2/5/08

2/5: New York vs Anaheim 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/05/2008 02:26:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks with Ted Nolan's comments on practice and how the new players did.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I suspect if Richard Park can go Jeff Tambellini will be on the sidelines even if some folks may disagree unless a left winger changes position or they create some new lines or a veteran forward get's benched. Nielsen will likely take Sillinger's spot at center while Brennan will be in for Jackman on the right. From those who follow Bridgeport know Brennan is a top enforcer who will do a good job if a fight is needed.

Two very desperate club's here struggling to score and on big losing streaks. One is likely getting back Teemu Selanne, the other losing Mike Sillinger. Something has to give for the Islanders in the next week or two or it's fair to say this team can find itself around thirteenth and double digits out of the eighth spot facing the trade deadline. Maybe the younger player raises the skill level and their speed buys the veterans more time to get the puck where they need it.

Islanders have to gut out a win here any way possible whether it be ugly or great.

No other alternative given the teams gaining points in the division. There is no time for any illness, injury or excuse. No doubt Selanne's return if he plays is a big boost for Anaheim.

Note-I do game threads on the message boards to discuss the games with pre and post games. Feel free to participate.

Updated 3pm:
Media Blog: Cory Witt reports Aaron Johnson will dress on defense as Bergeron-Berard get the night off while Richard Park is a game time decision which will decide if Jeff Tambellini will play.

Also covered is Mike Sillinger's injury.

Updated 5pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan has Mike Sillinger's comments to where his hip hurt to the point where he could not move any more and if tried he would have no power or lateral movement.

Lineup changes are speculated based on Richard Park who is a game time decision.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Loss of Mike Sillinger is enormous and it's fair to speculate if three weeks could be his season if this becomes chronic. Ironically if that's the case it could mean he avoids being traded and will return for the final year of his contract.

Islander News Articles 2/5:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/05/2008 01:23:00 AM


















Islanders website: Has the practice report on Mike Sillinger's hip injury keeping him out three weeks, Ted Nolan on the players recalled and a practice update.

Teemu Selanne could make his debut for Anaheim Tuesday.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann blogged on the loss of Sillinger, the players recalled and Ted Nolan working his team extra hard at the end of practice.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann reported on Ted Nolan losing Mike Sillinger and what he brings to the club with Trent Hunter's comments on his line mates loss, but an opportunity for others to step up and the coach having an intense practice to control the process, even if it may not change the result in games.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments on the recalled players to the Islanders with Jack Capuano's comments while Sean Bentivoglio could return Friday after missing four games with a strained oblique. Pascal Morency took part in his first practice since Thanksgiving.

Los Angeles Times: Eric Stephens reports Teemu Selanne wants to play Tuesday but it's up to coach Randy Carlyle. Schneider (sprained wrist) is questionable for and center Samuel Pahlsson (abdominal strain) is improving but not ready to play.

Ottawa Sun: Earl McRae has a full feature on former championship Islander goaltender Billy Smith who is fifty seven and living/working in Ottawa as a salesman for Magna Stainless Steel And Aluminum Co on the Senators goaltending situation in relation to how Al Arbour used him and Chico Resch.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach and the panel of Newsday experts of course never fail to disappoint failing to rank the Islanders 1980 Stanley Cup overtime winning goal by Bob Nystrom as one of it's top great moments in NY sports history in a New Jersey Giants feature but does mention several of their teams could be.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sure are a lot of Ranger fans inside Newsday's sports department. How does a Stanley Cup winning overtime goal against a team that had a thirty five game streak without a loss not be a top five great New York sports moment vs a team that plays in the New Jersey Meadowlands and calls themselves New York?

How nice of Newsday's panel to give one of only two teams in New York sports history that won four championships or more an honorable mention. Considering all the people claiming back in 1983 the Islanders could not beat Edmonton how does that not rank in the top five?

Meanwhile the Rangers beat a 35-34 Vancouver team in a seven game final and that ranks higher? I nominate the Islander team that swept Vancouver in that case.

Sadly Mr Baumback tells us the Devils do not count even though they play in the same parking lot the Giants have until this year.

2/4/08

Michael Fornabaio on possible changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/04/2008 12:07:00 PM
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported in his blog from Sound Tigers practice Monday morning that Tambellini, Nielsen and Brennan were not at practice and appear to be going to the Islanders, Tim Jackman is apparently in Bridgeport but sick.

Mr Fornabaio also reports rumor is there could be more to come, but that's it for the moment.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of players missing practice for Monday morning unless they are here.

I can see Brennan replacing Jackman if he's sick with Tambellini replacing Park and Nielsen replacing Hunter, but that's just speculation based on the Newsday article reporting players sick or hurt.

If I'm not mistaken Mike Sillinger has been playing hurt so Nielsen could be up to take his spot at center.

Greg Logan blogs around 5pm if he does an update and the Isles do their update after practice.

Usual good work from the Ct Post beatwiter.

Islander News Articles 2/4:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/04/2008 04:38:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan reports Richard Park and Trent Hunter are the latest victims of the flu bug while Ted Nolan is holding off possible callus until Monday but will only dress six defenders against Anaheim. He praised the players who have been sick or hurt for two weeks yet continue to stay in the lineup.

Boston Globe: Kevin Paul Dupont had an update on former Sound Tigers head coach Greg Cronin at Northeastern University.

Los Angeles Times: Eric Stephens reports former Islander Mathieu Schneider will likely return Tuesday from a wrist injury with his comments.

2/3/08

Update from Mr Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2008 06:31:00 AM
As many of you know from visting the message board Mr Prospects updates the daily results of the Islander prospects on a game by game basis and does a fantastic job for all of us doing something I simply do not have the time to do or nearly as well.

I wanted to single out Mr Prospects efforts for helping this blog out and bring you his 2/1 update in a new blog on the main page.

Thanks as always for the great effort you put in to visit and update the message board and how much I appreciate it.

2/1 Update:

QMJHL-Shawinigan 4, Drummondville 1-Simon Lacroix, 1 assist,-1.
Rimouski 3,Gatineau 1-Maxime Gratchev,no points, even.

OHL-Guelph 3,Sarnia 0-Mark Katic, -1.

College-Minnesota State 5,Denver 1-Rhett Rakhshani,1 goal(9),even.
Colorado College 5,Clarkson 2-Tyrell Mason and Shea Guthrie, no points.
Cornell 2, Colgate 1 (OT)-Brian day,no points.
Brown 4, Harvard 2-Doug Rogers, no points.
Bowling Green 5, Ohio State 2-Shane Sims, no points.

USHL-Soiux City 3,Waterloo 1-Blake Kessel,1 assist,-1.
Omaha 2,Lincoln 1-Jason Gregoire, 1 goal(21),-1.

Latest poll is up, I hope all bases were covered and in this one you can pick several responses.

Not looking good but far from over...

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2008 05:15:00 AM
Many folks forget the Isles were a team one game over five hundred a year ago on
1/31/2007 so any idea the season is over at this point and the Isles must be sellers at the trade deadline are misguided.

Bottom line we just have to see what happens on the ice next and if this club can gut out a close win and get some confidence in itself re-established.

That written the trends are not good and different from last season and that's where the club has significant differences that will likely determine what happens from here.

Greg Logan made some very good point in both Newsday articles:
Last year the Isles had five players, who scored 20 to 40 goals.
No one has reached the twenty goal mark yet for this club.
Most of the forwards are in huge slumps.
The Islanders are last in the NHL with an average of 2.36 goals per game.

Ted Nolan talked about players having confidence and having to believe they can score but the career trends of many of these players indicate they are not the kind of players who are goal-scorers or who can be relied on for big goals in critical moments.

In addition this power play has allowed ten shorthanded goals which is now tied with Carolina for worst in the league which says a lot about the players on the power play and frankly the coaching strategy behind it.

On defense I also see some significant problems with mistakes giving up the kind of chances that can kill a club playing low scoring games that even the coach admits they have to play because he does not have a high scoring club that can come back down two goals.

Worst of all last year's club had the survival skills to get a game to overtime which was reflected in it's five on five numbers. This year's team is completely the opposite at five on five with the plus/minus reflective of this.

Even this teams biggest strength which is it's penalty killing can only do so much and is allowing some goals.

So how does it turn around?
Hockey is a game of confidence and we see it all the time with players who start scoring and relax and mention the goal helped them calm down. I think a lot of players are pressing and know the pressure is on them and they are struggling. Ted Nolan is correct in that they have to get into the dirty area's of the ice, bang in some goals, win a game and see if it can snowball where more players get on the score sheet. Those crossbars against Montreal go in and we could be talking about a win on Saturday.

