New York 4, Philadelphia 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2008 10:02:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 4-3 win at home against the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night with the Islanders firing forty seven shots with Jeff Tambellini scoring his first goal of the season and Sean Bergenheim scoring goals in consecutive games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders needed to break through with a win and they did it. A Brendan Witt knee sprain is a huge price to pay but in a knee on knee hit usually one player get's the worst of it.

The shots on goal in the first period were a lot of angle shots, Tambellini had a excellent early shot that almost surprised Nittymaki and Bergenheim was hitting anyone he could find. The goal came off some sloppy player and hard work in front where Trent Hunter found the net off a scramble.

Flyers second power play they had a lot of pressure and got their game going before finally scoring on their third power play where DiPietro seemed to over-react and went down like he did in the skills contest. Philadelphia had a lot of jump in their game and Comrie's power play pass to Richard's for a breakaway could have given the Flyers all momentum but their defense was giving up chances which Tambellini cashed in on with another good shot that this time found the net. Bergeron and the defense did not react well on the Flyers second goal.

Bergenheim's speed and skill to finish his goal was just fantastic and reminded me of the Carolina goal. That's two straight games this kids hustle produced important goals. Nielsen was a bit quiet in this one but Comeau made a lot of good plays and was noticable even though he is adjusting to right wing.

Park's line had some good shifts and made a good read for his third period breakaway. So did Hunter with Fedotenko and Vasicek, who just wore down the Flyers for the game winning goal. Islanders powerplay bombed away with a lot of chances but did not score again while Lupul's shot found Knuble to make it 4-3.

Flyers had some big scrambles in front of DiPietro, even with Witt in the lineup.

Coverage was a little weak on Versus with the announcer saying the Isles and Flyers had not play an overtime game since the lockout, even though Hunter scored in the final seconds of ot to win a game last year at the Coliseum.

Ok, Islanders needed a win and got it and we saw some desperation. They threw a lot of shots at the opposing goal and it was far from perfect but now have to go beat a team in their own building where they have not won since 2002 and likely do it without Brendan Witt and with Bergeron, Berard and likely Aaron Johnson on the backline.

No other choice, the desperation has to be there. They have to force the Leafs into mistakes and work hard.

That's three straight games this club has scored three or more goals.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2008 04:41:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Did a profile on Stefan Persson to preview the core of four weekend.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Add Kenny Jonsson's best x 2 and add in an elementc of knowing when provide offense and that's Stefan Persson. His play coming in off the point to tie game one of the 1980 finals is still one of the fastest setups for a goal I have ever seen. If you watch the old replays you see Bossy circle but you never see Persson until the sticks go up to celebrate.

Newsday: Greg Logan has a blog with Garth Snow's comments on the club's scoring and the future in terms of the prospects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan does a very good job here with the article and on top of it goes out of his way to explain how and why the copy editor wrote a headline that turned out to be a harmless error, excellent work top to bottom today.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports Dubie and Marty Biron will be miked by Versus tonight as the backup goalies.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Kip Brennan was suspended fifteen games for an incident in Saturday's game.

Win or lose no postgame until tomorrow morning.

High River Times: John MacNeil had a fantastic feature on Jeremy Colliton on his callup last week to the Islanders, how it's been playing for Ted Nolan, fighting his son Brandon earlier this year and being part of the organization since he was drafted.

My Fellow Bloggers

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2008 01:42:00 PM | 4 Comments

I wanted to do a blog today to express my thoughts in an e-mail response I sent to my fellow blog boxer Tom Liodice Monday on a bunch of items concerning my fellow members of the Islanders blog box and perhaps let some folks know a little about me because they have not seen me at the blog box and will not.

Tom, as some may know is my former co-moderator from HF who also wrote at the site for a while after me and always goes out of his way to give me a lot more praise and thanks then I deserve for his hard work to become what I consider an excellent upcoming writer, who today does a great job on his blog at Tiger Tracks where in my estimation he has a wonderful gift where he can cover a game live and does it so well you feel you are in the building which is a talent that I do not think can be taught.

Tom as many know not only goes to the Coliseum but goes to Harbor Yard and had been doing that for years before the Isles announced a blog box. When his work was featured in a paper last year, I sent it to him a link to it and when the Isles singled out our blogs together earlier this year I got more satisfaction seeing both blogs listed than I ever would have just seeing my own because I know how dedicated he was. If you listen to him on Hockey Night on LI among the radio shows, he does a fantastic job.

Tom in his e-mail had some questions and concerns so I thought I would address them here even though I did respond to him.

Anyone who has visited this blog from the beginning knows how I would be doing hockey content but I have been forced to re-examine things at times and this is one of those circumstances.

With regard to myself and as I have written on several occasions my blog was added after the season began quietly which is exactly how I wanted things to be so even though this blog started in July it was not on the Islanders website until around November.

I made it very clear to the folks from the Isles beforehand I am not interested in sitting in the blog box or interviewing players because I have no interest in a journalism career or to become a member of the media.

My thoughts at that time and and now are those seats should be reserved for folks who want a career in journalism or who will go interview the players for everyone.

My opinion is we need these folks in the blog box at the games to break through into an industry that I feel has no fans of this team covering it in the print media that you have seen me hold under the spotlight and will continue to.

Truthfully, I wish I was younger and had a background in journalism or this offer was made back when I was at games the team was winning the Stanley Cup but I do not have that background nor do I feel it is a strength of mine and my time for that has passed.

I offered my blog because I thought I could do something to help the Islanders for the thirty years of great memories they have provided me and because I care. My only motivation in offering this blog was to try and do something that could help but do it in a way where I am not the story but the Islanders are.

Having written that Mr Botta/Mr Witt were still willing to offer me a place at the blog box and have done nothing but go out of their way to acknowledge the blog on the teams website.

Doing a blog like this has a lot of things that surface unexpectedly that have presented some challenges for me this year which I wish to share with my fellow bloggers at the box and my readers because I have had a dilemma with the coverage as I look at things and make my own determinations as to what is a media source?

When Brian Bohl had Peter Botte's spot at the Daily News earlier I asked this question, when Kevin Greenstein wrote about the Isles in the New York Sun I asked again.

My cyberspace hockey background from Islanders-Sound Tigers and HF guidelines was to always use what was termed
" credible media sources " which has always been understood to mean a newspaper and a professional writer so when I set out to do this blog I have kind of kept to the same template which you see in the daily articles coverage as I link the publication and a professional writer.

Everyone is familiar with the debate between bloggers and professional hockey writers and I have written here this blog is not a media source and I stand by that.

Having written that I went on IslesNation last night with Steve and Tony who do a great job and Hockey Night on LI with Alex and Steve earlier this year who also do an excellent job but are not established newspaper media sources and yet I linked them to this blog just as I would a newspaper?

It made me wonder have I crossed a line without even knowing it and perhaps without considering it have not written about the other folks who are in the blog box attending games?

I know Tom and linked his work here because we did co-moderate at HF, but what of the other bloggers who put in all this time and effort for us?

My first impression was a lot of folks from the blog box likely do not visit this blog and I did not consider it which I had not, but I'm not going to give myself an easy out here.

Even thought I am not a member of the media I try and hold this blog to a very high standard which begins with my example which means I should have considered the bloggers.

What I wrote the other day about the other bloggers is how I feel. They all do a great job for the fans and all of them offer something special and worth your time to visit and be a part of. These folks get into the trenches and interview which I am not interested in and do the heavy lifting for us as I sit here and write a game summary and tell you what a link to an article says and provide commentary.

Beyond what I just wrote there were other concerns that I will share.

* Did these folks want me to link their blogs here or mention them? As I told Tom I check out the other Islander bloggers about once a week and I noticed most do link to the other blogs as they see one another at games and as Tom told me are a pretty tight-knit group and the bonds they have are unmistakable.

These folks do outstanding work but how would they feel about me placing their work on this site without permission?

