Islander News Articles 12/30

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 11:54:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Arthur Staple's Ranger centric article includes head coach Scott Gordon's comments his club did not do well in a lot of areas and waited until the last minute to get pucks. Trent Hunter discussed his sore back that prevented him from returning after getting the wind knocked out of him.

Newsday: Mr Logan has comments from head coach Scott Gordon on Rick DiPietro's injury, the decision to play him against the Toronto and goaltender Joey MacDonald's comments on what this means for him as he talked about his communication with the teams number one goaltender.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

The coach defended the decision to play him and said if he had three weeks of practice the same thing could have happened who described it as a training camp injury. Mr Logan for his part questioned why he played while the coach talked about the doctors giving him clearance.

Scott Gordon goes by what the doctors tell him and so does the player. If it's a temporary thing or not DiPietro has to work his way back.

And the beat goes on.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had a late entry on the status of Trent Hunter with his comments. He did not blame the Rangers Ryan Callahan for what happened and aside from being sore apparently had the wind knocked out of him.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann did his Ranger centric dance and spike article after Scott Gomez admitted it's always a big game against the Islanders, Mr Herrmann decided to describe at length why the Islanders beating the Rangers, who he described as a team with a big-city payroll and fancy reputation, is always is a nice step for the Islanders?

Mr Herrmann then writes this leaves the Rangers as the only hope that hockey season can be relevant in New York with the Jets eliminated and projects the Islanders as a club chasing the top overall pick.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Herrmann, big city payrolls and fancy reputations do not describe the Rangers who for all their health and urgency tonight earned a win but hardly looked great giving up four goals to a club that has been injured all season.

If not for some bounces and a poor goal by MacDonald the Islanders likely are the club that get the two points.

The Yankees have a big fancy reputation and a big city payroll, so do the Mets, Giants, Jets and Knicks.

Not the New York hockey teams.

Good news is Mr Herrmann did not do his Islanders are moving article #.... I guess he is saving the next one for January 13th.

NY Post: Dan Martin writes it was a wreckless move to play DiPietro so soon despite the coaches comments that he he practiced for two weeks. Game content was less than a paragraph with nothing on Comeau or Okposo.

Scott Gordon also said it was nothing major.

NY Post: Larry Brooks Ranger centric article only had room for a DiPietro cheap shot calling him hockey's American Idle.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Funny we never saw Mr Brooks pull that on Mike Richter despite all the injuries and rushed attempts to return at the end of his career. As for Dan Martin there was a game for the Islanders to be written about, this is why the Post needs the writer to do an Islander blog.

Why do they bother sending Mr Martin to practices with the club on the road to interview DiPietro? This is not very fair coverage in return.

Daily News: Peter Botte looked like he wrote his article before the game where he took his shot at DiPietro referring to him as Carl Pavano and pointing out his contract as Scott Gordon again defended the decision to start him.

No game content at all with the full Ranger centric article here providing nothing for Islander fans.

Journal News had Sam Weinman's Ranger centric blog and coverage here.

Last time the Islanders played in the city the AP covered the game only for the Times here and it appears to have happened again.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Don't fret folks, we can read updates from games all over Europe.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
With the Islanders hitting the road we may not see much of Dan Martin and especially Peter Botte when they return on 1/13. The Daily news tends to drift away as baseball comes closer and Giant coverage picks up. Adam Kimmelman in his Atlantic Divison recaps has more on Rick DiPietro with Scott Gordon's comments. Chuck Gormley compares Islander Prospect Jyri Niemi with former Islander Bryan Berard while NHL director of central scouting E.J McGuire talks about the offensive flair to his game and that he's entertaining to watch in a recap of Eastern Conference prospects at the WJC.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes some questions for Tyler Haskins and some hard work from Jeremy Colliton after rejoining the Sound Tigers with the upcoming schedule.

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Rangers 5, New York 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 10:14:00 PM | Comment Here
Sports Network: Recaps the Islanders 5-4 loss to the Rangers on Monday along with the Associated Press.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's another two points given away to another club that simply is not a high scoring team.

Given Brendan Witt & Scott Gordon's comments this morning neither are going to be pleased with that third period and some of the defensive lapses which began with a very unfortunate bad break on Hunter who fed Sillinger to open the scoring but got checked with the door open and stayed down a long time.

