11/4/08

Islander News Articles 11/5

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2008 11:35:00 PM























Newsday: Greg Logan's recap has comments from head coach Scott Gordon, Richard Park who spoke of how this team has been coming together over the last five-six games along with how frustrated the Rangers were and Nate Thompson on his first NHL goal.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann was so bitter about the Islanders winning he opened with a dig that the backup goalie on the Islanders can become the gm before Joey MacDonald's comments along with Richard Park and Scott Gordon on his play in an article that was also about Brodeur and DiPietro now being out for extended periods.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course Mr Herrmann makes it sound like the Islanders came into this game completely healthy up front/on the backline and were not playing a fourth game in six days against a team off since Saturday. Islanders recently lost a game they took sixty shots and I did not read from Mr Herrmann how badly the club outplayed Carolina.

Islanders have had the Rangers number at Msg for a while now and the record does not lie. It's no longer coincidence or a mismatch no matter how much Mr Herrmann does not want to write about it. DiPietro, Dubielewicz and now MacDonald have had the better of the Rangers at Msg.

I guess now it's time for Newsday to bring up the Ranger hangover for the next few days, this win means nothing without some goals and a win against Atlanta tomorrow because they have to get on a serious unbeaten streak here to get back in the playoff mix.

NY Post: Jay Greenberg makes his bi-yearly appearance to tell everyone the Islanders have been losing for fifteen years, have no people in the stands, that Charles Wang will have to threaten Nassau County to get his Lighthouse and that Scott Gordon's club will not be tanking. Sprinkled in were comments from Bill Guerin after the Blue Jacket game and about there being few systems like Scott Gordon's in the NHL.

Not much was written about the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You can almost see it play out at the Sports department at the Post. Dan Martin is the semi-regular writer but the former St Louis-Philadelphia hockey writer turned shock jock of all trades at the Post decided he wanted to step in and do a good rip job on the Islanders as he does once or twice a year because they are playing in the city.

With Jay Greenberg as a friend the Islanders need no enemies.

I don't want to pop Mr Greenberg's balloon but one billion, three hundred twenty million Chinese also could care less about the Rangers too and unfortunately a lot of Manhattan no longer cares as well. All he needs to do is pick up his own paper to see how far the hockey team at Msg has fallen in media circles in this town against the major market sports as that one Ranger article is buried deeper and deeper.

That's why Mr Greenberg no longer covers hockey with any regularity for the Post and the Rangers will not be seeing any Post back pages during the regular season.

Hint-That loud cheering after the Islanders scored was not coming from Knick fans or the political crowd as a state turned blue or red last night. Apparently the team that cannot draw at home as usual had a solid road turnout in the city.

Of course if the Post did not have a coverage double-standard sending Mark Everson to cover every Devils game while the Post never replaced Evan Grossman more people would be interested in New York Islander hockey which Mr Greenberg wanted no part of writing about. Not even an Islander blog at the Post.

Phil Mushnick told me last season Islander hockey was a luxury the Post could not afford. I guess this was their idea of splurging to cover a game for us to show up and put down the club?

I think this is more space than the Islanders have gotten in the Post all season for an article? Nothing like Jay Greenberg to make everyone feel awful about the team after a win. I guess that was the idea.

At least he pointed out the Islanders should have been the more tired club.

NY Post: Larry Brooks article beat up the Rangers for their loss.

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space article had Scott Gordon's praise for his club, along with Richard Park and Joey MacDonald.

Daily News: Michael Obernauer had the Ranger-centric coverage of the Islanders win.

Journal News a brief Ranger-centric article.

Newsday: Steve Zipay's article has comments from head coach Scott Gordon and Joey MacDonald.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems the Islanders receive more coverage from Cablevision/Newsday when they play another team. No second article from Mr Logan and one article fits all from Mr Herrmann?

NY Times went AP only at least in terms of the web (at this time) did not to have an article for last night's game which is kind of shocking. As a rule their articles hit the website by midnight after games.

Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest reports the United States lost 5-2 against Germany Tuesday in this year's World Junior A Challenge with Islander prospect D Matt Donovan part of the team. Wednesday they'll face Canada East in the final game of the round robin before moving on to the quarter-finals regardless.


Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from head coach Jack Capuano on the loss of Mark Parrish and what it means for his prospects as Mr Fornabaio previews Wednesday's 11am game at Harbor Yard with a few words from Tim Jackman.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN -- Today, 11 a.m.
WHERE -- Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR -- No radio; Webcast and Internet pay-per-view at www.soundtigers.com






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New York 2, Rangers 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2008 09:57:00 PM



















Islanders website: Has comments from head coach Scott Gordon, Joey MacDonald and Nate Thompson on New York's 2-1 win at the Garden.

AP: Has the recap of New York's 2-1 win on Tuesday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's one heck of a gutty effort by the Islanders shorthanded on defense and in goal that did not even have Bergenheim. MacDonald did what NHL goaltenders are supposed to do and that's outplay his competition. Sutton five blocked shots, Gervais twenty five minutes and four blocked shots and that pass to Sim.

This was four games in six nights too with a few players like Campoli and Sutton who are still in training camp mode.

A little temper by Comrie in pregame? Who was that masked man fighting in Jeff Tambellini's uniform and throwing the body? Looked very good.

Streit twenty four minutes and Nielsen an assist and a plus two.

Should have been a shutout, this should give the team defense the confidence it needs.

Welcome to New York, Scott Gordon.

Typical Lundqvist game where he has a shot big advantage and struggled with a key critical soft goal. Park did what he does best and you love those games he comes up big like this.

Tom Renney's reactions are always priceless.

