Islanders blog box

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/23/2008 01:01:00 PM | Comment Here

I created my own blog box recently with every Islander blog on one reader for anyone who wishes to view the outstanding work by all members of the Islanders blog box and just do not want to click on thirteen different links.

Every blog offers excellent work and a different facet of the New York Islanders that makes for great coverage of our team.

Feel feel free to share this or put it on your own site/blog so you can keep up with everything written.

Latest from Mr Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/23/2008 07:02:00 AM | Comment Here
Mr Prospects does a great job updating the Islander prospects in his prospect log on the message board for everyone.

Here are his latest postings on prospects in the playoffs or college.

March 20
OHL Play-offs,Game 1-Barrie 3,Brampton 1-Tomas Marcinko, 2 goal (1,2),even.
WCHA Play-offs-Minnesota 3, St. Cloud 2-Jase Weslosky,23 saves,26 shots.
March 21
QMJHL Play-offs, Game 1-Gatineau 4,Shawingan 3-Simon Lacroix, no points ,even.

ECAC Play-offs-Princeton 3,Colgate 0-Brian Day,no points.
Harvard 3,Cornell 1-Doug Rogers, 1 assist
WCHA Play-offs-Denver 3,North Dakota 1-Rhett Rakhshani, 1 goal(14), + 1.

USHL-Tri-City 4, Lincoln 3(OT)-Jason Gregoire,no points, even.
Chicago 4, Waterloo 3-Blake Kessel,1 assist,+ 1.

3/23: New York at Philadelphia 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/23/2008 04:11:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website/AP: Has the early preview for tonight's rare Sunday game against the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Tim Panaccio reports Flyer defenseman Kimo Timonen will return to the lineup against the Islanders tonight but it's unlikely Randy Jones will return.

NYI Fan Central Comments
For those still scoring at home a Flyer regulation win eliminates the Islanders from catching Philadelphia. It also brings Boston's magic number to one to eliminate the Islanders from the playoffs entirely as Boston has eighty four points and the Isles if they won the six remaining games could only reach eighty five, Boston holds the tie-breaker head to head and in wins.

Only other Sunday road games was in Ottawa. Core of the four weekend was only Sunday home game, first Sunday night game of the year.

Islansders need a much better effort from the veterans than they got in New Jersey where they did not create much pressure or many shots. Dubielewicz bailing out the club with strong goaltending in a win does not hide how much they were outplayed in a game the coach felt the team looked like they would give a good effort beforehand.

With a third game in four days Monday Ted Nolan could give Joey MacDonald a start in one of these games. MacDonald played seven games for the Bruins last year and has played for the Red Wings so it's not a new experience for him to be in an NHL game.

It will be interesting to see how Okposo responds to his game winning goal. The other kids in this lineup have to keep working hard, Jeff Tambellini has to be more visible and create some chances. Should the Isles call up an enforcer to protect the players a little more after the Devils targeted a few Islanders because Bill Guerin should not have to be doing that at this point in his career.

Flyers come in a desperate team that have won a few games but have a long way to go over the next couple of weeks and have had the Isles number, they will no doubt come out and try and get the Isles down early.

Islander News Articles 3/23

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/23/2008 02:03:00 AM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports Ted Nolan has not been offered an extension of his three year contract extension nor has he spoken with the club about it but intends to return for the final year of his agreement. Garth Snow away scouting said he had no comment. Team spokesman Chris Botta said the organization would have no comment on contract issues involving management.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Why is Greg Logan doing all he can to stir something up here when many teams do not comment on management contracts?

Greg Logan must really hate this beat or need to stir things up to go all out to make this an issue again putting DiPietro in the center of things with that one game and going to Nolan for more comments about it today? He did not even do a game preview or tell folks in the paper there is a game tonight, nothing on Okposo either or if Joey MacDonald could play?

He does use Garth Snow's one quote on WFAN about the decision to start Dubie raising his eyebrows to again infer problems between the coach/gm and did not even report everything Garth Snow or Ted Nolan said that day. Mr Logan even goes back to Janaury to use Snow's comments on the club to create a far bigger deal than it is right now.

Ted Nolan also said on WFAN that day the gm leaves him alone while the gm said the coach makes the lineup which Mr Logan did not report here.

Just because the gm feels the teams records should be better does not mean he is putting that on the coach but for Mr Logan it's implied without a word from the gm.

On top of that Mr Logan's writing about the injuries exacerbating tensions and turmoil within as the team spiraled downward in the standings without a single quote from anyone. If you are going to throw this out there you have an obligation to find out who and where this is coming from unless the purpose of it is to stir the pot.

Mr Logan should wake up to the fact speculation becomes rampant in the Canadian hockey media because they quote his Newsday articles and write their speculation around his speculating. This is just irresponsible journalism from Mr Logan.

Also again it seems this writer has problems with Rick DiPietro who gave all he had and played well since the all-star break beyond numbers which in this case does not tell the story at all about how the goals were scored. Mr Logan cannot even figure out he started virtually the same amount of games a year ago and had not reported he had faced a hundred a forty less shots.

Newsday would not even send Greg Logan to Atlanta to cover his all-star appearance so the Islanders sent Chris Botta. Mr Logan's pre-written feature appeared all star Sunday but he did not do one blog that weekend on the Islanders franchise goaltender at the all-star game.

This seems very unfair on Greg Logan's part. It should also be noted Peter Laviolette's contract was extended the year he was fired and it made no difference in the end which did not make this article.

