NHL Starters for ALL-Star Game Announced

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2008 11:23:00 AM | | Comment Here
Starters for the All-Star game were announced Tuesday:

Eastern Conference:
F: Sidney Crosby, Pens
F: Vincent Lecavalier, Lightning
F: Daniel Alfredsson, Senators
D: Andrei Markov, Habs
D: Zdeno Chara, Bruins
G: Martin Brodeur, Devils

Western Conference:
F: Henrik Zetterberg, Wings
F: Pavel Datsyuk, Wings
F: Jarome Iginla, Flames
D: Nicklas Lidstrom, Wings
D: Dion Phaneuf, Flames
G: Roberto Luongo, Canucks

NYI Fan Central Comments:
One player from each team has to be selected. My guess is from the Islanders it's Rick DiPietro or Brendan Witt.

Goaltenders are tougher to get in with only two spots so I'm not sure DiPietro is one of them.

Cannot see Martinek, Campoli or a forward.

1/8: New York at Vancouver 10pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2008 10:13:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website/AP: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Media Blog: Cory Witt will likely have an update after the morning skate with lineup changes which could be possible after Brendan Witt blocked that third period shot.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Simply put, this club has to step up and play a sixty minute game here and put some screens in front of Luongo and a few of Ted Nolan's passengers on the roster better start skating or others will be taking their spot. Usually when a club struggles like this to score another shutout could be coming but Garon played well and at times and had some luck with Sillinger hitting the post in the third off a great Comeau pass.

DiPietro made some great saves late in that game, it's the goals you expect him to stop like the first Oiler goal that cannot happen for him.

Vancouver has not lost in regulation in about fourteen straight games at home so they are due for a clunker on home ice. Markus Naslund will be taken off the Sedin line and skate with former Islander Taylor Pyatt and Jason Jaffray but this is not a great offensive club. They score some goals but play defense and put the game in Luongo's hands.

Islanders are in last place in this division and even with the overtime point's recently need some wins to keep pace.

Islanders at the half way point

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2008 08:58:00 AM | 2 Comments
With game forty two tonight in Vancouver I thought today would be a good time to do a half way point review. A win puts at Vancouver puts the Islanders on a ninety point pace.

Jiggs McDonald had the numbers during the final minutes of last night's Islander game as they approach the half way point of their season in comparison to a year ago at the same time.

All in all the record was virtually identical but the scoring is a major problem.

January 9th 2007: 20-19-3/119 goals/116 goals against
January 8th 2008: 20-17-4/98 goals/114 goals against

Bad news is from Janauary 9th through March 5th that Islander team lost only four games in regulation to move to their high point of ten games over five hundred which is where they finished.

Bottom line: The defense has been about the same with different kinds of contributions, the even strength play much worse and the scoring way down makes it remarkable the club has virtually the same record.

Not going to do a full paragraph on each player, just a few quick words. You can writge for most of these players they are making a good or above avgerage effort on defense outside of Mike Comrie.

Bill Guerin-Needs to keep up what he started recently or a bust this year.
Mike Comrie-Not contributing as a first line player, streaky at best.
Richard Park-Not a first line player but hardest working alternative.
Miroslav Satan-Usual inconsistency.
Trent Hunter-Not enough offense but does other things to win games.
Ruslan Fedotenko-Has been invisible most of the last twenty games after great start.
Josef Vasieck-Two goals in twenty games not enough for a second line center.
Mike Sillinger-Not scoring like last season when needed.
Sean Bergenheim-Works for high quality chances nightly but must start finishing.
Tim Jackman-Solid in his role and works hard, not hurting club.
Blake Comeau-Shows spurts he can play in this league with good offensive skills.
Andy Hilbert-Played his way off third line not scoring, looks better on fourth line.
Chris Simon-Marginal impact when not getting suspended or returning from one.

Brendan Witt-Has been a warrior on a club with no margin for error most nights.
Radek Martinek-Some mistakes but overall outstanding before injury in expanded role.
Bruno Gervais-Just keeps getting better with quiet consistent defense.
Chris Campoli-Overall game keeps improving in expanded role.
Andy Sutton-Has been consistent and not hurt the club much recently.
Marc-Andre Bergeron-Great shot desperately needed, less mistakes recently keeps him in lineup.
Freddy Meyer-A few mistakes but mostly solid, quiet games he does not hurt the club.
Bryan Berard-Seems like the odd-man out until someone struggles.

Rick DiPietro-Making the tough saves, but letting in more soft goals than a year ago.
Wade Dubielewicz-Did his job and more recently.

Bottom Line-This club has it's work cut out for it in the second half because it cannot score enough at even strength like a year ago and it's pp has struggled badly overall. This is a team that needs more offense to get games to overtime to build the point total.

I'm skeptical but as Ted Nolan said recently what happens in the second half is what everyone remembers. Islanders are going to have to show this group's character is superior to last year in games from this point.

Islander News Articles 1/8

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2008 08:05:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's game article did not make it into the print edition of Newsday in the city today. It has comments from Bergeron, DiPietro and Ted Nolan on the loss against Edmonton.

Marc-Andre Bergeron:
"We turned the puck over," he said. "It's no secret. We had our chances in the first and played well, but we couldn't take advantage."

Rick DiPietro on playing Roberto Luongo:
"Yeah, it's going to be fun going against him," DiPietro said, "but at the end of the day, it's another game and another huge two points we need."

Newsday: Greg Logan's article on Mike Comrie where he talks about his past in Edmonton and some off ice things did make the morning print edition.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's interesting Mr Logan has covered Mike Comrie since last summmer nothing Comrie said yesterday was reported once until he got to Edmonton and their media got him to talk.

"For me, I chose to want to move. It probably wasn't handled properly. But I'm happy now to be an Islander."

Note-The Post did not have Jay Greenberg stick around Edmonton an extra day to cover the Islanders after the Rangers left.

Edmonton Sun & Edmonton Journal: Joanne Ireland provides the Oiler centric coverage of their win.

Vancouver Sun: Elliott Pap has Roberto Luongo's comments on being traded from the Islanders almost a decade ago and what it means now to play a team he has been 4-9-2 against in 15 decisions with a save percentage of .920.

"Obviously I was disappointed when the Islanders traded me but, at the same time, I was younger and more naive," Luongo said. "I didn't really think about it that much. I just went to Florida and it was great because they gave me a chance to really start my NHL career."

"I've played them a bunch of times already so that feeling is gone," he said.

Edmonton Journal: Reports Robin Figren who just won a silver medal for Sweden at the WJC could be traded by the Oil Kings at the trade deadline in two days according to gm Bob Green. Teams are only allowed to have two European players on their roster and that would force other European players off another club to make room for Figren.

"As each day passed in the tournament I was getting more and more calls about him. He has certainly garnered a lot of interest and deservedly so," said Green.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog yesterday Jason Pitton's reassignment is official, with Mike Mole, Ryan Kinasewich and Tyler Haskins going back to Utah.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Business is about to pick up on the Bridgeport front with the crush of media that will be following Kyle Okposo. Should be a lot of fun for Mr Fornabaio who has not had a franchise prospect like this to cover since Rick DiPietro played there.

Denver Post: Mike Chambers has comments from Denver Pioneer coach George Gwozdecky on the Islanders signing Kyle Okposo. Islander prospect Rhett Rakhshani plays at Denver and is about to return from the WJC.

"What happened with Okposo in signing with the Islanders set a precedent, and hopefully it won't happen a lot," Gwozdecky said. "I'd like to think that the great majority of NHL teams respect these young players and the development process that their draftees are going through, and once the college hockey season ends, the page will turn."

Edmonton 4, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/07/2008 11:28:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Monday's 4-0 loss against the Edmonton Oilers.

"This is the second game in a row we didn't skate," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We showed spurts but we need a consistent effort from everyone all game. We can't have 50% or 75% of our guys working. We have to play as a team. Our whole game has been in a funk the last two games. If you don't work you won't get any chances. We have to get back to grinding out games. In the second period there was a lapse and we didn't skate. It gets frustrating when we do this. We had everything prepared, everything seemed right before the game and then we just laid a big egg."

