3/31/08

THN Ranks Garth Snow Nineteenth

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2008 03:57:00 PM
THN.com: Ken Campbell of the Hockey News ranks the thirty general managers with Garth Snow placed at nineteenth. In it he felt the Islander gm has made some pretty solid moves, although it wasn’t as if Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie and Ruslan Fedotenko were flooded with free agent offers but has done a reasonably good job of giving himself latitude by keeping his players on short-term contracts, particularly veterans who can sometimes become albatrosses.

Here is the list, I will give my thoughts in a sentence.

1. Brian Burke, Anaheim-Cup winner get's top spot, despite questionable moves.
2. Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey-Keeps finding ways, is Sutter safe into next year?
3. Ken Holland, Detroit-Keeps winning.
4. Bob Gainey, Montreal-Bad summer but his prospects and Kovalev have been huge.
5. Darryl Sutter, Calgary-How long before Keenan causes problems?
6. Doug Risebrough, Minnesota-High grade considering one cup run and a mediocrity.
7. David Poile, Nashville-Given ownership firesale circumstances he's done well.
8. Brett Hull/Les Jackson, Dallas-Is he kidding with this, Dallas is third.
9. Doug Wilson, San Jose-Should even be higher.
10. Paul Holmgren, Philadelphia-Won Nashville firesale, but pressure on.
11. Jim Rutherford, Carolina-Quietly has done better than a ninth ranking.
12. Francois Giguere, Colorado-Spent money for Smyth, does that make him smart?
13. Ray Shero, Pittsburgh-Inherited some great talent, Hossa trade goes on him.
14. Peter Chiarelli, Boston-Made a great coaching choice who should be Jack Adams.
15. Darcy Regier, Buffalo-It's on Golisano for not spending or Regier should go.
16. David Nonis, Vancouver-He robbed Florida for Luongo, deserves better.
17. Glen Sather, New York Rangers-Maloney did a great job with late round picks.
18. Don Maloney, Phoenix Coyotes-Does not take skill to claim waiver, why Montoya?
19. Garth Snow, New York Islanders-Fair ranking and review.
20. Jacques Martin, Florida-I think he's gone before Jokinen, great move for Vokoun.
21. George McPhee, Washington-Prospects look fantastic, but it took forever.
22. Dave Tallon, Chicago-Getting better but some moves were outright busts.
23. Cliff Fletcher, Toronto-How can he get a ranking for not moving players with NTC.
24. Bryan Murray, Ottawa-Will find a way to lose when it matters most.
25. Scott Howson, Columbus-First year, still a work in progress but how much longer?
26. Larry Pleau, St. Louis-Davidson the broadcaster should be listed with him.
27. Dean Lombardi, Los Angeles-Dave Taylor's prospects producing, how much longer?
28. Don Waddell, Atlanta-Time to go, despite Enstrom and making most of Hossa trade.
29. Kevin Lowe, Edmonton-Finishing strong, unfair ranking, has right to sign RFA.
30. Jay Feaster, Tampa Bay-Paying for contracts off that cup now, should stay.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting stuff and of course very subjective. I'm not sure if it's based on this year only or the collective record before and projecting ahead? Handing over Ilya Bryzgalov to waivers and Andy McDonald for Doug Weight seem like questionable moves to be kind even if it cleared future cap space for Mr Burke. At least he put John Davidson's name behind some of Larry Pleau's moves. I'm not sure why Darcy Regier is rated where he is unless Mr Campbell is putting the blame on Tom Golisano.

How can Brett Hull/Les Jackson committee be put in the top eight for working in the prior general managers prospects?

Maybe I'm wrong but it seems since the Isles went to the West coast and got to tell their story to the media face to face they have gotten better treatment from the media or at least they tell the Islanders story a little better. Mr Campbell met with Rick DiPietro at the all-star break in Atlanta for those wondering.

So what's next at NYI Fan Central?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2008 03:32:00 PM
As I wrote a short time ago just because the Islanders season is over does not mean this blog stops working.

I expect Newsday will wrap Islander coverage a day or two after the season ends with a few blogs sprinkled in. My guess is we see virtually nothing in the Post, Times or News the final days.

* First off I will do as much as I can on the Sound Tigers in their chase for a playoff spot and if they qualify will be covered through the playoffs. Bridgeport game interviews and highlights will replace ITV game features on the sidebar, the articles will continue as always from home and away.

* A full blog for each player will be written with a final grade including a full review of the general manager and coach.

* I will release my prospect rankings from top to bottom of the organization.

* Full World Championship coverage will also be on this blog.

* I will also step up prospect coverage as the focus shifts to who the Islanders have to offer a contract to by June 1st.

* Trade rumors, signings, draft previews, nhl lottery will all be covered here in full.

* Some hot button NHL topics I wish to bring up that may concern the playoffs and of course I will be on top of the media covering our team. I only hope it's fair and well done.

* The draft will bring huge coverage here along with whatever happens on July 1st.

* Of course I will keep adding new features to this blog to increase the volume of quality information.

The six months before this club goes back to Moncton are going to go by very quickly on this blog.

My thanks as always to everyone for their kind words and support.

3/30/08

It was not all about the injuries

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2008 09:28:00 PM
Point Blank: Mr Botta had a blog this afternoon and wrote he felt the right moves would be made moving forward and more players would be added to Rick DiPietro and Kyle Okposo.

He also wrote Garth Snow or Ted Nolan would never use injuries as an excuse but pointed out the huge list of players injured and wondered how any team could stay in contention under those circumstances?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
On the surface Mr Botta is correct and you do have to look at the injuries as a reason for the club failing which began all the way back with Jon Sim and his production which is a very big deal on a team like this but the cold reality is this was a very flawed team on several levels since day one and it cannot all be chalked up to man games lost which will go over four hundred when it's all done.

We can say injuries finally did them in but a team that scored two goals or less fourteen games in a row in November and December when it was mostly healthy should have fallen off the playoff map back then. Around mid-December the New York Islanders had a grand total of eleven first period goals for the season. It had a powerplay that was terrible for over five months that seemed to allow more goals then they can score too many nights and the worst I can ever recall in all my years as a fan.

The goal-less streaks by the veterans counted on to produce for the most part lasted from beginning to end.

