Islander News Articles 1/16:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann covered tonight's game and the lack of shots on goal was the theme of his article with Richard Park, Bill Guerin, Rick DiPietro and Miroslav Satan's comments.

"I don't think the shots were very indicative, I don't know who was doing the shot clock," Park said. "But we had the puck in certain situations but maybe other times we didn't get the puck on net and it just didn't seem like we were very sharp mentally."

Added Bill Guerin, "It wasn't what we were looking for, but there's no excuses. We had a bad first period. We had a good second period and a good third period, that's it."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mark Herrmann did not even write about how many shots the Canadians blocked.

Last time Islanders played Montreal they had something like forty five shots, the game did not go down to the final minute and Mike Sillinger had to point out how many shots they did take.

Isles are 4-0 against the Devils btw, Mr Herrmann.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's other article is about how Mike Komisarek, Christopher Higgins workout together in the summer with Rick DiPietro with both Long Island products praising how competitive the Islander goaltender is.

"Even in summers, if he lets up a goal or if we scrimmage and his team loses, he's sour for the next couple hours. That's the kind of guy he is. That's the kind of goalie I think everybody wants," said Canadiens forward Christopher Higgins of Smithtown, who spends summer months at home with teammate Mike Komisarek (Islip Terrace) and both of them work out with DiPietro.

"Whether we go play golf or whatever, it's the same," Komisarek said. "He's always competitive. That's what makes him so successful."

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey's game coverage on the Canadians win.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell had a feature on why so many NHL goaltenders today play more games with comments from gm Garth Snow about Rick DiPietro.

“Maybe 10 years ago, that may have been a problem,” said Garth Snow, a former N.H.L. goaltender who is now the Islanders’ general manager, “but goaltenders are some of the best-conditioned athletes on the team. Athletes, in general, are taking care of themselves 12 months a year, and the old way of thinking was, a fat goalie is a happy goalie.”

Snow calls DiPietro, 26, a “machine.” DiPietro’s upper body is chiseled, but all those muscles become apparent only after a game, when he pulls off layer upon layer of padding.

NY Post: Dan Martin had comments from Andy Hilbert on the turnover that led to the Habs first goal, Bill Guerin on the lack of shooting, Rick DiPietro and Ted Nolan on the loss.

NY Post: Larry Brooks has a Devils injury report.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
They even had Ranger reporter Larry Brooks do the Devils off-day article? Someome must be a huge Devils fan at the Post to cover them like this and barely give the Isles more than marginal home coverage and an occasional rare preview. Unless Mark Everson is off expect no Islander coverage from Dan Martin as one article usually fits all when the teams meet. Since Evan Grossman left the Post over a year ago in season no full time beatwriter was hired.

Of course Mr Brooks had his two page Ranger preview and a link to their blog at the Post.

Daily News in their latest disgrace presented by Leon Carer's sports department after not covering the road trip at all did not bother sending Peter Botte, Brian Bohl or any writer to cover last night's game.

Nothing like coming home to the worst hockey media in the county. Pathers were at the Coliseum before the road trip and the all three Florida papers had beatwriters in attendance and filed full articles on the game.

Note-With the buzz from the media settling down on Kyle Okposo Sound Tiger news articles will appear back with the daily Islander articles, too many blogs to keep them seperate full time.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Aaron Johnson, updates the injuries and recalls in Bridgeport and previews what is the clubs longest road trip of the season starting with another game in Norfolk Wednesday as Jack Capuano talked about Jeff Tambellini's value to his club.

"It'll be good to get some games in," Johnson said, "to get back into the flow of game situations."

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Norfolk Admirals
WHEN — Tonight, 7:15
WHERE — Norfolk (Va.) Scope
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at Prospect website did an interview with Islander draft pick Jason Gregoire from the Utah Stars of the USHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a pay subscription website. If the makes it available I will link to it in the future.

Montreal 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 11:32:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Had Ted Nolan's comments following tonight's 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadians.

"We tried our best to compensate against the long road trip with shorter shifts," said head coach Ted Nolan. "To come off of a trip like this, it was tough to overcome, but I give the guys a lot of credit. It just wasn't good enough."

"We started off the first seven minutes okay, but then we had that lull and they capitalized," said Nolan. "If you give teams so many opportunities while they're shorthanded, they're going to capitalize."

"If those those two ones that hit the posts go in, then it's a totally different game," said Nolan. "I thought the second period, going into the third period, we found our legs."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Disappointing because this is the kind of defensive effort that should get you at least one point. Consideing no Witt and Martinek it was a very good effort, even if Montreal missed a few in close.

Game could have gone either way tonight. Isles hit two posts, Montreal scored a goal off a fourth line turnover and a Campoli pp pinch. Puck seemed to be bouncing a lot on what was a new ice surface. Montreal has the best powerplay in the league and did not score a goal.

Have to give Montreal the credit because they are an excellent skating team that plays it's defensive system very well with the lead and seemed to clog up the neutral zone most of the night. For a team coming off a very long trip Islanders did not play poorly and had some jump but also had a lot of shots blocked. Tomas Plekanec made his shots count and the Isles did not outside of Richard Park banging in a centering pass from Bill Guerin. Satan after the goal had two great chances and he looked like he knew he could have scored the tying goal.

DiPietro had a save in this game I think on Koivu where he was out of the net and just stopped a stuff with his legs extended and only his pads like a behind the back kind of play. I have to check that again tomorrow.

Even with a Montreal icing setting up a chance with DiPietro pulled they could not get the puck down low, it was almost too easy for Montreal to break in and score the open net goal.

Isles needed at least a point out of this game and could not find a way like they did against Florida to get the game to overtime late.

A tale of two Scott Burnside's

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 04:30:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
Kind of interesting Espn's Scott Burnside who has not written much of anything on the Isles for a while aside from a few quick blurbs praising Mr Wang's off-ice efforts and not the club's record beyond a blurb on the lack of scoring not being enough long term decided to unload on the Toronto Maple Leafs today here with twenty one losses but not the New York Rangers here even though they have twenty losses?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems like a bit of a double-standard here by Mr Burnside and some subjective reporting.

The Ranger ownership has had more problems than the Leafs ownership off ice and spent ninety million dollars on two centers so Brandon Dubinsky can be a first line center for a large part of the first half of the season? John Ferguson has not gotten much fair treatment in Toronto from the media but how come Mr Burnside is not ripping into the Rangers management who are in last place at this time and Jagr's effort instead of half of an article where Jagr and Tom Renney tell their story with no criticism Mr Burnside reserved only for the Leafs?

Also fair to write going into the season Ranger expectations were higher than Leaf expectations or that's what Scott Burnside told us in his NHL preview where he picked them first in the East and first in the Atlantic back on September 29th here.

Every time the Islanders struggle on the ice or make a hockey move that's open to criticism Mr Burnside is among the first to rip the organization. I did not see the Islander players criticized in the past quoted in Mr Burnside's work as Jagr and Tom Renney were allowed here.

Why are these circumstances different?

1/15: Montreal at New York 7pm Versus

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 11:07:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Not going to use the Espn scoreboard in the game thread any longer, Fox Sports scoreboard on the sidebar is more accruate on the game clock and does the entire league.

Islanders website/AP: Has preview of tonight's game against the Montreal Canadians which will appear only on Versus.

Islanders website: Has updates on Radek Martinek and Brendan Witt who will not play tonight. Apparently Ruslan Fedotenko is questionable so check for a possible call up which would likely be left wing Jeff Tambellini.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A little concerned about this one. Isles had problems getting home and did not arrive until late Monday, Montreal has been waiting since they lost to the Rangers on Saturday and struggled in that game. Last time Montreal skated well against the Isles and had the better of play by a lot, if many recall Isles had over forty shots but few quality chances overall.

Also life without Witt and Martinek is not going to be easy for this defense and goaltender for more than a game or two.

Teams after long road trips usually struggle in their first game back. We don't know how the Isles will react because this group has not had that kind of trip since before the lockout or early last season and it's a different group.

According to the Montreal Gazette Canadians will start Cristobal Huet and use the same lineup unless Patrice Brisebois cannot play.