I have written on some of these blogs and praised the work but to this point only one blogger (besides Tom) wrote this blog and that was back in the summer.

* I was also concerned if I am critical of the print media would this make problems for them linking their work here being that they have to see these folks at games?

It still leaves me with some of the same dilemma's in terms of blogging from outsides websites and what to post here, plus I need my fellow bloggers input as to where to go from here in terms of their work?

Having written that if the members of the blog box wish to have me link their sites, have suggestions or wish to have their work included here in some manner it would be my pleasure if they would contact me and offer advice.

Beyond that all I can do is thank my fellow bloggers for the great job you do for us and hope to see you covering our team in the print media if that's what you wish to aspire to because the work in all of them have been outstanding.

2/12: New York vs Philadelphia 7PM VERSUS

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 11:45:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers with Ted Nolan's comments that his team is looking forward, not back and have been playing better.

Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan and Bruno Gervais did not practice. Gervais is questionable for tonight. Simon Gagne has a concussion.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Time to face the hard facts.

Isles need to be ten games over five hundred or hit ninety two points.

Isles have not won five in a row since December 1994.

Isles are not the team that had a strong plus/minus a year ago and were among the best at even strength.

Isles do not have team speed that other clubs have.

Isles are lowest scoring club in the league with a pp that also is tied for the league lead in goals against.

Isles do not have one thing you can point at to use as an edge going into games.

Isles should have gotten the game to overtime against Pittsburgh, should have won in Minnesota, it's been building but tonight it's time for a breakthrough win and an end to this streak. Flyers have lost three in a row.

Either this team starts winning now and get's back in the race or it's just not going to happen for them this season. They could win four of five and not jump over more than one or two teams.

A lot of clubs seem to break that losing streak against the Isles. Tonight the Isles have to be the better team and play desperate hockey.

It's time we see the character, grit and heart advertised.

Islander News Articles 2/12:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 10:26:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article was very interesting and far different than the title written by the person who wrote the headline. Ted Nolan talks about what his team must do and that the trades are up to the gm. Mike Comrie talks about how the club is going to have to win now and when pressed on his contract and resigning said he likes playing here. Bruno Gervais is questionable.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article has Mike Comrie and Ted Nolan's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
First off folks, do not make the mistake of reading a headline titled:
" Nolan uses trade threats to motivate Islanders " and put that on Mr Logan, most papers have folks to write headlines beyond the writer and it's done to capture attention. As for Mike Comrie he correctly is more concerned with now and we'll see what the Isles think of him if he is here after the deadline if the club has not gone on a streak that will bring them into contention.

My take is contention or not they need Mike Comrie's offensive skills beyond this year and is a top six forward. My guesswork on him is he wants a place to finally call home and will sign an extension, but call that only my guess.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has Jeremy Colliton's comments on his experience of playing in the NHL and updates the Sound Tigers sick/injured list which includes coach Jack Capuano and Kyle Okposo.

Bridgeport's next game is Wednesday so keep an eye on Utah first unless another call to Johnstown is made. Reports the Flyers recalled Kyle Greentree for the game against the Islanders.

Appearing on Islesnation tonight at 8pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 05:55:00 PM | | Comment Here

The folks over at who do an outstanding job talking Islanders were kind enough to invite me to appear on tonight's show at 8pm for those interested.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm a little under the flu bug myself tonight so hopefully I can hang in and do a good job for everyone. Lot's of blankets and sweaters from the couch for this one.

Updated 9:15pm
Just finished up Isles nation and had a lot of fun talking Islander hockey. My thanks again to Steve and Tony for inviting me to appear on the program who did a great job. Some hockey talk is a perfect way to help feel a little better for those wondering.

Islesnation is on the sidebar for everyone but in case you want to listen to tonight's show:
(check back late tonight or tomorrow)

Islander notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 05:32:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
* From Ted Nolan's press conference (sidebar) Chris Simon may return to practice but he has to speak with Charles Wang and Garth Snow.

* Bruno Gervais is a little banged up and is questionable for the Flyers game.

* Miroslav Satan got a rest today with another player, not sure who.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on Jack Capuano still out with an illness and the flu running through the club with some other items.

Rocky Mountain News: Jim Benton had Ryan Smyth's praise for his former Islander teammate, Richard Zednik.

Islanders core of four weekend plans

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 05:18:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Had a release for the core of four weekend celebration coming up March 2nd to salute the players who were a part of all four championships which March 1st to salute the Islander fans.

The honored guests are:

Bill Torrey
Al Arbour
Mike Bossy
Bob Bourne
Clark Gillies
Butch Goring
Lorne Henning
Anders Kallur
Gord Lane
Dave Langevin
Wayne Merrick
Ken Morrow
Bob Nystrom
Stefan Persson
Denis Potvin
Billy Smith
Duane Sutter
John Tonelli
Bryan Trottier

Trainer Ron Waske and equipment manager Jim Pickard, who were with the team for all four Stanley Cups, will also be honored as part of the event. Hall of Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald will serve as the Master of Cereonies.

A special ceremony for the Core of the Four members will begin at 3 pm on the Coliseum ice. All fans in attendance will receive an Allstate commemorative Core of the Four banner. Throughout the game, the Stanley Cup will be on display at the concourse for photo ops.

I love that logo and the colors.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Going to be almost impossible to top the classy ceremony from Al Arbour night, but no doubt the Islanders will do a great job as always.
We should see that 740 banner raised too.

Early poll results

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 11:11:00 AM | Comment Here
One day in and the response on the poll has some interesting trends that speak beyond the ice for next season.

As of day one:
Fourteen of fifteen votes are to keep Captain Bill Guerin.
Fourteen of seventeen votes are to trade Miroslav Satan
Mike Sillinger is more of a split with ten of sixteen voting to trade Sillinger.
Hunter is virtually split down the middle with eight voting to resign and seven saying it's time for a trade.

Brendan Witt stays by a fifteen-nothing count at this time.
Folks apparently see the long term value in Comrie because for now twelve of seventeen votes are to resign him.

The early results have Fifteen of sixteen votes calling for a Fedotenko trade with fourteen of sixteen calling for Vasicek to be moved.

Islander News Articles 2/11:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 10:14:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan goes one on one with Garth Snow, who is not giving up on the season and expects his team to get back into playoff contention with a draft ahead that is much deeper than a year ago.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I did not know Miroslav Satan has a no trade clause which he would have to waive if the Isles did make a trade that involved him. Bergeron is restricted and will be a very close call.

Daily Local:Anthony J. SanFilippo reports Flyers winger Simon Gagne suffered his third concussion in five months on Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Colorado Springs Gazette: David Ramsey is calling for Gary Bettman to get involved and change the rules so NHL teams cannot take prospects from college's during the season and cites the Brock Trotter, Kyle Okposo situations.

Denver Post: Mike Chambers points out the rules in juniors prohibit NHL teams from signing players after ten games and that this is a rule that the college program needs with Minnesota coach Don Lucia's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I agree there should be a rule that prohibits NHL teams from signing players and taking them out of school after a certain point in the college season like juniors, but having written that these kids get hurt in college and they are potentially risking millions. In the end it's up to the NHL and the NCAA to work something out.

Let's call it what it is here too. The College's want their money/exposure and for high profile players like Okposo and DU leading scorer leaving does not help the business of college hockey.

Richard Zednik ok after throat cut by skate

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2008 12:25:00 AM | | Comment Here Brian Compton reports on a very scary incident involving former Islander Richard Zednik as his throat was cut open by a skate blade Sunday night to where he had to have emergency surgery but is ok.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Will not post video. I remember folks fainting after the throat of Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk in a similar scenario was cut a long time ago, ironically also in a game involving Buffalo. Malarchuk story is the worst I have ever read in all my years as a fan at any on ice hockey game.

Just glad Zednik is apparently ok.

