Islander News Articles 11/23

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 10:19:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan recaps the Islanders 4-2 win in Buffalo. Joey MacDonald talks about how getting right back in goal helped his confidence while Bill Guerin talked about the Islanders play with the lead.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The part about the club being " incensed " about the two games suspension to Mike Mottau was edited out of the earlier version of this article. What was not edited in was a single comment from head coach Scott Gordon on a rare night ITV did not have a postgame.

Newsday: Mr Logan has reaction from general manager Garth Snow on Nielsen's injury/Mottau's suspension including where Mike Comrie and Josh Bailey stand in terms injury/nine game trial. Also included in Sunday's print edition was an edited version of Islander Insider from Friday here.

Buffalo News: John Vogl's game coverage points out Buffalo after forty minutes held a 31-14 shots advantage and had taken 30 of the last 34 shots while the Islanders on the strength of three powerplays opened with 10 of the first 11 and still led 2-1.

Buffalo News: Mr Vogl/Mike Harrington had the game notes which included Tim Connolly's latest injury the Islanders long injury list and Mottau suspension.

National Post/Ticker: Had Bill Guerin's comments praising Trent Hunter for standing up for Nielsen and suggested the officials on the ice should have access to replays on the ice to determine if someone is hit in the head.

Vancouver Sun: Theresa Tedesco had a very interesting five part article on the Nashville Predators ownership situation/league
individual market finances/Jim Balsillie/Relocation Rules Process/Bettman legacy where claims the concerns of debt among the NHL ownership are increasing. Bill Daly NHL deputy commissioner also had a few comments on different subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is the time of year we start seeing articles about how much revenue the six Canadian teams generate.

The writer used Forbes for some worthless filler estimates but the kicker here is Wayne McDonnell Jr, a clinical assistant professor of Sports Management at New York University was brought in for a few comments.

Mr McDonnell worked as a financial analyst and accountant at Madison Square Garden according to the writer.

For those who recall during the lockout the Cablevision owned Rangers claimed the highest losses of any NHL team and we all know the league has this little litigation problem with the Ranger ownership where Mr Bettman threatened one action he could take would be to kick the Dolan's out.

Sorry, but those subjects were not included in this article.

Sound Recaps Bridgeport's 4-1 loss. Jesse Joensuu had a first period goal.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage centers around all the penalties Bridgeport took with head coach Jack Capuano's comments along with Blake Comeau and goaltender Yann Danis.

Note-Bridgeport is home against Philadelphia Sunday at 4pm in Mike Sillinger's first game.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio blogged on the Sound Tigers loss in Hershey on Saturday which dropped them out of first place.

Lebanon Daily News: Dan Sernoffsky also recaps the 4-1 loss in a game Yann Danis had stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced through two periods.

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New York 4, Buffalo 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 10:09:00 PM | Comment Here

Associated Press: Reports the Islanders on Saturday defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 along with Sports Network recap here

NYI Fan Central Comments:
After last night they had to have two points here and they found a way, granted they played a struggling opponent but this is the kind of team that is supposed to give the Islanders trouble because of their speed.

Joey MacDonald did what number one goalies are supposed to do and that is keep their team in the game which is exactly what happened in the second period, he did not have to make a bunch of big saves but did not allow any poor goals. Huge win for the Islanders and MacDonald who you think would be a little shaken after five goals the night before but kept his composure and got the job done.

Cannot ask for any more from a goaltender.

Confidence and results are everything in this league, that's why we see teams like Buffalo and Ottawa pressing despite their speed and skill.

Where was the Islanders desperation being out shot 18-2 against a struggling team?

Nice shot by Streit, good deflection by Sim but does not change how the period played out where the Sabres did block some chances. Guerin made a very nice cut to the net for his goal which is exactly where he needs to be shooting, Weight made a good pass to Hilbert who found Guerin.

Islanders again came out and had early powerplays (nice work between Weight-Guerin-Bailey) but could not make them pay off at a point where they needed to finish a play. Lalime made a few good stops too.

Would like to see Bailey use his shot.

Hilbert one way or another is creating goals, this one off a deflection of a Trent Hunter shot on a slick backhand pass from Bailey. Hilbert's pass to Guerin was off a very good start of the third where the Islanders came out and skated.

Colliton had five blocked shots to lead the club, Fritz dropped Peters for his two minutes and had a chance or two on offense. Weight two more points and almost twenty minutes of ice time?

Good defensive effort from the backline with Scott Gordon aside from Streit keeping everyone under twenty minutes. Witt had one very good defensive play.

Third four goal game of the season, I think for now it's time for the media to forget the blown third period lead angle because it seems to be in the past.

I think what Bergenhiem did before the Sabres second goal would be what Peter Laviolette used to call a " drive-by " or did not want a ten-game suspension for the hit he looked like he could have thrown.

Right after that he had a great shift with Weight and Guerin where Rivet robbed Weight and Bergenheim did some great work. Killed any momentum for Buffalo off the goal they scored.

More recap tomorrow updated in this blog entry but the Islanders had to get two points after last night.

We'll see what they can do on Monday in Montreal as Scott Gordon has a goaltending decision to make.

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Nielsen Out Eight-Twleve Weeks/Mottau Two Games

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 09:53:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Announced center Frans Nielsen is out for eight-twelve weeks with what is being described as multiple leg injuries.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reported Nielsen did not sustain a concussion and that Mike Mottau was given only a two game suspension.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Just a horrible loss to see any player injured, Nielsen's speed is what was making his game so effective and this could have a Trent Hunter-like effect where we do not see the same player afterward. Eight-twelve weeks in instances like this can be more also.

It sure seems like a slap on the wrist suspension but I guess Mr Campbell does not feel a player injuring his leg because of a hit to the head is related. So much for the resulting in an injury part.

And it was a player with his arms and stick above the shoulder that made some contact with the head. (chin/neck)

Mr Campbell simply has no business being in this role, it seems too much for one person anyway but about what I expected. No amount of games given to Mottau changes the loss of Nielsen to the Islanders and that's the bottom line.

Newark Star-Ledger: Colin Stephenson has comments from Devils President/GM Lou Lamoriello, Mike Mottau on the suspension and their take on what happened.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think if Andy Hilbert or Richard Park hit Zach Parise like that and he twisted his leg the wrong way and was out eight-twelve weeks and they were laughing afterward the suspension would be different just as we saw a clear double-standard with Simon and Pronger.