NY Post: Larry Brooks as usual cannot go a Sunday without a shot at the Islanders making his point Neil Smith was the general manager when the Islanders drafted Kyle Okposo.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No Islander quotes or writer for the Devils game, no preview for the Flyer game tonight and now this junk from Mr Brooks who cannot help but take his Sunday kick at the Islanders.

We get you are upset at Charles Wang for not paying Neil Smith his contract from your November article here after being stuck with attending Al Arbour night but also give Tony Feltrin and his staff credit for the Okposo pick as Neil Smith here did.

Kelowna Capital News : Warren Henderson has a full feature on former Kelowna Rocket, Blake Comeau and how the experience has been for him since coming up to the Islanders and what he feels he has to do to make the decision easier for management this summer so he keeps his spot from day one next year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outside of getting the age of the Coliseum incorrect Mr Henderson does an excellent job here letting us know a lot about Comeau that has not been reported in the local paper.

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette: Shelly Anderson has Sidney Crosby's comments that he could return against the Islanders.

Barrie Examiner: Ian Shantz reports Islander Prospect Tomas Marcinko assisted on the game winning goal in overtime as Barrie took a two-nothing series lead on Brampton.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Kip Brennan is likely facing another suspension and recently signed Islander prospect Jesse Joensuu skated with the AHL team.

Poll: What should Isles do with prospects?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/22/2008 06:12:00 AM | Comment Here
Final results are in on the latest poll and as usual the very knowledgeable readers here responded well as they saw the scoring, injuries and not being good enough as the biggest reasons while not blaming the coach or gm with the schedule being a small factor for some.

Why did the Islanders fail to make the playoffs?

Simply not good enough 23
Early schedule a factor 4
Not enough scoring depth 27
Poor decisions by coach 3
Poor decisions by gm 4
Over three hundred man games lost to injury 24
Isles worked in kids so they have quietly progressed 4
Second half schedule too much 2
Other 1
I do not release polls here unless I think there is a quality subject matter and I think I have a good one for this week.

What should management do with the prospects the rest of the season? Again I will permit multiple choices.

Islander News Articles 3/22

Newsday: Greg Logan has Wade Dubielewicz and Kyle Okposo comments on the Islanders win and the young prospect's first NHL goal and points and New York moving to 6-1 against the Devils this season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not a printed word from the coach on the teams first win in a long time but a few generic words on a possible outdoor Islander game after Newsday pulled an article off it's website? Seems like Ted Nolan got cut out of coverage so Newsday could correct a mistake.

Here is the report from Newsday which is now a broken link here.

7:19 PM EDT, March 21, 2008
Citing "as good a source as I can tell you," MSG Network's Al Trautwig reported on MSG's "Hockey Night Live" Friday that the Rangers and Islanders will indeed play an outdoor game at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 1.

Here is what was said on Msg because I taped the game:
"And now the thought that there might be a game on January first in Yankee Stadium seems like it will be a reality. On about as good a source as I can tell you, I have learned that the Rangers will play the Islanders at Yankee Stadium, the last event in that that building, January first." Stan Fischler replied "Good scoop."

Daily News: John Dellapina in a blog confirms Newsday did write such a report and makes sure he gets in his favorite point NBC Dick Ebersol/Sam Flood do not want the Islanders or Devils involved.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders are a New York franchise, they have as much right to be the host team in the New York market at Yankee Stadium as the Rangers and as usual it looks like Al Trautwig put his foot in his mouth or at the very least spoke early. We saw these denials from the league sources last summer.

Bottom line I'm tired of reading NBC Dick Ebersol/Sam Flood trying to hold down the Islanders or Devils because the Garden and NBC have a business relationship.

Ranger ratings on NBC are terrible with Islander, Devil and Ranger fans watching games to help bump those ratings. They were pathetic during last year's playoffs and will be again if they qualify and so will all other twenty nine teams. No doubt John Dellapina does not want the Rangers competition on such an equal stage because it would not help showcase his team. You really think Leon Carver wants to increase Islander coverage or have blogs for our team in his paper with the Islanders playing such a game?

For these folks it's about raising hockey's profile and they do not want that profile to include the Rangers competiton. For me I would love to see the Islanders do something with the Yankees and bring the Canadians in and make it a weekend of sports dynasties with the Isles, Canadians and Yankees while the Ranger fans watch and bump our ratings.

I will be surprised if the Yankees even permit the historic stadium to close with a non-hockey event at a time of major construction because it does nothing to help baseball's business in New York. This will come down to how much money Charles Wang, Cablevision, the league throw at the Yankees. NBC does not pay the league to show hockey but would they pay to control the teams that play?

I wonder who gets hit with a home game off the schedule?

Newsday: Reports the Tribune company discussed selling Newsday and that Cablevision, the NY Post/Ruppert Murdoch and the Daily News Mort Zuckerman could purchase the paper.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So now the three entities that restrict or outright keep the Islanders out of the media want to own the only paper that covers the team? We may be down to only bloggers by the time this is over with if any of these three acquire Newsday.

Daily News: Peter Botte in the one article and six paragraphs fits all coverage department has Kyle Okposo's comments on his goal and Martin Brodeur on how the Islanders were to a certain extent
waiting to get beaten with a few words from Brent Sutter.

NY Post: Mark Everson's Devil centric coverage did not include one word from a New York Islander player on the win or Kyle Okposo's first NHL goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Why did the Times bother going to Bridgeport to cover Kyle Okposo's debut if they are not going to send a writer to his NHL debut or a game in New Jersey? Seems kind of pointless unless they follow up and the time to do that is the night of those games, not a week later.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere reports on the Devils loss
and a second article on the three fights the Islanders lost with Aaron Asham's comments on his ko of Matt Spiller here.