Islander impressions in a sentence

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2008 11:50:00 AM | | 2 Comments
One sentence to sum up each player at this time, hope I did not miss anyone.

Bill Guerin-Visible, but has to produce more, whether it be fair or not and must stay out of the box, he should stay becauase he still has his scoring hands.

Mike Comrie-His skills makes a difference and with more speed around him will do more, Isles need to resign him.

Andy Hilbert-Last call or showcase time on the top line with a year left on his contract and a second year of disappointing production, despite strong defensive play.

Josef Vasicek-Playing better but not producing like a second line player on a team that needs more speed and skill, move him at the deadline.

Trent Hunter-Better defense than Vasicek but same in production department, all depends on what's offered for him but if he wants huge money, time to say goodbye because he's not scoring and this team is too slow.

Ruslan Fedotenko-Getting chances and finally seems healthy but is not producing like a player with a three million dollar contract, should be moved if possible at the deadline.

Miroslav Satan-A lot of heart to come back and play on a bad knee, but his inconsistent production all season and for the better part of two years should mean it's time to go at the trade deadline.

Mike Sillinger-I know he's hurt but his age and lack of production this year overall makes me think it's time to move him, despite his defense and faceoff ability because this team is simply too slow in too many positions.

Richard Park-Is a serviceable third and fourth line player but he simply is not consistent enough to play on a top line for too long. He's staying but may take a job from a prospect who can do more.

Sean Bergenheim-Did not have a great year but it's clear the talent is there and many games was more visible than the veterans, give him a long-term deal before Gandler makes problems because that year out of the league hurt his game.

Blake Comeau-You pick a wing for him and leave him there in a regular spot next season, he's a keeper.

Chris Simon-Will come in handy after the deadline if veterans are moved but
long-term it's time for a new direction because his offensive skills were not visible and he has too much mileage age and baggage despite his leadership.

Jon Sim-Will be back next year with two more years on his contract in a huge stable of left wings, if healthy his speed will help but it usually takes two years to get back speed with that injury.

Shawn Bates-Basically you can write the same thing as Sim, except it's fair to speculate if his career is over because of his health and one year left on his contract.

Jeff Tambellini-How he plays from here will determine next year as he get's a regular shift for better or worse, so far it's been incomplete for how he's been used but his play in Bridgeport since December suggest he's ready.

Brendan Witt-He stays unless a huge offer comes to the Isles with prospects and picks as his game is needed on the backline.

Andy Sutton-You trade him and his two remaining years as quick as the Flyers did with Alexei Zhitnik if a good offer comes.

Radek Martinek-You leave him and his contract extension right where they are next to Brendan Witt next season and hope he stays healthy.

Marc-Andre Bergeron-You take a chance and move his shot at the deadline if a good offer comes but you don't unload him for nothing.

Chris Campoli-You do nothing but hope he's ready for camp.
Bruno Gervais-You get his name on the same three year deal Campoli got.

Freddy Meyer-Isles invested another two years in him which means he has to play.

Bryan Berard-One and done, good offensive signs but defensive struggles and injuries make him too much of a risk.

Aaron Johnson-Seems to me that signing Meyer means Johnson needs another team to play for this summer if he cannot get that chance at the deadline.

Wade Dubielewicz-Earned an extension with some very solid play in games the team gave him any chance.

Rick DiPietro-Unfair but that soft goal a game has hurt and he's not facing forty shots a game recently, he makes five good or great saves to hold them in but he's been great until recently and a steal for what he makes.

Poll: Decide who stays or goes?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2008 11:03:00 AM | Comment Here
Thanks to everyone who voted in the recent poll. The overwhelming response was to start benching veterans and play kids.

Of course, that became moot when most of the prospects were called up just to fill out a lineup, but the response for the most part was to start getting ready for next year.

Which brings us to this weeks poll where you vote whether to keep or move the core of this team. Comrie, Satan, Vasicek, Fedntenko and Hunter are pending UFA while Sillinger, Witt and Guerin are signed through next season.

Of course I will set this up so you can vote to keep a player under contract, resign a pending UFA or made a trade.

We are only a handful of games from the trade deadline and the Islanders are days away from fifteenth. They are also only six points out of a playoff spot and a winning streak over a week could put them right back in a mix of clubs for the eighth or seventh seed.

In a few weeks it's up to the Hockey committee, for the next week it's up to you.

Reasons why you made a decision are welcome here and on the message board and I'm curious to read the comments behind the votes if you are willing to share.

Latest from Mr Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2008 09:56:00 AM | Comment Here
I thought today would be a good day to take Mr Prospects latest update and give it a blog posting of it's own for all the time and effort given to bring this to the message board for everyone.

Febuary 8
QMJHL-Shawinigan 5,Drummondville 3-Simon Lacroix, 1 assist,+1.
Rimouski 5, Halifax 2-Maxime Gratchev, 1 goal(6),1 assist,+ 2.

OHL-Barrie 7, Kingston 3-Tomas Marcinko,1 goal(15),1 assist,even.

USHL-Waterloo 5, Soiux Falls 2-Blake Kessel,1 goal(12),1 assist,+ 2.

College-Clarkson 4, Cornell 1-Tyrell Mason,Shea Guthrie,1 assist each.
Denver 1, Minnesota 1 (OT)-Rhett Rakhshani, no points, + 1.
Colorado College 5, St. Cloud 3-Jase Weslosky,26 saves,30 shots.
Ohio State 3, Nebraska-Omaha 3(OT)-Shane Sims,1 assist.
Harvard 3, Union 2-Doug Rogers, no points.
Colgate 2,St. Lawrence 1-Brian Day,no points.

Islander News Articles 2/10:

Newsday: Greg Logan recaps the loss with Jeff Tambellini's comments on his missed breakaway, Ted Nolan who thought they could not play much better but was not happy how his club did not come back on the winning goal.

Newsday: Greg Logan had more from Sean Hill on his suspension.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The Daily News has a full Ranger article and a three part Sunday feature but did not cover the Islander game. The Devils game was covered by a reporter.

Jay Greenberg was permitted to travel to Philadelphia for an extra Ranger article from Philadelphia with Larry Brooks and of course Mr Brooks had his usual Ranger centric Sunday feature. Mark Everson had a full Devils article.

At Newsday Ranger beat writer Steve Zipay controls the Sunday hockey agenda where it's usually more Ranger centric but about the NHL in general.

It's not the Islanders folks, it's the people in the offices making the decisions and it seems to come down to who is a fan of what team. This is why we need more Islander fans in the decision making process at these publications and that starts with Islander fans covering the team who will push the editors hard for print space and blogs.

Anyone think Greg Logan should have picked up on this and maybe just let the blog on Sean Hill be enough and used the space for his second article on the Islanders? Instead all we got in his second article is Aaron Johnson's scratch. He did not even report Colliton was sent back to Bridgeport, despite Mr Fornabaio telling us he could not get back in time to play against Portland and was sent down.

Star-Tribine: Michael Russo recaps Minnesota's win with Mark Parrish's comments on how he tried to convince the refs Blake Comeau knocked out his teeth, even though they were missing already which is very funny.

Pioneer Press: John Shipley recaps the game with Bill Guerin's comments that it was not a good point because his team did not finish the job.

The News: Has more on Jon Sim and Hockey weekend in Canada where Sim and Devin Smith of the NHL Association donated ninety sets of hockey gear through the NHL Dreams and Goals program and was praised by mayor New Glasgow Mayor Ann MacLean who presented Sim with a hand-tinted photograph of the Westside rink Sim skated on as a youth.

Chronicle Herald: Tom Mccoag has more on Jon Sim.

Sports Illustrated/AP: Has Brian Burke's and Chris Botta's comments on what happened with Pat Lafontaine and the Ducks gm Tuesday night and points out Lafontaine has been to several Islander games this season.