Same thing for the defense where Marc-Andre Bergeron said a while back he expects to sit after his next mistake before injuries made that impossible. Granted Ted Nolan has left him in and the mistakes keep coming anyway. No doubt Campoli's absence is felt on the backline but this also goes to the forwards in Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin who were well out of position covering forwards in critical goals given up against Ottawa and Los Angeles this week.

Defense is a team concept, even with some glaring mistakes by individuals.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next. A lot of times you see a club struggle like this it becomes a free fall and frankly another week of this and the Isles will find themselves in fourteenth. When you get prospect updates at 10pm on a Saturday it's fair to speculate patience could be running out in some players.

It's also fair to write players as old as Witt, Sillinger and Guerin are having a great deal asked of them at this point in their careers as Mike Comrie is under the full pressure of having to produce as a first line player. I suspect they are a little worn down and do not have the veteran support to help them create chances.

Were about to find out the on-ice character of this group and if they really are willing to do what it takes to turn this around or perhaps it's fair to write this team collectively is simply not good enough which many suspected going into the season.

All season I have been writing things change quickly. We went from reading articles about the Isles looking to resign Vasicek, Hunter, Fedotenko, Comrie and Satan to now that could seem like a mistake.

For things to turn around things are going to have to change again. I'm not sure there is much else Ted Nolan can do with line combinations or the players he has.

Not looking good but far from over.

A quick word on HF

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2008 03:43:00 AM
Quick Note-Please stop sending e-mails about HF Isles board because it's not my business nor have I visited the site since 2006.

My advice is to take a step back from the keyboard for a few hours after games and not kill the site with threads complaining about the team. Be considerate of everyone and give the mods a break because their job is to keep topics on track and you should want to help them if you enjoy the forum as many of you tell me.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was that last year when some members contacted me and told me they could not visit the site any longer because of the constant complaining and ruined threads.

I used to ask for everyone's help all the time that last year but some just could not help themselves and it forced me to stop asking for help and hold every single person accountable which made it tough for me to talk hockey or have much fun at the end of five years doing the job.

Bottom line when you joined you agreed to the sites rules and just because the team is struggling does not give anyone a license to ruin the discussions because they are annoyed about the games. If you like the board as you have told me you should want to do your part to help out and keep it a good forum regardless of the team record which starts by the example you set.

I'm not responding to any more e-mails on this so please stop sending them.

Islander News Articles 2/3:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2008 02:51:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan has comments from Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan and Ted Nolan on the club's inability to finish their chances and the teams scoring problems overall, despite hitting some goalposts. Ruslan Fedotenko has two goals in twenty seven games among several players in huge scoring slumps.

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article is on the Isles considering calling up Frans Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini from Bridgeport which Ted Nolan said he and Garth Snow will talk about on Sunday. The coach also said it's pointless to complain about the officiating, alluding to Trent Hunter's penalty that seemed like a dive where he protested because his club always seems to get the short end of the stick in those situations.

NYE Fan Central Comments:
It's kind of interesting to me last week Greg Logan answered Chris Botta's e-mail during the all-star weekend and talked about during the superbowl the extra article would be eliminated for the Isles but here on the day of the super bowl the extra article was printed?

His blog also talks about the fans patience during his latest vacation but frankly does not answer to the question if Anthony Rieber/Mike Casey can sub for Steve Zipay and Mark Herrmann, Katie Strang have done some Islander blogs why should this team miss any days from blogging regardless of who is on vacation?

I think it's a fair question to ask of Newsday's sports editor.

Montral Gazette: Herb Zurkowski has a feature on the Islanders struggles with Rick DiPietro, Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Miroslav Satan's comments.

Montreal Gazette: Legendary writer Red Fisher has a funny story about the Nassau Coliseum back to it's early days and did a full feature on Rick DiPietro having to carry the club on his own too many games and gave an example of it in the third period of yesterday's game with so many turnovers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great job top to bottom from Red Fisher and a must read.

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey writes about the Canadians penalty killing being a big factor in their win with Alexei Kovalev praising Rick DiPietro as a good goaltender and that they had to get traffic in front of him.

Islanders website: Jay Norton has a full feature on the Islander prospects with comments from Jack Capuano about Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Ben Walter, Jeremy Colliton and the rest of the prospects which included injured defender Dustin Kohn who turned twenty one on Saturday and the direction in Bridgeport whether these players are called up now or in the future.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders website released this at 10pm on Saturday and it included Bridgeport's 2-1 shootout win at Hartford. Fair to speculate changes could be coming sooner than later. I do not think Jay Norton is associated with a seperate Ct Newspaper that rarely visits the Sound Tigers and does articles nor is it linked like the Times article unless he is one of the bloggers?

AHL.com: Reports Joey MacDonald made thirty nine saves while Trevor Smith scored to lead Bridgeport past Hartford in a shootout 2-1 Saturday. Kyle Okposo and Smith had the shootout goals.

Sound Tigers website: Has a recap of the game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game article was on Joey MacDonald's third straight win since the all-star break with comments from coach Jack Capuano on the his goaltender and the club's defensive play.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog has a recap of the Sound Tigers win and reported Tim Jackman was sent to Bridgeport but that may be only a transaction on paper again like the all-star break but the Sound Tigers are off until Friday.

Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlet has Wolfpack centric coverage in Newsday's affiliate.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Brooks Orpik had a few interesting comments about the Islanders defensive system as opposed to his own club.

Edmonton Sun: Jason Hills reports Islander prospect Robin Figren had wrist surgery Thursday correct a lingering problem and is expected to be out about
three-four weeks. Oil Kings coach Steve Pleau praises his efforts while the speculation from the writer is Figren will sign a pro contract with the Islanders in the off-season.

2/2/08

Montreal 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/02/2008 04:59:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the recap of Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadians.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sean Bergenheim and Blake Comeau are the only forwards who have goals in the last week.

The same players are costing them on defense with critical mistakes, meanwhile without Rick DiPietro it may not have been as close as 4-1.

Isles defense took three first period penalties and still the veterans could not convert one with the chances they had. Fedotenko could not finish but had a visible game. Montreal gave the Isles virtually no second chances and their power play movement was too much for the Isles defense with Kovalev using Sutton for a screen.

Bergeron -3, Berard -2 with a big assist to Bill Guerin for that cross ice pass that put the Isles behind.

It's getting late and frankly this looks like a team in a free fall that cannot score enough or keep the put out of their net with simply not enough offensive talent. If this team is built on character it has to start showing it.

How many times can the coach talk about the effort and poor decision making? A lot of players are simply not making much of a case to resign them.

That move by Huet seemed bush because he could have injured Comeau. Even though Bill Guerin did not think the eleven seconds added to the first period made a difference the Isles had the puck deep in Canadian ice. As soon as the switched sides Montreal not only had one good chance but picked off his cross ice pass and scored on one DiPietro looked like he wanted back.

Newaday: Greg Logan returned with a pregame blog.

Islander News Articles 2/2:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/02/2008 08:40:00 AM
NY Times: George Vecsey has a full feature article on Ted Nolan with comments from Charles Wang, Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual first class work by Mr Vecsey who covered the Islanders during the dynasty years and was at the Coliseum for Al Arbour's press conference.

Winnipeg Free Press: Gordon Sinclair jr reports Chris Simon flew to Winnipeg Friday, met with Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine and delivered a message of inspiration at the Manitoba Youth Centre.

Mr Sinclair interviewed Chris Simon outside and he reported the Islander winger who's suspension is up on Feb 20th acknowledges he made some mistakes but that anyone who knows him understands there is nothing wrong with him as he briefly touched up his counseling.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Really good article that's worth reading, too bad no one else picked up on it or will come the time he does return because it was very classy for Chris Simon to fly all the way to Winnipeg to meet the kids and I have no doubt this is the kind of man he is outside a hockey rink because I have read these kinds of stories through most of his playing career.

As for Chris Simon a few hard questions have to be asked. Can he play effective hockey in pressure situations and not over-react in a profession where his specific role is to over react and if he tries to control himself can he still be an effective hockey player?

How will Mr Wang and Ted Nolan feel if there is another incident which is why I ask is their loyalty and support to this man's on-ice career part of the problem?

Based on what happened after his first suspension what's going to be different this time?

What if a player decides to go over the line with Simon, who no doubt at this point will have players from other club's doing all they can to get him off his game to provoke him and likely more.