Nice hands by Thompson on his first goal as a New York Islander.

A lot more postgame tomorrow. Good turnout by the Islander fans as usual at Msg, Garden did not look sold out.






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Quick Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2008 03:18:00 PM
Islanders website: Reported Trent Hunter and Rick DiPietro will be the lone New York Islanders on the ballot when all-star voting opens November 12th.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Price from the Canadians gets a spot playing half a season along with Wade Redden who had a terrible season it Ottawa and Mark Streit who was one of the highest scoring defenders in the league last season was not listed?

Why not simply list every NHL player and let the on ice results win out?

NHL.com: Dan Rosen reports Martin Brodeur will have elbow surgery and be out for three-four months with comments from Lou Lamoriello and head coach Brent Sutter.





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New York at Rangers 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2008 10:27:00 AM
AP: Has the preview for tonights game against the Rangers in Manhattan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Normally I would write four games in six days is asking a lot but this group needs to play games and build some momentum/chemistry as they have been holding back or limited since camp began with all the injuries just trying to survive.

This is the perfect time to improve it's chemistry and survival skills in games and you do that best by playing with whatever the roster is. For what it's worth the Islanders have been competitive against Philadelphia, Montreal and Columbus the last three games.

No reason not to go into a building they have been dominating in and do it again, then go down to Atlanta and win again.

Rangers seem to get flustered in these Msg games with all the Islander fans in the Garden trying to put on the show and make more mistakes off of it as the Isles do at the Coliseum.

But of course this is not Ted Nolan's team who owned Tom Renney at Msg for two seasons and outcoached him almost all of those Msg games, the one he did lose was a game the Islanders did come in tired last November.

Can Scott Gordon force Tom Renney players out of their trap early with a few goals or will it turn into another low-scoring chess match which is what the Rangers play for most nights so they can wisely keep piling up the points? Toronto broke the trap and changed the momentum late in the last game so obviously both clubs are a bit fragile.

Make no mistake, the Rangers allowed the least shots per game in the East last year and are right back on the same pace.

Of course this is another game Martinek, Witt, DiPietro's loss is huge which has to be written before every game.

I guess we'll see if Sean Bergenheim is ready to go or Scott Gordon does what most coaches do and not break up a lineup after a win. I'm not worried about Voros or if Orr dresses nor would I dress Fritz for another fight by appointment if that means Bergenheim does not go.

Islanders need Bergenheim and Tambellini in their lineup every single game. Scott Gordon wants to get creative and dress Fritz for his two minutes there is always Skinner's minutes and going with five defenders but he did play eleven plus minutes last night.








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Quick Review of Islanders Stats

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2008 09:23:00 AM
Offense POS GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW GT SOG Pct
Doug Weight C 11 2 8 10 0 8 2 6 0 1 0 0 17 .118
Trent Hunter RW 11 4 5 9 -4 6 1 2 0 1 1 0 31 .129
Mark Streit D 11 4 5 9 -4 10 3 2 1 1 0 0 27 .148
Bill Guerin RW 11 5 3 8 0 16 2 3 0 0 0 0 42 .119
Mike Comrie C 11 2 6 8 -2 8 0 1 0 1 0 0 21 .095
Richard Park RW 11 1 5 6 -2 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 21 .048
Andy Hilbert C 11 2 2 4 -4 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 19 .105
Frans Nielsen C 11 1 3 4 -4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 14 .071
Bruno Gervais D 11 0 4 4 -5 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 9 .000
Sean Bergenheim LW 10 2 2 4 -2 29 0 0 1 0 1 0 26 .077
Kyle Okposo RW 11 1 2 3 -5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 .036
Freddy Meyer D 7 1 1 2 -1 10 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 .167
Chris Campoli D 6 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 13 .154
Jon Sim LW 11 2 0 2 -1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 .091
Thomas Pock D 10 0 1 1 -3 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 .000
Joey MacDonald G 8 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Andy Sutton D 3 0 1 1 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 .000
Jeff Tambellini LW 9 0 1 1 -4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 .000
Brendan Witt D 6 0 0 0 -1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 .000
Jack Hillen D 6 0 0 0 -3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 .000
Brett Skinner D 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000
Mitch Fritz LW 3 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Radek Martinek D 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Nate Thompson C 11 0 0 0 -2 31 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 .000
Yann Danis G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Rick DiPietro G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total 29 50 79 -45 198 8 15 4 7 3 0 364 .080

Goaltending POS GP GS MIN W L OTL EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Joey MacDonald G 8 7 467 3 4 1 0 26 3.34 243 217 .893 0
Yann Danis G 1 1 59 0 1 0 0 5 5.08 32 27 .844 0
Rick DiPietro G 3 3 138 0 2

A few good trends in the numbers.

* One big one already is the effect of Mark Streit.

Islanders had only twenty four total goals from his defense last season including Rob Davison's bounce shot against Toronto. With Campoli's two goals last night the first month the club has seven to date and a few more assist from Bruno Gervais and this is with a group that is not even close to healthy.

* Doug Weight despite his two pp goals off players from other clubs (Devils/Tampa) is on an eighty point pace with nine of his points on special teams.

* Bill Guerin is on a forty goal pace and is playing even hockey.

* Trent Hunter is off to a career best pace mostly playing with Frans Nielsen.

The tough trends once again are the five on five play with a lot of players deep in red numbers combined with no enough scoring.

* Kyle Okposo for his minutes is not on the forty-fifty point pace he has to be on for this team to have a chance.

* Tambellini is not getting results for his chances.

* Nielsen is getting chances but it does not reflect as much on the stat sheet.