"Edmonton feeds off transition," said DiPietro. "They did that in the second period, creating those two-on-one chances. On those odd-man rushes they found a way to put the puck in the net."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Shutout by a team that has not won a game in regulation since early December. Two games against two weak teams and one goal by Tim Jackman. Islanders cannot afford another stretch with no scoring.

Islanders are not giving DiPietro much help either, nor did he bail them out of a few goals but you don't score and you likely will not get any points. If this is the game the Islanders wanted to prove something I hate to see one they could care less about.

Robert Luongo, Calgary and Ottawa up next. Those last two games were the easiest games on the schedule.

Newsday: Greg Logan had two of his longer blogs of the season. One with in depth comments on the paths of Robert Nilsson and Marc-Andre Bergeron. The other his second most passionate blog ever which was about an eighteen hour trip from Denver to Edmonton.

“I don’t really care. I’m not an Oiler anymore. I still have some good memories from here. It’s an old saying: ‘Talk good or bad, but just talk about me.’”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Cablevision is allowed to fly Billy Jaffe, Deb Kaufman, Howie Rose, Chris King and Steve Mears on the Islander team plane why not just give Mr Logan or the local print media a seat unless it's against league rules?

As for Mr Logan see how easy it is for him to write when he's passionate about something? This is what the Islanders need (positive or negative) from their hockey writers.

1/7: New York at Edmonton 9pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/07/2008 09:02:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders play a team that has not won a game in regulation since early December but came within seven seconds of breaking that stretch on Saturday. The fast surface in Edmonton combined with the Islanders not playing good defense in front of DiPietro the last game cannot carry over into this game.

Islanders have no time to worry about Ryan Smyth, Ryan O'Marra, Denis Grebeshhov, or Robert Nilsson. They need two points from this game and start the night last in the division, despite the 5-1-2 record in eight games with a stretch of upcoming games that are very tough.

Raffi Torres is likely out for the season with an injury, Robert Nilsson was benched his last game. Edmonton is an outstanding shootout team which has carried them with a league high in wins in the skills competition.

Islander News Articles 1/7

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2008 10:29:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan writes about former Islander Robert Nilsson among several former Islanders and Oilers who have been traded that will meet up tomorrow with something to prove. An update on Radek Martinek was also given.

"He's highly skilled, but there's a difference between having skill and having the competitiveness to play at this level," Nolan said. "He didn't show too much at training camp. Robert has the skill to play a long time, but with myself, the No. 1 thing is that people have to earn their jobs and not have it handed to them. We had to give up something to get Ryan Smyth."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I suppose going to Edmonton the story line has to be all the players who used to play in New York and Edmonton, but why not more hype for DiPietro who stole a point for his club and less retrospectives on old trades?

Aren't there better things to use Islanders limited newspaper space for than how the Oiler fans react to Mike Comrie or Marc-Andre Bergeron?

Edmonton Sun: Robert Tychkowski has a full feature on the ups and downs of Marc-Andre Bergeron as well as some comments from Ted Nolan on Robert Nilsson, who was a healthy scratch his last game.

"It's a roller-coaster ride," admitted the 27-year-old. "It's been a tough year. I'm playing good, I'm playing bad, I'm playing good ... lately it's been better."

"I need to be more consistent," he said. "I've played some great games and I've played some games where 'I'm holy cow, why did this happen?' I talked with Teddy a few times and he's 'How can you play so good one game and so bad in another?'

"And it's true. I think I'm at an age where I need to realize that when I don't feel as good, simplify my game and be reliable."

Edmonton Sun:Robert Tychkowski's other article is on former Oiler Mike Comrie who also talks about his time in New York so far.

"I'm having fun (on Long Island). It's a great group of guys who want to compete every night. A great goaltender who gives us a chance to win, a coaching staff that makes it fun to be around the rink. It's been great living in New York - staying out of the spotlight."

Edmonton Journal: Also covers the Oilers.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage was on the four powerplay goals Bridgeport allowed the Phanton's in Sunday's 6-2 loss and the fantastic scoring run Jeff Tambellini is on while the rest of the club is not producing.

Mr Fornabaio also repeated the Islanders website statement on Kyle Okposo with Jack Capuano's comments he has heard nothing official from the Islanders on Okposo yet.

"I can't even describe the game," Capuano said. "We were ready to play, they came out and got a couple of power-play goals right away."

Philly.com: Combines Phantoms coverage from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

Islanders statement on Okposo

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2008 08:54:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Chris Botta was told by GM Garth Snow that Kyle Okposo will likely arrive in Bridgeport on Wednesday in time to watch the Sound Tigers' home game that night against Portland. Okposo will have his first practice with the Sound Tigers on Thursday and make his debut on Friday night in Binghamton.

"We discussed it at length as an organization and we feel it is best for Kyle to continue his development under coach Jack Capuano in Bridgeport," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "As we do with all of our prospects, we will monitor his progess daily and he will be brought along the right way under the tutelage of Jack and his staff. Kyle is a very exciting young prospect who is a vital part of the Islanders' future."

"Kyle Okposo is too important to the New York Islanders for us to ever consider rushing him along," said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "This decision is without a doubt what's best for him. When he's ready, he'll be an Islander and he's going to be a very exciting player for our franchise."

Sound Tigers.com: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 6-2 loss at Philadelphia Sunday. Jeff Tambellini set two new team records in the loss.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs about the loss and some other things.

A few words: Kyle Okposo to Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2008 02:17:00 AM | Comment Here
Seemed like a foregone conclusuion given he's a right wing on a team with Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan and Trent Hunter. I supose you could demote Tim Jackman but is it worth it for this young player to being played limited minutes on a fourth line?

Best thing for Okposo to do is get used to the pro game and see expanded minutes in the AHL for now.

Even though it's later in the season because Okposo signed before the beginning of the new year if he plays more than nine games with the Islanders he losses his rookie status and his contract counts as a full year. Islanders I'm sure do not want a Luongo situtation where the Milstein's sent him down to avoid him playing enough games to get him a bonus which caused friction.

We may see Okposo up for a few games if he dominates in Bridgeport and the Islanders need him down the stretch but the more likely senario is if he comes up at all it will be because a right winger is traded.

There is also a chance Bridgeport could be a playoff team but right now they look like a low seed at best if at all.

Not too sure how an Okposo callup would sit would his Bridgeport teammates either at some point given how long Tambellini, Nielsen, Colliton and several players have waited their turn. Of course were talking right wings when it comes to Okposo and it comes down to what the staff thinks.

For now Islanders should just let him rest up, perhaps do a little press conference and get him ready to make his pro debut late next week.

Islander News Articles 1/6

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2008 01:40:00 AM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reported in his blog Kyle Okposo will report to Bridgeport and likely make his pro debut Friday or Saturday with comments from Garth Snow. Details about his contract are also discussed.

Newsday: Greg Logan's post game coverage was on DiPietro's outstanding play with comments from Ted Nolan.

"That's a good offensive team," DiPietro said. "They have a lot of young, skilled players, and they did a good job of cycling down low and kept a lot of pucks in. They had the puck in our zone for a while [in overtime], and they kept moving it and moving it until the puck finally bounced over to Svatos and he made a nice shot."

"We certainly needed Ricky tonight to get this one point," Nolan said. "He was sensational. For whatever reason, we didn't have it on offense. The altitude does affect you."

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article was on Ryan Smyth, who did not talk to the media but had several players over his home for dinner. Garth Snow & Ted Nolan defended his decision to make the trade and several Islanders commented.

"I'd do the same thing," Snow said. "We made an evaluation on the players we gave up. We just felt we were better as an organization to do the deal. The first-round pick came up in our meetings that it was a very weak 2007 draft. In the middle of the round, it would be at best a third-line player or a fourth-line player."

From Ted Nolan:
"The only thing I can do is let him know how much we'd like him to stay and be part of us. He has to do what the best thing is for him and his family. He thought this would be better. You never want to fault a guy for that."