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New York at Buffalo 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 03:59:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Previews Saturday's game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC arena.

Since beginning the season with four straight wins as part of a 6-0-2 start, Buffalo (9-7-3) has gone 1-5-1 and been outscored 21-7 during their current slide.

The Sabres registered a season-high 40 shots against Martin Biron on Friday, but the former Sabre was perfect in leading visiting Philadelphia to a 3-0 victory.

Right wing Mark Mancari, the second-leading scorer in the AHL was recalled from Portland and inserted into the lineup, defenseman Nathan Paetsch played for just the fifth time. Tim Connolly/A. Kotalik are out for the Sabres.

Goaltender Ryan Miller hasn't been sharp lately for Buffalo, allowing 13 goals during a personal three-game losing streak but Lalime could have sat on the ice for all the work he got in the Coliseum game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You go into a game like this without Okposo, Nielsen and the speed/skill they bring against a club that will be desperate to come out and take the game at the Islanders who are outmatched in the speed/skill department head to head. A lot is being asked here which is why Friday was so important to set the tone for the roadtrip with a good effort.

Scott Gordon needs the best game from his skaters, it still might not be enough against a club that scored four first period goals against Boston before losing before Friday. Sabres will be more than happy to trade chances given the skill disparity.

Do I even write about the eight goals and Coliseum game? Sabres no doubt will be looking for a big effort and to run the Islanders out of the building while Scott Gordon's players should want to send a message of their own after that memorable loss.

As I write this Nielsen is going to be out for the Sabre game according to Mr Botta Point BlankJeremy Colliton will be recalled.

Maybe, maybe not but it has to be written Trent Hunter just lost his center and the Islanders recalled a player with one AHL goal in eighteen games to take his spot.

You look around this lineup and see Fritz, Jackman, Colliton, Bailey, Tambellini, Park, Hilbert there are seven combined goals for seven players dressing.

No hiding from this for long if at all.

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Poll/Mailbag/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 04:08:00 AM | | | | | 2 Comments
With about four full days left in the latest poll we may not have a triple digit vote but we do have the best race ever in a poll with a tie at sixteen-sixteen as to what you would do with Josh Bailey in terms of whether he stays here or is sent back to Windsor?

Keep him with Islanders 16 (50%)
Send him back to Windsor 16 (50%)

I'm waiting until the final day to vote myself and have not made up my mind, he has to look like he can play at this level. For now I want to see the next few games and what he can do without Okposo.
Usually I answer my e-mails directly instead of responding in the blog but Mike asks why I did not write anything on Msg NY/Hockey Night being cancelled given I discuss media here?

My only initial thought is what this means for Butch Goring who I would like to see in a job with the Islanders and not the Cablevision-owned Garden but as long as he is on television like Howie Rose, Billy Jaffe they all are under contract to Msg with Mike Emrick, Chico, Steve Cangialosi, C.J Papa and anyone else you can name.

Only actual Islander employees are Chris King and Steve Mears calling games which is why Sherry Ross left the Daily News to call Devils hockey.

As for the rest I do not watch the Msg shows anymore and go out of my way to avoid it because of Msg's poor treatment of the Islanders for over a decade on a station that one year will show classic games before the opener and the next will not even allow live internet games from training camp. The team even had to fight for a pregame while the Devils received one with three side reporters while the latest Msg suit in President Michael Bair tells us what the Garden is going to do.

I'm glad the ratings were so poor that it was cancelled when my teams postgame show and the coaches press conference were cut off because Al Trautwig wanted to do another Ranger infomercial, I wish it were cancelled immediately.

Whatever MsgNY/Sportsdesk was it will be back in another format with a different name. Virtually all of what the Msg personalities contribute beyond the six broadcasters for three teams is worthless and over the last decade plus has only served to make hockey even more invisible.

My advice to all Islander fans is watch nothing but the pre-post games with the telecast and turn the channel when they shove High School Sports at us and do not watch one second of a Ranger game on Msg or help their ratings ever.

Do not ask the media any questions while Islander games are on a station called Msg Plus with some games on channel 51/199 that are not even advertised on the cable guide here in NYC as they tell us this is enhanced coverage?

Stop giving the other team a triple rating while our clubs games are buried on channels that are not good quality with only one Islander centric show. Folks like Neil Best will use it to make a case one team is more popular than another because it's been set up to help one club while hurting the other but it's not true.

Put eighty two Islander games on Msg with a full pre/post game and classic contests/shows year round while burying the Rangers on Msg+whatever with no programming or advertising for the next five years and then we will see who is more popular.

When Msg gives all four teams it owns tv rights (Sabres also) the exact same coverage and content space on television we can revisit it, until then no Msg.

Low ratings force changes, it's up to you.
Steve asks what's the deal with the World Junior Championships?

I will be covering the World Championships like last year with a section on the main blog. It's too early to know who will be participating for the Islanders as most teams still have to have a camp and make final cuts for something that begins with invites in the summer.

Thanks for the question.
Quick Hit:
The most funny thing I read this week was the same paper (Vancouver Province)here who ripped the Islanders was the only one who did not give Henrik Lundqvist the pass the local media did when he pulled himself with Iain MacIntyre writing " It must have been done telekinetically " as he tried claiming Ranger coach Tom Renney signalled him to the bench.

If DiPietro did this the media would have been all over him in a game against Robert Luongo for the rest of his career.
This was Tuesday:

"Recently, we have had two supplemental discipline incidents involving direct elbow blows to the head," the memo from league disciplinarian Colin Campbell read.

"This is a play that we have been trying to remove from our game for a number of years. In one case there was no injury and in the other incident, the elbowed player received a concussion. Both players delivering the elbows had never before been involved in supplemental discipline.

"We cannot and will not tolerate blows to the head that are deliberate, avoidable and illegal," the memo read.

We better see the same standard held here or it's not worth wasting time talking about it any longer.

Love Chico Resch, always will but who is he kidding here?

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Islander News Articles 11/22

Newsday/AP: Has the early recap of the Islanders 5-2 loss to the Devils.

Newsday: Apparently Newsday is having some web problems so Mr Logan had the game article at this time in the Islanders Newsday blog where he asks head coach Scott Gordon why Mitch Fritz did not get on the ice in the third period or play much? Bill Guerin expects to see a suspension for Mottau's actions while Brent Sutter defended his player which drew criticism from Mr Logan because he was very outspoken about the hit against Brandon Sutter.

