New York 6, Carolina 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 07:46:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 6-3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Strange game but one the Islanders found a way to win. Too many shots against and too much third period pressure.

Three shorthanded goals !

Dubie was fantastic and won the game for them. NHL career high fourty four saves which is what he has done in the AHL on several occasions. Witt does what leaders do and that's give them something when they needed it which tonight was his second goal of the season with Comeau making a good play.

Islanders did not start the game well and Carolina did, who had the extra step from the drop of the puck combined with the Isles not getting the puck out and Dubie was very good on a few good chances in front of him, the crossbad helped on one.

Sutton and Hunter had outside shots but Ward only had one great chance against which was Sillinger's shorthanded setup which produced the Isles goal as Carolina had five forwards on the ice so when four went to Hunter behind the goal, Sillinger was all alone. Comrie and Sillinger fanned on good chances. Sutton's penalty were Staal got involved with him seemed like a terrible because not taking both players.

Carolina then got it back on a very good deflection, but overall Carolina outskated the Isles.

Pk for Satan's delay of game was outstanding with Park looking like he could have skated back to the Isles end of the ice. Islanderd first powerplay, second very good with Satan just missing open net. PP at the end of the second did not go well at all.

Comeau breakaway where he stayed on his backhand are those instincts Ted Nolan talked about, he forced Ward to make a save.

Richard Park second Islander shorthanded goal off Martinek beating Cole and going glass outstanding play. Canes go to sleep on Sillinger second shorthanded goal on the same powerplay.

I remember Anders Kallur and Bryan Trottier having two shorthanded goals on the same Minnesota North Stars powerplay in opening game of the 1981 finals and Tom Fitzgerald in the series against Pittsburgh on two seperate shorthanded situtations.

Bergenheim a beautiful effort off a great play from Satan and Gervais for the 4-1 goal. He took the trip to stay with the puck, great instinct play like Comeau when he had his chance.

Dubie's second period save on Brindamour was outstanding, Isles almost had a fourth shorthanded goal.

Canes second goal was off a Witt deflection so I guess he owed his goalie one.

Islanders needed this tonight and found an unconventional way but the shorthanded goals and Dubie were the difference. Most goals since the opening weekend.

Isles gain on Philadelphia with the Devils winning in regulation and the Rangers trapping their way to a win against Atlanta.

Campoli out for season, Meyer resigned

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 05:24:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Report Chris Campoli is out for the season with shoulder surgery and Freddy Meyer has signed a two year extension with the club through 2009-2010. Ted Nolan comments on Campoli, Garth Snow on Meyer.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Devastating loss for the club to lose Campoli for the season given how well he has played this year and the progress he was making.

Now I know why Freddy Meyer's comments on the other day were about bringing back the same core as if he was automatically going to return or the club would want him back.

Mixed reactions on this signing with Sutton, Campoli, Witt, Martinek and likely Gervais signed to Campoli's extension sooner or later and a younger player like Johnson to say nothing of Mark Katic and Dustin Kohn.

Meyer was put on waivers by the Isles, not claimed and now the Isles are locked in for another two years after this?

Sometimes you have to save a spot for a top level defender in free agency or a player who is better. Meyer's had a good few weeks but was that worth a two year commitment?

Islanders want to impress me here they should resign Bergenheim and take away a potential Gandler problem if he's still his agent and see if something can be done with Hunter, Comrie and the other UFA. If you have a core locked up on July 1st that's what impresses UFA.

Newsday: Greg Logan updated Newsday's blog on both moves with Garth Snow's comments and speculates this means Marc-Andre Bergeron will not be traded. A few words on why Dubielewicz is starting today are also included.

Quick NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 02:44:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here Reports John Ferguson was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs as general manager and is not interested in a position with the club. Former gm Cliff Fletcher will be the interim gm and makes clear he does not want the position full time. Former Islander Jason Blake comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is one of the NHL's worst kept secrets that has been coming for months, the bigger surprise would have been if he was not fired.

Leafs are in contention for a playoff spot as every team is but the treatment of Mr Ferguson from here seemed to have been inappropriate. The media distorts things in a hockey centric market like that because they are all in competition with one another and even though his trades and signings justify a dismissal the apparent treatment of him did not seem fair at all by the media. I have no idea how much input he was allowed in the decision making process.

Many may recall Cliff Fletcher made some of his worst trades with Mike Milbury which led to the Islanders acquiring Kenny Jonsson and a fourth round pick which became Eric Brewer or Roberto Luongo and Mr Fletcher's eventual firing. My guess is decisons will not be made entirely by him at the trade deadline to hamper his successor.

If the blame goes on anyone to me it's MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie and the pressure to win now.

From an Islander standpoint you want the distractions to take it's toll on the ice because that leads to a club not focused that has enough problems being consistent from game to game.

Penguins website: Report Sidney Crosby will be out six to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. Evgeni Malkin will replace him at the All-Star game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I may be in the minority here but this is a good team that's far more than about one franchise talent. They scored five against Washington in a shootout loss and before that Ty Conklin had a shutout. His play since Marc Andre Fleury/Sabourin injuries has been outstanding and carried the club. They also lost Gary Roberts which is no small sidebar.

The young players on the club are a year older and more experienced. Even with Crosby healthy they were not going to continue that long winning streak but to me this club is just good and only getting better.

And they will get Crosby back.

1/22: New York at Carolina 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 01:49:00 PM | | 1 Comments
Islanders website: Adam Baruch, Chris Botta and Jason Lockhart compile the preview against the Carolina Hurricanes where the question is asked does Wade Dubielewicz start tonight?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outside of the Daily News comment by DiPietro that he tweaked something which looked like his leg or knee in the second period there has been no blog from Bridgeport or Newsday about a possible call up. This is a game I think was just setup for the Isles to give DiPietro a rest and Dubie getting two games in Bridgeport to play a team he beat in Carolina which is a pattern we used to see with Garth Snow always starting in Philadelphia.

Or DiPietro starts as usual. No word on Campoli or possible changes on defense.

Greg Logan usually blogs around 5pm if he traveled to Carolina.

Islanders have more pressing problems which begin with how the Hurricanes played in the third period where they got several quality chances and outworked the Isles and I'm not talking about the goals but the energy they got from them which could carry over into the start of the game tonight.

An interesting sidebar reported yesterday was John Grahame who was put on waivers and sent to the minors after being pulled against the Isles was recalled to Carolina yesterday. Even though the Canes had the weekend off this could be a game Peter Laviolette slated him to start but the Canes are off Wednesday.

My guess is Cam Ward keeps playing with his club on a winning streak.

Will the same officiating crew that called no penalties yesterday be making the trip or will the same two teams play a penalty filled game beginning in the first period tonight?

Updated 3:30pm
Chris King and Steve Mears report on ITV Wade Dubielewicz starts tonight and this has been the plan all along. DiPietro was on the ice at practice and will be the backup and start in Boston on Thursday.

Islander News Articles 1/22:

Newsday: Greg Logan's theme to his article is will the two points cost the team down the road with comments from Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin?

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article in on Blake Comeau having a plus two game and his adjustment to the NHL with his comments Ted Nolan, who feels his young forwards hockey sense is why his game is best suited to the NHL level while praising Brendan Witt & Radek Martnek's play in their return to the lineup.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted in the Islanders only full time paper, our beatwriter returns and tells us about how the lost points recently could be a problem and how the Rangers are only two points behind the Isles (as several teams are only a few points behind the Isles) and does not do a single blog while the Ranger beatwriter is making his case for the his team becoming like the Giants with the glass half-filled to go with the weekly feature and several blog updates.

Not like I want to be critical of Greg Logan or look to be but this is how I see things and when he writes in Nolan's view the Isles played well enough to win it's not as if he agrees. I never see any optimism from Mr Logan about this team for the long-term or talk of making a run at a Stanley Cup or how important it is for New York and the Islanders market.

NY Post-Dan Martin's editor allowed him to preview the Islander game but was assigned the Giants coverage Monday, meanwhile the two hockey teams who did not play Monday got articles today while the team that played in front of a sold out crowd was left with AP coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not like I want to complain but as someone putting the Islanders media and their perspective of our team under the spotlight, they leave me no choice. Dan Martin goes where he is told by his editor so it's not a criticism of him but this subjective and unfair coverage cannot be ignored and begs the question why not let Everson who works the Devils beat in New Jersey go cover the Giants so Mr Martin can provide game coverage, especially after he wrote a preview?

