12/15/08

Islander News Articles 12/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2008 10:39:00 PM
Mr Botta earlier Monday with Islanders website confirmed an injury to Nate Thompson of two-four weeks with a fractured ankle, while Josh Bailey is now day to day.

Newsday: John Jeansonne has head coach Scott Gordon's on the Islanders injuries and what they have meant to what he calls an offensively challenged roster already with comments from Kyle Okposo and Mike Comrie.

NY Post: Dan Martin has Scott Gordon on DiPietro traveling to Minnesota and Mike Comrie on injuries.

Mr Martin also reports as many as three callups could be made for tonight's game.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

I think this goes beyond normal team injuries when we see players expected out weeks come back early and get reinjured or others projected out for a day or two all of a sudden are downgraded to a month or longer.

Gervais went from healthy to a few days to off the radar entirely. Okposo went from a few days to a few weeks to an additional four-six weeks to where he is back at practice?

Now DiPietro goes from Monday to Friday? How many times can Nate Thompson have ankle problems before it's time to ask questions?

Josh Bailey is on his third injury if he sits tonight.

Not blaming anyone but I have never seen such a thing on any NHL club to this degree and there have been Islander seasons when they go through fifty players.

Just not like this where injury prognosis change as quick as the temperature.

Washington Post: Tarik El-Bashir has updates from Washington's practice on Monday.

Washington Times: Corey Masisak reports the following on the Caps:

*Nicklas Backstrom is fine and will play tomorrow.

*Alex Ovechkin and Alexnader Semin were just taking the day off and will play tomorrow.

*Jose Theodore will not make the trip to New York, Brent Johnson will start in net. Simeon Varlamov will back him up.

*Sergei Fedorov will not make the trip.

*Tyler Sloan will make the trip but he is not sure if he will be able to play.

*Both Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr will make the trip, but their availability is also in question.

*John Erskine and Chris Clark did not practice.

Sarina Observer: Dave Borody reports Islander prospects Matt Martin & Justin DiBennedetto could be on the trade block for the struggling Sting and that defenseman Mark Katic could return to the OHL next season for his fifth year, but word has it the New York Islanders will sign him after this season and he will turn pro next year.

The Star.com: Rick Westhead reports when word got out Kirill Petrov was content to play for a one million-plus salary and stay near his family in Russia, his stock plummeted allowing the Islanders to select him in the third round.

Columbus Dispatch: Tom Reed reports Islander head coach Scott Gordon is not a proponent of the three-point format for NHL games awarding an additional point for a skills competition like a shootout according to the reporter.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's update is a feature on Sound Tigers winger Trevor Smith with comments from head coach Jack Capuano.






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Spurgeon, Hamonic released by team Canada

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2008 08:41:00 AM
Hockey Canada: Announced Islander prospects Travis Hamonic & Jared Spurgron were both released from team Canada as the roster was trimmed to twenty two for the WJC.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That leaves Blake Kessel for team USA, Jyri Niemi (Finland) and David Ullström (Sweden) so far among the Islander prospects heading to Ottawa.

Kirill Petrov is on Russia's early list for the games here but to date has not returned to play with Ak Bars from his injury to the best of my knowledge.

I will keep checking for new roster releases from other countries. Elite Prospects
here seems to have most rosters updated with the exceptions of Germany, Kazakhstan and Latvia.








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Top five suggestions for Scott Gordon

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2008 07:45:00 AM
Scott Gordon is the head coach of an NHL hockey team, NYI Fan Central is a hockey blog, easy for me to suggest, much tougher to do.

Having written this....

1. Earlier this season Scott Gordon moved Kyle Okposo to left wing for a stretch of games and he disappeared, after moving him back to right wing Gordon admitted that was a mistake.

Don't repeat it with Blake Comeau shifting him to right wing as we saw for Saturday so Jon Sim (or anyone) can play the left side, Comeau has to be play the position he was brought in to play and that goes for all these players.

2. Sim-Hilbert-Park on the powerplay? No more. Bergenheim is a first round pick who skates well and is visible and he rarely sees powerplay minutes, Comeau is doing well, Bailey needs more looks with the man advantage.

To that end Chris Campoli needs powerplay minutes, Doug Weight can go play up with the forwards because if he does not stay long-term someone has to man the point with Streit.

3. A fourth line that can skate. Overspeed demands faster players. Scott Gordon said anyone can play this system when camp started, that may be true but not with three lines.

No more Mitch Fritz and trying to play a hard skating system with less that twelve up front as he sits after a few first period shifts. As games wear on Jackman's numbers drop with Thompson and what we get is a mix where other players wear down between icings that extend shifts and special teams.

The fights by appointment will have to suffer.

4. Make the call to Jack Capuano and get Jeff Tambellini back here now, find out what Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu, Colliton, Iggulden, Walter can do. Jack Hillen could use another look for Thomas Pock.

I like Tim Jackman for what he can do but he is not the right player for a club with this lack of speed and skill, same for Fritz, Thompson and one of Park-Hilbert.

Career scoring records do not lie. Poor even strength clubs have to do things to improve at even strength.

5. All veterans ride the bench for a game or two.

Guerin, Weight, Sillinger, Witt all get a game off here and there, not only to find out what others can do but so these players have something left at the end of the season regardless where they end up playing. If Meyer, Martinek, Hunter are dragging give them a game too.

Time for some very tough choices, the record demands other players get a look before Okposo, Nielsen return.






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12/14/08

Islander News Articles 12/15

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2008 08:23:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan has goaltender Joey MacDonald's comments about the return of Rick DiPietro to practice on Monday and what's ahead. Mr Logan speculates as to when DiPietro could start a game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Would not be the worst time for Garth Snow to think about rewarding MacDonald with a contract extension.

Without MacDonald from opening night this team is looking at fifteen games under five hundred right now, he's proven he can step in and play well for not only an extended amount of time but as a number one goalie.

Only potential downside here is he seems critical of his team defense when they struggle but he also was very hard on himself and praised Yann Danis/DiPietro.

Islanders record does reflect how well he has played for them, being named third start of the month for November does along with all the quality shots he has faced and saved.

Hockey Canada : Reports Islander prospect Jared Spurgeon had another assist in Sunday's Red-White intersquad game as players tryout for team Canada.

Hockey Canada will announce the National Junior Team roster on Monday. The team will then go to Petawawa, ON on Monday evening for two days of team building and practice in preparation for pre-competition games.

Jared Spurgeon & Travis Hamonic were both invited to camp.