Newsday: Mr Logan's article for Saturday's paper with Bill Guerin's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I kind of see where Scott Gordon is going with over extending his bench with no Nielsen, Hunter (after his fight) and if it was fair to put Fritz in cold but on the other hand no doubt Fritz has a lot of games where he goes in cold to fight to change momentum or at least stand up for a teammate at the risk of his safety.

Mr Logan got it correct, if dressing Fritz is overtaxing a roster that has three games in four nights and he is not going to play he has no business being here at all. I can understand if the head coach felt the Islanders still had a chance and did not want to throw it away with a penalty but again they needed a skater with finishing skills in this game and should have had one so no one is taxed or looking ahead to the next game.

I'm a little disappointed in Brent Sutter here but if he said he did not see the hit or the replay I will give him the benefit of the doubt until he does. After that I expect to see him be just as outspoken as he was when his son got injured on a completely clean hit.

Bill Guerin and Doug Weight defended Pock as a clean player but no one criticized the five game suspension among the players and in fact supported the excessive action to protect everyone.

Newark Star-Ledger: Rich Chere had comments from Bill Guerin on Mottau while Brent Sutter and Kevin Weekes downplayed their teammates hit in the game recap along with the notebook which included Colin Stephenson here who used to write Islander game articles in the Daily News.

Daily News : Kristie Eckert in the Devils recap had Bill Guerin's comments calling for a suspension of Mike Mottau while Ms Eckert reports Scott Gordon said after the game that Frans Nielsen may have a head injury to go with a right knee injury.

NY Post: Mark Everson has the Devils centric coverage on their win points out along with Mike Mottau's comments on a possible league review that the Islanders have scored more than three goals twice all season.

NY Post: Dan Martin has comments from Islander defenseman Mark Streit about playing at the Nassau Coliseum vs Montreal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All this print space for a long article with Mark Streit that could have been written back in October for all we know but no game coverage?

Daily News: Eliot Olshansky in Devils Prospect article for the news on Friday also included Islanders prospect Jase Weslosky, a goaltender at St. Cloud State, shared WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors with 48 saves on 51 shots as St. Cloud swept then-No. 4 Denver & prospect Blake Kessel, a defenseman at No. 13 New Hampshire, scored the first goal of his collegiate career on Saturday in the Wildcats' 8-6 loss to No. 5 Boston College.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This has by far been the best hockey work at the Daily News for all three local clubs this year with the Islander prospects receiving their fair amount of space and more. Just hard to know when it will be released because that aspect has not been consistent.

Enterprise : Glen Farley has an interview with Steve Carlson from the movie Slapshot where he talks about Islander head coach Scott Gordon
about his playing days and what he would bring to the Islanders crediting the job he has done with comparisons to Bruins head coach Claude Julien.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog notes Mike Sillinger will not be reporting to Bridgeport until Sunday for those wondering if he could now be recalled to the Islanders instead?

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New Jersey 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2008 12:40:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Sports Network: Has the recap of the Islanders 5-2 loss to the Devils in Newark Friday.

Associated Press: Had Joey MacDonald/Bill Guerin on the game & Mike Mottau's hit to Frans Nielsen's head.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Could see it coming a mile away.

We cannot blame this one on Rick DiPietro's health while Mitch Fritz sat on the bench in the third period just like him.

One team coming in off a win the day before, the other looking like it had not done much since Monday that was very content to ride MacDonald and not push the play at a club that is beatable if you get shots and work.

Not much else to write on this one, disgrace that Nielsen got hit and his leg got caught in the ice and it looked bad.

Terrible hit by Mottau to the head and of course not even a major penalty. Should be interesting to see if this is even reviewed now that a player was injured which is the so-called criteria?

Nielsen's loss to this roster is huge considering his skating and impact on a game.

Without MacDonald early it would have been worse. New Jersey skated, drove the net and made plays, the Islanders did a lot of watching and reacted slowly. Nielsen's shorthanded chance was the only good moment the Isles had in the first.

Islanders were outworked, outplayed and outclassed in every area. They got the two early powerplays that should have gotten them into the game but they generated little against a goaltender who looked as rusty as the Islanders.

Overspeed was stuck in park most of the game.

Even Hilbert's gift from Weekes did not give them any momentum. Sutton made a nice play to get a shot at the net and Bergenheim was there for a rebound which was one of the rare times the Isles worked in front of the Devil goaltender.

Jackman was a non-factor with most of the forwards, his momentum changing fight did nothing but get himself a cut and Fritz might as well have stayed in the AHL for his two plus minutes on a night the club needed another skater and a fight to respond to Mottau.

Credit to Hunter but that's not what he does.

Parise picked the Islanders apart and without Witt's block would have scored. He beat Gervais good to the outside while Bailey, Campoli watched Gionta come in and score who had a tough night with the fourth Devil goal deflecting in against him.

New Jersey was handed a nice five on three shortly after Nielsen was injured and with two players sticks broken could not clear the puck.

Game, Set, Match on a night the Islanders seem very satisfied to mail in the effort and frankly got what they deserved. Credit to the Devils but this seemed a lot more about what the Islanders did not do.

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New York at New Jersey 7pm Msg+2/Msg

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2008 04:29:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Devils in Newark.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For me the second Friday game of the season in Newark in a lot of ways is like opening night number II with Brendan Witt back and the defense getting very close to full strength.

Mitch Fritz makes his return for whatever role he plays. He cannot replace Kyle Okposo's offensive ability.

Scott Clemmensen comes in off a very Devil-like win against Florida on Thursday where he came without a few minutes of a shutout. I would expect to see Kevin Weekes in goal given the Devils upcoming schedule. Devils have a lot of injuries up front and of course are without Brodeur.

We all know what Elias, Gionta are capable of doing with Zajac. Parise always seems to have a big game against the Islanders and despite a quiet start Langenbrunner is a quality player.

From the Islanders side of the puck they have to create their chances and attack the Devils defense making plays in center ice. Last time the game was very competitive in Newark with the Isles doing everything but finishing. Only goal last time was a first period shot by Weight that hit the Devils defense and went in. Recalling Fritz could backfire if he does not play his share of minutes and a faster scoring forward is needed.

With what's ahead Islanders again need points here. No time for excuses/rust or anything but more hard work and skating.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports with the return of Brendan Witt, Richard Park and Doug Weight will split time as assistant captains depending on whether the Islanders are home or away.