Updated 12:15pm:
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog reports Aaron Johnson joined the Sound Tigers at practice on a conditioning loan. Jeff Tambellini remains in the NHL along with some notables including Justin Bourne called up by Bridgeport.

Updated 3pm:
Islanders website: Report Ruslan Fedotenko will play tonight against Montreal while Ted Nolan's comments on his injured players.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had seperate blogs on the Islanders injury situtation, Jeff Tambellini and Mike Komisarek/Christopher Higgins.

I'm NYIsles1 and I'm an Islander

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 09:20:00 AM | 1 Comments

Islanders website: Has a few kind words about some blog called NYI Fan Central in their update today.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
First off my thanks to the Islanders for carrying my blog on their site and for all the kind words both public and private about my blog all season. I see how hard the folks work at the website and all the new updates they incorporate like the stat packs or the Orange and Blue Review and of course Islanders/Sound Tigers TV among several things. Even though I have been doing updates like this for years to see how hard these folks worked for us on the road trip was something that made me stop and appreciate how hard they work for us as I did a lot of extra updates with the team in a hockey hotbed like Western Canada which does not even include all the coverage of Kyle Okposo back in Ct.

Kind of inspired me to do a little more, especially with so much hockey media in Canada seeing the Islanders for the first time in years and telling the players stories.

Whether my blog was in the blog box or not I would be doing the same thing as a lot of Islander fans with sites do. There are a lot of folks out there with radio shows on the club who do an outstanding job.

As for NYI Fan Central I hope the quality lives up to the name I selected for my blog and it helps the Islanders in some way.

Al Arbour used to say hockey is fun, for me doing a blog like this is fun.

NYI Fan Central is about trying to do something to try and help because I see how hard these folks work for us and how little media attention the club receives. I hope I'm fair with the comments and coverage but of course no one agrees on everything and if you put ten Islander fans in a room all ten would likely see something different which only helps.

I come from an era in New York Hockey where the Islanders could play a weeknight regular season home game against a Western Conference team and the Post, News and Newsday would have the game on it's back page the next day. I do want to put the lack of coverage of our club under the spotlight and the opinion of the folks doing the coverage because their perception of our team is what fans, other media and players on other teams tend to believe. I think it's fair to write the lack of coverage is why so many players who do an excellent job here are considered
under-rated in NHL media circles.

I also like to ask the question why and see if I can find answers for myself and hope a few folks want to do the same thing.

In terms of what I do here with the updates I basically have been doing the same thing on Islanders-Sound Tigers or HF and just continued the process here. I'm not even sure where the original idea came from but I do recall Lyle Richardson/Spector at Fox Sports every day does trade rumors and links up to the publications or websites for reference all over the NHL as do other independent team sites like Kuklas Korner which is featured here. I just decided to make it Islander-centric to expand the information about our club and of course Michael Fornabaio's outstanding Ct Post coverage in Bridgeport since the day the Sound Tigers came into the AHL.

Having written that my thanks again to Mr Prospects for going onto the message board and doing the prospect updates by game for this blog. I hope I have thanked him enough for his efforts because that's something I could simply not do daily or half as well as he does it.

I also have to give my share of credit here to Mr Wang and the Islanders staff here for a lot of great innovative ideas.

Last year the organization had player blogs with updates from Mike Bossy which let us get to know our players and was ground breaking. This year the club decided to reach out to it's fans for blogs which again was a great idea.

When I submitted my blog I wrote to Mr Botta/Mr Witt and told them I wanted the younger folks who have an interest in journalism to occupy the blog box seats because I felt this was an opportunity for someone to become a hockey writer who's an Islander fan who wants a career in journalism in a print media with virtually no Islander fans.

Player interviews is not an interest of mine and still they were kind enough to add this blog to their group of excellent bloggers already selected. In the end this is not about me, if your looking to learn about me you came to the wrong place, it's time the New York Islanders became the story again.

That's why I'm here doing this blog.

My thanks again to the New York Islanders organization and the folks visiting this blog for their kind words and support.

I'm NYIsles1 and I'm an Islander.

A good problem on defense?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2008 08:36:00 AM | | Comment Here
We know at this point day to day can mean a lot of things in hockey circles which means Brendan Witt could be out a game, week or month. All I know from what's reported is he's out against Montreal.

Having written that if he does return within a short time with Radek Martinek working his way back and Aaron Johnson skating and likely looking at a conditioning stint it appears the Islanders have a nice problem again which last time meant Freddy Meyer was placed on waivers and claimed by Phoenix.

Aaron Johnson can only go on a conditioning assignment, he would have to clear waivers to stay in Bridgeport full time.

Things change quickly and by the time this all comes together someone else could be injured. Earlier we saw Ted Nolan roll seven defenders which he says he does not like to do. Andy Sutton is not an 82 game defender based on his career and we all know Gervais and Campoli did not play 82 games last season.

Anything is possible but at some point there's a reasonable chance Ted Nolan and Garth Snow will have nine defenders for six spots again. We all know if everything is even five of those spots are locked up with Witt, Martinek, Gervais, Campoli and Sutton.

One spot, four defenders between Bergeron, Berard, Meyer and Johnson.

Having written that it seems Bergeron's offense is critical to the powerplay because without his goals from the backline this club has about ten less points. His defense has improved with more playing time but we still see a few mistakes and likely always will. Unless his shot is replaced the Isles need him on the backline.

What do they do with Meyer who's been steady and gives the club more defense but little on offense even though he has that potential?

What of Berard who came back in Calgary and let Dustin Boyd get position and put in Calgary's 4-3 goal because he could not clear him out. This is Bryan Berard's longest season in terms of durability for a few years, even with the infrequent play.

Finally what of Aaron Johnson who played a few games but signed here at twenty four is still a prospect in a lot of ways? He played sixty games in Columbus last year and was well regarded in Columbus.

Hopefully in the end this good problem pays off with this group getting through eighty two games.

Islander News Articles 1/15:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article was on Freddy Meyer's big hit on Jason Spezza and the story of his season.

"When guys watch their peers play, sometimes it's more valuable than coaching," Nolan said. "They watch Brendan Witt do that on a consistent basis, and Freddy just kind of stepped up and did what Brendan would do. He caught Spezza with a good open-ice hit."

"It's been a lot of hard work, getting sent down to San Antonio and not sulking, and then getting called back up to the NHL and getting picked up by the Islanders," Meyer said. "I was here but not playing, which is tough. Now I have a big role, but I can't change the way I've been playing. I'm going to show up and work hard and have some poise on the back end and make smart plays."

Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan had comments from Senators Coach John Paddock where he blamed Bruno Gervais and some of the Islanders defenseman for targeting Daniel Alfredsson after calling out some of his own players and the officials.

"They have a bunch of 6- foot defencemen running around and they ran at Alfie early," said Paddock. "We couldn't do anything about it because of the closeness of the game and us being behind. I don't think Bruno Gervais should get away with the liberties he got away with on Alfredsson.

"I'm more concerned about Bruno Gervais getting involved in a 1-on-1 with Alfie having to cross-check him back in front of the net," added Paddock. "(The Meyer hit) is like when Chris Neil hit Chris Drury last year. It was a clean hit. You've got to take clean hits sometimes. It doesn't mean you're not going to deliver a clean hit back. If a guy's got a chance to hit somebody, you hit him. And if you hurt him, you hurt him. That's hockey. It's just good it wasn't Scott Stevens hitting him."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems to me Daniel Alfredsson was trying to hit any Islander he could find all night as hard as he could with Christopher Schubert trying to do all he could to engage the Islanders and change the momentum. For once Ottawa had the parade of penalties in our head to head games. Even their in-game people got confused and played the Sens pp music after an Ottawa penalty.

NY Times: Ranger beatwriter Lynn Zinser did not travel to Pittsburgh but did have a feature on Long Island products Mike Komisarek and Christopher Higgins who train in the summer at the same facility that Rick DiPietro, Eric Nystrom do.

