine and could be true but that does not excuse attempting to put a skate blade down on some one's ankle, leg or foot.

What's next?
I have no idea where Garth Snow and Ted Nolan look from here for help or they just stubbornly stick to their plan and hope for the best which at this point seems unlikely to change. Actions speak louder than words and at this time no major changes have been made. In the end I have no problem playing for the long term if it turns out the team has to take the hit now for it to happen but to do that Bergenheim should be on the ice in the third period, Tambellini, Nielsen, Comeau, and Colliton also need to be here. Steve Regier has earned his look given his production.

Wayne Gretzky was singled out for playing the kids with the comment that ninety percent of the coaches go to the veterans. Ted Nolan is one of that ninety percent and when crunch time comes it's time to win or lose with his veterans most nights.

Number's game on defense:
I'm kind of hoping they resolve the numbers game on defense and send Berard or Bergeron packing and if someone gets hurt Meyer, Fata or whoever gets a call. It's something that's been hanging over both players all season as the Islanders wait for an injury on defense that surprisingly had not happened or a mistake to put one of them on the bench. Freddy Meyer has played full season in the NHL and looked descent enough when healthy a year ago.

What's missing?
I hoped Garth Snow and Ted Nolan were correct in their judgment but I have always written that Jason Blake would never be as good on any other team then he would be here. Islanders miss Blake just as bad he misses them.

Blake's energy to carry the puck and the play for better or worse is something the Islanders miss every game. It was far from perfect when he was here but it worked and produced a lot of wins. He cannot play that way in Toronto but here it was necessary and that's a big difference. Talk of character, coming to work every game and liking one another is fine but Alexei Yashin's shot is also missing from a lineup of players that do not have any world class shots beyond Bergeron's from the point.

It almost seems Ted Nolan is trying to make Richard Park this teams Jason Blake but he does not have Blake's wrist shot or extra speed.

No, I'm not suggesting the Islanders take back Jason Blake at that price or with his illness, what's done is done. You hope for the best for both sides and move on.

In terms of the AHL and the prospects:
I know Jeff Tambellini got a shorter look this time but I have never seen that speed from him where he stands out nor does he have a great shot. I have some serious doubts now that he's part of the answer here. Part of that could be the problems to score all over the roster, but part of it goes on Tambellini who has had a lot of call ups since he was brought here. He is easy to take off the puck and his defense does not seem to be at an NHL level. I keep seeing a player who fair or not cannot make an impact.

Along those lines I'm tired of reading Dustin Kohn is a healthy scratch at Bridgeport. He has a third period goal and assist a week ago, if your club is near the bottom of the league why bothering playing journeyman veterans unless Jack Capuano has no choice or has to win for his job status with all due respect to the veterans brought in.

By the way if Dan Marshall got fired for last year's Sound Tigers product tell me how Jack Capuano survives this year if his club finishes in the league basement, given his Islander background was being part of a coaching staff in 2005-06 that did not win?

Anyone think Charles Wang regrets letting go of Dave Baseggio because that happened when the club was in transition without a gm or coach two years ago?

What's next at NYI Fan Central:
1. A rare off day Monday unless something major breaks and I suspect it will. News feeders work fine now so you will miss nothing if you view this blog.

2. Full coverage of the WJC.
3. More of the same.

I think it's fair to say what you read here now is what you will find when you visit this blog. It's a very versatile product that will cover practically any Islander related item that expands into NHL subjects when time allows or I feel the need to write about something.

Thanks again for the great support and feel free to ask questions or use the message board or respond to the blogs. Plenty of e-mails but don't' be shy about talking hockey on the page.

I'm trying to get the header problems fixed so temporarily I'm leaving the header which is not sized properly visible so the folks at goggle can help see the problem and provide a template fix, please excuse the appearance.

Islander News Articles 12/16:

Newsday: Greg Logan's game article on the loss, Witt vs Crosby and Chris Simon's actions with comments.

"Crosby and I are shoving each other," Witt said. "I got cross-checked four times. It's one thing to even it out, but for [Crosby] to come out with nothing doesn't surprise me. He's going to get a lot of calls that way. I voiced my opinion to the referee. He thought I was playing him too tough. There's no liberties for special guys. The same rules apply ... I thought we should have both went."

"He probably was penalized because he started it," Crosby said. "I'm not going to say I wasn't doing anything. But we probably had an even amount of whacks and maybe they saw he started it and that's why he got it."

Dripping sarcasm, Crosby added of Witt, "He's a pretty clean player, so he probably was in the right there."

Newsday: Neil Best has an article on NHL center ice with comments from Josh Bernstein, the Islanders' VP of marketing and communications.

Newsday: Greg Logan also has comments on possible steroid use in hockey with comments from Brendan Witt and Ted Nolan about former Islander Sean Hill. Rick DiPietro commented on the Mitchell report.

"I think it's cheating," defenseman Brendan Witt said yesterday. "I would have been the last to think it was in hockey, but obviously, there was a guy last year and he was on our team. You never know until that urine test comes back.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Greg Logan but the Islanders need to be interviewed about issue's closer to home starting with their play on the ice. If Newsday wants to give him more space for this fine, but his space should not be used for the players to talk about baseball after a hockey game.

Newsday: Ranger beatwriter Steve Zipay got some very classy comments on the Islander dynasty from Wayne Gretzky when he was in with the Coyotes in his Ranger centric coverage.

"It's a pretty unique place," said Gretzky, almost 47 and weathered by the off-ice side of the game, "because the Bossys, the Trottiers, the Potvins, Smiths, Nystroms, they built a dynasty here; they built something pretty special. There's always this sort of Oiler-Islander matchup rivalry, but the reality was, in a lot of ways, we idolized what the Islanders did. I think that part of our success was because we did respect them so much, we understood how hard they worked and we understood how committed they were to winning championships."

NY Post: Dan Martin's game coverage was on Sidney Crosby's special treatment from the Islanders side of things with Mike Sillinger accusing Ruutu of maybe faking his injury a bit.