Classy cheers from fans of both teams when Hunter got up and skated off on his own, seemed ok but who knows?

Nine seconds later the game is tied as two Rangers got to a puck with Witt caught between both.

Prucha's goal was a gift rebound and the goal by Rozsival has to be stopped by Joey MacDonald who played very well over two periods but for a fragile Islander team he cannot give up the goal he did there. Naslund's goal was more his momentum as it hit his chest and went to the top corner over MacDonald.

I know folks do not like to keep reading this but Radek Martinek's loss is huge for this defense along with Andy Sutton. Mark Streit is just a world class talent and for all everyone is giving the breakdowns/poor goals keep adding up. Meyer and Witt gave all they had, Gervais lost his man on a goal but did not have a terrible game.

Give the Rangers their due, they controlled a good part of the second period and kept the puck scoring on a delayed penalty, Islanders in the second kept going to the box but despite all that were in position to win.

Having written that.

A lot of good signs by the Islanders who again lost a game scoring four goals and put up a good effort and were in position to win or at least earn points entering the third. Okposo, Comeau are only getting better and it finally seems like they are both where they were at the end of last season. Comrie is starting to get his game back now that he has played for a week and hat his Gordie Howe hat-trick. (goal, assist, fight)

Was Dawes fighting with his shield on? Comrie at the end landed some bombs.

I think Comeau led the forwards in minutes played.

Mike Sillinger is getting his game going also.

Okposo and Weight both saw some powerplay time on the point.

I understand Bergenheim sitting out given his penalties but Fritz if he cannot win his fights by appointment will not giving the Islanders anything for his minute plus. It seemed Bailey could have used a scoring wing tonight next to him and that is not Tim Jackman or Jon Sim.

To me the Rangers are just another game these days win or lose, there is no rivalry when you are 30th and the playoffs are off the radar and even a win is not memorable when all is said and done.

Not a lot of energy in the stands beyond the goals/fights for either side.

Somehow the Islanders website reported Henrik Lundqvist made thirty three saves when in fact he made twenty.

We'll see what they can do against Florida who has had their number for a good year plus now.

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New York at Rangers 7pm Versus: Danis recalled

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 01:00:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Has a preview of Monday's game against the Rangers at Msg.

Ranger players out:
None Reports Yann Danis was recalled to the Islanders Monday, Rob Hennigar was sent to Utah which leads me to speculate unless it's paperwork related DiPietro is not ready to play tonight.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog confirms DiPietro is out for tonight's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Tough to tell what will happen here. DiPietro if he even plays (he's out) would have been in early training camp mode, the Islanders are one of the leaders in man games lost to injury, the Rangers among the clubs that losses the least man games.

It's a big part of both clubs seasons.

This game features two of the lowest scoring in the NHL with the Ranger powerplay giving up goals like last year's Islanders with the man advantage. The Ranger trap is tough to beat at times while at others their defense and goaltending is spotty but this is Tom Renney's game and how they are expected to play.

Lundqvist is in his usual December slump but this team has strong survival skills and kept getting games to overtime/shootouts where both Ranger goaltenders are very tough to beat.

Islanders should come into a building where they have dominated with some confidence off the last two games but records do not lie for either side. One team is in first with the pressure on, the other in last.

Tom Renney is under some pressure here with the recent games, regardless of his clubs record which many feel is a shootout record combined with a 4-0 record against Tampa.

Seems both clubs struggle on home ice in this rivalry with bipartisan crowds in both buildings. Islanders won 2-1 earlier this year.

I will update depending on how much information comes out on Sillinger/DiPietro or Colliton/Fritz/Sim status.

Mr Botta at Point Blank here reported Weight would play with a lot of speculation on Fritz/Bergenheim but did not have Danis Monday recall.

Bridgeport is off until Friday.

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Islanders at the WJC 12/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 11:00:00 AM | Comment Here

Monday's WJC Islander centric update has Sweden with David Ullstrom playing Latvia at 2:30pm at the Civic Centre.

Canada also plays Germany coming off a 15-0 win Sunday.

Tournament moving very quickly with the preliminary round over on Wednesday.

Updated: Reported Sweden defeated Latvia 10-1 , David Ullstrom had a third period pp goal.

Sweden outshot Latvia 66-10.

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New Poll: Islanders 2009 All-Star

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 10:01:00 AM | Comment Here
One of NYIFC less challenging polls but tis the season with the game coming up in the near future. The ASG is in Montreal.