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Newsday Islander Insider: GM Garth Snow

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2008 01:13:00 PM | Comment Here
Newsday: Mr Logan had the Friday Islander Insider with general manager Garth Snow's comments on a wide array of topics.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan does an excellent job here on the questions and left nothing off the table as Garth Snow also did very well talking about the working relationship with his first coaching hire back to his interview, how the season has gone along with a full breakdown of the veterans/young players along with Rick DiPietro's injury status from the summer with what's ahead as the veterans were discussed along with Josh Bailey.

This was far different than what we used to get from Mike Milbury where he would challenge some players in the press and even the last few years where you could see a little frustration with the gm. Snow pulled no punches but had a very measured response which is also reflected in the patience this management seems to conduct themselves with. I agreed with almost all of what Snow said about his team and the coach.

Only thing that made me do a bit of a double-take was when he said he communicated with Scott Gordon daily which he also said about Ted Nolan in April.

We'll see what happens moving forward because like all teams some things will work while others will not. There is a lot of competition for jobs here which means the only constant will be change.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog also had more from the general manager beyond the Insider where he spoke about how veterans are starting to teach the players Scott Gordon's system along with the physical play of his roster.

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Islanders Eighteen Game Report Card: Defense/Goal

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2008 12:22:00 PM | Comment Here
Part II of the Islanders 2008-09 Eighteen game report card focusing on the defenders and goaltender who have played more than six games.

Mark Streit:
When Garth Snow signed Mark Streit he was quoted as saying he would solve the clubs powerplay struggles, I would not make that leap just yet but Streit has helped the unit with three goals and assist coming with the man advantage. He has not had an even strength goal yet which is where he did a lot of damage in Montreal but from game one was making plays like finding Hilbert for a goal in the opener with an instinct built for Scott Gordon's system.

The good news is reports of him being anything like Marc-Andre Bergeron in his own end of the ice were completely incorrect. Streit has played very well on defense and trusted with huge minutes where we have seen steady play in injury circumstances that would be tough for any defender along with being part of a unit that leads the league in blocked shots. In every area Streit has looked like a very good signing.
Grade A:

Bruno Gervais:
A few mistakes here and there like a bouncing puck over his stick for a goal against the Flyers recently.

Some will note his rating and say he is not doing enough but the coaches minutes tell the story of how steady he has been for the club as he wins the puck in the corners and usually makes his clear unless it's a good play by the opposition like we saw in a game against Dallas. He has tried to join the offense more and had a heck of a pass through the middle for a shorthanded assist. I'm not sure we will ever see the player who was a league leading scorer in the AHL but Gervais has done the job on a backline with injuries and done it well.
Grade B:

Chris Campoli:
For a player who is coming off two shoulder injuries and a lot of time missed he stepped right in and played a ton of minutes and did not miss a beat with steady play and the ability to jump in the offensive zone with instincts we have seen since his rookie year. He is contributing to the offense with some key goals including one in overtime (twice) and scored against the Senators with a shot he picked a corner and hit it in traffic. Only thing Campoli can do is keep working/improving but he has been solid.
Grade B:

Andy Sutton:
Seems the Andy Sutton from Atlanta who took bad penalties or shots hit him/went in or bad goals that found him has been gone now for close to a full year when he got locked in playing here. He returned from injury and like Campoli did not miss a beat and doing a very good impersonation of Brendan Witt blocking shots and doing it in a way where the puck goes out of high quality areas and conducts himself like a leader when he is on the ice. A few big hits but again like last season is going for the steady play and it obviously helps the club. Do not expect to see much offense but the way he is working he should not change a thing.
Grade A:

Thomas Pock:
Pock after coming over on waivers has kind of had the start Sutton did a year ago with some mistakes and deflections that went in against him but before his suspension was playing some better hockey. Not sure where he stands when Meyer returns or his suspension ends after Monday but he's done enough recently to earn more games.
Grade D:

Freddy Meyer:
Meyer only played seven games but most of the time I saw the same very steady play from a year ago. A few other times he looked out of sync in this system which he talked about and there have been a few out of character turnovers. A few times he tried to play a little more offense.
Grade C:

Brett Skinner:
In eleven games with the minutes he got I did not see mistakes and saw a player only getting more confident who did not look out of place on a powerplay who Scott Gordon was trusting more and more. The minutes he played were a positive for the team.
Grade B:

Joey MacDonald:
Without MacDonald's strong play beginning opening night against St Louis the team likely has only a win or two and they would never have been as competitive or in position to win so many games. He only seems to be getting better as he plays more and has not only made the saves a goalie needs to make but many he should not be making against opposing players with great reactions. He seems the opposite of DiPietro in that he does not play the puck but hold it and settle things down.

Some will feel he is having a good start for a backup goalie, fact he is playing as well as any of the top goaltenders in the NHL and has done the impossible in being the difference-maker DiPietro was at his best which is saying a lot.

Bottom line MacDonald's done everything asked and a lot more, for the Islanders to have a chance it must continue. If he keeps it up and has the club in playoff position when DiPietro returns DiPietro he will not be a lock to regain his spot as number one goaltender.

MacDonald has simply been that good.
Grade A+:

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Islander News Articles 11/21

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2008 12:07:00 AM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
NYI Fan Central opens for the weekend in it's new third-jersey look with a bigger text. The darker blue will return next week.

Newsday: John Jeansonne had comments from Brendan Witt & Mike Sillinger on the work they have done to return along with comments from head coach Scott Gordon.

Mr Jeansonne also reported Kyle Okposo was wearing a brace on his right wrist.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I suspect from Mike Sillinger's comments he is not going to get much better and it's time to see if he can get back into NHL game-shape. After at least two reported knee injuries for Brendan Witt it's time the Islanders keep him healthy and productive.

The way things from a distance look on paper Sillinger's time in the AHL will run a bit longer than Josh Bailey's nine game trial if he plays the weekend after Thanksgiving with Bridgeport.

Something has to give with Weight, Bailey, Sillinger, Nielsen, Comrie & Park if everyone finally is healthy and we are getting close to a point Nate Thompson should be able to resume skating based on his two-four weeks.

NY Post: Dan Martin's preview ran about as long as the blurb on Scott Gomez in the Islanders article while Mark Everson recapped what the Islanders will be facing here based on the Devils play against Florida.

Newark Star-Ledger: Rich Chere in his recap of the Devils win on Thursday has comments from head coach Brent Sutter he has not decided on his starter for Friday's game against the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from head coach Jack Capuano on the Sound Tigers 13-3-0-2 start as he credited his player while Ben Walter talking about his return also praised the work of Blake Comeau & Jeremy Colliton.