"It's frustrating," said Mike Sillinger, who had a great chance to tie the game on a breakaway in the third, but his shot sailed high over the net. "You want to see it called both ways."

"They called what they called," Sillinger said. "I think [Ruutu] may have faked it a bit, as well."

Daily News: Peter Botte was allowed to cover this home game and in his limited space got comments on the Islanders version of special treatment given to Sidney Crosby.

"I can't figure out how two guys have a pushing match, and two of their guys jump on our guys, and we end up shorthanded," said Isles coach Ted Nolan. "Someone has to give me an explanation how that works."

Arizona Republic: Jim Gintonio did a full feature article on Mike Sillinger where he talked about how he likes mentoring the young players, the lockout, his well traveled career with a few comments from Ted Nolan about Sillinger and former Coyote, Mike Comrie.

"When I signed here, they wanted me to play a role here and groom the young kids and be a role model for the young kids."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dave Molinary & Tribune Review: Rob Rossi has the Penguins coverage of the game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage on the Sound Tigers 2-1 win against Binghampton is on Jamie Frasier returning to the lineup and making the play to set up Ben Walter for the game winning goal. Coach Jack Capuano and Jamie Fraser talk about the win. Ryan Kinasewich, Dustin Kohn and Olivier Labelle where scratched. Fraser, Comeau and Bootland returned to the lineup. Bryan Trottier was behind the bench with assistant Pat Bingham; assistant Bernie Cassell was in the press box.

"I thought it was important, after what happened the last game, to keep it simple and try to play well," said Fraser, who did. "It was a great team effort, too. Everybody played simple and played hard."

"Jamie skated really well," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "He used his legs and made some tremendous passes offensively."

Albany River Rats at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN - Sunday, 4 p.m.
WHERE - Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR - No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a full feature article on goaltender Mike Morrison.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's blog had more on the game from the line combos to Joe Rullier's ejection to a lot of odds and ends. Jeff Tambellini had the other Sound Tigers goal.

Press & Sun Bulletin: John Nash covered the Senators loss at Harbor Yard.

Pioneer Press: Bruce Brothers has a full feature on the struggles of Kyle Okposo who is off to the World Junior Championships with comments from his father, coach and some current and former teammates.

"People doubt you when you don't play well," Okposo said.

Rocked by the early pressure of being a returning first-round draft pick, he said at times he felt "I was just going through the motions. I didn't feel good about where my game was at all."

Pittsburgh 3, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/16/2007 03:11:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins with Mike Sillinger talking about his missed breakaway. Ted Nolan praised how Vasicek has played this season and singled out Bergenheim/Satan clicking as a line, as well as Richard Park's effort.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outplayed, outworked by a team that lost 8-2 this week which did it all could to give away the game with a five minute powerplay, the Islanders still could barely generate any offense all night. Dany Sabourin did not have to be very good for his win which is old news for teams playing the Islanders.

As usual the Islanders did not show up for the first period despite all the
so-called character talk and played like a group of individuals who had no chemistry at all. Bergeron made the mistake he spoke about that should make him a healthy scratch on any team whether he complains about it or not for the opening goal.

Teams win, teams lose, I look for trends. This team cannot score and is outworked for large parts of games. They deserve to be in last place and they deserve to lose with their collective efforts. It does go on the coach and leadership of the team for how poorly they come out at the beginning of games.

Without DiPietro they could have lost huge. He got a bad break on Witt's deflection and Bergeron's turnover, but again faced forty shots with many high quality chances in front of the goalie with the defense starting to set into a trend of allowing forty shots against.

Cannot score early, teams take forty shots against. No club wins often under those circumstances.

Bad teams don't make their breaks or get many powerplays, you have to work hard to get calls and of course Crosby is going to get that call when Witt pushes him. It's fair to be critical of the officials for this but of course it's the latest Islander excuse on a team that only needs one.

The Islanders had almost half a game to come back from it and had no answers, that's what teams that cannot score do, they fall behind, they cannot comeback often because they cannot finish.

Of course the coach likely had to let his club have it in the lockeroom after the first period, it seems to be why they came out in second period and woke up which is another trend for this high maintenance team, no doubt it's getting old.

It almost seemed like the pressure was off after they went down shorthanded for five minutes as if the game were over because they got more chances than they did after they killed the penalty when the pressure was back on. It's not last year and of course Sillinger is not going to finish.

Sure the usual suspects had good individual efforts starting with DiPietro, Witt, Park, Bergenheim, Vasieck and a few others. The skilled play that led to Vasicek's goal was great to watch and the fans are starving for that kind of offense.

As hard as Richard Park and Andy Hilbert work those players are not going to win many games with their offense. I know Park scored and was on the powerplay but long
or short term your club cannot win that way.

What words do you want me to waste on Chris Simon?
I listened to his story last year, his comments in SI earlier this year and the talk of his character from players around the league and Ted Nolan. He was not hit in the head or groggy this time, he knew exactly what he was doing and could have caused a career ending injury. It was as selfish as it gets in terms of his club and as disgusting a play as I have seen in a long time, regardless of injury and the official was correct.

It's not team play or leadership, it's not grit or character and there is no defending this on the Islanders or any team. I know Shane Corson got one game for a similar intent because he did this in the playoffs, and Dan Cloutier did this to Tim Connolly and got only four games, but enough is enough.

I hope long suspension or not, the Islanders send Chris Simon's idea of character packing as soon as possible because there is no call for that kind of conduct and clearly at this point in his career he cannot control his temper. If Ted Nolan cannot separate his loyalty to Simon from his player actions here he is part of the problem.

This is a club that needs a major shakeup before the deadline on the nineteenth, there is no hiding from the fact this team does not work hard for sixty minutes.

It's time for the hockey committee to make some tough choices because these trends continue they are going to start giving up a lot more goals and are putting a work load on DiPietro that could get him injured or into some poor habits. If this is how they work collectively for a players coach like Nolan, how long before they even quit on him if a few of them have not tuned him out already.