It's either a very badly run sport department or it's intentional.

Daily News: Peter Botte got a little more space today while Ted Nolan talked about his club not getting the breaks and the officiating while Rick DiPietro admitted he tweaked something in the second period and talked about the club not being able to finish games after getting the lead.

Edmonton Journal:Doug Mittler had an update on Project Hope with comments from Charles Wang and Ted Nolan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Had to go all the way to the Edmonton Journal for an article on this. Newsday did nothing on Mr Powell's visit to the Coliseum or anything beyond the one article a few days ago on the project.

Miami Herald: Pete Pelegrin reports former Islander Olli Jokinen asked for a trade from the Islanders back in 1999-2000 and made clear he wants to be a Florida Panther. Rachel Carter has the Carolina game coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio felt it was one of the Sound Tigers best efforts of the season with Jeff Tambellini, Jack Capuano and Joey MacDonald's comments on Bridgeport playing a solid game where they kept Portland to the sides and limited the shots. Sean Bentivoglio left the game with an apparent abdominal strain.

Portland Press Herald: Covers the Portland Pirates.

Carolina 3, New York 2 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/21/2008 04:47:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes with Ted Nolan's comments his club did not get the breaks but played well enough to win.

ITV: Has video from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin, Rick DiPietro and Brendan Witt's comments to the media aferward.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Very tough loss today and another game the Isles could not hold the lead, this time ahead 2-0 entering the third period. At least they added a point and avoided what would have been a disaster if they lost in regulation which almost happens if DiPietro does not rob Cory Larose right after they tied the game.

Bergeron and Gervais did not look too good today overall, some bad breaks but just not a lot of chemistry.

Not a ton of physical play on either side and a very choppy first period, too bad Park could not finish the play he knocked into Ward or Comrie could not hit the open net when the Canes goalie mishandled the puck. 3-0 I think would have finished the Canes or changed how they played which would have led to some odd-man rushes for the Isles.

Name of this game is adding points consistently, long unbeaten stretches in regulation like last year where they lost three regulation games in twenty is what they have to do but this was a game you expect two points.

It seemed like the kind of game the Islanders wanted to play where they kept the chances down and the pressure off. Two long shots on screens got by DiPietro and back to back penalties finished them in overtime with the Canes forward getting position on Martinek for a rebound. Not a bad team defensive effort considering how Carolina can score a lot of goals and was coming off a big effort.

Fedotenko's cross-check not called against Carolina and Sutton's is? Officials were not consistent there even though there has not been much to complaining about the officials for most of the season. Maybe the shot hitting Fedotenko had something to do with the non-call, but Martinek's call on Staal seemed weak in a game where not many penalties were called.

Of course going into the third nothing was called which begs the question. When the Isles finally got a chance to make it 3-0 against the league's worst pk, the Isles pp went nowhere.

Ward did not have to be very good in the third period. Comeau put on some nice displays carrying and holding the puck on one third period shift.

This time the boards gave the Islanders a goal with Andy Hilbert getting the bounce, after that Blake Comeau made a nice pass to Satan who put the Isles up 2-0, who was in Bergenheim's spot.

Satan's line had the only good chances in the third and skated well.

Classy show put on by the Isles again today with Colin Powell and another sellout on a very cold day.

Again, just not enough to win when they played well enough to get two points.

Both clubs meet again tomorrow.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 in Portland against the Pirates today where Jeff Tambellini scored his 25th goal and Steve Regier in his return had the game winner with Joey MacDonald leading the way with twenty six saves. Frans Nielsen had two assists.

Justin Bourne will meet his teammate from the Utah Grizzlies, Keith Johnson for the ECHL All-Star game in Stockton, CA.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio will have a blog up on the game later.

Ranger media site claims Isles-Milbury agenda?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/21/2008 12:48:00 PM | | | | | | 1 Comments
That did not take long at all, one game.

Looks like Mike Milbury did not get the sell the last place Rangers memo from NBC's Dick Ebersol or James Dolan before the game yesterday and a spin doctor Ranger fan site called the Hockey Rodent with Fox affiliation is very upset Mr Milbury was critical of a last place team struggling and Jaromir Jagr which claims an Islander agenda from the former gm.

This site is calling for a Milbury-free telecast against Montreal and a boycott of NBC products here as long as Mr Milbury is involved with the telecast.

New York Islander Fan Central is calling for the best game on television and cutting the Rangers out entirely until they earn the right to be televised based on standings like all teams should be.

Why is this Islander-related you may ask?

The person doing this article claims Mike Milbury is still under contract to the club and claims an Islander agenda yesterday which makes no sense because the former gm picked the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup earlier this year and terms of Mr Milbury's final Islander contract signed back in 2002 terms were not disclosed according to Dave Caldwell in this 2002 NY Times article, among several sources
here to say nothing of Mr Milbury's reported resignation and interview with Boston for their head coaching position.

If that's not enough the former gm was critical of the Islanders on video last week which was posted on this blog, someone under contract to a team does not rip his former team on television, do they?

I bring up this particular site because it says they have an affiliation with Fox Sports with the author calling for a Milbury dismissal/boycott of NBC products and sponsors but the site tells they they cannot act themselves because of a conflct of interest.

Yes, they do but not the one they bothered to tell you about.

That's the same Fox sports that televises Islander Hockey fully controlled by Cablevision today as part of part of a February 2005 restructuring according to here with Rupert Murdoch taking his own stations which did not include FSN-NY.

Regardless that site got it's message out and created their perception which is why NYI FAN Central will get involved and tell the true story as I see it.

* It claims the Rangers would deliver the single biggest hockey market in the Lower 48. If you don't believe this, then consider that their very next game will be Rangers-Habs - again a conflict between two franchises very not in cup contention.

I don't know what the single biggest hockey market is but what I do know is the Buffalo market outdrew the New York market by a two to one margin in terms of viewers during last year's playoffs as Alan Pergament made clear in the Buffalo News last spring which is no longer available in it's on-line editon. Feel free to check for the link in their archives
here for confirmation and reference.

The Rangers have the potential to be watched in 12 times as many households as the Sabres do because they play in the nation’s biggest market........

But in Round Two, the New York potential hasn’t translated into more viewers. The Versus coverage of Game One had a 25.3 rating here and a 1.1 rating in New York City. A rating point in Buffalo equals about 6,400 homes. A point in New York equals about 74,000 homes. According to Versus, the game was watched by practically twice as many households in Buffalo than in the Big Apple — 162,000 homes to 83,000 homes.

Several markets also outdraw the Manhattan market overall with the Penguins even outdrawing the Garden's prime sports property in the Knicks and the Nets as Bob Smizik told us in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette last April here while Bob Raissman told us in the Daily News last April a Nets regular season game outdrew a Ranger playoff game in terms of New York ratings numbers and claimed the Garden's personalities are creating delusional chatter about the club's true perception in the market here.

So already the Rangers are not even in that equasion given they drew a ratings avgerage lower than forty thousand homes last year which Richard Sandomir in the New York Times will tell you about here and their playoff ratings last year were terrible in New York to where the media noted several articles like this where NASCAR beat them here.

Bottom line Rangers will be on NBC because Mr Ebersol wants it that way and has a long relationship with the Garden to where the last place Knicks today for the same reason if Mr Wang owned NBC the Islanders would be on television the maximum number of times regardless of the club's record which is not in the best interest of the league or it's fans.

This also begs the question how are the Canadians or any club in playoff position not in cup contention at time?

This site also claims Mike Emrick clearly ratched back his typical wrestling federation delivery three notches so as not to alienate MSG cognoscenti and that Mr Milbury comments were pile-ons and gratuitous but failed to note Mr Emrick is also under contract to Cablevision to call New Jersey Devils hockey and could have a potential problem if he did what Mike Milbury did which also included criticism of the Bruins.

This begs the question if your telling the story why not tell the entire story if you want disclaimer's of Mike Milbury's Islander affiliation run during games beforehand?

Ok, enough of a Ranger fan site with ties to the media but just another example of how fans in the media business create perception for us which is up to you to accept or question.

My advice is to avoid the Hockey Rodent until that site cleans up it's act and does a more credible job but if sites like Fox carry that perception I feel I have given you reason to now ask your own questions if you read this at Fox.

My find word on this subject points to an outstanding article last summer by Jason Chung where he makes clear how Espn influences public attitudes in terms of the NHL in the

I feel the same thing happens a lot in our hockey market.

