Islander News Articles 2/18

Newsday: John Jeansonne does a very good job with an article on Frans Nielsen where head coach Scott Gordon praises the young center for his makeup and smarts on the ice while the center discussed how Gordon talked to him every day which helped him be less afraid to make mistakes.

NY Times: Bryan Heyman has an excellent feature on Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo with comments from head coach Scott Gordon, general manager Garth Snow and team captain Bill Guerin which looks like it was put together last week around the time of the Devils game in Newark.

NY Post: Dan Martin has the first comments from head coach Scott Gordon about his job security with a few words on Frans Nielsen.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess my only question would be did Gordon adjust his defensive strategy for his job security, but like a professional he will do his job and whatever happens beyond that is out of his control. Given Snow's earlier endorsement and the injury circumstances I do not see a change unless the draw of Peter Laviolette proves too much but that's doubtful and a long way off. Reports Bridgeport defeated Norfolk Tuesday in overtime 3-2.

Tobias Stephan started in goal and had twenty three saves for the Sound Tigers.

1. BRI Bentivoglio, (6) (Lee, Callahan), 1:59
1. NOR Segal, (17) (Smolenak), 19:22
2. NOR Segal, (18) (Smolenak), 12:27
3. BRI Walter, (12) (Iggulden, McLean), 0:29 (PP)
OT. BRI Fraser, (6) (Smith, McLean), 4:39

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's recap of Bridgeport's overtime win against Norfolk with blog coverage here has Jamie Fraser on his overtime goal, Ben Walter and head coach Jack Capuano.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also previewed Wednesday's game against Hartford who now has Dallas forward Sean Avery for the same reasons Bridgeport has Stephan who has won a lot of games for Bridgeport in goal.

Mr Fornabaio reported there is a chance Joel Rechlicz could be called up to Bridgeport.

Norfolk Virginian Pilot: Usually has staff reports as opposed to Paul White's coverage for road games.

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Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/17/2009 04:03:00 PM | Comment Here
* I may be the only one in North America, but I picked this team for sixth in the Eastern Conference and stand by that. I still feel if not for all the injuries they would have been right there for a playoff spot. If I'm correct the team in sixth at this time scores less goals per game than the Islanders.

No, I do not see this as at least three or four years before they are a good team, they may have been one already.

Put 2006 version of Mike Sillinger, Comrie at their best with Guerin and Hunter scoring with all six defenders healthy this team is absolutely in contention for a playoff spot if not in one right now with Nielsen, Comeau, & Okposo only getting better. DiPietro's goaltending (or any franchise goaltender in the NHL) that would have stolen some games would not be much better than MacDonald and Danis have given this club most games.

A lot of the people writing it's a bad team are the same ones who need late 90's fodder because they have no current background.

There are fair questions about the coaches strategy.
* Anyone notice DiPietro spoke with Peter Botte and Dan Martin but not Newsday?

Hopefully he is around the club and part of the team whether he is injured or not and the same goes for every injured player.
* Playoffs in the East? Ask me in two months.

Teams peak early and the Devils could be a big time powerhouse but chemistry is a funny thing and it takes very little to take a red-hot team and just lose what they had going. One year the Caps were unbeatable, added Trevor Linden and never had the same chemistry. May have been Linden or anything but things just change.

One look at the 1980 Islanders who were struggling most of the season are a good example of this. They got Denis Potvin back, made the big trade and got Kenny Morrow from team USA and things just fell into place.

Of course for the Islanders this is just a long exhibition schedule. I do subscribe to Bill Guerin's comments there is always something to play for. How this translates to next season will be the true barometer of this.
* Msg/+ telecast has the Islanders with one more game lost to injury than Newsday for those keeping score at home. After a while in coverage it gets old for people to keep bringing up the injury count and just write the Islanders are a terrible team.

Afraid not.

Whether it gets old or not it has to keep being part of the story. This is not a team with fifty man games lost here, they will pass last seasons number in about a week or so and the 402 games lost led the NHL last year.
* I guess the Thrashers did not get the memo to tank with eight and seven goal wins on the West coast back to back. That's the difference between most teams and the Islanders, most can put up a big number and will for a select number of games this season.

Islanders have had one five goal game (recent win in Atlanta) but nothinge else. The opener they had five against the Blues with the open net.

Fifty plus games, one where they scored five against a goalie.
* Imagine what Bergenheim with two skilled thirty goal scorers and how much more time and space he would have to create plays? For me Scott Gordon got it wrong saying he should not be worrying about his numbers, he knows a lot of this is about production and has been here a long time. He should feel pressure to produce.

It's almost like a Bruno Gervais where unless folks talk about his game the only barometer people use is plus/minus which is misleading often.
* I'm looking very forward to where Garth Snow goes with his goaltending with MacDonald and Danis. I think both have been excellent (when Danis got the rust off) and can absolutely play at this level, they have proven it since the first preseason games.
Point Blank: Mr Botta did an excellent interview with head coach Scott Gordon where he pressed the coach on the defensive system and asked the tough questions with some NHL scouts after the Kings game.

For those who recall Mr Botta was the first who brought up Ted Nolan altering his system last March.

As always visit Mr Botta's blog for the details of the information he generated for us, good stuff from Scott Gordon in response.
* Whatever folks say/write about the Islanders at the trade deadline means absolutely nothing and that includes the general manager. If Snow decides to sign something that means they will be back, otherwise all bets are off beyond Guerin's NTC.

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The Tip off on Charles Wang's Ownership Status

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/17/2009 11:51:00 AM | Comment Here
A little background.....

I read the two reports of Charles Wang looking to sell the Dragons but nothing at least for a year before a sale happened. I actually found myself watching and enjoying the Dragons pull a huge road playoff upset even if I do not follow them often or the AFL because it was a very good game.

I watched the second round game in Philadelphia and there was Charles Wang in the front row behind the bench with Chris Dey right at his side, both cheering the club and obviously into the game.

A fellow looking very much like Garth Snow was in the second row. That was a Saturday, the next Wednesday the sale of the team was announced.

