12/8/08

Islander News Articles 12/9

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2008 11:00:00 PM
More updates to this blog entry tomorrow.

Newsday: Greg Logan has the recap of the Islanders loss in Toronto with comments from former Islander Jason Blake and head coach Scott Gordon about his teams lack of skating.

Newsday: Mr Logan had a late blog entry with Mike Sillinger's comments on his goal and how it feels to be back playing, Scott Gordon explains why he was re-united with Hunter and Hilbert.

Toronto Star & National Post with Toronto Sun & Globe & Mail: Covers the Toronto Maple Leafs on their 4-2 win.

National Post: John O'Connor has an interview with former Islander head coach Ted Nolan who declined to talk about his tenure as coach but did say the rumours about him playing the veterans when gm Garth Snow wanted him to play the kids were untrue.

Nolan also discussed being an NHL head coach again along with what else is going on with him these days which included watching Monday's game.





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Toronto 4, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2008 10:14:00 PM
National Post: Michael Traikos recaps the Islanders 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Monday at ACC.

AP: Also recaps Toronto's 4-2 win with Sports Network here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If not for Joey MacDonald it could have easily been seven or eight goals and if he was tired it did not show, excellent effort wasted.

Something in the team defense/chemistry department is off right now, passing lanes open with skating, reactions to pressure just not good at all. Witt was throwing hits and getting in passing lanes but team defense looks like individual efforts right now.

For a team struggling at the start of games that came in losing three in a row Toronto took the play at the Islanders for a good fifty minutes and the game looked like a mismatch. Toronto's callups outplayed the Islander veterans.

Islanders skating also took the night off, almost all of the Isles offense came from the point with deflection goals by Guerin and Sillinger. Until the end Toskala did not have to be very good or face much pressure in front of him.

Jackman had his chance, Comeau had the Leaf goaltender floundering outside his crease after his early breakaway but little else until the last part of the third and nothing sustained.

Comeau in terms of individual play looked good and created some early chances until he took the hit to his arm-hand. Bergenheim another very selfish penalty in the second.

Scott Gordon reunited Ted Nolan's old Hilbert-Sillinger-Hunter line in the third with Bailey not doing much and they got a few chances. Bergenheim looked a little more effective in the third back with Guerin and Weight. Streit got his chance late.

Islanders better find some answers to their team defensive game and start creating some quality chances and pick up the skating. Jason Blake looked excellent and the Leafs just carried play and won all the battles. Islanders took the majority of the big hits with Thompson at least standing up for his teammates.

We'll see if someone is called up for Thompson or Comeau.

Islanders look like a club in a free fall right now that is not working well as a unit, Toronto created chances MacDonald could not stop.

Islanders have to start doing the same thing.







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Tennis Anyone? Islanders to Flushing....

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2008 05:02:00 PM
Sports Business Journal: Don Muret in an article about the USTA putting a retractable roof on the Tennis Stadium in Flushing has comments from Danny Zausner, managing director of the U.S. Tennis Association who did a little speculation about the Islanders and Nets in a multipurpose facility that seats over twenty thousand.

The writer reports Islanders officials declined to comment on whether they would consider moving from Uniondale to Queens and released a statement from media relations coordinator Josh Bernstein that the club’s focus remains on improving Nassau.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Fun story for a Monday but the Islanders did issue a comment about this and if a WNBA game can be played there it may just be feasible if a roof were put on the Tennis Stadium to play hockey.

The parking, highway access and LI railroad link is right there.

That loud noise in the background is Msg threatening to pull all television coverage and void the cable contract. Considering the Mets prior ownership bid on the Hub area it would be interesting to see the Islanders on their doorstep?

Fun story for a quiet monday but if a roof is put on that building it can be used for year-round sports. To my knowledge it sits quietly in Flushing Meadows Park most of the year.







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New York at Toronto 7:30pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2008 12:00:00 PM
FAN590: Daren Millard & Nick Kypreos had Islanders head coach Scott Gordon on Monday as a guest of the Toronto radio show and reported Rick DiPietro is about three weeks away from playing an NHL game among several topics discussed.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Scott Gordon's interview begins after about twenty nine minutes of the show.

The Star: Has the latest on the Leafs injuries which now include prospect Luke Schenn and apparently Niklas Hagman for a club with only four wins in thirteen home games.

National Post: Michael Traikos reports after losing defenceman Luke Schenn and forward Niklas Hagman to injuries, the Toronto Maple Leafs recalled defenceman Jaime Sifers and forward Jeremy Williams from the minors and are expected to play against the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A tough 2-1 loss to a good Washington club on Saturday, a new general manager in Brian Burke taking notes and a club that has put some up significant high-scoring beatings on the Islanders at the Air Canada Center over the years.

And another opposing club on a three game losing streak that will be desperate to get back in the win column.

First win in a long-time last season at ACC took four powerplay goals for the Islanders, both clubs are different today but the Leafs still display an ability to break out with a big offensive game but have not done it since early November, Islanders to this point have not displayed that ability.

We all know the standings and circumstances, four under is terrible and at the fringe of being a lottery team, five under puts the club in a position where you almost have to start looking to make changes.

Reality is Islanders are eight points out of fourth in the division, five points out of the eighth spot with the South East again looking like the weak link after the Caps.

Can five Atlantic clubs qualify? Sure.
Is it likely? No, because you have to beat out the second seed in the South East and the third place club in the Northeast.

If Joey MacDonald is getting tired we will find out this week, I guess DiPietro or Ted Nolan cannot be blamed for all the consecutive starts.

Jason Blake had three of his thirteen points on the season against the Coyotes on 12/4.