"Ultimately, we finished two points out of the sixth spot," Snow said. "All you can ask for as a player is that your management team believes in you and gives you every opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. We gave ourselves a chance."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
They did give themselves a chance, no doubt about it. At the time the trade was made the Islanders were playing some very good hockey. A lot of things went against them after that from DiPietro's injury to Simon's suspension to some replays that were the reasons the club did not finish sixth. Satan, Zednik left the club for games.

Islanders gave Buffalo a tougher series that few gave them credit for, a few things fell into place this team could easily have advanced to at least the second round.

Clearly they traded two players who were not in the long-term plans and a draft pick from a draft that was not very strong. Robert Nilsson looks like a keeper for Edmonton on that fast surface, O'Marra is an ECHL all-star.

Newsday: Greg Logan had hopefully the final update on DiPietro's pads with the goaltender, Ted Nolan and Garth Snow commenting.

"I've never seen it before," coach Ted Nolan said. "It maybe could have waited until after the game, and we live with the consequences if there was something wrong. But we didn't do anything wrong.

"Does it play with a guy's psyche? It certainly does. I've never seen it before, and hopefully, I never see it again."

"At the end of the day, Rick was not using illegal equipment," Snow said. "That's the bottom line. He didn't need to, and he never has. I'm just glad he's back into the same pads."

Denver Post/AP: Pat Graham covered the Avalanche ot win with a lot of the focus on DiPietro's pads. Bill Guerin comments on his club's effort.

"Really, they're just a pair of pads," said DiPietro, who had 37 saves. "They are just newer."

"I felt really good," said Theodore, who made only his second start in 11 games. "To be honest, he (DiPietro) played unbelievable. I am going to play the way that I can. If I do that, I can match and outplay any goalie in this league, and that's what I tried to do."

"We definitely let them skate too much," Guerin said. "They are a good, young, talented team, and we gave them a lot of room. They made the most of it. I would have liked to have seen us play, generate more offense, instead of just hanging around with a one-goal lead."

Rocky Mountain News/AP: Early Sunday Avs coverage.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 loss in the second of back to back games at Norfolk Saturday. Jeff Tambellini scored for Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio was not in Norfolk to cover the Sound Tigers loss but did blog on it and Okposo being assigned to Bridgeport along with some WJC coverage.

Virginian Pilot: Has the Admirals coverage.

Pioneer Press: Tom Powers covered the Gophers and even thought they won, the focus is still on Kyle Okposo leaving school. I'm not sure in the article if the writer is critical of Okposo or coach Don Lucia.

"We can just hope for the best for Kyle," junior defenseman R.J. Anderson said. "It's not something you'd give him grief about. Best of luck to him."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews Bridgeport vs Philadelphia Sunday.

WHEN - Today, 5:05 p.m.
WHERE - Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia
ON THE AIR - No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com

Colorado 2, New York 1 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2008 01:18:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

"This is a point that we probably should not have gotten," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Ricky was sensational, but he didn't get much help from the start of the game. We didn't play a very intelligent game.

One thing about Ricky is that we wouldn't be in the position we are in now without him. He'll stop a majority of the shots, but we need to give him some more help. We had way too many turnovers. It wasn't a good game. They're a proud group and they know when they haven't played well."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Without DiPietro this game is four or five one by the end of the second period. He made about five outstanding pad saves and Colorado missed a few great chances.

For a team struggling as much as Colorado there was no excuse for this poor an Islander effort as they were out skated and outworked almost the entire game.

Theodore was a goaltender waiting for one quality shot to beat him, it never came.

Long stretches the Avalanche controlled the puck in the Islander end of the ice and made Wolski look like Gretzky. In one second period shift at even strength he had the puck and was able to set up like he had a powerplay.

Avs got breaks on both their goals but made those breaks, the first goal after an Islander powerplay expired the Islanders just were backed in, even if it produced a lucky bounce.

Islanders offense gave them virtually nothing all night, even after Theodore gave Jackman half the net on his goal and the Islanders drew another pp which looked lost all night and in overtime. Bergeron and many of the defenders were watching as Avalanche players took the puck and skated right at DiPietro.

Expensive night with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh winning again and the Rangers getting a point. Islanders were playing a team they easily could have gotten two from with the effort DiPietro gave them if he had any help.

Good news is they did add to the point total. Bergenheim, Comeau looked like the two best forwards. Islanders pp late in the game saw Colorado clear the puck shorthanded, DiPietro take the puck and shoot it up to Guerin and he still had not cleared the zone which brought an intentional offsides.

Not buying any altitude excuses after the first period, especially from a team with Western Conference players like Guerin, Comrie, Sillinger.

The fast surface in Edmonton is up next for the Islanders.

1/5: New York at Colorado FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2008 08:08:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche which will be called by Jiggs McDonald.

Canadian Press: Has the final words on from Chris Botta on Rick DiPietro's pads.

"I can confirm the pads have been cleared," Islanders spokesman Chris Botta said in an e-mail Friday. "They are being returned to Rick in Colorado and he will not be suspended.

"I don't know if he'll get the pads in time for Saturday's game or if he will be wearing them."

Denver Post: Adrian Dater provides a state of the Avalanche with Ryan Smyth out for eight weeks combined with Joe Sakic's hernia surgery and a team struggling to score.

Rocky Mountain News: Jim Benton has more on the struggling Avalanche and a few words on Denver University product, Wade Dubielewicz.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a lot of fun seeing the Islanders get out on a real roadtrip for the first time in well over a year. To have Jiggs McDonald back for the trip even makes it more fun for me.

When teams go on the road and play another conference it's tough to match up a game because the style of game is different, in the Islanders case they have not played a road game in the Western Conference since November 2006.

I cannot remember the last Islander-Avalanche in Denver unless it's the one where DiPietro played what I thought was his best game ever. Either way both teams are far different.

Even with the injuries to the Colorado lineup and their recent struggles on paper they are a better offensive club than the Isles which means New York has to get Colorado to play their game which is to win the game in the trenches and score some dirty goals. Against Florida Islanders got a lot of good chances, not just low percentage shots, this has to continue. Hopefully the rest keeps Sillinger scoring because the club needs it along with the usual suspects.

What I do know is there is no time for anything but hard work and building on the point total. This a a club that the Islanders should be able to compete with.

I guess with Smyth out the hype for playing the Islanders is officially a non-story.

Updated 4:45pm:
Media blog: Cory Witt updates his blog with game day notables with the Denver altitude being a factor.

A possible blog from Greg Logan on Ryan Smyth is also expected but Colorado's team policy prohibits injured players from talking with the media but he did speak with Garth Snow and Ted Nolanhere.

Islanders at the WJC 1/5:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2008 07:57:00 AM | Comment Here

10:00am USA-RUS
2:00pm SWE-CAN

Today is the final day of the WCJ. Team Sweden with Robin Figren and Stefan Ridderwall will play Canada to determine who wins the championship.

Kyle Okposo and Rhett Rakshani will play against Russia in the consolation game.

Updated 4:40pm

Robin Figren had three shots on goal and an even rating in their 3-2 overtime loss to Canada who wins gold at the WJC.

Rhett Rakshsani had a goal, a four shots and was plus one in Team USA's 4-2 loss to Russia Saturday. Kyle Okposo had an assist, with no shots and was plus one.

A few old Al Arbour Stories

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 10:19:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
SI.com: Michael Farber had an interesting article on the goaltenders oversized equipment with comments from Martin Brodeur on smaller players allowed to wear pads made for goaltenders much taller.

Why I did post this article was some old stories on Al Arbour from Mr Farber where he looked at Devils coach Brent Sutter and some tactics that seem like things Arbour used to do with are priceless.

Arbour was notorious for his didacticism. When he was unhappy with the physical side of a player's game, he would have them carry an egg in their jacket pockets because "the way they went into the corners, they wouldn't have broken an egg."

That was a modestly clever bit ... at least until defenseman Pat Price cracked an egg over Arbour's head. Price escaped with his life, barely.

"Al could really get on you," said Denis Potvin, the Islanders' Hall of Fame defenseman who does color on Florida Panthers games. "He'd say, 'Potvin, I know you skate like you have a piano on your back, but don't stop to play the thing.' Not much you can say to that."