London Free Press: Ryan Pytte has comments from Islander prospect Matt Martin about a possible trade from the Sarnia Sting.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is along the same lines of what folks saw a year ago with Robin Figren with the Oil Kings.





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Poll Update: Who would you call up for first time?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2008 12:27:00 PM
This weeks poll hits the final day and asked everyone what player would you like to see recalled for the first time in 2008-09?

The vote right now favors Trevor Smith.

Sorry about misspell on Jesse Joensuu, once a poll goes in it's locked after a few hours and cannot be altered beyond how long it runs. I did not notice it at the time.

Trevor Smith-F 17 (47%)
Mike Iggulden-F 6 (16%)
Jesse Joensuu-F 12 (33%)
Ben Walter-C 6 (16%)
Sean Bentivoglio-F 2 (5%)
Dustin Kohn-D 3 (8%)
Andrew MacDonald-D 2 (5%)
Kurtis McLean-C 2 (5%)

I voted for Smith, Iggulden, Joensuu. Give me some players with some offensive skills who can finish, we know Jackman, Fritz, Thompson, Park, Hilbert will not be doing that on a regular basis here.

If Sim sits it should not be for the players he sat for against Pittsburgh.
*******************************************
For those interested here is the pre WJC information for each country and where they will have camp. I put the exhibition games for all teams in the WJC section.

Czech Republic: Dec. 16-23, PowerAde Centre, Brampton, Ont.
Finland: Dec. 20-23, Molson Centre, Barrie, Ont.
Germany: Dec. 20-23, Robert-Guertin Arena, Gatineau, Que.
Kazakhstan: Dec. 18-23, General Motors Centre, Oshawa, Ont.
Latvia: Dec. 18-23, Memorial Centre, Brockville, Ont.
Russia: Dec. 19-23, K-Rock Centre, Kingston, Ont.
Slovakia: Dec. 17-23, The Aud, Kitchener, Ont.
Sweden: Dec. 16-23, Hershey Centre, Mississauga, Ont.
United States: Dec. 21-23, K-Rock Centre, Kingston, Ont.


NYI Fan Central Update:


Some changes to the media feed widget on the sidebar.

I added in the Times, News & Post feeds (even if we see AP coverage) to bulk up the section and cut out the Islander website top stories (too many repeats/ads) keeping only the headlines feed.

Ct Post does not have a Sound Tiger centric feed for it's newspaper, only Mr Fornabaio's blog which is on the sidebar.








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12/13/08

Islander News Articles 12/14

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2008 10:14:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's game recap had head coach Scott Gordon on the two goals the Islanders scored that did not count, Bergenheim on how he could have made it tougher on Rick Nash to get the puck off his stick on the breakaway and goaltender Joey MacDonald on how they played better but losing battles on the third goal where two Blue Jackets out battle five Islanders are the ones killing them.

Newsday: Mr Logan has more from the pregame blog on Mike Sillinger's groin injury where he says it could be in correlation to his hip and will have to see. Jon Sim talks about getting back in the lineup while head coach Scott Gordon is quoted about the last two days and what was done to prepare the club on and off the ice.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

All the comments from the head coach were before the game in the second article.

Newsday: Greg Logan and Arthur Staple present a gameplan to fix the Islanders which starts with the Lighthouse, adding a defensive assistant coach as teams study video and adjust to the overspeed system which is the identity, drafting to fit the system, getting value at the trade deadline and a three year timetable for management for Mr Logan's content.

Mr Staple plays the shockjock game immediately declaring this season cannot be fixed, that Mr Wang should pipe down as Neil Smith was again brought up, Rick DiPietro should shut up and not play until next fall and learn what idle means so he has a chance at being healthy. Also included is for management to dump the veterans and get the kids in any way possible.

Finally the Islanders must change league Newsday staff created perception about the team including it's change-on-a-whim owner and a lack of commitment to consistency.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Nothing like those former Ranger beatwriters getting together and putting a good constructive beating on the Islanders with Mr Staple clearing doing the guesswork and Mr Logan doing a good job aside from the part about Mr Wang selling to someone who can move the club.

Mark Herrmann will be back soon enough for anyone who dare purchase a ticket to drive them away for that part, we need not read it again.

Mr Logan will have some more Msg memories for those Ranger profile shows on Msg.

Mr Staple lost his hockey fastball in terms of present day journalism.

Recently Mr Staple had Clark Gillies fourth on a list of NY hockey enforcers with Gary Howatt ahead of him?

Now for those who believe whatever Newsday writes some fair points were made here but having written that............

Charles Wang since 2006 has given Newsday one interview at the end of last season (where he put his foot in his mouth about Ted Nolan) and was not even quoted at Scott Gordon's press conference.

While Mr Baumbach demands he speak up, Mr Staple demands he shut up?

Funny they never pull this on Mr Dolan. Mr Wang also did the WFAN interview last season.

Next up....

Since when did Newsday become the medical staff aside from the unprofessional rants by Mr Logan since the summer and the sports department until the Islanders finally dumped the new NHL approved policy like they were bullied out of it?

No other paper in North American went after a club who followed league policy like Newsday did with our team.

If the doctors say Rick DiPietro can return to play why should he shut down anything?

I did not see these plans from Mr Staple when he had the Ranger beat during their long losing years. Newsday largely creates Islander league-wide perception, some fair and a lot not fair.

Most of the other outlets work off the late nineties plan, in short they no longer follow the club.

If Newsday had been paying attention the Islanders have stuck to their plan aside from going for it one time in 2006 in a weak draft class. No one can be expected to win when you lose four hundred man games to injury one year and pick up that same pace the following season.

That has to be included here at the top if a state of the franchise/plan to fix the club feature is written and a plan is presented. I did not see a call for Witt, Martinek, Sillinger or Comrie to shut it down for the season.

Some very obvious things in Mr Logan/Zipay comments that did make sense on dumping veterans and playing prospects.


Edited:
Mr Logan & Mr Zipay edited the article and put their names to the part they contributed since my earlier comments. It was easy enough to figure out beforehand who wrote what.

Columbus Dispatch : Covers the Blue Jackets on their 3-1 win against New York on Saturday.

Windsor Star: Jim Parker Saturday had Windsor gm Warren Rychel's comments on Josh Bailey that they have not talked since Bailey told them he would be with the Islanders but the window to send Bailey back to the Spitfires must be before Jan. 10.