The new generation Leafs are led on offense by names like Matt Stajan, Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky & Mikhail Grabovski with Vesa Toskala and his 8.85 save percentage in goal.

Fair to write Scott Gordon's 2008-09 Islanders cannot fall much further.






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My Theory on weaker defense/shots against

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/08/2008 10:56:00 AM
Recently one Islander said the teams top six defenders was among the best in the division when healthy.

My math says the top six (before Gervais was announced injured) were healthy for a grand total of one game this season and that did not even turn out to be true.

Of course a big part of the weaker defense/shots against is about all the injuries from the beginning of camp with Campoli and Sutton going on the shelf as someone is always hurt with Gervais-Martinek now out.

Another part that has to be written about is overspeed when you see unusual mistakes from Meyer and even Witt we did not see last season at their collective best. Witt at the end of the last game looked like he needed some shot blocking practice and put on a one-man show in a contest that was over where he did not quit but it was his most memorable moment since he returned.

My theory is an easy one, they need DiPietro in net to handle the puck.

Last year the club/defense were decimated down the stretch with injuries but with Dubie in net the Islanders shots given up rose dramatically almost immediately.

No knock on MacDonald (or Dubielewicz) because not even DiPietro, Luongo, Brodeur at their best could play this many games in a row with all these shots and do any better than MacDonald has played in the Islander net, he's been that good and his third star pick of the month (first goaltender) for November says it best.

MacDonald is not a stickhandling goaltender with a defense constructed for a player who can move the puck and keep the pressure off.

Just a theory, could be an incorrect one because we do not know how DiPietro would be asked to play under Scott Gordon.

Most nights DiPietro handled the puck very well and I have seen countless games where it's helped the club win by keeping pressure off, some only remember the game in Tampa.









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12/7/08

Islander News Articles 12/8

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2008 09:29:00 PM
Toronto already made callups for Luke Schenn and Nicklas Hagman who are out for Monday's game in Jaime Sifers and Jeremy Williams.

Monday's game preview is set for release at 1pm.

Schenn is out at least two weeks.

Newsday: Mr Logan's article has comments from head coach Scott Gordon and Blake Comeau about how well he played Saturday, why he was sent to Bridgeport and what both feel have to happen for him him to stay as Mr Logan notes Tambellini's future options after his conditioning assignment ends.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good stuff from Gordon and Comeau here but going back to camp the new Islander coach seemed to go out of his way to put down his contribution from a year ago when everyone from the veterans to the general manager praised his play.

I hope Comeau and Tambellini are not a proposition where it's one or the other. In that instance Comeau did more in one game than Tambellini did all season by far.

Going back to last summer: Comeau, Bergenheim, Sim & Tambellini all are left wings which was written about here a lot.

NY Post: Dan Martin was given seven total sentences to quote Joey MacDonald and write about the upcoming crucial stretch starting tonight.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

The Devils who are off until Wednesday and did not play Sunday were given a full article for Mark Everson's article with several player quotes who were on the road.

Espn: Pierre LeBrun in his Espn blogs heads to Florida on what he is calling a significant Board of Governors meeting.

USA Today.com: A.J Perez has a feature article on Islander center Doug Weight who among many topics talks about misconceptions about playing here and the direction of the organization.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's big comeback shootout win with head coach Jack Capuano crediting goaltender Peter Mannino & his team for not giving up after the tough fights at the end of Saturday's game which Sean Bentivoglio talks about.

Rob Hennigar talked about his line with Bentivoglio & callup Dennis Packard having to play solid in all three zones.

Mr Fornabaio also had a big post-game blog here.

Lowell Sun: Has Devils coverage.






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New Poll: First time callup, you decide

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2008 06:55:00 PM
Last weeks poll is in the books with Jeremy Colliton voted the most impressive game in/game out prospect.

This week expands on this a little bit, goes in another direction and asks what first time callup in 08-09 would you like to see with the Islanders?

Note the words first-time callup in 08-09.

That puts past Islander callup Ben Walter along with Mike Iggulden who was recalled for a game with San Jose last season (against the Islanders) in the mix, but not Tambellini, Colliton, Skinner or Hillen.

Blake Comeau a day ago would have been too easy a choice.

For the purposes of this I'm also factoring in a little Bridgeport production or lack of it in some cases which means Rob Hennigar/long time prospect Jason Pitton are not on the list. I kept Chris Lee who was in camp to the last day off the list also but anyone wants to e-mail in a vote will be included.

This is not limited to one vote, if you want to see more than one callup you can vote that way too.

It should be noted along these lines on Monday AHL All-Star voting begins.







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Bridgeport 4, Lowell 3 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2008 05:47:00 PM
AHL.com: Recaps Bridgeport's 4-3 shootout win against the Lowell Devils on the road Sunday.

Tambellini had the shootout winner.

Jack Hillen scored late from the hash marks at 17:22 to force overtime for Bridgeport.

Mark Wotton had some good chances in the third, Bridgeport had trouble with what the announcer described as the Devils trap until they tied the game.

Peter Mannino had forty plus saves in goal after a slow start and was big in the final seconds of ot.

Jeff Tambellini one shot in regulation, at least one in overtime. Smith, McLean and Iggulden were generating chances in overtime.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Good job by Bridgeport coming back and forcing overtime, even in the AHL four games in five days is very unusual with a game last Wednesday.

Bridgeport played a penalty free game until 17.4 seconds left in overtime, no team record. Lowell one penalty.

Matthew Spiller plays for Lowell for those who remember him from the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his SoundTigers blog with line combinations/players out also reported a callup in goal with Nate Lawson out for a one-day event which turns out to be what the writer says is a Mission Itech sales rep who is a buddy of Garth Snow and a former University of New Hampshire goalie named Brett Abel.