NY Post: Dan Martin's editor allowed him to write two paragrahps on Brendan Witt and the Islanders in the Post return to covering Islander hockey after almost two weeks off.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted the Post did not travel to Pittsburgh to cover the Rangers but did have their writer do a blog on the game which begs the question how come the Post does not do the same thing when the Islanders are on the road for two weeks?

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey has a feature on Rick DiPietro, Mike Komisarek and Christopher Higgins and their friendly rivalry. Canadians lineup will be the same with Cristobal Huet in goal unless Patrice Brisebois cannot play after limping out of practice.

"It's pretty sweet to come back here in the summers and have that over him," Komisarek said after a practice at the Islanders IceWorks, the complex in nearby Syosset where he and Higgins work out during the summer. "Ricky's a pretty confident guy and he can be pretty loud, so it's nice to get those bragging rights."

And while Higgins jokingly said DiPietro has a "big enough mouth that you can't miss him," he expects a tough game against the surging Isles, who are coming off a 3-1 win Sunday in Ottawa.

"Ricky keeps them in every game," Higgins said. Kyle Okposo was nominated for AHL player of the week but did not win.

Late notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/14/2008 08:20:00 PM | | | Comment Here

For those interested I made a quick call and appeared on Monday night where Tony and Steve have an excellent show here where we talked about the road trip which always expands into a few other topics.

The flu is starting to take over my voice, great show as always Tony and Steve if I did not say it on the telecast. is also featured on NYIFan Central in the sidebar for those interested in their weekly show if you cannot catch them live, along with Hockey night on LI.

According to Cory Witt's media blog the team did not get home from Ottawa until Monday afternoon so I'm not expecting a Brendan Witt update if he stayed with them and obviously no skate was held. From what I understand even with the MRI he is day to day.

All I can write about the Habs game is they have been off since the Rangers beat them Saturday and waiting here for this game. You can bet the Canadians will be working hard after a poor effort at Msg. Combine that what always seems like problems for NHL clubs after long road trips and it's going to be a tough game for the Isles, especially without Martink and Witt. It's fair to ask will Hunter be ok for this game also so check Mr Fornabaio's Ct Post blog and see if another recall was made.

Devils also will have a few days rest and will be hungry to break that 0-4 against the Isles Wednesday in Newark so it does not get any easier.

Pregame will be up Tuesday afternoon, Islanders play on Versus tomorrow night, not Fsn or Fsn-2.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/14/2008 11:42:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Overall on paper, Islanders came out of the trip with six of a possible ten points which is what they had to do. How they got there for the most part was another matter because outside of DiPietro they were terrible in Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, gave up a 3-1 lead in Calgary before winning against a club playing it's third game in four days without Heatley that lost Jason Spezza in the first period.

Let's only touch on the fact Colorado was playing without two of it's best players in Sakic and Smyth and only Tim Jackman could score, Edmonton shutout the Isles for their first regulation win since early December and outside of the two horrible goals by Luongo the Isles had few chances in Vancouver.

That all written it could have been much worse and six goals and some good chances in Calgary and Ottawa could be a good sign moving forward.

Full marks to Bergeron for all the criticism he takes about his defense because without his offense in so many games this team would have about ten less points.

Barrie Advance: Jim Barber had an article on Tomas Marcinko being named captain of the Barrie Colts while he was away at the WJC.

“It’s a big honour, an I’m going to try and do my best. But there’s lots of leaders in the locker room who are going to help me,” he told after Saturday’s game. “My job is just to be helpful between the guys and the coaches, and to just be a leader and try to show guys what to do on the ice and off the ice. So I’m going to try to do that to my best.” Jahnke announced former Islander Pierre Turgeon was elected to the Hall of Fame with his induction taking place on April 2nd.

Thanks Jiggs

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/14/2008 07:37:00 AM | Comment Here

Just wanted to thank Jiggs McDonald for coming back and calling the games on the road trip which ended with the game in Ottawa. Really meant a lot to me to hear him call our games again and hope he continues to be able to fill in.

Core of four weekend would be a perfect time to put this man's name next to Bob Bourne's in the Islanders new Hall of Fame.

Jiggs McDonald, all class.

Islander News Articles 1/14:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Freddy Meyer's hit to knock Jason Spezza out of action, Mike Comrie having an outstanding night against his former team with Marc-Andre Bergeron talking about some of the dangerous hits by the Senators out of frustration.

Describing the collision, Meyer said: "It's how we guard in the neutral zone in terms of wings on wings and a defenseman stepping up on the center. His defenseman threw a pass to him, and I had an opportunity to hit him. I think the hit looked bigger than it was. I stepped up, and he wasn't expecting it."

"I had some speed, and their defense was caught flat-footed," Comrie said. Speaking of the physical nature of the game, he added, "Ottawa has some big boys that hit hard, and they showed a little frustration."

"It wasn't because they were tired," Bergeron said. "They weren't penalties for hooking. They were for charging and cross-checking. Some of them were dangerous.
"It's a really good hockey team, and I don't think they need to do this to win games. Shame on them tonight for doing that and letting us win."

Associated Press: Had comments from Rick DiPietro and Ted Nolan on the Isles win.

"It's a big win," DiPietro said. "It makes an average road trip a pretty good one. That was the big thing we wanted to do. We managed to win that last one and having dropped a couple of points in the first three games, it was nice to finish up the road trip with a win."

"That's one thing we've learned from experience, any time a team has the emotional game the night before sometimes you catch them out a little bit," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "The one thing we wanted to do was make sure we came out and skate
and maybe we'll take advantage of that. Tonight we certainly did."

"Freddy got a clean hit, and any time a player makes a big hit like that, especially one of their skill guys, it definitely charges your bench up a little bit," DiPietro said.

Newsday: Greg Logan had a blog before yesterday's game about Jeff Tambellini and how the organization wants him to help Kyle Okposo with a little more on Brendan Witt's injury and some other items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Huge win and only space for one article in Newsday? I guess one night in Bridgeport was enough for Mark Herrmann covering Kyle Okposo.

Ottawa Sun: Chris Stephenson and Don Brennan had coverage of the Senators loss with John Paddock not happy with the officiating.

Ottawa Citizen: James Gordon covers the Senators loss with Wayne Scalon here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio article is on the Sound Tigers again having problems scoring with comments from Jack Capunao. Matt Keith scored his first Sound Tiger goal.

"The goalies are too good, too big, too quick," Capuano said. "The power play, we didn't have anybody in front of the net. We were on the perimeter. Nobody wanted to screen the goalie. You're not going to score that way."

Press & Sun-Bulletin: John Nash had the coverage of Binghampton's win at Bridgeport Sunday.

New York 3, Ottawa 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/14/2008 06:10:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Adam Baruch and Jason Lockhart have the recap of the Islanders 3-1 win Sunday in Ottawa with comments from Ted Nolan and Marc-Andre Bergeron on how the club played and on DiPietro almost scoring in the final minute.

"We played some great teams on this trip, and Ricky was always there to hold the fort," said Bergeron. "We found a way to get some points. Getting six points against these teams is pretty good. We'll take it."

"We all know the importance of penalty killing and the power play," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Bergeron had a couple of nice shots on the power play. Every time a team has an emotional game the night before, you try to catch them off their guard. We were able to take advantage tonight. With 20 minutes left in the game it was all about laying it on the line to make this a good trip. Our guys worked hard to get the two points. We know how tough this Western swing was. It was a quick turnaround going from out West to meet an Eastern Conference rival. Give them full marks."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Goes without writing it a huge win and one they needed given the Saturday's results.
Satan played so Tambellini got a plane ride and was sent back down to Bridgeport.

Islanders came on fast in this game and almost scored early a few times, then Ottawa started skating and decided to get physical throwing a lot big hits which the Isles hung in and gave it right back without too many penalties. I love how Gervais did not take anything from Spezza and Alfredsson.

Comrie had his best game as an Islander, generated countless chances without much help and could have had a few more if Gerber did not rob him. He just took the puck and drove the net and made a great move early in the second. His pp setup for the opening goal is exactly what this team needs to be doing, he sent it low to Guerin who went right at the goal and as the players collapsed around Gerber the Isles outnumbered Ottawa and Bergeron came in and gave New York the 1-0 goal.