12/15: Pittsburgh at New York FSN 7pm Has the live scoreboard and game sheet for tonight's game which will be available at 7pm.

Islanders website/AP: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Pittburgh Penguins with comments from Bill Guerin and Sidney Crosby.

Media Blog: Cory Witt has notes from the morning skate with some possible changes for Pittsburgh.

Islanders website: Has an article on Sean Bergeneheim where he is praised for his work by Ted Nolan.

What you like about his play is that he's a ball of energy," said head coach Ted Nolan, whose Islanders face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Nassau Coliseum. "I even had a flash the other day when he was on the ice and he reminded me of a young Esa Tikkanen. Sean is a disturber on the ice, he skates and is not afraid. He hits anyone who has the puck, jams the net and has good hockey sense."

"The last two games I've felt much more comfortable," admitted Bergenheim. "I think I'm finding my level, it's just taken a while."

"This kid is the real deal, and he's only 20 year old," said Ted. "A number of games this year he was one of our best players on the ice. We have a pretty good young prospect in Bergenheim, who I think is going to get better and better."

Sound Has tonight's pregame against the Binghampton Senators at Harbor Yard.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write about tonight's game. Dany Sabourin is a solid goaltender who has looked better than Marc Andre Fleury at times, but Pittsburgh's defense can give up a lot of goals as well as score them. Of course the Pens will want to play a wide open high scoring game and force the Islanders to keep up.

From the Islanders side it's not easy to get any points in games you need over twenty minutes before you score, the trend is they seem to play for a 0-0 game early as opposed to trading chances. Hopefully the goals by Guerin's line carries over to this game.

As for the feature on Bergenheim, and not to make it a big deal but Sean Bergenheim was drafted in 2002 and not a twenty year old kid. The coach said all the right things but his actions say otherwise when his minutes are cut in the third period with the game in the balance after playing well.

The holiday trade freeze is on the nineteenth.

A Quick NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2007 02:48:00 AM | Comment Here

Some minor tweaks again this week to the blog, feeders were down for a few hours.

Blogger changed it's header format, that may force me to change some things and look at other formats but for now the full logo is posted, even though I prefer it be at the top of the blog in the header.

Please excuse any possible glitches or format changes as I work behind the scenes.

The text was made smaller but sharper.

A personalized scoreboard with the logo was added, the Fox Sports scoreboard was moved just above the media section in the middle of the page.

All game blogs will have the live scoreboard posted added. I will do what I can with live play by play charts but does not add them until minutes before the puck drops.

Espn News ticker added to media section.
Espn standings page added and adjustable for what you want to view.
Schedule schmapplet feature seems to be updating right after games on weeknights and has the full eighty two games with scores.

Sound Tigers section has a live scoreboard and schedule section now, just follow instructions. The link added below that for live Sound Tigers games goes directly to their AHL score sheet and updates during the game.

Feel free to make use of the message board to talk about the games or view Mr Prospects updates which he does a great job at almost daily.

For those who wish to please start your own hockey topics on the message board, all I ask is it's hockey-related.

Also don't be shy about feedback in the blogs entries or what you think about the page itself.

Thanks again for all the e-mails and support, page views is now over 13,000.

Islander News Articles 12/15:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2007 01:58:00 AM | | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang has Ted Nolan's comments on containing Sidney Crosby and the Penguins Saturday by relying on Rick DiPietro and defensive play.

They come in every so often and they're very good players. You know they're going to get some opportunities, and you just try to limit them," Nolan said. "It's a treat for fans to see them play and a challenge for teams to play against."

"We want to make sure to play team defense against an offensively explosive team," Nolan said. "Offensively, our approach is going to be the same,"

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Reports Sidney Crosby will play after a taking a shot off the foot against Ottawa, while Sergei Gonchar missed practice with an illness but traveled to New York.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Reports Dany Sabourin is expected to start.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the Sound Tigers 4-1 loss at Providence Friday night, despite changing about one quarter of the roster for a club with two regulation wins in fourteen games. Jack Capuano talked how his club played and why the changes were made. Goaltender Joey MacDonald talked about the loss which dropped Bridgeport into the AHL basement.

"We played hard. We played physical," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "They've got a lot of skill, and when they had opportunities, they buried them."

"The guys coming up, obviously, they're going to get a chance to play. They're part of the organization," Capuano said. "There's going to be other guys from Utah coming up, too. Labelle and Haskins are getting the chance now."

"We've been playing so many games. Some guys need a break," Capuano said. "It'll be good for them to sit back and just watch a game, see the things we've been talking about. ... They'll be back in the lineup."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog is on the Providence loss, the Sound Tigers dropping close to the AHL basement overall and Tim Jackman getting a quick plug on WFAN this afternoon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
By some miracle Mike Francesa and Chris Russo found themselves watching the
Islander-Coyote game Wednesday and discussed hockey for the opening five minutes because Gretzky was going to be on the program. One of them noted the hustle of #28 playing for the Islanders which is where Tim Jackman comes in. Of course attendance was a big issue with Mr Francesa noting the strong weekend crowds vs the poor weeknight crowds.

I guess they have been watching some games but it would be nice if they actually had Garth Snow or Ted Nolan on but we are talking about two people who could not even remember Rick DiPietro's name.

Friday Islander, Sound Tiger/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2007 08:29:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan does a blog update on the club having to concentrate on defense because of it's struggling offense, Mike Comrie comments on Rick DiPietro getting involved maybe too big a risk which the coach intends to talk with his goaltender about while the Islanders goaltender talks about the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You’ve seen it with so many teams that are successful,” DiPietro said. “They play a smart defensive game and capitalize on their chances. We have to play that same way. We’re not going to be a team that goes out and scores five or six goals a game and plays run-and-gun. We have to keep it simple and do a good job of eliminating other teams’ opportunities.”

“We were all holding our breath,” forward Mike Comrie said of that brief scuffle. “It’s who he is, though. When you see Ricky in practice, he tries to go an entire practice without letting in a goal. That’s the reason he’s so good is his competitiveness. You don’t want to see your goaltender involved [in a fight], but you realize he wants to win.”