Last reported game played for the thirty eight year old was in 1994-95.

Scoring:
1. LOW Murphy, (5) (Pelley, Davis), 4:42
1. LOW Fraser, (1) (Davis, Salmela), 8:03
2. BRI Smith, (12) (McLean, Hillen), 4:38 (PP)
2. LOW Salmela, (3) (Murphy, Davis), 7:11
2. BRI Bentivoglio, (3) (Hennigar), 10:31
3. BRI Hillen, (4) (Iggulden, McLean), 17:22


Shootout Five Rounds:

Ben Walter-goal
Lowell-goal
Kurtis McLean-save pokecheck
Lowell-stopped
Trevor Smith-stopped
Lowell-stopped
Jesse Joensuu-goal
Lowell-goal
Jeff Tambellini-goal (over shoulder)
Lowell-stopped





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Why not Trevor Smith, Joensuu & Iggulden?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/07/2008 07:55:00 AM
No knock on a Richard Park or an Andy Hilbert because in a sixty minute game they give everything they have to help a club win and they will do whatever it takes.

In transition from defense to offense/offense to defense both are above average and never take a shift off who create turnovers that start rushes. They skate very well, excellent on defense, will always take a hit to make a play and give you everything and more in the trenches. Once in a while they will score a big goal or setup a play to lead to a big goal.

Excellent team players who make a club better by being part of it.

Having written that to see them go on a powerplay with Jon Sim and expect them to score on a regular basis or when you are trailing and need a goal is asking for too much and goes above what they have done in their respective careers. We saw the same thing with Claude Lapointe a decade ago here and in the recent past with Shawn Bates.

I'm also well aware Andy Hilbert had produced more goals this season but deflecting in shots or banking one in off another player is not taking a shot that can beat a hot goalie by hitting the top shelf or a setup where someone has an open net to shoot at.

These are the kind of big goals we see other clubs setup or their skill players create with shots that can beat a hot goaltender and turn a games momentum.

This has to start happening here.

Again that's not a knock on anyone however it begs the question is the organization putting players in the best position for them to be successful long-term?

To be fair to Scott Gordon both Frans Nielsen & Kyle Okposo saw their share of powerplay time like Bailey before they were injured, despite their low overall scoring.

Josh Bailey is a top draft pick with excellent passing skills, the coach is absolutely doing the right thing to work him in and give him powerplay time at this point whether he produces or not because this will be he spot in the long-term.

Bergenheim despite his recent play where he looks to be struggling/sick/whatever is not seeing his minutes on the powerplay. Jeff Tambelli only had limited powerplay chances.

Comeau did not get nearly enough of a chance with the man advantage last season either, he did not get a chance last night.

Sim can do some powerplay damage but has not looked good for the most part in this mix nor have we seen nearly enough of his shot.

What are Garth Snow and Scott Gordon waiting for with Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu and Mike Iggulden if they have scoring skills and need an opportunity?

I know Tim Jackman works very hard and is creating some great chances but he is not going to score on a regular basis at this level, the career resume does not lie here and as much as he stands up for his teammates he is not going to produce enough to justify a spot on an offensively challenged club.

When you do not have a club with a top scoring line you have to make some tough choices. One night they seem to go for toughness, another with a little more grit but they never go for scoring skill.

Snow and Gordon have other options, Ben Walter got his call last year to the Islanders, we read a lot about Rob Hennigar who has not put up the numbers in Bridgeport & before Jeremy Colliton was sent back (out with sore knee) he was playing well enough on defense again to where his minutes were not hurting the club.

Somewhere in this organization there has to be a shooter with offensive skills who can give this team a jump or at the very least the skill players need a look at this point to see what they can do.

We already know what some players here cannot do on offense, that's not going to change even if they score an occasional goal in the upcoming games.

Why not Trevor Smith, Joensuu, & Iggulden in and Jackman, Thompson, and one out of Park/Hilbert/Sillinger/Sim out?

For that matter add Tambellini right back into the mix, he will prove nothing in Bridgeport as I wrote the other day.

Edited 5:30pm:
Should have included Kurtis McLean in this as well.







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12/6/08

Islander News Articles 12/7

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2008 10:06:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the recap of the Islanders 5-1 loss to Atlanta, head coach Scott Gordon credited the effort and pointed to the disparity in chances his team had along with how few sustained chances the Thrashers got. Andy Sutton talked about the penalties and said the team has to stick to the system while goaltender Joey MacDonald talked about how he has to play better and felt he let the club down while Mr Logan brought up the issue of fatigue.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If MacDonald says he is fatigued that is one thing but I cannot put any of those goals on him or any kind of wear given where they were scored. If Scott Gordon wants to say his team put in the effort where were the quality chances for all the disparity in play/shots against? Hedberg needed one very good save on Jackman to show for his nights work and another on Sillinger in the first, that was about it.

Edit-Add in Comeau's two early chances. Someone have another I would like to know?

Daily News: Peter Botte's game article (no quotes this hour) but some on last years youth movement with Gordon vs Nolan.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article was on a club looking for positives about losing to a club 5-1 with the worst record in the Eastern Conference with Scott Gordon, Andy Sutton, Joey MacDonald & Blake Comeau.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mike Knobler recaps the Thrashers win and has blog coverage.

Star Phoenix: Cory Wolfe & Kevin Mitchell has Mr Wolfe traveling with the Saskatoon Blades through B.C. who sat down with defenseman Jyri Niemi who talked about being named to team Finland for the WJC & Christmas traditions back home.

AHL.com: Recaps Bridgeport's 6-3 loss at Harbor Yard to Norfolk on Saturday.