Still the Isles did not do enough in terms of quality chances with their powerplay.

Ottawa then lost Spezza but came out and dominated, even with the Isles getting a beief five on three where the pp went nowhere. Ottawa finally made good on the Islanders penalties with a deflection goal.

Third period Islanders were the better team, maybe the injuries or three games in four nights finally caught up with the Sens, does not matter. Islanders took the play at them and Comrie's speed created a goal with Bergeron's shot finishing off another play. Islanders wanted the game more down the stretch.

Never easy as Ottawa kept working but the defense held in there, DiPietro gave them enough big saves until the final minute.

He just missed that open net, too bad but he had the one goal cushion, a second period giveaway almost cost him.

Huge win and a very good effort, best on the road trip where they had problems with Ottawa's speed and skill but generated their own quality chances and had some jump in the third period. Considering they did this without Witt and Martinek that's a heck of a effort on the backline.

Binghampton 3, Bridgeport 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/14/2008 06:04:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Binghampton's 3-1 win against Bridgeport Sunday.

The Sound Tigers have had six roster additions this week. Wednesday, Sound Tigers had Matt Keith, Pierre Luc-Faubert, Brett Pilkington and Jason Pitton made their Sound Tiger debuts this season while Kyle Okposo played in his first professional game on Friday in Binghamton. Luke Fulghum signed a P.T.O. with the Sound Tigers this morning and dressed today for the Sound Tigers.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the game and comments from Jack Capuano on Kyle Okposo's performance.

"He had a couple of good chances. We talked a bit about the power play -- he got trapped down low," Capuano said. "It's the first time you saw his time and space taken away. ... Overall, I thought his weekend was good." Okposo took his first big hit, from Matt Carkner early. He said he was having fun out there.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Welcome to the American Hockey League, Kyle Okposo. Three games in three days no doubt is something new for him along with a bus ride and back to Binghampton.

1/13: New York at Ottawa 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2008 06:42:00 AM | | Comment Here
Going to take a break from the Espn scoreboard. Islanders Foxsports scoreboard on the sidebar does the exact same thing and includes the time left in the game more accurate.

Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators who have won four straight and are
13-3-1 since Dec. 5.

Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan reported in the Senators 3-2 win against Detroit Saturday, Dany Heatley left the game in the third with a shoulder injury. Martin Gerber did not start against the Wings.

Updated 11:am Report Heatley is out four-six weeks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given how well Ottawa has played recently combined with coming off the momentum of a huge win against Detroit plus no Brendan Witt, Martinek or Satan it's going to be a tough game for the Islanders to get points from.

That written Washington went up to Ottawa and scored eight goals and beat them a second time. Anything can happen here.

Looks like they rested their more consistent goaltender in Martin Gerber who will likely start today.

Perhaps a possible injury to Heatley combined with back to back days at home takes a little out of Ottawa early. It would be a good plan to try and score some more first period goals like in Calgary but in games like this the Sens always dictate the pace, the Islanders just try and keep up.

Should be interesting to see what Ted Nolan does with another left wing in Tambellini unless he moves Richard Park to the right side which he did earlier this year.

Bottom line New Jersey won it's usual shootout against Buffalo, Rangers trapped the Canadians to break their losing streak, Pittsburgh got their overtime point and so did Philadelphia.

Things change quickly in this division but at this time the teams are adding to their point total. Islanders must do the same because it's unlikely four or five teams make the playoffs from one division.

DiPietro will likley start this time in Ottawa but it will be tough for him to play as well as Dubie did up there his last start. Scoring momentum from the last game must carry over here unless we see a sluggish first period from both clubs.

Did I write the defense will have to be outstanding to give DiPietro a chance?
Good luck Freddy Meyer, Marc Andre Bergeron and Bryan Berard. Isles need that and Gervais, Campoli, Sutton with the forwards to be on their game.

Islander News Articles 1/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2008 06:21:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has the fallout on Brendan Witt's sprained ankle MRI which may have taken place in Ottawa or will wait until the team returns to New York as well as some players breaking out of their scoring slumps in Calgary. Radek Martinek has not been cleared to practice and Aaron Johnson needs more conditioning.

"It's tough to lose Witt," Nolan said after the win in Calgary. Comparing the rugged defender to goaltender Rick DiPietro, Nolan added, "He's similar to Ricky in how valuable he is to us. But the stars were lined up and we had seven defensemen dressed, which was luck on our part. Freddy Meyer did a great job.

"But it was a tough loss for Witt, and we'll cross our fingers and hope the MRI comes back not as serious as it seems to be. It's an ankle sprain right now, and we'll check and see what the severity of it is."

Newsday: Katie Strang has a feature on Brent Sutter and his upcoming meeting with the Islanders.

Barrie Announced Islander prospect Tomas Marcinko who played for Slovakia at the WJC was named team captain.

Sound Tiger News Articles 1/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2008 05:44:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage is on Okposo's big night in the Sound Tigers 4-2 win who now has five points in his first two games and losing his room mate Jeff Tambellini to the Islanders.

"His conditioning is fine. He's poised and composed," coach Jack Capuano said of the 19-year-old Okposo. "To make the jump as he's done is very impressive."

"I've always been confident wherever I've gone," Okposo said. "I've skated with a lot of pro guys in the summer. I know what to expect."

Binghamton Senators 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: Mr Fornabaio also had a feature article on Bridgeport native, Phantom center Peter Zingoni.

Springfield Union News: Covers the Falcons.

Newsday: Mark Herrman made the trip to Bridgeport to cover Kyle Okposo's Bridgeport debut with comments from Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Jack Capuano.

"It looks like he's been playing pro for many years," said his center, Frans Nielsen, who has been in the NHL. "He's dominating the ice."

"It tipped off a defenseman's stick and luckily over the glove hand of the goalie," Okposo said afterward, when he was in possession of the puck. "I'll probably give it to my mom. She's got some stuff in my room from me and my sister, going back to when we were eight years old."

Times Leader: Kelly Tomlinson does a rip job on Okposo who says he left school for the money, Garth Snow, the Islanders, Bridgeport, the AHL and Jack Capuano in an article defending Gohpers coach Don Lucia, the college development process with former Islander Tom Kurvers comments.

Does Okposo honestly believe he’ll be better served in an “organization” as dysfunctional as the one on the Island, than he would by staying and finishing out his sophomore season with the Gophers?

If so, he’s as delusional as Isles GM Garth Snow, who can now add “first NHL GM to poach a college player from his team in midseason,” to a resume that already featured “first backup goalie to be named GM of his team because he’s golfing buddies with the owner.”

Starting this weekend, Okposo will be learning under the tutelage of Bridgeport head coach Jack Capuano, a company man who has tenuous ties to Snow through the University of Maine, where both played their college hockey, and who was pretty successful in the ECHL during the late ‘90s.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is this writer talking about the same dysfunctional system that developed Trent Hunter after his trade from Anaheim, Rick DiPietro, Chris Campoli, Sean Bergenheim and Bruno Gervais with Blake Comeau and Jeff Tambellini having spent significant time with the Sound Tigers?

Should be fun when Bridgeport travels to WBScranton on February 1st to play the Pens if this writer decides to interview Okposo.

Okposo's likely not going to make his full salary this season so I'm not sure what the writer is talking about beyond what seems like doing some indirect speaking for Don Lucia who never even wished his player luck in the media. As for Jack Capuano he was brought into the organization by Steve Stirling as an Islander assistant when Garth Snow was still a player. The Islanders record given their projections by media types like this reflect they do not know what they are writing about.

I wonder if this person would be writing this about Ray Shero if the Pens were in this position?

Bridgeport 4, Springfield 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2008 05:34:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Saturday's 4-2 win against the Springfield Falcons.

Sound Tigers TV has the game highlight's with Okposo's goal and postgame here.

3 Stars:
1. Kyle Okposo – No surprise here, a goal, the eventual game-winner and two assists
2. Sean Bentivoglio – 2 assists and looked like an easy addition to the Nielsen/Okposo line
3. Kip Brennan – Scored his second goal of the season and was rewarded with minutes for his tireless fore-checking creating chances in the offensive zone for his line-mates

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blog's on Bridgeport's 4-2 win and the standout players for Bridgeport.