Potvin, by the way, took a cookie from the media meal in New Jersey to his broadcast booth for mid-game sustenance, which reminded his former New York teammate Chico Resch of the time Resch, then a backup goalie, stashed some M&Ms in his blocker to snack on during the game.

"So Al says, 'Billy Smith, you're out. Get in there, Chico,'" Resch recalled. "Let me assure you that M&Ms do melt in your hand."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I never read the Chico Resch story with the M&Ms or the Potvin story.

To correct Mr Farber, Al Arbour had the players carry the eggs in their pants pockets and guaranteed they would come back unbroken because the team was not hitting. Pat Price did take his egg and crack Arbour over the head, Price was on waivers by next season.

One of my favorite stories was Arbour left a plate of dog biscuits for the players because they were playing like dogs, one of the players, not sure who (Kallur/Bourne?) bit into one and thought it was a tasty snack.

Of course Arbour reportedly once walked off a roof doing work on his home looking for a hammer and crashed his car into a plane because he did not put it into park when he got out of it.

Priceless stuff, but all about how much hockey was his focus which is what made him such a great coach.

Islander News Articles 1/5

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 09:51:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang reports Rick DiPietro will not be suspended by the league for wearing pads and updates the injury situation of Martinek and Aaron Johnson who could be headed to Bridgeport for conditioning but will go on the trip with the club.

Islanders website: Previews the upcoming road trip and has some side items.

Sometimes there is nothing like a good, old road trip," said head coach Ted Nolan. "The guys get a chance to go out and have dinner together and hang out with each other, especially since we have days off in between the games. I'm looking forward to the trip.

“This is prime time for hockey. Right after Christmas, the New Year begins and so does the stretch run for the playoffs. This is what it's all about and why we play."

Eagle Tribune: David Willis reports former Islander Scott LaChance is now an assistant coach at Andover.

"I am really happy to be able to spend time with my kids after moving around for so many years," he said. "Down the road I could see (coaching) as something I would like to do. But I don't know if I would want to coach outside of high school. It's nice to be able to grow into something. I like where I am now."

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's win at Norfolk.

AHL.com: Reports on Bridgeport's 4-3 shootout win at Norfolk Friday night. Jeff Tambellini had a goal and two assists, Frans Nielsen had a goal and an assist, while Andy Srtich had a goal in his Sound Tiger debut.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the Sound Tigers win at Norfolk, but the Ct Post at this time does not have a game article.

Virginian Pilot: Paul White's game story on the Admirals shootout loss to Bridgeport.

Quick Islander notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 12:11:00 PM | Comment Here
So far nothing on a possible Joey MacDonald call up which would mean Rick DiPietro is suspended. With the Islanders playing on the West Coast tomorrow we will get a quick answer through team recalls if they suspect Campbell will uphold the league rule in this case. Michael Fornabaio's blog will likely be first if he's in Norfolk with the Sound Tigers.

You can also check in Utah to see if Mike Mole or another goalie was recalled to Bridgeport, with the Sound Tigers in Norfolk the next two days that move would have to come quickly.

Islanders website: Cory Witt released a digest of the best of the Islanders in the media in 2007. Subjects link to articles on the playoff run a year ago, playing signings in the summer, Al Arbour coverage and many of the games to date.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good digest of articles, impressed they included Pat Flatley's article. I'm a little surprised the features done on Dubie still has working links because many go out of date or direct you to the papers archive section.

I have not taken time to comment on this but it's amazing how hard the Islanders media people work between the ITV updates, the stat packs, previews, postgames, WJC, and now this. The new video digest of the game incorporate in the game summary is outstanding to say nothing of how much Mr Botta and Mr Witt put into their blogs.

I'm missing a lot of other things here too like Blue and Orange Review for starters, outstanding work across the board.

When you do a blog like mine with a lot of updates I tend to look past how hard the Islanders works behind the scenes at their own content. I thought today would be a good time to recognize their efforts.

If only we had beatwriters in four local papers working this hard to bring us the Islanders story daily.

Islanders at the WJC 1/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 11:12:00 AM | Comment Here

Semi-final games today:
Sweden vs Russia
USA vs Canada

NHL Network has the games for those who have this service but
here is the link to team USA's free webcast which begins at 2pm and will not be active until then.

Here is the link to team USA's page of the above link is a problem:
USA Hockey.com

The live link to all games in terms of stats is
here for those who want a running game summary.

I will update this thread later after the games. Stefan Ridderwall is not in net for Sweden today.

Updated 12:20pm
Sweden advances to the WJC Finals with a 2-1 ot win over Russia.
Robin Figren's third period pp goal tied the game.

Updated 5pm:
Canada defeated the US 4-1 Friday. Kyle Okposo and Rhett Rakhashani were pointless.

Vellu-Pekka Kautonen, Islanders Chief European Scout blogged on both games and the Islander prospect performances here.

A few quick NYI Fan Central Announcements

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 10:22:00 AM | Comment Here

Just to let everyone know a few things happening at NYI Fan Central:

1. The template was changed to a sharper format that I think is an improvement.

2. Blogger no longer has full page headers for any template once it's changed so I had to get a little creative. Ted Nolan, Al Arbour and Bill Torrey pics are in other sections.

3. The WJC section will be up until Monday, then taken down for the next poll.

4. The Tag section was simply too big to keep on the main page, use the search feature to find blog's related to a specific item or if you know the date that week's blog is featured.

5. I have been very lax with the best of NYI Fan Central updates section, the blogs are written but I will take more time to highlight these special blogs in that area but all blogs are archived by week here.

6. I will be beefing up the prospect center with more links looking ahead to the draft in June. Kyle Woodlief's updates will be part of it.

7. A new Q & A will be done next week. I have a bunch of e-mails I have not responded to.

Finally thanks as always to Mr Prospects for the outstanding updates on the message board who updates the Islander prospects on a game by game basis.

And of course my thanks to the folks who visit here.

Two weeks with no city coverage for Isles.

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 10:06:00 AM | Comment Here
With the Islanders going out on the road for about two weeks it looks like it's time to say goodbye to the New York City media which barely goes through the motions of covering the home games with very limited space and no blogs.

These are the folks who when the club returns in two weeks may or may not cover the team as other events take priority for Dan Martin's editor or Peter Botte's editor but will write about the club like they have been around it daily.

Why is this important you may ask?

Because writers create perceptions about teams with their work which the fans do buy into in many cases when deciding to attend or not attend a game or become a fan of a team. Islanders need dedicated writers and coverage to expand their fan base.

Considering Newsday did not go to the West Coast for the Rangers is it a lock they will they travel out West for the Islanders or will the club go without any local newspaper coverage during this trip?

Funny but so-called small market Florida had three writers in three papers cover last night's game from the Coliseum but so-called big hockey market New York City publications do not have it's writers covering New York Islander road games?

Don't worry folks, in two weeks someone will be back from these publications to
re-create their perception of what the 2007-08 New York Islanders are for the public.

I just hope you see that perspective for what it is.

Islander News Articles 1/4:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2008 12:30:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Steve Zipay who is the Ranger beatwriter covered Thursday's Islander-Panther game where apparently there was a misunderstanding with Rick DiPietro's new pads that could mean a two game suspension because the league did not approve them before he played in them.

"I got those pads a week before I got hurt, started wearing them and breaking them in and started using them in the game today," said DiPietro, who wore the new white pads in the warm-ups and changed to his old ones after the first period after a phone call from league officials in Toronto. "Usually before I get them, they've been sent to the league. I guess it's my fault, but I was under the impression that they'd been approved."

"I thought we did the right thing," the goalie said. "Once we found out after warm-up that they hadn't been approved, we called and let them know and made sure they were legal and everything measured out fine, so it's their call. We called and told them. I'm not trying to sneak anything by Kris King [an assistant to Campbell who oversees equipment issues] or anybody."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think the AP had more on the game than Zipay who used most of his space on DiPietro's pads. For a goalie who changes pads a lot this miscommunication could cost him two big games on the road. I'm not counting on any sympathy from Colin Campbell given the rules and his wonderful relationship with the Islanders.