Also a very fair question has to be asked who leaves this team for his return because Chris Simon, Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim, Ruslan Fedotenko and Richard Park are the club's left wingers with Andy Hilbert also capable of playing the left side. Past this season Jon Sim is a left wing with two year's remaining on his contract. From a hockey standpoint all of these players bring more on-ice value to the club than Chris Simon and if the team does drop out of contention how do you not play your prospects in Comeau and Bergenheim who are visible and work hard most games?

Should I even mention Jeff Tambellini is a left wing who's dominating for Bridgeport on a club desperate for scoring?

And if the club does get hot how do you pull players who likely contributed to that?

Newsday did not pick up this story or even tell the fans there is a game Saturday afternoon as Mr Boland filed his story Friday and his editor did not include space to tell folks there is a game today. If your a casual fan looking for Islander hockey today you will not know the Islanders are playing.

No Islander blogs either folks unless you go to Steve Zipay's page who apparently get's paid by the word based on how much he is blogging for his beat.

Sporting News: Reports in a feature number one goaltender Cristobal Huet will start against the Islanders today.

2/2: New York at Montreal FSN-2pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/02/2008 02:01:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the preview for Saturday afternoon's 2pm game against the Montreal Canadians.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
We all know what's happening not only in the division but in the conference. Islanders went up to Montreal a year ago and pulled out a big win around this time and they have to do it today or at least put out their best effort as a team and see if that's enough.

Montreal is coming off a 5-4 ot loss where to Washington where Ovechkin scored four goals. The Habs have been an excellent team all year with a lot of speed and skill that dominated both Coliseum games. They came back from three goals down in that game to force overtime and had won three in a row going in.

Simply put it's getting late and the Islanders are going to have to score some hard working goals and play some defense or they are going to find themselves six points out with at least two clubs between them and eighth. There's not time for anything but this teams best game.

Ted Nolan said this club will define itself by it's second half.

2pm game.

2/1/08

WBS Penguins 5, Bridgeport 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/01/2008 10:07:00 PM


AHL.com: Reports the Sound Tigers lost 5-3 at WBS Friday night. Jeff Tambellini had two goals, Ben Walter scored a goal and was minus three. Kyle Okposo had an assist.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Jack Capuano and Steve Regier on the little things the club did not do well and the mistakes that ended Bridgeport's three game winning streak against a team they are chasing for a playoff spot.

Bridgeport plays at Hartford Saturday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the loss which included captain Mark Wotton's return to the lineup who Jack Capuano praised as having a second coach on the ice.

Islander Friday notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/01/2008 03:25:00 PM
Islanders website: Report Friday afternoon Rick DiPietro is expected to play against Montreal with the following line combinations at practice in the latest shakeup:

Comeau-Comrie-Satan
Fedotenko-Vasicek-Guerin
Park-Sillinger-Hunter
Bergenheim-Hilbert-Jackman

Andy Sutton participated in practice with Aaron Johnson also participating as a defenseman. Ted Nolan talked about the flu big finally starting to leave the lockeroom.

Newsday: In Erik Boland's mid-afternoon article Ted Nolan talked about his teams effort has to improve and would not allow the flu to be an excuse, Mike Sillinger did not participate at practice but said it would be a positive for the club to get away while Bryan Berard talked about the club playing in spurts.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports the Islanders are having problems getting to Montreal with the weather. Tomorrow's game is at 2pm.

Reuter/Countless sources: Report former Islander JP Dumont was signed to a four year contract extension by the Nashville Predators.

Tsn.ca: Scott Cullen put together a trade rumor's speculation thread from various credible media outlets which included Mark Herrmann's own speculation in the Islanders insider from Thursday.

NHL.com: John Kreiser has a full feature article with comments from Bill Torrey and Butch Goring on the deal with the Los Angeles Kings that is still the standard for greatest NHL trades.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Excellent article. I never knew the Isles were also looking at Daryl Sittler but that trade combined with the addition of Kenny Morrow and the return of Denis Potvin was really what got them turned around.

1/31/08

Isles look like they need a shakeup

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 11:37:00 PM
I do not want to be critical of a team because some players are out with the flu, clearly this goes well beyond one game.

We are at the point a game they give up over forty five shots and score three shorthanded goals is a great effort overall?

Tonight's goal was off the tail end of a Kings power play where Berard made a good read and stole a puck.

Fair to write Ted Nolan's merit system and his patience with a lot of players is being pushed to the max this season and it also seems he is running out of things to try. We have seen this before where the lines are shaken up, when that does not work they go back to the same combinations.

It's also fair to write many are living up to their reputations as players who just are not consistent scorers on a team desperate for offense.

Did anyone go into this season expecting thirty goals from Josef Vasicek and consistent scoring all year?

Did we expect a repeat of Ruslan Fedotenko's big year in Tampa?

Were Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie going to carry a first line without a first line left winger?

Can Richard Park contribute as a first line player in terms of offensive numbers?

Was Andy Hilbert going to have a breakout season?

You go into these things hoping one or two of them work out with career seasons and that things balance out.

Were getting our answers and unfortunately it seems to be no on all fronts.

This does not even touch on the scoring consistency from Sillinger, Hunter or Satan who's offense is critical to the teams success.

Many will recall last year after 1/31/07 this club was a game over five hundred but out of nowhere Sillinger-Hunter-Hilbert scored a bunch of goals and the team got on a winning streak that saw them lose three times in regulation over twenty games.

Isles have just lost three regulation games in a row. The five on five play from last year is completely different which got a lot of those games a year ago to overtime and produced that streak.

This year it's not happening and for all of Blake Comeau or Sean Bergenheim's hard work and good long-term signs most games it's not realistic for them to produce on a consistent basis at this point in their careers.

I'm not sure we have seen rock bottom yet because the loss of Campoli to this defense is huge and on a team playing with virtually no margin for error one mistake from anyone can be the difference.

We saw some big mistakes from the team defense against Ottawa from both the forwards and defenders, we saw them tonight where Dubie made a few big saves.

I think Ted Nolan is facing the biggest challenge of his coaching career to get this team to play a sixty minute game at this point and put together the kind of hard working team he projected them to be. Full games where the Isles carry the play just are not what this team seems capable of doing.

We are also well past the point of players settling in to a new team because we have seen Comrie and Guerin have stretches with some goals and points, Guerin got settled in here during his hot December stretch. Comrie had his breakout game against Ottawa recently.

We are also seeing this teams defense produce more than it's offense at times.

I really don't think there is an answer with the talent on the roster. I do not see callups from Bridgeport solving anything and to do this you have to move some players.

The kind of shakeup they need could cost them their young talent or a veteran like Satan. Will it produce any answers or just be a lateral move that would be shortsighted to give up a prospect.

Are the Isles out of contention? Obviously no one is out of anything. They are due for some good efforts and a few wins, but it's fair to acknowledge it could start to fall apart from here, the schedule is brutal and despite Los Angeles winning recently that was a game the Isles needed to come out and outwork the Kings.

It is starting to look like they will be at best a low playoff seed. The separation in the standings from the top clubs is only growing with the teams below them catching up quickly. One thing I do see is a club not capable of winning more than a few games in a row.

Also I do not see five teams from one division qualifying.

Lot's of questions, no answers.

Islander News Articles 2/1:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 11:29:00 PM
Newsday: Erik Boland is the winner of Newsday's Islander coverage by committee contest (no blogs) with Mike Sillinger talking about his teams frustration and these one goal games. Ted Nolan was very critical of his club aside from the penalty kill and the goaltending with Wade Dubielewicz thoughts on the lack of offense and getting pucks through to the opposing net.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Steve Zipay had three afternoon blogs for his beat. Not like I want to be critical but this has to be written because our fans deserve dedicated coverage and blogs regardless of who is on vacation at Newsday. If Anthony Rieber can blog for the Rangers when Mr Zipay is off, Erik Boland should be doing likewise if he's assigned the beat for a day or two or Newsday's blog administrator should be telling us why.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article has a lot from Ted Nolan about the lack of effort with Bryan Berard's comments on how the club has to get back to winning on home ice.

Daily News: Peter Botte was provided space for seven very small paragraphs with the only thing new from Wade Dubielewicz on how the winning goal " squeaked " past him.

Los Angeles Times/Daily News only had A.P coverage of the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Disgraceful a market with that media no longer covers road trips, but Helene Elliot has written about this for a long time.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann put together the Islander insider Thursday afternoon which was mostly about what the Isles could do come the trade deadline with it unlikely they make a huge move with prospects because they gave up a lot last year for Ryan Smyth.