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs and reports Comeau, Bootland and Fraser are all scratched for tonight's game against Providence with Haskins, Ford and Labelle all in the lineup.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Likely some benchings to follow the recent shakeup, but could also be signs of a possible trade. Confirms the callups of Scott Ford, Oilver Labelle and Tyler Haskins, with the demotion of Andy MacDonald.

Fox Sports: Lyle Richardson of course if far more tempered with his comments on Mike Richards's signing than he was when the Islanders signed Rick DiPietro. Ken Campbell, who's been taking his share of shots at the Islanders recently apparently now is also revisiting long term contracts and notes that owners who supposedly won the lockout are paying more now than ever. Mr Campbell also acknowledges Rick DiPietro and that Mike Richards may never have the on-ice impact that DiPietro might have someday.

Of course this all appears after Campbell calls on Edmonton's current management to sell the team. Reported Andy McDonald, was traded Friday to the St. Louis Blues for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a seventh-round pick in next year's NHL entry draft.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's the center I wanted the Islanders to try and add because he could score and was signed for the next two years. Anaheim get's their cap space for next summer when Weight becomes an UFA.

New York 3, Phoenix 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2007 01:37:00 AM | | | | | 2 Comments
Islanders website: Has the post game on tonight's 3-2 win against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"We had a little more determination tonight," said Guerin. "Our puck play all game was a lot better. We weren't just throwing the puck and making hope plays, we made good cycling plays and good stick-to-stick passes. I thought our line had a good game tonight."

"We have to keep playing the way we did tonight," said head coach Ted Nolan. "You're not disappointed in the people, sometimes you're just disappointed in their actions. We weren't making the simple plays the last few games. But tonight it was good to see the (Guerin-Comrie-Fedotenko) line cycling the puck and jumping into holes. Billy Guerin had a couple of big goals and Mike Comrie did what he does best and Fedotenko did well in his first game back."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let's get the mantra out of the way early.
1. I'll take any two points the Islanders can get.
2. In the end all everyone remembers is the point total.
3. A win is a win.
4. Eighth place and if they ever start scoring.
5. They got to three goals again..........................

Now that I got that out of the way, the Islanders look like a team going nowhere and would have lost to twenty eight other teams tonight with that effort. It was fun to see Wayne Gretzky behind an NHL bench at the Coliseum and his team that had not visited since 2002, but the Islanders struggle so much you cannot even apperciate the opposition.

All due respect to Bill Guerin and Ted Nolan:

Phoenix out skated and outworked them most of the game, DiPietro had to be very good and the Coyotes missed the net a lot. Phoenix had far more skill/speed than the Islanders and they are the second worst offensive team in the league.

I'm glad a few shots got through so Bill Guerin can put the puck into some open nets and Marc Andre Bergeron took a good shot from the point that found the far side on a powerplay, it's three goals but this offense looked lost.

Even worse than that I'm more concerned with that third period powerplay where they could not get out of their own way as Phoenix came at them while they kept turning over the puck until they gave up another shorthanded goal. You could see it coming as they had no idea how to even get the puck deep with a 2-0 lead and a man advantage, we have seen it a lot this season already so it's easy to see the signs.

The last few seconds of the first period they simply stopped working like they gave up or were satisfied to go in to the lockeroom scoreless. The announcers noticed it too as Phoenix came right down and almost scored the opening goal.

Where is the effort, professionalism and the trade mark of a Ted Nolan coached team?
The look on his face was one of disgust and matched the look on my face, he knew immediately.

Those two events in this game have been a big trade mark of the 2007-08 New York Islanders.

How many games can a team go deep into the second period before they score a goal or generate a high quality chance? Where is the pride in this group when they come out after another poor effort in Buffalo and cannot even work hard enough to draw a powerplay in the first period?

Of course some individuals worked hard.

Bergenehim had the effort, professionalism and came out like a player annoyed with losing the night before in the first period. He worked hard all night and as a young player once again was their best player in terms of work ethic which does not speak well of some veterans.

Jackman came up, was visible and was shooting from everywhere in one shift. Andy Hilbert backchecked after a missed shot and dove or fell to break up a play and had his chances. Richard Park put in his usual strong effort. The defenders had a solid game as a unit against a poor offensive club.

Still Phoenix was faster, won a lot of pucks, skated well in the open ice and were easily the better skilled team, it's a good thing they cannot finish.

Offensively once again Islanders were terrible despite the post game comments. Satan looks like a deer in the headlights when he gets the puck at the point and has every time Ted Nolan moves him to that spot. Thirty odd shots and I cannot remember one great save Ilya Bryzgalov had to make unless we are counting Hilbert's breakaway or the pass from Park shorthanded in the first period where the goalie gave him nothing and he shot right at the logo.

I'm not even sure how the puck got to Guerin for the 3-1 goal unless Comrie's shot off the post rebounded to Guerin which was the only weak moment the Coyote defense showed in the game.

Simon gets his mini-breakaway, drives the net and because he cannot finish does a cross check to the head? Satan slashes at a players skate because he cannot skate fast enough to fore check?

Of course the Islanders made it tough on themselves and gave up a third period power play goal because that's what weak teams do while good teams win 5-1 on a team gambling to force offense.

How many times did the Islanders have problems getting the puck out at the end of the game with Sillinger making some terrible clearing attempts? I know maybe he was tired and is usually outstanding in these situations but others teams never look this tired. We have seen clubs come in playing a third game in four days and outwork the Islanders.

DiPietro played under too much pressure and lately the shots against have gone up in big numbers. He faced thirty six shots and played well. That written his antics at the end of the game swinging at puck is not mature even if it happened to work because it easily could have wound up in his net. He also cannot afford the luxury of getting into it with other players because he is risking injury by taking head shots from opposing players.

This is not about winning a December game against a weak Phoenix club, it's about building a good team here in the long term, that was the plan.