For those curious the three blogs Mr Zipay does for the Ranger games was not done for the Islanders, however Mr Zipay did promise Ranger fans a full update on their game.

Newsday: Steve Zipay's second article is on Mike Sillinger's return with some comments from Bill Guerin on DiPietro's play and his pads with a few other items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting comment from Bill Guerin that they do not tell him anything other then when to be on the bus.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann advises the Islanders to put Kyle Okposo in the NHL immediately and of course goes back to the pre Garth Snow era and how the Islanders have not developed a prospect since Ziggy Palffy. He also does a recap of the words between Don Lucia and the Islander gm.

"Patience is important," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said yesterday. "We want him to be as good as he can be as soon as possible, but expectations have to be realistic."

To be fair, this is a new Islanders regime. "We believe in our coaches, here on Long Island and in Bridgeport," Snow said.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny how Mr Herrmann points to Zigmund Palffy as a successful prospect but does not recall Palffy bolted the Islanders and returned home as a prospect. If he can quote Andy Kallur's comments when Pat Flatley joined the club he should know Palffy's development was anything but a smooth ride.

Bottton line unless a trade or injury happens to provide a spot for Kyle Okposo, the Islanders can give him Tim Jackman's spot on right wing for limited minutes or play him in Bridgeport or on a junior team.

NY Post: Dan Martin does about a paragraph on the game when he's done writing about DiPietro's pads. He provided quotes from Ted Nolan and reported Garth Snow spoke with the league last night and will do so again today.

"Garth will deal with the league," Ted Nolan said. "There are a lot of distractions in this game. When it involves the goaltending situation, it's a little more magnified."

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space devotes one paragraph to the game after he is done talking about DiPietro's pads. He did report an e-mail from NHL VP of hockey operations Mike Murphy where he had no comment.

Mineola American: Has an article on Mike Bossy going shopping with the United Way and during the holidays.

Miami Herald: George Richard & Sun-Sentinel: Steve Gorten & Palm Beach Post: Brian Biggane have the Panthers coverage of their win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews game one of the doubleheader this weekend in Norfolk.

WHEN — Tonight and Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
WHERE — Norfolk (Va.) Scope
ON THE AIR — WAVZ-AM 1300 (Saturday only); Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com

Florida 4, New York 3 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/03/2008 10:05:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Missed a lot of the game so not much to contribute, but they kept coming back and got a point in a game they would not have gotten a point from a few weeks ago and it's critical. Mike Sillinger's rest apparently did him good with three points, even if one was giftwrapped by Anderson.

The pp goal at the end of the second by Nathan Horton is one you expect DiPietro to stop, even if it was a good shot and found the far side of the net.

Guerin's goal was no classic but huge. The Islanders put a lot of shots on Florida in the third after looking rusty from what little I saw.

We'll see what happens on the road.

Islanders at the WJC 1/3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/03/2008 07:32:00 PM | | Comment Here

Tomas Marcinko had two assists, was a plus two with three shots and had a penalty in Slovakia's 8-0 win against Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Friday's semi-finals feature:
Sweden vs Russia 10am
USA vs Canada 2pm

1/3: Florida at New York 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/03/2008 09:58:00 AM | Comment Here

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

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Florida will be a desperate club tonight having lost some game recently. Not sure if playing last night is a major fatigue factor but last time they dominated the Islanders and that should give them some confidence.

On the Islanders side of things Sillinger and DiPietro return but this should be a club ready to work Florida into the ice from the opening minute and put pressure all over the Panthers. Hopefully they remember what happened last time these club's met because this is a beatable club they are playing tonight.

Let's see if that goal does something for Fedotenko, who needs to step up the scoring along with a lot of players. Islanders are getting a lot of goals from it's defense. PP needs to have another big game before going out on the road.

We'll see if Jacques Martin starts Craig Anderson in net.

Islander News Articles 1/3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/02/2008 09:47:00 PM | | Comment Here

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had comments from several Islanders regarding a possible Yankee Stadium outdoor hockey game in the future.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I did a blog on this back in August on a possible outdoor game here. I just have very little to add beyond it other than to write I do not think New York has that many passionate hockey fans. In terms of ratings in the NY market Michigan-Florida drew 4.5 percent of homes to 2.4 for hockey. Buffalo against Pittsburgh also had the Canadian fans come in from over the border and the buzz from that helped ratings also.

The novelty from this from this event will also go stale soon enough if they plan on doing it every year.

NY Post: Dan Martin did an article on the return of Rick DiPietro.

A few quick thoughts

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/02/2008 06:22:00 PM | 2 Comments
A few quick thoughts:

* Five out of six and almost no movement in the division, seems like everyone is getting hot at the same time.

* Islanders have to go on the road here and they have to get points whether they be ot losses or shootout losses to go with the wins. Playoff target starts with ninety two points and ten games over. Four points in the next three games puts the Islanders at a ninety two point pace which should keep them in the race until the final days of the season.

Most year's in the East it takes ninety two points. A few years in the West it took ninety four-ninety six points. In 2002-03 the Islanders got in (without shootouts) with eighty three points but that was a once in a decade break.

* Washington sure does have Ottawa's number which really tells me whoever wants it most will win come playoff time.

* I'm not sure if this is just a good stretch for the Islanders or it's the scoring which has been long-overdue finally settling in. What I do think is Bill Guerin has settled in and is getting to spots on the ice where his shot is effective. Sometimes it takes a good half a season or more for players to settle into a new team, that could be part of a lot of players problems beyond the scoring resume. Mike Comrie may be playing hurt and have the same problem but maybe Guerin settling in helps Comrie finally start scoring.

Better late than never but it must continue and more players must join the party on a team that needs scoring from every source. Sure are a lot of players overdue to get hot.

For a while now I have thought that opening weekend for the Islanders was kind of like what Phoenix did against us a year ago. Unlike last year's Coyotes this club has made the most of it's low scoring and can play defense so they stayed in contention.

Now we find out of the last five or six games are the real 07-08 Islanders or the team that could not score more that two goals for about fourteen games in a row.

How does the expression go? What does not kill you makes you stronger?

* No surprise to me Dubie has played his average game and has given the Islanders a chance to win. He's not at his best yet but anyone who has seen him in Bridgeport for year's know he's capable of stealing games with high shots against. With DiPietro back in net Dubie will have to stay sharp somehow.

* What will it take for Jeff Tambellini to get another opportunity with the Islanders given how he has played recently? Seems like a numbers game on left wing will keep him in Bridgeport unless a player can slide into Tim Jackman's spot on an off-wing.

This is when you want to recall a Tambellini and see if what he's doing in the AHL can work in the NHL, but my guess is it's not going to happen. No, I'm not suggesting Blake Comeau go back down because he's looked good and you do not move him to right wing. Right now you cannot move Richard Park out of his spot the way he is playing but if you are thinking long-term Tambellini's the better bet in terms of skill and shot.

Unless Richard Park can really become what Jason Blake used to be here, which he shows signs of at times.

* Blake Comeau starts scoring is there any place on this roster for Chris Simon on February 21st because left wing.

* That Hilbert-Fedntenko setup was one of the best skilled plays of the season from the forwards behind the net. Hilbert looked good in the third line center's spot which bears watching if Sillinger does not produce more.

* When someone does not play here they really drop off the radar, would love to see a few words from Bryan Berard.

* Newsday: Greg Logan did a late afternoon blog on DiPietro/Sillinger return, Dubielewicz with injury updates to Mike Comrie who sat out but will play against Florida.

* Point Blank: Chris Botta did a blog on the derogatory chant made during the goal song and the booing of Jason Blake during his return.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The goal song has been around forever, a few years ago the team's website asked the fans if they wanted a change and the overwhelming response was no.

It's time for a change in songs after goals. Islander management is going to have to help these newer fans learn when to cheer and when to get on the opposition whether they like it or not. The person who claimed they started it says he has been a fan for years and talked about the crowds during the dynasty days. If that's the case he should know the code of being a fan if he can recite how things used to be which means there are times to get on the opposing team vs cheering your team which is the issue.

In those days Islander fans got on the officials (names were worn in those days in the back of uniforms) but they knew when and how to react.