The AFL obviously in New York flies well below the radar.

That does not have a lot to do with the Islanders but what does is almost every year the Islanders announce a plan for next year's tickets or what we saw last year was the announcement of a two-year plan.

This has been my private barometer as to how long Mr Wang's patience is in terms of ownership. Once he made that agreement he locked in ticket holders and that would be money he would have to return if by some chance all leases were voided/bought out/whatever.

If we see the Islanders offer another two year plan that tells us Mr Wang intends to continue as owner beyond next season and that the Lighthouse will get approved.

If not, I suspect Mr Wang's countdown clock as owner goes only as far as the conclusion of the 2009-10 season or his patience is running/ran out. Unlike the AFL we will know about potential buyers because league sources always pop up.

For me what's offered by the club in March will be the tip-off as to where Mr Wang is in terms of what he wants to do as owner.

Plesse keep in mind Mr Wang can sell the club and still build the Lighthouse at some point in the future and will likely be the Islanders landlord someday if he does sell to another party. I have no doubt he's into the hockey and has proven it countless times the last decade. By the time 2025 comes the lease is up again.

If Mr Wang or his family own/run the club, who knows where that goes.

Anyone who thinks Charles Wang bought the New York Islanders for the land and spent hundreds of millions on players would be kidding themselves, other developers had the same right to bid on the property in 2005.

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Islander News Articles 2/17

Newsday: Greg Logan's article has comments from head coach Scott Gordon and goaltender Joey MacDonald.

Newsday: Mr Logan's second article is has Jeff Tambellini's comments along with Frans Nielsen while noting the Islanders struggles in the faceoff circle Monday afternoon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Tambellini seems like a very nice young man but let's not pull punches, we heard the same thing a year ago. He was doing better but Scott Gordon decided to sit him for Andy Hilbert/Mitch Fritz which is a terrible sign for a team in last place.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article partly is about Pens interim coach Dan Bylsma but mostly tries to compare the Penguins rebuild with the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Throwaway article and worthless beyond Bylsma content. Pittsburgh won a league-wide lottery for Crosby (not by finishing last) and tried to buy half the league a few years ago in a move that looked very much like how Tampa built their team this summer when it fell apart in mid-season with Palffy, and LeClair on their last NHL legs.

There is no comparing this to an organization with 368 man games lost to injury that made four of six playoffs and were in contention last year.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dave Molinary's post game coverage and blog here.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Tricia Lafferty's game coverage of the Pens shootout loss.

NY Post: Dan Martin's coverage is almost all on goaltender Rick DiPietro.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Let's recap, the last few Friday-Saturdays/offdays the Post has two articles on the Islanders, game day we see one article that barely touches on the game. Not Dan Martin's doing but where is the common sense in this decision making?

Daily News: Peter Botte has goaltender Rick DiPietro's comments on his recovery and the last two years of injuries in a lengthy interview that takes up almost the entire game summary. Scott Gordon had a few words on Jeff Tambellini's shootout goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wanted something different but Mr Botte's editor (same as Post) should have provided space for a second article combined with a full game story. Anyway important to post DiPietro's quotes.

Here was DiPietro's comments on being back at full strength next season:

"I don't see any way that I'm not, I'm not giving a definitive answer either way. I don't know what's going to happen. But so far, so good.

"I've seen quite a few doctors who are pretty positive about the future. That's the whole point of this season is to make sure I'm 100% and ready to fulfill my contract."

On his recent injuries:
"It's been terrible. In the summer when I got my knee cleaned up, I never thought it would cause such a problem. To look back and miss pretty much an entire season, it's brutal, Worst thing in the world you can do is sit in a rehab center and try to get healthy. Mentally, I can't take much more of this. It's just been a tough two years for everybody. I've never seen so many injuries, but there's nothing you can do."

NY Times: Dave Caldwell was sent to the Nassau Coliseum to cover Dan Bylsma's first game as interim head coach, former Islander Miroslav Satan who played here during his time as Steve Stirling's assistant coach also comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Nothing like that NY Times strategy of sending writers to local hockey games to cover the visiting team but not the home teams.

Espn/several sources: Pierre LeBrun has analysis on Atlanta trading former Islander Mathieu Schneider back to Montreal for a conditional draft pick Monday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which include comments from Jason Pitton on his season ending shoulder surgery. Also included is clear day for the AHL has been moved back to Wednesday, March 11, a week after NHL trade deadline as opposed to the usual day or two.

Will put additional news articles in later or tomorrow in this blog entry.

Bridgeport plays Tuesday again against Norfolk here along with Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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New York 3, Pittsburgh 2: Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/16/2009 02:33:00 PM | Comment Here

AP: Recaps New York's 3-2 shootout win against Pittsburgh Monday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good effort by the Islanders, not a lot of great chances but they got in the trenches, were physical and made key plays/got bounces when they needed them.

Saturday two pucks go off Radek Martinek for goals, this time with an open net a puck hits his skate to stop what was a sure goal against which could have meant a 3-2 regulation loss.

Before that Crosby picked his pocket for a quality chance in the first.

Not a good response for Pittsburgh who did not get much bounce from a coaching change. Satan was virtually invisible.

Hard to believe it's been that long since Nielsen scored with all the goals he has contributed to, he did a good job crashing the net. That shootout move has been money for him since the first time he did it against the Leafs.

Bergenheim again was a very active player driving the net and creating plays, Hilbert had a very strong game and loved him throwing down Malkin during that scrum at the end of the second.

Pittsburgh started the game choppy, Isles got a bounce for their first goal but a nice read to find Campoli. Bailey lost to Satan who found Malkin who used Hillen as a screen and made a good shot for the 1-1 goal.

The hush when Malik gets the puck on a rush is deafening, Staal made some very good defensive plays and I suspect when Gonchar gets out of training camp mode with Whitney, Crosby and Malkin that is going to be a very tough powerplay or pressure line to beat.

Fleury did not have to make a lot of great saves, he looked beatable for the most part.

Pens defense was turning over the puck but it seemed Pittsburgh was waiting for the Islanders to turn it over so they could counter with their speed and skill.