* Bergenheim is setting up a few goals but not finishing.

* Jon Sim is not on the seventeen goal pace he had in Atlanta.

* Take out Buffalo game MacDonald has put up some solid NHL numbers for any goaltender much less one without scoring support of injuries across the roster coming from the AHL.

On the team side of things Colin Campbell's officials seem to be targeting the Islanders which is a trend that has run for years but a lot of that was from the Buffalo game where the officials took out the whistles big time in the third period.

Penalty kill trends toward the middle with shots on goal in top ten given a sixty shot game against Carolina. Powerplay places the Isles near the bottom but the difference between top ten and bottom ten is less than three goals at this time with the Islanders at eight goals with the man advantage.

Islanders are third in the NHL with four shorthanded goals. So far the nightmare trend of allowing goals with the powerplay on a regular basis has not been happening with the Buffalo game again the exception and no small sidebar.





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11/3/08

Islander News Articles 11/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2008 10:20:00 PM
Newsday: Mark Herrmann's early postgame seems to have a lot of game day quotes, not postgame at this time in his recap.

Updated:
Postgame had comments from head coach Scott Gordon, Bill Guerin and Chris Campoli, of course Mr Herrmann makes his point the attendance was announced.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's other article is mostly a repeat of his blog entry Monday afternoon on Michael Peca with his comments about the Islanders transition of players and coaches making it tough for them to build an identity.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Apparently some of the positive things Peca said in the blog did not make the Newspaper version. To be fair most of that 2001-02 core is out of the NHL or have not been productive with Aucoin, Hamrlik having moved on to a third club.

The 2002-03 club was a game over five hundred, the 03-04 club was outworked by Tampa in the 03-04 playoffs.

Peca'a value has declined dramatically around the NHL as he moved from Edmonton to Toronto to finally settling in Columbus after seemingly a lot of teams were no longer interested in his services.

Peca would have impressed me if he said Alexei Yashin should never have been bought out if he really meant what he said here.

NY Post: Dan Martin has Chris Campoli's comments on his game winning goals x 2.

Daily News: Peter Botte's game recap had Chris Campoli's comments on how the club needed a win with Mr Botte making claims a person who has spoken recently with Rick DiPietro told the Daily News his Friday surgery was on his left knee with more speculation he will be out for more than six weeks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Note-DiPietro's summer surgery was on his right knee, his October 2006 injury was not a knee injury.

Scary no one even writes how many key defenders are out of this lineup once in a while because that is a big part of the problem but that would mean writing how valuable players like Witt and Martinek have always been. Under-rated means undercovered.

You read some of these articles and they give them impression the full team is blowing these leads.

Columbus Dispatch: Tom Reed has the Blue Jackets coverage.

Star-Tribune: Michael Russo reports former Islander Mark Parrish has ended his tryout with the Sound Tigers and signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Stars. It’s a two-way deal. One year, prorated $500,000 in the NHL. In the minors, $100,000.

Dallas Morning News: Mike Heika confirms Parrish will be signed pending a physical.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Best of luck to Mark Parrish, only downside is with the Islanders having played the Stars he will again not return to the Nassau Coliseum this season until the Stars and Isles meet in the finals.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on defenseman Andrew MacDonald who is among the league leading scorers in the AHL with comments from head coach Jack Capuano.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly.





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New York 4, Columbus 3 OT

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2008 09:48:00 PM




















AP: Has the recap of Monday's 4-3 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's a win they needed desperately but how they got there was simply not very encouraging combined with how they let the Jackets back in the game in the third due to their own mistakes. The 3-3 goal was the keystone cops at it's best as no one got position letting the puck find Umberger on his forehand in great position is completely unacceptable.

A club with finishing skills would have eaten the Islanders alive with some of those chances.

Too many times all night the Jackets had the better chances and pressure combined with a lot of powerplays. Modin did everything but finish and should have scored in the second.

MacDonald was very strong in goal, he kept them in early, the Islanders again won their share of battles but the Jackets speed gave them trouble breaking out or getting poession in their end of the ice.

Not going to win many games with Richard Park scoring, Guerin scoring coming out of the penalty box or Campoli scoring on a delayed penalty which was the best moment of the night for the Islanders as they just overwhelmed the Jackets down low.

Shorthanded play with solid enough with a few questionable calls against Sim early, Islanders with their powerplay missed the net too much for me. Not a lot of great five on five play by the Isles but a few good setups, Okposo did not look sharp on left wing again, Tambellini and Nielsen generated chances. Park and Hilbert did what they do best but simply cannot be counted on for goals.

Always a disappointment when Bergenheim is not in the lineup.

I have to give them credit for getting the game to overtime and settling down after the three goals and working the Jackets defense in overtime. Never seen a play where someone had to score twice for it to finally count but that's a two goal night from Campoli and another game where this defense is stepping up and providing the offense they have to have.

Not a great win but the Islanders desperately needed two points and a win to feel a little better about things, it has to continue tomorrow with a much better effort against the Ranger trap.

This would be working with DiPietro and this defense at full strength combined with one big shot from the forwards.





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Columbus at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2008 12:11:00 PM
Islandes website: Previews tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus Dispatch: Tom Redd previews tonight's game which includes head coach Ken Hitchcock returning forward R.J. Umberger to the No. 1 center slot after spending four games as a third-line winger. Umberger will skate between Nash and Kristian Huselius. Left winger Jason Chimera will be reunited with Derick Brassard and Jake Voracek on the second line.

Raffi Torres just returned to the Blue Jackets lineup. Goaltender Pascal Leclaire (ankle) did not travel with the team to New York. F Fredrik Modin (groin) is also out for Columbus.