Islanders website:Chris Botta and Adam Baruch covered Kyle Okposo's Bridgeport debut with the telecast of the game repeated in full for free on Islanders TV on Monday.

"That's quite a home debut for a top prospect who's only 19 years old and playing in the American Hockey League," Islanders assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski said during the second intermission while enjoying the view with a host of Islanders scouts.

"What's so impressive is how he's making everyone around him better," said Islanders scout Eric Cairns. "He's always looking to make the right play and create space for his linemates."

Islanders recall Tambellini

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 06:08:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog the Islanders recalled Jeff Tambelli this afternoon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much for dressing seven defenders again or Aaron Johnson seeing time as a winger and so much for Tambellini and Okposo being room mates. I guess Satan is going to be out for a while.

Islander/Sound Tiger notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 05:23:00 PM | | | 3 Comments
Quiet day on the notables front in terms of the Isles but hopefully a big crowd for Okposo's home debut tonight. For all the criticism I put at Newsday I'm impressed they assigned a writer to cover his early games and made the trip to Binghampton.

Of course what they need long-term is to make a deal with the Ct Post to feature Michael Fornabaio's work as they do with the Hartford Courant.

Newsday:Evan Drellich who is covering Kyle Okposo for the paper had a blog this afternoon on Kyle Okposo were his debut was discussed with Jeff Tambellini's comments.

Sound Tigers website: Previews Bridgeport's home game tonight vs Falcons in Kyle Okposo's home debut.

National Post/several sources: Report Carolina again recalled Brandon Nolan so Ted Nolan may coach against his son in a few weeks when the Isles have a home and home with Carolina.

Media blog: Cory Witt reported the Islanders got to their hotel at 6am after leaving the Saddledome at 10:20pm.

Just finished up Hockey Night on LI

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 05:05:00 PM | | | Comment Here

My thanks to Alex and Steve at Hockey Night on LI for having me on their program today. I had a lot of fun doing their show talking Islanders and both do such an outstanding job it was a pleasure to be a guest and the time went just too quick.

My thanks to the Tom Liodice and the folks in the chat room for their kind words as well. Hope I did a good job for everyone.

Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post was also on and I am a big fan of his work so it was a great hockey afternoon for me and a lot of fun.

For those interested in listening to Alex and Steve's program today with Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio and myself feel free to visit here or just find the link to their show which is on New York Islander Fan Central.

Updated Sunday:
We missed this one on the telecast but Aaron Johnson would have to clear waivers, this was confirmed early in the season which I forgot on the show. Also we missed on Johnson being ready to play which is why Tambellini had to travel to Ottawa.

I listened to the show this morning, for someone who hates the sound of his own voice who was hesitant to listen to the replay for that reason I guess I did not come off half bad, Alex and Steve of course did a great job making me look good.

Thanks again Alex and Steve and keep up the great work.

Islander News Articles 1/12:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 06:43:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's game article at this time has no quotes but recaps the game with several Islanders breaking out of scoring slumps.

Newsday: Greg Logan has reaction from Rick DiPietro on his first all-star selection who praised Martin Brodeur.

"Being a fan of hockey growing up, you watch the skills competition and the All-Star Game," DiPietro said. "It's kind of cliché to say the dream came true, but it really did."

"When you get a chance to play against Marty on a consistent basis, you're learning from the best," DiPietro said. "I've had the last six years to study him and watch how he carries himself. You learn a lot, and it definitely makes you pick up your play when you look down at the other end and you've got arguably the best goalie to ever lace up the pads. It definitely increases your intensity level."

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article despite the win had criticism from Ted Nolan on how some of his players have been struggling, especially Josef Vasicek who has taken one shot or less in fourteen of his last sixteen games and Ruslan Fedotenko, who are both quoted.

"Joe Vasicek is a good player. For whatever reason, the last five or six games, he hasn't been skating and he's been losing some battles. I had a good discussion with him. I talked to Tank, too, and showed him a couple things we felt he wasn't doing the best. We've got to get him into position where he's going to get the puck and do some creative things with it."

"I didn't shoot much, did I?" Vasicek said. "I don't know why. That's the thing, I guess early in the season, I didn't think about it as much. Lately, we've been getting some chances, but it seems like we always hit the post. You start to think about it a little more, and that never helps."

"It's really up to Teddy how he's going to split up the ice time," Vasicek said. "I'm just trying to do my job and play as hard as I can. I've got a lot of respect for him. I know he knows what he's doing."

New York Times: Jeff Z. Klein makes a statistical argument why Rick DiPietro and Tomas Vokoun should not have been selected as reserve goaltenders for the All-Star game based on shots against and save percentage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Perhaps the Times should send Mr Klein out to cover Islander games on a daily basis so he could get his answer beyond numbers? If there is a goalie playing with less margin for error facing the quality chances DiPietro faces nightly I do not know of one. Islanders goals against down significantly from last year and an improved record
is why DiPietro deserved to be named.

Oh yes, in the first four games of the Islanders' five-game road trip, DiPietro has faced an average of 39.5 shots and has gotten three of four games to overtime.

Calgary Sun:Steve MacFarlane has comments from Jerome Iginla, Ted Nolan, Mike Keenan on how well Rick DiPietro played.

"He played well. I thought we had a lot of chances, especially in the first period," said Iginla, who somehow found his side down 3-1 heading into the the second period. "He kept them in there."

"I looked at it. We had three good chances to score," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan of the powerplay opportunity. "He's a very athletic goaltender. He picks up a lot of points for them."

Calgary Sun: Eric Francis has reaction from Rick DiPietro on Ovechkin's contract and Charles Wang's decisions.

"If anyone's a trend-setter, it would be our owner," said the 26-year-old Islanders netminder of the oft-ridiculed Charles Wang.

"People are always first to point out how crazy he is and the crazy things he does. Then at the end of the day people start following suit. We do my deal, and everyone is all over him. He hires Snowy (GM Garth Snow), and people criticize him for that, and next thing you know, Dallas hires Brett Hull. He's ahead of his time.

"If you're a business person in general, and you have a chance to lock up one of your young franchise guys for a long time in this salary cap age and it's tough to hold onto top players, it seems like the smartest thing to do."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted Eric Francis has always gone all out to rip the Islanders out of Calgary over the years. It was likely the first time he has seen DiPietro since the draft in Calgary in 2000.

Calgary Sun: Steve MacFarlane had an interview with Ruslan Fedotenko on his great final with Tampa Bay against Calgary in 2004 and the celebration in the Ukraine.

Calgary Herald: Scott Cruickshank's game coverage and some comments on Rick DiPietro on spending two days in Calgary:

"The thing about having two off days in Canada is that you get to see a lot of hockey highlights," New York Islanders netminder Rick DiPietro was saying before Friday's game at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

"I feel like I've already scouted the Flames by watching TSN."

Sound Tiger News Articles 1/12:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 05:25:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps the Sound Tigers 3-2 loss at Binghampton which is their fourth in a row with comments on Kyle Okposo's debut.

"Obviously, very skilled," Binghamton coach Cory Clouston said. "He's an elite player. We were more focused on our guys, but you can tell he's going to be a very good hockey player." Okposo kept things simple, avoiding mistakes, which is what coach Jack Capuano said he stressed.

"I went out there and played my game," Okposo said. "I tried to limit my mistakes."

"He's playing with Jeff and Fransie, it's his first game: He'll try to dish the puck a little bit," Capuano said. "He'll learn as he goes. You don't get many chances in this league or in the NHL. When you get a chance, you've got to make the best of it."

Newsday: Evan Drellich is listed as a special to Newsday to cover Kyle Okposo's debut in Binghampton who had a few comments from Okposo on his first game with Jack Capuano.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell travelled to Bridgeport to get comments from Kyle Okposo, had telephone interviews with his father, Kome and Garth Snow. Jack Capuano is also quoted.

