Rangers at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2009 02:00:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
I found it kind of interesting Jim Cerney who used to call games for the Islanders now writes pregame articles on the Ranger website so I posted their preview here.

They had no problem getting the coaches comments/players available for the fans on video.

No excuse for the Islanders not doing the same for our fans.

Outside of Naslund missing practice the Rangers come in with no reported injuries which tells most of the story of this season for both teams. One team has less than ten man games lost to injury, the other two hundred sixty plus.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of things working against the Islanders tonight.

Injuries, disparity in records against the opposition, the recent losing streak and a team that lives and dies by it's trap with the home ice disadvantage a big factor against with bypartisin crowds in both buildings. The breakdowns by the Islanders on defense have been damaging and show no sign of letting up.

Islanders whenever they get a few days off come out and have played with a lot of rust and are coming off a long trip.

Can Scott Gordon's skaters create quality chances and force the Ranger defense and goaltender to make mistakes or will it be an early Ranger lead followed by lockdown mode with shots but few quality chances? Lundqvist despite his two recent shutouts has given up a lot of goals when Tom Renney's trap fails in front of him and lets up more than his share of softies. For the Islanders defense that has Martinek back but lost Meyer can they tighten up, cut down the turnover and protect Joey MacDonald better?

The Ranger powerplay looks a lot like last year's Islander powerplay in how many shorthanded goals they surrender, no doubt Richard Park and the Islanders will be going for it shorthanded.

Chess-hockey against Tom Renney is not very entertaining and demands a lot of patience but this is how he demands his club plays. They take few shortcuts and give the younger players their minutes and have strong survival skills in games to secure that regulation point.

For me this is just another game and will not be memorable in a lost season when it's over regardless of what happens unless one of the kids delivers a hat-trick or something along those lines.

All the Islanders are working toward is the lottery, no one game can change the standings.

Not game related but Mr Logan in the Islanders Newday blog reports Rick DiPietro is seeking second opinions with the recent swelling in his kneehere.

Andy Sutton has to have additional surgery and is expected to miss an additional eight-ten weeks.

Atlanta Thrashers.com: Reports the Islanders traded defenseman Brett Skinner to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange forward Junior Lessard.

Lessard (leh-SAHR) has played in 41 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this season, recording six goals and five assists for 11 points. The 28-year-old Quebec native has played in 27 career NHL games with Dallas and Tampa Bay, scoring three goals and adding one assist for four points during parts of three seasons. Lessard has also played in 298 career AHL games, recording 86 goals and 92 assists for 178 points in five seasons.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Don't read a lot into this an a possible NHL trade, Okposo, Hunter and Jackman seemed locked in on right wing and Guerin has a NTC. At best Iggulden gets a callup for Jackman for a few games at some point. Skinner did a nice job here earlier at a time the Islanders were winning/competitive but with the competitive part of the playoff chase out of reach if someone is recalled there is a big mix of veterans and prospects.

Best of luck to Brett Skinner.

AHL.com reported Yann Danis was recalled to backup Joey MacDonald.

ITV finally had some comments from the coach and players today which I put on the sidebar. Scott Gordon had a little fun when Howie Rose asked a question by saying who's the new guy which cracked up everyone.

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The Lighthouse: Let's get down to the details

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2009 06:38:00 AM | 2 Comments
I thought NYIFC would make it's little contribution to the Lighthouse Project today (beyond the two hats I have already after submitting earlier support) by taking things in another direction entirely from the shovels in the ground talk by July and a lot of worthless complaining from so many that goes nowhere from a lot of frustrated folks to attempting to get some real answers.

Sitting here blogging and complaining about Kate Murray is worthless and it tells us absolutely nothing. We have her earlier newsday comments here where she talks a little about some of the agencies and the process.

As an Islander fan I would love work to start today, but if I cannot get that I would like some real answers for everyone.

What we should have are timelines, specific agencies involved with deadlines for how long x agency has to complete their part of things and give it back to the Town of Hempstead or the developers for changes.

The Lighthouse website: Has a blog for developments so I asked the administrator, Katrina Doell my questions and she was kind enough to do a full blog entry with the following:

By this time, it is clear that the Lighthouse at Long Island is a project like no other; to say it’s big is an understatement.

The process that any project which applies for a zoning change must undergo is long and voluminous. The process, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), is New York State law and was put in place to ensure sound development. For a project the scope of the Lighthouse at Long Island, the SEQRA process is even more complicated. This process is really the “timeline” we are working through.

The Lighthouse Development Group has been and continues to work with the Town of Hempstead on getting to a Summer 2009 start date. The LDG is also committed to working with Nassau County government and the Planning Commission as the process continues to move forward.

So what is the the State Environmental Quality Review Act? NYIFC did a little looking and it involves the following here which is not centric to the Lighthouse but the general guideline.

Environmental Impact Statement is an (EIS) for those wondering. I included a graph of how the process works that can be enlarged.

Kate Murray in her interview gives us a few names of the agencies and what she has tried to do but a lot of broad strokes, no deadlines but to recap her comments:

We held two scoping hearings in May. As part of that scoping document, it’s dependent on input from all parties that may identify environmental issues in need of a response. For example, the New York State Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Nassau County Department of Health, LIPA, KeySpan, the water department, on and on and on.

All of those departments can and will comment on the implications of this kind of project. To speed that process along, we’ve been forwarding to the Lighthouse Group the issues that are being identifying at the scoping sessions so they can get a jump on trying to address them, come up with responses. So this way the developers’ draft of the environmental impact statement will probably be in 90 percent range by the time they actually receive the scoping document itself. Most times, I mean always, you go through this environmental review, then you hand over the documents to the developers. That’s the first time they get a word of the issues that were brought up during the scoping sessions, and then they begin to craft a response. With the Lighthouse Project, as those issues are coming up, we’re literally funneling them to the Lighthouse people so they can almost simultaneously come up with responses, investigations, etc…

Again, at this point we should have a deadline where all parties must get back to the county or the developers with their findings. Scott Rechler has been part of a lot of developments in Nassau County with Reckson, no doubt he and Mr Wang know the details and deadlines so they can make alterations.