Sound Tigers website: Recaps the Sound Tigers loss to Portland.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the Sound Tigers 5-2 loss to Portland in a very physical game in front of the biggest crowd of the year at Harbor Yard. Kyle Okposo got a favorable bounce for his goal. Jeremy Colliton was sent back to Bridgeport but did not arrive in time to play. Kip Brennan was given a match penalty for sticking up for a teammate. Pat Bingham was behind the bench for Jack Capuano who had the flu.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game recap also includes Kyle Okposo suffering from the flu and the Sound Tigers race to qualify for the playoffs with only thirty games left and Bridgeport on the outside.

Islanders website: Had a late Saturday feature on Kyle Okposo's two goals and assist which included his comments after the Portland Pirates loss.

Portland Press-Telegram: Has the Pirates coverage.

Minnesota 4, New York 3 overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2008 08:37:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's just a horrible loss and very expensive in the standings. They played very well and deserved a lot better against a fast team that they outplayed for a good part of the game, holding their shots down. So many strong signs and they seemed destined to win after Bergenheim crashed the net and made a great play to give them the lead, everyone worked hard in this game and they easily could have had a few more goals.

Fedotenko did not have his man on the rebound that tied the game. Isles were skating so well they did not even take a penalty down the stretch, Minnesota did on Bergeron.

Comrie made a nice play at his blueline and was patient to find Guerin for the 1-1 goal. That line got the game tied in the third on an unexpected goal from Hilbert.

Hunter-Vasicek-Fedotenko had good pressure again. Satan had a few shots blocked from high percentage areas. Islanders crashed the net well in this game and moved the puck well along the wall in the offensive zone.

Too bad Tambellini did not finish his breakaway but he got the puck up and Backstrom got his pad on it. Did that line see the ice the last ten minutes or overtime?

I loved that second period wrap around by Comeau and a few very good shots from him. I thought he had Backstrom, he also had a few other great chances.

Burns, Rolston and Gaborik seemed to be flying all night along with the other kid for Minnesota who assisted on their second goal.

Powerplay at the end for the Isles looked far too conservative and Sutton is not going to hit the net in that situation. Too bad Ted Nolan shortened his bench and kept the kids off the ice.

DiPietro in the third did all he could, the first goal he gave up was terrible by Foster and on this team that's a killer. As well as he played late in the game that again is one that comes back to hurt his club. He looked like he did not see the puck well in the first a few times where he reacted like he did not know where shots were going.

Gaborik beat Satan clean on the winner, Martinek kicked the puck and it went right to Burns.

Minnesota's speed and skill was impressive. Islanders need some players like that on this roster badly.

Sorry the news reports on lines and lineups were so off:
Parrish played despite concussion reports and even he looked fast on that ice. DiPietro gave him a healthy slash in the second.

Satan in means Colliton out, the merit system should have forced another player to the bench, he did not play left wing as Greg Logan reported he would.

Johnson out, Bergeron in. He played well and his shot from the point is something they cannot do without.

Islanders have to bring this effort to every game now. It's a very tough loss but how they skated and worked was encouraging. First a close loss, now an overtime loss.

Tuesday night has to be a win. Reports Bridgeport is trailing in the third against Portland, Kyle Okposo has a goal and four shots.

Sean Hill explains

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2008 05:36:00 PM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has the full story on former Islander Sean Hill suspension for testing positive for a banned substance a year ago, why he did not talk after season which was not popular with his teammates outside of Rick DiPietro and how come he appealed as opposed to sitting out his suspension during the season. He also explains why he took and passed a lie-detector test.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All we know as fans is the organization found out two weeks before game five and we just got that a day ago. The players found out on the day of game five.

If he passed a drug test that he did not take a banned substance I tend to believe him. We can speculate forever, what's done is done and we'll never know for sure.

He did not survive for over fifteen years in this league by using banned substances.

20,000 Thanks everyone !

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2008 09:04:00 AM | Comment Here

It would not be appropriate if I did not stop and thank everyone as NYI Fan Central hits the twenty thousand mark today.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and support.

Not too shabby for a blog started in late July that has done virtually no advertising.

What can I write other than to thank everyone who visits and the Islanders for carrying New York Islander Fan Central and all the response. Folks may not agree with everything written here but I do feel I have kept my promise of putting in the work here and that is not going to change.

Special thanks to Mr Prospects for taking the time to do his daily prospect updates on the message board for everyone. And my thanks to the folks on the radio programs it's been my pleasure to talk with.

Also congratulations to the other folks in blog box, I have read most if not all the blogs and the work is outstanding. As someone who is not a participating member at the box doing the interviews or sitting there covering games, these folks all do a great job for the fans and all of their sites add something special.

I highly suggest checking them all out.

Thanks again everyone.

2/9: New York at Minnesota 6pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2008 08:29:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild who have given up only twelve goals in their last seven games but are 2-3 in last five games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Were kind of getting close to the last stand for the 2007-2008 Islanders unless they plan on breaking the streak of not winning five in a row since December 1994 down the road. They went to Pittsburgh and the kids worked hard and so did the other lines and easily could have won the game.

Now it has to carry over and they have to win here because nothing else works in terms of any hope of staying in the playoff race as they are only three points out of fifteenth. Satan, injured knee and all goes to left wing with Comrie and Guerin in as close as they can get to a first line which means Hilbert changes positions again.

Ted Nolan already said the kid line remains in tact which means another night on right wing for Blake Comeau while Satan is on the left.

Does the coach break up the Hunter, Vasicek, Fedntenko line after they showed some good signs in Pittsburgh? Doubtful, but I would put Vasicek on the bench before Bergenheim or Park sits.

Hopefully Bergenheim does not get a seat on the bench but it's either that or

Isles defense is going to have to stop the Gaborik show with Rolston.

Frankly, DiPietro has to raise his game because his one soft goal a game off deflections, screens or whatever have been a killer and has been going on for a while. That may not be fair but recently he has not been facing forty shots that often. When you see him look up after goals it's easy to see he thinks that's one he should have had.

Isles final West Coast game this season.
6pm start on FSN-2. College basketball play on Msg before the Knicks.

Islander News Articles 2/9:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2008 07:20:00 AM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports Miroslav Satan will play tonight on the left side of Comrie-Guerin and the line with Tambellini, Comeau and Nielsen will again be kept as a unit with Ted Nolan's comments on how the line played and Blake Comeau's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
We can complain about his scoring slumps and some other things about Satan's game but no doubt Miroslav Satan wants to do all he can to help this team. Given the reports of six to eight weeks he could be risking big money in free agency by playing now if he blew out his knee.

NY Times:Tal Pinchevsky has a full feature on Mike Sillinger and his concern about the upcoming trade deadline where he was offered a no-trade clause when he signed his contract, but Sillinger rejected it, claiming that it was not fair to the organization. Charles Wang, familiar with Sillinger’s reputation for moving around, called to assure him of his place on the team at the time. Sillinger makes it clear he wants to stay with New York and agent Don Meehan says he had found a home here but his play makes him attractive to a lot of teams.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given his lack of production this year, his age combined with how much he still brings to this team in so many ways, Garth Snow, Ted Nolan and the hockey staff have a very tough decision at the deadline here given the prospect centers in the organization. Of course with Josef Vasicek as a second line center not producing how do you replace Sillinger or find a veteran to come here for a rebuilding? He is not an UFA this summer so if you trade him you cannot get him back without another deal.

Of course the basic question is if a club makes an offer that's too good to refuse that brings a top prospect and a draft pick how do you turn it down?

Mike Sillinger is traded a lot because he can flat out play and helps teams on and off the ice which is why he is in demand.

Star-Tribune: Kent Youngblood reports on the Wild. Mark Parrish is out with a concussion while Sean Hill who has been out since January 11th with an ankle sprain will return against the Isles according to Jacques Lemaire.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Friday's 3-2 win over the Lowell Devils. Trevor Smith scored in the final minute on an assist from Kyle Okposo to win the game with the Islander prospect scoring his third goal.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game report was on how the players stepped with all the recalls and how Jackman and Brennan set the tone with some physical play. Trevor Smith and coach Jack Capuano comment on a win against a struggling Lowell team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's other article is on Pascal Morency and how hard he's working to get back into the lineup since November with Jack Capuano's comments.