Scoring
1. NOR Potulny, (3) (Bochenski, Konopka), 3:31 (PP)
1. NOR Kearns, (5) (Mihalik, Heward), 7:47
1. NOR Kearns, (6) (Simek, Ward), 16:54
2. BRI Smith, (10) (MacDonald, McLean), 0:23 (PP)
2. NOR Bochenski, (10) (Konopka, Potulny), 10:37 (PP)
2. NOR Bochenski, (11) (Potulny, Konopka), 11:43 (PP)
3. NOR Segal, (9) (Ward), 9:00 (SH)
3. BRI Smith, (11) (Walter, Iggulden), 13:06 (PP)
3. BRI Iggulden, (14) (Smith, McLean), 17:51 (PP)

Jeff Tambellini had eight shots and was a minus one.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had head coach Jack Capuano and Mike Iggulden on the Sound Tigers loss with the head coach not happy with losing the physical game or having the legs under them in this one.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bridgeport will see a lot of Norfolk in the next few weeks. Jack Capuano seemed to have no problem going to Utah for toughness.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has Jeff Tambellini's comments who talked about having to create time and space to get his chances when he returns to New York after his conditioning assignment along with a preview of Sunday's game in Lowell here.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's blog includes Bridgeport goaltender Nate Lawson getting injured on a hit from a Norfolk Admiral (Jason Ward) and not returning after he relieved Peter Mannino who allowed all six Norfolk goals on thirty three shots.

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: Covers the Admirals.






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Atlanta 5, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2008 08:42:00 PM
Sports Network: Recaps the Islanders 5-1 loss on Saturday to the Atlanta Thrashers.

Up there with Buffalo for the worst effort of the season despite the final score, kind of team play where a gm/coach has to wonder if it's time for a trade after the game in Washington because despite the shot disparity and the Islanders in Atlanta's end of the ice they did not generate nearly enough quality chances.

No excuses at all for this and the Islanders got exactly what they deserved.

Atlanta was horrible in this game for sixty minutes.

Takes talent to come out and generate that little in quality chances against another club waiting to lose that gave up an early goal (had only fourteen shots and led
5-1) that kept giving the Islanders powerplays who generated virtually nothing with them.

Sooner or later Atlanta was going to get some chances, they got a bounce on Boulton's goal off Witt but it never should have come to that. Sillinger did not have Little.

Another game where the Islanders could not put two passes together in the offensive zone or sustain any kind of forecheck after the opening two minutes where Weight's
low-percentage pass made it to Streit before Guerin took a return for a shot that went through Hedberg.

Scott Gordon looked like a man who found some of Ted Nolan's old powerplay notes to live and die by.

Powerplay time he put on Hilbert, Park out for close to two minutes each in the first two periods knowing their career offensive numbers do not lie.

Islanders died, this is where the game was lost because they needed a shooter.

Expecting skill goals from them is not going to happen, a bounce off someone for a rediretion goal sure (Meyer) but this is not how you score big goals with any kind of consistency.

Career records do not lie, same for Jackman, Thompson.

Put Bergenheim (who at even strength better get his act together with the offensive zone penalties because it looks lazy and immature) on the powerplay for a whopping twenty seven seconds through two periods?

Get Blake Comeau who was easily the best Islander forward (two excellent early chances, pass to Sillinger for good chance, big second period hit and setup) twelve seconds?

Skill players make skill plays. Forwards who do not have hands will most likely not score which is where Jackman comes in who was one of the few other forwards working but we know will not finish on a regular basis at this level.

Not much else on offense except Comeau finding Streit in the third for a post before hitting one of his own.

Sutton was a horror show, his second period turnover for Kovalchuk's goal, the third period penalty with Park's stick.

Pock another minus three and some running around.

MacDonald should have sued for non-support, major league chop when he came out late in the game.

Good thing Atlanta is a terrible third period team so the Islanders could barely test Hedberg.

This loss was that bad, so were the Thrashers.

Will be interesting to see how Scott Gordon reacts live. sorry Hockey Night New York so no dice, time for more 1994 infomercials from Msg.










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Atlanta at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2008 12:26:00 PM
Comeau recalled, Tambellini on conditioning assignment.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Mike Knobler's Thrasher update from Friday will tell you about a team that has blown several third period leads that would be in a playoff spot if not for the late game collapses.

No, he was not writing about the Islanders, who apparently share something in common with one of the clubs behind them in the standings.

Of course Atlanta was one club that rallied to beat the Islanders.

They come to New York five games under after a 5-1 loss to Ottawa on a five game losing streak after a recent five game winning streak. They did lose 5-4 against Montreal (fourth goal after an empty net score by Canadians) so this team can put up some goals between Little, Kozlov and with Kovalchuk they have one of the most dynamic players in the NHL despite head coach John Anderson being the latest to try and change his game somewhat.

If Atlanta on a five game losing streak with one game in seven days does not come in and play as desperate as a club can be for December they need some changes.

Ondrej Pavelec has started two of the last three in goal who defeated the Islanders in one of his early starts after being called up.

Injuries
C Steve Rucchin Concussion Doubtful
G Kari Lehtonen Back IR
D Mathieu Schneider Upper body Questionable
D Zach Bogosian Leg IR

From the Islanders side they need to be just as desperate because three games under in this league means you are going nowhere but to the lottery. Without Okposo, Nielsen, with Sillinger-Thompson someone is going to have to step up here (don't count on pp goals from Park-Hilbert) but more importantly this club has to start playing some defense regardless of whether it's Pock in or Martinek because MacDonald is not getting a chance and giving them outstanding goaltending.

This is one of those games Scott Gordon should have his club ready to get after the Thrashers from the opening drop of the puck after what we saw in Washington. I have read alot about the Islanders weathering other clubs storms this seasons to start games. It's time the Islanders come out and get right after Atlanta.