There was also some praise from Ted Nolan on Radek Martinek and mention of him as an unsung all-star.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a profile of new Sound Tiger defenseman Jeff Dwyer with Jack Capuano's comments who will replace Dustin Kohn who reportedly is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Bridgeport play at Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins Friday night. Sound Tigers website has a game preview here.

Los Angeles 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 09:45:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the early recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No fault on Dubie here, he gave his team a chance to win but once again this team simply cannot score or work hard enough to force the opposition into mistakes. It looked like hard word for the Islanders tonight and a team that did not seem very enthusiastic outside of the work that led to Berard's goal. They are not drawing many powerplays either.

Everything this year's team was advertised to be is just not happening most nights these days.

First period most of the shots came from the defense.

Cannot improve on what Ted Nolan said himself about his team: Lethargic, unacceptable, no energy, cannot expect to win or entertain with that effort.

Looks like a team in need of a shakeup, some players are not meriting their
ice-time. Labarbera did not have to be very good until a few saves in the third period.

Welcome to last place in the division and out of a playoff spot.
More tomorrow.

1/31: New York vs Los Angeles 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 06:37:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the preview of Thursday night's game against the Los Angles Kings.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's purple, silver and black and we have not seen them since the opening week of last season. I think the last time Los Angeles saw the Nassau Coliseum was the game Trent Hunter went knee on knee with Sean Brown.

Most days do not pass without a Rob Blake trade rumor.

I guess we'll see what the flu does to the lineup, but the Kings have been playing some good hockey 5-2 and are a higher scoring club than the Islanders. Kings just played a one goal overtime loss with Philadelphia and have a lot of young talent.

Islanders need two points here badly. Buffalo is gaining on eighth spot with games in hand. Not the worst game to start Dubie if DiPietro is not a hundred percent.

At this point everyone who visits here knows the drill on possible lineup changes:

1. Check Michael Fornabaio's blog for the Sound Tigers practice report because he knows who's missing first.

2. Check Cory Witt's blog who will report on any recalls after Isles practice.
3. Check out Isles tv for the practice report because Chris King and Steve Mears report who is practicing.
4. See if by chance someone blogs for Newsday which is usually around 5pm.
5. Wait for the telecast or the announcement of changes if your going to the game.

Updated 6:55pm
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports no Bridgeport callups.

Dubielewicz starts, DiPirtro backup. Sutton/Fedotenko still out.

Islander News Articles 1/31

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 06:20:00 AM
NY Post: Dan Martin reports on the flu bug with Hunter/Guerin comments, Bryan Trottier at practice and the club's struggles at home recently.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes seven games against the Penguins in the final 34 games. Jeff Dwyer, from Utah (ECHL) will likely be called up and fill in for Dustin Kohn, who injured a shoulder (earlier reported as seperated) and will likely sit out at least through Saturday.

Note-The LA Times/Daily News only had ap/staff reports for the Flyers game and no updated informaton on Thursday's Islander game.

1/30/08

Islander Watch: Jeff Hamilton on waivers

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 09:05:00 PM
Newsobserver.com:Rachel Carter reports the Carolina Hurricanes have placed former Islander/Sound Tiger Jeff Hamilton on waivers Wednesday.

The Canes signed Hamilton to a two-year contract worth $800,000 a season in July, he has five goals and 12 assists in 45 games played but was scratched for the fifth straight game Tuesday night. Some may recall he did a good job in Chicago.

Teams have until noon Thursday to put in a claim.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
He sure would not hurt the powerplay and if Carolina is looking for a spare defender the Isles have a few to offer. Of course waivers work by standings.

Poll results

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 08:12:00 PM
Thanks for the e-mails and votes on the recent poll.

Given that there were three e-mail votes in favor of adding the press conference video to the game highlights with ths six who voted for it in the poll combined with the fact I can put the HTML in the same box I will include both for a while and see how it goes.

Considering Newsday has cut the Islanders coverage during the Superbowl week and the team does not get road coverage or much of anything at home from the city papers I think it's important to have one place where we can hear everything from the coach and players in press conferences because there is not enough space in the newspapers for it.

Bottom line if you want to watch these video's it's available for you here and if not do not click the play button.

Islander notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 04:01:00 PM
Newsday: Erik Boland covered practice Wednesday and reported Rick DiPietro, Mike Sillinger, Bryan Berard, Andy Sutton and Ruslan Fedotenko - all missed Wednesday morning's practice at the Coliseum with the flu and are questionable for Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Kings with Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin's comments.

Updated 8:30pm
Trent Hunter and some other player comments were added to this article which I guess is Thursday's Islander news article.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess we'll see if someone is called up.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updated the Sound Tiger blog.

Newsday:Kathleen Kerr reports Clark Gillies between 2002 and 2007, who lives in Dix Hills, donated $1million to the hospital for an in-patient pediatric unit.

It should be noted Steve Zipay had three full blogs from Philadelphia on a Ranger offday while Erik Boland/Mark Herrmann gave this team nothing in terms of a blog today.

Greg Logan is on comp time until Friday if I read correctly.

1/29/08

Islander News Articles 1/30:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 10:41:00 PM
Newsday: Mark Herrmann is today's coverage by committee person assigned to write on the Islanders 5-2 loss to Ottawa with the story being the Islanders twenty one giveaways, with Ted Nolan's comments that he felt his team played in spurts. Bryan Berard is quoted on the club's struggles at home.

Ottawa 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 09:57:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You make those kind of mistakes on defense and you beat yourself against any team, Ottawa is a good team that did not have to be very good to win and basically dominated the game from start to finish, even if they looked rusty at times.

As usual it seems Bergenheim or Comeau are two of the best Islanders. It's easy to blame Bergeron but where was Sillinger to cover his man on a goal? Meszaros has had a lot of good luck at the Coliseum this year, his pp goal off Meyer set the tone.

DiPietro did not have a lot of help but Ottawa did not need a lot of shots.

Nice play by Bergenhiem to score and Berard to jump in from the point and give the club a powerplay goal, but even at 3-2 it seemed like a matter of when before Ottawa would close out the game.

Another expensive loss in the overall standings with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston winning.

Bill Guerin sure seemed to be hanging on that second Ottawa goal after looking at the replay.

1/29: New York vs Ottawa 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 07:54:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators with Ted Nolan's comments about the game and a few other subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dany Heatley or not Ottawa can humiliate a team if they are not on their game and this time the Sens are not coming off a back to back with Detroit. Daniel Alfredsson had seven points in a win for his club before the break who have been losing some games but are an outstanding team overall.

Fedotenko/Sutton out with flu. Berard/Johnson in.

My guess here is Martin Gerber gets the start.

From the Islanders side the quotes and comments are great but we all know the standings and what the Isles must do to stay in contention and it's time for action with the club making a push to get into the top of this division. The even strength and powerplay must do better and this club must protect it's goaltender.

Boston, Carolina and Philadelphia were not good overall efforts at all considering it took three shorthanded goals and almost forty five saves to win.

Should be interesting to see what Comeau going to the second line means for Bergenheim, who has been outperforming Fedotenko.

I suspect the Islander Newsday blog and Cory Witt will have updates today after the morning skate.

For those who may not know Center Ice is having a free preview that begins today if you care to watch some out of market games.

1/28/08

Islander News Articles 1/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 10:21:00 PM
Newsday: Erik Boland has comments from Bill Guerin and Ted Nolan on the Isles success against Ottawa and that this team wants to win the division, not just settle for eighth. Rick DiPietro will be back at practice Tuesday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted the print edition of Newsday in Queens did not include the Islander story today.

NY Post: Dan Martin made a guest appearance at practice and had Bill Guerin's comments about what he saw from San Jose about the Isles last year vs what he wants this season. Blake Comeau practiced with Vasicek and Satan Monday as Ted Nolan wants to increase his role.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let's see if Mr Martin will be assigned to cover the game. Not the first time we have seen a preview and then no coverage.

Windsor Star: Dave Waddell had Red Wings coach Mike Babcock comments on Monday was very impressed with Rick DiPietro at the all-star weekend.

Winnipeg Sun: Bruce Garrioch reports some folks are considering the possibility of the All-Star weekend/skills competition be overhauled or outright scrapped after next season.