Gervais is coming closer and closer to scoring, that's the second post/crossbar in a week, very solid game. Witt who was knocking over everyone he could. Mark Streit did a solid job in his nineteen minutes and was in on a few offensive plays.

Okposo passed up his three on one chance but got better down the stretch and that play to take the puck from Crosby at the end of overtime was fantastic.

Isles gave up too many odd-man rushes in overtime. MacDonald got stronger as the game wore on and stole the extra point with his ot play.

High marks to Jon Sim who battled hard as usual and even though his line did not generate much was visible. A year ago Tambellini scoring a shootout goal was supposed to help him, nice shot, we'll see.

Islanders have played well enough to win games recently, today was the day they finally broke through against a struggling team with a lot of talent.

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Pittsburgh at New York 2pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/16/2009 10:00:00 AM | Comment Here
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Dave Molinary has the latest on the struggling Pens but Sergei Gonchar, Ruslan Fedotenko have all returned to the lineup for team that lost big against Toronto on the road Saturday.

Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
02/13/09 Philippe Boucher D Foot Out indefinitely
01/18/09 Mike Zigomanis C Shoulder IR. Out for the season

Evgeni Malkin C 57 24 57 81
Sidney Crosby C 56 21 51 72
Petr Sykora RW 54 21 19 40
Miroslav Satan RW 57 14 18 32
Jordan Staal C 57 15 16 31
Ruslan Fedotenko LW 40 11 10

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Last time Pittsburgh met the Islanders they had seven players out and it was something like their seventh game in ten days and they had been struggling.

Pittsburgh won 9-2 and this was after their back to back Coliseum comebacks.

Standings scream the Pens circumstances are getting close to desperate five points out of eighth with the team in eighth having a game in hand and a road team that has been terrible recently. I guess Penguin ownership decided it could not go any further with Michel Therrien who was fired Sunday night.

Seems no coaching change is going to help the Pens defense or scoring on the wings, the moves they made in the summer combined with the Hossa trade have take hurt. Miroslav Satan has been slumping and criticized.

I expect we will see a Pittsburgh team desperate to take control early. Pens have the scoring to beat the Islanders badly but are a fragile club.

Two years ago the Islanders broke the Pens winning streak with that incredible goal by Mike Sillinger in the final seconds, does not seem like that long ago.

Speaking of fragile were the mistakes Saturday in their own end one tough day or the beginning of a bad trend? Saturday was a lot more about bad bounces or Islander mistakes than Flyer offense.

I guess Joey MacDonald starts but only Scott Gordon knows, busy week for the Islanders with games Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Fritz, Tambellini, Sim? Who knows.

Mark Streit will play against Pittsburgh.

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Islander News Articles 2/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 07:47:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports head coach Scott Gordon put his team through an unusually physical practice Sunday according to the beatwriter for the day off between games while the coach felt the teams effort has not been as strong as when they dropped the 2-1 games they played against Boston & the Rangers where he felt his team dominated the play.

He also credited his young players as the kind you want for the long run based on how they work and felt the recent games(not sure if he meant the overall team) have been more enjoyable then it was even during the winning streak.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Scott Gordon sometimes losses me with where he goes with comments. On one hand it seemed he was talking about effort dropping then he was was more pleased recently with play vs when the winning streak was happening.

I'm simply not sure, no ITV at this time to clear things up.

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Mark Streit participated in practice and could be a game time decision while talking about expecting the team to compete hard and win games down the stretch with jobs on the line for next year. Head coach Scott Gordon discusses his goaltending rotation and scouting the teams number one possible pick himself as he deferred to his gm/scouting staff. sources: Report the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday night fired head coach Michel Therrien and replaced him with former Islander assistant coach Dan Bylsma (2005-06) who is head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an interim basis.

Former Islander Tom Fitzgerald, the Penguins’ director of player development, will join the staff as an assistant coach.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tough to say whether it was the record or how the coach got along with the players but clearly Pittsburgh is a helicopter team which was the term used to describe the late 80's Islander team who had Bryan Trottier, Brent Sutter and Pat Lafontaine down the middle but not nearly enough talent on the wings.

General Manager Ray Shero deserves to take the hit for assembling the team and for giving the coach a three year extension.

Who is to say how long Dan Bylsma is interim coach but a nice promotion for someone who was an assistant with the Islanders in 2005-06. The group of available coaches suggests it will be an interim spot but we'll see. Ken Campbell says it's an absurd concept teams tank for a top draft pick as he claims the Islanders are by far the worst team in the league but ignores writing about the 359 man games lost to injury as a big reason for the clubs record.

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Norfolk 2, Bridgeport 1 Shootout: Mitch Fritz plays

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 04:38:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here Reports Bridgeport lost 2-1 against Norfolk Sunday afternoon in a shootout at Harbor Yard.

1. BRI Smith, (24) (McLean, Walter), 18:03 (PP)
2. NOR Segal, (16) , 9:04 (PP)

Mitch Fritz was back in the lineup for the Sound Tigers, Nate Lawson started in goal with thirty six saves.

Dustin Kohn had four penalties, one fight, three minors including one in overtime.
Penalties in overtime are only one minute long in the AHL which is a new rule.

It should be noted Fritz in his twenty one games for Bridgeport only has twenty four penalty minutes. Billy Jaffe's comments Fritz has not fought recently would not be correct with fights credited for Bridgeport twice in mid-late January here against Brandon Sugden.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage has comments from Jesse Joensuu, Nate Lawson and head coach Jack Capuano with blog entries here.

Norfolk Virginina Pilot: Paul White's Admirals coverage if his paper let him make the trip.

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Can Garth Snow do this job?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 02:00:00 PM | 6 Comments
General managers have so many roles we hardly read about in the media and like many the gm is the lightning rod for whatever goes wrong which comes with the territory.

A gm more often than not is traveling whether it be the WJC, other countries or the minor leagues/college level. In addition there is meeting with scouts and getting reports on NHL players through the staff combined with the day to day stuff for his own coach and roster.