If Bailey plays more than 40 games this season with the Islanders, he's a year closer to unrestricted free agency. If Bailey is returned to Windsor before playing 40 NHL games, the Islanders would lose one year on his entry-level contract, however
Bailey would not be a year closer to unrestricted free agency.

Tsn.ca: Jared Spurgeon had an assist in Saturday's Red-White scrimmage for team Canada.

AHL.com: Recaps Bridgeport's 6-4 shootout win against the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday.

1. BRI Lee, (1) (Iggulden, Hillen), 0:30
1. BRI Hennigar, (3) (Hillen, Iggulden), 8:16
1. NOR Ward, (1) (Downie, Lundin), 10:31
1. BRI Tambellini, (1) (Walter), 14:21
1. NOR Lawrence, (1) (Downie, Rosehill), 18:30
2. BRI Smith, (12) (Colliton, Iggulden), 14:07
2. NOR Keller, (2) (Downie), 16:34
2. NOR Keller, (3) (Downie, Mihalik), 17:13
3. BRI Smith, (13) (Colliton, Skinner), 16:47
3. BRI Smith, (14) (Iggulden, Hillen), 19:59 (EN)

Peter Mannino twenty one saves. Colliton/Smith +3.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's newspaper coverage had head coach Jack Capuano on Bridgeport's win on Saturday in Norfolk who credited the Admirals and his own club for getting in front of their big goaltender.

Jack Hillen had three helpers.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a live blog from Norfolk which includes Bridgeport blowing it's thirteenth two goal lead in twenty four games.

Virginian-Pilot: Paul White has the Admirals coverage.







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Columbus 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2008 09:42:00 PM
AP: Has the recap of New York's 3-1 loss in Columbus on Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It is what it is folks, right now that is an Islander club in a free fall.

Outskated, outworked, outplayed. Islander veterans did very little nor did Steve Mason have to be very good. Guerin had one second period shot he looked like he had no idea where the puck was.

A save off Jackman on a turnover, a first period save on Doug Weight? A few scrambles? Not much else notable from the Islander offense or any kind of sustained pressure.

Good thing the Blue Jackets are a low scoring club or it may have been another blowout. Islanders for all the talk of coming out after a bad loss and setting the tone spent most of the first period chasing Columbus with that shift with Fritz where they were pinned in their own zone for a good minute.

Right there you could see momentum shift.

Columbus always seemed to have numbers on the puck in all three zones and simply were the faster club with a better idea of what they were trying to do. Isles did a good job making Jason Chimera looking like a star in this one, Jake Voracek came off a benching and created chances.

Islanders struggled in their own end of the ice, MacDonald did not get a lot of help but he played well enough or the post bailed him out once or twice.

I wonder if Scott Gordon watched game films of last season when it came to Blake Comeau or just the ones he struggled? Did he not know how badly out of place he looked on right wing those weeks in the second half when he was shifted?

Comeau played right wing a good part of the night for Sim to return on his left and you could see him struggle and that was without his skate problems. Finally he played a shift on the left (with Thompson at center) and he drove the net off left wing and almost have another break before going offsides.

A youth movement or rebuilding is not Park-Guerin-Hunter-Streit-Weight as your first powerplay unit with Park in front of the opposing goaltender. It's not Jon Sim coming off waiver to go on the powerplay.

Comeau, Bergenheim powerplay? Nope.

Richard Park should be out to kill penalties, same with Hilbert who again was counted on to be a lot more than he is. Campoli's second big mistake up the middle took a bounce to Park for his chance/goal.

Despite the goal it gave the Islanders virtually no lift in the third. Columbus had the better of play (two disallowed goals on whistles aside) and finally overspeed got caught with Hunter back for the 3-1 deciding goal.

Bergenheim did get a good chance, nice play by Nash.

Islanders just look like a beaten team right now. A descent overall game from Bergenheim with rushes off the wing, very little team play or confidence with a lot of running around in their own end of the ice.

Boy that was either a quick post-game or the cannon scored a direct hit on the broadcast booth?

Funny, I do not see Islanders Inspire ads on Ranger or Devil telecasts?







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12/13: New York at Columbus 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2008 12:35:00 PM
My thanks to Alex & Steve from Hockey Night on Long Island here and special guest co-host Tom Mascoli Islesinfo.com for a lot of fun Saturday talking New York Islander Hockey.

Always a pleasure appearing on their outstanding program.


AP: Previews tonight's game against Columbus with the Jackets averaging two goals while losing seven of its last 11 games. Rick Nash, who leads the team with 13 goals and 24 points, has been held without a point in his last three games.

Columbus Dispatch: Has the expected line combinations for Columbus tonight with a brief game preview
here.

Columbus Dispatch: Aaron Portzline in a combined blog of media reporter with Tom Reed and and current sports columnist Michael Arace report rookie goaltender Steve Mason starts in goal vs the Islanders on Saturday.

Columbus has a game Sunday and comes in off a win against Nashville.

Injury Expected Return
Derek Dorsett RW Finger IR. Out until at least mid-December
Rostislav Klesla D Ankle IR. Out until at least mid-December
Raffi Torres LW Knee IR. Out until at least late December


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Not much to write about going into this game, Islanders have a win against Columbus this season in overtime after blowing a lead but have struggled badly in their building since day one being only one of two NHL clubs never to win in the Jackets home arena. (Buffalo)

How fragile will the goaltending be for New York and can they put up the kind of effort we saw in Philadelphia?

Fair to write it's a critical time for Scott Gordon and his players.

Updated 4:30pm:
Sim returns to the lineup, Sillinger returns to the sidelines. MacDonald returns to the net.






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Almost over for 08-09 Islanders?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/13/2008 07:56:00 AM
This was written before Saturday's game against Columbus.

No hiding from ugly numbers and a lot of signs the competitive part of the 08-09 season in terms of realistic playoff contention is almost over.

Eastern Conference
4. Montreal 28 37
5. Philadelphia 28 36
6. Pittsburgh 29 36
7. New Jersey 26 34
8. Buffalo 29 31
9. Florida 29 31
10. Carolina 29 30
11. Toronto 29 28
12. Ottawa 27 25
13. Atlanta 28 22
14. NY Islanders 29 22
15. Tampa Bay 29 22

You fall nine points out of the eighth seed, twelve out of seventh and are seven games under five hundred it's fair to write it's almost over unless the Islanders have a huge winning streak in them.

The overall numbers suggest that is not likely with virtually nothing to look at as a starting point for such a turnaround aside from pp goals where the club is at twelve overall with twenty five goals with the man advantage which is a big improvement from previous seasons but not something to count on.