Bergen Record : Also has Devils coverage.

Montreal Gazette : Red Fisher weighs in on Rick DiPietro's injury with some quotes from Newsday coverage and wonders if the fifteen year contract was a good idea?

National Post: Reports former Islander Tim Connolly will also undergo HIP surgery and that his season is over after playing only forty eight games.

Barrie Examiner : Ian Shantz reports Islander prospect captain Tomas Marcinko scored the game winning goal third period goal in a 3-1 upset for the Barrie Colts against the Brampton Battalion in Game 1 of their best-of-seven quarter-final series.

Brampton News : Has more on the game including Marcinko's empty net goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I feel like I'm back covering Islander prospects Cory Stillman and Brad Topping reading about a Barrie-Brampton match up.

Sound Tigers website: Reports on Bridgeport's 5-4 overtime win on Matt Keith's goal Friday at Worcester in a game that was as strange as it gets with the Sound Tigers scoring four third period goals, an empty net goal to make it 4-2 and then allowing two goals in the final twenty seconds to send the game to overtime.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bridgeport is off until Wednesday but from there it's four in five days (Wed-Sunday) three straight weeks to close the season. Returning Islander prospects after the season ends would have six games but the first two do not seem feasible considering the New York and Bridgeport schedules unless they play a combined five days in a row.

Ct Post : Michael Fornabaio recaps the strange win with comments from Matt Keith, Colton Fretter, who had another two goals and Jack Capuano's comments on how the club needed to start moving and they would score a few goals.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio felt the Sound Tigers did have the early effort but felt a lack or urgency or something was missing and then they exploded with four goals. He had no words for two goals in the final twenty seconds allowed after scoring in the empty net for a two goal lead.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette : Bud Barth has the recap of this game that was a stunner on both sides.

New York 3, New Jersey 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/22/2008 02:05:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has the recap of the Islanders 3-1 win against the Devils in Newark with Ted Nolan/Kyle Okposo's comments on the win, his first NHL goal/assist and how well Wade Dubielewicz played in a game the Islanders took only sixteen shots.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Thrilled with the young players and a great play to set up Kyle Okposo for his first NHL goal and assist and with some individual efforts from Comeau, Bergenheim, Colliton, Martinek and outstanding play from Dubie.

Not happy at all with the overall veteran response (aside from Guerin and Vasicek fighting) and how the Devils dominated play as the Isles took a lot of penalties and again almost gave up a late shorthanded goal with Meyer and Berard too far apart to try a cross ice pass that Meyer could not handle. Isles got a break on the no goal call with the net coming off and the Devils took some angle shots but for the most part after a hard workout and how upset the coach was coming out with only sixteen shots is not good. Comrie found Tambellini in the third on the backhand for one rush at the Devils net but a lot more is needed from both of them.

Heck of a setup for Okposo's first goal from Richard Park and a look on Martin Brodeur as if he was shocked at someone on this roster with a shot like that or the Devils leaving him unguarded in the high slot.

That's a good night for the kids and a little something to keep Ted Nolan and the veterans going for the next two weeks. Hate to write it but it's absolutely true that the kids are outworking the veterans in these games and it's not a good example to set.

For me Dubielewicz is doing exactly what I expect him to do. Since I have followed him in Denver he does not lose many games with poor play and thrives on games like this with a lot of shots and work. I have no doubt we will see more of the same from him as he gets even more aclumated to playing on a regular basis again.

Yashin & Blake's loss hurt Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2008 04:59:00 AM | | | 2 Comments

This may be a great group of people here now and the foundation for something moving forward but nice guys finish last as the current Islander team had some fun with Jason Blake as Mark Zwolinski tells us in the Star erecting a mock plaque for him on the Islanders new wall of fame here and Tim Wharnsby in the Globe & Mail here with a sign that said he is a former forty goal scorer that gave him a good laugh.

Both Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake could have failed here this season as they did in 2005-06, that has to be written going into this.

Blake could simply have lost his ability to finish and that might have happened here while Yashin may just be a player who only plays hard for a select amount of games and with age cannot do what he used to do in his twenties without other world class players to help him.

I also cannot debate the merits of not paying Blake that kind of money in that long a contract or walking away from Alexei Yashin which seemed more about not being a quick enough healer for Ted Nolan or much of a talker to the media which won him no popularity contest with the media or public.

Having written that Islanders missed Yashin's world class shot/offensive ability, his strength on the puck in the offensive zone and Blake's ability to carry the puck on a team of players who cannot carry the puck.

On this team the veterans have been a disappointment and underachieved all season statistically. A very good case can be made many nights Bergenehim and Comeau have outworked them and that is completely unacceptable on a team supposedly based on grit, character and heart which seems why Yashin was bought out even though he likely will outscore the entire roster based on his final season where he played hurt and missed significant time with his knee injury.

Jason Blake was the hardest worker every night when he put on an Islander uniform and always did something to get his team going and that has been missing here also.

Blake is still one of the league leaders in shots, but what he did here in handling the puck gave other players room to get in position that on this years team they do not have. It's a skill that clearly is lacking on the Islander roster today and one that fits the Islanders like no other team in the NHL.

Richard Park is never going to fill that role no matter how much he's played as a top six forward as he cannot score and no matter how hard he works

It's also more than fair to say no one on this roster has a shot like Alexei Yashin. Not Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin or Miroslav Satan and all three this season have disappeared for even longer periods of games than Yashin with far less production.