Lowell Sun: Has the Devils coverage.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell has a two part feature on the Sound Tigers-Hartford Wolfpack rivalry with Howard Saffin and Jack Capuano's comments as the history of the rivalry and franchises are included with player and fan comments on both sides.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A full feature on Ted Nolan, Mike Sillinger and now Bridgeport. Why is this paper not covering Islander games again?

Ottawa Citizen: Dave Gross does a full feature on all of Mike Milbury's poor Islander trades but also writes his deals are not among some of the worst in league history.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I hate sloppy articles that only tell part of the story just to make things even worse. Yes Mike Milbury traded Zigmund Palffy to the Kings but was clearly under orders to move his salary by the Milstein ownership who wanted him dealt to the Rangers for financial compensation. Milbury got Palffy's name on that five year contract before that despite his holdout.

Also not included are his fantastic trades to acquire Kenny Jonsson and the pick from the Leafs the Isles selected Eric Brewer or Roberto Luongo with that cost interim Leaf gm Cliff Fletcher his job.

Prospect Doug Rogers on local television

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 01:00:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islander Prospect Doug Rogers of Harvard will be on live tv Friday at 7pm on SNY against Union for those curious.

SNY has college hockey on a regular basis for those curious.

Newsday's Islander Insider

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 11:03:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newaday: Greg Logan released the Friday Islander Insider which has Mike Comrie's comments on wanting to be a part of this organization.

He praised the core group of guys, an ownership that wants to win that treats the players extremely well, what he considers the best coaching staff in the league and a situation that he says he wants to be a part of. Ted Nolan and Comrie commented on why he struggles at times and how the opposition keys on him as a wide range of things were discussed.

The coach also talked about Sean Hill's suspension and praised the way he competed and his enthusiasm for the game saying it was a lot of fun to coach him. Mr Logan wrote the Isles did not know he tested positive until two weeks before the suspension was handed down as the appeals process was nearing an end.

The AHL prospects, specifically Blake Comeau are written about with what he needs to do more of with Ted Nolan explaining how different the AHL is compared to the NHL.

Teemu Selanne praised Sean Bergenheim who he knows from working out with the following comments:
I'm expecting a lot of things from him. He has all the skills, all the tools to be a great player in this league. I think he's at the point that the only thing he needs is more ice time and confidence. When he reaches that level, he's going to be really good because of his skill level and skating and how strong he is with the puck."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan makes sure to point out Comrie maybe was just giving the politically correct answer and that could be true but did say he has a solid relationship with Ted Nolan.

I know this may not be popular but Mike Comrie can help this team as an offensive player which they lack badly and as long as his demands are within reason should be brought back next season regardless of the final record because they need some core offensive players to build around.

Isles get some speed and skill around him with finishing abilities his game will improve and he will have more time to make plays. All due respect to Andy Hilbert, Richard Park and some of the other left wings but these are not top six forwards in terms of being productive to where opposing forwards will key on them.

The other left wings employed at this time are not first line players yet.

In the end maybe Mike Comrie is not a first line player but he is a second line player at the very least and an offensive talent lacking on the roster and should be resigned if possible. With Satan's possible departure they need a scoring veteran as a fixture.

Good article by Mr Logan here, let's see some more with extra blogs......
A lot more.

Terry Frei cheapshots Garth Snow

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 08:57:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Denver Post: Terry Frei who's work also appears at Espn and usually never has a kind word for the Islanders today took a shot at gm Garth Snow for trying to rationalize Kyle Okposo's signing with " sophomoric whining " that respected UM coach Don Lucia was impeding Okposo's development in an article on prospects leaving college in season should be stopped with Bill Daly's comments.

Why today?
Undrafted DU sophomore forward Brock Trotter, the Pioneers' leading scorer, signed Thursday with the Montreal Canadiens who immediately left Denver for the Habs AHL team in Hamilton.

Yes folks, that's the same university Islander prospect Rhett Rakhshani returned to after the WJC.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted Brock Trotter was undrafted. The Habs signed him after the player made clear he was available. Wade Dubielewicz also went undrafted out of Denver.

Mr Frei should do a little research because the whining from day one came from Don Lucia, who could have kept his opinion to himself for Okposo's sake as the player and his family did but fired the opening shot. Mr Lucia even took a second little dig at the Islanders or Bridgeport/AHL when he he said Okposo would not be playing in front of the 10,000 a night he had at Minnesota with Bridgeport.

Most hockey fans are well aware of Don Lucia's being outspoken of NHL teams who sign his players early from when the Calgary Flames signed Kris Chucko after his sophomore year in 2006 here he outright accused the Flames of trying to get him to leave school in season and later in a Star Tribune article heresaid the Flames are an organization that is not big on college hockey who put Chuko in a difficult situation by contacting him during the season to get him to leave which is not very professional.

Perhaps Mr Frei should write the entire story on Don Lucia if he's going to cheap shot Garth Snow in the Denver Post or the motivation behind his article should be questioned.

I don't blame Garth Snow here one bit because Okposo was being played out of position and there were problems which speak to the coach and his decisions. To be fair this is the first time the Islanders had a problem with someone's development.

Seems like Mr Frei just wanted to get in his usual dig at the Isles. On that front there are other places that are fair game for criticism of the gm given the recent struggles, but not this.

I wonder what Mr Frei would have written this if Brock Trotter reported to the Avalanche affiliate or if he was their prized pick? I did not see the Canadians gm criticized here.

With the Islanders in Minnesota it will be interesting how much more of this we will read with writers associated with the Gophers or the College programs looking at the Isles current record as a reason to question the Okposo signing.

Zipay vs Logan: Passion vs Paycheck II

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 07:51:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Earlier this year I did a blog and titled it Logan vs Zipay, Paycheck vs Passion
here and today I feel the need to do a second one being that Mr Zipay's page is among the most post popular pages at Newsday.

Steve Zipay yesterday thanked his readers for how popular his blog has become at Newsday here with the latest news, updates, commentary and other observations from the Garden, the morning skates and on the road and tell his readers to sample's other Ranger centric blogs, to the left of the page.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted that the Islander blog roll on the our teams page is completely empty which begs the question why can't Mr Logan or someone put some time in linking to Islander pages if he's doing what he claims is all he can for our fans to increase coverage? Clearly the beat writer has some control here because Mr Zipay told the fans earlier this year he intended to build up the Ranger page.

All due respect to Mr Botta's opinion of Greg Logan's efforts but I think there is no excuse for the Islander page not having Islander blogs or websites listed. If the Islanders disagree with me here, so be it, but why not create an Islander blogroll on the newsday page unless the plan is to keep folks from visiting or Mr Logan just does not care to be bothered.

Am I asking for something that unreasonable given I link things to this blog all the time and it takes only a few minutes? I don't think so.

Mr Logan told us last season increased page hits and views last year as a reason for the club being provided more print space in the paper, especially when the club traded for Ryan Smyth. So how come he's not doing more to increase page hits and views by adding Islander related sites to an empty Islander page and game day blogs with reports on the morning skates as Mr Zipay does?

Put Mr Botta's blog there or Cory Witt or anyone. I could care less who they add but there is no excuse one page is full of updates blogs with links to hockey sites helping to create page views while the so-called home paper to the Islanders is not doing the same thing.

Makes me go back to Part One, Paycheck vs Passion.

Let's see the Islander page at Newsday set records for hits and views next month, let's get two blogs a day and a full blog roll for the fans.