Here are the very ugly numbers:

30th in team plus/minus at -29. (29th team is only minus seventeen)
25th in goals scored 73 (dropped from 20th recently) entering play on Saturday.
26th in goals per game. (which is up from last season)
27th in times shorthanded at 146.
30th in goals allowed at 106.
27th in save percentage at 88.6
25th in saves at 825.
1st in blocked shots with 507/next team has 476.
25th in ppg allowed with 29 goals given up with man advantage.
20th in pk percentage at 80.1
25th in faceoff percentage at 48.1 (including Sillinger's recent dominance)
23-28th tied in overtime losses with two. (no survival skills to get games to ot)
17th in team hits with 572 recorded hits.
21st in missed shot at 304.
23rd in giveaways at 280.
3rd in takeaways at 257.

Folks talked about last year being a poor season where the club lost a league high 402 man games to injury with the club in sixth in early January.

That seems to be one area last year's club may even be worse in also if the trends continue.






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12/12/08

Islander News Articles 12/13

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/12/2008 08:17:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan reports head coach Scott Gordon put his players through what he described as a "bag skate" Friday afternoon in an effort to address back-checking breakdowns, and insisted the problems are not because of his overspeed system, as an opponent suggested recently.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Good time to let the coaches comments speak for themselves.

"You say, 'I don't want to kill them in practice and not get it in the game,'"

"Well, now I'm at the point where it doesn't really matter. This needs to be addressed, and it probably should have been addressed three games ago. The goals that are going in are because of our lack of awareness and our lack of effort without the puck coming back into our zone. There's not a system in the world that's going to cover your rear end if you don't have awareness and you don't have a commitment to get back to your zone."

"It's been an ongoing situation where we have not backchecked with awareness and purpose," Gordon said. "We have to play with more desperation and more purpose all the time. When you're not doing that, you become easier to play against. That's not what we want our team identity to be."


NY Post: Dan Martin has an interview with Kyle Okposo on living with Josh Bailey, Bruno Gervais and Nate Thompson, as he talks about team chemistry and how growing together will translate into on-ice results despite the frustrating results so far.

Columbus Dispatch : Covers the Blue Jackets.

Hockey Canada.com: Has the recap of the pre camp intersquad game for team Canada in training for the WJC on Friday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The TSN section added to the sidebar already has highlights and interviews from the inter-squad game with blanket coverage of team Canada.

No reported stats from Islander prospects Jared Spurgeon or Travis Hamonic who were invited with thirty six other players and still have to make the final cut for Canada.

Globe & Mail: Tim Wharnsby has comments from E.J. McGuire, the NHL's central scouting director as he talks about the draft class of 2009.

AHL.com: Recaps Bridgeport's 3-2 loss against the Norfolk Admirals on Friday.

1. NOR Segal, (11) (Downie, Rosehill), 5:04
1. NOR Potulny, (4) (Kearns, Segal), 18:27
1. BRI Bentivoglio, (4) (Colliton, Lee), 18:51
3. BRI McLean, (7) (Iggulden), 0:30
3. NOR Jones, (6) (Segal, Downie), 6:29 (PP)

Jeff Tambellini, one shot, minus one.
Peter Mannino twenty saves.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's newspaper coverage had head coach Jack Capuano credit Norfolk for going to the net and screening Peter Mannino.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a live blog from Norfolk which includes a Jeremy Colliton goal waved off on what he says was a high stick that did not go above his hip on video replay.


Virginian-Pilot: Paul White has the Admirals coverage.

Bridgeport again plays in Norfolk on Saturday.





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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/12/2008 04:48:00 PM
Daily News: Elliot Olshansky's Friday prospect feature is on Islander prospect Corey Trivino and includes a few words at the end on Blake Kessel.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Great article on Trivino with Terrier's heads coach Jack Parker's comments.

Best hockey coverage at the Daily News by a mile are these Friday reports.

Ironic the Times is more interested in Europe and the Daily News best work is a weekly update on prospects for the local clubs.

Any wonder why hockey flies so far below the New York radar?

Newsday: Mr Logan had a very early blog Friday crediting goaltender Joey MacDonald for speaking with the media after a tough game while suggesting DiPietro's return could lead to a few more big saves but his return will not make things better on the ice because of the onslaughts MacDonald has seen on a nightly basis recently.

Mr Logan also writes it appears the system is deeply flawed.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting we did not see this level of praise from the beatwriter about DiPietro when he was facing similar onslaughts and won six in a row after the ASG at a time all we read was a statistical argument DiPietro was not playing well.

MacDonald's overall number does not come close to how well he has played.

Fair to suggest when you help the beatwriter keep the quote book full you receive better writeups?

DiPietro has seen plenty of shots and pressure, when the offense provides two goals or less fourteen games in a row and you stay in contention it's fair to say it cannot get much tougher.

Of course aside from last night Mr Logan is correct about the level of goaltending Joey MacDonald has provided. I wonder if MacDonald talking about the lack of support from the defense (after he was visibly upset in Boston on the final Bruins goal) would be handled the same way by the Islander beatwriter if DiPietro had said this/acted like that or it would have been turned into a circus?

What Mr Logan also forgets to write about is the system is flawed because the defense along with the starting goaltender have not been healthy for a single day all season. You don't play this long without Radek Martink or Bruno Gervais in a revolving door defense and eventually not have it lead to breakdowns or take it's toll.

Up front the loss of Nielsen & Okposo with their speed/skill is no small sidebar either, these are critical losses along with Comrie (last year's leading scorer) and not having Sillinger until now who at best is in early Moncton mode.

Newsday: The Friday Islander Insider had a lot from Doug Weight on how well he has played but the center correctly talks about the lack of multiple point games/goals among several topics including Josh Bailey not part of team Canada and the speed/skill at this level of hockey with more from Blake Comeau about his season among several topics.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As great a season Weight has had statistically, goals and even strength production is not nearly enough but overall they have gotten more than expected.

Point Blank: Mr Botta speculates on Scott Gordon & Garth Snow staying for at least this season and next regardless where the Islanders are in the standings with more on Mike Comrie's likely return by next week.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
We shall see, we know the trends for Islander coaches and general managers, last time we saw a stretch like this the coach was fired and the gm announced his resignation.

If anyone thinks the Islanders are playing worse than expected it's a fair question at this point.