For NYIFC I think it would be easier for hockey fans if there was more transparency with the dates, deadlines, agencies so we understand the process.

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Islander News Articles 1/13

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2009 04:46:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
I will add in Newsday coverage if there is any today to this entry later, Newspaper in my neighborhood had no coverage this morning.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I suspect there may have been an internal problem at the paper, usually Newsday does a great job getting our articles early. No hockey team received print coverage.

Newsday: John Jeansonne beyond reporting on the injuries had a few words on the rivalry with the Rangers. Head coach Scott Gordon, Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin comment.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article has comments from head coach Scott Gordon on a shift in philosophy to let the younger players run with things now vs the veterans given the teams record. Bill Guerin talks about how it's frustrating but he understands making it clear it's not his choice.

Mr Martin also mentions Doug Weight has already expressed displeasure about the possibility of having a reduced role.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I did not see the word " we " in there from Bill Guerin. A few times in the past he talked about the prospects having to pull their own weight, now they have to pull a little more.

Of course all Guerin needs to do is take a look around and ask what veterans are left in the lineup with Sillinger and Weight now out? Guerin's been entrusted with Bailey and Tambellini on his line and no right wing prospects have been recalled so how does this effect his role at present?

If Nielsen returns with Bailey down the middle, Weight, Comrie and Park with Thompson will struggle for minutes.

Daily News: Peter Botte did a Ranger centric article and started with the two hundred sixty plus man game injuries by the Islanders to the Rangers single digit number.


NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Botte amended his earlier entry on the Islanders winning at Msg on 12/29 so in this instance we will be fair and delete our earlier commentary because it's extremely rare we see such a mistake on his part.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on Ben Walter who has points in twenty one of twenty three games. Head coach Jack Capuano praised his play specifically in the defensive zone.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also has the Sound Tigers weekly which among several items includes the upcoming games and some questions for Kurtis McLean.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2009 04:05:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his blog reports all three goaltenders were in Bridgeport at practice.

This means no recall of Yann Danis (or another goaltender) at this time. With Bridgeport having a rematch with Hartford Wednesday it could mean Danis starts Wednesday and is recalled to start Thursday-Saturday.

After this five game stretch at home, Islanders have an eight day break and then roughly nine weeks of games until the end of the season.

Point Blank: Mr Botta reports on practice (Newsday already has Steve Zipay's Ranger blog from practice) with head coach Scott Gordon telling him Nate Thompson and Frans Nielsen will play Tuesday with a focus on the young players getting more powerplay time.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

This is where ITV and the website has really let us down this year far too often. No practice report, no video of the coaches press conference with the media. Last year
Ted Nolan was on ITV no matter how tough it got virtually every day, Chris King and Steve Mears had ten-fifteen minutes of practice video.

This year between the sub par pre-post game articles and this it's been far worse.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has some praise for the Devils who apparently will sign Brendan Shanahan but of course gets out his real message which is to talk about the Devils attendance and their viability in this hockey market playing their system.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

He never takes these kids of digs at the Rangers. Not now, not when they were the biggest laughingstock in hockey. What does the Devils signing Shanahan have to do with their attendance or viability?

What Mr Herrmann will have no part of it's it's practically just as bad for the Rangers whether he wants to acknowledge it or not with their viability and a defensive system that Brent Sutter's Devils do not play. I expect it will not be good Wednesday morning from Mark Herrmann whether the Islanders win or lose if he covers the game but we'll hope for some fair coverage.

Newsday: Neil Best did not tell us the New York number for the winter classic which was below top ten in markets but eleven days later Nielsen/NBC/Cablevision finally found a Ranger angle for the outdoor game by pointing out NBC said the Jan. 1 Winter Classic was watched by an average of 4.4 million viewers, making it the most-viewed NHL regular-season game since 5.4 million saw the Flyers and Rangers play on NBC on Feb. 23, 1975.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

No shock Neil Best would want no part of including game six of the 1980 finals between the Islanders and Flyers had a 4.4/17 rating here and was the highest rated hockey game on broadcast television for decades.

Game one of the Wings-Flyers final generated a 4.0 rating equal, that series overall was seen in 6.3 million homes here as the official rating number for that four game sweep which featured Garth Snow seeing action for Philadelphia.

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Islander News Articles 1/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/12/2009 04:25:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: John Jeansonne has Bill Guerin's comments about the role of captain and how tough it's been with a team struggling badly while head coach Scott Gordon also discusses the role of captain in a teams structure.

Freddy Meyer and Rick DiPietro are out for Tuesday's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bottom line if Guerin-Gordon are not on the same page, the lockeroom will be in question. Both Weight and Guerin have praised this coach repeatedly but this is a results oriented business and there is supposed to be a lot of frustration.

It's kind of funny we do not see Newsday staff do these kind of articles on the Cablevision owned Knicks virtually every other day which would hurt ticket sales and the club's perception with the public and advertisers. Guerin and Gordon's comments are fine here but the writer quips are pathetic with the old movie and Titanic references.

The writers in Atlanta, Tampa do not pull this in the local paper on the Thrashers and Lightning.

This kind of treatment only seems reserved for the New York Islanders among struggling local clubs. Former Islander beatwriter Alan Hahn was lobbing some big time softballs for Knick gm Donnie Walsh in a similar article today when the paper is not running down Stephon Marbury in a staff effort to save the company money in a future buyout.

National Post: Tom Blackwell has Mike Bossy comments on the advantages of playing at home vs the intimidation of playing in Philadelphia back during his playing career.