Columbus comes off a game they took fifty shots on goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Aaron Portzline and Tom Reed provide the best newspaper coverage/blog I have seen to date in the Columbus Dispatch on any team and do a great job setting up a game for the readers.

Islanders at this point cannot worry about anything but getting back to work, finishing what they started in the first two periods against Montreal and the second half of the game against Philadelphia. The goals have to come and the players on defense have to make more plays and protect the goaltender better.

Anyone notice the players with Sunday's practice have had virtually no time off with this a four game is six day stretch? Jeff Tambellini should be well rested if he is put in the lineup as should Joey MacDonald.

Standings do not lie folks, Islanders flat out need two points here and again tomorrow and on Thursday. They simply cannot fall much further or this will become one of those lost seasons by thanksgiving that will make the last six seem like championship runs by comparision. They are playing with the kind of injuries no team should gain ground with but at this point they have to.

Upcoming schedule is simply brutal after the Atlanta game with three games against Ottawa this month.

Updated 1:45pm:
Newsday: Mark Herrmann updated the Islanders Newsday blog with some interesting comments from Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, Jeff Tambellini's likely return to action and a second blog from former Islander captain Michael Peca on what might have been if the group stayed together from 2001-02.

Head coach Scott Gordon talks about what Tambellini must do to stay in his lineup.






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The Problem With Injuries

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2008 08:38:00 AM
Simply put all players get injured sooner or later in this league. Crosby, Ovechkin, you can add virtually every player to that list.

The problem is injuries are beyond the control of the player, team and the fans so all you get is a lot of frustration from everyone when a club struggles on the ice without it's best players.

Back on 10/3 I blogged on this club still be stuck in 2007-08 when they led the league in injuries, same thing still applies with some of the names changing but the same problem still effecting everything. This team was not close to full strength in camp, during preseason and obviously not now.

Garth Snow knew what the career records of his defenders were when he settled on this group when it came time to offer them contracts. On the other side of this how do you not lock up a Brendan Witt for three years with a contract that was good for both sides? Same with a Radek Martinek.

Last year Aaron Johnson came here with his sixty games in Columbus and got injured practicing. Players like Berard are always a question of when and he did a great job staying healthy in the second half last year.

You give Campoli a three year contract, you have to follow a similar template for Bruno Gervais. Andy Sutton was signed at his market value or below considering what other defenders were paid. Freddy Meyer has been worth every penny of his contract and more given how he has played in the last year when he finally got healthy.

So what's the answer? Garth Snow is not going to find free agents that are a hundred percent durable. I'm not going to hit this very hard but the way the Coliseum ice is maintained the last few years it has seemed to contribute to injuries with the ice seemingly never good anymore.

So now we look at the trade market and there is Marian Gaborik with all his injuries who at this time would cost Garth Snow his first overall pick and likely Kyle Okposo along with close to a hundred million dollars to sign him.

Cannot be done, even if such a deal is made later on and does not include Okposo or the pick you look at the frequency of his injuries and his age and it's a
non-starter for that kind of money.

For now the New York Islanders and the fans will have to make due with what they have here and in Bridgeport who have also had a ton of injuries unless a peripheral move is made. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed but Scott Gordon's high speed practices has not led to any more injuries as they did in Moncton or he has changed things somewhat to keep his veterans healthy?

At some point by the new year I expect we will see most of the injured players back or close to returning, my guess is by that point it will be too late.

Sooner than later I suspect Garth Snow will start moving in some prospects or make a decision about Blake Comeau.

Seems 07-08 never ended with the injuries. This group may even miss more man games by the time this season is over if Weight, Comrie live up to their career track records. Guerin obviously played hurt a year ago.

Everyone better keep their fingers crossed on Streit, Hunter and Okposo who has never played eighty two games in one year.

Only difference from a year ago is the Islanders will have a reasonable amount of time off between games in the second half of the season but they are playing more hockey now unlike a year ago.






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Islander News Articles 11/3

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2008 07:47:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article has more on Rick DiPietro's surgery with head coach Scott Gordon's comments along with Kyle Okposo moving to the line with Bill Guerin and Doug Weight.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Scott Gordon wants to change a forwards natural position it should be a veteran, not a young player like Okposo who did not look comfortable as a left wing against Montreal. All this does is put his right handed shot on the left side and more net to shoot at but everything else he did against Montreal he seemed out of synch.

This is a very questionable move by the coach. If Gordon wants him with older players he can move Guerin to the left or put him with Weight and move the captain to another line.

You do not change the position of a nineteen year old who struggled in college statistically with such a move one year ago when he was moved to center.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article had more from head coach Scott Gordon on the loss of Rick DiPietro along with Kyle Okposo moving to a line with Doug Weight and Bill Guerin.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game article is on how the Sound Tigers again blew a three goal lead with comments from head coach Jack Capuano on puck management along with Kurtis McLean.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's post game blog is on Bridgeport losing it's fifth two goal lead in eleven games along with Kenny Morrow behind the Sound Tigers bench among several items.

Daily Gazette: Has the Albany recap.






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11/2/08

Sunday Notables/Bridgeport loss against Albany

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/02/2008 08:08:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan blogged on Sunday's practice after Saturday's tough loss along with what's ahead for Jeff Tambellini with head coach Scott Gordon's comments.

Sound Tigers.com: Reports the Sound Tigers lost 4-3 at home on Sunday against Albany, Dustin Kohn and Mark Parrish were among the goal scorers.

Andrew MacDonald had another assist along with Blake Comeau. Mark Wotton returned to the lineup with two assists.

Peter Mannino played his third game in three days.