Okposo’s father, Kome, said Thursday that his son was not unhappy at Minnesota. Kyle Okposo said he had a good relationship with Lucia and his assistants, “and I’ll leave it at that.”

“He’s a very humble guy,” Bridgeport Coach Jack Capuano said of Okposo. “He’s mature, and he comes from a good family. He’s a good guy — a captain-like guy. He’s a leader. We know he’s a high-profile guy, but he knows he’s going to have to work hard.”

Press & Sun Bulletin: Michael Sharp has the recap of the Senators 3-2 win over Bridgeport.

Binghampton 3, Bridgeport 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 05:12:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Sound Reports the Sound Tigers lost 3-2 at Binghampton Friday with Kyle Okposo getting two assists in his pro debut.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did a live in game blog with about five updates on the Sound Tigers loss and how Kyle Okposo played along with Jeff Tambellini extending his scoring streak to nine games.

"He got in blocking lanes. He tracked really well. He was sound positionally," Capuano said. "Overall, I thought his game was really good for a first game, for a young kid. I'm very impressed."

New York 5, Calgary 4 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2008 03:25:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of Friday's 5-4 shootout win against the Calgary Flames. Brendan Witt has an ankle sprain, Miroslav Satan did not play with a strained knee.

"We kidded with the guys during the first intermission that we're not good with a two-goal lead," said head coach Ted Nolan. "But give this team credit for fighting back and finding a way to win."

"It was a very gutsy performance," said Nolan. "The guys responded tonight. One thing we preach is that any guy on any given night has to step up if guys go down."

"Look at our penalty killers who have done great work all year," said Nolan. "Every time a team is down for four minutes, the guys are exhausted. Credit the work of guys like Hilbert, Sillinger and Park. And you can't stop the power play without our best penalty killer, Ricky."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm sure everyone is going to write the same thing that it was not pretty which of course is true but it was critical the Islanders get a win here and despite losing Witt and going with seven defenders they found a way to survive and get the game to overtime, then a shootout. Maybe they even found something in Park who looked great on his shootout goal with three moves which froze Kiprusoff. Billy Jaffe made a good shootout observation when he noted Sillinger's shot was like Linden's but Kiprusoff's stick is on that side, unlike DiPietro where his glove is on that side so there was less space for Sillinger who made a perfect shot just above the pad.

This was a Calgary team that was something like 16-2 recently even though Phoenix beat them this week. Calgary came out flying but DiPietro held them in and finally the Islanders made some plays with Gervais finding Sillinger for a breakaway goal, Hunter defelecting in a point shot and Fedotenko finding Sillinger again for a clear path at the net.

No skilled goals from sustained pressure in the offensive end, that's what the Islanders need and what I was looking for. For them to stay in this race long term they need it. Four games on this trip and not one goal from sustained offensive pressure.

Calgary came out the Islanders hard in the second after Nolan's goal. They got some deflection goals, a screen goal. Only goal that bothered me was Berard letting Dustin Boyd get position and bang in that rebound. I know Berard has not played much but those were the kind of mistakes that caused his benching.

Islanders could have folded giving up a 3-1 lead and falling behind, but Fedotenko tipped in a shot and after that the Islanders hung in despite some high sticking penalties in the offensive zone that could have killed them down the stretch.

Penalty kill again was outstanding which starts with the goaltender, some big scrambles but they hung in and they did it without Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek which is no small sidebar. Too bad Comrie could not finish his chance in regulation or the pp could do something which again looked lost most of the game.

You take the two points and the fallout and see what happens now with the defense and Satan. This defense now will have to be by committee with Campoli and Gervais having to play huge minutes.

They also have to protect DiPietro better, too many shots against, too many quality chances against.

I have written this a dozen times after games but it applies here, they found a way to win the game and the two points go in the books. They are also finding ways to get games to overtime where earlier they would lose regulation, those points are huge in the end.

Given the Devils, Flyers and Pens are not losing they needed a win here.

We'll see what the injury fallout from this game is. Ottawa plays Detroit Saturday so hopefully the Isles catch Ottawa coming off a tough game.

Hockey Night on LI Saturday 3:30pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2008 03:23:00 PM | | Comment Here

I will be a guest on Alex and Steve's radio show called Hockey night on LI Saturday afternoon which begins at 3:30pm along with Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio, who will be on to talk about Kyle Okposo and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Both Alex and Steve do an outstanding job with the program which is featured on this blog for folks to listen or participate in the weekly shows.

For those interested in listening live or calling in tomorrow you can visit their site here as well as listen later if you cannot make it for the live version.

Looking forward to a good time and perhaps speaking with some of our members. From what I understand they have a chatroom as well.

DiPietro named to All-Star team

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

 Reports Rick DiPietro will be the Islanders representitive at the All-Star game in Atlanta.

Martin Brodeur
Rick DiPietro
Tomas Vokoun

Zedeno Chara
Andrei Markov
Brian Campbell
Sergei Gonchar
Tomas Kaberle
Kimmo Timonen

Sidney Crosby
Vincent Lecavalier
Daniel Alfredsson
Scott Gomez
Dany Heatley
Marian Hossa
Ilya Kovalchuk
Alex Ovechkin
Mike Richards
Philadelphia Flyers
Jason Spezza
Eric Staal
Martin St. Louis

Islanders website: Confirms the announcement and that DiPietro just completed a one-on-one interview in Calgary with Islanders TV.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Flat out thrilled someone as deserving as DiPietro finally getting his due and a spot among the elite goaltenders and look forward to all-star weekend. I'm a little surprised Tomas Vokoun got in over a Martin Gerber or a Tim Thomas.

As an older fan it's tough to remember back to the days of Bill Smith being an
all star and if I recall correctly he won the MVP in 1978. I do not recall Kelly Hurdey being selected as an Islander.

All I can do is repeat what the Islanders website wrote....CONGRATULATIONS RICKY.

Newsday: Greg Logan blogs about Rick DiPietro being named an all-star with comments from Ted Nolan & Mike Keenan.

“He’s been terrific for us. People here in the west don’t have a chance to see him that much. But we know what kind of goaltender he is, and the people here in the west can see what kind of goaltender we have on Long Island.”

Updated 1:30pm Rick DiPietro gives a quick one minute interview with comments on being an all-star.

1/11: New York at Calgary 9pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2008 04:58:00 AM | | Comment Here
All star reserves will be announced at 12pm EST. All I'm going to write is if Bill Guerin is on pace for thirty and they have a slot based on past selections he may bump DiPietro or Witt.

Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Calgary Flames.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Calgary won six in a row before losing to Phoenix who kind of had an outburst similar to the Isles in Carolina which cost them the game. Mike Keenan has the Flames playing very well with Adrian Aucoin having a nice bounce back season after two years or injuries in Chicago. Kiprusoff is a world class franchise goaltender overall despite his struggles and Calgary got ripped into by Keenan for their last game so you can bet they will be under the same pressure the Islanders are under to start well.

Islanders tv report on Thursday had Satan sitting with the origional lines from the Colorado game all reunited. Aaron Johnson dressed in a fourth line spot while Blake Comeau played on the top line. No word on Radek Martinek.

Islanders have to hang in here and find a way to get points, they cannot expect DiPietro to hold them in every game to this degree and they are not going to get the gift goals Luongo allowed.

The seperation in the Atlantic division is starting to be a factor for the Isles too. Calgary, Ottawa or whoever Islanders have to win some games.

Islanders falling behind in Atlantic

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2008 04:48:00 AM | | Comment Here
Simply put the Islanders are absolultely in the race for the playoffs but it is getting to the point this club is falling back in the division. I do not put a lot of stock in four or five clubs from one division making the playoffs even though it's possible.

New Jersey, Pittsburgh and even Philadelphia are getting some seperation for the first time all season from the Islanders in the standings, despite the recent ties.

Devils when they are not playing the Isles are simply dominating.

Pittsburgh is doing what they did a year ago where they simply do not lose and shot to the too of the division, even without Marc-Andre Fleury or Gary Roberts for starters.

Flyers are red hot also and have broken out of their slump.

Islanders have not won five games in a row since December of 1994, simply put they have to keep pace with teams that are not losing and start winning, despite the Isles respectful record and some overtime points in three of four games.