Sports Business Daily: Reports the all-star game drew a 0.8 preliminary rating on Versus, up 60% from 0.5 in 2007. The game drew a 0.3 in host city Atlanta, down 63% from the national average was on pace to be the second-lowest rated All Star Game since at least 1991, though previous All Star Games aired on broadcast television, as opposed to cable.

Ottawa Citizen: Ken Warren reports Senators goaltender Ray Emery arrived late at practice yesterday which could lead to a fine or a suspension by the club who have had several problems with the goaltender. Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson flew in from the ASG but did not practice. Dany Heatley is out with an injury.

Nanaimo Daily News : Reports Bryan Trottier will be participating in a local game with former NHL stars, in aid of the Brent McDougall Foundation, on Monday, 7 p.m. at Nanaimo's Frank Crane Arena.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an all-star notebook on Jeff Tambellini's goal to tie the all-star game with his comments while AHL President talked about a possible AHL outdoor game.

Projecting out the standings Pt One

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 10:15:00 PM
My favorite feature of the NHL season where I look at the trends of the Islanders season look at the their upcoming schedule and project out the Islanders point total and if they can acquire enough points to make what I consider the playoff mendoza line which starts at ninety two points but could go as high as ninety six points.

As a rule for me part of that mendoza line has to be ten games over five hundred.

Every week or so I will revisit this and we can laugh at how wrong I was about the game or how close I came to getting it correct.

For the first edition of this feature we start with the current standings and the games played. Islanders go into the break with thirty two games remaining and fifty four points.

Note-Regardless of what happens with the Islanders or any team in terms of trades/injuries all predictions made today are final for the rest of the season.

Eastern Conference
Games played/points
1 Ottawa Senators* 50 66
2 Philadelphia Flyers* 48 59
3 Carolina Hurricanes* 52 52
****************************************************************
4 Montréal Canadiens 49 60
5 New Jersey Devils 49 59
6 Pittsburgh Penguins 49 58
7 Boston Bruins 49 55
8 New York Islanders 50 54
*****************************************************************
9 Rangers 51 54
10 Washington Capitals 50 51
11 Atlanta Thrashers 52 50
12 Florida Panthers 51 49
13 Buffalo Sabres 48 48
14 Toronto Maple Leafs 51 48
15 Tampa Bay Lightning 50 45

Islanders remaining games:
Record 24-20-6 54 points
Jan 29, Senators-Loss 54 points 24-21-6
Jan 31, Kings-Win 56 points 25-21-6
Feb 2, at Canadians-Loss 56 points 25-22-6
Feb 5, Ducks-Loss 56 points 25-23-6
Feb 7, at Penguins otl 57 points 25-23-7
Feb 9, at Wild W 59 points 26-23-7
Feb 12 Flyers L 59 points 26-24-7
Feb 14, at Maple Leafs L 59 points 26-25-7
Feb 16, Thrashers W 61 points 27-25-7
Feb 18, Sharks W 63 points 28-25-7
Feb 20, at Capitals ot L 64 points 28-25-8
Feb 21, Lightning W 66 points 29-25-8
Feb 23, at Devils L 66 points 29-26-8
Feb 26, Penguins W 68 points 30-26-8
Feb 28, at Thrashers W 70 points 31-26-8
****************************************************************
Mar 1 Flyers ot-L 71 points 31-26-9
Mar 2, Panthers W 73 points 32-26-9
Mar 4, at Rangers W 75 points 33-26-9
Mar 6, Rangers ot-L 76 points 33-26-10
Mar 8, at Flyers L 76 points 33-27-10
Mar 11 at Lightning W 78 points 34-27-10
Mar 12, at Panthers otl 79 points 34-27-11
Mar 15, at Canadiens L 79 points 34-28-11
Mar 18, Leafs W 81 points 35-28-11
Mar 21, at Devils L 81 points 35-29-11
Mar 23, at Flyers W 83 points 36-29-11
Mar 24, Penguins W 85 points 37-29-11
Mar 27, at Penguins otl 86 points 37-29-12
Mar 29, 2 Flyers W 87 points 38-29-12
Apr 1, Devils W 89 points 39-29-12
Apr 3, Rangers otl 90 points 39-29-13
Apr 4, at Rangers W 92 points 40-29-13

There we are folks, ninety three points, eleven games over five hundred and what is a good shot at one of the last playoff seeds. Could be wrong by a lot either way or correct but this is how I see things projecting out given the trends and not too many critical injuries or major trades for a club going for it now or cashing in if they go into a major tailspin.

My Critical Mid-season stats

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 10:13:00 PM
Islanders did their first half stats and game highlights breakdown showing the top leaders in stats like hits or blocked shots among several statistics.

I thought I would go the other way and look at the key trends that were a problem last year.

* As many know last year the Isles were a very good five on five club and this year they simply are not with the plus minus telling that story.

* Where things are different is last year the Isles pp to penalty was over a minus ninety disparity. At this point Islanders have improved if you want to call it that to a minus twenty eight at two hundred seven times on the powerplay vs two hundred thirty five times shorthanded.

* Isles are twenty third in powerplays vs fifth in times shorthanded so again Colin Campbell's officials seem to not be giving the Isles anything close to an even split, never mind the teams who are a plus in this department.

* Islanders are sixth best shorthanded.
* seventh in shorthanded goals scored with seven.
* twenty seventh in powerplay goals with only thirty three.
* twenty ninth in powerplay goals against with nine. (Carolina 30th)
* Isles are ninth in faceoff percentage.
* Isles are in a mix around 20th in overtime losses with six.

Jeff Tambellini scores in all-star game

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 09:56:00 PM




















AHL.com: Reports Jeff Tambellini scored his first all-star goal in tonight's game which did tie the game and force overtime which the Canadian all-stars won in a shootout.


Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged during the game.

NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 12:15:00 AM














Some subtle changes to NYI Fan Central over the weekend.

* A New York Islander Roster section was added linking to all the current players along with statistics, game reviews and the schedule.

* Sound Tigers section added more links to current roster, stats, standings.
Ct Post articles
Standings
Roster
Complete schedule
Statistics
Radio/Webcast


* Several Prospect links from major websites added.

1/27/08

A few words about Chris Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 11:46:00 PM
Chris Botta for those who may not know is the Islanders media relations VP and has been associated with the club for over twenty years and does a blog this year called Point Blank here as media relations coordinator Cory Witt does a media blog on the club here and for the most part when both are not assigned to cover other assignments do a very good job with the updates.

Some may feel because Mr Botta/Mr Witt were kind enough to add New York Islander fan central to the list of people they selected for the blog box I would give them a free pass on things I may disagree with?

Anyone who follows this blog knows that has not been the case and when I feel Mr Botta or the club have gotten it wrong I have written about it.

I tend to think fans are under the impression Mr Botta spins the truth but so many occasions he has written and given his opinion which at times has turned out differently than what the Islanders actually do.

Folks need to understand the difference between Mr Botta issuing a press release for the club vs instances where he gives his personal take on a subject. He's also not part of the hockey staff making decisions which a few folks at times seem to forget.

For myself Chris Botta and the staff were the star of the show in Atlanta with so many interviews of writers or media people this blog has been critical of and will continue to be based on what they write. I look for fair and objective treatment of the club based only on how they play or how they are covered and I think it's important to ask hard questions when this does not happen.

I like the fact Mr Botta sent out e-mails, got responses and let the fans get to know these writers, their viewpoints and appreciate how hard the Islanders have worked to tell the Islander story this weekend. It's really above and beyond what I expected and to read a Ray Ferraro talking about 1993 just makes it even better.

I'm sure it does not hurt to have some of these writers see and deal with the club directly which will make them think a little more before they unload on a decision the Isles make in July and August. Given some of Adam Proteau's and Ken Campbell's articles earlier I want to see what they have to write now that they have met some of these people in person as Mr Campbell did with Rick DiPietro.

Mr Botta let the writers responses speak for themselves which is absolutely the correct thing to do even if it's not what we may want to read or what I may not agree with, but that's another blog for another day.

Anyone who has followed Mr Botta for years knows on occasion he has not been shy about stepping up and claiming unfair treatment of this club by the media. He also seems to understand he has to keep a good working relationship with the Times, News, Newsday, Post and countless other publications in the process who want to set up interviews with players so he will ask questions of Leon Caver at the Daily News and the Daily News commercials on the radio but at the same time correcly point out wrote " we want and need the Daily News coverage " which makes it a tough balancing act.

It seems this process picked up out on the West Coast to let some of the media that have not seen the Islanders in years get to reconnect with the franchise. To the staff's credit this was also done at a time when a lot of attention was on Kyle Okposo coming to Bridgeport back here.