For a team that supposedly is very close off the ice it's very high maintenance for Ted Nolan to get them to work hard on the ice for even twenty minutes, this plan is not working.

Islander News Articles 12/14:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2007 12:19:00 AM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's early game recap without quotes is about how the Islanders played enough defense to win with Bill Guerin breaking through with two goals.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports Ted Nolan had a talk with Mike Comrie while Bill Guerin comments how the teams passing was better while Rick DiPietro talks about the Coyotes crowding his crease and what it means with Brendan Witt on his side.

He brought me in and talked to me," Comrie said. "When you're playing a lot of minutes, you need to play responsible and play hard every night. We got some goals, we generated some chances, and most importantly, we were working hard. It had been missing for too long now."

"They had a lot of traffic throughout the game," DiPietro said of the Coyotes. "There's only so many times you can get hacked and whacked without feeling the need to retaliate. When you've got guys like Witter around you, you feel a little bit better about venturing out."

NY Post: Dan Martin covered the game and had comments from Bill Guerin, Ted Nolan, Mike Comrie, Rick DiPietro and Wayne Gretzky. Of course Martin used Islander space to talk about Gretzky returning to Msg.

Apparently the Daily News did not even bother sending Peter Botte or Brian Bohl to cover an Islander home game. NY Times did not show as always. John Dellapina's of course made it to Ranger practice to file his full off-day story.

Arizona Republic: Jim Gintonio has a few words from Shane Doan about Rick DiPietro holding the puck outside the crease in the final minute.

"It's hard to understand. As a player you go to the net. He catches it, you're not allowed to touch him, and you don't touch him, and he skates across the net and tries to go over and whack it down the ice. If he's going to throw it out of his glove and whack at it, we're gonna whack at the puck when it's in his glove. It's just common sense if they're not gonna blow the whistle."

Arizona Republic: Mr Gintonio reported in his Wednesday blog The Coyotes got serenaded by an ambulance driver at the Islip airport upon landing Wednesday night, as he crooned incessantly over his loudspeaker: "Let's go, Islanders!"

East Valley Tribune: Has an early AP article on the Islanders win.

Globe & Mail: Eric Duhatschek begins the long list of hockey writers who owe Charles Wang an engraved apology now that other clubs are following his standard for long-term contracts. Mike Richard's of the Flyers signed a 12-year, $69-million agreement through the 2019-20 season.

Media blog: Chris Botta correctly jumps all over the media double-standard yesterday writing when they do not know how to react - or don't have the guts to take a
stand - they resort to bad jokes as they did with DiPietro's contract.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mike Richards is a good young talent having a very good start this year, but this is not a first overall pick like Rick DiPietro or a franchise talent like a Crosby or Ovechkin. Richard's is a late first rounder from 2003, who had thirty points each of the last two seasons.

Of course Philadelphia Daily News : Ed Moran & Philadelphia Inquirer: Tim Panaccio buried themselves in owner Ed Snider's pocket and did not write one word of criticism.

12/14: Sound Tigers Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2007 11:46:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog Thursday Andy MacDonald was being sent to Utah along with the Tambellini/Jackman moves. Joe Rullier's PTO contract is about to end so a decision has to be made.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's previews the game in Providence Friday, Ben Walter's return to his former AHL team and gives an update that the MacDonald transaction wasn't going to become official until either late Thursday or early Friday and reports at least one more transaction was likely for the Sound Tigers who also have let go of Gregg Johnson.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Providence Bruins
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, R.I.
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Wanted to do a seperate Sound Tiger blog. Usual quality work by Michael Fornabaio.

So to recap:
MacDonald demotion not official yet
Tambellini with Bridgeport
Jackman with Islanders
Johnson leaves Sound Tigers for Finland
Rullier has to be signed with PTO expiring

12/13: Phoenix at New York FSN 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2007 06:16:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Updated 7pm
New York vs Phoenix live game scoreboard

New York vs Phoenix live game scoresheet

Phoenix has games Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday so tonight's game will most likely be played or rescheduled later this season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
First visit to the Nassau Coliseum since October 2002, that's a long time even in this league. I still remember what happened opening night last year and hopefully a few players left from that team do also.

Phoenix was resting in New York yesterday while the Islanders travel home to what no doubt will be a small crowd given the weather today/tonight.

The Coyotes (13-15) Radim Vrbata leads their team with eleven goals, Shane Doan is putting up some points, Ed Jovanowski has has many points as Mike Comrie. Ilya Bryzgalov has started eleven games in a row and has done a solid job since the trade from Anaheim.

Islanders better come out angry and work hard in this game because they have to start to turn this around now with any win they can get. Not sure who will be the scratch on defense or if Fedntenko/Martinek return. After another forty shot game does Dubie get the start or will that be the latest excuse for mistakes by the club tonight?

All the discussion about why these players added character have to start paying off or it's time for changes. No doubt some players are worried a mistake will land them on the bench which usually leads to more mistakes.

Updated 6pm:
Islanders Website: Reports Tim Jackman has been called up and Jeff Tambellini has been sent back to Bridgeport. Ruslan Fedotenko will return to the lineup.

“Tim is someone who can give us quality shifts and an honest effort,” said Nolan at the team’s morning skate today at the Nassau Coliseum. “Jeff didn’t do anything wrong, but he needs to be on a top line be effective. And with Ruslan coming back, we felt it would be best for Jeff to get those consistent minutes in Bridgeport for his development.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given Ted Nolan's comments after the Sabre game and his actions it's clear the coach did not think Jeff Tambellini did much right. A team desperately needing scoring has just exchanged a potential scorer for grit on the fourth line.

Islander News Articles 12/13:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on the mistakes and poor penalties the club made in the loss to Buffalo. Despite scoring three goals for the third time in four games Ted Nolan is losing patience with some of his players as the coach explains why Jeff Tambellini was taken off the top line for Chris Simon and Bryan Berard saw limited ice after a penalty.