Either that or this club at best is looking at a fight for a seventh or eighth seed.

Things change quickly, they have to start changing now.

Islander News Articles 1/11:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Eric Nystrom who grew up a die-hard Islander fan and lives down the street from Rick DiPietro in the summer and trains with him. Miroslav Satan sat out practice but is expected to play.

"It's a little far from home," Nystrom said wistfully. "It would be nice to get back and play a game . But this is great. I'm real excited; I know a bunch of guys on the Islanders, and I'd like to get one on Ricky. I'd have all summer for the bragging rights."

Newsday/countless sources: Report on Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals signing a 13-year, $124-million contract extension yesterday with the Washington Capitals that he negotiated without an agent. It still does not eclipse Rick DiPietro's contract in years which is noted in the article.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is this why we had a lockout? Seems like this is what owners have to pay franchise players to keep them for their career because if Ted Leonsis did not give him this offer someone else would have as soon as they could. I wonder how DiPietro feels about this and Mike Richards contract because more and more it's proving he did leave money on the table if he does play the entire length of the contract.

Ovechkin did not even need an agent to negotiate this deal. No doubt some of the jealously from Toronto and markets that could not sign him will produce criticism for Leonsis. Congratulations to Ovechkin who will no doubt be featured on the NHLPA site for this deal.

Newsday: Neil Best reports in his blog offers more Islanders stuff than ever and then goes into the seniority list at Newsday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Compared to when Newsday was covering the Islanders when they were winning the Stanley Cup or even in the 2002 playoffs when they were getting close to ten articles in one day's paper?

Islanders now have a Thursday web feature, the Sunday agenda is controlled by the Rangers beat writer which is a disgrace considering John Dellapina and Larry Brooks already do this for the Rangers on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see if the club is happy with a coverage increase or if they want Mike Bossy used to talk about which is not just a fair share but what they deserve from the local paper.

Sorry gang, I come from a time where the Islanders could play a weeknight home game against a Western Conference team and draw the backpage of the Times, Post and Daily News. I'm not expecting that again but my point is the Isles as a franchise should not be satisfied or settle for what crumbs they can get here.

Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun: cover the Flames who could have some words from former Islanders Adrian Aucoin and perhaps Eric Godard.

St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspach has more on college prospects leaving programs with Kyle Okposo the focus and Don Lucia comments.

"I don't think it's a financial decision," said Lucia, 49, who makes it sound like the players respond to a pied piper whenever an NHL representative starts talking. "From the (pro) teams' perspective, why wouldn't you sign someone when it's cheaper to do so now than it was in the past? They use that adage 'Bring 'em all in and see who survives.' They use the curve that 'You're going to have to spend some time in the AHL anyway, you might as well get started now.' I guess I'm getting to be a dinosaur but, to me, it's 'Get your degree.' How many of these players are really going to make a living for a long time playing hockey?"

National Post: Mark Spector has comments from Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin on steroid use in professional sports.

"It would make you more powerful. I just don't think it would make you a better hockey player," reasoned New York Islanders forward Mike Sillinger. He has played for a dozen NHL teams in 17 seasons, and claims no knowledge of steroid use by a teammate. "The game's played at a high speed, and you have to be able to think the game. [Steroids] might make you bigger, faster, stronger. But it's not going to make you a better hockey player."

"I don't think anyone can even scratch the surface of where baseball is going," Islanders winger Bill Guerin said. "Everybody was doing them."

Calgary Herald: Jean LeFebvre has Eric Nystrom's comments on what the Islanders meant to him growing up and Dubie's mask with his father's picture on it and how it came about.

"He's following the tradition and the legacy on Long Island that my dad had a big part in building," said Nystrom after meeting with Dubielewicz after Thursday's practice. "He was part of those championship teams. There's a strong tradition there and these guys are filling the tradition."

"I didn't really have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my mask," said Dubielewicz, who has a painted image of former Isles captain Denis Potvin on the other cheek. "Then a couple of guys came up (with the concept) of getting some of the heritage on there and I thought it was a great idea. Like Eric said, there's a strong tradition on Long Island and obviously his father was a big part of it. I thought it'd be pretty neat to get some of that history on a mask."

Albany Business Review: Reports a new business venture for Bob Nystrom as well.

Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest reports Robin Figren will be staying with the Oil Kings for the rest of the season with gm Bob Green's comments.

"I definitely wanted to stay," Figren said. "I really enjoy it here and I think things are going really well for me. I think we have a good group of guys and I didn't want to go anywhere else."

"There were future considerations that we could have gotten for Robin in terms of younger players or draft picks," Green said. "But I've been at the draft long enough to know that it can be a crap shoot. There's no guarantee that when you get draft picks for good players that they're going to turn into good players.

"It would have been nice to do that, but by the same token, Robin is a great person to have around. In dressing room the younger players really respect him and he's a good leader."

Sound Tiger News Articles 1/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2008 03:16:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Sound Sound Tiger play by play announcer Phil Giubileo has an interview with Kyle Okposo during the Portland game on Wednesday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio covered Kyle Okposo's first practice and had his commnets on why he left Minnesota and downplayed friction with Don Lucia as well as Matt Keith's first comments along with more changes to the lineup and the upcoming game in Binghampton Friday night. Jack Capunao comments on Okposo as well as him being his coach on the 2005 under 18 team where he was named captain by the players.

"A lot went into the decision," he said. "I mulled it over. I weighed the positives and negatives. I made the best choice, for myself and my career."

"The first thing that comes to mind is, obviously, his character," Capuano said. "We let the kids vote on the captaincy, and it was unanimous: Everybody voted for Kyle. That tells you one thing about him, he's a high-character kid."

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Binghamton Senators
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, N.Y.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Newsday's page has video of Kyle Okposo's practice.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had Kyle Okposo's comments on his first practice with Jack Capuano and Jeff Tambellini also giving their thoughts.

"I haven't played a game in professional hockey yet and I'm getting attention," he said in the minor-league Bridgeport Sound Tigers' dressing room as his new teammates gawked at the media cluster around his stall. "A lot of the guys here have already proven themselves. So maybe I'm not as worthy as them. But it's going to happen and I'm prepared for it."

"He's a talented player to start with, so that should help him make the jump," said Tambellini, who has spent parts of the past two seasons with the big club. "He's a great kid, really humble. He should fit right in."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had a blog on his trip to Bridgeport to see Kyle Okposo's first practice.

"Just trying to get me back in game shape," he said, adding that when you haven't been on the ice in a while, "the legs start to go, the hands start to go a little bit. But I was good at the end."

Press & Sun Bulletin: Michael Sharp who covers the Binghampton Senators has comments on Kyle Okposo and previews the game on Friday.

Kyle Okposo's first practice

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 02:18:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog updates Sound Tigers practice and reports it was the most media ever here for a practice, maybe twice over. No fewer than three New York writers, AP, three photographers, Islanders TV, Sound Tigers TV…

Islanders website: Has comments from Kyle Okposo, Jeff Tambellini and coach Jack Capuano after his first practice. Isles reported Mark Herrmann and Neil Best from the Times (he works for Newsday) covered practice.

“It felt great to be out there and begin my pro career,”

“Because of my experience in the Prospects Camp, I felt more at home than if I came in here cold. I know a lot of the guys, like Jeff Tambellini, so that made me feel very comfortable. After five days between games, and then traveling from the Czech Republic to Minnesota and now here, it might take a little while to get adjusted, but it'll be okay."

Said Tambellini, who will share his house with Okposo: "As a team, we see it as a responsibility that Kyle feels comfortable and that he's ready for this level."

“To jump right in, have a practice and then leave with the team for a road game on my second day is very exciting,” said Okposo. “It’s a great way to get acclimated to my teammates and the coaching staff.” Announced the Planet USA all-star team. No Sound Tigers were included so Jeff Tambellini will be the only Sound Tiger.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sure is long overdue Dave Andrews goes back to an East-West format to say nothing of schedule expansion so the Sound Tigers can actually play the West Coast. I'm tired of the Norfolk matchups and it cannot be good for prospects never to get on a plane.