NY Times: Nathan Sandals in the Times hockey blog had a few words on Islander prospect David Toews scoring in a win.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabauio has Trevor Smith's comments about his callup to the Islanders, his first NHL goal and what it was like watching Bill Guerin and Doug Weight. Head coach Jack Capuano also comments.

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Good news? We finally get to see all these kids

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2009 02:13:00 PM | Comment Here
It's going to be interesting and a lot of fun to see the full group of forward prospects finally get some games together if Frans Nielsen actually does return sooner than expected.

We have not seen Bailey and Frans Nielsen dress for games this season with Okposo, Bergenheim, Comeau & Tambellini all in the lineup.

I sure would like to see Trevor Smith stay in this mix even if it means Thompson and Jackman sit but for now that will not happen.

Jon Sim's month after clearing waivers is over and would have to clear again, he's done some good things but I would rather see more of Trevor Smith who was demoted at this point.

Scott Gordon has some tough calls here. Nate Thompson is a young player but cannot be called a prospect given he was placed on waivers and he is not a top pick.

It's no coincidence like last year Comeau, Bergenheim are visible most games. Okposo is only getting better with each game. Bailey has been so/so but when he is having an active game he makes passes like few can on this roster.

Tambellini has his two goals and even though he got burried later in the game making a move to the middle he's getting involved. Maybe that shot does need to be on right wing as Billy Jaffe pointed out so he can get it off quick without being blocked but that shot beat a world class goaltender.

Hopefully what's ahead is more of Okposo and Comeau doing well, Tambellini adding in a goal or two and the version of Nielsen we saw before he got hurt with Bergenheim who had a nice stretch as well.

Has the makings for a very good core.

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Islander News Articles 1/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2009 03:32:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: John Jeansonne covered Islander practice Saturday at Syosset and included in the many injury updates Doug Weight will be out 2-4 weeks with his recent leg injury with Nate Thompson & Frans Nielsen likely to return on Tuesday.

Rick DiPietro and Freddy Meyer did not practice.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Doug Weight for someone saying he does not want to lose minutes for a youth movement if he is playing well combined with his recent comments about likely not returning if he is traded is doing a good job forcing the general managers hand to trade him down the road unless he has a very good relationship with Snow/Gordon.

No general manager or coach will react well to comments bordering on ultimatums in the press. This is the second time unless Weight was misquoted.

Newsday: Greg Logan's Saturday mid-afternoon insider had mostly a recap of the first forty one games and Scott Gordon's comments on the two hundred sixty plus games lost to injury and how it has prevented a fair assessment of what's going to work for vs what's not going to work for us because of the constant change of personnel.

Also included was praise for the young players and more talk of criticism of the coaches system by veterans inside and outside the lockeroom (Mr Logan does not expand on this) as well as the Edmonton experience for Bill Guerin, Doug Weight a few words on Eric Nystrom.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

If Mr Logan writes several veteran players have expressed serious reservations about whether the coach's system can be as successful at the NHL level at this point we should know who beyond Brendan Witt and a player on another team.

Are two several?

Scott Gordon for his part did not give Joey MacDonald the blanket praise he has earned for his play which goes beyond any statistic. Mr Logan may not be much of a DiPietro fan and feels he would have a tough time facing this many shots but without MacDonald this team would be involved in a lot more blowouts against and never would have been a period from five hundred in late November before the bottom fell out for good.

Never one not to not stir something up Mr Logan ads if the current veterans leave the organization disillusioned with the lack of progress and the chance for future success it may not bode well for future free agents signing if the Isles do not secure one of the two top picks in the draft.

Of course a lot of teams have poor seasons where veterans depart and those organizations can sign players.

Newsday: Cody Derespina has an update on Director of player development Bryan Trottier, who is in China with the kids for the Project Hope tournament with the kids owner Charles Wang is sponsoring.

NY Post: Larry Brooks was due for a few shots at the Islanders, todays was a mild one questioning Josh Bailey not playing for Canada at the WJC.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Anyone honestly think Mr Brooks cares none of the other prospects with their NHL clubs were released to play for Canada? It's kind of like the Post marketing Lundqvist campaign the last few days instead of sending a writer out to cover actual games which is the best way you market a team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio covered Bridgeport's 2-1 win against Hartford at Harbor Yard Saturday, Trevor Smith returned and scored a five on three goal.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio in his Ct Post blog had a lot of items that did not make the paper about the game which had some weather related issues. Head coach Jack Capuano comments on the win with Islanders head coach Scott Gordon in attendance.

Nate Lawson had thirty three saves, Yann Danis was the backup.

Hartford Courant: Covers the Wolfpack.

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Islander News Articles 1/10

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2009 04:36:00 AM | | | | | | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan had head coach Scott Gordon's repeat comments from his post-game in Calgary on playing more young players, Doug Weight for his part does not want to become a player with a lesser role as long as he is productive.

Earlier Friday:

AHL.com: Reported Yann Danis and Trevor Smith were sent to Bridgeport.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog speculates that Trevor Smith's demotion means Frans Nielsen could be ready to return.

Friday's Islander Insider was pushed back to Saturday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Ask me again on Tuesday if this actually matters. Danis is going to have to play in the NHL soon if DiPietro cannot so I would expect he see another start in Bridgeport.

NY Post: Dan Martin has comments from Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo and Mike Sillinger on how the veterans are helping the Islander young prospects and their role.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure when Dan Martin got these quotes from Mike Sillinger or the players on the road trip.

Point Blank: Mr Botta had a few words from general manager Garth Snow on Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey not being named to the young stars team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

As always I feel NYIFC readers should visit Mr Botta's outstanding blog for the comments he produces. I will only give a short overview here.

Kind of ironic the first overall pick, Steven Stamkos has one more point (14) than Okposo (13) who has played forty games was selected. Josh Bailey has only three less points than Stamkos.

The Guardian of PEI: Reports former Islanders Bryan Trottier, Bill Smith, Bob Bourne and Cliff Ronning will be part of the Oldtimers’ Hockey Challenge Monday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre.