I never went into games wondering would an Islander powerplay give the opposition momentum in all my years as a fan. This year it seemed a matter of when, not if before they would make a mistake. Everyone was part of the blame from Guerin's cross ice pass in Montreal to Bergeron, Berard and Satan turnovers. It was a team effort here led by the veterans and it had little to do with injuries.

This was the lowest scoring Islander team in decades for a while and one of the lowest scoring clubs in the league from beginning to end. It killed penalties very well and cut it's powerplay to penalty ratio but little else improved besides what the kids provided.

Worst of all the Islanders ability to play five on five was gone from a year ago with most of the roster deep in negative plus/minus ratings which is why they could not get games to overtime.

The veterans did not produce with any consistency with Guerin struggling badly into December, Satan having a second poor season in a row and you can go down the line with who was counted on for offense between Sillinger, Hunter and Fedotenko who faded after a strong start. Mike Comrie at best was average for the talent around him.

I also have no doubt some players were hurt but hung in as long as they could led by Satan who was supposed to be out eight weeks but missed one game. Having written that Satan's been struggling for two seasons plus, I cannot tell if it's all about injuries.

Part of the reality here is to write what everyone knows. Richard Park gives all he has to every game but he cannot score with the consistency required for the minutes and role he was given, same for Andy Hilbert. Josef Vasicek for a player who had six goals a year ago gave all he had but is not a player who can produce enough to be a second line center, not on a club with so many other players in offense roles with no scoring resume.

Then came the January losing streak of seven games in a row where the club dropped out of it's playoff spot, never recovered and the injuries finally started mounting, despite the character from the players and their replacements to grind out a six game winning streak, they never got all the way back to being in the top eight.

The ability from a year ago to manufacture enough goals to send games to overtime in seventeen of twenty games after they were a game over five hundred at the end of January 2007 was gone from day one, replaced by a lot of regulation losses where the veterans did not seem to work as hard as they could many games. Last night I pointed out that was the second home Coliseum shootout all season and the first of any kind in close to a month, survival skills to grind games out to overtime was missing all year.

I'll never forget the game before the all-star break against Boston. Ted Nolan afterward talked of his team looking forward to getting away while Marc Savard said how desperately they wanted to win that game after coming off a bad loss. We saw a lot of bad losses where this team could not score or generate much of anything like against Anaheim or Los Angeles.

To me games like that defined the Islander season a lot more than the injuries which have to be talked about but cannot be used as the over-riding factor for the club's failure this season.

It also cannot be ignored how many of these kids have outworked the veterans for months, the coach has said it several occasions.

Also moving forward the cold reality is players like Brendan Witt, Andy Sutton are going to miss a lot of games with injuries because that is their career resume. Bill Guerin is not getting younger and neither is Mike Sillinger. Mike Comrie's resume has a lot of injuries. For Bryan Berard to hold up enough to complete a season and play as much as he has in the second half had to be considered unexpected at this point in his career.

Point Blank: Mr Botta did a second blog on this because he felt some flame throwing was going on about his earlier blog.

In it he includes the disclaimer his blog was not a commentary on the woes of the power play or the struggle to score goals and with the knowledge Ted Nolan gets as much out of his players as any coach in the league if everyone (including Jon Sim) were healthy do you really think the Islanders would be in the playoff hunt this week?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I hope Mr Botta knows and understands this blog does not engage if flame throwing but only asks the questions from all angles and is critical when something deserves criticism. Of course when he reaches out some will flame him regardless which to me only hurts what I feel are good intentions and giving his thoughts like any of us.

He is not required to blog and share his thoughts with anyone, instead he goes out of his way to talk hockey like one of the fans.

I again reiterate as above on the surface Mr Botta is correct that the injuries were a big issue but it cannot be ignored this club had major issues in other key area's that were even bigger factors that I wrote about in detail.

To me everything has to be taken into account.

I have to admit he asks a fair question and a good one. Do I think if everyone were healthy would the Isles be in a playoff hunt this week? I do not know for sure what Jon Sim would have done here but I can speculate like everyone else his production would be down from where it was in Atlanta like everyone else.

Having written that I could be wrong there too, Sim could have had a career year with his quickness and skill that carried the club and got more out of other players he had seventeen goals on a third line in Atlanta.

To be fair I can also write no team goes eight two games without some significant injuries.

To answer Mr Botta's question the Islanders even with the injuries and losing seven in a row hung around until the final two weeks of the season, so sure I think if they were healthy they would be in contention now if everyone was healthy because it's obvious even now there is no team in this division the Islanders cannot win against on any given night.

In March they beat the Devils, Penguins, Rangers and were ahead against Philadelphia all night before losing a shootout.

Still this was a flawed team on a lot of levels for six months, but what team is not?

A good question for Mr Botta to ask is how come Howie Rose on the telecast Saturday made it seem like it was almost a waste of time for the Islanders to finish eighth again, lose in the opening round and just do a rebuilding around the young players?

Anyone think Mr Rose will be saying that about the Rangers if they are fighting for eighth come Friday?

Hartford 4, Bridgeport 3 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2008 08:44:00 PM







AHL.com: Reports the Sound Tigers lost 4-3 in a shootout Sunday at Harbor Yard to the Wolfpack. Bridgeport for the second day in a row lost a 2-0 lead. Joey MacDonald made forty one saves. Ben Walter, Trevor Smith and Jamie Frasier scored for Bridgeport.

Jeff Tambellini had two assists. Steve Regier had an assist and Matt Spiller playing his fifth game in five days on defense had an assist and was plus one. Tim Jackman and Steve Regier also recorded points.

Jesse Joensuu did not make his debut this weekend for Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps the shootout loss after Bridgeport scored two very quick goals with Jack Caupano's comments in front a crowd of over eight thousand. Jackman, Regier and Spiller all played five games in five days. Kip Brennan could be called up to the Islanders.

Hartford Courant: Bruce Berlett covers the Wolfpack.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog turned out to be prophetic with the Sound Tigers leading 2-0.

Hershey lost 5-2 Sunday at home to the Monarchs. Binghampton lost a 3-2 lead in the final minute and lost the shootout against Rochester. Justin Mapletoft missed in the shootout for Binghampton.

A few words about Mr Dey's plan

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2008 11:25:00 AM
For starters let me write Mr Dey and the folks at the Islanders work very hard in the business department to reach out to the fans and have come up with some very creative concepts this season (and last season) to bring the fans back to games.

I don't know what Mr Dey specifically does beyond the job title, nor Mike Bossy/other alumni or the folks behind the scenes on the business end.