Feel free to comment and respond here or on the message board.

1/21: New York vs Carolina 2pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/21/2008 12:25:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview of today's 2pm game at home against Carolina.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For those scoring at home Philadelphia won big against Ottawa Sunday, New Jersey defeated Toronto, Pittsburgh without Crosby had a shutout and the Rangers got a point against Boston in two weekend games since the Islanders last gained a point.

Islanders are now six points behind three teams in this division who are all at least ten games over five hundred. If were hoping four seeds go to the playoffs from this division that may be ok, but given the Isles are going to have play those teams head to head to stay in playoff position down the stretch the Isles must gain points on a consistent basis against clubs out of division like the Canes.

Carolina was 2-7-1 before beating Edmonton 7-2 on Friday, they have has scored a power-play goal in three straight games and is among the league's highest-scoring teams with 3.02 goals per game. Cam Ward has been struggling as has the Canes defense.

Needless to say the Islanders are going to have to hope Witt and Martinek do not have a lot of rust on their game and can hold off a steaky Carolina team that scored eight goals against a rusty Islander team last time they were at the Coliseum but are very inconsistent as we saw on New Years Eve. The recent trends at home spread over a few weeks have not been good and it's clear the coach does not want them to get into any shootouts and play for a high scoring win.

My guess is Berard and Johnson are the healthy scratches on defense unless Ted Nolan sits a forward.

That spin the Isles had points in eleven of fourteen games after the Devils game now reads in the AP as having dropped six of nine for those curious.

Hopefully Satan's play to Vasicek get's that line going because they need more balanced scoring and clearly a better defensive effort with the shots and chances they are allowing. Vasicek took a few shots after his goal like the goal gave him some confidence.

No hiding from a bad game here folks, not in the conference standings and not from the Canes as both clubs meet Tuesday night in Carolina.

Islander News Articles 1/21:

Newsday: Katie Strang reports Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek will play Monday with Witt's comments about wanting to play against the opposition's top lines and his ten days off while Ted Nolan talks about their contribution and what the Isles need to do Monday against Carolina. Chris Campoli did not practice and will meet with the team doctors to re-evaluate his injured shoulder. the Carolina Hurricanes who are coming off a 7-4 win against Edmonton Friday and a weekend off.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio grades the Sound Tigers by position at the half way point in the schedule and highlights several games as the best and worst and reports on the return of Steve Regier with his comments here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the Sound Tigers who have struggled in the three game in four night's format as they will meet the Pirates in Portland at 1:05pm Monday afternoon.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Portland Pirates
WHEN — Today, 1:05 p.m.
WHERE — Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at Lindsay Kramer has an outstanding feature on Kyle Okposo where he talks about his transition to pro hockey with three games in three days, his departure from Minnesota and the fanfare he did not want to happen with what he has to do to improve. Jack Capuano and Don Lucia's comments about his transition and their impressions of his game. Chuck Gormley in his Atlantic Division notes has Bill Guerin's comments where he praised Ted Nolan for what he's trying to build here and credits his team for their efforts this season and how Nolan is a calming influence and keeps the club together and the opportunity here for players like Mike Comrie. Flyers goaltender also credits the Islanders for their hard work and his former coach in Buffalo while defenseman Freddy Meyer credits the goaltender and the leadership and how he would like to have all these players back next year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Gormley was in town with the Flyers but does a good job here letting Guerin, Biron and Meyer talk about the coach and what the Isles are trying to do. Very good article where Mr Kramer also just let's Kyle Okposo tell his story which brought out some things I did not read previously and a good job by Don Lucia adding his comments and putting his departure aside.

Creating hockey perception for fans 101

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/20/2008 04:47:00 PM | | Comment Here
Someone has to do the dirty work so I guess it has to be me.

I want to make clear as always writers do articles based on their editor in terms of space and many times content. Fans often see a headline and blame the writer but most professional writers have that done for them.

Nothing like a Sunday in New York where the Ranger beat writers in the media business are creating perception while our only full-time beat writer is off on comp time and is not a life long fan of the Isles anyway. Our writer just files his story unless his plane is delayed or Chris Simon is suspended which brought out his two most passionate blogs of the year along with missing New Year's at home.

Professional and hard working is how I would describe Mr Logan's work but in terms of passion it seems to me he's not an Islander fan and just covering his assignment, it's not a job requirement to be a life-long Islander fan to cover the club for Newsday and no blame can be placed on Mr Logan for that.

Isles are out covered and out blogged by such a large margin it's impossible to ignore who's creating the perception. The same perception that comes out and is critical of Mr Wang when he signed Rick DiPietro but ignores it now when other owners do the same thing?

Meanwhile Mr Wang's classy efforts are not even covered beyond one article.

The same perception where Larry Brooks writes a classy article on Al Arbour and right next to it does another article to rip Mr Wang on Neil Smith the same day, even though there was no update on this story at that time?

Needless to say if you read only one side of things of course it's easy to influence your perception.

Welcome to Sunday Hockey in New York and the very small and limited lobby of people who control what your hockey perception should be. Of course this goes to Leon Carver, Bill Gallo, Dick Klayman and the Times, Journal News and current Newsday sports editors.

Ranger reporter Steve Zipay controls the Sunday NHL column for Newsday and in a market the Islanders are barely covered when he's not talking about the Rangers in that space he's reporting on outside markets. Islander fans have to look to Canada's professional writers or other markets for our teams Sunday information which begs the question why not make it all Islander-centric and have the Islander beatwriter do the article?

In the Daily News you have John Dellapina today when he's done hyping Brian Leetch for about three pages feels the officials are not being fair with his team and shows plenty of passion about it here while Peter Botte is given a few short paragraphs for some home games and no blog. Mr Botte today is never allowed to express much of an opinion or can I tell if the long-time Islander writer is passionate about the club in any way?

Can anyone see Mr Botte being as annoyed in print or a blog as Mr Dellapina if the Isles were not getting the calls? Did not see it last season when the Isles powerplay to penalty disparity was around minus ninety which was second worst in the NHL.

When FAN590's Howard Berger took on Ranger forward Shawn Avery and could not back his claims the Ranger beatwriters let him have it good in their media space.

Can you imagine Mr Botte, Greg Logan or Dan Martin doing likewise or the reports of Mr Berger barred from the press box?

Instead we get Larry Brooks poking fan at Radek Martinek for being angry Ryan Hollweg pulled at his stitches after a game?

NY Post: Larry Brooks today is out there demanding more recognition for former Rangers and talking tradition like no one hired to cover the Islanders ever will bother doing for Butch Goring and about half the dynasty era players as the Post website designer Steve Soderwell does a daily blog here while Dan Martin is provided no blog and is provided a very small amount of space for home games only when he's the writer assigned.

Outside of Mr Martin going out of his way to tell the public the first Caps game was not a sellout which Chris Botta pointed out in his blog I have read virtually nothing from Mr Martin all season where he shows any passion about the club.

That said I was wrong on Evan Grossman when he had the beat.

Can you ever see a Post Islander beatwriter lobby for a night for Butch Goring or the other dynasty players as life-long Ranger fan Larry Brooks did today?

Some may recall a few years ago a relative of Bob Bourne writing the Post Sunday sound off was highly offended about the Islander great being considered under-rated which Mr Wang as usual stepped up and did something about as this teams best owner who respects tradition and makes up for past ownerships neglect.

Over at the Journal News where the Isles used to get some limited coverage for games Sam Weinman writes passionately for the Rangers, the Newark Star Ledger also is out telling the Rangers story in their blog. For those wondering over at the NY Sun, Islander updates are very infrequent these days from Kevin Greenstein while even the Staten Island Advance has a Ranger blog.

The Times has a full-time Ranger blog now from Lynn Zinser, it's peripheral blogs talk about hockey tournaments in Europe more than Islander hockey in New York as they ignore the fans in their blog demanding full-time Islander coverage but go cover Kyle Okposo's Bridgeport debut and have Dave Caldwell make rare appearances at the Coliseum.

Of course it goes without writing it Newsday is the only place with an Islander blog in a newspaper where Greg Logan when he's not on comp time is outworked about four to one on average vs Steve Zipay here I ask why not cut Ranger road coverage out of Newsday entirely and double up on the Islanders if that's how it works in Manhattan with the sports editors and the Isles?

