Islander News Articles 3/17:

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2008 10:16:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Greg Logan reports on Kyle Okposo's callup with comments from his Bridgeport teammate Ben Walter.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a few words on what Okposo's recall means for Bridgeport in their playoff drive with speculation on who could be returned to the AHL.

Mississauga News: Gary McCarthy reports defense Alex Pietrangelo of the Niagara IceDogs is currently ranked among the top five players in the Ontario Hockey League in an interview.

Edmonton Sun: Cary Castagna has a full interview with Bryan Trottier on how he stays healthy, all the legends games he plays, how he relishes his job with the Islanders and plans that he is not ruling out a return to coaching.

Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger reports Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov will not play against the Islanders Tuesday.

Star Tribune: Michael Russo has Chris Simon's comments Sunday that he was treated unfair by Colin Campbell and will be speaking to his agent about this matter with the writer speculating there could be legal action.

Three blind mice...see how they report

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2008 07:02:00 PM | | | Comment Here

It's that time of year folks where the media takes it's extra little kicks at the Isles and stirs the pot with anything they can dig up which of course becomes the perception for fans because someone/anyone writes or says it somewhere.

Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garroich speculates a feud between Rick DiPietro and Ted Nolan based on leaving him in against Tampa for eight goals in his weekly article with about twenty different subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems Mr Garrioch did not even watch this game because if he did he would know pulling DiPietro in the final minutes when the Isles allowed the final three goals in forty two seconds would have been completely pointless nor were any of those final goals on the goal tending.

Mr Garrioch did not even note Ted Nolan praised DiPietro after the Florida and Montreal games where he played well because this footnote to his article was likely already written during the week.

I wonder if he wrote this when John Paddock was fired with all the feuding in Ottawa this season?

NY Post: Larry Brooks who's paper has not had an Islander centric article since March 2nd takes his shots today at Ted Nolan and suggest he has been pouting since Chris Simon was booed at the Coliseum upon returning from the 30-game suspension and traded to the Wild & the coach suddenly has begun to resemble one of those guys who forever is complaining.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yes folks, the same Larry Brooks who on February 24th here wrote there is no team in the NHL or in the New York market that has managed to do more with less than the Islanders and that Ted Nolan should be neck and neck with Wayne Gretzky for coach of the year.

Does Mr Brooks really think people do not see through his act at this point?

No wonder in the struggling NY hockey media market at the height of the hockey season along with this article he is reduced to having to do something on baseball today because hockey does not matter in New York.

A large majority of the fans and media do not agree with the double-standard for Pronger vs Chris Simon including Larry Brooks by this article who does a lot more complaining than the Islanders coach.

Ted Nolan has a right to complain about this even if Larry Brooks does not like it nor should he be thrilled with this many injuries and losing which is new for him.

Also Ted Nolan is asked questions about this so it's not like he's calling hockey writers to make his own headlines given his team has not had three days off since the all-star break and callups barely making games during warmups.

When WFAN visited the Coliseum recently Pierre McGuire in an interview praised Ted Nolan and felt he should be coach of the year if the Isles made the playoffs, today he felt Nolan was doing a poor coaching job covering the Pittsburgh game against Philadelphia for NBC.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
How did he become such a bad coach so quickly Mr McGuire other than the fact the injuries and lack of scoring finally caught up with a roster with eight or nine callups on it?

Folks want to write Ted Nolan was part of building the club so he deserves blame for it's failure that's fair and reasonable, but most of what I'm reading just sounds and reads like media people who like to hear or read themselves rant.

It seems done just to stir the pot, too bad some Islander fans will buy into it.

Today was just about three blind mice making noise to stir up the Islander fans and create opinion.

Islanders recall Kyle Okposo

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2008 04:57:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced the recall of Kyle Okposo to the Islanders Sunday with Garth Snow and Kyle Okposo's comments.

Islanders website: Has an inteview with Jack Capuano on Kyle Okposo.

Ted Nolan, Steve Mears and Chris King have video interviews on the recall of Okposo.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This seems more about his contract no longer counting for this season with the remaining games because if he were ready why not call him up weeks ago when they needed him most to keep the Islanders in the playoff race?

This takes him out of Bridgeport's mix at a time they sent back another prospect who should be here in Jeremy Colliton if the club is going by the same standard and likely hurts the Sound Tigers playoff drive even more.

I think this is a mistake and I hope it's not for publicity because it sure does not seem like it's the best interest of Kyle Okposo who needs to be part of a playoff race in Bridgeport more.

Oh well, it will interesting to see if he can handle the speed of the NHL level after just getting used to the AHL. Not sure what right wing gets demoted for this, I would think Tim Jackman goes back to the AHL.

Islander News Articles 3/16:

Newsday: Greg Logan's coverage on the loss has comments from Bill Guerin, Jeff Tambellini, Ted Nolan on the loss to Montreal and the problems scoring.

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article is on the opportunities the prospects and AHL callups are now getting and it's their opportunity to impress the coach and the organization with Ted Nolan comments about a possible Kyle Okposo callup. Matt Spiller comments.

Montreal Gazette: Has the Canadians coverage on their win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had goaltender Mike Morrison's comments on the Phantoms who he calls bullies and taunts them for not being able to put Bridgeport away. Jeremy Colliton and Jack Capuano also comment.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog talks about Kyle Okposo's solid play, recaps the win and the scramble for Bridgeport to make the playoffs.

Sound Tigers website: Recaps Bridgeport's 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Phantoms Saturday night.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News: Combine pages to cover the Phantoms.

Montreal 3, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2008 07:22:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 3-0 loss against the Montreal Canadians Saturday night.

1st period:
Like what I'm seeing at the start. Isles have a lot of jump and getting in the lanes in time to break up Canadians pressure. Comeau, Comrie another very good setup, Guerin beats Komisarek to an icing and nice rush at the net by Park. Berard nice play to break up and two on one. Bergenheim a high stick but got in front of Halak and made a strong play to the net.

DiPietro looks sharp in the opening ten minutes.
Spiller a soft shot from the point.

Steve Regier with a marginal penalty in the offensive zone against Komisarek.
Solid pk against the top ranked club in the league.
DiPietro robs Tom Kostopoulos breaking in.
DiPietro save on Koivu.

End first period: Canadian speed and skill making it tough for Isles to generate much beyond dump-ins and soft angle shots to close out the period. Montreal seems one pass short or the Isles defense is getting in the lanes well.

Between periods:
Minister of propaganda for Msg Al Trautwig just called Msg the Yankee Stadium of hockey? Cannot stand when Msg does a studio show and people like Mr Trautwig, Stan Fischler or John Giannone talk hockey because it's so biased it's impossible to take seriously.

Richard Park has not scored with all these top six line minutes since 1/19 and has two total goals since his overtime winner against Washington on December 22nd.
Second period:
Tambellini nice attempt at a touch pass to Guerin, Davison bomb from point but no screen.

Berard nice step and hit.
Regier, Satan, Walter nice setup goes through crease.
Davison nice block off scramble in front, DiPietro holds with good saves on stuff attempt. Another shot off point.
Too many men penalty against Isles.

PP goal after Isles do nice job early on pk. Hamrlik big rebound for easy goal with three Habs in front of goal 1-0 Montreal.

Beautiful save by DiPietro on cross-ice pass.
DiPietro big save on Mikhail Grabovski and a few more after that.

Isles cannot get the puck or generate any shots or powerplays for themselves.

Comeau skating creates a good outside shot with no screen. Davison turnover leads to more pressure and shots on DiPietro.

Bergenheim passes up a good shot, gets a second on another rush.
Satan slap shot from angle.
Hunter step chance blocked by Komisarek, Bergenheim stopped. Montreal very sloppy but Isles working well too. Comeau soft pass to himself on dump in created pressure.

Satan shot missed or block.
DiPietro robs Latendresse in alone and second save on Kovalev.

Islander powerplay finally on Bergenheim takedown.
Meyer-Berard on point.
Guerin outside shot from bad angle with Hab player losing a stick.
End second period. Isles generate little with powerplay and Montreal is just too fast to generate sustained pressure as Isles forwards are easy to read.
Between periods:
Miroslav Satan four goals since December 22nd.
Islanders defense have eight total goals in lineup (Berard 5/Meyer 3)
Trent Hunter four goals since Dec 21st.
Bill Guerin five goals since Jan 19th.
Mike Comeie eight goals since Jan 13th

Sean Bergenheim seven goals since Jan 22nd.
Blake Comeau five goals since January 8th.
Third period:
Satan-Comrie-Comeau close powerplay, Berard point shot tipped by Satan and stopped by Halak.