"We've been pretty patient, giving guys all kinds of opportunities," Nolan said. "But patience can only go so long. You have to produce, and you have to work hard. If you don't maybe somebody else will."

"You get tired of watching one line in our defensive zone the whole two periods," Nolan said of his top line. "They didn't get out of our zone more than one or two times. That's just unacceptable. You have to have your top line get out of our defensive zone so you can at least attack the other end. At least, with the change, we got out of our zone the last period."

Newsday: Greg Logan also reports Marc-Andre Bergeron is not comfortable on the ice because he expects mistakes from his offensive play could leave him out of the lineup once again and that he's not playing enough, while the coach singles out Richard Park and Chris Simon for their effort. Miroslav Satan talks about the booing crowd in Buffalo.

"I would love to, but it's hard when you're in and out of the lineup," Bergeron said. "I'm not feeling that comfortable out there. I know that every now and then I'm going to do something wrong and I'll be out again.

"So, it's not a position I really enjoy. But I'm going to work hard, and I'm sure everything is going to be brighter."

Newsday: Greg Logan also has a review of the game with no quotes from the players.

Erie Times-News: Victor Fernandes has a full feature article former Erie Otters defenseman Chris Campoli after Wednesday's game, how he has already matched last season's production and what's different for him on this year's club.

Arizona Republic: Jim Gintonio has a few words from Coyotes Coach Wayne Gretzky praising the Islanders, what his club needs to do on it's road-trip and how hard they have competed.

"(Tonight) we'll be playing a more-experienced hockey club, and we've got to be ready from Day 1. The things about road trips are, if you can get off to a good first period, a good first game, it really sets the tone for the whole trip."

"They've got a really good coach (Ted Nolan) and one of the best goaltenders in the league," Gretzky said. "They play a methodical system, and they don't break down in many areas.

"As I've told our guys, we've got to utilize our speed, energy and youth, drive to the net. We've got to create holes and openings, and we've got to make them break down. They're one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, and that makes it difficult, especially the first game on the trip. When you fly east, you try to get your legs as early as you can."

Of course the NY Times, News and Post goes all A.P on the Islanders but the Times even allowed Lynn Zisner to travel to Washington and posted a 1am blog on the game with a newspaper article. Tonight's Islander opponent, the Coyotes got a feature for the paper a few days back while the Isles got a quick blog that needed to link to Newsday and for it's information that read more like a ten year review then about the current club.

NY Times: Altered it's new slapshot blog page description which did advertise the Islanders but now only includes the Rangers and all things NHL in another sad display.

NYI Fan Central Coverage:
If the Times can pay to send it's Ranger beatwriter on the road after a few years of home-only coverage, it can afford to hire a full time Islander beatwriter to go with all the writers they have in place for blogs.

Of course the New York Post which did not cover last night's Islander game and gives mininal print to most home games, had enough of a hockey budget to send a secondary writer named Howard Kussoy to Devils practice where he reports former Islander Aron Asham got into a heated exchange with Devils coach Brent Sutter here.

"It was just one of those days. Things happen," Asham said. "It was an inappropriate event and tempers flared. I shouldn't have said nothing and kept my mouth shut.

"I'm sure I'll say something to him. I'm sure he's not sitting in his room right now expecting me to come in and say, 'Sorry.' That's not the kind of guy he is."

Buffalo News: Has the Sabres coverage on their win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio writes about the Sound Tigers inconsistent play which is unacceptable to the coaching staff and the players after a loss to Albany on Wednesday where they fell behind 4-0 in front of a record low crowd of 1,611. Bridgeport has lost seven of their last ten games, Tim Jackman spoke about the effort.

"We had great player meetings (Tuesday). We talked about desperation in our game, how we need to play 60 minutes," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "As a coaching staff, you try to prepare them the best you can. ... At some point, guys have to be held accountable."

"The guys know certain guys have to play better," Capuano said. "We have good leaders on this team. They have to take over. It's just frustrating for the coaching staff, how hard they work, the effort they put in."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog reports Jack Capuano was at his angriest, but restrained after the game. Mr Fornabaio also writes the club only played about four or five minutes while Steve Regier talks about the club's low confidence level and how they have time to correct things. Also reported was Gregg Johnson has left Bridgeport to play in Finland. Tom Henriksson confirms Johnson will play for SaiPa Lappeenranta.

Times Union: Has coverage on the Albany River Rats and their win.

Buffalo 5, New York 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/12/2007 09:52:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

“We gave them too many chances,” said an agitated Ted Nolan. “We got into penalty trouble. We just need more and have to have a better effort.”

“Sean Bergenheim was probably the best player on the ice,” said Nolan. “Hopefully his energy will rub off on the rest of us.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That was a team with a worse record than the Islanders that outworked and outskated them for far too much of this game. No excuse for such poor play and penalties across the board collectively. You can pick out of Sillinger, Berard, Guerin, Martinek, Sutton for some turnovers or mistakes you cannot make. You can credit Buffalo for putting up a wall of bodies in front of DiPietro on many of the outside shots that he could not see.

Too much pressure on DiPietro as they were in his crease all night. The fifth Buffalo goal on a backhand was a killer after they battled to get back to 5-4. The early powerplay with Satan on point and Park up front looked lost, Satan got his goal from where he would usually shoot as a winger.

Bergenheim had some good chances and again looked like the best forward. Comrie was good early but Tambellini with Comrie and Guerin played most of the last two peirods on defense and lost a lot of battles.

Game could have went either way if Hunter's shot in the second was not deflected from in front with an empty net or Bergeron got his shot through. Miller had to be good at times too, especially in the first peirod when his defense was gift-wrapping chances for the Islanders to finish. Of course Miller gift-wrapped one of his own which the Islanders took advantage of.

We'll see if there is any injury fallout from this regarding Martinek.

Ted Nolan should be running out of patience with a few players on this team, this is a game you have to get a point from when you come back to make it a 4-3 game.

Bill Guerin's best pass in months was to a Buffalo Sabre blind off the boards for a goal. Sillinger's take down for that five on three power play was just a poor play.