Sometimes you have to look at things for what they are and in this case for year one Yashin and Blake's loss hurt the Islanders.

Ted Nolan said earlier these imports would be judged based on how they played in the second half and that's fair when you have a lot of players coming to a new team, he also talked about a merit system as his veterans went fourteen games with two or less goals.

They lost seven in a row, won six in a row and all season proved the only thing they were consistent at was being inconsistent unlike the 2006-07 club that did go from one game over five hundred record in late Jaunary and finish ten games over five hundred.

Sure a lot of good reasons can be given for why this team failed this year. You lose three hundred games to injury and play with that kind of schedule it's a very tough go and the same could have happened with Blake and Yashin.

3/21: New York at New Jersey 7pm Msg +2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2008 04:22:00 AM | | Comment Here
Islanders website/AP: Has the early preview for tonight's game vs the Devils in Newark.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It will be interesting to see how the veterans respond to Ted Nolan's practice the other day and what they have to give tonight in Newark. Another showcase for Okposo and the young players and a chance for Dubielewicz to go up against Martin Brodeur and a team the Islanders have played very well this season.

You can bet we are going to see a Devils team that after coming off of a shootout loss will be very hungry to get a win to kept them in contention for the top spot, I'm not sure if Elias will return to the lineup for the Devils.

I have no doubt some veterans are playing for jobs here next season and I also have no doubt if veterans mail it in the rest of the way Garth Snow and Ted Nolan will look to move these players in the summer whether they are signed or not.

I will not be avaialble Friday night for a game recap, will be done Saturday along with the Sound Tigers game.

Islander News Articles 3/21

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has Ted Nolan's comments about how important the upcoming games are and the privilege of playing in this league with how much fans have to save to attend games. Mike Comrie talks about how the club must go out there and play the best the can and establish a type of mentality and work ethic. Mark Herrmann makes his point the club should keep losing to have a shot at a franchise player in the draft.

Newsday: Greg Logan had another early blog with a full interview with Wade Dubielewicz who would like to resign with the club. He talked a lot about Rick DiPietro playing hurt and how well he played for the club this season and kept them in contention.

Newsday: Greg Logan's weekly Islander Insider on Zach Parise not being an Islander and his friendship with Kyle Okposo who had more on his debut and what he hopes to do. Ted Nolan and Snow being on the same page with trading Chris Simon to give him a fresh start and injury updates to Jon Sim/Andy Sutton with a few words on the Isles having fun with Jason Blake.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny how the Islander Insider is three days behind the Toronto papers covering the funny joke on Jason Blake or that it took this long to find out Ted Nolan wanted to give Chris Simon a chance for a fresh start.

As for Zach Parise the Islanders made a mistake in not drafting him. Having written that so did about eight other teams who had picks before the Isles passed on him and made the same mistake. I don't read anything from Mr Logan or anyone how the Isles made a mistake on not drafting Robert Nystrom the previous year and instead took Sean Bergenheim. The Rangers picked before the Isles and took Huge Jessiman and never hear a word about passing on Parise.

Credit the Devils, they traded up and made an excellent move but please bring up every team that left Parise sitting in the stands that day, not just one of several.

NY Post: Mark Everson of course covers the Devils which means no Islander centric coverage at the Post aside from a few words.

Boston Herald: John Connolly has a full feature on Islander prospect Doug Rogers with comments from Harvard head coach, former Islander Ted Donato as his club will face Cornell in the ECAC semifinals Friday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews Bridgeport again at Worcester Friday night with captain Mark Wotton and Jack Capuano's comments on the playoff race and what the team needs to do from here in.

A quick update and Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2008 05:20:00 PM | Comment Here
I added a more Islander centric search entire today to the blog for those interested to the sidebar and included the interviews with Ted Nolan and Wade Dubielewicz Thursday.
As usual a very good job by the voters on the current poll which runs for another day.

As for questions and answers which I have been very lax in responding:

Yes, this blog will continue all summer and will be very active as it has been since last July. Between Bridgeport, the AHL prospects, the World Champpionships, draft previews, prospect deadlines to resign by early June and credible free agent rumors to go with articles and my own content this is a year round product that almost always has something of interest. At times I feel like there is more going on in the summer.

I had enough material to get a mailing list and message board through a lockout with plenty to spare.
No, I will not be covering the NHL playoffs aside from maybe some hotbutton topics like suspensions or something Islander-related in some manner. It all depends on what I wish to write about with an eye on the hockey media also. If Bridgeport does qualify I will start posting their game highlights here and whatever else I can find to supplement the lack of Islander interviews. Utah section has it's updates here but I will not be blogging on the Grizzlies playoffs.
Regarding continuing as a member of the blog bog which was a question I just received I have no idea what the Islanders are planning for next year with this program and have no idea if they are even going to continue it but I can tell you this...

I'm leaning toward asking the Islanders to remove my link but have not made up my mind just yet. If they want to have a lot more blogs on the page and want to keep this one that's ok too, but my opinion for what it's worth is everyone should get a chance and if they are limiting their blog box members to a select few a new group of folks should get their opportunity and they should also find a new message board. I have had my opportunity.

To me, this is about the fans doing something for the Islanders, not the other way around. The Islanders have been great to add this blog and very generous with their efforts and first class. I have nothing but positives from the experience and would like to see even more folks involved to make up for what the media is not giving our team in the newspapers.