Kostopoulos hit post, Bergenheim stopped by Halak.
Isles pressure, Montreal scores transition goal on perfect setup to Kovalev, no chance for DiPietro 2-0. Martinek got his skate clipped by Kovalev, no call.

Montreal takes offensive zone interference penalty while dominating puck in Isles zone.
Guerin-Tambellini-Comrie start powerplay with Park on point.
Berard point shot blocked.
Johnson shot stopped by Halak, powerplay ends.
DiPietro big save on tipped shot.
Jackman angle shot stopped by Halak.
Guerin angle shot stopped by Halak.
Satan-Park-Tambellini excellent shift, good shot by Tambellini stopped, Satan shot wide before.

Comeau gets a shift with Hunter and Vasicek.
Angle shot stopped off Islanders three on two rush.
Berard good point shot off faceoff.
DiPietro robs Higgins coming in from angle on backhand.
Meyer shot almost found net, second shot save by Halak.
Three minutes left in third.

Tambellini odd man rush great pass to Park who's robbed by Halak.
Latendresse gets past Isles defense and beats DiPietro coming off wing 3-0. Davison may have been beaten in center ice.
Comeau falls, Habs shoot wide.
One minute left.
Isles pinned in zone much of last minute.
3-0 final.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles had thirty shots, about four good chances, one great chance and almost no second shots. Without DiPietro as well as Isles got in the lanes still gave up chances that could have led to five or six goals.

Not enough offense, not enough team speed, not enough skill to finish. Effort was there but not nearly enough. A few bounces it could have produced a few Islander goals but not on this night.

Nothing else to write about this game aside from Ted Nolan's frustration in the postgame.
************************************************** Reports the Sound Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms 4-2 Saturday at home with Colton Fretter scoring two goals for Bridgport. Sean Bentivoglio scored. Jeremy Colliton had two assists, Kyle Okposo had one assist. Mike Morrison made thirty saves in the win.

Pronger receives eight game suspension

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2008 05:29:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports in the Islander blog at Newsday Chris Pronger was suspended eight games by the league. Ted Nolan wondered why two players with long records of being suspended got a different amount of games.

Pronger's suspension ends for the final game of the regular season so he will be permitted to play in Anaheim's playoffs.

Tsn video has Chris Pronger, Chris Simon and Islander captain Bill Guerin's comment who flat out feels this is unfair.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write that I have not written already on this? Clearly there is a double standard here and a star player must play in the NHL playoffs so he receives just enough games so that he's well rested and ready for them. Colin Campbell's explanation that he was trying to free his skate is a joke. His skate was already free after getting tangled up, he got angry and stomped down on Kesler's leg.

Sad show across the board from the league here.

3/15: New York at Montreal 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2008 04:11:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadians.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think it's time to end any talk of playoff for the Islanders in these pregames, the injuries, struggles and standings just makes no sense to write along those lines.

I want to see if Comrie and Comeau can carry over some of that chemistry they showed against Florida with several good chances. I want to see if Jeff Tambellini with more minutes will finally have that breakout game he needs badly. More of Ben Walter, Sean Bergenheim makes it worth watching for me too.

Overall, Isles are 0-3 against Montreal and have matched up terrible with them head to head this season. The Canadians start the backup in Halak but come off a shutout loss so you can bet they will come out fast to try and bury the Isles who played well against a Florida team on their yearly March hot streak.

Islander News Articles 3/15

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on the line changes and the powerplay. Miroslav Satan, Mike Comrie give their comments.

Brendan Witt skated but is unlikely to play, Bruno Gervais might miss the remainder of the season with his concussion/knee injury.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder why Mr Logan is trying to pass this off as a demotion or raise it as an issue with Comrie or Satan? Does this team have a first line on paper at this point in the season? It seems from here the coach wants Comeau where he belongs on the left wing with the teams best center so how is that a demotion?

If Mr Logan wants to play this angle how come he did not play up a Richard Park promotion to first line center?

Is any one line seeing a significant drop in minutes or is it simply a question of finally putting players at the positions they belong in because that's what it looks like to me.


A day or two ago Ted Nolan gave the impression Gervais and even Sutton could return by the Montreal game. Any doubts at this point and both players should be shut down for the year. I'm wondering why Satan is even playing with an injury at this point that could cost him big money in free agency or from the Isles.

AP: Chris Simon was very critical of the league for not suspending Chris Pronger what he feels is unfair treatment.

Globe & Mail: Alan Maki reports Chris Pronger's situtation will be looked at again by the league with more from Chris Simon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Impossible to disagree with his comments.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article was on the Sound Tigers 4-1 loss to WBS Pens and a six on six player brawl with Jack Capuano's comments about all the players called up to the Isles.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the loss and the playoff picture for Bridgeport which is not looking too good right now.

Times Leader: Michael Fornabaio also wrote a WBS Pens-centric article to supplement road coverage.

Citizen Voice: Jonathan Bombulie covered the brawl from the WBS Pens point of view.

Why did Isles fail to make playoffs?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/14/2008 06:40:00 PM | 2 Comments
The latest NYI Fan Central Poll is up, and for this one it's your call on why you think the Isles did not make the playoffs.

If you select other please respond here and tell us why and I will add it to the final votes.

With this poll you can select more than one option.

Simply not good enough
Early schedule a factor
Not enough scoring depth
Poor decisons by coach
Poor decisions by gm
Over three hundred man games lost to injury
Isles worked in kids so they have quietly progressed
Second half schedule too much

Early schedule hurt Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/14/2008 05:15:00 PM | Comment Here
You do not want to give a team that fails many excuses, however some things do have to be brought up here because they were a factor in the Isles failure this season but that cannot be used as the reason the club will not be returning to the playoffs.

The schedule in the first month where the Islanders played about four games in twenty days after five games in seven days to start the season did turn out to hurt because since Christmas they have not had three days off in a row aside from the
all-star break.

Isles have had only a few two days stretches off also in the month of February.

I'm only using them as an example but by contract the Rangers have had:
Feb 11th-15th five day break.
Feb 20th-22nd three day break.
Feb 25th-27th three day break.
March 11th-13th three day break.

My guess is it would not have hurt the veterans or Rick DiPietro to have that kind of rest as opposed to the schedule they were given where they barely played in October.

Having written that scoring two goals or less fourteen games in a row in the second month of the season does not give them a pass just based on schedule because they were not producing at a time they should have been at their best.

Overall the two hundred and ninety man (and counting) games lost to injury does to a point because that schedule did wear down the veterans as the season progressed into February and the Isles have had to deal with a lot of injury problems.

In the end the nine defenders who started here all were injured/benched and it was not enough depth.

I'm not giving excuses for the teams failure but some things do have to be mentioned along the way that have been a factor.

Islander News Articles 3/14

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/14/2008 01:15:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Blake Comeau getting powerplay play time with Ted Nolan's comments.

Newsday: Greg Logan's Islander Insider is on the club perhaps calling up Kyle Okposo by Tuesday, the Islanders staking their claim to a possible outdoor game at Yankee Stadium and more on Rick DiPietro's stick handling. Bill Guerin talks about the powerplay, Brendan Witt talks about his efforts with his family to fight cancer and his injury. Chris Pronger vs Chris Simon is brought up and Bob McKenzie defends Pronger because the video footage is not good despite Kessler saying he got his calf with the stomp.

Garth Snow, Ted Nolan, Rick DiPietro comment on several items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems to me it's a terrible decision if Okposo is called up when he's needed in Bridgeport for their playoff chase. The idea from this point forward should be to make sure one team gets into the playoffs and in this case that's the Sound Tigers.

Kyle Okposo does not need an NHL cameo as much as the Islanders need him to experience a playoff series. It's also been a long and tough season for Okposo, he does not need any more changes and distractions. What he does need to do is continue to play in Bridgeport and after the Islanders season ends have Tambellini, Comeau go back to the AHL and help that group have a long playoff run.

Sound Tigers have a very tough April schedule that ends much later than the Isles schedule.

Not much to say about the outdoor game that I did not write the other day. If the team were marketed as New York they would not have to sell themselves like this now and should be the team regardless of who the opposition is. Dan Rosen has a feature article on Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt and his work off the ice to help children.