What I do know is they have worked very hard to get their message out with very limited, skeptical media who only seem to surface to be critical.

Mr Wang has been very generous to release ticket plans to get folks to the building and deserves better for his efforts. The hockey staff and the players have gone all out to meet the fans and talk to them directly for several seasons.

Of course, despite discounts the prices are a problem along with a small corporate fan base they have a tough job to bring in.

What I also know is past ownerships even in the late nineties were giving free tickets to anyone who used to be on a season ticket list if they could still be found, companies in Queens got literature to attend games for discounts in groups so the outreach has been there before. A friend even got seats in a suite for free one year so it's not the first time the organization has reached out to it's fans in a big way.

Folks in the media business will talk about the team being last in attendance but that's also a reflection of being last in media who have done a terrible job promoting our team to the public or giving the fans any chance to make a connection with these players thought their work unless you own a computer now. Anyone who follows the attendance knows early season games in such a huge baseball market have been a problem now for a good five years which was evident early in the 2002-03 season.

If the Islanders had three articles a day in Newsday and backpages for every game, home or road with two full time writers and bloggers, they would have more fans reading about them and wanting to attend games. Same goes for all five newspapers.

The newspapers, the television media create the buzz which gets folks talking which gets people to want to watch and see what happens. We all know Msg will never give the Isles appropriate television coverage because they pay to control and limit their competition.

The Islanders used to get the backpage for regular season games in the city papers against any team on a given night. That was a long time ago but critical in bringing fans to the games along with road games on free television. For the old time fans home games on television were virtually unheard of before cable television, finals games were on radio when the Islanders won some of those championships.

Still, every seat for a decade was sold out.

The media sold the product with coverage, today that's gone. The Islanders spend the money for advertising space as we have seen the ads in Newsday, a year ago the Post had backpage Islander ads for ticket and never replaced the full-time beatwriter for the money the team spent.

Today the sports editor gives hockey token coverage so unless you own a computer you lose touch with the club and do not attend games or follow the players and some papers barely give the team any coverage and no blogs.

As for Mr Dey's plan no matter what he is fighting an uphill battle before the words are out of his mouth between skeptical media influences skeptical fans. Many feel it's the same old thing after the writer makes his point and do not even take the time to read further before they tune it out.

I may not agree with everything the Islanders have done but they are going above and beyond for the public and that's what counts and a message worth your time to listen to and give a fair chance.

It should be noted Greg Logan edited his article with Mr Dey on the attendance increase which went from an exact number to something that now reads as a little more than a thousand fans per game so I'm not sure what else Newsday re-edited from the original article here.

What I can tell you is reading the interview with Mr Dey he concentrates on the business side of things and keeps things general about the hockey side unless it's to tell us Kyle Okposo will be involved with helping market. Only Mr Logan tells us the club will keep the kids and try and add a free agent, not Mr Dey.

In the end I like what Mr Dey said the Islanders are trying to do on the business front. The hockey decisions will come down to the hockey people.

Either way I like the plan and want to hear more, a lot more. I hope the fans will give them a chance.

3/29/08

Islander News Articles 3/30

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2008 11:00:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's coverage has Ted Nolan's comments praising Wade Dubielewicz while noting how much the prospects have had to play in tough circumstances.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Been a long time since this team got a second article on gameday in the local newspaper.

NY Post: Mike Puma in a very limited space only included Wade Dubielewicz comments in his game coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The owners of the Daily News who are reportedly interested in purchasing Newsday once again did not bother sending Peter Botte or any writer to the Nassau Coliseum.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Tim Panaccio covers the Flyers win and the play that sent to game to overtime was the focus.

Phillyburbs.com: Wayne Fish has the Flyers coverage.

Courier-Post Online: Chuck Gormley who does the NHL.com notes for the division had the Flyers coverage with John Stevens comments.

Toronto Sun/Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garrioch claims among his many rumors the Islanders would be one of of the teams interested if John Tortarella were fired in Florida and the club will not talk with Miroslav Satan about a new contract until the end of the season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Take this with a very large grain of salt.

USA Today.com: Reports Michigan blanked Clarkson, 2-0, for the NCAA East Regional men's ice hockey championship Saturday. Islander prospect Shea Guthrie was named to the all-regional team.

St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspach has more on Islander prospect, goaltender Jase Weslosky, who will be at Islander prospect camp this summer with praise from Huskies coach Bob Motzko.

Islanders website: Featured fellow blog boxer Tom Liodice with his game coverage game coverage of SoundTigers-WBS which included Jack Capuano's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments
Congratulations and a job well done by Tom, who has been going to Bridgeport to write about games on his own for years and has earned this. Only downside was this was not posted on the Sound Tigers website so fans of both teams could benefit. It would be a great idea by the Islanders to feature Tom's work for all Bridgeport games.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio
has comments from Jack Capuano on how WBS's transition game hurt Bridgeport with Ben Walter's comments.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews Sunday's game against Hartford.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the loss.

Times Leader: Covers the WBS Penguins.

Buffalo News: Amy Moritz reports in an article on players from Niagara who signed with NHL teams current Sound Tiger Sean Bentivoglio signed a three-year, two-way free-agent contract last year with the Islanders.

Philadelphia 4, New York 3, shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2008 10:09:00 PM














Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to Richard Park on winning the Bob Nystron award. I think I would have selected Brendan Witt but hard to argue with the choice.

I could be wrong on this but I think that was the Islanders first home shootout since they beat Ottawa in November and only the second all season. It's the first shootout of any kind since March 4th. Last year it seemed like a weekly/daily event and another difference from last season where they lost three times in regulation in a twenty game stretch which is all about survival skills to get games to overtime.

That's how you make the playoffs in this league and exactly what a tired Philadelphia team did tonight against a fantastic effort from Wade Dubielewicz who bailed out his defense all night and made a bunch of outstanding saves. Only time Dubie seems to falter is when a Flyer fans on a puck or his defense gives him no chance. That unit looked tired at times tonight and Philadelphia from the second period on really applied pressure. Martinek gave all he had, Spiller was playing his third game in three days.

Only thing that I did not like was the veterans on the powerplay at the start of overtime as they looked slow and predictable. Okposo and Comeau got on late in the second powerplay and Okposo almost won the game.

The kids created most of the goals after Niittymaki giftwrapped one for Richard Park but Park made a great play for Comeau's goal. Okposo did everything but finish and worked hard to get in position.