Islander News Articles 2/8

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 07:26:00 AM | | | | | | | | | 3 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan has Bill Guerin's comments and explanation from the official on why he disallowed the tying goal and said he hopes the effort was a step in the right direction. He also praised the kids for their how well they played and that this team needs a quick bunch of guys. Rick DiPietro talked about a tough break on the winning goal and how hard the team worked but in the end it was not enough, while Mike Comrie said it get's more frustrating with each loss and they have to start winning to stay in the race.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Newsday only had one article despite the superbowl no longer being a factor which Mr Logan told us about in his interview with Chris Botta would cut out the second article after games. Not very good when the only local paper covering the team does not have a word in the newspaper from the head coach after an important game.

Maybe that picture of the Ranger game on the hockey page in the print edition (no Islander picture) was not necessary?

No Islander blogs from Mr Logan after the game to make up for the second article but we are getting the weekly Islander insider today before noon.

Daily News: The associated press article in the Daily News on the game was two pages, double the print space Peter Botte is allowed for home games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Makes little sense to me but nothing hockey-related out of Leon Carver's sports department does. If the space is there for two page A.P updates why isn't the same space available for Peter Botte's home updates?

The Post of course was AP only, meanwhile Larry Brooks got space for a second Ranger article and Mark Everson got a full article for a Devils off day article.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dave Molinary leads the excellent coverage on the Pens win last night.

Tribune Review: Rob Rossi has the Pens coverage.

NY Times: Ranger beatwriter Lynn Zinser in her coverage reported the Isles denied Duck GM Brian Burke's request for a credential to Tuesday night’s game for Pat LaFontaine. Burke wanted LaFontaine to sit with him in the press box, but instead got him a ticket and sat with him in a box. The Islanders said LaFontaine would have been welcome in a suite reserved for former players.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
There is space for this in the Rangers game article but no one from the Times covered the Islander game against Anaheim? Ms Zinser forgot to include Pat Lafontaine was on the ice at Al Arbour's ceremony after the Penguins game and was right next to Charles Wang.

Let's see if Chris Botta or someone can tell us more of the Isles side of this before someone in the media rips them. I wonder if Ms Zinser made it an issue when Dave Checkettes of the Blues was not permitted in John Davidson's suite when he was given his day at Msg.

Too bad the Times did not bother coming out on Tuesday night.

A Novia Scotia Newspaper called the News: Kevin Adshare has an update on Jon Sim who's home in New Glasgow this weekend to take part in Hockey Day in Canada activities.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on Ben Walter, who's played well with Jack Capuano's comments on his scoring/overall play and reports on the changes in Bridgeport which include the following lines:

Steve Regier/Ben Walter/Tim Jackman
Trevor Smith/Sean Bentivoglio/Kyle Okposo
Bridgeport signed Jean Desrochers to fill Colliton's spot
Pascal Morency will be available to play

Lowell Devils at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Pittsburgh 4, New York 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2008 06:47:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 4-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday with Ted Nolan on the quick whistle that wiped out the tying goal and Mike Comrie's comments on how his club has to do more.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
We all know the ugly numbers, six games with no points. Big picture stinks and it was a terrible loss in what was close to a must game and of course it looked like the puck was loose and should have been a game tying goal.

I think it's also fair to write if Ty Conklin played well Comrie may not score either goal and it's a 4-1 loss. How many great saves did the Islanders really force him to make tonight?

I'm not sure where to go with a game review here, Ted Nolan had his kids on the ice in the third period on the power play and in the last two minutes and that's what he has to keep doing.

I guess I should start by being critical of Ted Nolan for moving Blake Comeau off left wing. When Bill Guerin praises him as being the best player for this team recently you don't change his position so Andy Hilbert can go play the first line left wing spot, despite him finding Comrie for a goal off Conklin's mistake.

I can see the coaches reasoning putting him with the Bridgeport callups because they know one another but if he's doing well on left wing and the first line needs a left wing, the best fit was Comeau, not Hilbert who simply is not going to score consistently enough to play on a third line much less a first line.

Comeau did his scoring off left wing the last time the Isles visited Pittsburgh for those who recall.

Now that I got that out of the way, the Islanders did play well overall and had a lot of effort and deserved a better fate. Colliton was very physical early, rocked Sydor and was the most noticeable of the forwards called up. His faceoff loss cost them when Ryan Malone does what he always seems to do against the Isles and that's score a goal. Frans Nielsen was very animated on the bench a few times. I saw a few good plays from Tambellini but I want the player who's dominating the AHL to show that presence and confidence at this level.

Vasicek's line was very good with Fedontenko and Hunter having a lot of jump but as well as they played Vasicek was the weak link on that line tonight. His poor defensive coverage late in the game should have cost them the game earlier when his man beat him for a shot that hit the crossbar. Hunter found Fedntenko for a great goal. Vasicek protects the puck well but in the end he looks like a player who simply is always trying to make the perfect play.

At this point someone has to tell me why Ben Walter does not deserve a chance considering he's been productive for Bridgeport while Vasicek looks like someone who may not score another goal all season. He's not a defense stopper.

Martinek was very sharp tonight on defense and did have that extra jump, Witt was a warrior but shorthanded Hilbert got beat on a play for the Pens second goal.

In Mike Comrie I see a player who wants to win here very badly who struggles with his consistency. His two goals were more off Conklin's poor play but he was very visible beyond his goals. I was very impressed with him fighting with Talbot.

What should I write about Andy Sutton? He took two unnecessary penalties that cost the game and turned the momentum in Pittsburgh's favor. They are the kind where you don't see them on television but you hear Howie Rose tell us there's going to be a penalty to the Islanders.

On this team he should stick up for himself or save a goal but using the stick on a player he's chasing up by the blue line who's not in a dangerous spot is a terrible decision. On this team they cannot afford these mistakes.

What can I say about the game winning goal? DiPietro made one great save just before the Pens scored their first goal but for the most part he did not steal much for his team and the change of direction went in.

Park moved to right wing I think for Bergenheim to play the left side as he should, these players must be put in the positions they have been used at Bridgeport.

Overall it's a very bad loss, in terms of how they worked and competed it was encouraging.

On to Minnesota where we see Mark Parrish, Sean Hill.

2/7: New York at Pittsburgh 7:30pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/07/2008 04:00:00 PM | | Comment Here
I already had the Islanders game preview thread in another link.

Cory Witt in his media blog reported it's Ty Conklin in goal for Pittsburgh here with no other changes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Earlier I did not have much to write in terms of a preview for this game and was not going to do one until I heard Ted Nolan's comments on ITV where he talked about the team looking better in practice and that they can get back to what kept them in contention to this point.

We know the numbers and the Isles struggles and how well Pittsburgh is playing without Crosby, Roberts and Fleury. Of course, we all know the standings.

Having written that for myself, this comes down to one thing. Do the Isles believe they can win the opening shift. Player for player can they simply outwork another teams line and do it with hustle and energy and establish their game from the opening faceoff and see if it can carry over the to the next line and the one after that?

In other words get in the game and be competitive and outwork the opposition from the drop of the puck. If Pittsburgh makes more plays and scores, big deal but it's time to see this team work and skate.

I know were are talking different circumstances and generations but in 1975 when the Isles were down 3-0 to Pittsburgh Al Arbour went into the room and told his team win a shift, then another one, then a period and forget the big picture. Can you outplay your man on the other team the next shift?

That's kind of what I see this team having to do because the big picture is just overwhelming. Win a shift tonight, then another one. Gut out a win tonight, score a few dirty goals by outworking the Penguins defense and play some strong team defense and stay out of the box and do it step by small step and if DiPietro has to make forty saves keep the shots to where he has a chance.

Small steps. One win can complete change things, Islanders lost six in a row last year and even though the intangibles are far weaker for this team than the one that rallied a year ago, there is no reason they cannot beat a team they have had success against.

Note-Not sure win or lose if I will be blogging after the game, if not tonight check back in the morning.