This does not even include our friends at Msg (you remember, the folks who produce Islander hockey games and own the rights to the telecasts?) where Mr Trautwig took a shot at Rick DiPietro earlier this season and even Chris Botta asked where's the Islander coverage on their sporadic shows recently after a game?

The station where Stan Fischler never writes or says a negative word on the house team, never travels to the Coliseum to report on games anymore but is quick to point to the gloom and doom surrounding the slightest adversity on the Isles or Devils here. The folks creating the perception at Msg include John Giannone, Sam Rosen, Mike Crispino, Bob Wicheusen, Dave Maloney, Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti plus anyone else who holds an Msg microphone who know from Marv Albert's experience how they have to sell the Msg product the way they are told or find a new job.

Yes, I know Fran Healy got to do his interview with Mike Bossy for his Halls of Fame where I watched and wondered how long before Mr Healy asks if the Isles dynasty got it's fair share of attention?

For those curious Msg personalities hired to cover Islander hockey do have blog space at Msg. Billy Jaffe's last blog was in early December, Howie Rose has not done an Islander centric blog all season but had several Met updates. Deb Kaufman's last Islander centric blog was on October 22nd. Butch Goring has not been provided a blog spot at the Msg site. Mr Jaffe always tells us he's at the morning skate as does Mr Rose, so why not do some updates for the fans?

Chris King and Steve Mears who are not Msg employees and work for the Islanders do not have blogs but also do the Islanders television updates, post game shows and practice reports for those wondering why I did not single them out here.

Finally we all know Scott Burnside, Teri Frei, Barry Melrose and Dick Ebersol are always going to hype the New York markets for their networks because that's where Espn had it's sportszone. Sam Flood who is in charge of NHL on NBC guarantee's a
Ranger-Red Wing final would draw in casual viewers at the Winter Classic as Richard Deitsch at SI told us here so we know what the NBC agenda is geared toward with Mr Ebersol behind that.

Never mind the fact Ranger ratings on Msg last season were far below Islander television ratings during the John Spano era and their local and national playoff ratings were terrible to where Richard Sandomir in the Times told us the Rangers playoff ratings were 38 percent lower than the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in New York here or that the Sabres doubled up the New York playoff viewing audience last spring here according to countless articles even with Islander and Devil fans helping the Ranger numbers.

We also know the Michael Farber's, Adam Proteau's and Lyle Richardson's also spread the word from the folks creating the New York Hockey perception to Canada and other markets and that the Espn Sportszone in Manhattan is big business as is Rockefeller center where NBC is located.

So what is my point here?

Very simple. Just because one team has more fans in the media business telling you what your perception should be does not mean it is the correct perception. I'm also not doing this to tell you these folks should not be marketing their favorite team or not be passionate if they are fans of a team because that's what I would want for the Islanders folks covering them in the media if there were ten Islander fans controlling perception and no Ranger fans.

My point is you are only getting one side of the hockey story so do not be so quick to accept one-sided coverage as fact.

Dubie, Witt & Martinek return Monday

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/20/2008 04:19:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Islanders media relations assistant Adam Baruch reports Wade Dubielewicz is back with the Islanders, Radek Martinek and Brendan Witt will play against Carolina Monday with Ted Nolan's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great news both defenders are ready to return, the question now is who get's the seats on the bench. My guess is Aaron Johnson and Bryan Berard because Freddy Meyer's defense and Marc-Andre Bergeron's skill and shot have been of more value.

Either way Witt and Martinek will be under the gun against Carolina's speed and skill early and often.

Islanders website: Chris Botta reports on the Lighthouse Tournament's conclusion Sunday with Bruno Gervais and Islanders' Director of Grass Roots Hockey, former Islander Steve Webb's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Too bad this has only attracted one Newsday article because it deserves a lot more attention. Usual first class work from the Islanders here and not only at the Coliseum but what they have done in China.

Islander News Articles 1/20:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's game coverage had Ted Nolan's comments, who felt his team fell apart and got away from it's defensive play trying to increase it's lead. Bill Guerin felt the Islanders had the Flyers beat but got careless with the offensive plays they were attempting and Scott Hartnell got lucky while Rick DiPietro lamented the bad bounce which led to the winning goal.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's other article is on the Isles used to playing in the cold, Bruno Gervais playing sick against the Devils and some other items.

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space articles seem to be getting even more limited and was virtually worthless with a few blurbs from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro while John Dellapina in addition to a full game article had a three page feature on Brian Leetch.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article on the loss had Ted Nolan's full comments on what the Islanders did not do in terms of shooting, back checking and did not give them a pass because of the breaks.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Ray Parrillo's game recap has comments from Scott Hartnell about his lucky breaks.

Courier Post: Chuck Gormley's recaps the game and reports Hartnell's hat-trick was the first time since Brian Propp did it in 1988 a Flyer had three pp goals in the same game. Mr Gormley also writes DiPietro misplayed the puck that hit the glass for the winning goal.

Sound Tigers website: Recaps Bridgeport's 4-3 loss to Albany Saturday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's 4-3 loss to Albany Saturday where Wade Dubielewicz made twenty two saves and was still not comfortable with his rebound control. Former Canes goaltender John Grahame faced forty five shots with Brandon Nolan having a big night. Jeff Tambellini had two assist, Kyle Okposo set up a goal with Frans Nielsen
scoring his tenth. Jack Capuano felt his club did not get enough traffic in front of Grahame.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog recaps Bridgeport's loss, asks Kyle Okposo about his last two weeks and will have a Sound Tigers mid-season report on Monday where the powerplay will not be getting a favorable review.

Albany Times Union: Covers the River Rats.

Newsday: Neil Best has had about three blogs and now an article where NBC analyst Mike Milbury was critical of Ranger forward Jaromir Jagr to where he would not interview with the former Islander gm.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Media guys like Mr Best even though they are about talking media performance are also fans of teams and between the old stories of Msg he seems to be on the Rangers side to where he got in his jab with Milbury under the Spano era logo in one of his blogs. Recently he also did an article where he went out of his way several times to make his point the Isles would no longer be here without Msg's television contract forgetting the club was in operation from 1973-1996 without such a deal. Also Mr Best put up several blogs pushing for more Ranger radio coverage on Eastern Long Island but has no problem with the very limited city coverage of the Isles.

Lancaster Eagle Gazette:Sean Golden has an article on former Islander part time scout Jack Vivian for seventeeen years being made a US citizen with comments from former Islander chief scout and senior vice president of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, Jimmy Devellano.

Philadelphia 5, New York 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/19/2008 11:19:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers where Bill Guerin felt the team was sitting on the lead while Ted Nolan said the team did not play very smart after the first period with the forwards cheating by getting too far ahead of the defense.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This loss stings worse than any this season to date because it was a game that the Isles were playing well and on their game. This is the kind of game you expect it to be a lock for them to get points from.

They did not even get it to overtime.

They did generate offense and were outworking Philadelphia despite falling behind and scored three goals Biron had little or not chance on which this team rarely does. Berard made a great pass to Park, Satan made a great play to hold the puck and feed Vasicek and Guerin snapped a great shot from his spot for the 3-1 goal.

For some reason the Isles powerplay could not generate chances with the lead after that to keep the pressure on Philadelphia and then Hatcher fought Hunter, the Flyers got position in front of the Islanders goal and overpowered Bergeron-Johnson for the 3-2 goal and that changed all the momentum. The Isles for all the second period and until Comrie's chance about four minutes into the third had no pressure on Biron.

Meanwhile Philadelphia started earning powerplays and got a big break on the tying goal where a hard dump in with the powerplay seemed to hit two players going for the puck and went right in front for the tying goal and another hit the glass on a dump in which gave the Flyers the lead for good.

What was more disturbing was the Flyers were getting some great chances that DiPietro made some big saves on. The final goal was a play that was supposed to be icing but not called, Meyer tried a long pass which was intercepted and became a two on one which led to the 5-3 goal which was the final.

Philadelphia outhit the Islanders in front of both goals in this game which also was not a good sign. Hunter got bounced around good, three Flyers went to Guerin on one play.

The opening goal off the Johnson's stick changed the passes direction which gave Hartnell position to beat Sutton for the shot.

Overall the Isles defense did not play a terrible game, Berard had two very good assists, Bergeron made a few good plays. The problem was the Flyers were able to play them physical. That second Flyer goal where Johnson and Bergeron were overpowered was not good.