I do not think the Islanders should limit themselves because there are tons of great blogs, fan sites and message boards for the club to add if they wish to continue the program and everyone should feel as welcome as the Islanders have made me feel despite not sitting in the blog box or doing interviews. The folks I have contacted who do sit in the blog box all do an excellent job and have been a pleasure to talk hockey with.

I offered my blog to the Islanders because I thought it would help. I'm very proud of the work here and the incredible response it has received. I will continue to do my blog regardless and have built up a very strong following of supporters.

Islander News Articles 3/20:

Newsday: Greg Logan interviews Ted Nolan on his goaltender playing injured, how much the coach knew about his injury, when he found out and how DiPietro wants to play because he's competitive.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have followed DiPietro since before he was drafted and I have never seen anyone use the word headstrong as Greg Logan did today with regard to him. To me that is a poor choice of words. It's interesting how tough he has been on DiPietro recently but not players like Bill Guerin or the veterans the coach was upset with last night who have been outplayed by Bergenheim and Comeau for most games.

I wonder if Mr Logan has a problem with DiPietro for other reasons because I listened to his ITV interview with Ted Nolan today and he seems to go above and beyond here to make a point DiPietro calls the shots over the coach as to when he plays. Ted Nolan acknowledged others players are also playing hurt. If anyone has noticed we have seen few if any comments from DiPietro recently in Newsday.

Ted Nolan's quotes and his ITV interview which Mr Logan's comments are written around are two different worlds where he seems to exaggerate on what the coach says to make his own point.

All I can tell the readers here is to read what Ted Nolan says vs what Mr Logan writes and make up your own mind and listen to the ITV interview where Ted Nolan is laughing. To me Mr Logan seems to be stirring something up and on a team at the bottom in scoring it's curious how hard he's working the goaltender as being a problem with his statistical argument.

Somehow Ted Nolan's comments about the players work ethic and the hard practice made it to the Islanders website but not the newspaper?

Newsday: Greg Logan updates the Islander blog at Newsday early this morning with Ted Nolan's comments on the hard workout and that he does not care where the team drafts and will not allow losing to creep into the organization for a better pick in June. Mr Logan also notes DiPietro's successful hip surgery reported by the Isles website last night here.

NY Post: Dan Martin has the Islanders release on DiPietro's successful hip surgery.

Daily News: Peter Botte's article has Ted Nolan's comments on Rick DiPietro and the teams workout Wednesday and notes the same doctor operated on Mike Sillinger and Shawn Bates earlier this season.

Edmonton Journal: Jason Hills who covers the Oil Kings speculates Robin Figren will sign with the Islanders this summer but no quotes.

NY Sun: Kevin Greenstein has a few words on the Islanders to open his power rankings while noting the Rangers have another three day break.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's about the fourth of fifth break of three days or longer in about a month and a half while the Islanders have not had a break that long since December aside from the all-star game. They will get about a seven month break starting two weeks from Saturday. Reports the Sound Tigers lost 4-2 in Worchester Wednesday night with Jeremy Colliton and Trevor Smith giving Bridgeport a 2-0 lead.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on Bridgeport's loss with Ben Walter's comments that his team played well but Worcester got some lucky goals that redirected off Bridgeport players. Jack Capunauo plans to have his team skate, akate and skate on their off-day before the Friday rematch as Bridgeport is three points out of a playoff spot with thirteen games left.

Jeremy Colliton, Matthew Spiller and Steve Regier went back up to New York to prepare for Friday's game at New Jersey.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the loss and breaks down the Sound Tigers schedule in a graph vs the teams they are fighting with for a spot and a few words on Brandon Nolan.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes the playoff format in the AHL and Islander prospect Masi Marjamaki signed with Ilves Tampere for next season which was rumored and reported a while back.

Former Islander Jeff Hamilton cleared re-entry waivers.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: No writer listed but a full game article on the Sharks win.

Ted Nolan cancels off day

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2008 06:42:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Ted Nolan cancelled today's scheduled off day and instead put his players through the hardest workout of the season that included thirty minutes of laps and sprints.

The coach praised the young players and talked of the upcoming games but pulled no punches on his clubs performance with today a taste of what he's planning if the club's effort continues to waste time with a non-competitive performance in games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I completely agree with Ted Nolan here. Losing like this must be new and frustrating for him, however there is no excuse for some player performances and the kids outworking the veterans.

Islanders website on DiPietro surgery

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2008 02:09:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Report on Rick DiPietro's surgery today with Garth Snow's comments.

Newsday: Greg Logan had a blog last night suggesting Rick DiPietro as much as he admires Devils workhorse Martin Brodeur, maybe isn’t built to maintain his ironman pace and that whoever his backup is should be given more games.

Mr Logan also writes it’s time the coaching staff made it clear to the franchise goaltender that he is going to be rested on a regular basis and that he needs the mental break as much as the physical break and if he gets it, DiPietro might attain a level of consistency that is necessary for him and the franchise to take the next step toward true contender status.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
To me Mr Logan's speculation is his own and he's entitled to it but he's not a doctor or an expert on when hockey players need a break. Worst of all his background information here is not consistent with what's happened.

He should know DiPietro in fact played as many games this year as last year before he got his first concussion so how has he been differently if he's at the same sixty two/three game mark?

If he did not get hurt would have approached seventy games both years? Mr Logan if he's good at looking at numbers should have reported the shots against DiPietro are down close to a hundred and forty from a year ago so his workload has been less.

Also anyone can get hurt at any time, DiPietro got banged up on the opening roadtrip a year ago and it had nothing to do with consistency or wearing down.