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One Change Needed for Third Jersey

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/02/2008 06:42:00 AM


To me it's not a big deal the strap on the back of the pants but the decal on the helmet that says Islanders would be look much better with a picture of the logo.

Less is more, get that decal off the helmet and put the logo back on. It did not even read well looking at the helmet.

Islanders in script on the helmet looked a little too much like that fisherman uniform.

Next up, a full time return of the uniform along with the 1980 white version of the uniform that was worn at the Core of the Four.





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What Can The Islanders Do? Keep Working

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/02/2008 06:15:00 AM
Unless Garth Snow makes a move or Scott Gordon wants to look at other players from Bridgeport the only thing the club can do is keep working on the system and stick to it's plan.

Of course no plan will turn Park, Thompson, Fritz or Hilbert into goal-scorers and for every minute Tambellini sits in the stands is another step backwards for him along with the other players with potential who need an NHL opportunity. Kyle Okposo should never see another shift off his natural position, it is more than enough to play your natural position at this age in the NHL.

I know folks want to throw Pock and Skinner under the bus along with some of the other defenders but the circumstances are asking them to do a lot more than they should be. If Scott Gordon wants to send Pock, Tambellini to the AHL they risk losing them to waivers.

Meanwhile it seems every game Bergenheim does something to create a goal, that's the good news. Nielsen had another goal against Montreal, a good shot but it's not the goals but where he is getting chances from.

On paper a 5-4 loss to Montral is a good effort, how it came apart however must be the story.

All Scott Gordon and his players can do is get back to work. Expecting to win games waiting for some of these players to score is not realistic.

I suspect push is coming to shove soon because if you cannot win you have to get younger on the ice.

Where that leaves Mike Sillinger and a few others just does not add up in the long-run.





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11/1/08

Islander News Articles 11/2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2008 10:48:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the early game story (without quotes) at this time.

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article is mostly speculation from his earlier blog about what knee Rick DiPietro injured with Yann Danis comments about his opportunity and Mark Streit on the injuries along with both goaltenders here and their ability to contribute.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann does what he does best and that's make his point the Islanders are simply not good enough with or without Rick DiPietro as Scott Gordon and Mark Streit comment on why the club lost along with the seventies uniform theme.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That sounds nice and reads well but to outright ignore Witt, Martinek, Meyer, Sillinger, Bailey and all the other players that have been in and out of the lineup back to last January does not tell the full story. Few if any teams could remain competitive with the injuries this team has had and yet outside of the Buffalo game they have for the most part.

Apparently that is a story Newsday/Mr Herrmann/Mr Logan does not care to write about, not last season when the Isles led the league and not now.

Newsday: Mark Herrman does an NHL article on the injury policy around the NHL where he finally notes other clubs have been doing the same thing as the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
But the rub here is you have not seen other NHL newspapers and writers go off at their club they cover like Greg Logan, Mark Herrmann and the Newsday staff has at the Islanders which says more about them and how they do business vs any team or league policy.

I reviewed this the other day and looked some other markets with the same policy. I did not see Dave Molinary or the writers in Pittsburgh calling out Crosby, gm Ray Shero, ownership or Michael Terrien daily like we have seen here or claim anyone was faking. Michael Russo in Minnesota has not been roasting Marian Gaborik or Doug Risebrough daily and going off on the Wild.

Another club issued a release that a player was injured but not related to an earlier injury and that media did not go after the club daily with it's newspaper staff ripping the club like Newsday.

This is clearly a double-standard.

When Mark Herrmann wants to start criticizing his employer for the television coverage and their unprofessional conduct with no pregame, no in-between period Islander content again last night and no Islander-centric postgame then Newsday would be in a better position to make an argument they are here to tell the Islanders story.

Devils on Time Warner had two MsgPlus2 channels active, Islanders only are burried on channel 199 while NJ has channel 51/199.

As usual Mr Zipay outworked Mr Logan with several game in blogs.

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey recaps the Canadians comeback win and had another article on Mark Streit.

NY Post: Dan Martin has comments from Mark Streit and head coach Scott Gordon on the loss of DiPietro and the game to the Montreal Canadians. Scott Gordon still feels this club is sticking with old habits that are hurting them.

Daily News: Brian Bohl had comments from Scott Gordon on the club's loss to the Canadians.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Saturday's 6-5 against the Binghampton Senators sweeping the back to back set on the road.

Jack Hillen scored his first two goals of the season, included the game-winner with ten seconds remaining in regulation time. Jesse Joensuu, Mike Iggulden, Trevor Smith and Jamie Fraser each had one tally for the Sound Tigers.

Blake Comeau had two assist, Mark Parrish had an assist. Andrew MacDonald had two assist. Peter Mannino had twenty five saves.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Anyone else notice Andrew MacDonald seems to have a few assist or a goal seemingly every game while Dustin Kohn keeps sitting in the stands?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the recap of Bridgeport's 6-5 win Saturday (another 3-0 lead lost by Bridgeport) which includes Jack Hillen's comments on his late disputed goal (no video review in AHL) along with head coach Jack Capuano and Jeremy Collition.

Jesse Joensuu also was involved in a fight.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio previews Sundays 4pm game at Harbor Yard against Albany.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio blogged on several items and had the scratches for Bridgeport which included Tomas Marcinko.

Press & Sun-Bulletin: Michael Sharp has the Binghampton coverage.








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DiPietro out Four-Six weeks after Knee Surgery

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2008 10:35:00 PM
Islanders website: Earlier announced Rick DiPietro had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury. He will be out 4-6 weeks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders know they have a franchise goaltender and one of the best in the NHL who was an all-star last season and held his club in the race into January scoring the least goals in the NHL. He's been one of the best in the league since he became the clubs full time starter in 2003-04.