Tough loss, no breaks either but after the first period Isles did not create any breaks for themselves and this is another game Isles did not seem comfortable on home ice. That goal off the glass was a killer but you cannot play one period in this league and this had the look of a game Isles could have made 5-1. Almost seemed like the Islanders wanted to get into a high scoring game after the first and they did have too much separation from the defense and the forwards were up looking to attack.

Richards made a fantastic shot for the 5-3 goal too. Have to admit Flyers defense was better than I have seen it in a few years.

That's three losses in a row at home for the first time all season. Felt like the kind of loss you look back on as a turning point if the club falls out of contention.

1/19: New York vs Philadelphia 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/19/2008 12:27:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For me this has kind of a big game atmosphere tonight and a bit of a character test for Ted Nolan's team after a few days off where they need a big effort here to earn two points and re-establish themselves at home after some recent struggles. Flyers first visit, a likely sellout and a game against a team that has won eight of their last 10 games and six of their last seven on the road who the Isles are 0-2 against this season.

Of course with the injuries on defense a lot is being asked here but this is an opportunity for an Aaron Johnson just as it's been for Berard, Bergeron and Meyer all season.

One thing for sure is Isles cannot afford the kind of mistake Bergeron made that led to DiPietro robbing Langernbrunner in the first period and Berard has to be more mobile on defense. His second penalty was more a Devil selling a crosscheck but his first one was him using his stick all the way because he was not moving and the Devils went to the outside on him and drove the net a few times.

I'm expecting one of the Isles best games of the season tonight and a full sixty minute effort. Not the two earlier games where the Flyers did not play well and came out with two wins on Islander mistakes. Those games Isles had good pressure late in the game and could have gotten points but fell short.

Of course Daniel Briere, Gagne, Richards, Knuble and the supporting cast in Philadelphia is very solid with Upshall playing well and Carter only getting better.

Ben Eager is no longer a Flyer and was traded to Chicago who seemed to have his career nights against the Isles for those curious.

On the injury front: D Lasse Kukkonen has been a healthy scratch in each of the last four games and replaces Rory Fitzparick (sports hernia) as the Flyers' seventh defense man. RW Denis Tolpeko (left shoulder) is day-to-day. The Flyers are the only team in the NHL without a shootout win. Some other Flyers sat out practice the other day but are expected to dress.

Updated 3pm:
Newsday: Mark Herrmann reported in the Newsday blog on Aaron Johnson back with the Isles and that Witt and Martinek skated well at practice with Ted Nolan commenting Witt is out for another game and Martinek is about a week away which Cory Witt had in his media blog

Thoughts on the Eastern Conference

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/19/2008 10:26:00 AM | | Comment Here
The word gang is parity as I write a paragraph about all the teams in the Eastern Conference after I start with the New York Islanders.

7. New York Islanders-Simply put the Islanders have to keep working their way to three goals any way possible and hope the defense by committee gives DiPietro enough of a chance to make his saves while holding down the rebounds. For myself, defense is always about chemistry, not names on the backline. Tampa Bay/Carolina's cup defense is enough to tell me you can win a Stanley Cup without franchise name defenders if you play well as a group. This current group has enough chemistry to make enough plays to hold them in games with their goaltender handling the puck and making his saves.

The powerplay got a five on three goal where the goalie was moved around to where he was out of position, it needs to do this a lot more in games. The setup for Sillinger's goal is where this team needs to work to get it's chances and the kind of play lacking most of the year.

As always a lot of forwards are due for a breakout game but more are having that game now.

Isles got four goals in Calgary against a fast team, Comrie put on a show in Ottawa where Gerber was the only reason Isles did not have five or more goals. It's been better and even though both teams were a bit sluggish in the Isles loss to the Canadians at times and the shot total was low the Isles were working harder than I have seen for a good part of the first half and the story was Montreal's shot blocking. That has to continue for them to have a chance and it's time this club win a few more games for it's goaltender.

I keep writing about how the Isles scoring is down dramatically at the half way point, the goals against were up from last year and plus/minus terrible but the last two weeks has given them one big advantage over last year which is all that matters, the record.

Last year at the end of January this club was only a game over five hundred. Today on January 19th they sit five games over five hundred. Not as good at even strength, terrible power play overall, maybe it is the character doing just enough to make the difference when it matters with a great pk effort but rarely the sixty minute games advertised.

As for the rest of the Eastern Conference, it's getting late early for Tampa and a few other clubs but any team that wins five in a row or goes on a eight wins in ten games stretch is right back in it and all these clubs are capable of doing this at any time. Tampa won huge the other night and have the scoring to beat anyone for a long stretch.

1.Ottawa Senators-Even with Heatley's injury and maybe even Spezza playing below par this is still the best club. Washington beat them four in a row and they simply are not very deep after Mike Fisher up front. Bryan Smolinski, Randy Robitaille are not going to carry them on offense. Both goaltenders are good but also can be streaky and it does not seem a good long-term solution. Redden needs a little help on the backline and you see teams going at him as Mike Comrie did.

2.New Jersey Devils-Are too steady a club with two much upside getting better every game to struggle for long. They outplayed the Isles and lost another close game to Florida but they know how to get points most nights and as soon as they lose four of five and the doubts surface they will throw the switch and start winning. No matter who they lose it seems Lou Lamoriello and David Conte have someone ready who can play. Brent Sutter is only going to become more experienced as an NHL coach and I do not see a repeat of Lou Lamoriello making any coaching changes this time around.

Howie Rose is correct in that it would nice if Brent smiled once in a while.

3.Carolina-Five hundred team that is the second highest scoring club in the East who scored seven goals Friday to break their four game losing streak against Edmonton who next play the Islanders Monday. When this team is skating well they can put up a lot of goals as Islander fans saw first hand earlier this year and you can bet Peter Laviolette has some pressure to win this year after last year's playoff miss. Cam Ward may be a little inconsistent but can also steal games.

4.Montreal-Has the speed, skill and defensive system that forces teams to play their game which has led to a lot of wins and a far better team than projected. This is where they began their falloff a year ago but I do not see that happening again because their goaltending is a year better also with more experience.

5.Pittsburgh-That sound was the Penguins point streak finally ending last night and Sidney Crosby with a high ankle sprain that could keep him out for as much as a month. Ty Conklin stepped in and has been fantastic and carried them so even if they score less I would not expect their goaltending is going to produce points for them but the way they were going before this made them a lock to go down to the final days battling for the division title as they did last year. Now were going to see if this is too much for them to overcome. Crosby's loss is terrible for the league but their defense by committee can and has done enough to win games.

6.Philadelphia-This team had a long losing streak, broke out and just kept winning as Richards looks like a franchise player. Gagne, Upshall, Carter and Knuble with their other players form a solid core. On defense they are a little suspect still but it's a hard working club that knows how to win. Still not sold on Biron as a number one goalie. The physical game and some of the illegal hits they make have to be something you have to be aware of now going into games.

8.Boston-Last time I wrote about the Bruins they had lost about six in a row and were back at five hundred, today they are back at four games over. They lost Bergeron, they have injuries but Savard and Sturm give them enough on offense with Chara and Tim Thomas giving them enough on the back line and in goal. Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli have done a very good job keeping this group together and they are not the team that folded against the Isles so many times in recent years which I suspect is the case against a lot of clubs and why they are better overall.

9.Rangers-Every game they seem to out shoot the opposition badly and manage to win a low scoring game or lose. The trap they play protects Lundqvist well but he rarely is the busiest goaltender and when it breaks down he does not step up. Not impressed with the overall plan, the decision making or the coaching and in the end Drury and Gomez are doing what they usually did on their former teams but to play Brandon Dubunski as a first line center was just horrible. The veterans are breaking down at this time but that's expected with players like Jagr, Straka and Shanahan. If they find the chemistry they could go weeks without losing in regulation but as much as they have struggled they are still right there and with no franchise defender and my guess is we have not seen their best hockey yet but maybe we never will?

10.Atlanta-One Thrashers team looks like they can score ten goals, the other looks like it could allow ten goals which they did against Buffalo in their last game. The coaching change brought them all the way back to five hundred quickly and now we'll see if the scoring can offset the lack of defense and goaltending at times. This could go either way but what they do not seem to have is an ability to consistently produce points by winning with defense and goaltending which is what you have to have in this league over a full season.