If Mr Logan watched him play since the all-star break and not just looked at numbers to make up for his absence on the beat he would know the numbers do not reflect the quality chances in front of the goaltender and he was consistent. He was part of the winning streak in goal too which carried them into contention which is not even mentioned.

Also Mr Logan makes it come off as if the goalie tells the coaching staff when he plays and not the other way around, despite the fact he was held out of the Ranger games by the coach.

Very poor work today by Mr Logan as if he's trying to rally the fans against the goalie for trying to help the club. Did Mr Logan feel this way when DiPietro blanked the Lightning 1-0 or after he made forty saves against the Devils in a game he was the only one who showed up and gave the team a chance as he did Saturday in Montreal?

To me DiPietro's been a lot more consistent then Greg Logan here.

Point Blank: Chris Botta agrees with Greg Logan and feels today he would be a fool to even try to counter his argument today that DiPietro should miss about twenty-twenty five games a year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Going by the amount of shots significantly down from a year ago, the same amount of games played the last two seasons at this point and how he helped carry the lowest scoring club back into contention it's the perfect day to counter a writer who did not review his play since the all-star break and is only going to stats to make his point.

The fact DiPietro played virtually the same amount of games a year ago makes Mr Logan completely wrong here.

A few words defending the Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2008 01:09:00 PM | | 1 Comments
I kind of laugh at some of the stuff I read at times.

* The Islanders should have shut down Rick DiPietro, he was hurt at the all-star break and has been hurt ever since.

* The Islanders should have traded everyone at the deadline and been sellers despite just having won six games in a row to climb within a few points of the final playoff spot.

There are times to be critical and times to take a step back because some of this stuff is over the top unfair. No doubt anyone writes anything about the Islanders in a paper that goes in this direction the fans jump all over it to second guess.

Let's take these one at a time:
* I reviewed Rick DiPietro's performance game by game since the all-star break last week and every single goal he allowed. I did not find anything that would suggest he was hurting the club by playing with an injury and in fact most of the time the goals allowed were about the plays made by the opposition or poor defense by the Isles. A lot of games he kept the Islanders in the game and he was in goal during the winning streak which no one talks about.

Long time hockey fans read all the time at this point in the season everyone is playing with a few injuries and no one is completely healthy. Why should DiPietro shut it down if he and the medical staff felt it would not be a problem to continue to play and any problem could be dealt with later?

* As for the trade deadline I thought Islander fans wanted a general manager who was willing to not be like Mike Milbury and settle for trades that help the opposition while only giving the Isles a marginal return or maybe would have traded Okposo, Bergenheim or Blake Comeau for some short-term scoring?

What gm breaks up a team that fought to get back into contention by trading it's core veterans for second round picks or lower? What team in this league in contention dumps it's players for picks at the deadline this year and decides to play for next season?

Already seems like that third rounder for Bergeron came at a high price of his point shot but with all the defenders under contract for next year or restricted they clearly had enough of Bergeron's defense.

Garth Snow reportedly wanted a first round pick for Mirloslav Satan and the player had the option to decline any potential trade. Did you really want the Islanders to hand another team Ruslan Fedotenko or Josef Vasicek for a marginal pick after these players helped the Isles get into contention?

I'm not thrilled with Bill Guerin or Mike Comrie's overall performance but keep in mind you move these players for draft picks ou have no one to keep you in contention after working to get back in that position and come July will have a major problem signing anyone to play with Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter who would be the only veterans left.

And please let's be realistic, Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie are not Marian Hossa or Brian Campbell or Brad Richards. We saw what the market was for them, if you expected that kind of return for any of these players in this kind of draft class I suggest that's not realistic.

Hard to find any blame here for anyone beyond the fact last year's team had a little more skill and this years team lived up to what many considered a lack of speed and scoring.

I like Richard Park, but for all his hard work he's a fourth line player and so is Andy Hilbert because neither one can score enough to play on a club's top three lines. Josef Vasicek is not a reliable first or second line player and Ruslan Fedotenko at best has been inconsistent as he was in Tampa and has proven he's a third liner. Bill Guerin is not a first line winger and Mike Comrie is not a first line center. Miroslav Satan hurt or not has been disappointing for the better part of two years and it's fair to write he is not a first line talent any longer.

One other thing. Given all the injuries that have happened since the trade deadline and all the callups there are not many more players that can be called up.

The good news is they have worked in Bergenheim for a full year and he looks like a player who is better many nights than the veterans around him. Blake Comeau looks good too as does Colliton and Frans Nielsen. Kyle Okposo and another franchise talent at forward make for a very good group moving forward which does include Jeff Tambellini.

Steve Regier is closer than some may notice after a good year in the AHL. Ben Walter had a good year. Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio and injured Jason Pitton are also part of this and not AHL depth veterans. On the backline Dustin Kohn is getting his seasoning as a second round pick. Robin Figren, Jesse Joensuu, Rhett Rakhashani, Tomas Marcinko are only getting closer and better.

Entering last summer the Islanders had no prospects in their lineup. You wish to be critical that's fine but let's see the big picture and be critical for the right reasons.

Islander News Articles 3/19:

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2008 10:12:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports has Kyle Okposo's comments on his debut and the move he made for his third period chance. Ted Nolan questioned his veterans play and credited the young players for their hard work in the loss.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports Rick DiPietro for the second time in two seasons will have season-ending hip surgery Wednesday at Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado an NHL source said. DiPietro is expected to recover in time for training camp in September.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
At least it's not the same hip he had surgery on last year. He looked great against Montreal and solid against Florida so hard to tell if anything was bothering him. Ted
Nolan put to rest any rift reported by outside media like Bruce Garrioch who clearly did not watch the Tampa game.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article goes from Kyle Okposo's debut to the state of the franchise back to 1993 and how they have to improve while giving them their due but need more scoring to go with their grit and perhaps some luck to land a franchise player in this year's draft. Ted Nolan comments. Mark Zwolinski covers the Leafs win.