At this point whatever has to be done for him to be a hundred percent healthy has to be the way to go. He took no contact or anyone running his leg and got hurt anyway.

Newsday likely will run him down because of his contract and because the writers seem to have their own issues with him but the only thing he can possiblily be blamed for here (if he can be blamed for anything) was doing all he could to help the club.

It should be noted the league's new injury policy prohibits a club from lying about the information disclosed so if they claim this is unrelated to his summers knee surgery that must be correct.

Only the doctors know if DiPietro was rushing or pushing himself too hard. If Brendan Witt and a lot of other players rushed back no one would fault them for coming back early to help the club.

Same should apply with DiPietro if the media standards are the same.







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Montreal 5, New York 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2008 10:02:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the recap of Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Montreal Canadians.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Devastating loss, the kind that can kill a club for the remainder of a season with fragile confidence and injuries combined with a rookie coach trying to gain confidence himself with veteran NHL players.

We finally saw this team play with a lead and they looked completely lost that simply were over matched without DiPietro, Witt, Martinek and Meyer come crunch time against a club with that kind of skill that is used to that kind of shootout
high-scoring game.

We also saw the continuing trend of the Islanders once they take some penalties they cannot get their offensive game back on track which happened at the beginning of the third.

I do not think a lot of clubs would have come back against the Islanders like that, Montreal is one of those clubs that can and has this ability.

Anyone really expect Thompson, Park, Hilbert, Fritz to give this team a big third period goal or Pock-Skinner to hold up against a highly skilled offensive club like that? They did well (Pock struggled all night) Park drew several penalties and Fritz had his fight but even if the Isles had won here is it worth it for Tambellini to sit in the stands so Laraque can fight by appointment with Fritz or Comeau to sit in Bridgeport?

Win or lose I'm not seeing it.

Worst of all I have no idea why Scott Gordon had Kyle Okposo on left wing with Guerin and Hunter on the right side. Did the staff not tell the coach how changing Okposo's position in Minnesota led to some college struggles a year ago? A few times he had the puck and did not look comfortable with his release. Only thing I can think of was Gordon wanted his shot off left wing because he is right handed and had more net to shoot at.

For two periods a mediocre roster had the best of the Canadians, they outskated them, outworked them and stayed out of the box and showed some good speed and won the battles. Bergenheim had a great setup to Nielsen for the 4-1 goal and Price looked more beatable than any goaltender the Isles have faced this season. Danis had a few shaky moments but unraveled in the third to a small degree but did not have a lot of help.

His save on Koivu in the first was big. Campoli made a great play in the second diving in the crease to cover the net.

I predicted this team for sixth. Without DiPietro, Martinek, Witt and Meyer this is just too much to overcome combined with a club that seems to be spinning it's wheels
only developing a few prospects while fringe NHL players are in some spots.

Outside of Kovalev the Candians big scorers did not do the third period damage either.

I like the speed Scott Gordon's plan has brought, I do not like some of the players in those spots because they are not going to keep up with a game in the balance or make a play to turn the momentum back in the Islanders favor.

If Garth Snow and Scott Gordon are competing for a playoff spot in 2008-09 the record almost demands a trade at this point to shake the mix because the record and the standings do not lie.







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Montreal at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2008 03:30:00 PM
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadians.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
One team is 7-1 and coming off a conference championship, Roman Hamrlik recently returned to the Canadians lineup. The other has it's starting goaltender out along with three of it's key defenders and significant injuries to it's forwards with the club having problems finishing among the veterans and forwards.

The idea of these changes was to play a faster brand of hockey, no team dismantled the Islanders like Montreal last season in the four games so we'll see how Scott Gordon approaches a club with this level of speed and skill.

Everyone know the standings, Islanders have to win some games at this point.





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Islander News Articles 11/1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2008 06:55:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on defenseman Mark Streit, why he left Montreal to come play for New York and how he now has the role he wanted.

Updated 10:00am:
Newsday: Greg Logan added an early morning blog entry with more on defenseman Mark Streit vs former Islander Marc-Andre Bergeron where head coach Scott Gordon does not see the mistakes some felt we would see with Streit on defense.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
When Mr Logan wants to do a quality job he obviously is more than capable and does an outstanding job here. I only wish he would do more of this on all the players including the all-star goaltender from last year.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article is on Doug Weight who is not content just to be here to teach the young players, he has to produce and the club has to win.

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey's article has comments from goaltender Yann Danis who will get the start tonight against his former club as Mr Hickey also previews the game here.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 4-2 win in Binghampton Friday night. Tim Jackman scored the game-tying and winning goals, both coming on the power-play. Andrew MacDonald and Kurtis McLean tallied the other two goals for the Sound Tigers while Peter Mannino stopped 31 shots to earn his third win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game recap has comments from head coach Jack Capuano, Tim Jackman and Peter Mannino along with the preview for Saturday's rematch here.

Chris Lee returned to the lineup, Jack Hillen made his Bridgeport debut. Captain Mark Wotton was scratched for the first time since January 2007. Jesse Joensuu and Pascal Morency were also scratched. Mark Parrish wore nunber thirteen, had two shots on goal and a penalty on the right wing for Bridgeport in his debut.

Blake Comeau has an assist and seven shots on goal.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's blog points out Bridgport again give up a lead among several items.

Press Connects: Michael Sharp has the Binghampton Senators coverage along with a blog.






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10/31/08

NHL Network: College Hockey TV Schedule

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2008 02:58:00 PM
NHL.com: NHL Network today announced it has reached a one-year extension for broadcast rights to games from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC Hockey).