Updated 6pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan updated his Newsday blog which had Satan's comments he was playing with a knee injury that was supposed to keep him sidelined up to two months. He intends to return in a few days if possible by his comments. Bill Guerin praised Blake Comeau while Ted Nolan talked about looking forward to see his youth in prime opportunities to achieve. Mr Logan talked of his Friday feature on Mike Comrie and the Isles trip to Minnesota against Sean Hill.

This will also be the Isles first game against Mark Parrish since he was traded to the Kings at the end of the 05-06 season.

Islander News Articles 2/7:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/07/2008 06:23:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Erik Boland added a few quotes to his mini article posted Wednesday from Ted Nolan on Miroslav Satan who will be rested the next couple days, then see how he reacts in Minnesota when he will be
re-evaluated and on Jeremy Colliton with the young wingers comments that he is confident he can contribute at the NHL level.

NY Post: Dan Martin covered practice and reported Satan will travel to Pittsburgh and has Ted Nolan's comments on Jeremey Colliton, who he feels is getting better and better and deserved this opportunity.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette:: Shelly Anderson's article is on Ryan Whitney and coach Michel Terrien but the Pens site at the Post-Gazette is outstanding with almost a daily Q/A for the fans by beat writer Dave Molinary and fan chats on a regular basis.

Preview lists Ty Conklin and Rick DiPietro as tonight's starters.

Tribune Review : Has the following report on the Pens:

Kris Beech will make his debut since he was claimed off waivers Jan. 26. .
Tyler Kennedy participated in a full practice for the first time since he was diagnosed with mononucleosis on Jan. 23 but is not expected to play tonight.

Max Talbot briefly left practice yesterday after blocking a shot. He was helped off the ice by teammates but returned to finish the session and is expected to play tonight.

The ice surface at Mellon Arena is a concern with a sizable hole in the ice toward the left corner behind the goal line in the south end. The hole was covered by a spare net during practice. The Penguins shoot twice in the south end.

Ct Post
: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Johnstown Chiefs forward and team leading goal-scorer Jean Desrochers will be called up to Bridgeport for at least two AHL games this weekend.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yes, that's the team in the movie " Slapshot " for those wondering.

Ending the day on a good note

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 09:26:00 PM | | Comment Here

With all these negative blogs on the print media today I thought I would wrap up Wednesday coverage on a positive media note with some folks who do an outstanding job in Tony and Steve over at Islander Nation where I put in a late call and had a great time talking Islander hockey with them for a few minutes.

Islanders fans are very fortunate to have some great radio internet call in shows for the fans between Islesnation, Hockey Night on Long Island here with Alex and Steve among several.

In that regard it's been a great year in terms of media.

Keep up the great work and thank you.

Newsday's Islander blog fails fans in January

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 08:01:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Neil Best: Who does the media blog for Newsday and wrote recently he is a Ranger fan since he was a teenager here reports in the Islanders primary paper and the only one with a blog on the club the January page views are in, and for the first time in its nine-month history, WatchDog topped all Newsday sports blogs with the Ranger blog by Steve Zipay was a close second and the Giants blog a close third.

Both set new monthly highs.

Oh yes, Mr Zipay had two blogs from practice on the Rangers day off. Islander fans got Erik Boland who did a quick newspaper update and no blog update.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is this what Greg Logan meant in his recent q/a with Chris Botta during the all-star weekend here
when he wrote:

As the primary news reporting source on the Islanders, 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.

Call me incorrect but I think if Newsday did Islander blogs with practice reports, in-game reports and game notes and even some postgame as Mr Zipay does for his beat several times a day Islander readership would be stronger at Newsday and call for more coverage space in the paper.

Isn't that what primary sources of information are supposed to provide?

I don't care of it's Greg Logan, Mark Herrmann, Erik Boland, Katie Stang or whoever doing the Islander blogging but the best way to keep page views down is not to give the readers a constant influx of information.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 07:12:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Had a combination practice update/game preview for tomorrow's game in Pittsburgh with Ted Nolan on his new line combinations. Miroslav Satan was not placed on injured reserve and may only be out for a short time.

I put up the post game practice report for those interested.

The practice combinations were as follows:

2 Aaron Johnson - 8 Bruno Gervais (Red)
25 Andy Sutton - 44 Freddy Meyer (Blue)
4 Bryan Berard – 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron (Orange)
24 Radek Martinek – 32 Brendan Witt (Grey)

10 Richard Park – 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin (Red)
15 Jeff Tambellini – 51 Frans Nielsen – 57 Blake Comeau (Blue)
20 Sean Bergenheim – 72 Jeremy Colliton - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko (Orange)
11 Andy Hilbert 63 - Josef Vasicek – 7 Trent Hunter (Grey)

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had the Sound Tigers weekly with the fallout in Bridgeport from the callups and the upcoming games with a lot of items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I do not put a lot of stock in practice line combinations on an off day but just so we can follow it looks like Blake Comeau is being asked to move to right wing even though he has played the left wing every game.

Bergenheim moves back to the left side.
Vasicek's line is either a second line or a fourth line.
The usual break up Comrie/Guerin experiment seems to be over.

My guess is the defense stays the same if Johnson practiced with Gervais.

Jeremy Colliton recalled, Brennan sent down

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 01:05:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Report Jeremy Colliton is up on an emergency recall with his comments.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog beyond the Jeremy Colliton callup Kip Brennan was sent back to Bridgeport, Tim Jackman skated at practice for the Sound Tigers. Pascal Morency may be day-to-day. Sean Bentivoglio does indeed appear good to go according to the beatwriter.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure where Jeremy Colliton fits because he's been used a lot as a center, but it's clear he was recalled to replace Satan. Some may recall Colliton in his very brief callup early last season was used as a right wing.

I guess seven defenders dress or Johnson moves to wing for the road trip unless another move happens which is not a bad strategy to have Bergeron or Berard for the powerplay only.

For those wanting the youth recalled: Bergenheim, Comeau, Colliton, Nielsen are now with the club. Any more injuries or illness up front I guess were looking at Walter,
or perhaps Trevor Smith.

Post beatwriter Dan Martin's response

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 11:46:00 AM | | | Comment Here
I sent an e-mail to Dan Martin of the New York Post regarding Islander coverage with some questions the other day.

I will reprint my e-mail and his response in full.

To: Dan.Martin
Subject: Islander Coverage

Mr Martin,
Perhaps you could answer a few questions for me?

Why is it the New York Islanders are receiving such a small amount of coverage in the Post (today's preview against Anaheim) while Mark Everson usually has space for full articles on days off and has full road Devils coverage. Several extra writers are brought in for Ranger coverage on off days.

Why is there no space for an Islander blogger at the Post given you or someone comes out to some of the home games, does it cost the editor that much in time and revenue to allow this to supplement coverage?

I intend to use your response in my blog for Islander fans to read so I hope you can respond and perhaps answer why since Evan Grossman left to work for the drop in Islander coverage has decreased substantially unless Larry Brooks wants to rip on the club Sunday.

Thank You
New York Islander Fan Central
I received Mr Martin's response this morning:

Hey, I'm not involved in the decision-making process when it comes to how our sports department covers teams, but I do know that when Evan left, his spot was not filled due to a variety of reasons, some of which I am not privy to. That means that we're a man short and I have to cover the team in addition to my other general assignment responsibilities. And while I don't know exactly why certain things are covered and others are not, the fact that the Islanders have largely struggled in recent years- while the Devils have not- is a factor. I understand your frustration as a fan, but the reality is that as long as the NHL's popularity is as low as it is now and the Isles don't have more success, I don't see things changing.

Finally, while I'm getting back to you as I usually do when fans take the time to
e-mail me, I'd rather you didn't post my response on your blog, but that's your call.


NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Mr Martin's preference, however I'm not doing my blog with a partial focus on the media coverage to win a popularity contest but to get answers for our fans who spend money on the Post and see a small article buried at the back of the sports section and usually only for home games and ask questions.