Mr Fornabaio also wrote about the injuries and roster changes from Mannino/Fritz to extra defenders. Mike Sillinger has not reported yet for his conditioning assignment which begins with Sunday's game at Harbor Yard.

Northern Daily News: Had an article written by Kimber Auerbach who also writes for the the Sound Tigers website about Kirkland Lake product Kurtis McLean and defenseman Chris Lee with their comments.

Note-As of this time the article does not appear on the Sound Tigers website.

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Islander Notables: Danis, Fritz, Mannino

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/20/2008 09:06:00 PM | | | | | | | 2 Comments
The Islanders released the weekly prospect watch today which was archived on NYI Fan Central Prospect Blog with all weekly updates.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog reported Mitch Fritz will be called up to replace Kyle Okposo and Yann Danis was sent to Bridgeport. Peter Mannino
was recalled to the Islanders.

Bridgeport does not have a Friday game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Peter Mannino follows Wade Dubielewicz path to the NHL getting his first recall earlier than the 03-04 night Dubie came into a huge game in Philadelphia and won.

On paper it seems a good plan that Yann Danis gets two AHL games and comes up to play in Montreal on Monday night, but the way things have gone for Mannino it's fair to wonder if he will rewarded with a start if Danis does not play well? It's also fair to write at some point MacDonald is going to have some downs to go with all the great play.

Media Blog: Corey Witt in his media blog also had an excellent feature on Mitch Fritz.

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog also reported on the moves and will have a state of the Islanders from general manager Garth Snow on Friday as part of the Islander Insider.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's been very quiet from the general managers corner this season which is a good thing. Many general managers rarely speak at all which may be the right practice for a job on the Islanders that draws more attention than virtually anything.

Test: Name the Giants, Jets and Nets general managers.

Point Blank: Mr Botta along with the earliest report on Mitch Fritz recall had an interview with Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Appreciate the hard work from Mr Botta to contact Mr Suozzi/Mr Bettman and provide information but the backlash from this only produces speculation in local and out of town papers the Islanders could be moving here and accomplishes nothing. Now we have Jim Riggs the commissioner of the EPHL on the future of the Islanders here.

In short, this is becoming a distraction and were getting nothing from the key players in the Town of Hempstead approval process.

Mr Wang sat front row with Chris Dey (and what looked like Garth Snow) for a Dragons playoff game last spring in Philadelphia and was rooting as hard as the fans. Four days later the announcement came the Dragons were sold to a local businessman but there were blurbs in articles Mr Wang was looking for a buyer over a year before a sale happened.

Newsday: Anyone else notice that new NHL blog supposedly written by Mark Herrmann has had virtually nothing on the Islanders with Mike Casey now in there selling Rangers?

I think other than Mr Herrmann's quick blub speculating the Islanders win last Saturday would be their high-water mark this season we have read practically nothing back to the 11/1 opening entry on Mitch Fritz in a so-called blog that is supposed to provide extra information on the Islanders along with the Cablevision-owned team and the NHL?

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Big Test Coming for 08-09 Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/20/2008 10:43:00 AM | Comment Here
We have seen Scott Gordon's team play some very good hockey and could easily have another three-four wins.

With the injuries they have had the club has produced more goals than they did a year ago and led the league in blocked shots playing without Martinek, Witt and Meyer for a good stretch after Sutton, Campoli were out early.

Outside of the Buffalo game they have been competitive in every contest, even the one they did not score they could have had a few goals if the puck bounced in their favor.

But now we get to the next level of games and the ones that will give us a good indication if this group is built for the long-haul of a playoff race without DiPietro.

Even the Devils can put up a six spot as they did against Washington last week but lets leave them out of this.

@ Buffalo, @ Montreal, Pittsburgh, @ Boston & Ottawa is what I want to look at.
@ Buffalo: Gives up goals but against Boston scored four first period goals before the Bruins rallied. Outside of the opener against the Blues the club has not broken out like that in a game and may need to win a wide-open game here.

@ Montreal: What the Islanders did against Montreal at home was impressive for two periods but we all know what happened when the Canadians hit the switch and got skating themselves. Can the Islanders who are a better team than they were that night go up to Montreal and skate with them to the level it will take to earn points with the game on the table?

Pittsburgh: We have seen the Pens once at the Coliseum already with Crosby just back from injury, the Islanders got the game to a shootout. Can they now do what they did last year against the Pens and win a game here? Sabourin was in goal for that game so forget about Fleury's injury.

@ Boston: Bruins after being dominated by the Isles for years chewed up the Islanders last year and beat them at their own game. This is a huge test to see if the Isles can compete with a club that is only getting better than they were a year ago with a lot of things working for them.

Ottawa: I expect next time we see the Senators they will be out of their losing streak and ready to send a message to the club that beat them twice or they will have some new players with them.

This is the stretch folks I think we find out of this team is for real and built for a playoff race. They win their share of games and compete here they can with anyone.

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Islander News Articles 11/20

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/19/2008 09:52:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: John Jeansonne has comments from Doug Weight on working with the teams youth and how things have changed from when he broke into the league. Head coach Scott Gordon had more details of Kyle Okposo's " not so serious " hand injury and working Brendan Witt back in with less minutes.

Mr Jeansonne also wrote about Weight's impressive offensive production to this point.

Chicago Sun-Times:Len Ziehm reports former Islander Aaron Johnson who did not make the Hawks opening night roster is tied for second in the NHL with a plus eleven rating and a few goals/assists as part of a third pairing unit in Chicago with his comments.

NHL Notes:
Steve Regier was again recalled by the Blues to the NHL club.

I wonder if Rick DiPietro pulled himself out of a game after allowing five goals if Newsday/local media would ignore it or would the critical of showing up his coach and team especially if the same goaltender a year ago complained about who was on the ice at the end of a game here?

More Thursday:

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Islanders Eighteen Game Report Card: Forwards

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/19/2008 08:30:00 PM | Comment Here
Like last season we did a twenty game report card with grades for the players in a quick paragraph. With Thanksgiving next week and a busy schedule over the weekend I felt game eighteen would be a good time to do this feature.

Anyone who has not played at least seven games is an incomplete to this point and will not be reviewed. I want to see more of Josh Bailey before voting in our poll or doing a paragraph.