A nice goal by Frans Nielsen to give them the lead and once again the prospects easily outworking and outskating most of the veterans on this roster. Isles for a few shifts after that almost put Philadelphia away with Hunter holding the puck for a long time in the Flyers zone and a few close chances before they sent the game to overtime.

Guerin, Satan and Vasicek were outworked by these kids tonight and painfully slow at times when the puck needed to be moved. Bergenheim put in his usual effort. Satan at least again stuck up for his teammates and got involved on a play in front of Dubielewicz.

Of course the one Flyer powerplay they scored.

Not much else to write, Islanders had the two points wrapped up and Dubie gave them every possible chance to win and much more. Veterans just look tired in these games for the most part with few exceptions.


AHL.com: Reports Bridgeport lost 4-2 at home to WBS Pens after taking a 2-0 lead in the first. Ben Walter had a goal and an assist.

Sound Tigers.com: Recaps Bridgeport's loss to WBS Pens.

The latest Todd Bertuzzi disgrace

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2008 11:37:00 AM





Edmonton Journal/countless sources: Report former Islander forward Todd Bertuzzi filed what is called a third-party notice in Ontario Superior Court in Canada against his former coach Marc Crawford, for his attack on Steve Moore. He has not sued Crawford, as some reports have suggested.

Moore, who suffered a broken neck and a concussion, is suing Bertuzzi for $38 million

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's hard to believe some Islander fans actually though this player was going to stay here and become a franchise star. He had a few very good years, then fell off the map and has been nothing but a headache for every organization he goes to now.

This one bears watching because it could be a landmark event in terms of coaches being accountable for their conduct in a court of law if Crawford is instructed to pay Bertuzzi anything. I'm surprised he did not sue the Canucks gm, the owner the of the team, the facility and Vancouver on top of it.

One thing for sure is fellow team owners and the coaching fraternity do not forget and will be very leery of working with Todd Bertuzzi in the future. It will be interesting to see if Vancouver is willing to stand by their former coach, who now coaches the Kings.

Makes me wonder if Bertuzzi is going to retire and this was the only payday he could get moving forward. If he really felt this way he should have said it when he had his hearing.

3/29: Philadelphia at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2008 10:22:00 AM
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview for tonight's final weekend game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hard to believe it's almost over, seems like Moncton was not that long ago. You want to win the games but it's hard not to ignore a potential lottery pick at this point as well.

Huge game for Philadelphia who no doubt will be a little tired after a tough game against the Devils Friday. Dubie has never lost to the Flyers and in fact won two huge games in 03-04 and last year the final weekend. A lot of pressure on Philadelphia who would be wise to avoid Montreal or the Atlantic winner in the opening round and could be in trouble if they lose here.

Flyers have had the Isles number this year with Hartnell, Coburn killing them in these games along with their powerplay while the Isles simply have not been able to create a lot of quality chances. Shorthanded goals against have killed them in these games also.

Frans Nielsen returns from a month's absence. Should be interesting to see if Comrie returns. I would guess Colliton was not sent to Bridgeport so he could get a rest for this game.

AHL transactions page is getting a workout with all the Islanders moves which would have to include a Spiller/defender call up here.

Another chance to see the kids.

Islanders tragic number to clinch a lottery selection that could bring them the first overall pick is five points lost or gained by Columbus. That would improve if Atlanta or St Louis win and the Islanders lose.

3/28/08

Islander News Articles 3/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2008 10:09:00 PM
Newsday: Erik Boland has Ted Nolan's comments on Tambellini going down to Bridgeport along with Frans Nielsen returning to the Islander lineup. Matt Spiller is likely to return to New York but everything else is not decided at present.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bridgeport has games Saturday and Sunday. Colliton did not play for Bridgeport Friday so it looks like he stayed in New York. With Nielsen back and perhaps Comrie I think the Isles need one other forward.

Spiller or another defender has to come up.

Times Union: Matt Graves and Buzz Grey have Islander prospect Shea Guthrie's comments after his game winning goal for Clarkson against St. Cloud State on Friday in the NCAA East Regional semifinals in Albany against fellow Islander prospect, goaltender Jase Weslosky.

St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspach's coverage had comments Islander prospect Jase Weslosky was the best player on the ice with thirty eight saves.

AHL.com: Reports the Sound Tigers won a big game Friday night at home against Hershey 4-2. Jeff Tambellini, Tim Jackman, scored for Bridgeport. Steve Regier had an assist, Matt Spiller had the empty net goal. Joey MacDonald made twenty nine saves. Ben Walter had two assist.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio
has comments from Ben Walter, Jeff Tambellini & Jack Caupano on Bridgeport's huge win against Hershey.

Saturday Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7 p.m

Harrisberg Daily News: Has the Bears coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on what he considered a fun game for both sides.

Tambellini to Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2008 01:50:00 PM
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Jeff Tambellini was sent back to Bridgeport today with his comments because Thursday was his seventy ninth NHL game. Because he signed at age twenty one as soon as he played game eighty, he'd be subject to waivers.

AHL.com: Reports Jeremy Colliton was sent down and recalled today along with the other Bridgeport transactions.

Islanders website: Has Garth Snow's comments on why he sent Tambellini to Bridgeport.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think it's fair to ask how come Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, are not going down with Tambellini for the same reasons the gm discussed. I agree with sending him down if it allows the club to keep him off waivers, but the idea he is going down to play more minutes just does not add up considering the minutes he has been getting with the Islander veterans.

Truth is he has been less visible than the other call ups and as the veteran prospect in this group who was in the same spot two years ago that cannot be seen as progress which is not about goals and points but working to create chances.

3/27/08

Islander News Articles 3/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2008 10:51:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's early game article notes the final score and talks about the goals but at this time only has Tim Jackman, Jeremy Colliton and Steve Regier's comments on the trip to Pittsburgh from Wilkes Barre and the situtation with going up and down on a regular basis.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In the morning update Mr Logan includes Bergenheim's comments on the hit to Hossa and Dubielewicz comments on Laraque's goal but does not have the head coach in print?

Newsday: Greg Logan has most if not all of his Islander Insider interview with Mr Dey linked to his blog on the busness part of the Islanders what he sees as the on ice plan, Kyle Okposo and Sean Bergenheim are also expected to be featured.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shelly Anderson reports Jarkko Ruutu had a career high three points in the win against the Islanders.