Last time on home ice for a while, they need two points here and something to build on.

If they can't it's time to callup some speed and skill from Bridgeport.

Updated:
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog Blake Comeau has been recalled to the Islanders while Jeff Tambellini agreed to accept a conditioning assignment.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Waste of time for Tambellini, nothing left for him to prove in the AHL regardless of how many goals he scores, we saw this a year ago when he went down and dominated, he was recalled and it amounted to nothing. He either figures it out here and the Islanders give him that time or it's time to find another organization for him.

Apparently Blake Comeau can play Scott Gordon's system in Bridgeport, now we see if he can win over the coach who sent him down or is this all tied in with Tambellini because both play left wing.

At the very least I get Comeau in a third jersey for the header, about a year to the day he was recalled last time after Chris Simon's suspension.

Updated 4pm:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mr Knobler reports Johan Hedberg gets the start in goal for Atlanta. No one returning who was on Thrashers injury report.





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Scott Rechler's recent comments on LightHouse

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2008 10:17:00 AM
A lot of folks have been waiting for Charles Wang to say something about the Lighthouse or Newsday called for him to comment, we have read a lot from Gary Bettman and now have Kate Murray's recent interview.

What a lot of folks (myself included) tend to forget is without Rexcorp and Mr Wang's business partner Scott Rechler there is no Lighthouse Project.

Mr Rechler had a lot to say about the economy on Long Island this week and wrote a full article in Newsday where he does mention the two billion dollar Lighthouse project and made his case why this is the right time to invest money here in a project like this.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not an Islander-Nassau Coliseum-Lighthouse centric article but he does make a lot of very good points on the economy.

Forgetting the Islanders for a moment where does Nassau County/Town of Hempstead have anyone willing to finance this kind of project in a recession where it will create jobs and revenue to say nothing about saving Nassau from spending hundreds of millions to keep the Nassau Coliseum a viable alternative to operate?

Smg is not going to pay to renovate Nassau County's building, Charles Wang owns the hockey team, not Nassau Coliseum as generous (sarcasm) as it is for Kate Murray to allow him to renovate it as a stand alone project now while reportedly offering nothing to make that economically feasible for anyone.

Another little reality check here is Rexcorp and the Marriott Hotel will still be there with Mr Rechler & Mr Wang owning the hotel here if this project is turned down. I would not expect either to give approval to another developer or project on their doorstep.





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12/5/08

Islander News Articles 12/6

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2008 11:50:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan has Kyle Okposo about on his wrist injury which is now in a cast and will keep him out an additional four-six weeks and what it means not to be playing. Head coach Scott Gordon comments about what this does to a club trying to work in it's young players as he spoke about Okposo's & Nielsen's absence to his lineup.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mike Knobler reports in the Thrashers blog they have been in New York since the Ottawa game on Wednesday. Atlanta's first stretch without back to back game since Nov. 23 and 24, and another three day break after the Islander game.

Ilya Kovalchuk played a season-high 25:25 at Ottawa, half with Chris Thorburn and Marty Reasoner. Former Islander Mathieu Schneider (shoulder) has not rejoined the team but according to the writer there was a possibility he’d be back for Saturday’s game. Word as of Wednesday night on Kari Lehtonen (back) and Zach Bogosian (leg) was good.

AHL.com: Recaps Bridgeport's 6-5 shootout win in Binghampton Friday night.

Scoring
1. BRI Smith, (9) (Kohn, Iggulden), 4:17
1. BRI Joensuu, (9) (Comeau, Walter), 9:35
1. BNG Regin, (3) , 10:49
1. BNG Regin, (4) (Hamel, Kudelka), 13:02 (PP)
1. BRI Iggulden, (13) (McLean, Callahan), 14:47
2. BRI Walter, (5) , 6:37
2. BNG Petruic, (1) (Zubov, Bois), 14:50
3. BRI Joensuu, (10) (Comeau), 10:28
3. BNG Fata, (2) (Smith, Hennessy), 15:46
3. BNG Shannon, (6) (Zubov, Kudelka), 19:34 (PP)

Nate Lawson had forty six saves on fifty one shots.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recapped Bridgeport's 6-5 shootout win in Binghampton with comments from head coach Jack Capuano, Blake Comeau and Jesse Joensuu who had two goals including the shootout winner.

SoundTigers twice surrendered two goal leads.

Ct Post : Mr Fornabaio has a brief preview of Saturday's home game and a postgame blog with more from Comeau and a lot of items here.

From the pregame Fritz played, Jeremy Colliton was out with a sore knee among the injured/scratches.

Press & Sun-Bulletin: Has Michael Sharp's game coverage.





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Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2008 04:21:00 PM
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islander Insider had a lot of the same about Jeff Tambellini from Mr Botta the other day which included some repeats from head coach Scott Gordon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The value here came from Caps coach Bruce Boudreau on his own player in Tomas Fleischmann who needed two years and finally got it at the NHL level. Tambellini got a two year contract from the club at a lower rate and is not surrounded by players with speed and skill who will get him open space. If Okposo, Bergenheim and others create chances he should be leading the pack at his age but he's not.

Having written that Islanders need to stick with the plan and if he finishes with a zero, so be it.

Twenty games is not enough, a full season may not be enough.

He has been doing some good things away from the puck, he gets that one goal or that one big game it can change quickly, he has speed and offensive skills lacking in this organization.

This is the price a team pays to develop youth, if you are going to bench him or send him down (if he clears waivers) might as well simply move him now or stick with the plan.

I vote to stick with the plan, something from that April stakeholder meeting has to run according to plan.