I remember a long time ago Mr Botta did a feature when the Milstein's purchased the club. Howard Milstein, Steven Gluckstern, Tom Gulotta had the press conference and wanted the Stanley Cup present. Mr Botta's instincts at the time felt that was not a good idea and put it in his article. He went on to write they gave him the hope of dreaming about the club winning another cup by doing so but at the time it was an honest answer where he even went on to admit he did hold back in some past updates because things were not too good at the time but it was not going to happen again.

I may not agree with everything Mr Botta writes but I really learned to respect him for letting us get to know him a decade ago, regardless of how things worked out on the ice under those owners and if they did not live up to their promise.

Of course in his final blog entry from Atlanta here Mr Botta does his usual great job crediting Charles Wang and Atlanta for giving Rick DiPietro and Islander fans a first class show.

For myself in Atlanta Chris Botta and the staff have been the MVP of the Islanders show despite the Islander goaltender getting a lot of votes, it made me pay more attention than I was expecting to.

Rick DiPietro one goal allowed

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 07:04:00 PM




















One period, one goal against for Rick DiPietro.

The Western Conference scored their only goal in the opening twelve seconds while DiPietro was talking on a live microphone through the first period.

A few very good saves, one great one on Cory Perry.

Former Islander goalie Chris Osgood let in five but also made a few great saves. Eastern Conference while DiPietro was in had a big edge in the play.

Mike Emrick did a great job letting him do play by play in the final seconds.

MVP? Doubtful because he did not have to make a ton of great saves.

Updated:
Eric Staal of Carolina won the MVP, Nabakov of San Jose was outstanding in the second period as was Tomas Vokoun of Florida.

Globe and Mail: David Shoalts felt Rick DiPietro was the games best player for the first twenty minutes in his recap.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio is in Binghampton blogging on the AHL all-star games and skills competiton reporting on how Jeff Tambellini is doing for the Canadian all-stars.

AHL.com: Recaps the skills competition which the Canadian all-stars lost.

Islander News Articles 1/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 02:27:00 PM























Islanders website/Point Blank: Report Rick DiPietro will start the all-star game tonight in Atlanta with Chris Botta's Point Blank leading the coverage with several interviews and updates.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game article is how the Sound Tigers scored the tying goal with forty seven seconds left and won the game in a shootout with comments from Jack Capuano, Steve Regier and goaltender Mike Morrison on how the team stuck together and worked well.







Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on Jeff Tambellini who will appear in the skills competition tonight for the Canadian All-Stars in Binghamton, N.Y.; tonight's skills contest begins the festivities, and the All-Star Game is Monday night.

The American Hockey League via it's B2 Network is offering the skills competition Sunday night and the game Monday night free to everyone
here which also includes all television outlets that will carry the skills competition and the game.

AHL.com: Reports Jeff Tambellini will participate in the following events at the skills competition tonight:
Event 2 - CCM U+ Skate Fastest Skater
Event 3 - CCM U+ Stick Rapid Fire
Event 7 - Toyota Breakaway Relay

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder why Dave Andrews and the folks in the AHL who make these decisions decided to put the skills competiton on the same day as the NHL All-Star game? Considering the AHL wraps up it's regular season a week after the NHL was there some reason they could not format this better so NHL fans could watch both on seperate days?

Should be noted Ranger beat writer Steve Zipay has had four blogs since all-star weekend began and did a brief write up on the Rangers at the Young Stars. Meanwhile the Islander franchise goaltender is hurting during the skills competition and Mr Logan who made a lot of claims about the club's improved coverage to Chris Botta in an e-mail interview is AWOL aside from the stock article written before the skills competition.

Anyone else think Mr Logan could have taped the event if he did not have time to watch it Saturday and update his blog this morning for the fans? That's what I do for this blog at times when I cannot see a game live.

Newsday had space in it's papers today for the Sunday NHL feature which of course had no mention of the Islanders.

1/26/08

DiPietro hurting in skills competition

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 10:35:00 PM


















All I can go by for now is what he said after Marian Gaborik took his second shot and was wired for sound as he went back to the sideline. On the play he was down on his stomach and kicked his left leg back against the post and made a great save.

Afterward he said as the mic was open as he skated back to the sideline after he made a quick comment on his save:
Timmy (Tim Thomas) you go in there, I'm done. Oh my god, I just blew my whole leg out. I'm out. You want to go? I just (expletive) up my hip again.

Afterward he stayed on the ice, was smiling and the camera's caught him interviewing in the lockeroom with a big smile on.


Newsday: Greg Logan's Sunday feature on the goaltender was not filed from Atlanta and before the skills competition.

Updated 11pm:

Islanders website: Recap his very good night in the skills competition where he scored two goals and did not allow any. DiPietro told reporters after the competition that he was a little sore, but would still be okay to play in tomorrow's All-Star Game.

I posted his post skills competition press conference where the media pressed him on getting hurt and he said he would be fine.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a player who's leg buckled less than a week ago in a game and according to media reports who had hip surgery after last season and was on crutches.

I have no idea about anything. If that's what he said it's impossible to know what happens from here. It was interesting to note he did not play in the youngstars game but that could have been predetermined.

All I do know is if he's asking another goalie to go in for him during an event that's not a good sign at all. His comments on a live open microphone speak for themselves.

AHL.com: Reports the Sound Tigers beat the Philadelphia Phantoms in a shootout Saturday night at Harbor Yard with Kyle Okposo scoring his second professional goal and Jeff Tambellini adding to his total, Matt Keith also scored for Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog on the win reports Dustin Kohn appeared to seperate his shoulder,. Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman were sent to Bridgeport in terms of paperwork/salary cap savings but did not play in the game while Jeff Tambellini is simply dominating.

Will Rico score a goal in the skills content?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 04:03:00 PM



















Just to let everyone know the changes to the skills contest will have goaltenders shooting at the opposing net to try and score in some manner tonight. Seeing Rick DiPietro do that is worth the price of admission and a great idea to add to the skills contest.

Side-bar: Chris Botta over at Point Blank is cranking out blog updates with interviews and features that are fantastic and will outpace NYI Fan Central this weekend.

Constructive Criticism

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 02:22:00 PM
Point Blank: Chris Botta did an e-mail interview with Greg Logan which he put on his blog several questions and answers about the teams beat.

It's only appropriate a blog that puts the media coverage of our team under the spotlight responds and asks the tough questions.

First let me write going into this that Greg Logan is not the sports editor at Newsday in control of how much space the team is permitted or what the sports department decides to give him in terms of coverage space. As I have written several times he's not required to be a New York Islander fan as part of his job which unfortunately for our fans seems very apparent and given his long experience no writer can be fans of every subject they are assigned.

Mr Logan responded to Mr Botta and wrote:
I feel an even stronger obligation to the fans to provide as much information as possible because I sense how much they are relying on Newsday for insight.


New York Islander Fan Central strongly disagrees with this statement.

When Steve Zipay writes triple the blogs Mr Logan does most days and dresses up the Ranger page at Newsday with links and information (which he said he was able to do) while a team with Four Stanley Cups and this clubs incredible history is not even a footnote and who's team page looks terrible. I disagree he does any more than what's required of him by his job description.

Newsday's Ranger page is even linked to the Hartford Wolfpack coverage while the best writer in the AHL at the Ct Post in Michael Fornabaio's work is not featured on the Islander page.

I'm also highly skeptical Newsday's Islander blog cost Mr Logan or the sports editor anything more than time it takes to write it at a small price. I have seen a marginal improvement in this regard since the Canada road trip with a blog appearing around 5pm most days but it's nothing close to the blanket coverage Mr Zipay is providing from morning skates to in game and even some post-game blogs.

I'm also not a big fan of Mr Logan's statement this teams beat needed rebuilding considering Alan Hahn for most of his time had an infrequent mailbag that Mr Logan has not been provided and that the Islanders occupy a special place on Long Island as if the club does not occupy a special place in New York?

If the Giants occupy a special place in Newsday coverage and play in the New Jersey Meadowlands perhaps Mr Logan would care to acknowledge the large Islander contingent at the Meadowlands and the Garden for games mandates a priority?

Given Mr Botta was critical of Alan Hahn on the club's website in March of 2006 for some comments about Mike Milbury, it's fair to speculate Newsday's relationship with the club was not good for a short time but I have seen nothing different in terms of space provided since the previous writer moved onto the Knicks beat. Come playoff time on Mr Hahn's beat you saw blanket Islander coverage so I'm a little unsure what Mr Logan felt needed to be rebuilt between Newsday and the fans?