Star Phoenix:Cory Wolfe has a full feature on Islander goaltender Billy Smith who will play in a legends game tonight on a bunch of subjects.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on Kip Brennan suspension ending which will make him available to play Saturday as well as all the roster changes for tonight's game. Jeremy Colliton is back with the Sound Tigers.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Simon vs Pronger double-standard

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/13/2008 05:24:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here Reports Chris Pronger, a repeat offender who was suspended twice within the last year will not face any disciplinary action from the National Hockey League for stomping on Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler on Wednesday night.

For those who did not see the play:

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's decisions like this that make me wonder what's going on in the league office and if it's about the popularity of a player that determines discipline because this is just a disgrace and a complete double-standard that even makes me wonder if Chris Simon was treated fairly?

At the time Chris Simon received his suspension for thirty games I thought it was not enough and felt he should be suspended for the season and the Islanders should not enable this conduct by allowing him to play or they are a part of the problem.

Now a player who was suspended twice in last year's playoffs and recently returned in January commits an act just as bad if not worse than Chris Simon and not only does he not draw a suspension along the same lines as Simon but is not disciplined at all for a stomp at a man's leg?

I don't blame Chris Simon, Garth Snow, Ted Nolan if they have some reaction here because if the idea is to set a standard for conduct it has to apply to everyone equally in situations like this or why have any rules?

Meanwhile Islander fans will cheer Pronger and boo Simon if he returns in another teams uniform next season.

This is just a disgraceful decision by the league but the norm with Colin Campbell and why there have been so many problems with him in this job for years now. He does not have it easy making decisions but after looking at both video's how does one play merit no action and the other thirty games, especially after Pronger was suspended twice in last year's playoffs?

Updated Friday pm:
Point Blank: Mr Botta has more on this in his blog with the league perhaps re-opening this after new footage shows it looked intentional which even Bob McKenzie now has reconsidered his early article here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The updated video with the better angle has replaced the first video for those who viewed this here already.

The first video even had the announcers comments that it looked deliberate. Now the league may reopen this and suspend Pronger after announcing no disciplinary action?

That sound is Chris Pronger, Brian Burke and his agent contacting the NHLPA and more well deserved criticism for the league.

Sorry Mr Botta but Isles created this problem

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/13/2008 03:24:00 PM | | | 3 Comments
Point Blank: Chris Botta today in his blog discusses the Islanders involvement for two years in trying to be one of the teams selected to play at Yankee Stadium.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Botta, all due respect but the Islanders created this problem for themselves and if they are excluded from an outdoor game in New York Islander Country which includes the Bronx and the entire tri-state area they have no one but themselves to blame for it.

Do you really think the Ranger salesman and spin doctors in the local print media were going to push to put the Rangers competition on an equal New York stage for a big event? This is about the Ranger media and the garden trying to give their team badly needed exposure because hockey cannot compete with the major sports and of course that's why the New York Islanders want in.

Judging by the strong Islander turnout at Msg and in New Jersey this cannot be marketed to the public as only a Long Island team but that's the direction ownership has gone in to such an extreme it's coming back to hurt the club now in situations like this.

Dick Ebersol, is well connected to the Garden and even airs Knicks games on NBC to market the club on free television. He does not want the Islanders or Devils in any competition with the Rangers under any circumstances on his network nor do they care how low the Ranger ratings are on NBC nationally. They would not even change their schedule last spring to telecast Islanders-Devils on Easter Sunday which was a huge ratings game here so a meaningless Sabre-Flyer game aired which was the scheduled game. NBC would not even schedule Islanders-Rangers this April for a game at the end of the season.

NBC used to have a personal stake in the Garden according to Business Week in 1997 here and Mr Ebersol lobbies constantly for the Garden and any event to be played there.

NHL personnel like former Ranger Daily News writer Frank Brown or former Ranger employees Colin Campbell or Mike Murphy will not do a thing to help the Isles here if they have any say in it at all.

For years now the Long Island mantra has been placed on everything coming out of this organization from player comments to any team release and now fans inside the city limits and tri-state area are almost made to feel you are rooting for the wrong local team if you are a New York Islander fan. That's a major mistake that has hurt on a lot of levels including the box office in my estimation. There are days Newsday has cut out Islander coverage in the city limits edition of the paper and if you cannot read about your team you tend to stop watching after a while.

I understand the urgent need to make the local community feel it is a part of the team and connect with them as the club tries to bring in a new generation of fans after years of trying to get back it's older generation of fans but it's given the city media a reason to stop covering the club as a New York based franchise and it's hurt the Islanders ability to market themselves outside of Nassau and Suffolk County and now it may cost them the outdoor game.

Isles never struck a balance with that and putting some ads in one Manhattan electronics store last year is not enough.

New York City is not a major hockey market. Playoff ratings last year and indifference by the media does not lie and has not this year either. Buffalo doubled and tripled up hockey ratings in New York last spring so this is not a number one market for hockey. It's a market that preferred NASCAR to playoff hockey in New York by thirty eight percent last spring as Richard Sandomir in the Times confirmed last April here.

The idea that the Rangers are the host team in the Bronx makes no sense given how Cablevision kept YES off television for a full year and them did all they could to keep the Jets out of New York and all their past problems with the Mets and the city itself. To say nothing of the strong Islander fan support they receive inside the city market for games.

Michael Bloomberg I'm sure would have no problem with the station he owns the Islanders radio rights to being the host New York team given his relationship with the Garden since the West Side Stadium and how Sheldon Silver has a vested interested in Msg himself here and as an avid Ranger fan is given special treatment according to this NY Post article from Tom Topuousis in Dec 2006 here. Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoff is a former Islander minority owner as well.

Cablevision did a deal to make sure only one team they owned got two games televised on free television on channel 9, despite all those FSN-2 dates for the Isles this season. This teams fan base expanded in huge numbers with the games being played on channel 9 a long time ago.

Cablevision does not own the Islanders television rights today to help them expand the fanbase, it's always been to limit their exposure.

New York Islanders means New York, not just Long Island and the ownership needs to start to address all it's fans in tri-state area.

As for Mr Botta it's up to him and the New York Islanders to get the Yankees to make sure the Islanders are involved in this after being the team to initiate the idea.

New York vs Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/13/2008 11:14:00 AM | | | Comment Here
It's getting interesting as some tough decisions have to be made here that may compromise Bridgeport's playoff chances by taking too many of their roster players and take away prospects opportunities to participate in the AHL playoffs. It clearly was a distraction in last night's 6-3 loss with a roster put together in less than twenty four hours with several familiar names who have played for Bridgeport but at this time of year you need chemistry.

I do not consider Matt Spiller a prospect but the question has to be asked was Drew Fata left in the AHL because he had a look or because he can help Bridgeport more than Spiller?

No doubt Steve Regier and Tim Jackman off the Sound Tiger roster with Ben Walter up already is a big hit to that roster. Jeremy Colliton did not make it back to Bridgeport in time to play and did have the flu but this could be more of a paper transaction where the Isles are trying to make sure their prospects have a playoff series while being able to field an AHL team.

If the organization was going all in for the Isles would the move to be recall Trevor Smith and Sean Bentivoglio?

I'm wondering at this point if the plan is to provide Bridgeport enough to make the playoffs or the Isles to survive the season with some level of being competitive?

Seems the urgency here should now be to get the Islanders prospects a playoff series to participate in Bridgeport.

Personally I see no circumstances Kyle Okposo makes his Islander debut over the final nine games if the goal is to give him playoff games to participate in.

Hopefully an eventual return of Frans Nielsen and Bruno Gervais helps both teams strike a balance.

An even better question then Kyle Okposo making his NHL debut for me is would it make sense if Jesse Joensuu is not eligible to play for the Calder Cup and reportedly is going there only to practice why not give him a few NHL games now if he is healthy and in condition so Bridgeport can take back a player who can help them qualify for a playoff spot?

Islanders website: Has an update on Jesse Joensuu with Chief European Scout Vellu-Pekka Kautonen comments today.

Islander News Articles 3/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 10:44:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's pre quote game summary on the Islanders loss to the Florida Panthers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan wrote Jeff Tambellini saw his first his first chance to play on the top line this season as he described his play to get the puck to Richard Park who fed Guerin for his goal. Tambellini did play a game as a first line left wing with Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin as a first line left wing earlier this season.

Tambellini was sent down days later after the line struggled badly in that game and one shift where they could not get the puck out. I'm not sure Tambellini-Park-Guerin was the first line in this game either with Comrie on a line with Comeau.