Bill Guerin:
Guerin still had his quickness to drive the net when necessary, he has not given them enough big goals yet and some nights has seem flat-footed after giveaways and still is too much on the perimeter which accounts for his team high seventy four shots. He only has one even strength goal on the season to go with his two powerplay tallies, one shorthanded and empty net goal. He has to finish some plays and has a center he trusts in Doug Weight. On pace for twenty four goals/forty eight points which is about as much as can be asked but he has to do more at even strength.
Grade C:

Doug Weight:
Doug Weight has four goals, three come off deflections on the powerplay by the other team but despite his lack of speed does see the ice well and is making plays in all three ends of the ice. He also looks like he is having fun playing hockey after what was a tough season a year ago. So far it looks like a great signing by Garth Snow.
Grade A:

Trent Hunter:
Credit the system, the center around him or just a player skating better but Hunter has been in better position to finish his chances. As usual he is doing a great job in the checking, defense department along with great shorthanded play going all out to block anything he can get in front of. Do not let the plus/minus rating fool you here because he has been that good in every area.
Grade A:

Frans Nielsen:
This is a player who even early was getting chances and making plays, what he has done so far will not stand out on the score sheet but his speed and decision making with and without the puck has been very impressive. The hockey instincts are obviously there and only getting more acclimated to this level, his shot needs to be a little better but it's a good start. Scott Gordon has a lot of confidence in playing him in critical moments.
Grade B:

Kyle Okposo:
Some good stretches where his individuals skill have stood out but playing him on the left side with Guerin and Weight set him back when he looked ready to break out.

Fair or not Okposo has to produce more and has not had his wrist shot working off some good looks at the net. I'm not sure if Park or Hilbert are right for that and it's asking a lot of Josh Bailey to set him up as well as he did in Ottawa. Okposo does work hard/skate well and has some very deceptive moves where he has beaten some defenders one on one. It's going to take time and confidence but there are signs.
Grade C:

Sean Bergenheim:
Seems wherever Bergenheim goes that line starts getting chances off his skating and checking, it's no coincidence. He made a goal against Ottawa Saturday shooting and then driving the net for the rebound. The production has not been consistent but he has been making some impressive moves and displays a nasty edge sticking up for his teammates. Among the club leaders in penalties with most the over-aggressive variety but all Bergenheim needs to do is keep doing what he has been. The speed and instincts indicate he is an NHL player with good potential.
Grade C:

Jon Sim:
Maybe not the best role/system for Sim but he is on his seventeen goal pace with less minutes and not on a set line after starting with Guerin and Weight. The acceleration from behind the net to drive the goal is as good as ever and he is a pest who will get after the other club. Many may forget he missed an entire season but so far he's chipped in with two powerplay goals. I suspect he will do even more
with a set line.
Grade C:

Mike Comrie:
From opening night where he was on wing until the time his hip started acting up Comrie has seemed somewhat off-balance in this system and with who he is paired with. A few good plays where he drove the slot for rebounds and the work to feed a team-mate for a breakaway in the corner was there but it's obvious there has been something missing from the best version of his game despite his eight assist. Not sure if injury-related or system related but last year's leading scorer has to be an offensive factor when he returns.
Grade D:

Richard Park-Andy Hilbert:
Might as well combine both players because both are excellent on defense and in the passing lanes breaking up chances with great speed going back the other way. Hilbert
had a nice goal opening night, banked one in off a player against Philadelphia and is on pace for about twenty five points. He will go body for body with anyone in open ice/corners and has skills lacking on the roster.

Park is off to a slow offensive start for him but has great instincts to win a puck and skate off the wing along with his pk ability.

Both players are doing exactly what you expect and doing it well.
Grades B:

Jeff Tambellini:
We have seen some games he has tried to play physical, he has made a few good passes to set up plays along with driving the net. He had that great rush in Florida and had Vokoun looking lost after his shot hit the crossbar, it's something lacking on this roster but we are not seeing it nearly enough. If Bergenheim, Okposo, Nielsen can be visible every game Tambellini has to be also.

Considering Tambellini is the oldest in the young prospect group and what he did in the AHL the pressure should be rightfully on. He receives a failing grade based on a lack of quality chances created, not a lack of production on a weak offensive roster not geared to help a young player breakout and score.
Grade F:

Nate Thompson:
It did not start well but he did become acclimated to this level and brought some energy to a fourth line. Scott Gordon had him as the only forward on ice in some five on three situations and he has stood up for his teammates. There is some speed but seemingly not the hands unless were talking baseball swing which led to a big first goal in Manhattan. Given he was picked up off waivers after the Bruins could not make a deal he's done about as good as can be expected to this point.

Of course only management knows if he has a spot in New York moving forward when all the injured players return.
Grade C:

Defense & Goaltending will be done Thursday or Friday.

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Islander-Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/19/2008 07:53:00 PM | | Comment Here
Espn: Scott Burnside had a video update on the Islanders where he credits Scott Gordon's system, the players for buying in along with comments on goaltender Joey MacDonald and what the players have done with injuries.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm taken aback given the usual content from Mr Burnside ripping the club but he does an excellent job here talking about the recent record, how the vets are also preaching the system and noting the injuries.

Well done, keep em coming.

Espn: Damien Cox what on what he felt were the most memorable quotes of the year includes Rick DiPietro's back on 10/25 about his recent injury as a reason to again call out the Nassau Coliseum's age.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was only one part of a long article containing many quotes but at least Mr Cox points this is league policy.

We also now know DiPietro is out with a knee injury and will be out four-six week, a lot of clubs are not giving out less information with Mr Cox should have noted.

Where he lost me was comparing hockey to a high volume betting sport like football where there is a betting line and an injury report.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio did have a game article Wednesday with head coach Jack Capuano's comments after the win in San Antonio.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Without the Ct Post beatwriter on the Canada-Texas trip this was not much fun as it was during the clubs inaugural season. Hopefully the Post will allow him to be in Hershey for Saturday against a big division rival where he belongs.

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Islander News Articles 11/19

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/19/2008 12:00:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Mr Logan's update is on right wing Tim Jackman with comments from head coach Scott Gordon along with injury/roster changes.

Sound Tigers website: Recaps Bridgeport's come from behind win 3-1 at San Antonio on Tuesday night along with here.

2. SA Nesbitt, (1) (Lisin, Bourret), 1:42 (PP)
3. BRI Walter, (2) (Comeau, Colliton), 2:18
3. BRI Smith, (6) (Lee, Iggulden), 17:45
3. BRI Iggulden, (11) (McLean), 19:56 (EN)

Nathan Lawson had twenty eight saves.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio live blogged on the game with lineup changes.