I put down the players on the roster who I felt deserve to be named the most, anyone feels otherwise by all mean e-mail or respond and a write-in vote will be included for your choice.

I selected Mark Streit between his obvious offensive talent, powerplay points and what has been an excellent job in the defensive zone playing twenty five minutes most nights.

If Bob Gainey picks the reserves I'm not sure he will be included.

Without Joey MacDonald this team may not even have five wins, he's been that good, you throw away the numbers like the media should have for DiPietro after the ASG when he played very well but allowed more goals.

How does anyone not consider Doug Weight given all that was written about him last summer, obviously he can not only play but at a high productive level.

Trent Hunter had a big start and did it with Nielsen and Tambellini.

One vote per person in this being that it's expected one Islander will be selected as a reserve.

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Islander News Articles 12/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/29/2008 03:04:00 AM | | | | Comment Here Reported the Islanders sent Yann Danis & Jeremy Colliton back to Bridgeport on Sunday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Most likely means DiPietro and Sillinger play Monday but it could also be a one-day paper transaction with them both returning depending on what the morning skate brings.

Bridgeport was off Sunday and does not play until Friday.

Newsday: Greg Logan has more from Brendan Witt who talked about the improved effort on defense at length and included he felt guys are taking more pride in how they play. Head coach Scott Gordon also discussed some changes and adjustments that were made along with the down-low work and recognition.

Mr Logan also reports the infamous NHL source claims Garth Snow is looking for draft picks for any possible trade of Doug Weight. Dave Starman covering the WJC has comments from UNH assistant coach Scott Borek on Islander prospect Blake Kessel playing for team USA at the World Junior Championship.

“His lateral movement is great — he closes up well and has great instincts,” said assistant coach Scott Borek of UNH. “He is the real deal and definitely an NHL-type player.”

It should be noted the IIHF website for the WJC has the team features and game articles for those looking for more on David Ullstrom, Jyri Niemi and Kirill Petrov.

I have been looking at the articles but not much beyond who scored in terms of Islander centric information.

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Kristian Huselius for Weight possible?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/28/2008 05:54:00 PM | | Comment Here
It's interesting, a credible media trade rumor from the professional writers for at least two publications and worth a few words.

Garth Snow's past interest in Huseluis at the trade deadline combined with Kyle Okposo in Doug Weight's powerplay spot makes this something that bears close watching.

With Comrie healthy and Sillinger, Colliton & Walter getting chances something has to give down the middle and at even strength.

Huseluis improves the left wing and gives them a top six forward and on this club a first line left wing. Adding his salary also gives something Garth Snow something folks are not talking about and that is room to subtract salary at the trade deadline because his club is too close to the cap floor at this time.

It's not as easy as moving Guerin (NTC), Comrie, and other players for second/third rounders at the deadline when you are near the cap floor, other general managers know it too.

I do not see it as a straight trade because Columbus would have to take back some salary and with so many left wings here I would have to think Snow wants to include Jon Sim for starters.

Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu and other left wings in Bridgeport need to get a look soon.

From a Columbus standpoint if they want out from under Huselius contract (very big if) and he is not the right fit for Scott Howson's team/Ken Hitchcock coaching it's possible.

Nikita Filatov is primarily a left wing and if recalled to Columbus would likely slide into that spot.

Columbus if they want to take a run at a playoff spot this makes sense on a lot of levels to add Weight's powerplay skill while Garth Snow tries to improve his own roster.

Comeau, Bergenheim, Tambellini play the left side with Hilbert and Sim. Since last summer we have been writing about something giving here, considering how this has played out almost anything could happen.

On the back line with Martinek/Sutton out and Pock/Gervais in Columbus may have to give Snow something for the backline or Garth Snow decides he wants more flexibility by recalling Hillen or getting out from under a defensive group all signed through at least 2010.

I have a feeling we are going to find out very soon what Garth Snow can do in the trade market.

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Islanders at the WJC 12/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/28/2008 10:48:00 AM | Comment Here

 Has a live update to Sunday's games. Team USA hockey has a live blog on the website.

I will have links to boxscores later Sunday in this entry now that some PDF file issues have been resolved.

All four Islander prospects will be in action Sunday.