I feel it's important for fans reading my blog to get the writers take why this team is being covered as it has been in the New York Post. I let him know up front I intended to blog with his response here and see no reason why this should not be printed when as fans we are looking for answers.

Which is why it is my call to print my e-mail and his response word for word.

What can I say about Mr Martin's response?
When I see a game preview that's two paragraphs for the New York Islanders I think we as fans are entitled to an explanation as to what's behind that decision. I have written countless times the writer reports on the team his editor tells him to cover and provides him the print/blog space. I'm not blaming Mr Martin for the lack of space given because it is not his decision.

Having written that Mr Martin did not answer to a Post blog to supplement Islander coverage and told us the Devils success in the standings is why long-time beat writer Mark Everson has dedicated Devils coverage and the Islanders do not.

I personally disagree with this and question how an Islander team that made the playoffs last season and have been to four of the last five playoffs never hired a full time replacement for Mr Grossman or at least provided space for a professional writer to blog on the team to supplement the coverage or has not had a small measure of success. Given the reports we have been told about increased attendance and television ratings close to two hundred percent higher I would think that is a good reason to allow a full time coverage and a blog in the Post.

I also think it's a fair point to make low Ranger national ratings here and a team that has trailed the Islanders most of the season until this week has not seen a cut in their coverage and neither have the Devils who the Islanders are 5-0 against and did lead them for a few months earlier.

I feel my questions were fair and so is this response.

So will it be different for Ted Nolan?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 07:55:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Back on August 2nd, I did a blog on the trends of second year coaches for the Islanders in recent history going back as far as Butch Goring here and felt then Ted Nolan regardless of results is part of the long-term answer for the Islanders.

It's a fair point to make right now this club could finish worse than Brad Shaw's Islanders given the apparent lack of scoring.

We can all do our share of second-guessing and wonder why some things are done a certain way and sure we can question performance that has not been very good but there is no doubt the respect this team has for it's head coach. Bill Guerin talked how the coach has been a calming influence recently in an interview.

I still feel exactly the same way today as I did back in August. Ted Nolan is part of the long-term answer here regardless of the final record.

Having written that will owner Charles Wang decide to make a change as was done with Peter Laviolette and Steve Stirling during or after their second seasons or will he decided to bring back the coach?

It was this staff with Ted Nolan a part of it that decided to buyout out Alexei Yashin and not bring back Jason Blake, Tom Poti, Viktor Kozlov or Richard Zednik and the players targeted by the hockey committee for most of the season have not produced enough overall to merit brining them here. Granted those players for the most part have been as inconsistent as the players who have taken their spot and it's fair to ask what would have been different here?

Will Nolan's return as coach make it any easier to convince Mike Comrie, Ruslan Fedotenko, Josef Vasicek, Trent Hunter or Miroslav Satan to resign at a reasonable price if they want a core of players to have in place come July?

There is no active coach in this league right now I think gives the Islanders a better chance to turn this around and get back in playoff position and even though he did not use injuries or illness as excuses this team without Campoli, Sillinger and Satan likely to join them he is facing the biggest coaching adversity of his professional hockey career.

My vote for what it's worth is to bring back Ted Nolan as this teams head coach next season regardless of what happens on the ice. I see him as part of the long-term solution.

Quick comment on poll

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 05:45:00 AM | Comment Here
Nice job on all the folks contributing to the poll.

All I can add is they are running out of players to call up from Bridgeport unless they want to cancel out Okposo's rookie status and play him ten games and that's without benching veterans as many selected. He may be the most qualified right wing remaining on the depth chart.

Another call up will be needed to replace Miroslav Satan if he's out for any length of time unless Kip Brennan/Tim Jackman are expected to replace Satan's offense? Does Jeremy Colliton become the next one called up to play out of position or is Ben Walter next?

Projecting out the standings updated

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 05:39:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders remaining games:
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

To date Islanders are two points off the pace I set them on and have dropped to thirteenth in the conference with the loss to the Kings as they remain at 54 points.

Next set of games I called for points and wins in my projections. Given how the teams that used to be below them are gaining it's not looking good at all if they cannot generate some goals and play some defense.

Islander News Articles 2/6:

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 05:19:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan covered the loss with Ted Nolan blaming himself for allowing Miroslav Satan to return, Rick DiPietro not allowing for injury excuses and Satan's take on his injury.

Newsday: Greg Logan also had a full feature on the Ducks, Teemu Selanne.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect but Mr Logan should understand the lack of Islander coverage merits Islander-centric coverage in all articles, especially on a day he writes in his blog there was enough future stories that they could not even fit in the paper. Let the Times do the Selanne feature and tell the folks without computers who will not read your Friday insider what's going on.

Daily News: Peter Botte got a few more paragraphs today for Islander coverage but had the ugly fact the Islanders are now thirteenth in the Eastern Conference with the mix of old players and young legs not being nearly enough in a game J.S Giguere was barely tested.

NY Post: Islander coverage will be up later if they assigned Dan Martin or another writer.

Orange County Register: Has the Anaheim coverage.

Anaheim 3, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/06/2008 04:44:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Ted Nolan talks about the club's character and how they have to buckle down and find a way. Rick DiPietro talked about how the players have to put in the work and notes several clubs have injuries. Ted Nolan took responsibility for Miroslav Satan playing hurt for a while now.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write folks? The scoring graphic going into the game speaks for itself as to all the players not producing. The Isles did skate and try tonight, the talent to get into the high quality area's for shots simply is not there nor is the finishing ability. Makes for some very ugly hockey.

Comeau came out in front at the beginning of the second for a good chance, Satan had his chance where he got hurt but mostly a lot of low percentage shots from where the opposition wants you to shoot from and when Hilbert got his chance in a prime spot Giguere made the save. Anaheim clogged up the neutral zone and the Islanders only drew one early power play while the Islanders took several poor penalties in the offensive zone. Vasicek's call for the five on three was marginal.

You don't want Bergeron's shot or Berard on your defense welcome to Aaron Johnson and Bruno Gervais on your only power play, pick your posion?

Islanders are good at taking penalties and Anaheim did all they could in the first period to go offside's and looked as poor as their record recently. Hilbert forced them offside's on a few big plays. Billy Jaffe made the correct point the Isles should key on Neidermayer because Schneider did not look right with his hand injury.

Finally Scott Niedermayer's shot through a screen gave Anaheim their goal off Bill Guerin's second marginal penalty. Comrie had an offensive zone penalty, Comeau took a retaliation penalty. Anaheim is not very good nor did they have to play very well to wear down the Islanders.

Anaheim should have had a 2-0 lead going into the third but DiPietro made a fantastic save and kept his team in it for two periods. Still it did not give the Isles any energy to force the puck deep and work Anaheim's defense. Finally DiPietro gave up the Marchant's backhand goal to make it 2-0 which was not a great goal. Meyer-Sutton-Comeau lost a forward on the third goal.

Anaheim if anyone watched close in the third completely took the wall from Rick DiPietro as he tried to move the puck to where his outlets helped the Ducks keep the puck and apply pressure.

Game over. Shutout 3-0 by a team that lost six in a row and did not score more than one goal in any of those games.

I think the young players did as well as they could in these circumstances outide of Nielsen struggling on faceoffs. Tambellini just looks like with Guerin and Vasicek and it's too bad Bergenheim found himself as a partial fourth line right wing because he needs to play his natural position.

The players paid to score simply are not giving this team any chance at all and I do think they are trying, it just does not seem to be good enough.

Another week of this and it's fair to say it's almost over. This club shows no sign of being able to come out of it and produce enough to get them some wins. There are losing streaks where you score and cannot win, this is where a weakness that has been there all season seems to be insurmontable.

I don't think where they play makes any difference for those who think getting out on the road will help.

2/5: New York vs Anaheim 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/05/2008 02:26:00 AM | | | 2 Comments
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 | | | | | | | Comment Here

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.

Michael Fornabaio on possible changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/04/2008 12:07:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
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.