It's not hard at all.

It's beyond embarrassing to see the goals tainted with these chants which are not only silly but ill-timed after games with the opposing goalie long gone. I don't know if this is a loud-ville thing with the kids, but it reflects a segment of the hockey crowd with no hockey knowledge that needs some help to go with their passion.

Mr Botta is entitled like all of his to his opinion. If he calls into question only the timing of when it's chanted I agree. If he only calls into question the profanity the club has to take a look at all things that draw a profane response during game events.

Fans want to jeer the opposing goalie after the play begins again that's within the norm of a game and natural, this is not and gives a poor reflection of the crowd which suggests our fans do not even know when to cheer. It makes the fans look foolish and does not make them come off as passionate, but unknowledgable.

Of course I want the old siren back and the organ music that was played after goals for about twenty five years but that's not going to happen either.

Let's hope the Islander fans have a lot of reasons to chant something Thursday considering Florida shut them out in Florida. This all seems like a bad omen.

Islanders at the WJC 1/2:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/02/2008 05:38:00 PM | | Comment Here

Wednesday at the WJC Islander prospect Tomas Marcinko have a goal, an assist four shots, plus two rating and a penalty in Slovakia's 5-2 win against Switzerland.

Islander Notables 1/2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/02/2008 04:41:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has more on Marc-Andrew Bergeron, who's six goals in twenty three games almost matches the rest of the defense with eight goals in thirty eight games. Bergeron credited the coaches for keeping him ready to play despite him and Gerard Gallant having words on television a while back.

"The assistants have been really nice with me since the beginning of the year because I've been in an out of the lineup," Bergeron said. "They made me feel like I was a good player and kept me in good shape. I have nothing [bad] to say. I would have said it if I had something to say."

"It's a tough league," Bergeron said. "Everybody wants to be out there. So it's not a sure job. You've got to make sure you keep doing your job every night and you're doing it well. I think it's more up to me."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What's the deal with Greg Logan? First he writes Bergeron's moody, now he makes the point if Bergeron's frustrated he does not pull his punches and brings up all the time Dubielewicz sat?

If Greg Logan wants to give tv updates on Bergeron that's fine because what happened earlier was a story but how come he did not comment on the assistants and Bergeron going off the ice in Carolina congratulating him on television? Doesn't this work both ways?

If there is no room in Newsday to hype the players so they stop getting the
under-rated label slapped on them around the league there should be no room for this either, but of course there is.

As for Bergeron he seems to understand if he does well he will play and if he does poorly he will sit. Given how Bergeron, Berard and Meyer have played it is up to them and how much they do to help the club win games. With Radek Martinek's return, Ted Nolan has a tough choice.

Denver Post: Mike Chambers reports Ryan Smyth is out indefinately with an ankle injury and is unlikely to play against the Islanders. Joe Sakic is already out with an injury.

Miami Herald: Pete Pelegrin reports from Jacques Martink that Panthers backup goalie Craig Anderson could play against the Islanders. Branislav Mezei is coming back from a benching tonight against the Devils.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had an update on how well Jeff Tambellini is playing for Bridgeport and reported Ben Walter and Joey MacDonald were sent back to Bridgeport on Tuesday.

"Every aspect of the game, he's playing well right now," coach Jack Capuano said. "Are there things he needs to get better at? He knows that. He's a very gifted player. He's got great speed and vision and a very accurate shot, a deadly shot."

"If I'm playing well, if I'm in the game, I'm hitting guys, I'm talking," Tambellini said. "There's a big difference between playing like that and just going through the motions."

Sound Tigers website: Had a Q & A with Jeff Tambellini.

Islanders website: Has more on Rick DiPietro and Mike Sillinger's return to the lineup on Thursday. Radek Martinek will not play against Florida but will go on the road trip with the club and suit up at some point.

SI: Reports the NHL classic in Buffalo was a huge ratings hit for the league which was the highest rated game since 1996.
The Buffalo and Pittsburgh markets led the ratings, at 38.2/58 and 17.7/30, respectively. But markets such as Sacramento, Calif., St. Louis and Denver also drew strong ratings, even though the game went up against a number of college football bowl games, including an intriguing Capital One Bowl between Florida and Michigan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I enjoyed the game but of course felt all along somehow it would be a three point game with another Atlantic team on the kind of streak that makes what the Islanders are doing only hold their place which is at the bottom of the division, even if things are very close. Ty Conklin seemed to play the game of his life.

How many times could Bob Costas bring up Milbury and his shoe attack? You could tell Milbury did not enjoy it but did look comfortable behind the camera.

Islanders News Articles 1/1/2008

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/01/2008 11:56:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan wrote like he wanted to be anywhere else labeling Marc-Andre Bergeron moody in his game recap. Ted Nolan credited his team for their effort.

"Dubielewicz did a great job for us, similar to what he did last year in the playoff run," Nolan said. "Tonight he was very composed, his rebound control was excellent and he didn't panic."

"It's a long year, and you take those lucky goals," Bergeron said. "Tonight these were real goals, and they were good for my confidence . . . It was fun to see myself play a good game again."

"We knew we were going into a tough month," Nolan said. "We gave Ricky an opportunity to rest and get totally healed and showed faith in the other goaltender, and Wade did a great job for us. The last [six] games, they've played as a group, and that's a strong indication for us going into this busy month."

Newsday: Greg Logan's second article is mostly on Brandon Nolan, who was sent down and Ted Nolan's disappointment he did not get a chance to coach against him.

"I'm sure they both would have liked it," Laviolette said. "Unfortunately, you can't make decisions like that. It would have been a neat thing."

"I was looking forward to coaching against him," he said. "It would have been one of those memorable things you never forget. But there will be another time and another place for it."

Goes without writing it the Post, Times and Daily News sports editors did not send anyone to Carolina.

The News & Observer: Rachel Carter has comments from Peter Laviolette and the Canes on the loss.

"We were flat the first 5-7 minutes -- they cost us," Laviolette said. "It was 3-0. We were flat. We lost battles right off the bat, battles to get it in, battles to protect the puck. We took careless penalties."

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 3-2 in Binghampton.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on Bridgeport's 3-2 against Binghampton which gives them seven wins in nine games and pushes them back to five hundred which was more like an article that was not printed in the Ct Post yet with player comments. Jeff Tambellini had the game winning goal for Bridgeport.

"I thought we played a really good game," coach Jack Capuano said. "They're a good hockey team. Obviously, in the second, the momentum swung. They came out and did what they had to do. But I like the way we've been competing, the way we're playing, win or lose."

"They played a heck of a game," Regier said about Bootland and Colliton. "I thought they were our two top players. They did a lot of little things. They didn't get a point, put they did a lot of unsung-hero-type things."

Press & Sun-Bulletin: Michael Sharp has the Senators coverage.

Pioneer Press: Charley Walters wonders if signing Kyle Okposo means Tim Jackman will lose his spot on the Islanders in a quick blurb.

New York 4, Carolina 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/01/2008 11:34:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of Monday's 4-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"A total team effort," Ted Nolan called it. "A great team game."

"You'd be hard-pressed to find a player on our team who didn't contribute tonight," said Nolan. "Bergeron is getting his shot off and they're going in. Mike Comrie was excellent on the power play. We have kids like Blake Comeau and tonight Ben Walter stepping in and stepping up. I'm very pleased with these last two games."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outstanding effort across the board against in a game the Islanders badly needed considering four out of five wins still had them in last place entering the game.

It has to continue.

Shocked Carolina did not cover the point better on the powerplay. Islanders offense tonight easily could have had six or seven with the chances they were getting and even though Grahame was pulled he made excellent saves early. Guerin was getting into scoring area's again and his first period chances to me were more impressive than his goal, Walter also had a great chance to score and was robbed.

PP finally came through, the time and space Bergeron and Guerin had on their goals was due to some good work by the Islanders and some poor coverage by Carolina.

I was impressed with the team defense that again did not put Dubielewicz into many situtations where he had to make a great save. They also did not go for the quick penalty when Carolina had them running around for a minute in the first period. Nolan's got a very tough choice if Radek Martink is ready to return Thursday if he has to pick between Meyer and Bergeron.