NHL Network's 2008-09 U.S. College Hockey broadcast schedule is as follows:

October
Friday, Oct. 31 Wisconsin @ North Dakota

November
Friday, Nov. 7 Ferris State @ Miami
Friday, Nov. 14 Alaska Anchorage @ North Dakota
Friday, Nov. 21 Michigan @ Miami (Ohio)
Friday, Nov. 28 Cornell @ North Dakota

December
Friday, Dec. 5 St. Lawrence @ Colgate (Brian Day)
Friday, Dec. 12 Notre Dame @ Bowling Green
Friday, Dec. 19 Clarkson @ Bowling Green

January
Friday, Jan. 9 Minnesota Duluth @ St. Cloud State
Friday, Jan. 16 Cornell @ Union
Friday, Jan. 23 Brown @ Colgate
Friday, Jan. 30 Bowling Green @ Miami (Ohio)

February
Friday, Feb. 6 Denver @ Minnesota Duluth
Friday, Feb. 13 Yale @ Union
Friday, Feb. 20 Denver @ Wisconsin
Friday, Feb. 27 Ohio State @ Miami (Ohio)

March
Friday, Mar. 20 ECAC Hockey Semifinal #1
Friday, Mar. 20 ECAC Hockey Semifinal #2
Saturday, Mar. 21 ECAC Hockey Final

New York Islander College Prospects:
Brian Day-Colgate ECAC
Jason Gregoire-North Dakota USHL
Shea Guthrie-Clarkson ECAC
Troy Mattila-Dartmouth ECAC
Rhett Rakhshani-Denver WCHA
Doug Rogers-Harvard ECAC
David Toews-North Dakota WCHA
Corey Trivino-BU Hockey East
Matt Donovan-Cedar Rapids USHL/Denver
Blake Kessel-New Hampshire Hockey East
Tyrell Mason-Clarkson ECAC
Aaron Ness-Minnesota WCHA
Shane Sims-Ohio State CCHA
Jase Weslosky-St Cloud State WCHA






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Thompson, Hilbert, Park=No Youth Movement

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2008 02:21:00 PM
Sorry folks, as well as Nate Thompson played for the last week this should not be Scott Gordon's only forward on the ice shorthanded in overtime.

This is a player claimed off waivers with some enforcer skills but this is not a player you look at as part of a youth movement or should be in such a critical role, he won a faceoff to clear the puck at the start of the Flyer powerplay but also fanned on a clearing attempt just before the game winner.

Either way that is not the point here, I would ask the same question if Thompson went end to end and scored the game winner.

After the Islanders overtime powerplay that spent too much time on the perimeter with no speed outside of Mark Streit on the ice, Andy Hilbert and Richard Park came out as Scott Gordon's forwards.

Hard workers? Absolutely.

Players who are likely to score a goal or create a play to win the game?
No, what you see is what you get and the career resume does not lie.

I have written a few times about all the over thirty players on the roster and even though Thompson and Hilbert do not fit that these cannot be called high end prospects at this point.

I'm not seeing some of this by Scott Gordon unless he is falling into the same trap Ted Nolan did playing some veterans which is partly because players like Hilbert and Park are stronger defensively to keep his team in the game.

To be fair also Scott Gordon had the young players on some powerplays and Nielsen set up the overtime goal in Tampa.

I think some Islander fans are under the impression Garth Snow said this team is having a youth movement or a rebuilding, he never said this but his coach does have to give the youth more chances with the game on the line.

If the idea is to play the youth more where was Kyle Okposo or Bergenheim, Nielsen for that powerplay?

Mitch Fritz over Tambellini? Not seeing that either.

I'm still wondering how Blake Comeau is not on this roster or Colliton, Joensuu, Marcinko and a few others like Hennigar or Iggulden or Trevor Smith. Ben Walter is finally getting healthy but after getting a shot here last year does not even seem on the radar.

If Scott Gordon is going to lean more on the vets Garth Snow might as well sign Brendan Shanahan's shot and send Fritz/Thompson to the AHL and make a choice between Park and Hilbert.
************************************************
Anyone else think the Flyer forward tucked Nielsen's stick under his arm and held on as Hilbert kind of did to draw the Isles overtime powerplay?

Nielsen took his shot one against three.
************************************************
For those wondering why the faceoff for the Flyer powerplay at the end of the game was in the Islanders end of the ice the new NHL rule says all powerplays start in the offensive zone.
************************************************
I do not think Gervais batting the puck into the stands is a delay of game as long as he is not on his side of the blueline unless that rule changed also.






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Islander Notables/Quick Hit

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2008 10:58:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Rick DiPietro was placed on IR effective last Sunday which means he cannot be activated until 11/2 at the earliest meaning he is out against Montreal.

Mr Logan's speculation game on his favorite target now claims the fact DiPietro was not allowed to play in the first four games of the regular season and lasted only seven periods over three games in eight days suggest he’s not in tip-top condition.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So lets recap, first DiPietro was faking now he was not in top-top condition?

Please stick to the hockey and leave the medicine to the doctors.

Seems this is not about the Islanders injury policy for Newsday/Mr Logan but Rick DiPietro.

How about the Newsday staff put all the injuries under the mircoscope back to last season or at the very least tell us once how many games the club lost to injury?

Mr Logan has not gone this hard after Sillinger, Witt or Bailey among others with injuries so it's not just about the policy. Radek Martinek is this clubs most important player after DiPietro and his absence is enormous to the backline and we have not read a word of speculation from the beatwriter.