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article is on the injuries with Ted Nolan getting to learn the new players and his praise for Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro in a losing effort.

Miami Herald Palm Beach Post & Sun Sentinel : Has the Panthers coverage on their fifth straight win.

Star Phoenix: Reports A trio of players from the New York Islanders dynasties of the early 1980's will be taking part in the of the Oldtimers' Hockey Challenge Friday in Saskatoon with forwards Bobby Bourne and Brian Trottier as well as goaltender Billy Smith and a host of other members of the Legendary Hockey Heroes will be lacing up the skates against the Saskatoon Police Blues. Dan Rosen has a full feature on Mike Comrie.

Ottawa Citizen:Hugh Adami reports in a full feature former Islander Alexei Yashin wants to return to the NHL next season in a long interview with his agent Marc Gandler.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's loss and the callups with Jack Capuano's comments.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly on Jason Pitton's surgery and the upcoming games among several items with Jack Capuano's comments.

Press & Sun Bulletin: Michael Sharp has full coverage of Binghampton's win in Bridgeport.

Florida 4, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 10:07:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has the recap of tonight's 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers with Ted Nolan's comments, who praised his teams effort starting with Bill Guerin.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles played a team mostly even game against a club on a four game winning streak until the third period where Florida took over a little bit. Hard to put Skrastins goal on DiPietro because he was screened by Spiller and he played very well all night and kept the team in the game with some very good saves in close. He made one good save on Weiss before he popped in the rebound.

Comeau looks like a very good player on left wing where he showed it all night in this game beyond his powerplay goal which was just a great shot. Great first period rush and shot, he did everything but finish with the goalie pulled and Richard Park made a good play after getting kicked out of the faceoff circle. Comrie needed to finish that setup Comeau set him up for.

Strong play on the boards from Tambellini, some good shifts from Hunter and Bergenheim. Park made a nice play to Guerin for his goal. Regier was not very visible in this one but did a few good things along the boards. Jackman made a very nice play where he just got position and charged the Panther net but Vokoun made it look easy on the backhand.

Isles defense had problems with David Booth and a few Panthers speed. Meyer lost the puck on a odd man rush for a goal against. Spiller had problems in the third.

Nothing else to write. Isles did what they could here in tough circumstances, it was not enough to get a point but it easily could have been. Reports a makeshift Bridgeport roster lost 6-3 at Harbor Yard to the Binghampton Senators Wednesday. Trevor Smith had two goals, Kyle Okposo an assist on a third period shorthanded goal, Mike Morrison faced forty shots.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the Bridgport Grizzlies and the lines as to all the callups on the AHL roster from the ECHL.

Islander Notables: More callups

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 04:52:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged this afternoon and reports Rick DiPietro will start against Florida.

He also writes Rick DiPietro needs to be reminded that he earned his All-Star selection by playing with greater self-discipline and control over the first half of the season and that as much as DiPietro can help his defense with his puck handling ability, he also can hurt when he starts running around too much and when opponents recognize it, they turn up the pressure around the net to force the chaos that often ensues. The frustration over the injuries are also mounting as Brendan Witt talks about shutting it down for the season.

DiPietro is only quoted on not starting the Ranger game, Bill Guerin comments on his goaltender handing the puck and feels restricting him could hurt his play and that his goaltender only does what he can to help make the club better.

Islanders will announce callups around 5pm which Mr Logan says will be updated in his blog. Notes changes to the Bridgeport website and has Jeremy Colliton back on the Bridgeport roster with Matt Spiller, Tim Jackman and Steve Regier off the roster so expect them to be the players recalled.

Ted Nolan confirmed in pregame interview (sidebar) Hilbert and Fedotenko are out, Vasicek felt better today at practice and Witt is a game time decision. Gervais will not return until he is a hundred percentage after sustaining a concussion.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's disappointing a thirty year writer in Greg Logan is not following the games he actually covers very well to suggest DiPietro has not been the same goaltender in the second half and makes his discipline and composure an issue.

By the goals against the goaltender has not been the problem for this team and it seems Mr Logan will not let go of him not starting the Ranger game like the Newsday staff makes post Ranger hangover a major issue as it's asked to the players constantly to get response to create an issue.

Very poor work here by Mr Logan and makes me question does he watch Islander games when he's not on the beat or just rallying the masses against Rick DiPietro?

You would never know this club won six games in a row last month or this goaltender held in the lowest scoring club in the NHL this season that went fourteen games with two goals or less. Even after Saturday's game where his play did hurt them he wrote DiPietro looked solid in stopping repeated breakaways and odd-man rushes.

I just reviewed Rick DiPietro's second half, game by game, how come Greg Logan seems to write about four goals against in four of five games like he wants to make an issue here of the goaltenders discipline?

Of course Newsday would not even pay a writer to go cover the Islander goaltender named to and starting the All-Star game.

To blame DiPietro is completely unfair

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 02:19:00 PM | | 2 Comments
It's kind of funny looking at the various internet sites and so many folks who only see stats and numbers and put a ton of blame on Rick DiPietro for poor goaltending and do not even bother looking at the games unless it's to complain for reasons that are frankly ridiclous.

Hard to blame the fans when all they see are lazy writers who only go to the numbers themselves and print stories based on them begging the question what games do they watch?

I thought I would go back to the all-star break and see where Rick DiPietro has been killing this team with his play and break down the goals because it's easy to do with Isles TV.

All some folks see is the goals against and the save percentage and assume he must be hurt or struggling. I'm not buying it because I watch each game and outside of one or two games I have not seen his play as the reason for the club losing in my game reports.

For me it's kind of like a player minus ten but has had one turnover so everyone claims his defense is killing the team.
I highlights all the goals I felt were poor goals where his play hurt the team.

Where else should I start but right after the all-star game against Ottawa:
1/27/2008-Senators 5, Islanders 2:

Metzaros point shot off a big screen in front where it looked redirected.
Phillips shot coming in from inside faceoff circle.

Dean McAmmond left alone in front of DiPietro for several seconds point blank with defense watching.

Bergeron turnover Neil passes to wide open Fisher for open side goal.

Empty net goal off Guerin turnover.

Overall-I did not see any goals as a result of poor goaltending but horrible defense where the goalie was left out to try. Bergeron was horrible on two goals.
2/2/2008-Montreal 4, New York 1:
DiPietro holds Islanders in entire first period with great play to keep the game scoreless. Red Fisher wrote after this game and praised DiPietro for holding his club in as long as he did.

Plekanec scores shorthanded to open second period from bad angle that I would say is not a good goal for a goaltender to allow but a brutal turnover to start the play.

Streit comes in off the point for an empty net goal on a great setup, no chance for goalie. Sutton and Gervais talking afterward after allowing play.

Kovalev shot off rush on a screen not a good goal to allow but not a poor goal.

Dandenault scores after several great saves by DiPietro where defense again was awful and Montreal just dominated.

Overall-Without DiPietro Isles would have lost this game about 8-1.
2/5/2008-Anaheim 3, New York 0
Niedermayer powerplay goal from faceoff circle, not a great goal to allow.
Todd Marchant backhand screen from angle off post, not a good goal to allow.
Weight scores on a setup where DiPietro had little chance coming in.

Overall-Isles did not score a single goal, if folks want to write it should have been a 1-0 loss that's fine but tough to put this all on the goalie when you are shutout seems wrong.
2/7/2008-Pittsburgh 4, New York 3
Ryan Whitney backdoor pp goal, no chance for DiPietro.
Malone deflects in point shot off faceoff, tough to put that on goalie.
Whitney pp goal backhand from dead center fifteen feet out.
Chris LeTang shot hits Witt and redirects to far post for game winner.

Overall-DiPietro played well, the defense reversed the puck around the net which led to LeTang getting the puck.
2/9/2008-Minnesota 4, New York 3, ot
Foster point shot for goal, bad goal.

Rolston scores off James Shepperd play where he carried the puck and shot through a big screen. DiPietro played very well as Isles were scrambling in their end.
Rolston ties game off rebound off a two on one post shot.
Burns scores off two on one overtime rush where a forward got turned around.

Overall-One poor goal and without several great saves Isles do not get a point.
2/12/2008-New York 4, Philadelphia 3
Briere scores off a big scramble on powerplay, DiPietro down made several saves.
Hartnell scores off play he's fed for a clear path to net.
Lupul shot from point deflected in off defense to make game 4-3 with minute left.