Tribune Review: Keith Barnes has the Pens coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports the Sound Tigers trail Hershey by five points for the fourth and final East Division playoff spot. The Sound Tigers have two games in hand on the Bears and three on Binghamton. Jack Capuano and Dustin Kohn comment.

Bridgeport signed Boston University forward Peter MacArthur to an amateur tryout contract Thursday morning and arrived after practice. Jesse Joensuu could make his AHL debut this weekend.

Hershey Bears 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 www.soundtigers.com

Pittsburgh 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2008 10:11:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write? Islanders played Pittsburgh even most of the game but beat themselves with another shorthanded goal because Satan fell down on the point (once again) and Georges Laraque whiffed on a puck which threw off Dubielewicz. Did not look like a mismatch at all but the Islanders did not generate the high quality chances they did Monday against Fleury who did not have to be very good and was clearly beaten by Guerin when he hit the post late in the first period.

The officials handed Pittsburgh their first goal on that interference penalty by Laraque and made a lot of weak calls tonight. I have no idea what Bergenheim did to get called other than he hit a Penguin too well.

Pittsburgh was getting frustrated in this one when they could not score and could not
break through with the power play as the Isles defended the passing lanes and blocked shots so they decided to play more physical. I do not think it worked but the Islanders power play gave up a goal to Ruutu so someone will write it made a difference for Pittsburgh.

Isles did a nice job standing up for one another and Tim Jackman landed some good shots on Sydor. Satan got his first fighting major as an Islander but has had a few shoving matches with the Pens.

Islanders powerplay took themselves out of the game with several ineffective chances where they generated virtually nothing. Aside from that the team played well and easily could have won the game. Bergenheim generated some great chances, Comeau was visible and worked to create chances and Okposo again looks like a player with good instincts, a nice turnaround for a shot and just a solid overall game.

Did Jeff Tambellini even dress? He had one angle shot and looked like he had no interest in winning the puck when it went near him, you can blame his line mates for only so long. Colliton, Regier all had a few good shifts.

Right about now I would have no problem with Tambellini being a healthy scratch if Nielsen returns Saturday. No excuse for him not to be more visible if these other players are working to generate their own chance and I feel like were back watching him in 2006.

Vasicek made a good play at the net for his goal which he put under the arm of Fleury. Guerin had the puck in the first minute and just could not let go from a prime shooting position.

Martinek was outstanding with several big plays including that great knockdown on Malkin. The defense did a good overall job and protected Dubielewicz well and he made enough quality saves to give them a chance to win.

Too bad they could not create enough quality chances because that was a Pittsburgh team that did not look very good that the Isles easily could have beaten.

This Msg+ with Stan Fischler and Al Trautwig selling Ranger hockey was horrible tonight and not because the feed from Pittsburgh crashed between periods. I hate when Mr Fischler tells about what's happening with the Islanders even though he is never around the team anymore and I don't care what's happening inside Msg or anywhere during an Islander game.

The Islanders website now claims it's Mike Comrie's rib.

For those tracking the lottery Atlanta won.

SI Players NHL Poll

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2008 01:52:00 PM
Sports Illustrated: Like last year had a player poll, this one was on which NHL coach you would most like to play for.

Which NHL head coach would you most like to play for?

Mike Babcock, Red Wings.....16%
Ted Nolan, Islanders.....10%
Wayne Gretzky, Coyotes.....8%
Joel Quenneville, Avalanche.....7%
Andy Murray, Blues.....4%
Brent Sutter, Devils.....4%
Jacques Lemaire, Wild.....4%
Randy Carlyle, Ducks.....4%
John Paddock, Senators.....3%
Lindy Ruff, Sabres.....3%
Mike Keenan, Flames.....2%
[Based on a survey of 365 NHL players]

3/27: New York at Pittsburgh 7:30pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2008 09:41:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The final trip out of state for a game this season, Mike Comrie did not make the trip.

The recall of Tim Jackman again makes me think Mike Comrie's flu is more about being banged up as Ted Nolan talked about. The Post reported a hip injury which was not reported in Newsday. Miroslav Satan may play center again.

I'm not sure what Islander or Penguin team we will see tonight or how much rust Crosby will have on his game but I expect if the Pens did take the Isles lightly at the Coliseum that will not happen tonight. The idea that the Islanders will roll over for any club at any time just will not happen because they have been in virtually every game down the stretch. Of course they cannot score enough to win on a regular basis but that was the case before the injuries. Will Pittsburgh's team defense allow the Isles to get position in the offensive zone and will the Islander forwards fight forn the high quality area's as they did Monday? Vasicek was creating chances and doing very well.

Another chance for Okposo, Comeau, Colliton and a game Tambellini needs to be more visible.

I expect Dubie to play this game and give the Isles a chance to win. I do not expect Mole to see a game in his callup but it would be interesting to see Utah's ECHL goaltender play.

Someone also has to tell me why at this point Colton Fretter is not getting an NHL look because he's saved Bridgeport with his scoring and earned a contract? Same for Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio who the Isles signed last spring. I know the Sound Tigers want to keep some regulars but another week in the NHL is not going to make any difference for Kyle Okposo but could for Bridgeport.

The idea here should be for Bridgeport to get in the AHL playoffs and make a long playoff run which could extend into June.

Larry Brooks hurts hockey in New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2008 08:28:00 AM
NY Post: Larry Brooks today goes all out to finally get comments from Henrik Lundqvist on an article written in SI by Michael Farber back on 1/14 about all three local goaltenders here to stir the pot and once again only go negative on Martin Brodeur, the best hockey player of his generation in this market to manufacture some fodder for tonight's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Larry Brooks as usual does not get it or that desperate to stir the pot to get reaction. For a man who constantly sells us his Rangers are good for the league angle despite his team being virtually invisible he should understand Martin Brodeur is good for this hockey market and all three teams. Instead Mr Brooks shows up a few times when he can to take some kicks at one of the best goaltenders of all time if not the best outright and it's kind of sad.

Even worse Mr Brooks in what seems deliberate harps on Lundqvist record against Martin Brodeur but does not note the Devils playoff sweep in 2006 and does all he can to play up a rivalry with the Ranger goaltenders, despite Brodeur's regular season dominace over Mike Richter.

Despite any short-term in season success Rick DiPietro and Henrik Lundqvist are not in the same league as Martin Brodeur at this point in their careers.