28.12.2008 Sun 14:30 Ottawa Civic Centre RUS - FIN
Russia 5, Finland 2.
Jyri Niemi primary assist on 2-3 goal, two shots on goal, minus one.
Kirill Petrov third period tripping penalty.
Complete game summary.
28.12.2008 Sun 18:30 Ottawa Civic Centre SWE - SVK
David Ullstrom had two shots on goal in Sweden's 3-1 win against Slovakia here.
28.12.2008 Sun 19:30 Ottawa Scotiabank Place USA - CZE
Blake Kessel had no stats in team USA 4-3 win against the Czech Republic here.

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Islander News Articles 12/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2008 10:34:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Will add to this blog entry tomorrow morning with more articles as available.

Newsday: Greg Logan's early recap credited the teams strong defensive play and pointed out they played a part of the second shorthanded for over five minutes but only trailed by one entering the third period.

Head coach Scott Gordon, Mike Comrie, Kyle Okposo discussed the Islanders effort in coming back to tie the game.

Newsday: Mr Logan's second article was mostly a repeat of his blog on Bill Guerin in the future along with Scott Gordon's comments about Rick DiPietro likely being sore but he had not spoken with him. Mr Logan speculated on a possible trade to Columbus for Weight and reported the Blue Jackets had a scout in Buffalo.

Star Tribune: Michael Russo wrote Saturday afternoon with Derick Brassard out for the season in Columbus because of a shoulder injury, the Blue Jackets are reportedly inquiring about the Islanders' Doug Weight.

That rumor seems to be what was floated in the Columbus Dispatch blog Saturday here in sports columnist Michael Arace's shared blog.

Columbus Dispatch: Tom Reed reported the Dispatch has learned the Jackets have been in trade talks with six or seven teams. Gm Howson would not confirm a total.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

We'll see when Weight gets close to returning if anything comes of this but it's interesting. Islanders put a lot of effort into Weight's countdown only two points short but if Garth Snow feels this improves his club it's something he has to do even if Bill Guerin is not thrilled.

I do not think Kyle Okposo was in his spot on the powerplay the way you would spot someone when there is an injury.

It has to be noted Columbus also has a forward Garth Snow tried to trade for last spring in Kristian Huselius here who has a club-worst minus-9 rating (ten goals) and fewer assists (11) than defenseman Mike Commodore (13).

Kristian Huselius is signed to a four-year, $19- million contract.

Hilbert is a left wing who is out, Sim cleared waivers but Trevor Smith is also a left wing. Columbus would have to take back some salary to make this work.

Buffalo News: Has John Vogl's coverage. Reports the Sound Tigers lost 5-4 at WBS Pens Saturday. Peter Mannino had nineteen saves in net.

1. BRI Smith, (17) (Skinner, McLean), 5:54 (PP)
1. WBS Taffe, (15) (Stone, D'Aversa), 6:45
1. BRI Skinner, (1) (Hillen, Walter), 9:03 (PP)
1. WBS Taffe, (16) (Engelland, Stone), 19:04
2. BRI Smith, (18) (Iggulden, McLean), 19:10 (PP)
3. WBS Johnson, (2) (Letestu, Cashman), 2:25
3. WBS Minard, (23) (Stone, Taffe), 2:48
3. BRI Pitton, (1) (Hillen, Haskins), 11:23 (SH)
3. WBS Minard, (24) (Taffe, Pesonen), 11:29 (PP)

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the recap of Bridgeport's 5-4 regulation loss to WBS Pens on Saturday with comments from head coach Jack Capuano, who did not feel his team created enough but credited his goaltender. Brett Skinner and Trevor Smith also talk about a game Bridgeport was outscored 4-0 at even strength but had three on the powerplay.

A separate feature was done on local prospect Jaime Sifers of the Toronto Maple Leafs by Mr Fornabaio here.

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: Covers the Penguins along with Citizens Voice here.

Bridgeport is off until next Friday.

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Buffalo 4, New York 3 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2008 09:49:00 PM | Comment Here

Sports Network & Associated Press: Has the recap of New York's 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

It did not make up for Satan not finishing in game five of the playoffs in the final seconds to force overtime but that was one heck of a great ending to regulation for the Islanders tonight.

Heck of a play to feed Campoli who made a big time shot.

They did not win the shootout, but they sure did not quit.

This one feels like a win, it's the kind of regulation point they did not get all season to force overtime.