San Antonio Express News: Has the Rampage Coverage which included Joe Callahan returning to San Antonio.

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Okposo out, Witt activated, Skinner sent to AHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/18/2008 07:28:00 PM | | | | | 2 Comments
Islanders website: Announced forward Kyle Okposo will be out for a week with an arm injury.

Brendan Witt was activated off injured reserve, Brett Skinner was returned to Bridgeport. Mike Sillinger according to the release agreed to the Bridgeport conditioning assignment. Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog has more on Witt's activation and the other moves today.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Apparently someone will have to be recalled to replace Okposo when the Sound Tigers return from their trip unless Garth Snow makes a trade or Nate Thompson/Mike Comrie are able to play.

Interesting the club gave a specific injury (not upper body) and a time table on Okposo. I noticed Okposo slip on a third period chance but it could have happened at another time.

Note-I included the San Antonio Rampage Radio Link for Tuesday's 8pm game along with Sound Tigers website preview here.

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NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/18/2008 04:47:00 PM | | Comment Here
Carolina News Observer: Luke DeCock speculates on the job status of former Islander head coach Peter Laviolette with the history of how gm Jim Rutherford reacts in these circumstances and felt the Canes recent win may have saved Laviolette from being fired afterward.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usually when a coach is on the hot-seat as Laviolette was entering last summer where the Canes took a long time to confirm he would be back, a firing does happen if the club struggles at the beginning of the next season. Mr DeCock is speculating but this is not a writer that plays the shock-jock game with hockey content.

I suspect it's as serious as the writers speculation indicates.

I know I'm rooting for a good coach like Laviolette to keep his job, our game is better with him behind an NHL bench where he belongs.

USA Ted Montgomery had an update where he tells us what we already know, the Wings are not on the media radar in Detroit vs the major market teams in town.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What's disappointing was all the talk of the Islanders attendance, the Wing went to the semifinals two years ago in front of a lot of empty seats and opened last year
to completely empty sections here yet all we read is about the age of the Nassau Coliseum and not Msg? Jim Kelley in an all NHL column took some digs again at the Islanders injury policy speculating some feel Mike Comrie was listed injured as a face-saving gesture but the writer did not accept that crediting Scott Gordon for running a tight ship and demanding performance.

Mr Kelley also wrote the truth is there are very few kids worth playing in the New York system and Gordon has been patching together what he has while leaning on his vets, much the same as Ted Nolan did.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Kind of funny Mr Kelley now thinks Scott Gordon runs a tight ship after criticizing him back in August along with his claim no other coach interviewed objected to being passed over Sports Illustrated for the Islanders opening.

Mr Kelley had a few words about the Devils doing this also in terms of injuries a week ago but a lot of clubs have the same policy, apparently Mr Kelley failed to notice the club has been releasing more information.

A few good story lines around the club right now, too bad he did not bother noticing any of them once again which include the prospects. Central Scouting released it's 2009 early draft rankings with the full list expected to be released later today.

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Islander Notables/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/18/2008 03:41:00 PM | | Comment Here
Point Blank: Mr Botta reports center Mike Sillinger will go on a three game minor league conditioning assignment and make his debut for the Sound Tigers this Sunday which Michael Fornabaio confirmed here in his Ct Post blog.

Mr Botta did not know if any announcement would be made regarding Kyle Okposo's injury status.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
A return of Mike Sillinger sets up a lot of questions.

Will Sillinger or Comrie be dealt because from where I sit it would be a mistake to move Frans Nielsen off that line with Hunter and the way Doug Weight is producing you leave him alone or Tim Jackman and Josh Bailey go to Bridgeport/Windsor?

Since the summer I have been writing something has to give, Blake Comeau was one surprise, another is going to have to happen.

Tomas Pock's suspension ends in three games along with Brendan Witt's likely return something else has to give on the backline. Skinner has done a very good job on the backline.

One thing that almost can be counted on with this group is injuries. If everyone is healthy Garth Snow has some decisions to make because not everyone can stay.
If the Islanders want to talk about a demotion it should be for Yann Danis because to ask MacDonald to play the full schedule with what is coming up will be asking for a lot for someone who did not sit this long in Hamilton.

Six games in nine days are upcoming which include a day game in Boston a week from Friday.
I'm just going to write this and let the chips fall where they may.

Without Joey MacDonald robbing players virtually every game starting with the home opener against the Blues no one is taking about Scott Gordon's system and instead are talking about a club that may not have more than two wins at best and a coach who could have lost his players.

Not counting the Buffalo game Joey MacDonald has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and to date has done the impossible in replacing Rick DiPietro.

DiPietro, Luongo, Brodeur at their best could not have given the Islanders much more than MacDonald has on a team with this many injuries, it's been that impressive.
Almost as big as MacDonald's play is the blocked shots and increased scoring on what's been a roster decimated again by injuries along with Weight's numbers despite how many shots deflect off players from other teams for goals.

If only Tambellini, Okposo, Nielsen & Bergenheim break out with some goals.
That version of Tim Jackman we saw against Vancouver is going to score some goals for this team, he created most of his own chances and was faster, will be interesting to see if this scorer in the AHL can bring that to this level.

Scott Gordon is giving him minutes with the results.

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Islander News Articles 11/18

Newsday: Mr Logan's post game article has comments from Frans Nielsen about his shootout goal and the play of Joey MacDonald while the Islander goaltender talked about the matchup with Roberto Luongo and the shootout.

Mr Logan also reported Kyle Okposo could not participate in the shootout because of an injury according to head coach Scott Gordon.

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article is more from Roberto Luongo while the beatwriter once again goes over the history of the trade.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I can understand this a bit from the Vancouver media because it was his first visit since his trade from Florida to Vancouver but why is this a story at all for Mr Logan considering the countless times Luongo has played at the Nassau Coliseum since he was traded in 2000?

Daily News: Mr Botte submitted a second draft of mostly the same article but this version had comments from Nielsen, MacDonald and a quick work from head coach Scott Gordon on Okposo.

Mr Botte's earlier version had no quotes and only the history of Luongo with a two paragraph recap of the game and I was critical of the poor content from Mr Botte who's work should be better than this anyway.

NY Post: Dan Martin recaps the Islanders 2-1 shootout win with comments from Joey MacDonald and head coach Scott Gordon.