These are the club leaders, they cannot make these kind of plays for the Islanders to have any chance. Report the Sound Tigers lost 4-3 at home to Albany Wednesday. Dustin Kohn had his first AHL goal in the third peirod and an assist in the loss. Steve Regier had his ninth goal.

12/12: New York at Buffalo 7pm FSN-2

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

Updated 6:37pm

Updated 7pm:
Real Time Scoreboard available

Islanders website: Has the pregame for tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Buffalo News: John Vogl reports Ryan Miller will start in goal for the Sabres tonight.

In Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins, Buffalo had a 45-21 advantage in shots on goal but couldn’t solve Boston netminder Alex Auld. Buffalo has lost three of four games.

Defenseman Henrik Tallinder (11/25, shoulder) is out indefinitely. Defenseman Dmitri Kalinin (10/25, knee) is on injured reserve and is out indefinitely. Defenseman Teppo Numminen (9/21, heart surgery) is on injured reserve.

Updated 3:30pm
Newsday: Greg Logan updated his blog and reported Marc-Andre Bergeron will return to the powerplay with comments from Bergeron and Ted Nolan. Mr Logan makes the point teams adjusted to Bergeron on the Islanders powerplay in the playoffs but omits Bergeron's pp goal in game two for some strange reason.

“He wants me to be natural and do what I do best,” Bergeron said. “I would love to, but it’s hard when you’re in and out of the lineup. I’m not feeling that comfortable out there. I know that every now and then I’m going to do something wrong, and I’ll be out again. So, it’s not a position I really enjoy. But there’s no secret this is not an easy league to be part of. I’m going to work hard and I’m sure everything is going to be brighter.”

“Yeah, when you go through what our whole power play has been going through, it’s hesitating, hesitating, hesitating versus just letting your natural ability take over,” Nolan said. “The one thing Bergeron can do is shoot the puck. He’s got to get himself in position real quick, and we’ve got to get the puck to him and he’s got to unleash it.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders return to the scene of their best offensive game of the season tonight with a few days off. There are no excuses for this club not to produce enough quality chances to win tonight. Buffalo is like Toronto in that they are inconsistent but dangerous enough to put up eight goals on the Islanders and skate them into the ice. After a 4-1 loss where the Bruins goalie was the best player on the ice, Rick DiPietro may have to do the same thing for the Islanders to come out of this with points.

Bill Guerin is getting more high quality chances, he's due to find the net beyond his deflection goal in Tampa. Seven defenders will dress. Not sure if Bergeron, Berard or Meyer will but there is a game tomorrow. Fedotenko is out.

We'll see what happens. Last place by a few points with games in hand is still last place. If the Islanders do not start putting up wins now they may find themselves well out of contention.


Msg Network forces Isles to FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/12/2007 11:39:00 AM | | Comment Here
The Msg meal ticket Knicks plays on Msg tonight so the Garden needing the best possible chance at a descent Ranger rating does not move the Rangers to Msg-2, which would produce a terrible rating, but moves the Islanders to FSN-2 and puts their own teams game on FSN.

Life with Msg owning the local rights to four hockey teams which includes the Buffalo Sabres.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is why the Islander ratings have been low for years which is what media people like Neil Best, Richard Sandomir, Bob Raissman and Phil Mushnick do not consider when discussing hockey ratings once or twice a year as filler in their articles. All they write is no one is watching the Islanders in their limited research on the subject.

I used to like Mr Mushnick's work because he always wrote about media injustices, but when it comes to his own paper not hiring an Islander beatwriter he has selective amnesia or is prohibited from writing anything on the subject.

The Knicks played one game on these overflow stations last year and got only a 0.2 in their final regular season game a year ago.

Where I watch the game on Time Warner Cable in New York the game is not even advertised on the cable program guide, it's the TV Guide channel. Unless you are a die hard fan knowing the channel will be activated at game time you will not find it. If you do not own a computer you will have no chance at even knowing the Islanders are playing.

Islander Nation Radio Show

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2007 09:58:00 PM | Comment Here

Tuesday night I discovered an Islander Internet radio show called Islander Nation that does a very good job talking Islander hockey that I encourage the folks to call into that has a regular show on Tuesday night at 7:30pm.

I made a call and had a good time talking Islander Hockey and they were kind enough to keep me on for an extended time. I included their link on this blog for those interested.


I was very impressed with the quality information and hockey knowledge brought to the discussion. High marks to the folks behind the program which is hosted by Steve, Tony and I think their blogger Zach was a guest or a regular.

Islanders are doing very well in the internet radio department with quality programs like this and Hockey Night on Long Island hosted by Alex and Steve which is on Saturday afternoon's at 3:30pm most weeks.

This concept as an old-time fan is something new to me as a fan and great to discover some outlet's with knowledgeable hockey fans working so hard to bring dedicated programs with this level of content.

As I used to tell my old co-mod at HF (you know who you are) there is an opportunity here in this hockey market for folks to break through into mainstream hockey channels. The Islanders need all the die-hard passionate fans in the media business they can find.

My perspective on this is the lack of passionate coverage is hurting the club's exposure on several levels, starting with attendance.

To both sites keep up the excellent work.

Islander News Articles 12/12:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2007 09:41:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is about Jeff Tambellini, how much the trip with his son meant to former Islander, Steve Tambellini and what it's like playing on the Islanders top lines.

"I got to listen to my dad deal with players when I was in my teens and hear him talk about prospects going up and going down," Tambellini said. "You just understand there's not a lot of personal stuff. It's business. The quicker you realize that, the easier it is on the mind."

"With a passer like Mike, you just get open," Tambellini said. "Billy's got a great shot, and I think if we can do the things we do well and come up with some speed, we're going to have some great opportunities. The way Mike dishes the puck, hopefully, both of us will have some good scoring chances."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's coverage is on Blake Comeau, Darryl Bootland and Jeremy Colliton playing their tenth game together as a line with comments from coach Jack Capuano as to how they balance one another as a unit.