Joey MacDonald was outstanding all night again, he stole the point early with a few great saves on his end, especially early and on one great chance in the third on a full windup shot.

The Islanders had problems with the Sabres speed.

It took about half a game for the Islanders to get going on the offense, a lot of the night they were outnumbered in all three zones but when things starting clicking the chances started coming.

Those chances came from a lot of players too.

Good rush by Meyer, pressure and chances with the Sabres scrambling at times, Tambellini made a great play to start the cycle for his goal before Streit found him with an open net for the Islanders first goal. He also drove the net a few other times. Guerin again had a very big game and took the puck at the Buffalo net with his chances.

Islanders drew some powerplays by working through checks and keeping the legs moving.

You can see how happy Guerin was for Tambellini by his reaction and it was the same the night before with Tambellini thrilled for Guerin. Bailey for a quiet game again made plays to generate chances.

Okposo should be using that big shot every game and at times looked dominating, I'm not sure he belongs on the off-wing powerplay on point.

Comeau when he was not watching the powerplay again looked very good and should be on every powerplay instead of Sim. Colliton for his minutes was very strong on the puck and almost won it in overtime, I wonder what he would do with some skill next to him besides Jackman?

Richard Park gave all he had, not going to finish this often. He had the first quality chances at Miller and one in overtime.

Bergenheim is going to play his way into a benching with these penalties, first one that led to the five on three, then the one in overtime? For all his skating and hard work he is not learning from these mistakes. Almost felt like the Islanders were going to win in overtime before his penalty.

Witt was amazing at the end of that overtime penalty when Colliton and Streit were exhausted and Buffalo countered with a two on one, he spread all out for the block and then made a clear after being out almost the entire penalty kill.

I know Comrie scored later but he admired his nice hit on MacArthur while he got up, drove the net and scored the 3-1 goal that should have finished the game. No excuse for that kind of play despite his line with Comeau and Okposo again having a strong effort.

It would not be an Islander-Buffalo Sabre game if Jochen Hecht did not score his obligatory goal or make his play to lead to a goal. Kennedy looked good and was very visible for Buffalo. I'll take Maxim Afinogenov's speed/skill in this lineup any day if Garth Snow wants to sign him this summer.

In terms of the playoff race it's a point they had to have against a team they beat in Buffalo already however in terms of how they played most of the second half of the game it was a strong effort.

Would love to see this game a year from now with a few players a year older for the Islanders.

Howie Rose sounded like a man who would rather be elsewhere or had a plane waiting, don't let us keep you.

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Colliton and Yann Danis recalled by Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2008 01:23:00 PM | | Comment Here Reports Jeremy Colliton and goaltender Yann Danis were recalled by the Islanders on Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Either the Islanders do not want DiPietro even on the bench tonight or he is hurting today after the game unless something is up with MacDonald.

Colliton is a bigger surprise because Sim could slide into a spot for Hilbert, I wonder how Sillinger responded to last night also?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his post-game blog last night reported Yann Danis is remaining with the Islanders, albeit technically while assigned to Bridgeport and there was scuttle about a forward having to go up, but he had not heard who was hurt.

We'll get our answers when the puck drops. Paper transactions are very typical from the AHL-NHL and back. Comeau was demoted and recalled for the holiday.

Updated 3:30pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had a lot from Bill Guerin about his future beyond this season and resigning with the Islanders.

Mr Logan also reported Rick DiPietro and Mike Sillinger are sitting out as a precautionary reason.

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Poll Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2008 12:53:00 PM | Comment Here
This week's poll had the following question and was added on the heels of Brendan Witt's recent comments.

Is Scott Gordon's Overspeed system the problem?

Here are the current results as we hit the final day:

Unconventional system, no club at this level can have success playing this way
5 (11%)

Can only work in AHL with days off and depth
5 (11%)

Islanders lack of talent and injuries the problem
18 (42%)

Other teams figure out how to exploit his system quickly
3 (7%)

Better players would have success with it
10 (23%)

It's not a system built to club's strength as advertised
6 (14%)

No system will work with this group
2 (4%)

Scott Gordon better adjust or he should be fired
5 (11%)

Garth Snow should keep coach and find players to play coaches system
12 (28%)

This system put the team on this losing streak
4 (9%)

No system could have prevented this losing streak
8 (19%)

Not sure, let's see more hockey
2 (4%)

Nice job on the voting here, a lot of folks felt it was the injuries and the lack of talent but some sided with Brendan Witt's take also.