Daily Gleaner: Reported on Rob Hennigar's game winning goal for his ECHL team after being send down from Bridgeport recently.

Los Angeles Times: Diane Pucin has a few words on the KHL all-star game today (telecast details inside) which will be an outdoor game in Red Square with one squad named after former Islander Alexei Yashin.

Calgary Sun: Reports former Islander assistant coach Wayne Fleming apparently quit as coach between periods for Avangard Omsk who is captained by Jaromir Jagr.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dave Molinary reports former Islander Ruslan Fedotenko is out four-six weeks after breaking his hand in a fight during a recent game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Tough break for Fedotenko. I would guess Michael Terrien has about two weeks left to turn things around at best in Pittsburgh regardless of his contract. He was fired from Montreal 1/17/03 for those looking for a connection.

Sarnia Observer: Dave Paul reports on Sarnia's shootout loss. Islander prospect Mark Katic was the number one star of the game with a goal in regulation.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No trades for Sarnia involving Islander prospects at the deadline.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Bridgeport lost 4-1 at Providence Friday, Joe Callahan who scored the lone Sound Tiger goal and head coach Jack Capuano comment.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's blog does a good job breaking down the matchups and explaining where the game was lost here along with other items.

Saturday Bridgeport is home to Hartford with nothing on weather canceling the game at this time.

Providence Journal: Has coverage of Providence win against Bridgeport at home Friday.

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We are not doctors, we are NY Islander fans

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/09/2009 03:33:00 PM | 1 Comments
It's very easy for us as fans of the New York Islanders to sit back and pretend to play doctor with regard to these players, this goes for the media as well.

None of us are doctors.

This is a losing season, a lost season already so there is a lot of frustration, especially over things that cannot be controlled.

Injuries are something no team official or player can control.

The latest news on goaltender Rick DiPietro means a lot of things.

They are absolutely not taking any chances if there is any degree of doubt and he cannot get through practices or workouts without issues as he tries to do more.

He had a setback last week and Thursday Danis had to be recalled again.

Is the right thing being done? No idea, I'm not a doctor, neither are you.

It's easy for us as hockey fans to suggest DiPietro should call it a season and shut things down but DiPietro can sit until August and have the same problems after practicing for a few days and that is something no one is taking about.

This season at best has been one long training camp for him and that may continue for a while longer.

Having written this it's getting to a point where sitting for the remainder of this season has to enter the radar soon if these trends continue. It could come as soon as the latest examination or not at all but you don't sit someone down as a precaution to save them for next year, that makes no sense.

I have no doubt DiPietro wants to play and try to help the club, this is what professionals do and we saw him play through pain as he did in the 2007 playoffs where no one said he should stay home after game two when he won in Buffalo.

I also believe management is trying to work with the doctors and not push but not hold him back either.

No doubt it's a very delicate balance, as hockey fans we do not care about the details all we see is someone taking a step back for every one he takes forward, it's frustrating.

If folks think this is about his contract or his personality I submit we do not know him personally and to make any of this about his contract only reflects a biased viewpoint against him that is worthless to any discussion regarding his health.

Bottom line we are not doctors, we are New York Islander fans.

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Looks like no Okposo-Bailey for Young Stars

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/09/2009 01:15:00 PM | Comment Here
NHL.com: Has an update on players heading to the Young Star game during all star weekend.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Article goes back and fourth naming the returning players and filling in the first timers. From what I read no Okposo or Bailey who are 19th and 24th among NHL rookies in scoring here.

Could be wrong but I do not think I am given what I read.

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Islander News Articles 1/9

Another blog entry has already been written and is scheduled for released around 3:30pm. If there is an Islander Insider I will try and get that in first.

Newsday: Greg Logan's early recap (no quotes at this time) reviews the game and the key moment which was the goal twenty three seconds after the Islanders tied it on Tambellini's second of the season.

Note-Mr Logan's early game article above was altered into almost a full update on Rick DiPietro with far less about the game. Thursday night's edited version shortly after the game is a lot different than what is in Friday's newspaper.

Newsday: Mr Logan had more from head coach Scott Gordon and Rick DiPietro on the goaltenders condition and why he did not play in Calgary with a reevaluation coming when the team returns to New York.

Newsday: Mr Logan's article has Mark Streit's comments on being named to the all-star team.

Canadian Press: Has Mark Streit's comments on making the all-star team in an interview and what it will be like returning to Montreal.

Globe & Mail/Canadian Press: Recaps Calgary's win against the Islanders.

Calgary Herald: Scott Cruickshank recaps tonight's 5-3 win by Calgary against New York.

Calgary Herald: Vicki Hall has Kyle Okposo's comments about playing against his boyhood idol, Jermome Ignila as both players comment while Scott Gordon praised Okposo's play.

Calgary Sun: Has Flames coverage on the game while Steve MacFarlane had Eric Nystrom's comments that it's tough to see the current Islanders struggle based on his experience growing up around the club but be back on top soon. Mike Comrie also talks about how brutal losing is and the toll it takes but feels the Islanders have some great young prospects that are learning as they go.

Sarnia Observer: Reports at press time there have been no trades involving the Sting heading into Friday's noon trade deadline in the OHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sarnia a while back was one of the teams considering trades because they were struggling but won some games. Matt Martin, Mark Katic, Justin DiBenedetto are Islander prospects who play for Sarnia.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on goaltender Peter Mannino who had struggled recently but also has not played in almost two weeks with the limited games and the Islanders situation in goal forcing Danis to get a start. Mannino and head coach Jack Capuano comment.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio previews Friday's game against Scott Gordon's old team in Providence.

The Hour.com: Mike Madar has an article on Mike Iggulden and Andrew MacDonald being named to the Canadian All-Stars and has a complete Sound Tigers report.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Excellent report, very well detailed, surprising for a paper not providing daily coverage.