There are also contract negotiations that have to be done.

I will never be happy with Snow lying to our fans last April about his working relationship with Ted Nolan, you do not ask folks come out in April to hear lies.

On the negative side Snow has to take some of the hit for the current record and the injuries, he did not bring in many of these players or sign them but he had to know the idea of this group staying healthy (especially on the blueline) was a longshot.

I also want to see no more talk of free agents and the Nassau Coliseum from the general manager. That was a mistake and a cop-out in my estimation. He said it was one thing in negotiations that came up and the media did the rest making blowing it out of proportion but that came off like an excuse.

I admit I'm not sure of his direction going to the mat with Andy Hilbert, Richard Park, Nate Thompson or Tim Jackman on the ice but that is more likely the head coaches call which was Garth Snow's pick who he has to support.

Am I thrilled with the strategy to trade down for Josh Bailey vs some of the other players? I'm kind of indifferent with it and have to defer to experts in scouting circles who say assistant gm Ryan Jankowski and the staff had an excellent draft.

Last summer's draft is going to take years to judge.

Bailey goes in and out with his impact but that's expected at his age.

As for very old news put me on the side of those who feel he made an excellent trade for Smyth and did not offer him the big frontloaded contract to keep him. The Islanders were in sixth place, took a shot at finishing higher and making a run at a cup for two players who have yet to prove anything. Nilsson has talent but on this roster was another smaller forward. They could have used the pick but that draft on paper was a weak one and a fair gamble.

Again, old news.

Where Snow did impress me and lead me to believe he can do this job was in resigning his own players at reasonable contracts almost seamlessly, especially in landing Mark Streit in UFA and Doug Weight who have been huge pluses in a terrible season.
Trent Hunter was locked up without a hitch when many felt he could be moving on, Witt also was a very good signing for him.

Say what you want about Wade Dubielewicz (Snow should have kept it more cordial and out of the media) but MacDonald and Danis combined overall have outplayed a lot of established NHL netminders around this league. Goaltending has not been the problem for the 08-09 Islanders even if they miss DiPietro's world class ability.

Looking ahead will give us the best answer regarding his job performance. What decisions will be made with Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini vs the players in Bridgeport and ones like Robin Figren, Joensuu or Marcinko? This organization is still mostly made up of a lot of Mike Milbury/Neil Smith/Tony Feltrin draft picks with a lot of college players who are getting closer to decisions needing to be made when they graduate and have to signed.

What's a Garth Snow player? Start with his first season as gm where he added players before camp and his subsequent drafts/signings.

Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio were his signings two years ago, Rob Hennigar was his signing last summer out of UNB. Jack Hillen was signed by Snow last year and claimed it was like adding a first rounder.

What's going to happen at the trade deadline? I'm not sure, right now it depends on the offers Snow receives vs whether he feels some players are of value for next year. If Doug Weight is ready in six weeks he could be of use to a club at playoff time, or Snow wants him back but will have a max figure which I suspect will be take it or leave as it played out with Satan, Blake and others.

Same with Mike Comrie.

Garth Snow simply let some players leave for no return who were pending UFA and did not resign anyone who did not take his reported final offers the last few years.

Overall I see Snow sticking to his plan and making the changes he feels must be made.

I absolutely do think he can do job of an NHL general manager and be successful.

In the end this will come down to what Charles Wang thinks of his gm's performance, despite the injuries he cannot be happy with the final result.

Owners want to see progress, that's where Garth Snow has to make the case for his job performance.

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Islander News Articles 2/15

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 06:34:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Mr Logan's article has comments from general manager Garth Snow about the trade deadline while the beatwriter speculates about the value of some players in trades vs their salary/possible return and reports a West Coast source says the gm is looking for additional draft picks in any package.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

The general managers comments are the only thing that matters here so let's just go with that.

"Some people think there will be lots of action on March 4, and others think there won't be much. Every team is in a different situation and has its own obstacles, whether it be a salary cap restriction or its internal budget. Any move this organization makes will be in our best interests for the future."

"People know our situation," Snow said. "We haven't had many calls until recently. I'm leery of whether there will be much action."

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had comments from Doug Weight's agent, Steve Bartlett about a contract extension in which the subject was mentioned but not discussed seriously but because of Weight's injury there is "no urgency" while according to the article Weight and his family have enjoyed Long Island and the New York Islanders organization.

Newsday: Mr Logan's second article was on Mitch Fritz with his comments about his callup. Sean Bergenheim's seven shot game was also noted.

What would a Sunday be without a cheapshot from the Post? Jay Greenberg's turn who barely covers hockey at all but tells us the Islanders are hockey's last stop in a recap of New York good guys and bad guys with Guerin getting some praise.

I guess times are tough for Mr Greenberg with Jason Blake and Rick DiPietro out of the picture who would usually make the bad guy list.

Cherry Hill Courier Post: Chuck Gormley's coverage of the Flyers win Saturday.

Philadelphia Inq/Daily News: Combined Flyer coverage.

Delaware County Times: Also has Flyer coverage. Justin Bourne's lastest blog entry is posted in Sunday's Hockey News on an injury that likely could mean the end of his playing career

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Justin Bourne's wordpress blog here is proudly featured on the sidebar of this blog, excellent article with a lot of great insight.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article has comments from forward Mike Iggulden on the club scoring in their last game with head coach Jack Capuano. Sunday's home game against Norfolk is previwed here.

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Final Poll Results

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 04:25:00 AM | | Comment Here
As of game time Saturday the votes were as follows regarding the Islanders putting in a bid on Dallas forward Sean Avery at two million in a quick four day poll:
Yes 13 (18%)
No 57 (81%)

I did my blog entry and gave my reasons why I was in favor and it was close early but turned into a blowout the other way.

I guess we'll see if Dallas simply keeps him on the sidelines/AHL where they do not have to pay him his full salary. Technically speaking they may even save money on a full buyout over the summer vs paying half his contract to play on another team but there is the cap hit.

I suspect for now everyone will see if he can control himself which could go as deep as the trade deadline. I do suspect another club will claim him on re-entry waivers before the Rangers if the Islanders do not.