11.Buffalo-They just put up a ten spot on Atlanta and broke their ten game losing streak with several ot losses. Just an inconsistent club overall with a lot of young players looking to find themselves but should be better than it's record. I suspect after that last game they could go on a roll and Miller is used to a heavy workload. Still how can Derek Roy be this teams leading scorer with Afinogenov and what they are paying Vanek combined with Tim Connolly's five goals?

One thing for sure is they have the offensive depth to not go quietly which I suspect will be the case. Glad Isles are done playing them but this could go either way which usually means things meet somewhere in the middle which may not be enough.

12.Florida-This team frankly scares me and not because they beat the Isles but how they have beaten them is what's kept them somewhat in the race unlike other year they were so far behind early and then made a playoff run with no pressure. This year is different and if they go on that kind of run this time I suspect they will be in the race until the final days. Those young players are no longer young and have been though this now enough to where they just may start dominating at the right time and Tomas Vokoun can carry a club. I think the biggest weakness here is the head coach because he does not seem to work well with Olli J which could bring down the club.

13.Washington-Another club that can score in big bunches but is not the same hard working young team they were under Hanlon without the young talent for a few years under no pressure.

They got older in the off-season and started poorly which got the coach fired and now the young players are stepping back up with Semin healthy and Ovechkin just a dominating player who can steal games to go with their other upcoming young stars in Backstrom and Gordon while Mike Green is allowing Tom Poti to just play defense which the Caps struggle with badly. That said going 4-0 against Ottawa where they scored eight goals on the road gives me an indication this team can dominate anyone when they are on their game and we have not seen their best yet. The defense plays better and Kolzig's workload is cut down this club could go on a huge run and make the playoffs with room to spare. Nylander's loss hurts. Isles made the right move on Kozlov with his four goals because he simply does not shoot enough which has always hurt him.

14.Toronto Maple Leafs-If it were not for the constant turmoil in Leafs-land this club has the scoring to get back in the race but frankly I do not see it with so much talk of trading Sundin dominating the games with a gm and coach seemingly on borrowed time and just a lot of bad contracts, poor defense and marginal goaltending at best. No, I do not want Jason Blake back at that price. Leafs want to put him on recall waivers and pay part of his contract for no return even that is a tough proposition with his long term deal and unfortunately his illness. This is the club he would play best for given the Isles need someone to carry the puck but what right or left wing you want to get rid of to make this happen even as a recall waiver?

Isles also have Jon Sim who will play for this club again at some point. For Blake to return Hunter or Satan have to go.

Leafs for me are about two bad weeks from me putting them out of any realistic playoff contention. Maybe that happens and then with the pressure off things change but that's doubtful.

15.Tampa Bay-Have the offense, but not the necessary chemistry on defense, especially with Dan Boyle not in the lineup on a consistent basis, even with Brad Lukowich back in Tampa. Do not see teams taking those long-term contracts to give the Bolts cap space and clearly they do not have the goaltending. I also think John Tortarella's act may have gotten old and maybe their offense is strong enough to carry them into contention but I have serious doubt their defense and goaltending can keep them in contention.

In the end folks, everything changes quickly which is the only thing consistent about this year's playoff race.

Islander News Articles 1/19:

NY Post: Dan Martin was allowed four small paragraphs today as a game preview where Mr Wang said he was pleased with the club winning three of their last four games and that the club was doing a heck of a job as the injuries/call ups Friday were included.

Philadelphia Daily News: Ed Moran confirms report the other day, Martin Biron will start in goal.

Philadelphia Daily News: Ed Barkowitz reports
Scott Hartnell (hand) and Scottie Upshall (ankle) skipped practice yesterday but both are expected to play against the Isles while Rory Fitzpatrick is scheduled to have surgery today for a sports hernia. Wayne Fish writes about the Flyers power play which is currently ranked number one in the league.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported Frans Nielsen's goal came off a Ben Walter shorthanded block as he exited the penalty box and found himself with a breakaway. Dubie was not happy with his rebound control or footwork and felt he was rusty but credited his defense, while coach Jack Capuano praised his teams composure.

Ct Post: Wade Dubielewicz talked about his conditioning stint which likely ends after the game against Albany Saturday and felt the games he saw recently with the Islanders helped him get back into a groove.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News: Had brief staff reports on last night's game.

Globe & Mail: William Houston writes about NBC's hockey coverage and their flex schedule which begins today and Mike Milbury's role who said he is not like Bob Costas and will tell everyone when he feels a player is dogging it. NBC's Sam Flood who produces their hockey coverage talks about Sidney Crosby's impact and the complaining about last year's regional schedule which prevented Western Conference fans from seeing him play.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have little doubt former Msg shareholder Dick Ebersol's spam the New York City market plan will be the overall format regardless of the poor ratings showing the Manhattan product not only on NBC but Fox and ABC before that. This was a program last year that did not show Islanders-Devils on the final day of the season or make plans to add the game which produced record TSN viewers here. NBC even shows what amounts to Knick infomercials these days as filler during other networks football games so clearly they still have a good relationship with the Garden if not a vested interest outright in marketing for them.

My advice to Islander fans is to not help the New York ratings by watching Sunday because all it does is keep our team off future telecast and validate their Ranger centric format strategy. Sunday's telecast to me is a test where they sell the Manhattan-Boston rivalry for a possible outdoor game in the future.

I suspect the Rangers want to keep the Islanders out of any outdoor game because it risks putting both New York teams in an event on an equal footing and could be embarrassing for the garden if a large number of Islander fans attended an event like that inside the city limits. Don't think for a second the Dolan's took on the Isles long-term contract with sportshannel when the networks merged to help their popularity. Charles Dolan may go to Islander playoff games and may have been a fan long ago but his family owns the Garden and it's competition's television rights which is what they do to control content.

If you feel I'm incorrect here by all means let the New York Times tell you as Richard Sandomir told us back in 1998 here which is why Islanders-Toronto in 2002 went right back on the limited metro channel when one Islander playoff game got a local rating equal to two hundred thousands homes which was far higher than any Ranger playoff game last year and when WFAN'S Chris Russo asked James Dolan about it he simply smiled and laughed during an appearance.

In the end I see no way the Yankees allow a non-baseball event to close their historic stadium nor do I see a demolition delay for possible future things built on that land as soon as the Yankees finish playing next season at a time there will be huge construction activity in the area.

However if it were to happen................

I would love to see the Islanders play the Canadians at Yankees Stadium as the home team and cut the Rangers out entirely. Make it a weekend for sports dynasties only and have the Isles dynasty players go against the Canadian dynasty players from the seventies and take down the Long Island label for a few days because this is a New York team called New York Islanders with a strong city fanbase.

It's not like the Islanders are the football teams that play in the New Jersey Meadowlands parking lot and plaster New York all over everything while everyone ignores it.

You can bet the Steinbrenner family do not have short memories of keeping YES off Cablevision for a year and the Dolan's lawsuit against the NHL this year.

This is one format the Dolan's cannot control which is why they are paying so much for the television rights to all four New York area teams, including the Buffalo Sabres to regulate telecasts and content.

It's also a great opportunity to expand the Islander fan base inside the city limits which has always been very good but neglected recently which has contributed to the media reducing the city coverage to all-time lows. Perhaps something like this brings more coverage and exposure for the Isles inside the city limits full time which ends the subjective coverage.

Quick Update

You miss a day and as always a lot happens.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann apparently did that first promised Newsday Thursday feature with expanded Islander coverage. It was on Trent Hunter wearing the assistant captain's letter, Jeff Tambellini mentoring Kyle Okposo, with comments from Ted Nolan praising his captain and how he would have given the C to Hunter if Guerin were not here.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's blog Friday reported Brendan Witt is not likely to return Saturday and that Chris Campoli according to Ted Nolan will probably will be out a while. Aaron Johnson played Friday for the Sound Tigers and will be recalled after the game to join the Isles.

Islanders website: Reported Friday morning Wade Dubielewicz was sent to Bridgeport for conditioning to get some work in along with Aaron Johnson's recall to New York. Mike Morrison was recalled to replace Dubie. Ted Nolan discusses the moves made.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What does all this come down to?

Get past the next four games and hope Martinek, Campoli are ready to return after the All-Star break. Even shut down Witt and Satan if that's what's necessary.

Aaron Johnson will have to do his part and his mobility can help against Philadelphia and Carolina.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog Friday it's likely a two game assignment for Dubielewicz who should start against Albany Sunday.