Point Blank: Mr Botta did a fantastic job getting reaction from the Vancouver Canuck players, coaches and media on the Islanders win and head coach Scott Gordon's system.

Vancouver Sun: Iain MacIntyre recapped the Islanders 2-1 shootout win and blamed the Coliseum ice for the Canucks sloppy play from their defense with a later article quoting Joey MacDonald about playing in the NHL & Frans Nielsen about playing against his friend and Danish teammate, Jannik Hansen here.

Vancouver Sun: Elliott Pap had a game blog with updates on the loss.

Vancouver Province: Ben Kuzma in his game recap has Roberto Luongo's comments about his brief time with the Islanders, credited Frans Nielsen for his shootout goal and what happened on Weight's goal and a game recap here.

A blog in the Province about the game was also written by Mr Kuzma here.

Vancouver Province: Mr Kuzama also had an interview with Doug Weight where he talks about head shots on players and what must be done to prevent them while talking about Brandon Sutter and Thomas Pock.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly where he had comments from Mike Iggulden & head coach Jack Capuano on the game in Houston and five questions with Trevor Smith.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at San Antonio Rampage
WHEN -- Tonight, 8
WHERE -- ATT Center, San Antonio
ON THE AIR -- No radio; Webcast and Internet pay-per-view at

San Antonio Express News: Covers the Rampage.

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New York 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/17/2008 10:01:00 PM | | Comment Here

USA Today/AP: Recaps the Islanders 2-1 shootout win. Also recaps Monday's shootout win for New York.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
MacDonald was the difference again with several big saves and fantastic in the shootout.

Never saw a player go as wide as Demitra on a shootout, never saw anyone take out another play by knocking the net into the end boards which was a heck of a check by Hilbert.

It all started with MacDonald and ended with some good plays by the defense getting in the lanes like Hunter diving to block a puck at the end of the second.

Defense bent a few times but MacDonald did not break, Vancouver has some very fast young forwards to go with the Sedins and all night long it seemed like Canucks had four players around the puck because of how well they skate.

Vancouver's speed gave the Islanders trouble from the opening drop of the puck and led to mistakes in the neutral zone and in their own end. A turnover led to Demitra scoring the opening goal and creating other chances that could have put the game away early. Scott Gordon was very upset with the opening goal.

Islanders did not generate much and nothing dangerous before Bergenheim's second period chance, they did not do a bad job in the trenches and a few pucks were centered in the first period but a few blocks by Vancouver or soft shots.

All of a sudden after Bergenheim's chance the gates opened, the Canucks slower defense did have some troubles and the Islanders started getting some good looks at Luongo with Bailey on the powerplay, Jackman driving past players (drawing a powerplay) and did everything but finish (one off a great pass from Hilbert) who had a dominating night and worked to create.

That's more than I have seen from Tambellini in any single game, Okposo worked for a chance or two, his high sticking call trying to tip a shot with Luongo out seemed a poor call.

Finally a good screen and a Canuck tip of a Weight shot had the Islanders on the board.

Islander powerplay did not do much but the penalty kill dug in and made enough plays to keep the game tied with MacDonald solid.

Guerin made a very nice move to center ice in the third and showed his speed/shot, Hunter, Nielsen had some very strong plays in all three zones and Luongo had to be very good on some late shots by Hunter. Defense tried to join the rush with Streit a few times. Campoli, Gervais in overtime looked hungry for another ot goal. Sutton had to work very hard in this one to stay with the Canucks fast forwards.

Skinner keeps making steady plays and mistake free hockey.

A few times the Islanders over extended shifts and you could see Park get a chance but had nothing left so he shot.

You get into overtime against Luongo and wonder if it's best to take a chance and go all-out for a goal than play for the shootout? Late in overtime Vancouver again turned up the pressure so when the Isles did clear they had little left to go for it on offense.

Nielsen scored in Toronto a few years ago in a shootout, he built no momentum just standing at center ice but made a great move. The rest was all MacDonald who looked like Dubielewicz on the game winning save.

I was surprised Bailey got a chance in the shootout.

A well-earned three days off for the Islanders, considering what's ahead combined with the standings they had to have two points here.

The possible return of Witt makes this coming Friday's game feel like opening night # 2 in Newark.

Was that actually our announcers who were critical of someone's media? I did not know Billy Jaffe had it in him.

Now if we can only have them get on the local media.

Classless ad by Msg afterward with a Friday preview claiming playing the Devils with Kevin Weekes is like playing against a team with an open net from the company that shows their games. Weekes has played for all three local clubs and has been a class act.

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Vancouver at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/17/2008 04:24:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
AP: Recaps the Canucks win at home against Toronto where Pavol Demitra returned to the Canucks lineup and had three assist.

Sports Network: Reports Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa will miss 2-to-4 weeks with a fracture of the metatarsal bone in his left foot. Vancouver recalled defenseman Lawrence Nycholat from Manitoba of the American Hockey League.

Vancouver Sun: Has Roberto Luongo's comments about returning to the Coliseum once again and what it means to him and a few words on his shutout streak ending. Alex Edler is expected to return to the Canucks lineup after missing Saturday's game with the flu.

Islanders website: Had a good feature on goaltender Joey MacDonald where Andy Sutton comments.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had a few words from head coach Scott Gordon and Doug Weight on the club's mindset on playing with a lead among several subjects. John Kreiser had an an excellent feature late Sunday on Josh Bailey with his comments and head coach Scott Gordon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tonight's the big night, the latest return of a former Islander to the Coliseum in
Rob Davison Roberto Luongo who was acquired at the trade deadline last season.

In all seriousness Islanders finally get a little break after Monday and need this game considering what's ahead after Friday. The wins/points have to start happening now. This club badly needs a good ten game stretch without a loss in regulation because that's what it's going to take to get all the way back in the playoff hunt.

Last time Canucks were here it was not pretty in Brad Shaw's second game as interim coach but last season Luongo frankly was terrible in a game DiPietro stole a point by carrying the club to a shootout loss. All that along with Luongo back to his Florida days means nothing as he makes his first trip to the Coliseum as a Canuck.

Islanders have to get their three goals and give MacDonald a chance to see the puck and hope he continues this stretch where he is seeing the puck well.

Martinek with a game under his belt should only play better, the Canucks despite the record are not a power house offensive club and maybe a win on home ice finally gives the club some confidence at the Coliseum.

Or not.

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