There's always Ryan Hollweg here who simply cannot produce.

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Philadelphia 5, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/14/2009 03:33:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Recaps New York's 5-1 loss to the Flyers Saturday afternoon.

Newsday: Greg Logan already wrote the game recap with no quotes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You make your own breaks in a sixty minute game, the Islanders simply did not make enough of their own and the few breakdowns/bounces they had go against them simply decided this one.

Combine that with the scorers on the Flyers vs the Islanders and that's the difference.

I would hardly call this a game the Islander were badly outplayed, the start was not good, the chances Philadelphia missed were better than the goals they scored.

Still, the Islanders skated well and competed hard in this game. I liked this effort better than the win against Anaheim.

An early centering pass hits Radek Martinek and the redirection leads to an open net goal. Scott Hartnell does what he does best and redirected the shot on the second goal on a bad angle off the shaft of his stick 2-0.

After that the Islanders carried play, had a lot of good outside shots at Biron, Okposo had a nice drive at the net and again looking dominating at times, Bergenheim had his breakaway and was getting chances. Comrie had some good in close chances, Park was trying wrap-arounds every chance he got.

No second chances or rebounds which is the key.

Isles simply did not finish which is old news. Witt's early shot where it almost got past Biron looked like it was a matter of when he would let up a few. Islanders do not have those kind of finishers.

Powerplay chance looked good in the first and it was interesting watching Campoli and Scott Gordon discuss it afterward.

The skating, hitting and transition was solid for the Islanders. Hilbert scored on a nice shot, it seemed a matter of when before the Islanders would tie it because they carried play.

Then it just came apart, not Richards or Carter who did the damage but the Flyer fourth line?

A goal where Campoli's clearing attempt hits Gervais and rolls past Danis, then a centering pass off Martinek's takes a 2-1 game where the Islanders are outworking the Flyers and puts the game out of reach at 4-1?

Islanders did a very nice job in the physical department, Jackman, Witt, Callahan stepped up and threw one in the second and looked very good on defense with Hillen.

Jackman had a great backcheck in the second where he came back off a Nielsen turnover
and stopped a quality chance, he gave all he had and did what he could with a top middle-weight in Asham.

Danis got some help from his defense when they settled in but when they broke down in front of them they helped create the Flyer goals. By the time the penalty shot came along the game was decided.

Better game for the Islanders than the final score indicates.

Why is Mitch Fritz on left wing while Jeff Tambellini sits in the stands with a signed contract for next year on a 30th place club? No idea.

Bill Guerin looked very lethargic in this game, one shift in the third he lost a puck in the offensive zone and stopped skating.

I have to check and see if Joe Micheletti's comments that Fritz has not fought for a long time are true with Bridgeport. Howie Rose made it sound like the Islanders were down 5-0 in the first ten minutes and never in the game.

Sorry on the pregame, I thought Philadelphia played at home Sunday.

As for the Msg+whatever pregame can they please give us less music or Flyers grilling food and tell us the lineup or is Scott Gordon hiding it like a state secret?

They had the man games lost to injury at 351/Newsday at 350.

Today's number of man games lost to increases by nine unless Tambellini was injured.

Mike Comrie played his 500th NHL game.

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New York at Philadelphia 1pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/14/2009 10:08:00 AM | Comment Here
As usual the Flyers look like world beaters or cannot get out of their own way.

Sat Jan 31, 2009 Blues 0 - 4 L
Wed Feb 4, 2009 Bruins 3 - 1 L
Sat Feb 7, 2009 Bruins 4 - 3 W
Sun Feb 8, 2009 Thrashers 3 - 2 W
Thu Feb 12, 2009 Senators 5 - 2 L

02/12/09 Daniel Briere C Groin IR. Might return by Feb. 25
01/11/09 Josh Gratton LW Abdominal IR. Out until at least mid-February
01/21/09 Jonathon Kalinski LW Thigh IR. Out until at least mid-February

That Briere contract has been a problem for Philadelphia even when he is healthy because it's means someone like impressive defenseman Luca Sbisa had to return to the WHL earlier this month.

The Flyers come in off a loss to Ottawa but it's misleading with Brian Elliott in goal for Ottawa having a good game against Philadelphia in a game the Sens were outshot 36-23.

Antero Niittymaki, playing for the eighth time in the last nine games (including seven starts), was outplayed by Elliott.

Philadelphia Daily News: Sam Donnellon reports it's likely both Niittymaki and Biron will play this weekend with afternoon home games both days.

Jeff Carter, C
Mike Richards, C
Simon Gagne, LW
Scott Hartnell, LW
Mike Knuble, RW
Joffrey Lupul, RW

No hiding from these kids of offensive talents unless the Islanders finish some plays and score some goals, good news is the Islanders have played competitive against the Flyers so far losing an ot game earlier on the road.

No Hunter, Streit, Jon Sim finally gets to play and Bergenheim should receive a chance above the fourth line. Spin the wheel or MacDonald or Danis both have earned the right to start.

Newsday: Greg Logan reports in the Islanders Newsday blog Mitch Fritz was recalled from Bridgeport for Saturday's game which Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post suspected in his blog entry following last night's game here.

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Islander News Articles 2/14

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/13/2009 07:35:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
The pregame will post here around 10am in a new entry. I will not be updating the news articles tomorrow or the pregame entry.

Newsday: Roderick Boone covered Islander practice with Bill Guerin's comments on losing Doug Weight and all the injuries. More line change speculation with head coach Scott Gordon who had a few words on Jon Sim's opportunity who could slot next to Mike Comrie back at center with Bill Guerin on the right.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If writer speculation is correct Blake Comeau goes to right wing which was a problem for him last year under Ted Nolan with Josh Bailey while Andy Hilbert stays on left wing.

Jon Sim-Mike Comrie-Bill Guerin.
Sean Bergenheim-Frans Nielsen-Kyle Okposo.
Andy Hilbert-Josh Bailey-Tim Jackman.
Jeff Tambellini-Richard Park-Blake Comeau. Reports Bridgeport defeated Philadelphia 4-1.