Draw Fata played Friday for Bridgeport as did Matt Spiller.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann covered the Long Island Cup which is Mr Wang's classy efforts once again bringing over youth teams from China to compete in a tournament that this time will be held at the Nassau Coliseum.

Asked about the Lighthouse Project, Mr Wang wished it were moving faster and expressed his impatience but felt things were moving in the right direction. Report Dubie started against the Phantoms in Philadelphia and Aaron Johnson was on the back line in Bridgeport's 2-1 shootout win against the Phantoms Friday night. Justin Bourne made his AHL debut, Kyle Okposo was pointless and Jeff Tambellini was the first star. Frans Nielsen had Bridgeport's regulation goal.

Quick hits for Thursday morning

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/17/2008 10:39:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here Brian Compton has an NHL feature where he feels Rick DiPietro should be a MVP candidate for the Hart Trophy for how he's kept his team in the playoff race as his lead story.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Agree completely and Mr Compton even included Campoli's injury so he is paying attention to the games, solid work.

* About a week ago we were reading the Isles were win less in five games, today we read the Islanders have points in eleven of fourteen. That's why the name of the game is getting points and why you have to avoid long losing streaks in regulation.

I guess if Buffalo wins five in a row someone will write they have points in ten of fifteen games and forget the ten losses in a row?

* I went to the Sound Tigers website today looking for quotes on the game and found them only on the Islanders website?

Islanders last night had the Bridgeport game coverage on their NHL website with Jack Capuano's comments. I know this is a bit of a new concept since it started with Kyle Okposo's arrival. Having written that the Sound Tigers website today does not have the head coaches comments or the same article or any quotes at all begging the question I'm sure Sound Tigers fans who visit their site only want to know what the coach said about the win?

I personally loved Kimer Auerbach's updates from Moncton but it does not seem like most of the Sound Tigers website work is credited and they do a lot of excellent features on the team to go with Sound Tigers TV which is outstanding.

No big deal in the end but when someone like myself starts with the Sound Tigers website to look for game quotes and finds them on the Isles site perhaps it's something I thought should me mentioned. I'm sure some Sound Tiger fans who maybe are not Isles fans do the same thing.

* Anyone else think Josef Vasicek was heading for a bad angle when he had the puck dead center in front of Martin Brodeur with time to shoot? I know he's talented and struggling and the best of players talk about a goal getting back some confidence, Isles need him to finish one so he can get back to where he was earlier this season.

* For those scoring at home Petteri Nokelainen is up to thirty two games. According to the Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa back in September among several writers here if Nokelainen plays in 50 or more NHL games in 2007-08
the Isles receive a second round pick in the 2009 draft.

No doubt the Bruins want to develop Nokelainen and are not interested in the pick and will keep him in the NHL barring injury.

* Every game I see Blake Comeau play he does something that tells me he's an NHL player. His composure and skills along with knowing when to make a play and when to hold the puck are clear indications he should not be heading back to Bridgeport. His
work led to an Islander power play which became a five on three which created the opening goal against the Devils.

Of course he likely will be leaving when Chris Simon's suspension ends because there is simply no spot unless a trade is made. I think Bill Jaffe said something during the Montreal game about Chris Simon returning to practice, I'm not sure.

* Have not written much about Sean Bergenheim recently. No doubt he will get hot and start contributing, part of it has been the line he has been on not scoring, he works when he is out there.

* Can you imagine if Chris Simon did what Brendan Shanahan did at the end of last night's game? Clearly this was trying to prevent a goal in the final seconds of a one goal game but how did that not produce a penalty?

* If Chris Campoli is out for a while I wonder if Aaron Johnson's one game is enough of a conditioning stint? First period the Devils took the angle on Berard and went at the net who did not have the lateral movement to close to distance and angle the player off. I guess Witt if ready takes Campoli's spot but maybe it's time to look at the Sound Tigers defense who have did not have captain Mark Wotton or Drew Fata in Norfolk who have had injuries.

That leaves Jamie Fraser, Dustin Kohn who has been a healthy scratch before Joe Rullier left the team after his PTO expired or Matt Spiller. Unless the staff wants Andy Sertich or Scott Ford.

Remember all that depth signed on defense and too many spots? It could be that way again when Johnson, Witt and Martinek return but for now Isles do not have it.

* Satan's knee looked like it was hurting against the Devils in the first. I guess he's going to keep playing because he never comes out of the lineup but they do have Jeff Tambellini and the all-star break.

Philadelphia Daily News: Ed Barkowitz reports Martin Biron will start Saturday against the Islanders.

* Looking the the conference standings there is a little separation between the Islanders and a few teams with two exceptions, Carolina and Boston.

These upcoming games are huge if they want to open a slight cushion on the team currently on the outside by a point or tied. Of course the fifteenth place club is only ten points out of eighth so no one is out of this.

* Finally the NHL asks us to caption this picture here.

For myself it's see you Saturday.

Use the feeders to read the articles, injury updates on Chris Campoli/Brendan Witt and the Friday night coverage of Bridgeport at Philadelphia unless the Islanders make a big trade or a major announcement is made. This time I'm going to take a full day off.

A few decisions about NYI Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/17/2008 09:55:00 AM | Comment Here
I have been thinking about this for a while as I always look to add concepts I think would make this blog of more value to it's visitors.

Going back to my other cyberspace ventures I would post full articles or parts of articles based on others folks rules for their sites. This is my blog and the final decisions now are all mine.

Having written that I have made the decision to no longer post parts of articles or quotes of other writer's work. I will credit the author, link to it so we can read it and provide my own summary of the article and at times include NYI Fan Central comments, but I'm no longer interested in reprinting copyrighted material and it will give me a little more time to do more of my own features here.

Bottom line we can all click on the links and give our thoughts of an article and have discussions anyway and I can still put the writer's perspective under the spotlight. This also includes any information from the Islanders or Sound Tigers websites.

Second, even though the AP or Ticker are already in the feeders here and all over the blog, I intend to start adding one of them to the daily news articles because they usually have most of the the quotes from both sides. The other day I read an AP summary where our so-called Daily News home coverage was supposed to be and noticed something....

The News gave the AP more space than they give Peter Botte.

I'm not sure which one I will select but will try both.

Finally being that the Isles website allows us to share video's of the game I'm going to include it in the sidebar at NYI Fan Central so everyone who wants can come and view the highlight package they do an excellent job at putting together.

I have been reluctant to do this for a while because I notice some sites have it come on automatically which can be annoying if you visit often. The way this is set up you have to hit the play button so it's up to you.

Islander News Articles 1/17:

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article is on the Islanders recent dominance over the Devils, Bill Guerin credited his goaltender for preventing at least four goals and performing as an elite goaltender with Ted Nolan pointing out your best penalty killer is your goaltender. Freddy Meyer talked about why his goaltender is an all-star. Mike Sillinger comments on the win bringing the Isles to within four points of first place.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's other article is on Brent Sutter's son, who was drafted by Carolina with Brendan Witt targeting Saturday as a return while Miroslav Satan said he's trying to play with the pain in his left knee and not at a hundred percent.

NY Post: Mark Everson's limited space Devils-centric article was on their first loss of the calender year with only Ted Nolan's comments on his all-star goaltender the Islander content.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not unexpected the Post editors Greg Gallo and Dick Klayman did not assign Dan Martin or another writer to tell the Islander centric side of the game. Of course it's not appropriate coverage.

Daily News: Let's hope sports editor Leon Carver does not pay Peter Botte by the word because his six paragraph article to cover both teams would not pay for the popcorn after Mr Carver did not even assign a writer to the Montreal game. His article's theme was the Isles recent dominance over New Jersey with a few quotes that the Associated press provided.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell actually had an article mixed in with the others scorers around the league with praise all around for Rick DiPietro with Brent Sutter also praised the Islander goaltender while questioning his pp for not producing with so many second period chances.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere suggested the Devils mailed in the two points, Martin Brodeur felt the Devils outplayed the Isles badly but did not convert on it's pp chances and ran into a hot goaltender while Patrick Elias talked about the time off for the days was a factor for them early. Brent Sutter felt the Devils played well in the second half of the game.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere's other article is on Jamie Langenbrunner's commenting the Devils had the Islanders where they wanted them playing a third game in four nights while the Devils had won ten of eleven at the Rock but did not get the job done.