Aside from that the only reading about the Islanders at the White House I want to see is when they return with the Stanley Cup.
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It's kind of fascinating reading the Newsday staff put a big beating on the Islanders through the summer with the shock jock crew in Mr Rieber-Baumbach calling them a laughingstock at every opportunity " and will do so until they prove otherwise " but the Knicks (last playoff 2002?) again are a circus for countless reasons (failure to buyout Marbury/trades/poor record) and we do not see the same media treatment and worse from the same Newsday staff that has been on a marketing campaign for Jebron James?

Also interesting watching the Dolan controlled Newspaper now run down Marbury in print as often as possible. Two sides in this mess which includes management. Is it that tough to write a check and buy him out if Cablevision has all the revenue Forbes loves to estimate it has?

It cannot be the front-loaded contracts for Drury and Gomez which Newsday did not write about when comparing Islanders offer to Rangers two summers ago putting the garden in such a bind?

Funny all we read is the Knicks have a lot of injuries to defend the club's poor record while the Islanders led the NHL in man-games lost last season and it was never mentioned which again is a big theme to this season.

Former Islander beatwriter Alan Hahn for his part has been giving Marbury the
Yashin-treatment during his final season on the beat.
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Is there anyone Mark Herrmann has not driven away yet who may want to attend an Islander game?

He sure got quiet when they won five of six except for him to tell us Josh Bailey is not a franchise talent and they traded Bertuzzi who was drafted lower.

Interesting Rick DiPietro had a lot more to say to the Post than Newsday about his injury to date.
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* I think Larry Brooks is due to unload on the Islanders, the Devils are playing too well for any more gloom and doom unless his target is Bettman.
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* Along those lines former Ranger beatwriter Arthur Staple is all over Gary Bettman and talking a return to team Cablevision for Sean Avery who got a suspension greater today than the one that landed Frans Nielsen out of the lineup for about three months.

Put me in Bettman's corner for a suspension based on lack of common sense by Avery, sometimes rules do have to be written based on personal conduct and like the NFL-NBA
the NHL needs to have a similar policy.

For Mr Staple to include Mike Milbury here is a poor example because his past conduct was always hockey/penalty/contract negotiation related which we saw in the 2002 playoffs and never again in his Islanders tenure.

Mr Staple even was critical of Stars owner Tom Hicks which was more about a writer who discussed A-Rod's big contract when he played in Texas.

Any coincidence here Mr Bettman and the Dolans have legal issues and one of his newspaper writers are critical of the commissioner and the owner who signed his former player? I think not.

Can you imagine the NHL media outcry if an inexperienced former player turned general manager actually signed Avery to this deal and disrupted his team?

Oops, happened.
Guess co-gm Brett Hull can get away with it better than Garth Snow, at least in Newsday.
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* Going to get interesting to see how much Islander coverage is effected by Newsday layoffs here which will include the sports department according to media writer
Neil Best here.

I venture to guess Cablevision owned teams will not see a drop in coverage or someone is paying with their job for Marbury's eventual negotiated buyout.






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Poll Update/NYI Fan Central Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2008 02:43:00 PM
This weeks Poll had produced a big surprise with a few days left with the poll:

Most Impressive Prospect/Young Player Game by Game: Islanders
Jeff Tambellini 3 (4%)
Frans Nielsen 16 (24%)
Sean Bergenheim 3 (4%)
Kyle Okposo 1 (1%)
Josh Bailey 10 (15%)
Bruno Gervais 0 (0%)
Chris Campoli 0 (0%)
Nate Thompson 2 (3%)
Jeremy Colliton 30 (46%)

I would not have selected Colliton but if a big Bridgeport vote came in or a lot of folks see a player drafted in 2003 as the most impressive it's all good from here.

I selected Bergenheim because he seems to have the best impact most nights.

At first I had planned to separate the Islanders from the Sound Tigers and do two polls but it would take up too much space, Colliton was here a week ago so he was included.
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I did change the picture logo for the Islanders website on the sidebar, not my website so if they release something with the current slogan I feel obligated to display their website as they do. Earlier I had nothing so I used an old version.
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I hope folks have been checking out prospects blog which the Islanders website has done an excellent job with the weekly updates that I have been adding to the page.

I feel few if any Islander sites/blogs have that many links to reference information about a particular prospect.
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I will strictly be using the NHL/AP/CP/Ticker/Sports Network and Newspaper coverage for pre-post game coverage as opposed to the Islander website and have been doing this for quite a while for those who have paid attention. Aside from Islander website prospect updates the quality at the website aside from excellent ITV pre-post game interviews (usually posted on sidebar) has been lacking far too often with too many ticket ads which is understandable but takes away from the hockey content.

We still have feeders/live page view for anyone who wishes to read Islander website content.

Seems the work that was put into updates in camp tailed off badly since the club returned to New York.

The quality is better for our purposes here to look in the out of town papers to see how an opposing club is playing/who is injured going into a game to set up a preview for the readers.
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What's ahead will be more of the same with the WJC getting daily space here. When the tournament ends it will be transferred to the prospects blog and given it's own space like the draft, prospect camp.

Finally it's been a while but I would like to thank everyone for the incredible support this blog has received since it began back in July of 2007 and for all the great e-mails.






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Okposo four-six weeks, more changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2008 02:08:00 PM
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog & Mr Botta in Point Blank here report Kyle Okposo will now miss four-six weeks (starting today) with what is being described as a sprained wrist.

Mr Botta asked head coach Scott Gordon about this and if a younger forward will be recalled?

Nate Thompson also returned to practice with Mitch Fritz returned to Bridgeport.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm of the school that you need a balance of prospects and veterans.