This is New York, not Nashville or Buffalo and great working relationships between general managers and coaches have not put any championship banners up in these places. It's early in the plan but progress has to be made.
************************************************
Islander website did not even telling us Sim went on waivers.
************************************************
Scott Gordon has had a lot of coachspeak for lack of a better word after some games (penalties against Pittsburgh or playing well in Atlanta's zone) after losses that were curious.

Seems the pressure is on the coach who must be extremely frustrated with losing to this degree which is new for him.
***************************************************
Someone want to tell me why Mitch Fritz should have dressed while Eric Godard was a scratch if Jon Sim was still here and could play again?

How many minutes can Jackman, Thompson eat up a night producing nothing? An energy shift has to lead to something like a goal or a penalty, if not you are playing to come out even at best.

With Weight not an even strength scorer and Bailey on zero combined with Park, Hilbert, Fritz, Thompson, Jackman you look around and wonder where the next goal at even strength comes from?

Have to figure some players are frustrated with losing and where the club is in the standings, cannot be happy in that locker room right now nor should it be.

Some thought the Islanders in sixth as late as January before injures piled up had a tough season?

Right now this is on pace to be the worst season since 2000-2001.






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Bailey should stay in the NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/12/2008 12:12:00 PM
Point Blank: Mr Botta wrote on Thursday the Islanders have made a big mistake not providing Josh Bailey the opportunity to play for Team Canada for the next three weeks and that the youth movement is on hold with Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo out of the lineup.

" One big fail? A big mistake? Three weeks of development he'll never get back "

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems somewhat over the top on Mr Botta's part and ironic he is calling for the Islanders to be unconventional given other clubs are not following suit and this is something they are constantly criticized for.

He knew Garth Snow said two weeks earlier if Josh Bailey was going to stay past his nine game trial he would remain an Islander and not play for team Canada at the WJC and was even surprised the gm said this at the time. That's exactly what has happened with the gm reaffirming this on Wednesday that Bailey is an Islander.

Josh Bailey will get those three weeks of development in the National Hockey League at the highest level. Whether Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen or any other prospect is injured should be completely inconsequential, youth never goes on hold because other prospects on a team are injured.

If anything Josh Bailey needs to play here now more than ever with the club struggling and Jon Sim placed on waivers. The WJC is a great tournament and experience but this is no longer a player in junior hockey or in the AHL.

Late Thursday afternoon Canadian Press reported what we knew earlier that team Canada would not have a lot of prospects drafted still on their NHL teams for the WJC with Steven Stamkos who did not attend summer camp (Tampa Bay), Colton Gillies (Minnesota), Kyle Turris (Phoenix), Brandon Sutter (Carolina), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Luke Schenn (Toronto), Sam Gagner (Edmonton) along with Bailey not playing for their respective country.

Did all of these organizations make the same big fail or mistake?

Josh Bailey needs to be a New York Islander now, the decision has been made for him to stay and the Islanders need to stick with their plan, he had assist in two straight games against Philadelphia & Pittsburgh.

There is always the World Championships for Josh Bailey later on if the Islanders are not in the playoffs.

THN: Ken Campbell reports Nikita Filatov who has played only four games with Columbus along with Maxim Mayorov who are both playing in the AHL were given permission to play for team Russia at the WJC who will open camp 12/18 in Kingston Ontario by gm Scott Howson.






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12/11/08

Islander News Articles 12/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2008 10:24:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's recap felt the Islanders have to drastically improve their talent level to have success with Gordon's "overspeed" system and couldn't match the speed and ability of a team like Pittsburgh with plenty of open ice in which to roam. Head coach Scott Gordon when asked if he is concerned about his goaltending said this was an off-night for everyone while goaltender Joey MacDonald talked about the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
To be fair most of Pittsburgh's nine goals were about poor goaltending and mistakes by the Islanders, what they did in the Coliseum was a frightening display of talent trailing in the last game, not here.

Pascal Dupuis and Petr Sykora did nothing that the Islanders did not provide themselves that led to the goals.

This was largely self-inflicted with a shot redirected by Sillinger, poor play in the passing lanes and weak goaltending combined with a fragile club struggling.

Pittsburgh was on it's seventh game in eleven days and lost three in a row.

Newsday: Mr Logan's second article was mostly a repeat of his pre-game blog with Scott Gordon & Jon Sim's comments about the forward being placed on waivers.

AP: Has an early recap of Pittsburgh's 9-2 win against New York.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shelly Anderson's game recap along with Pittsburgh Tribune Review with Rob Rossi's game coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Sound Tigers coach Jack Capuano on Jeff Tambellini who despite eight shots in his debut (mostly on the powerplay) wants him to use his shots more as the winger comments as Bridgeport heads to Norfolk for a double-header without Dustin Kohn.

Mr Fornabaio also reports Jon Gleed was called up from Utah on defense with Dustin Kohn injured.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's game preview also reports Len DiConstanzo will backup Peter Mannino in Norfolk Friday night.










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Pittsburgh 9, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2008 09:19:00 PM
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good thing Pittsburgh played the night before and traveled coming off three straight losses.

What can I write folks?

Joey MacDonald has given his team every chance in games to date, tonight was not his night nor was it Yann Danis to start the second.

So much for letting goaltenders finish what they start. Too bad the club did not step up and produce some goals to help them.

I'm not even sure Pittsburgh played well for two periods, all I do know is the Islanders were terrible.

Having written that what did the Islanders do to generate any kind of offense to get back in the game or get Pittsburgh taking penalties after they fell behind or at least start a fight to change momentum?

Early in Sillinger and Comeau had a good shift and found Richard Park who simply is not the player who is going to get your team a lot of goals and missed.

Bergenheim had a few good rushes at the Pens net but it looked like the previous Coliseum game for John Curry who only faced one quality shot for two periods which Mark Streit scored on and had a good third period save on Sillinger.

Instead in the first we saw a selfish slash by Brendan Witt at the end of a five on three kill with the puck nowhere near him to keep the Pens with the two man advantage until Satan finally scored, marginal call which sometimes you see let go but not tonight against Brendan Witt.

How many times in a season does Sillinger redirect one past his goaltender? Nothing
can be done about it.

After goals you see Thompson, Jackman and Fritz go on the ice (no one went out and fought) They are not going to get one back, the frustration penalties are going to pile up with Bailey taking one and then Andy Sutton who threw one nice hit on Fedotenko.

As the game progressed in the second Islanders team defense again did not have the passing lanes which has been the most alarming recent trend and Pittsburgh ate them alive. Pens did not even seem to work very hard to finish, this was not some kind of speed and skill display put on by Pittsburgh, simply terrible team defense and undisciplined play.