Bergen Record: Tom Gulitti's article had Brent Sutter's comments on how his club played with Patrick Elias and Dainius Zubrus commenting on Rick DiPietro's saves against them while Jamie Langenbrunner credited the Islanders who have held New Jersey to seven goals in the five games.

Islanders website: Covered the Sound Tigers win in Norfolk and had Jack Capuano's comments and a full game summary.

Sound Tiges website: Had a game recap which includes Jeff Tambellini flew into Norfolk from his brief stint with the Isles while Justin Bourne was a healthy scratch along with a game recap.

Ct Post: Tris Wykes listed as a correspondent covered the game with Steve Stirling's comments he felt the game was over if Ben Walter does not score on a setup from Aaron Johnson at the end of the second period.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is kind of like supplemental AP/Ticker coverage of the game. Second game in a row the Ct Post editor did not have Mr Fornabaio in Norfolk but will again meet the club in Philadelphia for the next game. I'm not sure if this is Chris Elsberry decision or someone else or if he is still the sports editor? Some may recall Mr Elsberry used to do some Sound Tiger articles and features in the early years and stepped for a game or two after Mr Fornabaio's car accident a few years ago in the playoffs.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did not cover the game in person and wrote he hopes that's the last time it happens but did blog on the win and notes Jeff Tambellini dominance since returning to Bridgeport with some other items.

Virginina-Pilot: Paul White's article had Steve Stirling's comments that there was no excitement on the Bridgeport bench down 2-0 until they scored in the final second of the second period after having a goal waved off nineteen seconds earlier. Jeff Tambellini is now tied for the AHL lead is goals with twenty four after last night's comeback win.

Duluth News: Kevin Pates has more on the debate of College players deciding to leave school to play in the professional ranks with former Islander Tom Kurvers comments with Kyle Okposo's situtation recapped again.

NY Sun: Kevin Greenstein had the Isles at sixteenth in his power rankings.

New York 3, New Jersey 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/16/2008 09:49:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-1 win against the Devils in Newark with Rick DiPietro leading the way.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think Bill Guerin had it right, without Rick DiPietro the Devils could have had another four goals but that's what he's paid for and why he's a top flight goaltender. Devils took the puck from the outside angles all night and went right at DiPietro but he held his ground and the defense kept them to the outside. Isles defense made enough plays to keep the puck out of the net but three games in four nights with two road trips is a lot.

And they started the game with the extra step which was very impressive.

Loved the plays that created the goals and a few other setups where Brodeur had to make great saves himself. That's how you work a five on three, get the puck down low and find the open man with an open net which is where you want Guerin to get his shot. That's how this team will stay in the playoff race and the kind of play we rarely see from this offense.

Second goal may be my favorite since the Carolina game, Fedntenko got the puck to Hunter who made a perfect pass to a cutting Sillinger, that's how you win with grit and hard work, you get into positions and create high quality chances.

Huge win with the Islanders franchise goaltender playing a fantastic game. That save on Zubrus was unreal as was the pk in the second period. DiPietro also just robbed Elias and had a bunch of other huge saves.

That's 5-0 against New Jersey, strong Islander turnout in NYC/NJ as always. Not a big fan of the penalties or Berard taking them a little too easily but the pk did the job. Sutton and Meyer have been outstanding for a while now and Meyer made a few great reads in the Canadina game too.

Now we have to see what happens with Chris Campoli.

A few well earned days off. Reports Jeff Tambellini had another big night for Bridgeport with two goals and an assist as the Sound Tigers came back from two goals down to win 3-2 in Norfolk.

Kyle Okposo had two assists, Ben Walter has the other Bridgeport goal with Frans Nielsen contributing two helpers.

Some quick pre-game hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/16/2008 06:57:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
Took a quick look at the blog stats yesterday morning and figured someone posted my blog somewhere or the radio appearance with Alex and Steve Saturday got some folks interested?

I'm kind of lazy in terms going to the bottom of the page and looking because it is just is not a big deal to me personally.

Half way down I get caught up reading the articles from all the feeders too and just get distracted and forget.

Of course I figured out what happened. Today I found record numbers for hits and first time visitors but not returning visitors so I guess a lot of first time visitors read the update from the Islanders.

What more can I write but thanks again to the Isles for the kind words about the blog and another unexpected plug which I'm losing count of because they have been so kind about doing this out of nowhere.

To answer a question I got by e-mail yes, it's a surprise to read something and see your name and work listed. I did a quick double-take like it was a mistake or something? Nope.

Maybe I'm wrong on this but I thought the Isles had fourteen bloggers but I only saw thirteen? I have looked at the other excellent blogs at times, but only a few on a regular basis like Tom Liodice Tiger Tracks because his game breakdowns are so good they make you feel you are at the game and that's a talent that cannot be taught and one I do not have.


I guess they forgot to cut my blog from the list.
Tomorrow's another day.....LOL

Kind of a quiet day unless you want to count former Islander cup winner Paul Boutilier announcing he will resign from his positions as Executive Director of the World Curling Tour (WCT) and President of the World Curling Players' Association.

Justin Bourne's callup was in the Ct Post blog with his recall a day or so.

Mark Herrmann: Has a quick blog praising Jiggs McDonald and the quality of the NY hockey telecasts, a fight he saw in Bridgeport with Kip Brennan and Versus not available in the Coliseum pressbox.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mixed feelings on this. Forgetting the people involved and how much I love Jiggs McDonald calling Islander games whenever he can and Howie Rose quality work my
thoughts on this is the baseball radio person should have taken his time off in April because the hockey television job in the middle of the season is more important and there is only two people to call televised hockey games while the Mets are currently looking for another radio person to work with Howie Rose.

Sure if it was not Jiggs McDonald coming in to call games I would be more outspoken about it. Amazing how often I read he's at games before he goes on trips with the team so he's preparred. He even went to Moncton to prepare for games he never even got a chance to call when the Mets missed the playoffs.

I'm glad Mark Herrmann took the time to tell us the Coliseum press box does not carry Versus which is a little surprising but it helps us as fans when we read how a writer would see something as we would from television or a seat in the pressbox. Having written that I watched the first period again today and for the lack of shots credited the Isles did work hard and generated chances which is not how Mr Herrmann's work read, perhaps that's why?

Also curious a few of Mr Logan's articles recently have not had a single quote like they are written during the game, I don't know. I wish he would take the time to tell us because it's kind of rare but something you notice because it's different.

Mr Logan's second article has the quotes, like I wrote it's only been a few times.

Mark Herrmann got it right on Kip Brennan's fight, I watched it again.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio pointed out what anyone who follows the AHL and the Sound Tigers already know, they are at a point where the odds do not favor a playoff spot and had a graph to illustrate why.

Along those lines:
Some time next week or around the break I'm going to do one of my favorite features which is to project out the schedule and how many points the Isles will get. Most of the time I have not done badly, but I try and get the Isles to ninety two points based on the schedule and the trends.

Not going to be easy folks to project this year, the trends of beating Boston and Florida and losing to Ottawa have changed from other years. Washington is 4-0 against Ottawa. The word is parity, I think.

I'll take some good guesses however and we can make fun of how much I could be wrong in the end. I always update it each week regardless to see how well or poorly I'm doing but once I make my picks next week they are final.

1/16: New York at New Jersey FSN-2 7PM

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/16/2008 03:00:00 PM | | Comment Here
This game will apparently have a preview. Hopefully Mr Trautwig & Mr Fischler if involved will actually talk about the Islander-Devil game as Mr Botta correctly talked about in his blog recently here.

Depending on where you live you can get the live Islander telecast, in my case with TWC historically they black out the FSN-2 channel for rivalry games.

Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game in Newark against the Devils.

If the Islanders have any lineup changes or callups as of 3:30pm Newsday blogs, the clubs's website or Mr Fornabaio's blog (Bridgeport is in Norfolk) they have not been reported yet.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For the Islanders it's three games in four days and a long bus ride to Newark after a game it took a period to finally generate some shots on goal.

Devils no doubt will be reminded about the 0-4 record against the Islanders and recently swept the Sabres with two close wins and a shootout.

Goes without writing it some players have to chip in with some goals, Devils speed and skill can produce goals quickly and their young players are only getting better.

Yesterday's game and tonight's game are not bonus points after the two wins to close to trip, Isles need to add to their point total tonight and they need to keep the shots against down as they did against Montreal.

Last time these clubs met Devils played it very physical and it seemed by design.

Note-Game Review and aricles will be posted tomorrow morning, not tonight.

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.