Mr Logan wrote:
But from Day 1 on this beat, I recognized how much passion was out there waiting to be tapped. I checked the fan Web sites to get a sense of what issues concerned Islanders fans not only in relation to the team but to the coverage of the team as well. If you go back and check the first two blogs I ever wrote on Islanders Beat, I let everyone know my experience with the Islanders dynasty of the past to assure them of my appreciation for the history of this franchise, and then, I promised in the second blog to do what I could to expand coverage of the Islanders. I followed through by taking a different approach with the blog to supplement coverage in the paper with what amounted to full-length articles on a variety of subjects on the blog. The feedback I've received from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive, and 90 percent of the criticism has been constructive. I consider my relationship with Islanders fans to be a vital part of the job. We're not always going to agree on the issues, but we're going to keep the conversation going and I believe the coverage has responded, in many cases, by attempting to answer the fans' most pressing questions..


It's absolutely true Mr Logan's blog updates are like full articles and far longer than Mr Zipay's shorter blogs where he provides several frequent updates. Having written that Islander fans still go days between updates and longer blogs should not mean less blogs. I have seen no increased expansion in print from Mr Hahn's or even John Valenti's tenure on the beat and I see nothing special from Mr Logan in terms of making up for what the city beats are not providing in his space which he seems to have no interest in doing which may be unfair of me to ask but should be suggested.

What I have also seen is no Johnette Howard, Joe Gergen, Shawn Powell coverage with only Mark Herrmann when he's not subbing for Mr Logan doing additional features for major events.

Also for Mr Logan to make light of the fact Giants coverage only eliminates the Islander notebook means it only eliminated about fifty percent of the coverage which is a very big deal and suggests he does not have a good grasp of how important more coverage is necessary for this team to draw attention which sells tickets and increases revenue which attracts free agents. Given Mr Logan at times has written about the club's viability in this market he should be the first to tell us coverage is critical and losing fifty percent for even a few days is a very big deal.

All I can add to this is what I have been writing all along. This team needs a passionate Islander fan in the beat at Newsday. Just like you see John Dellapina, Sam Weinman, Larry Brooks after their team plays games whether it be positive or critical because winning and losing does matter for them as fans.

Greg Logan has written two passionate things to me all season. First was his comments about Chris Simon being suspended, second was traveling to Edmonton from Colorado.

Not personal on my part but constructive criticism that does have to be written or I would not be doing my part as someone writing about this teams media coverage and looking to see it expanded.

As for Newsday's sports editor there is no excuse that can be made for the paper not being in Atlanta to cover Rick DiPietro at the all-star game. We will see a stock feature Sunday in Newsday.

We will not see Islander-centric coverage.

1/25/08

Rick DiPietro starts in All-Star Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/25/2008 02:11:00 PM



















Rick DiPietro has been named as the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Atlanta.

Barring any major news regarding the Islanders over the All-Star weekend like Rick DiPietro winning the MVP I will be not be blogging much until Tuesday morning if at all.

Sunday's Newsday will have a feature on Rick DiPietro's first all-star game which the news feeders will have along with Saturday's Sound Tiger game.

Versus has the skills competition on Saturday night with the game Sunday at 6pm.

The feeders will have the Newsday articles and possible blogs/all-star game features and the Isles/Sound Tigers website have their updates linked to the blog so no one will miss updates or video.

NHL.com: Has the format for the entire weekend with several features & Dan Rosen has an article on the changes to the skills competition.

Islanders website: Islanders VP of Media Relations Chris Botta announced he will be in Atlanta and in his Point Blank Blog here will include updates on Rico's weekend, with analysis, rumors, interviews.

Mr Botta's blog is also featured on the sidebar at New York Islander Fan Central.

1/24/08

Islander News Articles 1/25:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 11:04:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan reports on the loss with comments from Ted Nolan, Rick DiPietro & Bill Guerin, who credited Tim Thomas for not letting the Isles back in the game with some big saves.

Boston Globe & Boston Herald: Have Bruins centric coverage of the game with a few pictures of players running into Rick DiPietro on both sides.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article for Friday is on Joey MacDonald's improved play who credits his defense for clearing the front of the goal. Jack Capuano talks about how well his goaltender has played with the lack of goal support and goaltending coach Mike Dunham encouraging him to be more aggressive.

Bridgeport is off Friday and has a repeat performance against Philadelphia at home on Saturday before the all-star break.

Mr Prospects on the message board does his usual outstanding job for us and updates the game results of the Islander prospects:

January 22
WHL-Medicine Hat 6,Edmonton 1-Robin Figren,no points,-1.
USHL-Waterloo 3, Indiana 2-Blake Kessel,no points,even.

January 23
QMJHL-Victoriaville 5,Shawinigan 2-Simon Lacroix, no points, -3.

Updated 1pm Friday:
Newsday: Greg Logan's Friday Islander Insider is on Richard Park who has been playing on the first line and closing in on his final point total from last season already, who credits his linemates in Bill Guerin/Mike Comrie and the players on the penalty kill with him. Wade Dubielewicz talks about the plans to play him in Carolina and the conditioning stint in Bridgeport to prepare him for the game.

Greg Logan credits Brendan Witt for his play who felt he deserved all-star consideration and credits the recent production of Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger. Ted Nolan talks about the loss of Chris Campoli, who's shoulder surgey was considered successful with a four to six month recovery period. Sillinger talked about how the Isles looked to go after Carolina's powerplay while Trent Hunter talked about how the club likes to play one goal games and is second in the league with twenty seven.

Mike Sillinger also discussed how this team can build off last year with the players left and that their belief factor is better.

Espn.com: Scott Burnside handing out his mid-season awards of course can never give the Isles much credit for anything calling them a bit of a freak of nature with a lineup dotted with castoffs and leftovers that simply that defy logic with a threadbare lineup that continues to hold down a playoff position but did nominate Ted Nolan for the Jack Adams for putting a surprisingly resilient,
hard-working crew out of these parts.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unfortunately with Scott Burnside there are no surprises which means as usual he's wrong about the Islanders and did not do his homework in the summer or learn from last season. This is no surprise at all to any of the writers who bothered spending any time with this team on a regular basis.

Boston 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 10:31:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins with Ted Nolan's comments that the Isles did not bear down in any fact of the game tonight and lost as a team.

AP: Ted Nolan said guys were thinking about the break before the game started and that it's hard enough to win when you're not, never mind when you are. Marc Savard talked about how badly Boston wanted this game. Rick DiPietro talked about a bad third goal he allowed and how at times this looks like a good team while at others is looks like a bad team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write on this game now, maybe more tomorrow.

One team came out and played hungry like they wanted two points after losing big, the other played like giving up over forty five shots and winning meant it's was not a big game tonight. Boston was the better club top to bottom against a club the Isles outworked for years head to head. Isles did not show up until the second and by then Thomas made his saves to keep his team ahead while Boston extended the lead.

Islanders power play again did not do much.

Your going to have bad nights in an eighty two game season, that's acceptable. When your own coach feels his club was thinking more about a break then the game that's unacceptable.

Meyer made a bad read, Martinek and DiPietro almost got hurt.

Would have been nice if this team gave DiPietro gave him some goal support tonight, he got better as the game went on.

Blake Comeau looked like the player who was working hardest among the forwards.

Comeau for young stars? No

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 03:58:00 PM
Sports Illustrated.com/countless sources: Report Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy will miss the young stars game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure who statistically deserves to go in his place in the East but how about a vote for Blake Comeau?

Some may recall Mattias Weinhandl participated as an Islander.

Updated:
David Clarkson of the Devils replaced Kennedy, he's been up all season.

Updated 5pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan's blog update in on Freddy Meyer. In addition there will the Islander insider Friday by noon to go with with game coverage. Sunday’s Newsday will feature Rick DiPietro in his first All-Star appearance that day in Atlanta.

1/23/08

1/24: New York at Boston FSN-2 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 10:10:00 PM
Islanders website:Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch have the preview of Thursday night's game against the Boston Bruins.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa reports Glenn Murray and P.J. Axelsson will not play against the Islanders, but Phil Kessel who suffered a stinger during the game against Montreal will. Alex Auld started and played only the first period in Boston's 8-2 loss to Montreal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Boston is a lot like the Islanders in that they do not have several poor games in a row and no doubt they will come out fast against the Islanders and work hard after a bad loss against Montreal. My guess is Thomas starts. Of course Sturm, Kobasew will make things tough on the offensive end and Chara is on the defensive end.