Overall-Hard to put any of these goals on the goaltender.
2/14/2008-New York 5, Toronto 4
Stajan pass redirects off Tucker for a goal.
Sundin goal all alone off pp shot rebound behind goalie.
Stajan powerplay goal from close in.
Ponikarovsky scores off scramble in final seconds with goalie pulled.

Overall-DiPietro won the game with his goaltending in the five on three in the third period. Hard to blame him for a redirection goal but three goals were high quality chances.
2/16/2008-New York 4, Atlanta 1
Todd White goal in final minute off point blank rebound. Only ten shots faced.

Overall-DiPietro was horrible here, send him to the AHL.
2/18/2008-New York 3, San Jose 2
Goc allowed to come out from behind net and hit far side on DiPietro.
Joe Thornton scores from slot off a scramble.

Overall-DiPietro robbed Cheechoo late in the second, no fault on any goals in this game.
2/20/2008-New York 3, Washington 2, ot
Semin breakaway with the defense falling asleep. DiPietro already robbed Kozlov all alone in front before that.

Laich powerplay redirection off a Mike Green point shot.

Overall-DiPietro was only fantastic to get the game to overtime before the Isles won it.
2/21/2008-New York 1, Tampa Bay 0
Overall-I guess there is nothing to complain about here.
It should be noted at this point the Islanders are playing every other day and still they have won five in a row with a lot of injuries piling up.
2/23/2008-New Jersey 4, New York 2
Meyer pp turnover, Elias point shot through big screen hits far side.
Satan giveaway on point leads to Madden scoring a two on one shorthanded goal.
Johnson losses puck, Parise flies past him and scores on breakaway.
Point shot rebound goal by Gionta.

Overall-DiPietro was outstanding in this game and held the club in for two periods, Islanders did very little in third.
2/26/2008-Pittsburgh 4, New York 2
Malkin scores after a few saves by DiPietro with a great shot from fifteen feet out.

Taffe finally scores pp goal after several great saves by DiPietro where he could not hold rebound. He robbed Malkin on the delayed penalty.

Staal goal on delayed penalty after DiPietro robbed Malkin in alone again.
James all alone on a powerplay break in pass where DiPietro had little chance.

Overall-Islanders took over fifty shots and Pittsburgh had most of the quality chances. Without DiPietro robbing Malkin several times it could have been 8-2.
2/28/2008-New York 5, Atlanta 4
The day DiPietro plays after he suffers loss in his family.

Perrin shorthanded taken down, scores on penalty shot.
Ken Klee scores coming in from point on odd-man rush, given the shooter not a good goal but a very good shot. Kind of like Sutton's lone goal against New Jersey.

Zhitnik scores from circle after coming in from point off a centering pass behind net where DiPietro did not have far post. Great shot but hard to put that on the goalie.

Holik scores dead center on screened wrist shot about twenty feet out to tie game. I think that's one DiPietro should have stopped.

Overall-Under the circumstances he played pretty well and at best two goals you could put on him.
3/1/2008: Philadelphia 4, New York 1
Witt knocks stick out of DiPietro's hand, Carter scores from point blank, impossible to put a goal like that on a goaltender.

DiPietro turnover led to Gervais penalty in defense zone and a Flyer pp goal where Coburn took a shot from an angle on a set play DiPietro had no chance on.

Knuble's shorthanded goal off Satan pp turnover at point where DiPietro robbed Carter in alone and the rebound found Knuble.

Empty net.

Overall-Did not see a single goal here that can be placed on the goaltender but his turnover led to a penalty by Gervais that led to a powerplay goal. Satan on the point sure did not help things.
3/8/2008: Philadelphia 4, New York 1

Briere five on three shorthanded goal in an open net after hitting Park and deflecting. DiPietro penalty hurt the club and set up the goal.

DiPietro turnover behind the goal shorthanded, Carter goal. That's the goaltenders mistake and bad goal.

Hartnell scores off a Coburn tip in shot from point on powerplay after some saves by DiPietro.

Hartnell another power play redirection for goal in front.

Overall-DiPietro's decisions cost his team two goals, Isles defense gave up several powerplays and scored once. You can put it on the goalie if you want but take away the two goals and it's still a 2-1 loss.
Last night:
DiPietro turnover led to opening goal by Ouellet, poor play by goalie.
LeCavalier five on three shot from angle was a questionable goal.

DiPietro came out and overplayed a Bolt forward after Martinek fell down, Halpern scored in open net on centering pass. DiPietro clearing puck to center was a turnover that set up rush so that goes on the goalie.

Tarnasky beats Comeau to a rebound where he has no business as a center from point blank.

Davison overpowered by LeCavalier as he came out of corner and stuffed puck in.

Keystone kops on the last three goals where DiPietro's defense was worse than he was all night, he had little chance on any of the three.

Overall-You can put the loss on DiPietro but he sure had a lot of help between the flu, injuries and poor play in front of him. He only saw about forty four shots so he must have made a few good saves too.
Someone care to explain after breaking this down how Rick DiPietro has been horrible since the all-star break.

I guess it's easier than actually watching the games and goals scored when you can go to the stats which in this case do not tell the story at all.

Greg Logan's gone to the numbers as well and not doing a very good job if that's the basis for his coverage of the goaltender.

3/12: New York at Florida 7:30pm Msg +

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 01:16:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Florida Panthers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If there have been any other callups, no word at this time out of the Ct Post, Newsday or the Islanders.

Not much to write about this game, Isles are a very fragile team that's struggling and Florida no doubt remembers the fifty three shot game and no goals recently. Panthers cannot generate any momentum or make a much of a run of their own so in seems both clubs are going nowhere, Florida has had the Isles number and goes for a sweep of the series tonight.

Going to be very tough days around this team as no doubt there will be a lot of frustration and should be because the team as it was built for this year in the end has now failed. Personally Satan looks lost as a left wing as the coach tried to create as close as he could come to a first line, he needs to be back on right wing.

The injuries may create a situation where all the left wing prospects here (Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini) can all play left wing. Comeau has not been the same player on the right side and should not be playing center.

If Witt and Satan are playing hurt maybe it's time to look out for both players future and shut them down.

We'll see what happens tonight or if the Isles go back to Dubielewicz who played well against Florida, no doubt some callups will be made.

Miami Herald: George Richards reports Tomas Vokoun will start for the Panthers. Jozef Stumpel (shoulder), Noah Welch (shoulder) and Mike Van Ryn (wrist) will not be in the lineup for Florida and Richard Zednik is out for the season.

Will the second year trend cost Ted Nolan his job?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2008 01:27:00 AM | | Comment Here
Back on August 2nd I did a blog on the trends of second year Islander coach and the eventual fate they suffer during or at the end of that second season here with all of them being fired.

At time time I felt Ted Nolan should stay regardless of on ice results with the limitations of this roster if it fails or takes a step backwards.

Regardless of record I still feel the same way and hope Mr Wang and Garth Snow break a trend that has held over Mr Wang's tenure of owner and that Ted Nolan returns for next season.

I think this coach is part of the long-term answer and took this group as far as he could this season. Clearly the injuries took a major toll on the group as did the lack of scoring or a first line powerplay qb from day one. No doubt this is a well respected coach given so many players comments this season and the re signings of Mike Comrie and Trent Hunter.

Sometimes you have to take a a step backwards to take a bigger step forward and as long as they keep working in the young players and give them opportunities they will find a bunch of players won can take this team to the next level. Given the progress of Blake Comeau, Jeff Tambellini, Jeremy Colliton, Frans Nielsen and Sean Bergenheim the plan to inject youth into the NHL lineup is going to continue as Kyle Okposo works toward a spot in the NHL.

Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli are products of the Islanders farm system also.

Hopefully the fans understand this, show some patience and forget the past because this gm and coach can only answer for their tenure, not the prior one.

Islander News Articles 3/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2008 11:00:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has Ted Nolan's comments about the game where he was not happy with his goaltender over handling the puck and DiPietro's response after the club allowed the three fastest goals in franchise history.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course this is now going to blown into something much bigger than it should be, especially when the headline reads Nolan at odds with DiPietro after blowout loss.

After the last time something like this was done Mr Logan had to claim an error was made by the person writing the headlines. A bit much that Ted Nolan is at odds with his goaltender in a game the entire club played poorly outside of a few players and is clearly shorthanded with the injuries and the flu.

A coach or player frustrated after a tough loss does not mean anyone is at odds with anyone.