A few felt Scott Gordon has to adjust or he should be fired but Garth Snow gave him complete support since the poll started.

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New York at Buffalo 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2008 12:16:00 PM | Comment Here
Sports Network: Has the preview for tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Buffalo comes in off a 3-2 loss at Washington Friday having lost three in a row.

Buffalo News: John Vogl reports among line changes that Defenseman Craig Rivet, who missed his seventh straight game with a shoulder injury, was the only banged-up Sabre to make the trip to Washington. Ruff said Rivet will be evaluated by team doctors today.

Forwards Nathan Gerbe (upper body), Patrick Kaleta (neck/head), Paul Gaustad (upper body) and Tim Connolly (rib) did not come for the Sabres’ morning skate.

Buffalo is 1-4-2 in the second of back to back games and 9-8 at home this season.

This was Buffalo's injury report as of today:
Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
12/23/08 Craig Rivet D Upper body IR. Out until at least early January
12/23/08 Tim Connolly C Ribs IR. Out until at least late December
12/23/08 Paul Gaustad C Upper body Questionable for Dec. 26 at Washington
12/19/08 Nathan Gerbe C Upper body IR. Out until at least late December
12/23/08 Jochen Hecht C Ear Questionable for Dec. 26 at Washington
12/22/08 Patrick Kaleta RW Head Out until late December

As of 12:30pm there are no recalls by the Islanders for Andy Hilbert which means Fritz or Sim play.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Only the Islanders know what the story is with regard to Rick DiPietro playing again tonight, a fair/good guess would be Joey MacDonald.

Patrick Lalime has played both games against the Islanders this year.

I have no doubt the Islanders have not thrown in the towel on this season, if a win does not give the club some confidence from here, nothing else will.

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Islander News Articles 12/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 10:12:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Has Arthur Staple's coverage of the Islanders 4-1 win along with a second article here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Sorry folks, as a rule I like to put up the links and the summary/comments, tomorrow is one of those days I simply will not have the time until late in the day when I do a Buffalo preview. The feeders should also have whatever links I did not have here.

NY Post & Daily News: Should have additional coverage.

Toronto Sun & The Star with Globe & Mail & National Post: Has Toronto centric of the Islanders 4-1 win against the Leafs on Friday. Reports Bridgeport defeated Hartford 3-1 on Friday at Harbor Yard. Nate Lawson had twenty eight saves in the win.

1. BRI Fraser, (3) (Walter, Colliton), 14:41
1. BRI Joensuu, (11) (Walter, Colliton), 18:53
2. HFD Anisimov, (12) (Weise, Soryal), 9:51
3. BRI Haley, (1) (Pitton, Haskins), 15:33

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's win and previews Saturday's game in WBS Pens.

Hartford Courant: Covers the Wolfpack.

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New York 4, Toronto 1...400th for Guerin

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 09:38:00 PM | Comment Here

Congratulations to Islanders captain Bill Guerin on his 400th NHL goal.

Sports Network & & Associated Press: Recaps New York's 4-1 win against Toronto on Friday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

For one night lets just enjoy the positives, anyone who watched knows the Leafs played like dead team skating (they flew here Friday) most of the night and Toskala handed Okposo a brutal goal, the Toronto defense looked like the keystone cops on Guerin's 400th and they did not have a lot of jump beyond the powerplay.

Having written that Islanders did some very good things in this game starting with keeping the pressure off DiPietro without a lot of second chances or close in that allowed him to play a very compact game. Witt on one knee broke up a three on one in the first, he made another play in the third that looked the same clearing the crease but for the most part they let DiPietro see the puck and make his saves.

Overall defense was solid enough, did not like Campoli losing his man on the goal but Gervais jumped into plays and Toronto did not get a lot of odd-man rushes. The pk overall did some scrambling but kept their composure and made plays with Park passing back to a defender for a third period clear and some good positioning by Bergenheim on one with no stick. Jackman got a well deserved cheer for keeping the Leafs pinned on one of their powerplays.

Comeau-Comrie-Okposo like last game created some very good chances, it will go for Comrie soon, his career trends tell us that much. Bailey made the play for Guerin's first goal on the tip, Tambellini got in traffic and was working also.

Comeau moved the puck very well to Meyer for his goal.