Best of all this team showed some confidence on offense, not just throwing the puck at the net and hoping for rebounds, but getting some great chances in transition and looking for the quality chance. Some of those three on one's the plays were there but they missed the net or the goalie made a save, but the patience shown reflects a team no longer pressing, that has settled into it's game.

Fedotenko's goal and that setup is what this team needs so much more of. Vasicek and his line again was outstanding.

Great start to the New Year and a great team effort.

Islanders at the WJC 12/31:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/31/2007 05:24:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Ryan Jankowski had blog updates today on team USA's 5-3 win over Finland with Kyle Okposo getting an assist/penalty/plus one & Rhett Rakhshani two shots and a plus one rating. Robin Figren had a goal and was plus two in Sweden's 4-2 win against the Czech Republic.

Stefan Ridderwall was the backup for Sweden.

Jeff Tambellini AHL player of week

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/31/2007 05:12:00 PM | Comment Here

AHL.com & Islanders website & Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog all report Jeff Tambellini won AHL player of the week with five goals, two assist in three games.

12/31: New York at Carolina 8pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/31/2007 03:03:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website/AP: Has the early preview for tonight's game against Carolina Hurricanes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Carolina is one of those teams with the speed and skill that can bury the Islanders quickly if they are not on their game, but they are also the kind of team that makes a lot of mistakes. The recent record does not lie and that is they are as good or bad as the Islanders at times.

If that does not do it highlights of that 8-3 loss should be plenty of motivation for Ted Nolan's team.

From the Islanders side it's not going to be easy without DiPietro, Martinek and now Mike Sillinger but last game the only forward to score was Sean Bergenheim against a goaltender. Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie have to produce for this club as they have recently, Ruslan Fedotenko has to give this club some offense and Vasicek needs a big game returning to Carolina.

Matt Cullen is not expected to play, Cam Ward after being pulled is expected back in goal for Peter Laviolette's team.

Dubie I suspect will give the Islanders more than a chance to win, will the Islanders defense give Dubie any chance is the bigger question? Bergeron returned, had his one steady game with a play that led to a goal, can he do it again?

I will have a recap on New Year's Day, will not be around for the game live tomorrow.

Sound Tigers section has a lot of feeders to update their game tonight.
WJC section has the live scoreboard to follow Team USA and Sweden's games on Monday as well as feeders to the Islanders website at the tournament.

See everyone in the new year.

Islander News Articles 12/31

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/31/2007 12:20:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Reported Sunday night that Rick DiPietro and Mike Sillinger did not make the trip to Carolina.

"It's important that we give Mike Sillinger a game off to heal some injuries," Nolan "Fans don't know this, no one does, but Mike has been banged up for a while and has shown a lot of guts playing through it. By giving him the one game off on Monday, it will give him four days to get a little more healthy until our home game on Thursday."

As for DiPietro, Nolan was consistent with what he said over the weekend. "We want Ricky at 100%," Nolan said. "He'll stay back and should be ready for Thursday against the Panthers. Why risk it for one game when he can get an extra few days of rest"?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If the players need the time off and the extra days, the coach has to give it to them. Sillinger has looked worn down or playing hurt a lot recently. A lot of folks (myself included) at times tend to forget Sillinger has a lot of mileage on him and a lot is asked of him on this team because he's far more than a role player.

Newsday: Katie Strang has comments from Ted Nolan and Rick DiPietro on why the club is giving him an extra game to recover with the coach also showing confidence in Wade Dubielewicz. An update on Radek Martinek is also given.

"I'm not really a big fan of not playing," said DiPietro, who tried to make his case to Nolan. "You always try to talk a coach into letting you play, but at the end of the day, it always comes down to what the doctors say and the trainer, and everyone gets together to make a decision.

"I think we got the old Wade back," Nolan said. "After two games, he should be even sharper than he was last game."

Newsobserver.com: Covers Peter Laviolette's Hurricanes.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a feature on Trevor Smith, who was recalled from Utah recently. Bridgeport plans to call up D Andy Sertich from Utah.

"It was a great feeling to get the call up," Smith said. "All the hard work paid off. It's not going to stop now."

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Binghamton Senators
WHEN — Tonight, 6:05pm
WHERE — Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, N.Y.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com

National Post: Had a summary from the Canadian based writers on a lot of NHL subjects. Only Chris Simon was brought up in terms of Islander content as to who will get the next big NHL suspension.

Ben Walter recalled by Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/30/2007 05:08:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog today the Islanders recalled Ben Walter.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Andy Hilbert has been playing center, Walter plays center.

A few Sunday Islander/NHL observations

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/30/2007 03:48:00 PM | Comment Here
A few Sunday Islander & NHL observations.

First of all Happy New Year to everyone.

I'm going to be going to the DVD recorder for Islanders-Carolina and will be late with the game coverage and news articles New Year's day. I will have a game blog up Monday. Sound Tigers play on New Year's eve as well.

* I did not see Hilbert after that blocked shot, could be a call up for the Carolina game if he cannot go which is a shame because he's looked very good as a fourth line center.

* Any reason to rush DiPietro back for the Carolina game if there is any doubt when he can get a few more days before Florida at home?

* Cheap NY Post does not send Dan Martin or anyone to cover the Islander game against the Devils aside from Mark Everson who is New Jersey's daily beatwriter, Dan Martin was assigned the Marbury beat.

Islanders have been playing well and sold out the game last night so what's the problem other than the usual post double-standard? Nothing new but here it does have to be written about.

* Sorry Mr Witt, (not Brendan) I read your blog tell fans to support the Times by visiting their blog so they might send us a beatwriter. I will visit their blog but not spend one penny to help that paper until I see the Islanders have a full time beatwriter and blogger. That's what Chris Botta wrote earlier this year about the Post and I agree with it, best way to hurt them is vote with your wallet.

Let's see Dave Caldwell cover every game starting in Carolina tomorrow and I'll revisit this. If the budget is available to send a Ranger reporter on the road to Toronto now it should be there for all three teams so drop the SI act. Fans do not care about goal judge articles, we want game coverage every single day and people covering them with a passion for the job.

* No shock to see Mark Herrmann take a few digs at the Islanders today bringing up Milbury coming back to be gm for a day as well as a little dig at the Devils if they made the finals. I know it's only humor but it's clear to anyone the Islanders and Devils are not his favorite New York Hockey teams.

* Freddy Meyer had done a solid job to the point it seems he has passed Bergeron and Berard in the defensive rotation. You can put the final Sens goal on him but Gionta's move to Parise was just a great play. Aside from that he has been steady and at times shows a physical side. Ted Nolan has given him some powerplay shifts.

As Garth Snow's player x2 because he brought him back and traded for him, he may just keep his spot past Aaron Johnson's return.

* Anyone hear that loud noise in Boston? That was the Bruins losing their sixth game in a row. How about that loud bang in Ottawa? That was Washington scoring eight goals against the Senators and going 2-0 this year in the Islanders house of horror, that rattling along noise from Philadelphia is getting louder too.

Point being most games in this league are about who works harder and who wants it more combined with who gets the breaks vs who has the most mistakes. Only problem with the Islanders are they have shown a lack of scoring and a poor powerplay which are terrible long-term signs.

A year ago the Islanders were losing six in a row and going from six over to five hundred as the bandwagon emptied quickly at this point.

* My guess is Kyle Okposo starts off in Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers. Islanders have a full roster and a lot of players closer to playing for the big club in Tambellini, Nielsen, Colliton, Walter and Steve Regier. Are they going to trade Trent Hunter, Bill Guerin or Satan and give that spot to Okposo or play him in Jackman's spot on a fourth line for a few minutes?

Also if Okposo plays ten games with the Islanders he losses his rookie status and it counts as a year on his contract.

* For those keeping score at home Petteri Nokelainen has four goals but more importantly is half way to the Islanders getting a second round pick from the Bruins because he just played his twenty fifth game. If Boston falls out of contention that could be a good pick in a deep draft.

* For some reason I just do not have any enthusiasm for the outdoor game, maybe New Year's day?