Mr Logan wrote two articles, did he go to anyone else for quotes or did they not make the print edition of the paper?

Postgame press conference and player comments are on the sidebar for anyone interested in the full version.

In fairness this team gave up eight goals and the goalie was responsible for about two with his stick handling and the five on three goal which may have been deflected but was from an angle you expect your goalie to make a save on. The three goals at the end can hardly be placed on the goalie nor can the one off Comeau or the one where Lecavalier blasts through the defense and Davison could not stop the jam play at the goal.

Newsday: Greg Logan's second article is on Vasicek getting the flu and the scramble to get Ben Walter to the game in time and the injury to Andy Hilbert leaving the Isles short a forward. Bruno Gervais skated and if symptom free could return against Florida with Ted Nolan's comments who also talked about Sean Bergenheim's penalties against Philadelphia but praised his hard work.

Tampa Tribune & St Pete Times Forum: Recaps Tampa Bays win against the Isles.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage for Bridgeport's Wednesday game against Binghampton at Harbor Yard with comments from Jack Capuano and Drew Fata on how the club must perform with some very tough games ahead.

Bridgeport is expected to bring centerman Jean Desrochers up from Johnstown (ECHL) on his second pro tryout of the season. Defenseman Mark Wotton may be a game-time decision. He has missed three games with a groin pull but practiced this week.

Binghamton Senators 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
RECORDS — Binghamton 28-27-6-4; Bridgeport 33-27-1-2

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog should have very early word on possible call ups for New York and Bridgeport to fill out both rosters.

Tampa Bay 8, New York 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2008 09:07:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Tuesday's to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders looked like they mailed this one in top to bottom against a goaltender in Kari Ramo who looked like a bad goal waiting to happen and a Tampa team going nowhere that from the middle of the second period outworked the Isles in every area of the ice and just pinned them in their own end aside from a few odd shifts.

Guerin had a nice shot for his goal but it seemed Ramo just did not play it well. Hunter's pass to Fedotenko was a very good play that the goalie finished off himself by kicking it in with his pad. Richard Park hit a post early but he's not a scorer and is not going to carry this team in that role. Walter's tip goal was his first goal of the season.

Fair to write as usual Sean Bergenheim seems to be the most visible Islander and there is no excuse for the veterans after a few days off against a team fifteenth in the east.

Worst of all Rick DiPietro's play is costing his club goals against with poor stick handling and positioning. Islanders for two periods could only draw one powerplay while once again they allow a five on three which yields to a goal that you expect DiPietro to stop from that area of the ice.

No desperation at all from Isles. Tampa threw the bigger hits and owned the walls most of the game and the Isles had trouble with their speed. Blake Comeau has no business as a center and being moved around like this is not helping him and cost them a goal.

Walter looked lost on a third period turnover that led to a Bergenheim penalty. Park clipped for a double minor and then after Fedotenko goes off with a knee on knee injury that looked terrible Lecavalier powers through Davison out of the corner for the 5-2 goal at four on four.

Hunter-Guerin awful powerplay turnovers. Witt icing. Another dump in Tampa forwards have plenty of time to turn and make an easy clear.

Hunter draws a penalty, the kid line scores on the powerplay with Comeau taking a shot from the outside that looked like Ben Walter tipped it in for his first goal.

Jeremy Colliton not playing much tonight for having the flu. Ben Walter arrived around the warm up.

Richard Park turnover, LeCavalier hat-trick on the two on one, Satan turnover goal, Davison turnover goal off Meyer for another goal. Nick Tarnasky buries Davison in a fight. Garbage time goal for Comrie against Ramo.

Islanders were outworked by the worst team in the East and deserved to lose and outclassed top to bottom in a must game. There is no excuse that can be made for it or the problems scoring and playing defense. If the defense and goal tending are not playing well they have no chance against any team. Tampa is a team that cannot defend a lead in the third period and just ran over the Islanders when the game got to 5-3.

Kind of effort that gets a general manager and coach fired, despite the injuries.

Now they have to find replacements for maybe Colliton, Hilbert, and Fedotenko who has a knee sprain

Ted Nolan's postgame was very interesting where he showed frustration at his goaltender and coaching so many Bridgeport callups and said Brendan Witt should not even be playing. Fact is his prospects are outplaying his veterans in too many games but this kind of losing is new for him at this level and clearly he has to be frustrated himself.

Projecting out the standings Pt V

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2008 07:25:00 PM | Comment Here
Been a while since this feature was updated back on 2/29 where the Isles were a point behind my projected pace of ninety three points by going 5-1-1 here.

That loud crash was the Islanders falling well off the projected pace in the recent games.

Projections vs game results.................93 points projected.
Jan 29, Senators-Loss 54 points 24-21-6.....Isles lost
Jan 31, Kings-Win 56 points 25-21-6.........Isles lost two points below pace set.
Feb 2, at Canadians-Loss 56 points 25-22-6..Isles lost
Feb 5, Ducks-Loss 56 points 25-23-6.........Isles lost
Feb 7, at Penguins otl 57 points 25-23-7....Isles lost three points below pace.
Feb 9, at Wild W 59 points 26-23-7..........Isles lost ot four point below pace set.
Feb 12 Flyers L 59 points 26-24-7...........Isles won two points below pace set.
Feb 14, at Maple Leafs L 59 points 26-25-7..Isles won even with pace set.
Feb 16, Thrashers W 61 points 27-25-7.......Isles won even with pace set.
Feb 18, Sharks W 63 points 28-25-7..........Isles won even with pace set.
Feb 20, at Capitals ot L 64 points 28-25-8..Isles won ahead of pace set by one pt.
Feb 21, Lightning W 66 points 29-25-8.......Isles won ahead of pace set by one pt.
Feb 23, at Devils L 66 points 29-26-8.......Isles lost ahead of pace set by one pt.
Feb 26, Penguins W 68 points 30-26-8........Isles lost behind pace set by one pt.
Feb 28, at Thrashers W 70 points 31-26-8....Isles win behind pace set by one pt..
Mar 1 Flyers ot-L 71 points 31-26-9........Isles lost behind pace set by two pts.
Mar 2, Panthers W 73 points 32-26-9........Isles lost behind pace set by four pts.
Mar 4, at Rangers W 75 points 33-26-9......Isles won behind pace set by four pts.
Mar 6, Rangers ot-L 76 points 33-26-10.....Isles lost behind pace set by five pts.
Mar 8, at Flyers L 76 points 33-27-10......Isles lost behind pace set by five pts.
five points off a projected pace of ninety three points now brings the total to eight eight points which will not be a playoff spot.
Projected results going back to all-star break for remaining games:
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

I cannot see any less than ninety two points for the eighth seed and it may take more than that.

Islanders need to go 12-0 to finish with ninety five points. In other words lose one game and the best they can do is ninety three points.

If I had to give an honest guess now I see an eighty-eighty three point team.

3/11: New York at Tampa 7:30pm Msg plus

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2008 10:50:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
On the ice everyone knows the score with the Islanders and the playoffs. If they have any outside hope of having any chance to get back in the playoff race they have to be able to work through a teams defense and goaltending and finish some quality chances starting tonight against a Tampa team playing competitive hockey and have a lot of new faces since the Brad Richards trade.

At this point it will be interesting to see if the Islanders play as if they are resigned to not making the playoffs which would go against the mantra of the character of this group.

Usually when this is pushed this far back against the wall the push back. I'm not sure they have that much more fight left in them.

No word on a possible Bruno Gervais return tonight.

The Msg-plus era begins in the latest scheme by Msg to put even more Garden control on all Islander content. I highly doubt we see any additional Islander or Devil programming because the idea behind owning the television rights has always been to control and limit the Garden's competition.

Updated 6:30pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan reports in Newsday's Islander blog Josef Vasicek may not play with the flu and Ben Walter has been recalled from Bridgeport. Ted Nolan comments on the move along with an update on Bruno Gervais. Rick DiPietro talks about the challenge in front of the club to get back into playoff contention.

Islander News Articles 3/11:

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2008 10:30:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has more on Brendan Witt being nominated for the Masterson with Ted Nolan's comments as to how valuable he has been to the team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has more on Jesse Jonesuu joining the Sound Tigers perhaps as early as later this week with Jack Capuauo and Howard Saffin's comments.

Daily News: John Dellapina is continuing to work the Rangers are the host angle for a possible Yankee Stadium outdoor game like he's on the Garden payroll.