Updated 2pm:
Newsday: Mr Logan reports in the Islanders Newsday blog defenseman Freddy Meyer underwent sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss two-four weeks while Radek Martink skated at practice and speculates on his return based on Chris Campoli's recovery.

A Saturday article will be written on defenseman Mark Streit who faces his former team for the first time Saturday.

Updated 3pm:
Newsday: Jim Baumbach has an interview with Islanders legendary President and General Manager, Bill Torrey who talked about the fans having to be patient with the clubs plan and what role he still has with the Florida Panthers.

Star Phoenix: Cory Wolfe had a two page feature on Islander prospect Jyri Niemi with how awestruck it was meeting a celebrity in Islander captain Bill Guerin.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Funny stuff from Niemi on meeting Guerin.

Chronicle Herald: Willy Palov reports Moncton Wildcat owner aggressively pursued Danny Flynn two years ago and offered him a four year contract to return as Wildcats coach.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to Danny Flynn, would not shock me if he is hired as an NHL coach. I wonder if Ted Nolan would work as an assistant for him?

Tri City Herald: Annie Fowler reports the Portland Winter Hawks which had the worst record in the Western Hockey League made an ownership change this week. Former Islander Rich Kromm was fired as head coach and another former Islander, Travis Green was named assistant coach and assistant GM.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Has it really been that long between playoff series wins Travis Green had a full NHL career and now is an assistant gm? He also scored the goal in game seven to elimiate the Islanders against Toronto.

Quick Hit:
I guess Newsday needed another NHL blog for the Rangers to receive even more space than the Islanders and now Mr Herrmann was given such space to so he can write even more often about the Islanders viability.

I suspect Mark Herrmann's content and commentary will be a lot more about the Cablevision owned team in the most postive light possible and we will see more of the usual negative slant the Islanders in whatever crumbs he provides. Do not count on many features like the one on Mitch Fritz which was very good but the exception for Mr Herrmann, hardly the rule.

Too bad for everyone.

I put the link to it on the blog, it is not Islander-centric only so I am not going to use it in the feeder here.







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Islander News Articles 10/31

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2008 03:04:00 AM
Newsday: Greg Logan's post-game had head coach Scott Gordon's comments that he considered the game a tie and a step in the right direction along with defending Frans Nielsen for his penalty as the center winger talked about the play and his problems finishing chances so far this season.

Newsday: Mr Logan notes the injured reserve listing for Rick DiPietro on the Islanders website and reports the team will have a statement over the weekend on the goaltenders status. Yann Danis reportedly smiled and said he's day to day.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan did not claim Danis may have been faking his smile.

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article is on the enforcers being used as needed with Mitch Fritz comments along with what the coach told Jeff Tambellini about what he has to do more to stay in the lineup.

AP: Has comments from head coach Scott Gordon.

Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News: Has the Flyers coverage along with Phillyburbs.com and Chuck Gormley in the Courier Post here.

WHL.com: Reports Islander prospect Jared Spurgeon will will compete in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge for Team WHL which takes place from November 17th to 27th as Canadian Hockey League All-Star Teams, from each of its three member Leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL), take on the Russian National Junior Team in a six game series.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Jack Hillen and what he wants to do in the AHL as he makes his AHL debut tonight along with head coach Jack Capuano who has some decisions to make on defense with Chris Lee apparently ready to return.

The Sound Tigers coach also reported Mark Parrish will play Friday as Bridgeport has three games in three days and a double-header in Binghampton along with the game preview here for Friday.

Note-Mr Fornabaio's blog on Thursday afternoon had Mark Parrish's comments.

Press & Sun Bulletin : Michael Sharp has has a very good preview for the back to back games with solid background on both clubs.








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Philadelphia 3, New York 2 Overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2008 02:35:00 AM
Islanders website: Has the recap of Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers with Scott Gordon's comments on Frans Nielsen's penalty and how his club got better as the game went along.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure how I feel about this game.

On one hand the club gave up a great chance to the Flyers in the first ten seconds, left Carter all alone on the second goal and simply could not finish in a game that they had to score. I'm not impressed about a Guerin four on three shot from the point and a Hilbert fluke where he misfired were the Isles only goals.

Players like Guerin, Weight, Sim and Comrie have to produce more quality chances in a sixty minute game.

On the other hand other forwards did generate chances and Islanders were the better team in the second half of the game. Thompson, Bergenheim, Nielsen had some great chances along with Hunter getting that nice pass from Okposo in the second.

Scott Gordon's lines were tough to get a read on with a lot of changes as the game wore on. MacDonald gave them every chance to win the game and I loved watching Sutton push Hartnell away from the goaltender shorthanded in the second. Pock broke up a two on one, everyone was steady on the backline all night for the most part and that's hardly a small sidebar considering the injuries on the backline.

Flyers picked apart an Atlanta team struggling on defense going into this game.

Overall it was a waste to play Fritz over Tambellini who took a poor penalty especially considering Tambellini is one of the clubs he has scored against for what that is worth. Hunter's second period penalty against Sbisa was a terrible call where both players should have been called.

I felt the penalty in overtime on Nielsen was a marginal call but a makup call for the one that gave the Islanders an overtime powerplay. Last year it seemed a matter of when before the Flyers got the five on three goal or the Isles gave up a goal on their own the powerplay to turn the game.

Isles four on three in overtime was on the perimeter for far too long with Hunter in front screening Biron. Too bad Hunter missed the wide open net.

Nate Thompson the lone forward in the closing seconds?

Ok. Islanders got a point and had a good overall defensive effort and skated well again, that's the good news.

Bad news is the standings do not lie, it's getting late early.





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