Nothing like a third period powerplay and Bailey holding the puck waiting for Richard Park to make a low-percentage cross-ice pass after he passes back to him.

Memo to Andy Sutton-Pittsburgh touches the puck with a high stick and Malkin is pushing you in the chest several times it's a good time to drop the gloves down 8-1, if Andy Hilbert is the one jumping in to push back something is wrong there.

Good thing Sutton whiffed on the pass (after Bailey set him up) before scoring the Islanders second goal which Curry was terrible on.

Malik pops Jackman in the third and only Jackman gets the penalty? See how wide open Malik was before the hit/elbow by Malkin?

Danis settled down and made a few good saves in the third, he had no help on Dupuis third.

Scott Gordon was a little critical of Yann Danis on the game winner against Philadelphia, have to feel the frustration and pressure is mounting on the first year coach who like Ted Nolan is not used to this kind of losing.

This was a terrible response after a good effort in Philadelphia, Mark Streit thought his team was coming out of it in the pregame. Isles made Dupuis and Sykora look like superstars.

Last time an Islander team allowed this many goals and played like this Steve Stirling was on his way to being fired in December 2005.

Almost have to wonder if this is the night the clock begins ticking on Scott Gordon's tenure.

Something has to give and it goes beyond Jon Sim being clearing waivers.






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New York at Pittsburgh 7:30pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/11/2008 03:49:00 PM
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Jon Sim cleared NHL waivers but will be a scratch against Pittsburgh. Nate Thompson & Andy Hilbert return to the lineup.

Joey MacDonald starts in goal, John Curry who made his debut against the Islanders starts for Pittsburgh coming off a loss against New Jersey.

Sports Network: Previews tonight's game.

Newsday: Katie Strang earlier had Rick DiPietro's comments he hopes to return by Christmas as he talked about his injury and praised Joey MacDonald's play in goal.


Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
Hal Gill D Shoulder IR. Out until at least late December
Sergei Gonchar D Shoulder IR. Out until at least late January
Philippe Boucher D Undisclosed IR. Out until at least mid December
Marc-Andre Fleury G Groin Out until at least mid-December
Tyler Kennedy C Knee IR. Out until at least early January
Mike Zigomanis C Undisclosed Questionable for Dec. 11 vs. N.Y. Islanders
Ryan Whitney D Foot Out until at least late December

Updated 6pm:
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog has comments from head coach Scott Gordon on Jon Sim, who despite clearing waivers could return to play for the Islanders with the forwards comments about what he needs to do.

The Islander coach also made it clear Sim being placed on waivers should not be perceived as one player being the "fall guy" for the teams recent struggles but about what he and the coaching staff saw in his play.

Mr Logan also previewed Friday's Islander Insider.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders play another club on a losing streak that will be desperate to get out of it tonight whether they are tired or not. Two games at the Coliseum Islanders were in control until the game was on the line and then Pittsburgh dominated.

Kennedy and Zigomanis out for Pittsburgh should help the Islanders but Crosby just had his scoring streak broken.

Unless the Islanders have a ten game winning streak in them at some point they simply cannot fall any further out of contention. I guess now the plan is have Sim sit on the sidelines or place him on re-entry waivers where the Islanders pick up a part of his paycheck or Garth Snow takes back someone else's salary in a trade if Bridgeport is not an option.

All the words mean nothing unless the club can win some games right now. Blake Comeau scored a big goal in a win at Pittsburgh a year ago at this time, someone has to do this again tonight.











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12/10/08

Islander News Articles 12/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2008 08:22:00 PM
Newsday: Mr Logan has comments from general manager Garth Snow that Jon Sim was placed on waivers to create roster space and makes it clear Josh Bailey is an Islander when asked about the WJC. Mr Logan speculates what moves could be coming and reports goaltender Rick DiPietro will wear pads Monday and return to practice and Mike Comrie could come off injured reserve by Saturday but should be playing by next week.

Thomas Pock is within the 30-day window of clearing waivers and could be assigned to Bridgeport.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

For those wondering if Jon Sim has been on the waiver wire before and been claimed along with times he has been traded the answer is yes if anyone is looking for trends as to what team may put in a claim which goes by standings.

Mar 4, 2004: Pittsburgh Penguins claimed off waivers Jon Sim from the Los Angeles Kings.

Mar 8, 2003: Los Angeles Kings claimed off waivers Jon Sim from the Nashville Predators.

Note-Other NHL teams have until noon Thursday to claim him, not forty eight hours I wrote earlier.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Has a live blog with who the Pens scratched/lines combos and how they played in Newark against the Devils on Wednesday in a loss.

Water Town Daily Times: Cap Carey has an excellent feature on Islanders 2005 prospect Shea Guthrie who plays for Clarkson in the ECAC and talked about how he has been treated at Islander prospect camps.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's update is on the background of Long Island product Len DiCostanzo who has played in the New York Bobcats junior program out of Iceworks and sometimes skates with the Islanders injured players at practice. He has signed a tryout contract and could receive an opportunity to play for Bridgeport if goaltender Nate Lawson cannot dress this weekend.

DiCostanzo currently plays in the first-year Eastern Professional Hockey League with the Hudson Valley Bears.

Mr Fornabaio also reports Jeremy Colliton was back in practice, Micheal Haley may return this weekend from injury.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also had the Sound Tigers weekly which included an interview with defenseman Joe Callahan (pre-callup) among several items including the very funny video he found on former prospect Martin Chabada who if I recall left the Sound Tigers in season.







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Jon Sim placed on waivers/Callahan to Tigers

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2008 04:27:00 PM
Point Blank: Mr Botta reports the Islanders Wednesday placed forward Jon Sim on waivers.

Sim has two days to be claimed by another club.


Updated 5:30pm:

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog confirms Mr Botta's report from the club, gives his speculation on the move and also reports defenseman Joe Callahan has been returned to Bridgeport with Andy Sutton expected to play against Pittsburgh.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Could see this coming a mile away between his impact in games and the clubs record.

Sim has not had much of a role or looked like a good fit on any one line, a player who averaged seventeen goals a year in Atlanta seems a better scoring bet on paper here than it's turned out so far.

To be fair Scott Gordon never found a line for him where they could get the most out of his game, still he was on pace for fifteen goals.

Bottom line we have done this dance many times back to last summer between Sim, Comeau, Bergenheim and Tambellini. They have four left wings, Hilbert is also a left wing and has outplayed/outproduced him.