Tampa Tribune: Carter Gaddis reports the team wants Andre Roy to take some games off after a recent incident against the Flyers.

Islander notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/10/2008 03:42:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Daily News: John Dellapina reports on the possibility of a hockey game closing Yankee Stadium and seems to feel the league and NBC will cut the Islanders out of it. Chris Botta's comments are included as to how many times the Islanders have been involved in negotiations.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Dellapina sure is working overtime to get his favorite team some badly needed publicity and cut out any chance of New York-New York and both local teams sharing the stage for this event. Last I checked New York Islanders also means New York.

You can bet Dick Ebersol and Sam Flood want to keep the Isles out for the same reasons they keep them off NBC for games and Mr Ebersol's past involvement with Madision Square Garden to where Knick games also are appearing on NBC. What they have not figured out is no game will generate big ratings anywhere involving any team. Rangers and Islanders combined have problems posting legitimate sellouts so why would the corproations and their fans go out in the cold on January 1st?

Personally the Islanders have been lobbing for this harder and longer and should be the team playing in Yankee or Shea Stadium.

A Montreal-Islander match up involving the three sports dynasties would be a fantastic sell for hockey in New York City.

Times like this the Islanders should regret selling the Long Island angle to every media statement coming from the team.

Newsday: Ranger beatwriter Steve Zipay also has basically the same article where the league has no comment and no set plans.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's Chris Botta once again vs the Ranger fan/beat reporters because the Islanders do not have anyone in the media who will lobby for them here and if there is nothing to stir things it will be made up for public consumption as an implied problem between the general manager and coach. Mr Botta basically had to take on the Ranger media alone regarding Rick DiPietro sitting out Thursay to where he had to do a blog update a few days ago here.

Islander blogs at Newsday since March 7th?
Rangers 7, Islanders 0

Newsday: Greg Logan finally blogs and reports the Islanders have nominated Brendan Witt for the Masterson Award with his comments about how he has been playing hurt after running into Bill Guerin and the state of his teams chances for the playoffs.

Islanders sign Prospect Jesse Jonesuu

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/10/2008 03:21:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Reports the club has signed prospect Jesse Joensuu to a 3-year entry level deal that will begin in 2008-09 season with comments from Ryan Jankowski, the Islanders assistant general manager and Director of Amateur Scouting.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This confirms the report in the News articles on 2/13 here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Jonesuu will go to Bridgeport for some practices but is likely not to participate in games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Jonesuu was not on Sound Tigers clear day roster for those wondering.

Philadelphia 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/08/2008 09:48:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Newsday: This is the link that should eventually contain Newsday's game coverage after being an early AP summary.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I don't see any miracles here folks, it's basically over for this team now in my estimation and frankly it should be. Philadelphia did not even have to play that well and made the most of the Isles mistakes.

Painfully obvious Bergenheim and the kid line played with the most desperation and effectiveness which says something terrible about the veteran core of this team.

Anyone else wonder how come after Comeau worked to get the Isles a goal from Meyer and then drew a powerplay Ted Nolan simply did not leave them out and give them the two minutes?

Nope. Put Guerin, Comrie, Satan, Hunter out and watch them dump the puck so other teams can read it and clear as they take some low percentage shots and overpass until they turn it over. For the second half of that powerplay put Richard Park on the point.

To the teams overall credit they came out and played a strong first period and draw some powerplays with Hunter's line having one great shift. Having written that how many good chances did they actually produce from all the work? A point shot that hit Biron and dropped down where he did not see it and Bergenheim's rush off Park's pass before Satan got his chance in the third period?

Aside from that a lot of point shots or low percentage chances or Philadelphia's defense blocked the shots because they were easy to read.

DiPietro did not play poorly in terms of stopping shots but his penalty and turnover directly led to two goals, in this kind of game that's fatal. Combine that with some over aggressive penalties by Bergenheim one Berard had to take and that's the game with Philadelphia tipping two past DiPietro.

Philadelphia was crashing the crease a lot in this game. Hunter got thrown away from the Flyer goal and on another powerplay had a puck bounce over his stick where he was moving so slow.

It is what it is. Ted Nolan moved Satan to Guerin's line and outside of a few outside shots and the one Satan missed was very quiet in a game they had to produce.

Richard Park and Andy Hilbert for all their hard work are not offensive players, Bergenheim got his chances anyway. To call that a second line is a joke in terms of production because the career records of Park and Hilbert are not that of top six forwards.

Nice to see Bill Guerin stand up for his teammates, aside from that a few peripheral chances that almost beat Biron who did not have to play very well.

Defense did a solid job for the most part, Witt had one kick off him shorthanded that led the the second goal but that was on DiPietro. Even strength Flyers did not get much more than the Isles.

What else can I write folks? This team simply cannot score enough goals and looks basically lost on it's powerplay. If it's shorthanded play allows four goals they have no chance.

The teams in front of them, the games in hand they have and the head to head games make it virtually impossible and that's without talking about the scoring and powerplay problems. Reports Steve Regier scored with thirty eight second left to earn Bridgeport a shootout loss point to Portland on Saturday 5-4.

Kyle Okposo scored his eight goal.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did not travel to Portland but will likely have an article on the big comeback to gain a point for Bridgeport.

Sunday and Monday will finally be days off at NYI Fan Central with no blog updates barring any major announcement by the team. Feeders will carry all articles and updates.

3/8: New York at Philadelphia 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/08/2008 10:06:00 AM | | 2 Comments
Islanders website: Has the pregame tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Courier News: Chuck Gormley reports Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher is hoping to play tonight against the Islanders. Martin Biron will start in goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Everyone knows the numbers and the Isles situtation and what they have to do at this point. A good place to start would be playing the game in the Flyers end of the ice
and getting a lot more quality chances then they generated last Saturday at home. Flyers are almost as desperate and have to win to keep their own playoff chances going.

Rick DiPietro returns to the net after a week off and if the rested goalie gets hot his play could carry them tonight.

As Ted Nolan said himself there cannot be any weak links from here, I hope he holds his veterans to that and if the kids do well keep running them out there and give them a good fifteen-twenty minutes and cut the other players minutes. Bergenheim continues to be the most visible forward in the group and it goes well beyond his scoring.

Richard Park, Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Miroslav Satan, Josef Vasicek, Ruslan Fedntenko have to step up here and contribute some goals. Hunter could use a big hot streak here himself.

Win a game tonight and finally get a two day break, this club needs a little rest almost as much as it needs points which is saying a lot.

A few more losses and they will get a seven month rest.

Islander News Articles 3/8:

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2008 08:23:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Katie Strang has comments from Rick DiPietro on returning to the net and Ted Nolan on a lot of topics as he updates the injuries and the upcoming roadtrip starting in Philadelphia Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Brendan Witt rolled his ankle, not Berard.

Toronto Sun: Lance Hornsby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs nominated Jason Blake for the
Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies 'the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. That loud thud was not the weather but the Sound Tigers losing 5-0 in Portland.

Ct Post:Michael Fornabaio recaps the Sound Tigers loss with Jack Capuano's comments.

Portland Press Herald: Covers the Pirates.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio notes in his blog he is not on this trip.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2008 04:12:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has Ted Nolan's comments about how his players must work from here, that the club will stay on the road after Saturday's game and head straight to Florida from Philadelphia. Rick DiPietro returns to the net as the coach had the following injury updates:

Brendan Witt rolled his ankle but is expected to play against Philadelphia.
Bruno Gervais will join the team on the road trip, but it is unsure when or if he'll play because of the concussion.
Frans Nielsen could be back within the week.
Andy Sutton could meet up with the team in Montreal after skating today.

Isles also have prospect updates on Jason Gregoire, Blake Kessel and Rhett Rakhshani.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ted Nolan is correct that there cannot be one weak link and that there is no tomorrow. His weak link is his scoring and his powerplay and there is hiding from it.

Isles need wins in ten of twelve games or it's essentially over. Just the head to head games by the clubs competing with the Isles make for no other alternative.

One thing going for them is a rare could of days off in a row after Saturday. You hate to use excuses but going back to the Minnesota game on Feb 9th this club has had only two days off in a row twice over a full month. That early schedule that saw them play three times in twenty four days combined with so many injuries is no small factor now.

Friday Newsday Islander Insider

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2008 02:33:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan had the Friday Islander Insider this week which was on Rick DiPietro and how Mike Dunham has been working with him as well as a lot on the young players and how they have played. More on Ted Nolan deciding on Wade Dubielewicz for the last two games, updates to Mike Sillinger and Jon Sim, who has been skating with the club and could return to the lineup if the Islanders do make the playoffs.