Tobias Stephan is again starting in goal with Bridgeport off Saturday.

1. BRI Marcinko, (4) (Fritz, Packard), 16:18
2. BRI Lee, (2) (Fraser, Walter), 3:01 (PP)
2. BRI McLean, (13) (Smith), 6:09 (PP)
3. PHI Syvret, (8) (Matsumoto, Maroon), 11:29 (PP)
3. BRI Wotton, (2) (Bentivoglio, Fraser), 18:51 (EN)

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage of Sound Tigers win and blog with lines/postgame here.

Phantom coverage usually is all AP on the road with Daily News/Inquirer combined papers here terrible news is the club was sold and will no longer play in Philadelphia with Spectrum sold and scheduled for demolition.

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Islander/Media Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/13/2009 01:18:00 PM | Comment Here

Michael Farber not only kept Rick DiPietro off his list of goaltenders for team USA at the upcoming Olypmics he took a mild swipe writing he never made the big save despite what was an impressive showing in 2006 (1-3 with a 2.28 goals against average) here Thursday.

Funny thing was the next season 2007 the same Michael Farber of SI also felt DiPietro was worth of Vezina contention here while last season was an NHL all-star.

2006 TEAM USA Olympics
Date Round Result
02/22 Quarterfinal Finland 4 DEF United States 3 Rick DiPietro
02/21 Group B Russia 5 DEF United States 4 Robert Esche
02/19 Group B Sweden 2 DEF United States 1 Rick DiPietro
02/18 Group B Slovakia 2 DEF United States 1 Rick DiPietro
02/16 Group B United States 4 DEF Kazakhstan 1 Rick DiPietro
02/15 Group B United States 3 TIE Latvia 3 John Grahame

The only game he gave up more than two goals was the final game against Finland.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

A bit tough from Mr Farber considering how poorly Mike Richter played in Nagano and for years on the struggling Rangers as he kept getting the starting nod. DiPietro was easily the best goaltender for his country in Turin.

Given Brian Burke's recent comments I have little doubt if DiPietro is healthy he will on the roster.

No one has brought it up anywhere but if his knee is completely fine in six weeks don't be shocked if DiPietro playing for team USA at the World Championships enters the radar.

Whether it be early May or August if he is healthy (big if because if not he needs another surgery and 09-10 becomes questionable) at some point he is going to have to attempt playing.

Newsday: Neil Best in the Newsday media blog reports the the Newark Star-Ledger no longer will cover the Yankees and Mets as beats, but instead will use the work of the Daily News beat writers, and in turn will get the beat coverage provided by the Ledger on the Devils and Nets.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In theory that means Daily News Kristie Eckert should be freed up from the Devils beat to provide full-time Islanders coverage when Peter Botte leaves to cover the Yankee beat, but we all know that will not happen.

Point Blank: Mr Botta has the latest lines/changes from Friday's practice which include Hunter-Streit out for Saturday and Jon Sim likely returning to action.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As always please visit Mr Botta's Point Blank for the full details.

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Teams in 30th should not be this competitive

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/13/2009 10:00:00 AM | 2 Comments
I look at these games and I keep wondering how the New York Islanders can be a 30th place team in this league.

30th place clubs lose 5-1, 6-1 or worse on a regular basis and over the course of a full season all clubs have blowout losses sooner or later. I look through these games and know what happened because I watched them, wrote about them and read/posted the articles from both sides.

I will post a * next to the games I thought were blowouts/poor efforts. I know many of these games Islanders were outshot/outplayed but again teams in 30th are supposed to lose games big or not play competitive.

+ Denotes an empty net goal in a loss.

I came up with three games.

+Nov 26 vs Pittsburgh L 3-5-The game they led 3-1 entering third.
Nov 28 at Boston L 2-7-The game tied 2-2 with thirteen minutes left.
Nov 29 vs Ottawa W 4-2
Dec 4 at Washington L 2-5-This was a close game until the third.
*Dec 6 vs Atlanta L 1-5-Scott Gordon praised the Isles work, not me.
Dec 8 at Toronto L 2-4
Dec 9 at Philadelphia L 3-4
*Dec 11 at Pittsburgh L 2-9
Dec 13 at Columbus L 1-3
Dec 16 vs Washington OTL 4-5
*Dec 19 at Minnesota L 1-4
Dec 20 at Nashville L 0-1
+Dec 23 vs Atlanta L 2-4
Dec 26 vs Toronto W 4-1
Dec 27 at Buffalo OTL 3-4
Dec 29 at NY Rangers L 4-5
Dec 31 vs Florida W 4-2
Jan 2 at Phoenix L 4-5
+Jan 3 at San Jose L 3-5
Jan 5 at Edmonton L 2-3
*Jan 8 at Calgary L 2-5-Calgary media praised the Islanders work.
Jan 13 vs NY Rangers L 1-2
Jan 15 vs Boston L 1-2
Jan 17 vs New Jersey L 1-3-Dominated in play but close game.
Jan 19 vs Washington OTL 1-2
Jan 21 vs Anaheim W 2-1
Jan 29 at Atlanta W 5-4
Jan 31 vs Florida W 3-1
Feb 3 vs Tampa Bay W 3-1
Feb 5 at Florida L 2-3
Feb 7 at Tampa Bay L 0-1
Feb 10 vs Los Angeles OTL 3-4
+Feb 11 at New Jersey L 2-4

Four games I would say they were not in, only one terrible blowout loss in Pittsburgh, the other three goal losses.

Check out the differences between this and 72-73 game results here or
even the 2000 club here.

Just cannot see how a team that had so few poor efforts since their season went into a free fall and lost to this degree.

It borders on absurd a team in so many close games can be fifteen games under five hundred.

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Islander News Articles 2/13

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2009 10:22:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Doug Weight's loss to the club with Scott Gordon's post game comments in New Jersey before Thursday's announcement.