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Calgary 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2009 11:34:00 PM | Comment Here

Congratulations to Trevor Smith on his first NHL goal.

AP: Has the recap of New York's 5-2 loss to Calgary on Thursday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This game was there for the Islanders.

They hung in, killed the double-minor to Okposo, another penalty and then tied the game on a great shot by Tambellini off a Gervais play who did a nice job on offense tonight and was better with Streit. Right off the faceoff Calgary seemed to have an immediate odd-man rush MacDonald stopped where the defense disappeared.

And therein lies the story of this game and many others, what happened to the coverage?

Calgary did not turn into the 1981 Islanders at this point and bury them, the current Islanders simply faded away.

Soon after Calgary scored the 3-2 goal on another breakdown where a bounce, a breakdown or a deflection finds it's way onto someone's stick for a high quality chance that leads to a goal.

It's the theme of almost every loss.

Martinek stumbled on a goal against, Pock threw a nice hit but was not in position later for a goal. Witt is struggling an awful lot out there with the speed of the other clubs and is getting no bounces as we saw on the second goal.

Calgary for their part did not play great but created better chances MacDonald stopped (who was fantastic) than the ones they actually scored on.

Physically the game was a mismatch and anyone who tells you a defense with it's top five only missing two man games to injury vs what's happening here is not telling you the entire story.

On the other end of the ice the young players just keep getting better and it's not the goals but the little things. Okposo diving to keep a puck in on a powerplay and taking a few full windup shots and his work down low. Trevor Smith driving the net and not just shooting the puck into the goalie but showing the hands/composure to pull the puck back and give himself the open net, just before that Jackman and that line had another good shift and Jackman almost finished.

Bergenheim early got into a good spot to shoot.

Islanders just missed a few goals tonight and seemed to go for it on offense and got in close on Kiprusoff, when they did a price had to be paid. To their credit they skated well and forced Calgary to take a lot of penalties, the powerplay did not have a good night.

Islanders also got no breaks. The goal Glencross scored a puck shot from the point is redircted/blocked and out of nowhere it's on his stick in perfect shooting position in the middle of the ice. The second goal Witt blocks the pass it goes right to Rene Bourque who shoots it through him and past MacDonald.

Without MacDonald it could have easily been eight or nine but he failed to handle a soft shot early and it forced the Islanders to take a penalty that led to the 1-0 goal where Mike Cammalleri not only scored but in his motion put down Martinek and no Islander stood up for him.

That I did not like all with no response from his teammates.

Disappointing but there were a few good signs from the young players. Scott Gordon in the post-game talking about Hilbert and Nate Thompson coming back soon cannot mean any of these young players sit?

All due respect to Hilbert but Trevor Smith has shown better hands in five games than he has in almost two years.

Only thing that's going to get worse is the frustration from the players losing to this degree.

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Quick CHL notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2009 05:03:00 PM | | Comment Here
Canadian Press/several sites: Reports prospect John Tavares was traded from the Oshawa Generals to the London Knights.

Our Sports Central: Has most of the trades completed in the Canadian junior leagues.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The OHL's trade deadline is Friday. The league instituted a trade freeze on Canadian junior team players from Dec. 11, which was the start of selection camp, until the world junior tournament concluded Monday.

NYIFC has the prospect blog with the feeds at the bottom of the page for most of the trades and the newspaper/league links for most clubs. I know Sarnia was considering a trade of prospect Matt Martin a while back and last year the Oil Kings was considering a trade of Robin Figren. If I see something Friday I will do a blog entry.

A Tavares trade was on the radar for a while now, it does not change his NHL draft status for those wondering.

There are three Canadian Junior leagues, the Western Hockey League (WHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey league (QMJHL) and the Ontario Hockey League. (OHL)

Anyone with questions e-mail/respond and I will do my best to answer what I know about the trade deadline process in this league.

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New York at Calgary 9pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2009 02:00:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Jiggs McDonald's final game who did a great job as always and had a lot of chemistry with Billy Jaffe.

Islanders website: Jason Lockhart had an excellent feature on Mark Streit with his comments about making the all-star team. The website had another release and a brief ITV tribute.

Calgary Herald: Jean Lefebrve has comments from several Flames they cannot have a let down playing the Islanders along with several radio and media predicting the game will be a mismatch here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

First team I have seen the print and radio media predict a game, I guess one of them forgot the Islanders were not only a playoff factor but made four of six playoffs and were in sixth at this time a year ago?

Calgary Sun: Also covers the Flames.

Associated Press: Also has the ugly sidebars heading into tonight's game.

Injury Expected Return
12/30/08 Jim Vandermeer D Ankle IR. Out until at least mid-January
12/30/08 Rhett Warrener D Shoulder IR. Likely to miss 2008-09 season
01/04/09 Wayne Primeau C Foot Out indefinitely
01/06/09 Brandon Prust RW Jaw IR. Out until at least late January

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Calgary comes in a dominating club at home that just beat the Sharks big with players like Jerome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri & Damon Langkow and even Todd Bertuzzi at the top of their leaderboard. The Islanders come in with injury questions (Weight/Martinek/DiPietro) and a club on the verge of making some terrible history going back to 72-73 if they lose tonight.

Of course they also won in Calgary last season in a shootout which most will not remember.

Not much to write here, if the Islanders team defense is not on it's game it could be a very long night for whoever starts in goal. What few are talking about is the Islanders have been competitive on this trip but are not getting the results as they have lapses as mistakes/penalties snowball where the opposition seemingly always makes them play the price which ultimately decides things. You cannot lose games to a fourth line with Jason Strudwick on it or allow a two goal game by Mike Grier.

I would guess Martinek was not flown back to Calgary just to practice. It seems Meyer will now not play as the injury parade never ends when someone returns.

A nice four day break after this game.


Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Rick DiPietro will not play tonight with swelling in his knee although head coach Scott Gordon maintains he could have played while both the coach and player comments. Yann Danis has been recalled, DiPietro will be sent to the doctor when the club returns home.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

DiPietro or the coach are making sure at this point there are no doubts at all, apparently the practices have caused another issue where he could play but no one is taking any chances. DiPietro is not ready to call it a season nor is that on the radar but if he cannot practice for more than a few days at some point soon without something happening it has to enter the discussion.

Of course he could stay off skates until August and still have swelling or problems the next day.

Yann Danis according to Mr Logan was called up, it is not on AHL transactions at this time.

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Clarification from Mr Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2009 08:00:00 AM | | Comment Here

In my blog entry regarding Mr Botta on Wednesday I wrote goaltender Rick DiPietro should shut things down for the year regardless and based my comments upon his January 2nd entry of Point Blank here where at one point he wrote the following:

Seriously, is there any case for playing DiPietro more than just every other game for the rest of the way?

Really, what would be the point of him playing any more - to get back in the playoff race, 14 points out of 8th place and with six teams between the Islanders and Pittsburgh?

Mr Botta was kind enough to contact me and clarify he meant that his line on the Islander goaltender is that, at most, he should play every other game.

NYIFC apologizes to Mr Botta for this misinterpretation and thanks him for the clarification.

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Islander News Articles 1/8: Streit is an All-Star...

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2009 12:24:00 AM | | | | | | | 3 Comments

Newsday: Mr Logan in a late blog entry confirms Islanders defenseman Mark Streit was informed by the NHL after practice Wednesday he has been selected to represent the Islanders in Montreal at the upcoming all-star game and reports according to Elias Sports Bureau, Streit is the first player from Switzerland to be named to an NHL all-star team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to Mark Streit for a well-deserved honor, a little dig by head coach Scott Gordon about him playing forward in Montreal given some of Bob Gainey's comments?

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on the recent production from the line of Blake Comeau, Mike Comrie and Kyle Okposo with comments from all three about what they have done and must continue to do.

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog discusses the media process and the confusion Rick DiPietro's gameday status has created as head coach Scott Gordon talks about the process and that he talks with the goaltender on a daily basis and what goes into the decision as to whether he plays or sits out.

Mr Logan also reports Freddy Meyer missed practice with a groin problem but Radek Martinek rejoined the club, appears ready to return and it appears certain the Islanders will be represented at the all-star game when rosters are announced Thursday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Mr Logan has to know a blog entry titled " It's DiPietro's call now " is only going to stir things up against the player which seems the intention unless Newsday has a blog headline writer for him? I have to ask the same question I just put in an e-mail and ask here if this were Mike Sillinger or another player would we see a blog entry along the same lines that it's Sillinger's (insert player name) call now?

For DiPietro who has kept a low profile and from day one said he does not want his injury to become a distraction, Mr Logan for his part seemed to go out of his way here to create a distraction and my question would be what was the point of that blog title?

From what I understand all NHL teams had to be represented at the ASG. I would think Mr Logan would know this but in his later entry includes the league does not mandate each team receive an All-Star entry and notes no Islander was named to the All-Star team in 2006 or 2001.

To be fair there was no NHL all-star game in 2006 so no one would have been named, in 2001 he would be correct.

Canadian Press: Selects Mark Streit as who they would send to Montreal to represent the Islanders at the ASG.

Point Blank: Mr Botta also includes according to multiple league sources Mark Streit will be named to the Eastern Conference all-star reserves on Thursday when rosters are made official to the public at noon.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann did a feature from Msg on Long Island product Mike Komisarek of the Montreal Canadians who was selected to the NHL all-star team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sorry folks, Mr Herrmann did not bring up Komisarek signing with the Islanders this summer as a free agent but a very good article.

Buffalo News/several media outlets: Mike Harrington reports Jarkko Ruutu of the Senators received only two games for biting Andrew Peters of the Senators.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Tomas Pock should have the NHLPA sue this league given the double-standards in decisions by Colin Campbell and the committee of people he says have input into these decisions. I suppose Ruutu has no such reputation that he gets three games less than Pock for biting or is no penalty call on the ice during incidents grounds for only a set minimum of games?

The only consistent element in these decisions is there are no rules.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's 4-3 shootout win against Houston Wednesday at Harbor Yard where a late penalty turned a 3-0 Sound Tiger lead into a tie game. Head coach Jack Capuano, Mike Iggulden and Kurtis McLean comment.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also had a game notes entry for the paper and a blog recap on the game with several items.

Houston Chronicle: Has a brief recap of the Aeros shootout loss.

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No Sound Tigers for Planet USA

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/07/2009 02:18:00 PM | Comment Here
AHL.com: Reports no Sound Tigers were named to the Planet USA all-stars Wednesday.

No changes at this time from AHL.com regarding the Islanders or Sound Tigers.

Jack Capuano or Pat Bingham were not named to the staffs of either roster.

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Islanders 411, No man games lost to injury?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/07/2009 11:05:00 AM | 4 Comments
I find it kind of interesting the Islanders opened a special site with a pdf file for all things statistical regarding the team however the biggest stat of this season is the same one the club did not let the public know about last year and is not talking about nearly enough this year.

Man games lost to injury.

The Islanders led the league with over four hundred last year and are about a hundred above that pace this year.

This is the biggest reason why at the half way point of this season the club is 30th overall as we are in what is an extended exhibition schedule for the next forty one games.

No one talks about it in the media because the Islanders do not bring it up nearly enough themselves, the media in other cities does not even realize how banged up this club has been until the club visits and then write about a club that was competitive but just too banged up.

The Flyers Tuesday released the man games lost to injury, other teams do also and it's no violation of league policy or however they want to disclose information here.

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Mr Botta.....All Due Respect

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/07/2009 06:59:00 AM | | 4 Comments
But in this instance you are dead wrong writing the Islanders communication was KeyStone Kops unless you were in Edmonton and present when DiPietro and Joey MacDonald were questioned by Mr Logan or around the club when this decision was reached.