If a Bill Guerin or Doug Weight are injured you need a veteran to replace him, if a Tambellini, Okposo, Nielsen are hurt you need a prospect to keep the balance correct.

I do not see a youth movement when Bailey-Tambellini-Bergenheim with Thompson a fringe prospect to be kind is the mix. When a game is on the line and it's Park-Hilbert on the ice at a time you need a goal, do not count on them finishing.

Not much more I can write about Okposo that I did not write the other day about the clubs injuries? How does a team give a few days prognosis then he is out four-six weeks with a setback?

Too many players are getting re-injured, some without even playing in games. Is Thompson ready to stay healthy or just return long enough to get hurt again?







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12/4/08

Islander News Articles 12/5

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2008 10:32:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan has the game recap which includes head coach Scott Gordon who was critical of his teams lack of skating, goaltender Joey MacDonald and Mark Streit also discussed the loss.

There will be a Friday Islander Insider from the paper.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems the days of the Newsday live blog has tailed off a lot. Mr Logan has his pregame blog but as usual Mr Zipay is live blogging with several daily updates while our beatwriter only did this in preseason.

Never going to be enough for me until the Islanders outblog the other Newsday team who should not be receiving any coverage until the city papers even up all coverage.

NYI Point Blank: Mr Botta had a game recap that became more like a twenty five game report on the club but did include a lot of sidebars on the loss.

Danvers Herald: Joe McConnell has a feature on Islanders prospect Brian Day who plays for Colgate.

Washington Post & Washington Times: Has the Post-game coverage of Islanders-Washington. Mr Masaick's post-game notes in his blog here simply great reading even after a tough loss.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Highly recommend the outstanding work of Tarik-El Bashir & Corey Masisak in their respective papers.

DC Examiner: Brian McNally also has Washington coverage on Thursday's game.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on the Sound Tigers recent five hundred record (five games) as head coach Jack Capuano cites the turnovers that have not been worse lately but do catch up to a club in a creative puck-moving system while defenseman Joe Callahan feels it's fixable.

Mr Fornabaio also reports forward Jesse Joensuu, out two games with an undisclosed upper-body injury, practiced Thursday at the Arena at Harbor Yard, the head coach hoped he would be available to return in this three game in three day stretch along with Friday game preview here.

Friday-at Binghampton
Saturday-vs Norfolk
Sunday-at Lowell 4pm






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Jyri Niemi Named to Team Finland

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2008 09:42:00 PM














WHL.com: Reports Islander defenseman Jyri Niemi has been named to Team Finland for the WJC.

Saskatoon Blades.com: Confirms Niemi selection with profile.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Still working on the complete team Finland roster, will add full roster to WJC section on Friday.









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Washington 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2008 08:40:00 PM
Associated Press: Recaps the Islanders 5-2 loss in Washington.

New York came out and for most of two periods were frankly terrible with their skating, passing and decision-making, without MacDonald the game is likely out of reach early and he had some help from the post.

Officials were terrible for both sides on this one, the player tried to grab Fritz stick on his early penalty who barely touched him.

Unacceptable for a team to have four days off between games and look this rusty again as they did in Newark. They played a team coming off a loss with a lot of injuries and what happened for most of two periods was more about the Islanders not skating than anything the Caps were doing aside from Ovechkin goal/shot.

Ovechkin looked off-sides on the shift the he scored and he pulled up like he expected a whistle.

On an early second period powerplay the Islanders were doing a lot of chasing in the Caps end before Weight was caught. Kozlov was having one of his A games where he was very visible and even with the injuries Washington can skate.

Some rare good early individual play like Hilbert skating to draw a powerplay and Streit's shot with a good screen by Bailey-Hunter for the 1-2 goal and one early shift from Bergenheim, but he looked slow in this game to start and did not take a good penalty in the Caps end.

Jackman for Ovechkin is a heck of a tradeoff for any amount of time, he sure seemed to ding him with that hit and he was banged up going into the game.

Islanders seem to finally get in this game with the four on three against and blocked some shots. Toward the end of the second, they got a powerplay and were wearing down the Cap defenders but every time it came time to shoot, Hilbert, Park, Weight from long-range or poor angles.

Good pressure but no shooter aside from Streit.

Never knew a dump in off an officials skate does not count if it's a goal, first time I have seen that. Fair to say Andy Sutton out of the box making a play to set up a goal may be almost as rare (I almost expected another call against him) but he found Hunter and someway/somehow Islanders had a 2-2 game and a powerplay to start the third.

Islanders got some powerplays in the third (one/eight on the game) but everywhere you looked it seemed Park, Hilbert and a lot of players who's career scoring records do not lie. Bailey had an early chance.

Finally a big bounce off the end boards, Brashear sticks his leg out on Weight, no stick for MacDonald 3-2.

Islanders played like a team with the 3-2 lead and could generate nothing, keystone cops on the 4-2 goal.

Open net 5-2.

Out skated for two plus periods they got exactly what they deserved out of this one which was another regulation loss they cannot afford with a fat forty seven shots allowed against a team with more injuries than the Islanders.

Martinek was badly missed here.

Rust cannot be an excuse, it goes on the coaching along with the players.

Is it necessary to have Comeau, Colliton, Smith or anyone in Bridgeport not here for so Fritz can sit on the bench? Not putting the loss on one player but they needed a skater for this game.












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New York at Washington 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2008 12:15:00 PM













I decided to go with the good news to start this preview, welcome back Mike Sillinger.

Washington just lost their first game of the season on home ice to Florida with a lot of injuries in a game described as one they did not put in a lot of effort.

Bad news is even with these injuries this is a very good team. Former Islander Viktor Kozlov scored his fourth goal in the loss to Florida in what should be the only former Islander dressing.