Meanwhile back in January 2007 Larry Brooks is telling the public we are fortunate to have Martin Brodeur in our midst here.

We are fortunate to have Martin Brodeur here, of course he's the most under appreciated athlete of this generation in New York because that's exactly how writers like Larry Brooks want it.

And that hurts hockey in New York which is another reason why it's burried under mountains of baseball/steroid/A-Rod and college basketball coverage today along with more Knicks gossip.

Sports Illustrated: Darren Elliot does an SI feature a week ago where he does nothing but praise this incredible player who just keeps winning.

Advice for former Devils employee Larry Brooks to follow.

3/26/08

Islander News Articles 3/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2008 10:13:00 PM
Newsday: John Jeansonne covered practice with comments from Ted Nolan on all the players with Bridgeport who will be called up for Thursday's game and Blake Comeau who has been with the Isles for close to fifty games.

NY Post: Mark Hale had five very short paragraphs burried at the back of the Post as tonight's Islander game preview with no quotes. The Daily News had absolutely nothing.

NY Sun: Kevin Greenstein has the NHL power rankings where he puts the Islanders record on the defense, despite the fact the shots are down against the goaltenders from a year ago.

Updated 5pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan blogs on the new arena in Pittsburgh and wonders why the Town of Hempstead has stalled the progress on an Islander renovation while noting Msg is in a perfect place to attract business despite it being older than the Coliseum and having attendance problems over serveal periods of it's history? Ted Nolan reports Frans Nielsen may come off the IR to play against Philadelphia Saturday. Islanders’ senior vice-president of sales, marketing and operations, Chris Dey is the focus of Friday's Islander Insider to tell us what the team is planning moving forward.

Sound Tigers website: Reports on Bridgeport's 3-2 regulation win at WBS Pens Wednesday. Ben Walter, Matt Keith and Colton Fretter scored for Bridgeport with Mike Morrison in goal.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's win at WBS Pens and has Matt Keith, Jack Caupano and Mike Morrison's comments on his the win and the club buying in with how many shots they blocked along with playing desperate hockey.

Steve Regier, Matt Spiller, Jeremy Colliton and Tim Jackman are being returned to the Islanders for tonight's game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's Sound Tigers weekly is on the upcoming games, Jesse Joensuu getting ready for his Bridgeport debut and Jack Capuano on how with a constant surplus of players everyone has to earn a spot in the lineup among several items.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogs on the Sound Tigers win last night.

Times Leader: Tom Venesky recaps the Pens loss to Bridgeport.

Citizens Voice: Also covers the Pens.

Islander/Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2008 07:37:00 PM
Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has a few words from Ted Nolan on the players sent down as well as updates on Bruno Gervais and Frans Nielsen with the coach also talking about how Kyle Okposo has done and how tough it is with so many players injured.

Mike Mole is also profiled.

Islanders TV on sidebar has interviews with Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin and Mike Mole as the club travels to Pittsburgh.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog breaks down the Sound Tigers vs the other teams for a playoff spot in depth.

SI/several sources: Have Sidney Crosby's comments he will play tomorrow against the Islanders in Pittsburgh.

Islander News Articles 3/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2008 07:19:00 AM
SoundTigers.com: Previews tonight's game, reports prospect Jesseu Joensuu this week signed an ATO contract (amateur tryout contract) and could play as soon as the weekend for Bridgeport with assistant coach Bernie Cassell working with him.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio outlines all the players returned to Bridgeport with Jack Capuano's comments. C Ben Walter missed practice Tuesday with a grion injury.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
ON THE AIR — Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com

Kingston Whig Standard: Patrick Kennedy reports Bryan Trottier and Bill Smith will be playing in a legends game.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazettte: Dave Molinary has Sidney Crosby's comments that he wants to return against the Islanders Thursday and Brent Sutter talks about some things Al Arbour taught him about coaching.

ECHL.com: Florida Everblades Derek Damon talks of almost being signed by the Islanders after a good camp last summer but they decided not to.

Point Blank: CHris Botta in his blog wonders how come the Rangers and Devils are barely noticed in the media these days.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I hate to break it to Mr Botta but it's been this way since before the lockout ended and long before that. Cablevision controlling and limiting the Islanders and Devils have hurt the Rangers.

When NASCAR outdoes a Ranger playoff game with Islander, Ranger and Devils fans watching to help ratings in New York by thirty eight percent there is no longer any hiding from the truth unless Barry Watkins, Al Trautwig or someone on the Cablevision payroll has to do so to keep their job.

Ranger fans in the media like Larry Brooks (between baseball articles) John Dellapina, Sam Weinman, Jay Greenberg will all be out in force selling their team come playoff time regardless if anyone notices. I would guess Mark Herrmann will be doing likewise in Newsday with Steve Zipay if the Rangers qualify. Mark Everson will keep the glass half-empty for the Devils in the Post until they win a cup and then make sure to tell the public how no one is noticing if they do win.

The Islanders few Newsday backpages are the only full backpages for any hockey in New York this season besides small snippets. Someone wins a cup it will be a story for a few days but first big Yankee-Met-Sox game comes along that's it for hockey and you can bet the baseball writers which are a huge following make up a large influence over what the editors do.

Baseball is enormous big business for the papers,the editors and that's where the advetising dollars go and what the fans want.

Eight million people will attend baseball games this year in New York.

Just a recap:
September-October:
Baseball-football with a heavy emphasis on baseball fallout from losing and gossip with tons of rumors. Knicks gossip and turmoil. Mets were a soap oprea and a huge storyline with Yankees losing division. World Series, baseball playoffs, Torre not resigned.

November-Baseball gossip/rumors signings, football, more Knicks gossip and complaining about the team losing. Hew Yankee manager announced, anything Alex Rodriguez.

December-Winter meetings, football big games and tons of media gossip. Indifference to Knicks finally settles in media, College football bowl games.

January-Football playoffs, a little less baseball unless steriods surfaces than it dominates media at all times. Anything Tiger Woods.

Februay-Superbowl, spring training dominates with tons of media in Florida.

March-More baseball rumors and gossip. March Madness college basketball, right up to opening day for baseball.

April-Baseball begins, huge storylines, Masters Golf, NFL draft, first big rivalry games. Final years at Yankee and Shea Stadium.

Anyone who does not believe me feel free to purchase a newspaper snd how much baseball and other sports content you have to see before finally finding that one small article for hockey in New York.