There's some work ethic, some grit, some hockey sense," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "They're a line you can put out, as a coaching staff, really at any time. They can play a little bit of power play for you. Blake and Jeremy have been killing penalties. They get pucks deep, and they're physical."

Albany River Rats at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2007 05:59:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders Website: Ted Nolan gives his reasons why Rick DiPietro should be an all-star.

Islanders TV: Ted Nolan says Ruslan Fedotenko will not play against Buffalo as a precaution, that the club will dress seven defenders. The scoring is discussed by the coach. Mike Comrie also is interviewed.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
DiPietro will likely be the Islanders representative added after the voting for the starters are done unless Brendan Witt or Vasicek are selected. Still a month away but to this point he has been their best player.

So much for expecting changes. Islanders went through the three off days, have flown to Buffalo and did not make any changes at all with three games in four days beginning Wednesday. The NHL holiday freeze on trades is coming as well. Given how tight the market has been in terms of any activity it may be a sign of the times in the league.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog has an update on Brendan Witt, who was sick for a few days which is one reason why the club is dressing seven defenders Wednesday and Ruslan Fedotenko's injury status.

Buffalo News: Mike Harrington reports Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is questionable for tomorrow's game with a sore right ankle. Daniel Paille, a healthy scratch, is expected to return to the lineup.

USA Today: Ted Montgomery surfaces for a rare comment about the Islanders in an article where he ranks contenders vs pretenders and puts the Islanders in last place.

The New York Islanders have improved under Ted Nolan, but they're likely to finish last in their division (which does not preclude a trip to the postseason).

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Could well turn out that way Mr Montgomery, but it's important to tell the folks why considering the record is similar to last year's playoff team.

Yahoo Sports: Ross McKeon dropped the Islanders to eighteenth in his power rankings and wrote about the powerplay struggles.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a blog on Pascal Morency, who had some more surgery Monday among several subjects. Reports voting for the AHL all-star game will begin tomorrow.

Logan vs Zipay: Paycheck vs Passion

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2007 12:24:00 PM | | 3 Comments
Welcome to Newsday folks, home paper of the New York Islanders, the one paper that has a New York Islander blog in the tri-state area.

Newsday's Islander Blog:
Bill Guerin draws the line
Posted by Greg Logan on December 10, 2007 12:50 PM

Missing goal scorers report
Posted by Greg Logan on December 8, 2007 3:38 PM

Bergeron’s backtalk upsets Nolan
Posted by Greg Logan on December 6, 2007 5:24 PM

Bruno Gervais back in lineup
Posted by Greg Logan on December 5, 2007 5:05 PM

Waiting for goals
Posted by Greg Logan on December 2, 2007 5:25 PM
Newsday's Ranger blog:

Blue Notes: Tuesday update
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 11, 2007 10:22 AM

Night Cap: Nice job
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 10, 2007 10:27 PM

Blue Notes: Good comments, gang....
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 10, 2007 6:56 PM

Leetch night (Jan. 24) viewing party
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 10, 2007 6:21 PM

Blue Notes: Where's the power?
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 10, 2007 4:27 PM

Blue Notes: Rumor Mill
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 10, 2007 1:56 PM

Blue Notes: Marek Malik scratched again
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 9, 2007 5:01 PM

Blue Notes: Morning After
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 8, 2007 10:37 AM

Live from Atlanta: Rangers 2, Thrashers 1
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 7, 2007 8:23 PM

Blue Notes: Malik scratched
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 7, 2007 7:08 PM

More...Live from Atlanta
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 7, 2007 5:43 PM

Blue Notes from Atlanta: Valiquette in goal
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 7, 2007 4:36 PM

Blue Notes in Atlanta: Turn a new page....
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 7, 2007 12:54 PM

Blue Notes: Lundqvist, Rangers routed 6-2
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 6, 2007 10:32 PM

Blue Notes: And Hagelin too...
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 6, 2007 2:12 PM

Blue Notes: The Odd Couple on stage, Dolan and Avery
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 6, 2007 11:48 AM

Blue Notes: Sanguinetti honored
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 6, 2007 9:17 AM

Blue Notes: Some responses to your posts
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 4, 2007 2:40 PM

Steve Zipay: At the "toughest" morning skate
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 4, 2007 12:41 PM

Cullen helps Canes sink bewildered Rangers, 4-0
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 3, 2007 10:22 PM

Live from MSG: Is Marc Staal Amped or what?
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 3, 2007 6:01 PM

Blue Notes: Avery encouraged by surgery
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 3, 2007 11:59 AM

Toronto radio station expected to retract Avery comment
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 2, 2007 5:20 PM

On Tyutin, Cullen and another Staal reunion
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 2, 2007 4:33 PM

Rangers 2, Sens 0 early...
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 1, 2007 2:22 PM

Live from Ottawa: Islanders "Hangover"?
Posted by Steve Zipay on December 1, 2007 12:59 PM
For those scoring at home:
Greg Logan's blog: Five Entries.
Steve Zipay's blog: Twenty Five Entries.

Logan: Paycheck-Just the required job.
Zipay: Passion-Constant updates, answers fan responses and does several game updates.
Greg Logan did not even create a blogroll in his section while Steve Zipay lists a bunch of Ranger sites.
Newsday's Sunday Hockey Feature is written by Steve Zipay and is usually Ranger centric.
New York Rangers Blogs:
Steve Zipay-Newsday
Sam Weinman-Journal News
Steve Soderwall: Post
John Dellapina: News
Lynn Zisner: Times
SI Advance: Has Ranger blog

New York Islander Blogs:
Greg Logan-Newsday

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sorry Mr Logan, it's not personal on my part but to see the Islanders outblogged this badly in the only paper giving them full time coverage has to be written about and your passion for what the Islander beat means to you has to be questioned even if you are professional and fill the job requirement.

As I have written several times you cannot manufacture passion for covering an assignment, it's a job and you do what's required.

The New York Islanders need more than this in their primary beatwriter.

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.