Washington Post: Tarik El-Bashir has the Caps injury list includes seven players out or questionable including the players on long-term injured reserve.

* Sergei Fedorov, has missed 12 of the past 13 games with a sprained ankle but after but left practice early casting doubt on his status according to the writer.

* Mike Green (bruised shoulder) didn't practice but said he is aiming to return Saturday in Toronto.

* Alexander Semin (upper torso strain) also did not practice after suffering a setback Tuesday while shooting. He has missed nine games.

* Tom Poti (groin muscle pull) did not practice for a sixth consecutive day.

* John Erskine (mild concussion) also did not practice one day after skating with the team.

* Alex Ovechkin was given the day off to recover from an undisclosed nagging injury. Head coach Bruce Boudreau said there's a 99 percent chance he'll suit against the Islanders.

Brent Johnson is expected to start in goal.

From the Islanders side it's not looking very promising for Martinek out two-four weeks & Kyle Okposo confirmed out with the recalls of Fritz, Jackman and Pock apparently coming back despite clearing waivers.

All I do know is given the conference standings Islanders have to come out of this with two points against a very skilled club that can score but should give up some chances on defense with a beatable goaltender.

A team two games under five hundred cannot play win one, lose one hockey or at best they will be in a mix of five teams for one or two playoff spots before long.

Playoffs in this league mean about ninety five points which is twelve games over five hundred (low end) with a lot of ot losses, Islanders have very few ot losses.

The over/under for how many times Howie Rose mentions the boards/glass at whatever the building is called this year (Cap Centre downtown) starts at five.

Islanders have no time for rust, excuses about time off or anything. They need some goals and a sixty minute effort or it's not going to happen for them. Last time this team had days off the came out and were outplayed and it had little to do with the bus ride to Newark or Kevin Weekes.





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Welcome Home Jiggs

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/04/2008 12:14:00 PM
Toronto Star: Dale Anne Freed had a quick word from Jiggs McDonald as he arrived home safely on Wednesday night.

Grab a shower, probably a burger," topped the list of things to do for semi-retired NHL announcer Ken "Jiggs" McDonald as he arrived at Pearson airport last night from Thailand.

"It's great to be home," said the semi-retired NHL sportscaster who lives in Orillia, tears welling in his eyes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
He is not the only one.

Welcome Home Jiggs !!!!!!!!!!









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12/3/08

Islander News Articles 12/4

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2008 09:37:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on what seems the latest injury to Radek Martinek with head coach Scott Gordon's comments on a possible replacement (Thomas Pock) while Brendan Witt talks about the clubs inability to stay healthy on the backline and getting caught pinching in the offensive end.

Mr Logan also tells us the Islanders supposed achilles heel (offense) is at 20th in the NHL in goals per game while the defense is at 27th in goals against and 25th in shots against which the coach explains as spending too much time in their own end of the ice when they are not playing well.

Mike Sillinger will play against Washington.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Glad Mr Logan/anyone finally pointed out this team is scoring a lot more than expected given the changes it made last summer. A ten spot improvement with all the injuries and the prospects not exactly scoring much says a lot about the success some are having.

This is also with a team that has hit the four goal plus mark in regulation rarely so far. (Three times w/empty net goals?) The magic number for this group seems to be three as opposed to that two or less fourteen games in a row we were seeing a year ago at this time.

On the other end the team defense is giving up more goals and shots but the six defenders on the ice individually have played solid hockey most of the time.

MacDonald's stats do not reflect how well he has played as it did not for DiPietro in the second half of last season during the six game winning streak and beyond.

I'm not sure Brendan Witt is best suited to this system but he has not played it very long either.

Pioneer Press: John Shipley has former Islander Marc-Andre Bergeron's comments he did not have a good year with the Islanders because of the situation combined with not playing on a good team as the first place Wild defenders talked about their powerplay.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bergeron can say what he likes about the Islanders but he came here with a reputation of being a poor defender. In Anaheim he did not see a lot of playing time.

AHL.com: Reports the Hartford Wolfpack rallied down 2-0 to defeat the Sound Tigers in overtime at Harbor Yard on Wednesday 4-3.

Peter Mannino allowed four goals on thirty two shots.

1. BRI Smith, (8) (McLean, Lee), 18:55
2. BRI Hillen, (3) (McLean, Iggulden), 4:21 (PP)
2. HFD Anisimov, (8) (Ouellette, Rissmiller), 9:52 (PP)
2. BRI Iggulden, (12) (Hillen), 12:22
2. HFD Dupont, (4) (Sanguinetti, Moore), 12:50 (PP)
3. HFD Parenteau, (11) (Sanguinetti, Potter), 15:35
OT. HFD Sauer, (2) (Fahey), 2:06
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Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had the game recap of Bridgeport's loss with comments from head coach Jack Capuano, Kurtis McLean on the momentum shift with Bridgeport up 3-1 and goaltender Peter Mannino.

Hartford Courant covers the Wolfpack here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a pre-post game blog on the loss.









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Kessel, Hamonic, Spurgeon Selected for WJC

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/03/2008 02:14:00 PM
Usa Hockey: Released it's roster for the 2009 WJC in Ottawa which included Islander prospect on defense, Blake Kessel (Univ. of New Hampshire/Hockey East)among the twenty two players selected.

Team Canada announced it's December camp roster here which includes Islander prospects Travis Hamonic (Moose Jaw WHL) and Jared Spurgeon (Spokane WHL) among a much larger group where not everyone will qualify for the final roster.

Josh Bailey was not on this list, the camp will run from December 11th-15h at the SBP Arena in Ottawa, ON and the Robert-Guertin Arena in Gatineau, QC here with three games scheduled here.







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