Sillinger was badly needed on faceoffs and looked better as the game wore on. Not sure what Scott Gordon was doing with Okposo on the point for the powerplay, he did not look very comfortable until he moved into the corner.

Not seeing Bergenheim on a fourth line, he moved around a lot tonight. Damn shame what happened to Hilbert who made a great play to block that shot, fracture means Sim or someone else moves back in the lineup and the Islanders lose a player who does a lot of things to keep this club in games.

I don't think I have ever seen a goaltender called for delay of game like that where someone was skating in on him and he held the puck. Sure felt like that was payback for DiPietro getting on the official when he was run into during the second or something was up, very strange to see a call there.

It's been a long-time, a lot of good things happened tonight for the Islanders.

DiPietro's first win since the Atlanta game last season.

Cannot remember if this team cruised to any win this season, will see if the Islanders can carry this into Buffalo.

For tonight, everyone enjoy.

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Islanders at the WJC 12/26 Results

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 07:10:00 PM | Comment Here

Team USA Hockey: Reports team USA defeated Germany 8-2 on Friday. Blake Kessel had no stats. Recaps day one of the WJC.

Russia defeated Latvia 4-1.

David Ullstrom had two helpers for Sweden against Finland in their 3-1 win on Friday.

Islanders website: Jason Lockhart also has Islander centric updates from the WJC.

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DiPietro starts against Toronto

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 06:38:00 PM | Comment Here
Newsday: Arthur Staple in the Islanders Newsday blog reports goaltender Rick DiPietro will return and start in goal for the Islanders against Toronto.

Yann Danis was returned to Bridgeport.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Don't ask me folks, I just write the blog here.

DiPietro gets hurt again without extended practice along with Sillinger and Gervais it's more than fair to question what the rush was and if the team looked out for the players?

Only management knows how this was handled behind the scenes.

DiPietro was going to have to play a game somewhere whether it be Bridgeport or here.

Is this desperation or are these players actually ready? It may take a while to know regardless how anyone plays tonight.

Blake Comeau was apparently demoted on paper to Bridgeport on 12/24 and recalled for tonight's game.

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Sillinger, Gervais will play/notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 01:40:00 PM | | | Comment Here
I posted the ITV interview to set up the pre-game.

Islanders head coach Scott Gordon reported Mike Sillinger & Bruno Gervais will play against Toronto on Friday.

Doug Weight is still out according the Islander coach.

According to Corey Witt in the Islanders media blog the home team will wear white tonight to help out the Leafs.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As of 2pm no AHL transaction involving the Sound Tigers or Islanders in terms of Callahan or another player called up or sent down.

I would guess Gervais in means Callahan out. Sillinger in should mean Walter goes back down. Islanders with Fritz still here have a lot of extra players and some in that post-waiver clear period like Sim and if I'm correct Pock can juggle a little but not forever.

Too bad ITV does not have practice video, no one had any idea Gervais or Sillinger were skating if they did at all. Could work the same with for DiPietro.

Until the Islanders return from the West Coast virtually no stretches for practices.

Updated 3:30pm transactions here reported the following mid-afternoon changes.

Ben Walter (C) Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)
Blake Comeau (RW)Bridgeport DEL Recalled from loan by N.Y. Islanders (NHL)
Joe Callahan (D)Bridgeport ADD Returned on loan from N.Y. Islanders (NHL)

Note-This was exact same wording when Comeau was recalled to the Islanders so it could be a repeat, a paperwork issue or he was in fact demoted. I would guess Comeau is still with New York.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio only reported in his blog Walter/Callahan are back with Bridgeport.

NY Post: Dan Martin had some pre Christmas leftover quotes from Scott Gordon, Andy Hilbert & Mike Comrie after the Atlanta game.

Long Island Business News: David Winzelberg had a few words on the LightHouse project.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio had an article on Jeremy Colliton with head coach Jack Capuano's comments and a brief preview of tonight's game against Hartford.

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Islanders at the WJC Day One 12/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 01:22:00 PM | Comment Here

Today is day one of the 2009 World Junior Championships.
Islander Prospects:
David Ullstrom-Sweden
Jyri Niemi-Finland
Blake Kessel-USA
Kirill Petrov-Russia

Latvia vs Russia 2:30pm EST Ottawa Civic Centre
Germany vs USA 3:30pm EST Ottawa Scotiabank Place
Finland vs Sweden 6:30pm EST Ottawa Civic Centre

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Toronto at New York 7:00pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 12:00:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Has the preview of Friday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Player Injury
J. Mayers Hand
L. Schenn Lower body
V. Toskala Groin

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Not too much to be written here, Toronto after playing in Atlanta and beating up the Thrashers came home Tuesday and playing it's fourth game in six nights got beat big by Dallas.