The Islanders are in Western Canada getting ready for a game against the Oilers, the team takes the morning skate and it's decided at some point before or after DiPietro will not play.

The beatwriter goes to both goaltenders and reports what both had to say the following morning after the game with their quotes (only part of which could have been printed in the blog/paper) which conflict somewhat but there is no timeline and as I wrote yesterday none of us were in the room or know what the plan was or if it had to be changed.

From where I sit this was an overreaction by Mr Botta and not called for. At the very least he could have spoken to Scott Gordon at some point and gotten an explanation/answer.

This would have been a very good time if instead of writing about KeyStone Kops he intead wrote and told us how this is so different from when he was working for the club vs his past experiences in such matters.

Instead this is the kind of shock jock material Mr Botta himself would usually dismiss or tell us to ignore as he did last summer with some of Newsday's staff.

Similar circumstances a week ago when Mr Botta was in the room at Msg, he reported DiPietro would start against the Rangers only to have MacDonald get the nod because of a groin strain which the coach (a former goaltender) said is normal at this point.

Was that communication KeyStone Kops as well or were the Islanders taking no chances which would seem to be the correct move after all that's transpired? That means nothing is written in stone and things change quickly as they have with Sillinger and a lot of the injured players all season.

A few days later Mr Botta wrote DiPietro should shut things down for the year regardless which is his viewpoint and could be correct in the end.

As I wrote yesterday Mr Botta defended the trainers and for the most part pointed out Scott Gordon's mistakes but also defended him which is fair because unwritten rule is you never take any one side and keep things open-minded for all viewpoints depending on what the news of the day is.

That's the quality I come to expect from Mr Botta which makes his viewpoint one to be read and respected.

For myself I can be critical of a writer/paper one day and praise the work the next, that's what you have to do.

Mr Botta for his part does not blame anyone but writes the communication is Keystone Kops and just leaves it, he does not tell us who he thinks should be blamed after not putting it on DiPietro or MacDonald?

Now Mr Botta blogs again and tells his readers his old friends from the Islanders are not thrilled with him while he now says this version of the DiPietro saga was mishandled?

We do not read about the Sillinger saga or earlier what was the Bailey, Okposo/insert the name of the injured Islander saga.

DiPietro if many recall on 11/26 he had an interview with Dan Martin that flew under the radar here.

If I had any control in running the Islanders I would not be thrilled with Mr Botta either here, this was overdone.

A lot of fair reasons to be critical of the 2008-09 New York Islanders who sit in 30th place with no one happy about things are going and a lot of frustration on all sides.

This was not one of them.

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Islander News Articles 1/7

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on defenseman Mark Streit with Scott Gordon's comments he should be given Norris Trophy consideration as the defender talks about what it would be like to return to Montreal as an All-Star.

Mr Logan also has Doug Weight's comment about maybe being named to the all-star roster but is also excited for Streit to be selected.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It a perfect world both would be going, it may well come down to who is selected from other teams at other positions. I do not see two Islanders selected but if I had to pick one Streit leads NHL defenders in scoring and is playing close to twenty five minutes and doing an excellent job on defense.

He absolutely deserves consideration for the Norris if things continue this way for the remainder of the season.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had a lot of speculation on the Islanders all-star where he felt Mark Streit will be selected but Doug Weight should also be an all-star and credits him for wanting to stay here and how he felt the club cannot give up on the season. Mr Herrmann also endorsed Richard Park for being a pick because he has been the best overall two-way player.

Buffalo News: Mike Harrington reports in Buffalo's win against Jarkko Ruutu bit the gloved right thumb of Buffalo enforcer Andrew Peters — yes, bit — during a scrum near the teams’ benches with 6:47 left in the first period Tuesday in HSBC Arena.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ruutu was the player Chris Simon kicked for the suspension last December. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Considering what Sidney Crosby got away with recently clearly NHL discipline and it's enforcements has a lot of double-standards in the judgements.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Andrew MacDonald & Mike Iggulden for being named to the Canadian all-stars with head coach Jack Capuano.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio previews tonights game against Houston at Harbor Yard.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog has the selections for Canadian All-Stars.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
With Kurtis McLean not selected, I'm not sure Jack Hillen or Trevor Smith will make the cut for team USA, I would guess Nate Lawson does not have enough games but we'll see Wednesday.

Our Sports Central.com: Reports Long Island product Vladimir Nikiforov has been recalled to the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers after being named to the ECHL all-stars last weel.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2009 10:40:00 AM | | | Comment Here
AHL.com: Reports AHL-All-Stars will be announced Tuesday and Wednesday at 2pm for each club.


Complete list of Canadian all-stars in above link listed.

Islanders website: Andrew MacDonald & Mike Iggulden were named to the AHL All-Star team Tuesday.

NHL.com: Announced the reserves for the NHL all-star game will be made Wednesday for the Western Conference and Thursday for the Eastern Conference.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm considering doing a Newsday for both all-star games and taking a break. It will be interesting if Cablevision owned Newsday sends a writer to Montreal after DiPietro was left high and dry in Atlanta last year by the sports editor.

Islanders website: Jason Lockhart wrapped up the WJC with the final stats and summary for David Ullstrom, Jyri Niemi, Kirill Petrov and Blake Kessel.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I was going to put the WJC links in the prospects blog but decided against it, we already have prospect updates there from the Islanders. I will keep the section up for reference until Thursday morning for everyone on the sidebar.

Point Blank: Mr Botta questioned the communication process today based upon Mr Logan's blog entry on DiPietro and Joey MacDonald's comments about when they were informed about starting/not starting.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not to hit this very hard but there was obvious friction between Mr Logan and Mr Botta over lack of communication also a while back and this is just writing/blogging about hockey.