From the Islanders side of things this is not like other years where they had the Bruins number and if they let up another forty plus shots it's likely not going to be good enough. Isles need a much better powerplay, less penalties and a strong five on five effort.

Good news is all three lines are giving them some scoring in the recent games.

This game is for seventh place, if the Isles win they open up an extra game's worth of ground and considering what's waiting after the all-star game and the home struggles they could use a sixth straight road win here.

We'll see.

Islander News Articles 1/24:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 09:59:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Mike Sillinger and how he thinks the club just has to win games and not worry about the standings or where the goals will come from as long as they stay within the teams system.

The Rochester Times: Mike Whaley has an excellent feature on Freddy Meyer and the rollar coaster he has been on this season.

AHL.com: Reports Bridgeport defeated the Phantoms 4-1 at Harbor Yard Wednesday Night.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game recap has the stick swinging incident in the penalty boxes involving Stefan Ruzicka of the Phantoms got his stick into officials box. Jeremy Colliton talks about his goal and how all the Sound Tigers are contributing.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's post game blog reports on a good Sound Tigers win to bring them back to five hundred with heady play from Frans Nielsen. Bryan Trottier was behind the bench.

Michael Fornabaio: Has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes winger Sean Bentivoglio is out 1-3 weeks with an oblique strain he suffered Monday at Portland.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 05:27:00 PM
Quiet day on the Islanders TV Front, the club practiced at Boston University.

Radek Martinek and Mike Sillinger did not practice, Rick DiPietro did. Freddy Meyer talked about his contract extension and being a player who graduated Boston University where Rick DiPietro played as a freshman.

Chris King and Steve Mears reported Chris Campoli's surgery will be Thursday and was playing with a seperated shoulder which is why he left some recent games.

Ct Post: Blogged on Campoli's injury and the Sound Tigers out for tonight's game aganinst the Phantoms, with apparently their future at the old Spectrum in doubt.

Finally Happy Anniversary to Mike Bossy
Jan. 24 1981 -- Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scores his 50th goal in
the 50th game of the season in a 7-3 victory over the Quebec Nordiques.

Quick NYI Fan Central Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 12:33:00 PM
A Question in the e-mail box....

Q: Do you think the Isles will make a big trade?

A: I have avoided topics on this subject because it's too early to tell. I have not been big on posting the odd-trade rumor here because I did promise to only use established media sources and even the rare ones posted by credible media sources are like one of ten or twenty rumors in one article with no quotes from players or executitives aside from Doug Weight which the Blues denied.

Trade market has been mostly dead this year with the cap and just a chessmatch that I see will go on until the deadline because it's fair to ask is any Eastern Conference team out of realistic contention and will that change in the next thirty odd days?

I'm guessing at best two teams from the Eastern Conferece fall off the playoff map with the Kings and another Western Conference club.

In the end as the trade deadline approaches I am going to hold to my promise to be a hundred percent correct and last to report any deals but I will pick out the most credible media sources for possible Islander trade rumors. I'm not interested in breaking the news or scoops, I want to get it right.

From our club's perspective how they do on the ice will determine direction and a month is an eternity. Isles could be making a push at second or making a run at the number fifteen spot and you can write that about a half dozen clubs at least.

I do not see Garth Snow or the hockey committee giving up another number one pick or a top prospect. I can see them adding salary for teams wanting to unload a player but I just do not see a big deal like last year. We went from the gm talking about signing Comrie, Fedotenko to silence and we have read nothing on Trent Hunter, Vasieck or Miroslav Satan.

If the Isles fall out of realitic contention, I think all bet's are off and we could see a big house-cleaning with many potential UFA to go with Guerin, Sillinger and even Brendan Witt who both are signed for next season. That's how you rebuild quickly and kind of do what the Flyers did a year ago.

Earlier this year I read a few things on Peter Forsberg wanting one more big contract which a team like the Isles may be willing to pay to have a name star.

As always I expect the trade deadline will be interesting for the Isles.

Funny thing about depth

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 11:09:00 AM
Back in early November I did a blog called Prospects at the Crossroads and pointed to the lack of production in the system and how many were not making much of a statistical impression at the time with the exception of Steve Regier at the time.

I also looked at how the Isles simply called up Trent Hunter slumping in 2003-04 and gave him his spot for good at a time he was not producing well for Bridgeporthere and he just dominated scoring his career high twenty five goals.

We are kind of seeing the same thing now with Blake Comeau to a lesser degree in a different role, where even Ted Nolan said his game is better suited to the NHL after not have statistical results in Bridgeport.

My question today is how many more players at the AHL level in Bridgeport does this apply to? I look at Jeremy Colliton who has been hurt but has not been producing as well as one would expect at this point or is he just learning to be a
well-rounded game more suited for the NHL?

Coaches want players who can play defense in the NHL when they are called up, not players who only play offense or who can not win the puck in the corners who play without a lot of composure. Colliton when he was drafted was a top level prospect, has anything really changed besides the face he's been injured?

I look at a player like Frans Nielsen who is an older prospect and wonder how the club will make room for him with Andy Hilbert, Bates signed for the long term and Ben Walter needing his opportunity sooner as opposed to later? I look at Richard Park with his long-term deal on left wing with Bergenheim and Comeau and ask if Fedntenko is re-signed how do they find any spot for Jeff Tambellini next year and that does not include left wing Chris Simon unless Ted Nolan plans on moving Comeau back to a right wing role?

Looking at the Sound Tigers it's hard to get a read on Jack Capuano's line combinations with so many callups, injuries and pto signings at the Bridgeport level where even Justin Bourne got a game on right wing. Ted Nolan seems to keep players in their designated positions but Blake Comeau broke in as a right wing, Steve Regier a right wing. At this time however a lot of those players are on the left side and the roster has six centers listed, even though Matt Keith was a right wing.

I'm not even close to done yet when you even mention a Jason Pitton and Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio and the wave of upcoming talent including the prospects from the WJC (Tomas Marcinko/Rhett Rakhshani) and maybe even Luciano Aquino entering the last year of his contract having a great statistical year at Fort Wayne.

To say nothing of a Jesse Joensuu, Shea Guthrie, Brian Day, Jason Gregoire, Maxim Gratchev, Kim Johansson, Doug Rogers and wildcards from past drafts like Igor Volkov
and Evgeni Tunik.

Funny thing is Petteri Nokelainen went from center to right wing and now back to center which was his draft position.

I look at the all the defenders signed for next year and ask how can Dustin Kohn win a spot?

Point Blank: Chris Botta had a blog on several subjects but also talks about the club's prospect depth.

Funny thing about depth is when you seem to give players a chance you find you go from not having enough to maybe having too many options.

That's a good thing.

More changes to All-Star Lineup

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 10:46:00 AM
NHL.com: Announced the following changes to the All-Star rosters for Sunday's game.

Added:
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Mike Ribeiro, Dallas Stars
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Replacing:
Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Segeri Zubov, Dallas Stars
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Scott Niedermayer played seventeen games and is handed a spot in the All-Star squad, and now the Devils do not have anyone going to the game? If Niedermayer was still in New Jersey this never would have happened.

Would not have been the worst idea to expand rosters by one more spot so all teams can be represented if something like this happens so a Zach Parise could be added and a team in first place has someone at the game.

One more tweak to Rick DiPietro and his status for the weekend will be doubt also. That all-star skills competition is a lot of work for the goaltenders.

Quick Poll

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 02:15:00 AM
Sorry, not big on poll's about the blog but needed some help and wanted your feedback.

I recently added Islander game highlight's from the Islanders website on the sidebar for those who may not have access because this is video we are allowed to share.

This is set up so you are not annoyed by it playing constantly every time you visit. You click on it if you want, it plays once and that's it.

Being that the club has such limited media coverage and the papers are not giving the Islanders much space for the comments of Ted Nolan or the players, would you like me to include the post-game press conference ITV also does on the sidebar so you can hear the large majority of the press conferences and the player interviews?

A lot of out of town papers and websites ask questions that you may be interested in that are not going to make it into Newsday and especially the city papers.

I'm not going to start posting game day skates or anything else, just the game highlights on the sidebar and the post-game questions and answers if enough folks think it's a good idea and makes the blog more enjoyable when you visit.

If folks want to answer the blog here or in e-mail as many do that's fine if they do not want to do a poll.

Either way, thank you in advance.

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