Something has to give whether or not he is claimed, as Mr Logan and most point out Sim is a very good team player.

Tambellini also has to return or face waivers. I'm not sure Garth Snow is done here with Comrie also due to come off IR based on Scott Gordon's comments. Mike Sillinger's time (or Comrie's) could be short for this franchise once he proves he is healthy unless the Islanders must take back salary to stay above the cap floor.

Given the record and the standings they have to give opportunities to the younger players.

Only mild surprise was Sim was one of the few veteran forwards under contract for next year if you look ahead to the possible departures of Guerin, Weight, Comrie.

Has to be noted another team could be placing someone on waivers, Islanders would be one of the first clubs who can put in a claim. This was around the time Mark Recchi went on waivers last season.










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Islander Notables/Line changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2008 01:25:00 PM
The Hockey News: Ryan Dixon released a feature article this afternoon on Islander defenseman Mark Streit with comments from the NHL leading point
producer on the powerplay and head coach Scott Gordon about his role with the club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good article.

Through Tuesday night, Streit was seventh in league scoring among defensemen, one spot ahead of Chicago’s Brian Campbell and also ahead of Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger.

In addition Streit on defense is giving them twenty five minutes most nights and some outstanding defense on the leagues worst team at even strength. He proved any talk about his defensive game was a complete myth from day one.

Too bad the players around him are not productive at even strength which he did do better at on a much deeper Canadians club (where he saw time as a forward) but this was an outstanding signing by Garth Snow in every area.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islander Newsday blog did his best to keep up with the line combinations as they changed frequently in Philadephia. He had some interesting comments from head coach Scott Gordon who credited assistant coach John Chabot for suggesting some line changes when he was going to try something else.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bergenheim/Comeau kept getting moved to what could be considered the Isles best center in Weight.

There is no fourth line here with Fritz, just a mix and match of players at times with someone taking a double shift and Jackman seeing less minutes.

For me just too much Hilbert or Park when they need a goal most but there is no combination that can be expected to produce as a first or even a second line most games.

Still the offense has improved, when you go from 30th to 20th with all these changes and injuries something has worked, just not enough.

I hope Blake Comeau is winning over Scott Gordon with his play, I see the same player from a year ago. It will be interesting to see the reaction if Nate Thompson returns and Comeau goes back to Bridgeport.

My lines? (with the current roster)
Comeau-Weight-Guerin
Bergenheim-Sillinger-Hunter
Hilbert-Bailey-Park
Sim-Thompson-Jackman
Fritz

My changes?
Comrie returns or Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu and Mike Iggulden get a call with Jackman, Fritz going down with Nate Thompson when he is healthy.

Tambellini replaces one of the three called (above) when his conditioning assignment ends regardless.

Sim, Hilbert and Park take a number as rotating healthy scratches.

Time to find out who can make a skilled scoring play among some of these forwards in Bridgeport.





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Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2008 12:18:00 PM
I find it kind of amusing the usual suspects in the media covering the Board of Governor meetings are targeting the usual markets for poor attendance and finances but when I read through the articles (usually out of Toronto/Canada) they make these guesses about individual teams finances without any documentation or comment from those clubs themselves.

It's like revenue sharing, no one knows what teams pay or receive what little we read is based completely on assumption.

Why not just release the numbers to the public, we lost hockey for a full season to put a financial system in place?

One article a few days ago said the Islanders were losing at least five million, another twenty five million. Fact is these writers have no idea beyond Mr Wang's comments as early as 2004 when he used to give interviews about this.

The same folks doing many of these articles could not even get it right on someone who may be selling as we saw with Tom Golisano who within a day went from selling his stake in the Buffalo Sabres to not selling?

It's worse than the trade rumors with many of these reports.

We see the same things with George Gillette who owns the Canadians.

Folks can write what they want about the Islander finances but if Mr Wang has the financing to build the Lighthouse it's logical to write he has the resources to take losses owing his hockey team.

The Devils and Rangers have been taking huge financial losses for years with the Garden reportedly losing more than any club entering the lockout in what will soon be the leagues oldest building when the Pens move into a new building.

Charles Wang wants to tell the public how much he is losing owning the Islanders we can revisit it, but for now can the media tone down the articles he is cash-strapped because if he was he would not be part of a two billion dollar project.

I saw this from the Calagary Herald today here from Bruce Downbiggin and I have to ask how does know the Islanders are losing 25m?

What does he know about any of the clubs he is making these assumptions about, if he wanted to impress me tell me about the Flames books being that is the club his paper covers.

Aside from that a bad team in an old arena writing checks on an owners vanity project we could say that about Detroit for many years, Cablevision for a good part of a decade and most of the teams at one point or another. Not even the Devils played to as many open seats as the Wings in the conference finals a few years ago.

Mr Downbiggin has a short memory how things were not good in Calgary for a lot of years, unless he wants to call up teams and get quotes or produce documentation about what clubs are specifically losing he should give it a rest along with all of the writers doing articles about this.
************************************************************
Very bad news of the day is the New York Dragons who Charles Wang brought here from Iowa early in his tenure as owner and sold this summer will likely not be playing games.

The AFL apparently is suspending operations for the upcoming season.

Updated:
Looks like the league owners have decided to play afterall according to Neil Best of Newsday here.










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Hockey Night on LI this Saturday 3:30pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2008 12:05:00 PM
This coming Saturday 12/13 at 3:30pm EST I will be appearing again as of the guest on Hockey Night on LI: with Alex & Steve (Alex cannot make it this Saturday) so the guest co-host will be Tom Mascioli of Isles Info.com.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Alex and Steve do an excellent job with the weekly program for Islander fans and it's always a lot of fun to appear on the program and talk hockey. Steve Mears was on last week and they had a great interview. Tom Mascoli runs a long-time Islander website and has done an outstanding job for years presenting one of the best detailed websites.

Hope to talk with everyone on Saturday who would like to call in.

All Hockey Night on LI programs are archived and featured on the sidebar here.





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12/9/08

Islander News Articles 12/10

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2008 10:38:00 PM
Newsday: Mr Logan's early article on the game noted Scott Gordon separating Weight from Guerin and Mark Streit hitting a post among the goals/chances the Islanders generated.

Courier Post On-line: Chuck Gormley's game coverage.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sam Carchidi recaps the Flyers win along with combined coverage from the Philadelphia Daily News.

Philly Burbs: Wayne Fish also has Flyers coverage.

Fighting Sioux.com: Jayson Hajdu has the latest on the North Dakota hockey team with updates on Islander prospects David Towes & Jason Gregoire.