3/25/08

Islander/Sound Tiger notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2008 02:36:00 PM
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog the following transactions from the AHL.com page here.

Mike Mole is going up to back up Wade Dubielewicz which Mr Fornabaio reports and the only move AHL.com does not have at the monent. Kip Brennan got an additional two game suspension beyond the league mandated suspension so he is out four total games.

These are the confirmed moves:
03/25 Keith Johnson (C) Bridgeport ADD Recalled from loan to Utah (ECHL)
03/24 Jeremy Colliton (C) Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)
03/24 Joey MacDonald (G) Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)
03/24 Matthew Spiller (D) Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)
03/24 Olivier Labelle (RW) Bridgeport DEL Returned on loan to Utah (ECHL)
03/24 Steve Regier (LW) Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
New York plays Thursday and Saturay. Bridgeport played Wednesday-Friday-Sat-Sun the next three weeks. Both teams have been patching lineups together with so many players injured/suspended on both sides.

It should be noted Bridgeport plays at the WBS Penguins Wednesday, the Islanders play in Pittsburgh Thursday so a quick recall is likely.

MacDonald needs to get his work in and the Sound Tigers need a competitive roster to have a shot at a playoff spot being that for now it looks like Okposo, Tambellini, Comeau remain in the NHL.

Contract extensions for Dubie & Bergenheim?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2008 02:11:00 PM
I know Sean Bergenheim is restricted and if necessary one side or the other can go to arbitration but after a year holdout and how hard he has worked why not avoid another problem and lock him up for three years unless Gandler is still his agent and being impossible?

It's clear he can play at this level and the sad reality is for much of his season he has been the most visible forward on the lines he has played on. The scoring instincts and skill are only getting better and the players around him have held him back. He does need to stop going to the stick and taking penalities but as Ted Nolan said many of the penalties come from the hustle and hard work. I think it took him a little time after a year out of the league to get back into it but there has never been any doubt for me that this kid can contribute as a top nine forward in this league.

Wade Dubielewicz in unrestricted and as much as he says he does not want to go elsewhere and prove himself again, to me has proven he can come off the bench after sitting for long periods and play well and is someone the Islanders should look to do something with as soon as possible. To me Dubie could be a number one goaltender on a lot of clubs in this league, including this one if DiPietro cannot play.

He got a bad wrap early this season created by the media after the Isles played five games in seven games the first week and hung him out to try against Toronto because the team was exhausted from such a ridiclous schedule.

He did not have a good first period against Atlanta in another game but only one goal was his fault and the way he played after the first period he kept the game from being seven or eight nothing with the chances against him where he allowed nothing.

He came in on Al Arbour night and was outstanding in relief, he had that great game in Carolina he made about forty plus saves, and he did a solid job when DiPietro left the team. We all know what he did last year.

I'm not sure what management is waiting for here unless Garth Snow is busy scouting playoffs and has other prospect to sign by June 1st? Dubie hass proven he can do the job full time, in relief and he's always been the kind of goalie who gives the team a chance to win combined with thriving on shots and work as we have seen here and in Bridgeport.

We have seen Richard Park and Radek Martinek signed to extensions during the year, down the stretch these would absolutely be two moves that would help the club moving forward.

3/24/08

Islander News Articles 3/25

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 10:33:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan had comments from Wade Dubielewicz who felt the Islanders frustrated Pittsburgh, that it's a great opportunity for the young players and that the coach changed his defensive system allowing for more players in front of the goatender to clear the rebounds.

Ted Nolan credited his players for responding to Pittsburgh's physical play in the first period and praised Dubielewicz for a great game while joking with Miroslav Satan on the bench about how he's wasted his career on the wing after being used at center last night.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary recaps the Pens loss to the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That very loud noise tonight no matter where you are in the tri-state area will be Penguins coach Michel Terrien.

Tribune Review: Rob Rossi has the Pens game coverage.

NY Post: Dan Martin has Ted Nolan and Wade Dubielewicz comments on the win.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders play at home, building soldout on a Monday night and Leon Carver does not send Peter Botte or any writer to cover the game? The Daily News AP has a two part article on the game, more than double the space given the Mr Botte was he does report.

New York 4, Pittsburgh 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 09:52:00 PM


























Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has the recap of tonight's 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles got some good pressure in Philadelphia, this time they took advantage of a team that did not seem willing to play defense or thought it would be easier against a club with twelve players out and it cost them.

I'm a little shocked Isles outworked Pittsburgh to this degree on a third game in four nights considering what's at state for the Pens and Comrie out with the flu with Jackman taking his spot.

Very chippy first period on both sides to start this one, Comeau took a big hit but hung in. Isles took a lot of penalties in the first.

A lot of quality chances and you could see the Pens willing to trade chances early with the Isles creating a three one one and Bergenheim getting several chances until he finally buried one.

Okposo made a great play to feed Park for a shorthanded goal off a big shot, Guerin picked the corner on Conklin and hit the crossbar just before he picked the top corner and Satan found Hunter for a nice play to close to scoring. Early in you could see the Isles gaining the Pens zone easily and even set up some good powerplays and quality chances.

Dubie made a lot of big saves early and shut the door the last two periods and stayed with Malone on a fantastic move at the end, solid all around efforts with Martinek, Spiller playing well and some nice play stepping in from Davison.

This was a different kind of thirty plus shots than they had the night Conklin made his fifty saves mostly from poor angles, far more quality chances tonight the last two periods.

Tambellini got the puck to Satan for his chance which resulted in Hunter's goal.

That's wins over the first and second place teams in this division with half the lineup out.

More tomorrow but a nice effort tonight in front of a sellout crowd on a Monday which is shocking considering their spot in the standings.

What about Garth Snow's contract extension?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 11:18:00 AM
In Greg Logan's rush to stir the pot and create an issue of Ted Nolan's status for beyond next season he forgot to address the real issue and that's the general managers contract status beyond next year.

Who gives a coach a contract extension after a losing season where he could have more term than the general manager?

Mike Babcock's Redwings are the top team in the league, he could become a free agent in a few months if he opts out of his contract here so why is this a major issue now for Mr Logan to a point no pregame was written before the Islanders played Philadelphia?

Mark Herrmann had a full feature on the Ferraro twins btw so please do not tell me there was not space for a pregame.