Islander News Articles 3/7:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article was on how it did not matter who was in goal because the Isles could not score and were very loose on defense with Brendan Witt comments. Ted Nolan defended his decision to start Dubielewicz and felt he held them in the game early but his team was outworked. Wade Dubielewicz said he wanted to be the hero but will be ready for his next opportunity.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Mr Logan is doing the Friday Islander Insider he did not preview it in his blog.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann wrote to basically tell Ranger fans in a newspaper desperate for Islander coverage how a club with only two more wins than them going into this game could win the Stanley Cup with fourteen games left in the season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mark Herrmann sure seems to have put on his rose-colored Ranger glasses for this article. The teams were separated by two wins going into last night's game and had just lost to the Isles. Was this really necessary today with double digit games left in the regular season to stick it to Islander fans with this after a split of a home and home?

It would be nice if Mr Herrmann he just came out and told the folks he's a Ranger fan covering the Islander beat on occasion. You can see it when he turns up and does articles questioning the clubs viability and then writes this today.

NY Times: Lynn Zinser's Ranger centric coverage had Ted Nolan and Wade Dubielewicz comments on the loss.

NY Post: Larry Brooks and Jay Greenberg here: Were all over Ted Nolan's decision to start Wade Dubielewicz and of course to praise the Rangers where the Isles are barely quoted in either article beyond Bill Guerin.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Was anyone expecting anything else from the bad news twins today? Mr Brooks is a life long Ranger die-hard who cannot write a word about the Islanders without some kind of insult included and Mr Greenberg even though he's from St Louis and Philadelphia markets long ago stopped being a hockey writer beyond occasional coverage. Neither one know anything about the Islanders beyond the days they show up to cover the Rangers.

Daily News: The News editor decided to leave Peter Botte at home for an Islander home game against the Rangers so John Dellapina could written two Ranger centric articles where not a single Islander is quoted but did all he could to claim a squabble between the coach and general manager for the decision to start Wade Dubielewicz even though he was too lazy to get quotes from either one of them. He had no problem going to Tom Renney to second guess Ted Nolan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I fail to understand why Chris Botta is this nice to the Daily News or Post editors for this pathetic kind of treatment of our club leaving Peter Botte home so not a single player is quoted in either Ranger centric article? The AP could have done a far more fair and balanced job. I guess Mr Botta is more than used to it by now and we all know he lobbies all he can for Islander centric coverage. It's old news to see the Ranger fan/beatwriters take all the coverage space from the Isles and the infrequent Islander beatwriters disappear at times like this.

Garbage journalism from Mr Dellapina to write there is a squabble and use the general managers appearance on WFAN and only print a part of what he said to infer squabble without going to either one for a quote. Garth Snow defended his coach in that interview and only a portion of his comments were used here to make something out of essentially nothing. Later on WFAN Ted Nolan said the owner and general manager leave him alone. Mr Dellapina is the kind of writer who does back flips to protect Tom Renney and even went to him for quotes on Ted Nolan's decision?

Garbage journalism 101. Just another reason why hockey is so far down on the map in the New York market and why the game received no backpages in Manhattan today.

It's amazing the spin a handful of Ranger fans in the media business can create but we all know this is what many Islander fans will read and buy into despite the fact these writers are never around unless it's time to be critical or the Rangers are the opposition and do not follow the club on a daily basis.

This is where the Islanders lose the p.r game in the very limited New York Hockey media market and why some fans of the club need to break into the coverage business who will tell the Islanders story to the New York fans.

Journal News: Sam Weinman has the Ranger centric coverage of their win.

Islanders website: Has the full audio interviews from WFAN's appearance Thursday at the Coliseum.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Maybe Mr Dellapina should listen to Garth Snow's interview again and tell us where there is a squabble between the coach and general manager or at least be professional enough to write everything the general manager said?

The Sarnia Observer: Scott Stephenson reports Islander prospect Mark Katic will miss the rest of the season and the earliest he's expected to come back is the second round of the playoffs with the defender in a sling after injuring his other shoulder with coach Dave MacQueens comments.

Vancouver Province:Steve Ewen reports Vancouver Giants defenseman Brent Regner has heard from the New York Islanders this year as he was not selected in last summer's entry draft with several clubs reportedly interested in the young defender.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had an interesting article on how the Sound Tigers have been doing very well without leading scorer Jeff Tambellini, with Jack Capuano's comments on the club winning despite the call ups. Matt Spiller comments on how hard the club has to work.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Portland Pirates
WHEN — Tonight, Saturday, 7:05
WHERE — Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
ON THE AIR — WICC-AM 1300 (Saturday only); Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not a misprint, becoming more common for teams to play road doubleheaders against the same team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog wonders how come WFAN's Chris Russo cannot pronounce Rick DiPietro or Alexander Ovechkin name properly but got it right on Dubielewicz?

Rangers 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2008 05:01:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the recap of Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Rangers where Bill Guerin said the powerplay is awful, Ted Nolan felt the Isles were outworked in the first period and Dubielewicz played well.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's a very tough loss and a big hit in the standings but they did play a team that had not lost in regulation in eleven games and it's not going to be easy when you get outworked to start the game and the defense falls asleep on the opening goal on a delayed penalty and then falls behind 2-0 on another play where someone is left open.

Islansders could not get a few past Lunqvist in the second beyond Bergenheim and as usual after a poor start they woke up.

Hard to put anything on Dubie here, he made a lot of big saves and robbed Jagr with his glove. No second guess here from me on the coaches decision, you score one goal it's not going to happen most night's and that's the bottom line. Isles dominated the second, Bergenheim got a shot from a high quality area to give the Isles their goal but Bill Guerin hit the nail on the head when he called the powerplay awful and you have to wonder why the kids see less minutes than these veterans.

You got a powerplay that cannot score on a five on three or work to generate quality chance combined with all the shorthanded goals you are not going to be a winning hockey team on a consistent basis or get games to overtime to add to the point total. It goes beyond one individual.

Gomez deflection goal and the Rangers trap in the third does what it does best and the Isles could not fight through that, Isles defense had the penalty killed and the puck cleared but not all the way down the ice. Islanders got a little lax and that allowed the Rangers to get a shot which led to the 3-1 goal.

All the Islanders can do is move on to Philadelphia very disappointed with a split and hope the return of DiPietro can make a difference. I almost think Ted Nolan had this in mind when he started Dubie to ride the hot goaltender and if it does not work can put in his number one goalie.

One thing for sure is Islanders are running out of games, points and the clubs behind them are right behind them. We'll see what happens with Brendan Witt but you do get to a point where you have to look out for the players future.

3/6: New York vs Rangers 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/06/2008 10:01:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the early preview for tonight's game against the Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles cannot win one, lose one any longer. Islanders cannot even afford to let the Rangers get an overtime point here, they need a regulation win if they want to catch them in the standings.

I guess we will find out during the afternoon if it's Dubie or DiPietro in goal. I would take a gamble with Dubie here and ride the momentum of his solid play because it's worked in Bridgeport and in college while DiPietro gets an extra day or two to relax after a very tough week. He'll be the number one goalie in the long-run regardless because he should be.

Of course it's not my call and in the end there is a hockey game to play and win.

Regardless Islanders are going to need more quality chances, more goals and their powerplay must stop giving the other team momentum, it gave away a point on Monday.

Lundqvist is letting in soft goals, Islanders have to keep getting the puck to the net and test his confidence. Defense will need another huge game to keep the shots down as they did in the third period and overtime and do a better job on Jagr who got frustrated after he did not finish some chances.

That line with Colliton looked very good on Tuesday, Nolan should consider giving them more minutes if they are effective again. Satan needs to be a lot more visible tonight, so does Comrie and Guerin.

Hopefully the league does not determine the outcome with bad calls or a review, let both teams play.

Updated 2:20pm:
Wade Dubielewicz will start tonight for Isles.

Full game report will be on Friday morning.

Updated 3:30pm
Newsday: Greg Logan updates the Newsday blog and has Rick DiPietro, Ted Nolan's comments and his own speculation that this is the biggest gamble in Ted Nolan's two years as head coach.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
There are another thirteen games after tonight and if the coach wants to ride the hot hand it's hard to go against that. Dubielewicz did not get a lot of work against Florida but played well in that game too.