Update also includes another Islander prospect, Jase Weslosky, stopped 51 of 55 shots last weekend against MSU, ranks second in the WCHA in save percentage (.926) and fourth in goals against average (2.32).

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers Notebook.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio reported Jesse Joensuu stalked out of Sound Tigers' dressing room Tuesday morning after practice brushing past Bridgeport's media relations/game night operations director Kimber Auerbach with a teammate commenting about how mad he was.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Head coach Jack Capuano's comments say it all.

Poughkeepsie Journal: Has a few words on Long Island product Len DiCostanzo, a goalie on the first-year Eastern Professional Hockey League's Hudson Valley Bears, who was recalled for injured goaltender Nate Lawson in Bridgeport.

Will add more articles to this blog entry tomorrow.






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Philadelphia 4, New York 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2008 10:03:00 PM
Associated Press & Sports Network: Recaps the Islanders 4-3 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write about a club that was playing three games in four nights that lost by a goal and played an even game?

Islanders played as well as they seem capable of with the injuries and the lack of finishers on the roster. The skating, forecheck and specials teams were solid, they simply did not have a finisher when they needed it most which is what you have to have in this league to earn points.

The other team did.

Maybe some other night what the Islanders did would have been enough to win against a club who's only flaw going in was five on five play but the Islanders allowed two fourth line players to score at even strength and that turned the game.

Carter got a strange bounce for an open net goal and with the game on the line a player who is a first line talent in Gagne took a shot no one has on the Islander roster among it's forwards.

Hilbert does not belong on a powerplay but he made a very nice redirection of Campoli's pass for his goal. Weight made a good play for his goal and should have had a second. Islanders got a lot of shots from the outside, Bergenheim and the penalty killers on one Flyer powerplay did everything but score a shorthanded goal.

Weight and Guerin did a good job in the trenches. Sillinger gave the Isles a big edge all night in the faceoff circle and just missed a goal. Comeau came up big when the Islanders needed a goal to tie the game.

I wish Scott Gordon would simply announce his starting goaltender instead of playing games with the media because it's not changing any one's game plan regardless who he names the day before. Yann Danis gave his team every chance to win, looked very good and made one great save before the tying goal. Team defense outside of one Thomas Pock mistake in the third played well, got in the passing lanes and won a lot of battles. Joe Callahan did not hurt them and had a few shot attempts and played big on the backline.

Josh Bailey is looking less visible lately but was on the ice with Guerin when Comeau scored. Bergenheim had one of his better efforts in a while. Have not seen many plays where someone throws a big check like the one on Sim and almost in the same motion center the puck for the 1-2 goal by Asham.

One top offensive player Islanders do have without a doubt is Mark Streit. He made at least one great play too on a a backcheck.

Bad news was Islanders had no answers the last five minutes or put on any real pressure.

In the context of one game, good effort that fell a goal short.

Big picture is a club in a free fall on the ropes that had to have two points in this game and did not get them.








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Hard to get a read on Scott Gordon's decisions

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2008 04:22:00 PM
December 1st we read an article from Mr Logan in Newsday where Mike Comrie was told six-eight months for recovery from surgery as he talked about why he was hurting earlier and stopped playing here. Today (only eight days later) we are reading quotes from Scott Gordon that Mike Comrie said his HIP feels better than it has in five years and he could be playing Comrie by the end of the week if he needs another forward here.

On top of that the coach had more on not resting Joey MacDonald who will continue to play him as long as he does well. The Islander coach repeated a lot of his radio interview yesterday on FAN 590 that DiPietro is about three weeks from returning.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Scott Gordon is not having one of his better stretches. He seems to be one of the few talking about how well his club played Saturday, now this?

If Comrie says his HIP is better than it's been in five years he should be in the lineup tonight. Sounds like Gordon intends to play MacDonald until he struggles but that does not seem like he is looking out for his best interest.

As a goaltender Scott Gordon should understand the need for some breaks better than anyone.

Danis was sent down for work, he had a good preseason, why not give him a game?

Wonder what Brett Skinner did to not get a callup for Joe Callahan given how well he played when he was here?

I guess the Islanders need a fight by appointment tonight if Fritz gets another callup, what's Tambellini doing until Friday where he could have played some games here?

Hard to figure some of these decisions.





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New York at Philadelphia 7pm VERSUS

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/09/2008 12:00:00 PM
Islanders hit the big national media stage on Versus for tonight's game.

Courier-Post: Chuck Gormley has the bad news about a club on a 9-1-3 roll that is threatening the all-time mark for shorthanded goals with eleven already. Mr Gormley also writes the the Isles have been outscored 59-35 at even strength and rank 18th on the power play and penalty kill and it's the biggest reason ten points now separate them from the Flyers.

Philadelphia Flyers:
Matt Carle D Lower body Questionable for Dec. 9 vs. N.Y. Islanders
Daniel Briere C Groin Out until at least early January
Randy Jones D Hip IR. Questionable for Dec. 9 vs. N.Y. Islanders
Ryan Parent D Shoulder IR. Out until at least early January
Derian Hatcher D Knee IR. Out indefinitely

Flyers website: Has the latest from the Flyers Public Relations blog on injuries and practice.

Flyers head coach John Stevens made a change to his lines on Monday flip-flopping Joffrey Lupul and Scottie Upshall. Lupul was with Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell, while Upshall skated with Glen Metropolit and Andreas Nodl.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is excellent and sets up a game for everyone trying to find out the latest from practice. Islanders should absolutely look into doing something along these lines, most Islander website content these days is lacking on a lot of levels.

Sometimes it just takes one game where things change and some chemistry is rebuilt. Flyers have some key injuries of their own but Gagne, Kunble, Carter, Richards, Hartnell are a very good core.

Islanders had no problem playing them close and should have gotten points in the Coliseum game after the ot loss in Philadelphia. Unless they want to be twelve points behind Philadelphia they better find win a game here and establish a forecheck.

They have no time for fatigue, if they skate like they did against Toronto it could be a blowout loss the way the Flyers are playing right now.

Not sure if I will have time to post if Danis is in or if there is a callup for Thompson/Comeau.

I'm releasing this blog entry at 12pm.


Updated:

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Mitch Fritz and Joe Callahan were recalled to the Islanders for tonight's game.

Callahan was not in our poll. Thompson or Comeau, I'm not sure who gets a seat on the backline.

Updated:
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Andy Sutton has the flu along with Thompson.

Martinek was placed on IR last week.





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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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