Those who recall Garth Snow officially retired as a player but I could not find anything on the term of Snow's gm contract beyond his playing status and whether it counted against the cap. No word on what Mr Wang is paying him beyond that to be general manager or for how long but I'm guessing it's three years.

Garth Snow's playing contract should have nothing to do with his gm contract.

Bottom line why should Mr Wang give a contract extension to the coach if the general manager is not locked up first?

As much as I like Ted Nolan and want him to return no coach should have a longer contract than the general manager. You tie them together and fire both together or fire one and then fire the other.

Having written that both Garth Snow and Ted Nolan should be back for next season with no job security beyond that until they show they are taking this franchise in the right direction long term.

Chuck Gormley has an article on John Stevens future coaching status here where Chairman Ed Snider who's as controlling as it gets for owners in this league puts the decision on Mike Holmgrem with regard to the coach.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Snider last year gave Ken Hitchcock a three year extension and fired him before the first month was over after taking a fit in the paper. Anyone who thinks Snider will let Paul Holmgren will decide this if the Flyers fail to make the playoffs should remember Snider was turned down by Colin Campbell for the general managers job before Snider gave the job to Holmgren.
****************************************************************************
Not to go off topic too far but how come everything I read anything about John Davidson in St Louis are glowing reviews for a man who came in the same summer as Snow and Nolan and is a point behind the Islanders in the overall standings who signed a bust in Paul Kayira? The stuff you read about Davidson and Andy Murray make them sound like they have built an incredible team when in effect their only difference maker has been Brad Boyes.

That's right.

JD has friends in the media business who he has worked with for years so it's overlooked or dumped on Larry Pleau who deserves his share of blame for the struggles before JD arrived but it's time everyone got a share of blame and some of the golden image off the broadcaster turned team president.
*************************************************************************
Meanwhile out in Los Angeles Dean Lombardi and Marc Crawford are heading for their second awful season in a row.

They have some great prospects to show for it (many from Dave Taylor's losing tenure) but almost lost Dustin Brown last summer with Rob Blake only getting older and goaltending marginal to be kind.

It's going to be a long-term rebuild in Los Angeles too.

3/24: Pittsburgh at New York 7pm Versus

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 05:25:00 AM
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Three games in four nights against a team waiting for them that could get Sidney Crosby back, not a good proposition and could get ugly but another showcase game for the Islander prospect and another opportunity for the veterans.

My guess is Ted Nolan goes back to Dubielewicz but maybe he wants MacDonald to play back to back and see how he responds which is something done on a regular basis in the AHL?

I expect it's not going to be a good turnout for this one or a very receptive crowd.

The Islanders were eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race with the loss because at least one of the three Northeast Division contenders closest to them will finish with more points because of several head-to-head matchups, preventing the Islanders from finishing eighth but at this point it's just bookeeping.

Fair or not I'm going to put this out there. Jeff Tambellini has to do a lot more than what he is doing with this opportunity. Unlike Okposo and Comeau and even Colliton who are visible he seems to go from game to game where you do not see much of him. Maybe that means he's concentrating on defense but these other prospects are all playing defense too and skating. Steve Regier seems to be getting more chances and more visible.

Two years ago Islanders were in the same situtation with Tambellini as he played here for a month, scored against the Devils and then just went from game to game as he is doing now. He's not forcing management to give him a spot.

Versus game tonight for those watching on television.

Islander News Articles 3/24

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 04:41:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article has Ted Nolan's comments on the loss while he praised Radek Martinek for how good he has been with so many different partners on defense. Joey MacDonald talked about the game and a few words from Bryan Berard.

Newsday: Greg Logan had a pregame blog on Joey MacDonald getting his first start, Kyle Okposo's first NHL goal and the lack of enforcer putting the Islanders in a situation where Bill Guerin has to fight while suggesting the Islanders should reacquire Aaron Asham who is unrestricted this summer citing his toughness from a player who also can contribute with his skating and scoring.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Asham had only five fights last season and only two after November and two of the five fights were against former Devil Cam Jansen and he was playing with a bad hand last year. His skating would help but another veteran who cannot score attempting to play in a top nine role is the last thing this club needs. He got into it with Brent Sutter this year earlier for whatever that is worth. I expect he will be available again come July and took a pay cut to sign with the Devils.

He has had eight fights as a Devil this year.

Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News: Combine coverage on one website on their win against the Isles with a few words from Tim Panaccio on Martin Biron winning his sixth game against the Isles this season.

Phillyburbs.com: Wayne Fish also had coverage starting with Prospal's impact for the Flyers.

Courier Post: Chuck Gormley's coverage centers on how the Islanders are very good for the Flyers powerplay this season.

Pioneer Press: John Shipley reports on Mark Parrish on pace for his worst season ever and a frequent healthy scratch with his comments and Jacques Lemaire's, who pulled no punches with the former Islander about his playing status.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary has a preview of the Islander game tonight.

Philadelphia 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/24/2008 04:20:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the recap of the Islanders 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not a bad effort overall, even game at full strength but once again Philadelphia got a five on three and immediately scored, Coburn did what he's been doing to the Isles aeemingly all season with a goal through a big screen and finally Hartnell does what he does best against the Islanders by beating Spiller for the final Flyer goal.

Islanders needed a period to get going but when they did dominated play and drew a lot of powerplays. Credit to Biron who had to make a great save on Berard in the second and a few other tough saves. Islanders offense simply cannot score enough to keep them in games they fall behind by a few.

Hard to put any of this on the penalty kill. Okposo and Comeau looked good and had the puck a lot of that shift on the third goal. Martinek's been outstanding most nights playing with Spiller and different defenders but he allowed Prospal position and five on three when you get caught there is nothing else that can be done.

MacDonald was solid and held the Isles in early until they started skating better and gave them a chance.

Veterans? Vasicek did everything but score and worked hard, Comrie found Hunter for a few chances, Guerin had his one big shot and Satan's shot looked like a bad goal to allow but for the most part their play was ok for one game, but as usual they could not produce enough to keep the club in the game.

All the Islanders can do is move on to a team waiting in New York who's fighting for first in the conference.

3/23/08

Islanders blog box

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






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
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.

College
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
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
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.

3/22/08

Poll: What should Isles do with prospects?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/22/2008 06:12:00 AM
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

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/22/2008 03:12:00 AM


















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.

NEWSDAY.COM
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




















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.

3/21/08

Yashin & Blake's loss hurt Isles

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


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.

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