Mr Logan had some speculation on what this means in terms of lines, callups or future trade value (Isles did not practice Thursday) and noted the man games lost to injury is now at three hundred and fifty.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm going to start tracking this being that the sidebar has the roster and I separate the players on IR.

Start at three hundred fifty, add the number of players out injured starting Saturday which currently is at nine counting Trent Hunter and Mark Streit.

Even when Streit-Hunter return expect to add at least seven more man games lost to injury every game in foreseeable future.

Twenty eight games left x seven= One hundred ninety six more man game injuries added to three hundred fifty.

Grand total=Five hundred forty six if Hunter and Streit return Saturday.

By comparison last year's club that was worst in the league lost four hundred two games to injury by comparison with hardly enough bodies to finish the season.


# 18 C-Mike Sillinger ** out season 1/27
# 45 C-Nate Thompson ** IR 2/6 Four weeks
# 93 C-Doug Weight ** 2/12 Six weeks MCL
# 44 D-Freddy Meyer * IR groin 1/8
# 17 D-Thomas Pock ** IR Hand 2/4
# 25 D-Andy Sutton ** IR Broken foot
# 39 G-Rick DiPietro IR ** out season 1/20

The Islanders prospect watch was archived on prospects blog for NYIFC.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on Dallas prospect goaltender Tobias Stephan and previews Friday's game at Harbor Yard against the Phantoms.

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Doug Weight out Six Weeks with Sprained MCL

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2009 04:43:00 PM | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Doug Weight is out for the next six weeks with a sprained MCL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Not much I can add to what I had earlier, this may end his season depending on the recovery timetable.

Trade value diminished or nill, could lead to a resigning instead, Comrie moves to center....ect.

This team could go well over the five hundred mark in man games lost and that's with Sim and Tambellini sitting on the sidelines which likely gets one or both in the lineup for good.

Islanders website: Updated the injury list.

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NYIFC Update/A few more words on prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2009 10:06:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Still fixing up the bells and whistles aka feeds for NYIFC, most things you click on now should give you the updated correct feeds. I'm still working on the crawl for the top of the page.

I would strongly suggest updating your bookmarks or links because if you continue visiting here through you will keep being asked to redirect or at some point blogger may stop doing that entirely and provide a dead link.

Lose the blogspot.

My thanks to Cory Witt from the Islanders for quickly fixing the re-direct in the blog box page, my profile on the site at some point (along with others) should be updated.

I did tell Mr Witt I have not decided on doing NYIFC beyond this season. I do tend to feel now that Mr Botta has a team sponsored blog that is excellent, the blog box may not be as necessary as it was two summers ago.

Blog box or not, I will do what I have done for a decade, whether I continue doing NYIFC beyond the season will be about what I decide to do next and nothing else.

Regardless all I can do is thank the Islanders for including me and hope my contribution helped them which was my only intention when I signed up. Based on the media and private response I know NYIFC has made a positive difference.

I promise I have made no decision at this time. I can go in any direction with content and format here.

Also my thanks to Mr Botta at Point Blank for linking to NYIFC for the Queens story despite others also providing him with it.

Point Blank: Mr Botta this morning also had an interesting entry on all the failed prospects and feels nothing will be coming from Bridgeport that will make a difference next season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The question for me has to be asked when you see Bergenheim making his moves to the net why is he not getting his chance beyond the fourth line, why was Comeau is Bridgeport?

I do not see Andy Hilbert making this moves.

I did my entry yesterday and made these points. I do not see Comeau-Bergenheim or even Tambellini as failed prospects but ones who at least this year have been mismanaged to a degree. Kyle Okposo is on left wing during powerplays for reasons I frankly do not see, especially when Scott Gordon said playing him as a left wing earlier with Guerin and Weight was a mistake.

Nine games to the trade deadline for those scoring at home.

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Islander News Articles 2/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2009 08:18:00 AM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's captain obvious article plays the what if game on Parise-Islanders while Joey MacDonald talks about his career high game in saves, head coach Scott Gordon discusses the Devils and Kyle Okposo goal.

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article had injury updates and the following statement from Islanders spokesman Seth Sylvan on the offer by Queens officials:

"We are very flattered with the interest expressed in the Islanders by various Queens elected officials and business leaders, However, our current focus is to work diligently with the Town of Hempstead to obtain approvals for the Lighthouse Project."

Newsday: Mr Logan also had a short blog entry on Queens during the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given some of these folks could have known Mr Wang from his Queens college days it may have been something that was put out there as a future option or a little push at Nassau County but again a move to Queens would mean no Lighthouse which has to be the priority for Mr Wang-Rechler because this is not just Charles Wang's project.

It does mean there is a market for this team locally if Charles Wang decides to move it there himself or sell it. I would think with Queens involved a buyer would surface without that Smg lease in a new facility.

New York officials have no problem adding the Islanders and that's the good news.

NY Post: Mark Everson's Devil-centric coverage was all the Post provided.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere had Devils centric coverage and blog entries on the game.

Daily News: Kristie Ackert's Devils coverage had eight short paragraphs on the game with a few on the Islanders-Queens.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I fail to understand why the sportsticker articles the Daily News has for games with ap has far more space but not the written articles.

NY Times took the night off from coverage in Newark and Msg going all AP. Recaps Bridgports 4-3 comeback overtime win against San Antonio Wednesday on Mike Iggulden's goal.

1. SA MacLean, (16) (Nikulin, Spina), 2:33
1. BRI McLean, (12) , 15:04 (SH)
2. SA Keefe, (2) (Perry), 15:47
3. SA Porter, (6) (Smith), 3:57
3. BRI Fraser, (5) (Packard, Morency), 12:07
3. BRI Colliton, (5) (Wotton, Iggulden), 12:15
OT. BRI Iggulden, (20) (Walter, Smith), 4:11 (PP)

Dallas prospect goaltender Stephen Tobias stopped nineteen shots, Al Montoya backed up for San Antonio.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage has comments from Jeremy Colliton and head coach Jack Capuano. Blog coverage has Jamie Fraser's comments on the struggling powerplay here.