Mr Botta had more comments from Brendan Witt than what first appeared in Newsday where he spoke out about the defense and Scott Gordon's system. Witt then made it clear he does not want to be traded to Mr Botta. It forced Mr Logan to go back and put it in the Islanders Newsday blog.

I have seen a lot of articles over the years where the quotes are edited down and by the time an article is written it comes off different than what's intended. One paper has more, the other less.

It's not as easy with one newspaper covering the club, every quote in full will not make the paper but it does influence perception fair or not.

The communication process is a fine line with one goaltender working back from injury and the other not as sure of his starting status. I submit unless we are in the room when this happens we do not know what the communication is or if it's good or poor.

Is it really any worse than Steve Valiquette getting the call for a start on Saturday during the day when the other goalie was not able to go?

If there is a problem beyond what other clubs do Mr Botta should have told everyone who he thinks is wrong because he did not blame DiPietro or MacDonald, I guess that leaves the coaching staff or the trainers who he has defended?

He just kind of let it just sit there after stirring up perception something is not being handled properly.

I'm not sure it was necessary in this instance or he should have simply told his readers who he thinks made a mistake.

Blog Notables:
I eliminated the NY Times Islander feeder from the sidebar because it pulls out old game summaries too often. Islander website was also pulled because too much repeat content which the other feed already provides. I guess we will miss that Dave Caldwell feature ripping the club the next time but it's not worth getting three week old game updates from their feed.

I'm going to take time off on the polls or until I think up a fresh topic.

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Islander News Articles 1/6

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/06/2009 12:19:00 AM | | | | | Comment Here
Sports Network: Recaps Edmonton's 3-2 win against the Islanders along with Associated Press here which notes a loss Thursday ties the franchise record from 72-73 for most consecutive games on the road without a win.

Newsday: Greg Logan's coverage has Scott Gordon's comments on the officiating in the Islanders 3-2 loss and a team official reporting nothing is wrong with goaltender Rick DiPietro.

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article has comments from Doug Weight and Bill Guerin about the Islanders long-term plans and whether one or both would be traded and how that may effect the other.

Newsday: Mr Logan's late entry in the Islanders Newsday blog has more from his press conference on the officiating from head coach Scott Gordon with Rick DiPietro on why he did not play while Joey MacDonald talks about the winning goal.

Edmonton Sun & Edmonton Journal: Recaps the Oilers 3-2 against the Islanders Monday.

Edmonton Sun: Robert Tychkowski has Bill Guerin's comments on the Islanders lockeroom and how things have been good among the players despite the record.

Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest had defenseman Mark Streit's comments about why he signed with the Islanders who praised the organization and despite the record is very happy he signed here. Scott Gordon comments and credited his strong play and lobbied for him being named to the All-Star team.

CamWest News: Joanne Ireland has Oilers coach Craig MacTavish who credited the Islanders hard work and felt the record does not reflect the results.

Mr Botta at Point Blank had some comments from Team Sweden officials about David Ullstrom after Monday's loss for the Islanders prospect at the WJC along with some postgame against Edmonton here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article was on Sound Tigers Pascal Morency with head coach Jack Capuano's comments.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio's Sound Tigers weekly among several items has questions with defenseman Chris Lee and all-star rosters released for team Canada Tuesday at 2 p.m. The 24-man PlanetUSA roster comes out Wednesday.

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Edmonton 3, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2009 11:13:00 PM | Comment Here
Edmonton Sun: Robert Tychkowski was providing in game updates with comments on Edmonton's 3-2 win against New York between periods.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not for anything it sure seems the breaks and calls for the 08-09 Islanders is about as one-sided as the outside perspective at times which has little time or space for man games lost to injury or what happens in the game.

Four powerplays in three games?

I have not done many post-games here on officiating, this will be one of them.

Only the Islanders know what the story is with DiPietro who is in training camp mode? Either he is hurting or they or going slow working him in. Given the standings and MacDonald playing well it does not really matter.

Someone want to explain how Sean Bergenheim being hooked in the second is not a penalty or a penalty shot?

Apparently I do not know the rules but since when does a distinct kicking motion mean the skate must face forward on the 2-2 goal. The skate kicked out, whether it knocks the puck down or goes in that is a kicking motion.

Marginal stuff but things like this takes a fragile club, backs them in and gets the other team in the game. Islanders did virtually nothing the second half of the game and only had four harmless shots in the third aside from Jackman's chance or Okposo's post.

Islanders started great with an excellent shot by Okposo off a turnover to open the scoring and Bailey making a great pass to Comeau for the 2-0 pp goal. The play was sloppy at times but even.

Edmonton seemed a pass or play short until the puck started deflecting in off the fourth line players, this happened to Brendan Witt. Pock did not have Strudwick on the 2-2 goal and you can see the Islanders backing up more after a good effort where they did not give up a lot and did make some good plays to block shots.

Billy Jaffe and Jiggs McDonald had it right, the fourth line creates two goals it's likely a matter of how long before the top lines for Edmonton gives them something.

Momentum all with Edmonton after that.

Third period Islanders had Okposo's post over ten minutes in and that was about it.

Jackman gets a goaltender's interference call where he is clearly hooked but barely touches the Oiler goaltender, meanwhile MacDonald is run heavily by two players and no call against?

Oilers finally get the 3-2 goal where Campoli seemed to think the puck was in the corner and was outnumbered.

Islanders absorbed too many hits, Witt was bounced around a few too many times.

Of course a late cross-checking penalty where Trevor Smith was hit and no call, Islanders do nothing with the goaltender pulled and another loss.

A lot of times the Islanders lose games because of how they play, tonight the officiating had a lot to do with the final result and they deserved better.

Too many turnovers by the Islanders but they played well for the most part with a lot of line changes.

Doug Weight did an excellent job in the broadcast booth. A little fire from Scott Gordon after the game, he has his teams back but gave them a little too much credit for not generating much in the second half of this game.

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