Globe & Mail: Tim Wharnsby has Bryan McCabe's comments on the win along with Leaf centric coverage along with the Toronto Sun here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports the Sound Tigers have signed Tyler Mosienko, grandson of the legendary Bill Mosienko, to a pro tryout contract with his comments at Jack Capunano's.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Worcester Sharks
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Toronto 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2008 09:35:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to Toronto where Ted Nolan felt the prospects outworked the veterans.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ted Nolan hit the nail on the head and has a right to be upset at his veterans and the leadership who were outworked by the kids tonight. He did not name names but I will because Bill Guerin, Vasicek, Comrie and Miroslav Satan were outworked for large parts of the game against a terrible team without it's best player and another good forward in Antropov. That's a terrible example to set for these kids.

If they are hurt sit them down, no excuse for that kind of collective effort. The merit system the coach talked about has been abused enough by the veteran players.

Guerin fanned on a shot, it went to the corner and he just took a lazy turnaround shot from an impossible angle that Toskala easily scooped up.

Without Dubie it could have been 4-1 or 5-1 because he was that good and of course the Islanders horrible powerplay almost giftwrapped another goal. Meanwhile how many great saves did Toskala have to make? Colliton had a great chance early, Okposo had his wrap-around and a nice pass to Richard Park for a good angle shot and did look like he belonged in the NHL. Bergenheim, Comeau, Colliton all produced good chances and were very visible with Bergenheim finding Comrie for the Isles best chance at the end. Steve Regier had a very good first period chance also.

Tambellini through his first period hit but was he held back by the veterans on his line?

On defense Dubielewicz bailed out the defense but the Toronto forwards skated better than the Islanders and pushed the play with Jason Blake getting a lot of good chances. Berard had some good plays at both ends, so did Meyer and Martinek.

Pathetic crowd again booed Blake, terrible SMG ice surface gave Davison his goal.

Ted Nolan has a right to be very upset at his veterans here, if he is coaching with his job on the line no doubt his veterans are playing like do not care or playing hurt.

No excuse for being shutout outside of a fluke goal by this brutal Toronto team coming off a shutout in Montreal. Mike Sillinger, Andy Hilbert, Ruslan Fedotenko have been inconsistent all season on offense at best.

Russian Prospects update/Sound Tiger notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2008 01:16:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here

Russian Reports Islander prospect and upcoming Russian free agent Igor Volkov scored his sixth playoff goal in six games for Salavat Yulayev in the Russian superleague playofffs.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The prospect who will not go away drafted 246th in 2003 is again having a strong year in the Russian Superleague and at twenty five years old having been an over aged draft pick and reportedly was unrestricted as of November 2007. I remember writing his profile on HF a long time ago and for an organization that needs snipers it seems overdue the Islanders see what this player can do in North America.

Considering Matt Keith, Tim Jackman, Justin Bourne, Tyler Haskins, Pascal Morency & Olivier Labelle are the current right wing depth chart in Bridgeport at the moment with Kyle Okposo in New York for now signing a forward with sniper potential would not be a bad move moving forward. I do not recall Igor Volkov ever being part of an Islander prospect summer camp.

Of course this changes quickly with Colliton and Blake Comeau considered right wings at the time they were drafted in 2003. Petteri Nokelainen went from a center when he was drafted to a right wing before he was traded for Ben Walter.

It should be noted because there is no transfer agreement between Russian and the NHL, the Islanders keep the rights to all Russian prospects regardless of when they were drafted. This includes Dmitry Chernykh, Evgeny Tunik, Sergei Ogorodnikov and Alexei Stonkus. It does not work this way for other European prospects since the new CBA has a two year limit. Islander Maxim Grachev (Rimuski) was one of only nine drafted Russian prospects last June.

Ogododnikov here who was on the verge of being bought out by last summer in our last update is off the Islander prospect page. Tunik who played sixty one games with Bridgeport in 2005-06 before returning to Russia here is still listed. Alexei Stonkus also is still listed on the Islander prospect page here and apparently still playing after suffering a serious life threatening neck injury several seasons ago that left him practically paralyzed.

Dimitri Chernykh came to North America and played in the ECHL with the Dayton Bombers last year here before returning to the Russian league this season here for those curious. Erin Willey reports several Sound Tiger players shaved their heads to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer in supporting the St. Baldrick's Foundation and "TeamBrent" with Msg's Deb Placey's comments.

3/18: New York vs Toronto 7:30pm Msg +

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2008 11:56:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rick DiPietro will go for an MRI on his hip today, Wade Dubielewicz will start in goal, Joey MacDonald was recalled.

Based on practice:

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A big game to determine if the Isles can maintain their standing in terms of being in the NHL lottery or break their long losing streak but little else other than Toronto's last stand in terms of any miracle hope for a playoff spot. Dubie has a win at home vs Toronto this year.

Okposo's debut with a center who has two goals since December is not exactly going to help unless Richard Park can pull his offensive weight. No real first line or second line here or much sembelence of a checking line.

No Antropov, Sundin for Toronto. Jason Blake returns for the second time, hopefully he is treated better but the fans this time around.