* I do have a lot of enthusiasm for the Islanders heading to the West Coast to play teams I have not seen in a long, long time. Colorado lost Joe Sakic, Edmonton is not a very good team, not like the Islanders have never beaten Luongo before so if they get any kind of scoring they should be fine.

Go out on the road and take care of business and get points out of every game, what's needed here is a long streak of games the Islanders do not lose in regulation like last year.

* Richard Park is making fans like myself look foolish as he seems to do something every game to help them win after I did not want him on the roster, I love it too.

* Finally as Ted Nolan said the other day the second half defines the season, an NHL season to me works in levels.

The Islanders have made it past the first level and most of the second level, now we see if they are good enough to content through the all star break, then the trade deadline and then down the stretch.

Islanders at the WJC 12/30:

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/30/2007 01:46:00 PM | | Comment Here

Tomas Marcinko had a first period powerplay assist and a penalty in Slovakia's 4-3 win against Denmark Sunday.

Islander News Articles 12/30:

NY Times: Dave Caldwell makes an extremely rare appearance for an Islander game and has comments from Andy Sutton on his fight, Ted Nolan on the crowd and Wade Dubielewicz/Brendan Witt/Bill Guerin on the shot blocking and physical play.

“If you’re going to drop the gloves, you’re going to take one in the face now and then,” Sutton said. “I’m none the worse for wear, and we got the win.”

“When leaders are willing to sacrifice their faces, it’s easy to get in step behind them,” Dubielewicz said.

“I like these types of games,” Witt said. “Everybody gets involved.”

“In the end, there are 2 points on the line,” Guerin said. “There’s stuff to be taken care of, but the game takes precedence over everything else.”

Newsday: Greg Logan's article has comments from Ted Nolan on how the Islanders will not be pushed around without Chris Simon, while Dubie talks about his win and Andy Sutton talks about his Gordie Howe hat-trick.

"With teams seeing that Chris Simon's not in our lineup anymore, they come in and try to push us around," coach Ted Nolan said. "Those days are over. These guys have a lot of pride. A lot of guys stood up. I thought our team played a very gutsy performance."

"It feels good," Dubielewicz said. "You want to validate yourself on the team. I don't play a whole lot, so when I do, you want the guys in the dressing room to believe in you."

Newsday: Greg Logan's second article is on Miroslav Satan, who was not used on the point against the Devils and the Islanders pp struggles among several subjects.

"On our power play, with one guy in the corner, nobody's helping him," Nolan said. "All of a sudden, there's a panic situation, he throws the puck behind, they intercept and go down two-on-one. You get the puck at neutral ice and try to make the cross-ice pass, and it gets intercepted. Those mental mistakes are really hurting us."

Daily News: Peter Botte showed up and did a limited space article.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere has comments from Brent Sutter and Martin Brodeur on the loss with Al Arbour in attendance.

"To battle back like that you have to get something out of the game," Sutter said. "But the last 10 minutes were a reflection of what the first 30 minutes were. Hey, we weren't good enough tonight. We had a lot of guys who were very average.

Bergen Record: Also covers the Devils.

Ottawa Citizen:Chris Yzerman has an article on the Islanders allowing Mike Sillinger to stay in Ottawa Friday to watch his son play in the Bell Cup Classic.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the recap of Bridgeport's 2-0 win against Hartford Saturday night with Jeremy Colliton again producing on the pp. Howard Saffin comments on the release of Joe Rullier's release so Dustin Kohn can get into the lineup more.

"We've been working good," Colliton said. "A lot of teams play an aggressive penalty kill. We're trying to move the puck as much as we can and make them back off."

"When you play against a goaltender like Montoya, you've got to go to the paint. You've got to go to the net. (Colliton) was outstanding," Capuano said. Colliton has five goals and two assists but has been instrumental on the penalty kill and defensively. "I don't really measure my success through goals and assists," said Colliton. "I try to play a hard, physical game. ... If the team's winning, I usually am playing well."

"We want to give the young players more of an opportunity," team president Howard Saffan said. "Rather than Dustin Kohn being a sixth/seventh defenseman, we'll bring him up a little more."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the Sound Tigers win and does a pregame blog on the Islanders at the WJC and the release of Joe Rullier.

Hartford Courant: Covers the Wolfpack.

New York 5, New Jersey 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/30/2007 01:36:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of Saturday's 5-2 win against the Devils.

"Nobody can push anyone around in this league," said Nolan regarding the fights. "These guys have a lot of pride. Sutton stood up. You might not want to see Comrie do it too often, but he also stood up, along with Guerin. I thought our team had a very gutsy performance."

"Dubie is one of those guys that as he gets more playing time, the better he's going to get," said Nolan. "A win is certainly good for his confidence and the team knowing we can win with Dubie in net."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Gutsy effort across the board tonight against a team that knows how to win that came into this game hot and decided to make it a physical which led to a lot of fights and some huge hits.

Islanders showed a lot of character playing without DiPietro, Martinek and Witt for a good part of the first period when they kept taking penalties. I may not like Comrie, Guerin fighting but they held their own and did not back down.

Dubie was outstanding and survived a lot of heavy goal mouth pressure from the Devils in the first and the third period with Gionta and Praise who are outstanding players. A few shots got the post or were missed but he made a lot of big saves.

Despite the Islanders not finishing from the forwards this was not the typical game where the other goalie did not have to work. Brodeur made a lot of big saves on Satan's line and the Islanders worked for a lot of quality chances, especially in the third period. Guerin looked good with Comeau and Hilbert on a few shifts and a second period play where Comeau held the puck and fed a player coming off the bench for a shot was very impressive.

What can I write about the Islander goals? Park, made the play of the night shorthanded to not clear the Devils zone but instead found Campoli, who rifled a bomb past Brodeur. Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot found the Devils defense for the second goal and the goal that turned the momentum and the game Hunter made a fantastic play to find Sutton who let go a great shot.

The open-mouth look from Sillinger was very funny after the goal.

Satan, Vasicek and Bergenheim finally were rewarded for their hard work and chances all night when Bergenheim showed nice hands and finished his chance for the 4-2 goal.

Cannot remember the last Islander en goal.

Huge win against a hot team on a day every team in the division won, it's December and the phrase big win or lose get's overused over eight two games but the Islanders had to have this game.

And they showed a lot of character hanging in with a physical Devils team after they tied the game.

Fair to say at this point based on the season the Islanders can compete with the other clubs in this division.

If they can only keep the scoring up and do something with the powerplay.

Gordie Howe hat-trick for Sutton.

12/29: New Jersey at New York 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2007 01:59:00 PM | | Comment Here

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

ITV.com: Showed practice with DiPietro participating and is a game time decision. Ruslan Fedotenko participated in the full practice. Radek Martinek did not skate and was described as week to week now by Chris King and Steve Mears. Aaron Johnson was out skating before the team practiced with the three goaltenders in full equipment.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports Ruslan Fedotenko will play while Rick DiPietro will be a game time decision. Aaron Johnson continues to skate at practice.

Martin Brodeur will start for New Jersey.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders are playing a team red hot that has finally settled into it's game and as usual proved all the critics wrong who could not wait to bury them. Brodeur is dominating and the Devils lead the Atlantic and come off of a 2-1 shootout win against Buffalo yesterday.

From the Islanders side of things whoever starts in goal has to give the team a chance to win and the offense has to break through with some quality chances and goals. No word if Bergeron get's back into the lineup.

The other night was expensive in the standings, Islanders need to turn that around and get a win here and it's fair to write at this point New Jersey is opening up the kind of distance that is going to be very tough for the Islandes to catch them if they lose tonight.

Guerin and Comrie have not only scored but have shown some confidence in their offensive games. That has to continue for the long term.

Updated 4:20pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan updated his blog at 4:10pm and reported Rick DiPietro did not comment and it's a game time decision but it's possible the Islanders might be leaning toward caution and give Wade Dubielewicz the start tonight because Joey MacDonald is still here. The blog also reports Ted Nolan had a talk with Bryan Berard which could mean Marc-Andre Bergeron returns to the lineup.