I loved those first year trips to San Antonio and the West Coast. I have totally lost interest in the Western Conference in the AHL.

Quick Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 09:52:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Sound Tigers tv section on this blog will likely have practice highlights today and comments from Kyle Okposo's first practice so go to the bottom of the page and check for the update if interested.

No doubt Michael Fornabaio will blog on practice and provide great background to what's happening. He already was the first to get comments from Okposo at the game last night for the paper today.

The Eastern Conference reserves for the All-Star game will be announced Friday for those wondering when find who will represent the Isles in Atlanta.

If Radek Martinek is returning to the lineup no one is talking about it. Cory Witt's media blog is providing daily updates on the road trip which is also linked to the feeder section here.

CSS Mid-Season Prospect Ranking

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 07:47:00 AM | Comment Here
Central Scouting released it's top 20 skaters/top five goaltenders from the North American and European's leagues yesterday.

North American skaters

1. Steven Stamkos C
2. Drew Doughty D
3. Zach Bogosian D
4. Kyle Beach C
5. Alex Pietrangelo D
6. Tyler Myers D
7. Luke Schenn D
8. Colby Robak D
9. Colin Wilson C
10. Cody Hodgson C
11. Zach Boychuk C
12. Josh Bailey C
13. Mikkel Boedker LW
14. Michael Del Zotto D
15. Tyler Cuma D
16. Mikhail Stefanovich C
17. Tyler Ennis C
18. Luca Sbisa D
19. John Carlson D
20. A.J. Jenks LW

North American goaltenders
1. Chet Pickard (WHL)
2. Peter Delmas (QMJHL)
3. Thomas McCollum (OHL)
4. Kevin Poulin (QMJHL)
5. Chris Carrozzi (OHL)

European skaters

1. Nikita Filatov LW
2. Evgeni Grachev C
3. Mattias Tedenby RW
4. Vyacheslav Voinov D
5. Roman Josi D
6. Anton Gustafsson C
7. Dmitri Kugryshev RW
8. Viktor Tikhonov W
9. Kristoffer Berglund D
10. Tomas Kundratek D
11. Joonas Rask RW/C
12. Johan Motin D
13. Tomas Kubalik C
14. Emil Bejmo C
15. Dmitri Kostromitin D
16. Tomi Sallinen C
17. Anton Korolev RW
18. Phillip Larsen D
19. Martin Lundberg C
20. Andrei Loktionov F

European goaltenders
1. Harri Säteri
2. Jakob Markström
3. Anders Lindbäck
4. Rasmus Rinne
5. Dominik Furch

A few words on line combinations

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 04:43:00 AM | | Comment Here
Ted Nolan basically said the Isles line combinations will likely settle back into what they were before the recent scoring slumps. Of course the head coach has also said recently from here on ice time would go only to those who earn it and his patience has been tested.

It was interesting seeing Miroslav Satan on left wing for a while against Vancouver which is not the first time an Islander coach has moved Satan to his off wing because that's something Ted Nolan does not like to do.

I'm kind of stumped on line combinations beyond knowing this team will sink or swim with Comrie and Guerin who look better together as a unit then when they are apart. I also think Richard Park's production is falling off again asking the question should he be on the first line over a young player?

There is just no easy answers here and usually when new combinatons are tried they look lost for half a game or longer before the coach starts juggling again.

I know Bergenheim and Comeau are working hard most games and creating chances and have the ability/composure to hold the puck and make a play.

Second line center they have no answer on the roster if Vasicek is not scoring, same if Sillinger is not scoring as the third line center. Hunter's two goals in twenty nine games cannot be hidden either.

That said here is a patchwork lineup that is new and different but maybe worth a try for a while. Of course when you break up Sillinger and Hunter you break up your shutdown line on defense.


Either that or go back to the early season combinations:

Of course if Ted Nolan wants to continue to use Miroslav Satan as a left wing and put his three best offensive talents on paper together he's going to have to play another forward out of position:

Either way unless some players start working harder and clearly the coach is questioning the effort why are the Islanders holding back Jeff Tambellini?

I absolutely think Comeau and Bergenheim stay here, they have not been part of the problem.

No easy answers at all. Isles work hard and lose that's acceptable, Isles skate like they have the last three games that's unacceptable. Sometimes goaltenders play well and steal points, that has not been the case.

Islander News Articles 1/10:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 04:38:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan asks Miroslav Satan about his line demotion, the move back to the first line left wing spot later in the game as the combinations were juggled and his shootout goal.

"At the beginning, I didn't know what to think," Satan said. "I just waited for a chance. All you can control as a player is how hard you play your shift. So, when I get a chance, I try to play as hard as I can. It was unexpected. But it could be a wake-up call for our line, basically."

"I was on the left side, which is not the right side. If I can say that," the Slovakian sniper said with a laugh at his play on words. "I don't know if I will play there next game, but if I will, it's going to take two or three games to get the steps and measure up the distances ... But I started basically with the fourth line and ended on the first."

South Bend Tribune: Steve Wozniak reports former Islander assistant coach Jeff Jackson called Garth Snow after his comments about Don Lucia's Golden Gophers program and talks of his own NHL prospect he current coaches and what it means for the Notre Dame program.

"I talked to Garth the day after," said Jackson. "I don't like commenting on these things, because I don't know what happened behind the scenes.

"The only thing with Garth, and I told him this -- was that the player has some responsibility for his development, more responsibility than the coach. A lot more."

Updated 1pm:
Newsday: In a stunner Newsday's Greg Logan released a
mid-morning article with a full mid-season report with the paper also promising a weekly Thursday feature called The 'Insider' which will offer analysis and commentary, plus a minor league report in the future.

"We're way ahead of schedule from where people had us predicted at the beginning of the year, which is a good thing," Nolan said. "But I think the best thing about the second half is that we haven't played as good as we can with everybody playing the same way on the same nights. We haven't played at a consistent level yet with all four lines going at the same time. It's something to look forward to in the second half."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Excellent mid season review by Mr Logan across the board. A weekly on-line feature sounds promising and long overdue with prospect reports.

Was Milbury talking about Charles Wang?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 04:01:00 AM | | 4 Comments

Interesting stuff here from Mike Milbury on the Leafs board running things, but just before he finished he said he had the same thing in New York which begs the question was he talking about Charles Wang's board which he was a part of last season or does his comments go back to hands on ownership or Howard & Ed Milstein, John Pickett or even John Spano or the group that ran the club for Pickett?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Too bad the host did not ask him to elaborate on his comment about New York so we know which owner the former gm he was talking about. Milbury's done nothing but praise Charles Wang for keeping him around when the popular move would have been to fire him from day one. Not very fair if after all the abuse Mr Wang took for his loyalty this is his payback because it cost him a lot in revenue and credibility in hockey circles for years.

My guess is we will never get an answer.

It should be noted last year's Islander hockey board did produce a playoff spot with reportedly Mike Milbury in the same role Chris Dey is currently in which has nothing to do with the on-ice operation.

Sound Tiger News Articles 1/10:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 02:31:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 5-3 loss to Portland Pirates at Harbor Yard Wednesday. Matt Keith made his Sound Tigers debut as a second line right wing, Jeff Tambellini extended his scoring streak. Dustin Kohn and Frans Nielsen scored.

Kyle Okposo was in the building after flying in from Minnesota.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the game and Jeff Tambellini being selected as an all-star.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game article on the loss is about another team meeting, even though Bridgeport fought back to tie, but gave up the game winning goal afterward.

"We talked about accountability and commitment in certain guys," coach Jack Capuano said. "If we have to take some action," he added, "we will."

"We're trying to stop the bleeding," Tambellini said. "We're at a point in the season where if we get back on the winning track we were on, we can push for the playoffs. If we let it slip, before you know it, you're out."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio also got in a quick Q & A with Kyle Okposo where he talks about playing at this level, Minnesota and the WJC.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's Sound Tigers weekly on Jeff Tambellini being named an all-star, the schedule and a varierity of subjects.

Portland Press Herald: Has the Portland Pirates coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual outstanding work by Mr Fornabaio and the Ct Post.