Not sure what Toronto team we will see but they can skate and score, Islanders cannot as they are heading for decade streaks for losing that go back to the late nineties with a group that simply cannot score enough or keep the puck out of it's net.

Islanders are due for a win, but that means nothing.

Maybe things did settle down a little against struggling Nashville and Atlanta to where they played be more competitive or those are just two teams not much better, we'll see.

If Weight returns, another forward has to sit. Does Scott Gordon just go with a different healthy scratch or is Sim the designated bench warmer? I would keep Comeau-Comrie-Okposo as a line for better or worse.

Three games in four nights with a trip to Buffalo followed by a second home/road game at Msg Monday.

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Why does Scott Gordon's system work in AHL?

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/26/2008 10:00:00 AM | | | Comment Here
First off before we get to the topic you do need the speed, size and skill Scott Gordon did speak about in his postgame after the Predator game. We all know obviously he does not have it with this roster injured.

He also said anyone can play this system when he took the job and opened camp, I'm very skeptical of this at the NHL level.

Perhaps if Scott Gordon did have the correct players you can have success with any system?

Don't have an answer there.

Having written this a lot of what we read when he was hired was a good defensive coach who would put in a system to suit these players. The Islander injury bug is legendary and part of it now are groin problems.

Practice, overspeed, coincidence? Maybe but sometimes not.

Andy Sutton did not break his foot because of a system, Okposo did not hurt his wrist from it and Martinek's shoulder injuries have nothing to do with overspeed and the same for Frans Nielsen. Sillinger, DiPietro. Comrie did not get reinjured from it and Gervais has been a walking injury for almost a year. Meyer had past hernia problems, Witt past knee issues.

We have discussed the career injury records on the backline long before the coaching change and we all knew this is a group that does not stay collectively healthy.

Hunter and Weight are a new story with groin injuries.

To answer the topic as to why this system works in the American Hockey League.

Most weeks during the AHL season, they do not play a lot from Monday to Thursday, Bridgeport also seems to be carrying a lot of extra players. Team Captain Mark Wotton sits once in a while, Tomas Marcinko and most of the players take a turn.

Is the depth the reason they can play the system with success (with a good mix of skill, speed and size) or is it the four days off most weeks?

Mr Fornabaio has written constantly about the blown leads for Bridgeport too.

I think that is a fair question to ask.

Anyone think we are on to something with this?

I'm not of the school because Adam Proteau and a lot of people who have not watched Islander hockey since the late nineties say this is a bad club it was expected to lose because they traded Roberto Luongo a decade ago.

Too many fans write they were supposed to lose, I'm not buying that because someone who needs a scorecard to name the current roster says so.

This team was in sixth last year before injuries hit and they could not score to save themselves. I expected a team with a better defensive system that could score a few more goals and keep them in playoff position all the way behind outstanding goaltender which MacDonald has provided as well as DiPietro most games. I felt Okposo, Tambellini, Comeau and more prospects would fill in the lost scoring and Streit would be an excellent pickup.

The overall scoring has been improved but only on the powerplay. Even strength may even be worse than a year ago.

I predicted a sixth place club, when they take sixty shots against Carolina I did not see that as overmatched or not good enough. When they had leads against Pittsburgh, Montreal I did not see an overmatched club.

Now I obviously do but for different reasons.

I keep coming back to Scott Gordon's AHL success with this system.


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Islander News Articles 12/24: Happy Holidays

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/23/2008 10:14:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday & NY Post & Daily News: Has coverage of the Islanders 4-2 loss to Atlanta.

Atlanta-Journal Constitution : Mike Knobler has the Thrashers coverage.

Team USA Hockey: Has the boxscore and recap of Team USA's 5-1 win against Russia Tuesday night. Islander prospect Kirill Petrov had the second assist on Russia's only goal. Blake Kessel was held scoreless in another game where team USA had a huge shot advantage.

This concludes all pre-tournament games before Friday.

New York Islander Fan Central would like to wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah.

See you Friday.

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