Another MRI for DiPietro's HIP after an injury and surgery last summer and problems with it at the all-star break? Fair to speculate it's time to shut him down and protect him for the long term and just play out the string.

Not sure if I will have a postgame tonight or late tomorrow.

Islander News Articles 3/18:

Newsday: John Jeansonne returns to the beat and covers Kyle Okposo's first NHL practice with his comments. Miroslav Satan and Rick DiPietro were given the day off.

Daily News: Peter Botte has Kyle Okposo's comments that he feels he is ready for the NHL with a few words about why he left school.

NY Post: Dan Martin writes for a second day and has Ted Nolan's comments about Kyle Okposo's first practice while Mr Martin notes Okposo did not tear it up in Bridgeport after bolting Minnesota in midseason, causing a rift between the school and the NHL team. Mr Martin also writess Okposo didn't apologize for his decision.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Martin is given four small paragraphs, does not have a single word from Okposo and brings up Okposo apologizing for his decision to leave school?

Sounds like a man who would rather be writing about anything else. For a man used to writing about kids in school with the PSAL beat would think this young prospect deserves a little better from a paper AWOL for about fifteen days?

Los Angeles Times: Eric Stevens speculates that Marc-Andre Bergeron fell out of favor with Ted Nolan. Bergeron comments that it was a tough year for him in New York as he is getting an opportunity in Chris Pronger's absence and glad he was traded.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Marc Andre Bergeeon is entitled to his opinion and is closer to the situation then the fans. His shot has been missed badly from the point in the recent games that may have produced a few big goals and won a few games. What has not been missed is his poor defense which he can put on the coaches if he likes but in the ends seems most about his performance not only here but back to his time in Edmonton.

Isles this summer have several defenders under contract already. Unless they tendered Bergeron a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent with an automatic raise they would have lost him for nothing or been stuck with his contract on a team that needs a top two defender who can play at both ends of the ice.

Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger reports Leafs forward John Pohl left the Leafs to be with his brother who was seriously injured in a game this weekend playing for Kyle Okposo's former college team. Forward Alex Foster hopes to make his NHL debut tonight with fifteen goals and twenty three assists in fifty six games for the Marlies. Jim Barber has an article on Barrie Colts forward Colton Kennedy who has a few words on being on a line with Islander prospect Tomas Marcinko.

Edmonton Sun: Jason Hills in an interview with Oil Kings general manager Bob Green feels Islander prospect Robin Figren will not be back with his team and felt it was not for him to say where he will sign or if it's with the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an update on Colton Fretter and the solid impact he has had for Bridgeport with Jack Capuano's comments.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Mike Mole has been called up to replace Joey MacDonald.

Latest from Mr Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/17/2008 07:13:00 PM | Comment Here
Mr Prospects does an amazing job on the message board here updating the game by game reports on the Islansder prospects for everyone. Here are his latest updates.
March 14
QMJHL-Quebec 2,Rimouski 1-Maxime Gratchev,1 assist,+ 1.
OHL-Brampton 5, Barrie 0-Tomas Marcinko, even.

College Play-offs
ECAC-Clarkson 1,Colgate 0-Shea Guthrie,Tyrell Mason,Clarkson,Brian day,Colgate, no points, each.

Harvard 11,Quinnipiac 0-Doug Rogers,1 goal(12),2 assists.

WCHA-Denver 6,Minnesota-Duluth 3-Rhett Rakhshani,no points, + 1.
St. Cloud 3,Wisconsin 0-Jase Weslosky,24 saves.

USHL-Waterloo 5, Omaha 2-Blake Kessel,1 goal(16),1 assist, even.
Lincoln 4, Des Moines 2-Jason Gregoire, 2 goals(30,31), + 1.
March 15

OHL-Mississauga 4, Barrie 1-Tomas Marcinko,no points,-1.
College Play-offs

ECAC-Colgate 4,Clarkson 3-Brian Day,Colgate,3 assists,Clarkson, Tyrell Mason, 1 assist,Shea guthrie,no points.

WCHA-Denver 1, Minnesota-Duluth 0-Rhett Rakhshani, no points, even.
St. Cloud 4,Wisconsin 3 (OT)-Jase Weslosky,43 saves, 46 shots.

USHL-Cedar Rapids 4,Lincoln 2-Jason Gregoire,1 goal(32), even.
Waterloo 4, Soiux City 1-Blake Kessel, 1 goal(17), 1 assist, even.
March 16

QMJHL-Baie-Comeau 4,Rimouski 3-Maxime Gratchev, no points, -2.

ECAC Play-offs:

Colgate 3,Clarkson 2(2 OT)Brian Day Colgate, no points,Tyrell Mason, Clarkson, 1 assist,Shea Guthrie, no points.

Harvard 3,Quinnipiac 1-Doug Rogers, 1 goal(13), 1 assist.

Islander/Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/17/2008 02:15:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog that Jeremy Colliton has joined Kyle Okposo in New York. Tim Jackman and Ben Walter practiced in Bridgeport.

Micheal Haley and Ryan Kinasewich were sent to Utah.

Andy Sertich will miss the week with an injury.

Point Blank: Chris Botta in his blog writes about the balance on covering Okposo's debut without overhyping and what the team is planning.

Islanders website: Covers Kyle Okposo's first practice with his comments and Ted Nolan's.

Side bar has Okposo interview.

Sports Illustrated/AP: Has a report on Islander practice Monday with Mike Sillinger's comments that he has a son almost Okposo's age as the vetetran forward was on crutches. Ted Nolan and Okposo also comment.

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.