San Antonio Express News: Tony Uminski coverage of the Rampage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

See ya at the Calder Cup finals.

New Jersey 4, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2009 08:00:00 AM | Comment Here
AP: Recaps the Devils 4-2 win against New York Wednesday in Newark.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sorry folks,
Only saw part of this game but I taped it and may add some things in here when I can.

Not going to win when you allow fifty shots and are outplayed to that level.

Devils best players were the difference, Islanders do not have that kind of older/veteran who can carry then that way at this time and score big goals. You give Parise or Langenbrunner enough powerplays they are going to beat you.

Not like the Islanders were not in the game, one bounce or break they may even have a 3-1 lead in the third.

MacDonald was outstanding, he had little help on the four goals and it could have been much worse.

That goal by Okposo was special, what little highlights I saw this player is simply getting better and better the more he plays. I only wish he were doing it as a right wing where he should be first.

I did see the Martinek goal live (his second in a week) on a great pass from Comeau, I also again saw an Islander team that looked a little tired and pushed the Devils at times but simply could not finish.

Bergenheim's rush at Weekes at the end of the second period was another good play.

Jeff Tambellini got placed in Hunter's spot on right wing so Hilbert could stay on the left wing/third line and did get fifteen minutes.

They don't play or compete like a last place team, but in this game every game they seem to be in until the end despite being outplayed.

Effort is there most games, not result.

Sorry folks, did not know Doug Weight got hurt with knee on knee. With the trade deadline cominng this could take away potential value. I guess if he's out Comrie slides back to center with Sim in the lineup depending on Tambellini/Hunter.

Islander Notables: Okposo, Guerin, Pregame

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2009 02:58:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog has more from Kyle Okposo on his line creating chances despite being the only one not to score against Los Angeles.

Included is no game day skate so still speculation on tonight's starter. Bill Guerin also discusses the Devils.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usually I just add this to the preview, I want to give the new feeder a test run.

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

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2009 01:00:00 PM | Comment Here
AP: Previews tonight's game in Newark against the Devils.

Msg+2 in a local head to head game for some means only Devils (home) feed depending on carrier.

02/09/2009 NYR 0 @ NJD 3
02/07/2009 LAK 3 @ NJD 1
02/06/2009 NJD 5 @ ATL 1
02/03/2009 WSH 5 @ NJD 2
01/30/2009 PIT 3 @ NJD 4

Martin Brodeur is the only player out of the Devils lineup with defenseman John Oduya's expected return. Scott Clemmensen is the likely starter with the Devils off Thurday even if Kevin Weekes has played the Islanders in Newark and won earlier this year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Kings went into Newark and won 3-1 Saturday, Islanders a year ago dominated the Devils with Brodeur in goal but this season has been a different story with the Devils size, speed and skill proving too much for the Islanders so far.

They also dismantled the Thrashers 5-1 on the road before that.

New Jersey as usual is proving the team is more than about one player, chasing a division title and it's been impressive on a lot of new levels with Brent Sutter's coaching.

Again only questions for Islanders is if Streit plays or MacDonald starts this game, Scott Gordon did not wish to disclose his goaltender during last night's press conference.

Islanders have been in every game, no reason to think they cannot compete and win here if they get some scoring.

Quick Note on Feeds-Redirects for NYIFC

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2009 11:00:00 AM | Comment Here

Apparently claiming our own domain months ago has a time limit in terms of feeds working or redirections and as of yesterday will give you a message asking if you want to redirect here first.

This change happened in the last twenty four hours and it's created problems.

I'm going to have to work on feeds part which means changes over the next few days some widgets/crawls will not update for those subscribing to feeds and my guess is I will have to start with brand new feeders which means old ones will not work.

In terms of redirection simply update your url/bookmark/cookie to the follow direct link here which many have already.

New York Islander Fan Central

Sorry folks, not my idea.

Here is the new feeder for New York Islander Fan Central.

Anything that has this afternoon's announcements/Devils preview is from the new feed and ok to subscribe to.

Some things like blog box widgets/feed burner should also work under new feed.

Crawl on top of page may be more an issue with that company so for now I took it down.

Progress in last calander year? Not much

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2009 10:35:00 AM | Comment Here
The last month or so I have been watching these games and I simply do not like what I'm seeing in terms of direction with most of these kids.

What's really changed in the last calender year?

I see lateral moves or steps backwards for prospects so fringe players beyond what Frans Nielsen has given this team seem to be on the ice?

Only reasoning I can see behind it is this an effort to make sure the club is in a lottery position where they pick no lower than second.

I tend to doubt this.

What's changed in the last year when you think about it beyond Nielsen's progression and Bailey placed in a spot at center under this coach?

Mike Comrie is the only veteran who has taken a hit and he has been placed on a line with Guerin and Weight off wing.

Sure these players are creating some chances in games but what's changed since Feb 2008?

* Blake Comeau if anything is less visible in games now than he was a year ago after being demoted. Can anyone write this been a season of tangible progress for him?

* Sean Bergenheim was getting a better chance before the lockout here than he is now on the fourth line so Nate Thompson, Richard Park or Andy Hilbert can play left wing/center?

* Jeff Tambellini went from a player who was improving (or at least more visible in games) to someone who dropped out of the mix entirely for Andy Hilbert's return? Even a year ago Ted Nolan was ready to give Tambellini more time and moved Comeau to right wing so he could play.

* Kyle Okposo despite his production cannot be the first line right wing on the powerplay and is on his off-wing so Guerin, Hunter, Park can play right wing up front with the man advantage? His setups with Bailey for goals have been excellent so why not keep them together on the powerplay and let this kid become an NHL right wing after the coach tried to force a full-time left wing slot on him earlier which Scott Gordon admitted was a mistake?

* Why is an AHL veteran who cannot score like Tim Jackman even on this roster for the occasional fight? He works very hard and even has shown progress but this is not giving a prospect a spot or developing anything. I know Kurtis McLean is about the same age and hardly a prospect but what is the point of this?

* Someone's going to have to explain to me why is Nate Thompson here to produce virtually nothing over Jeremy Colliton or Ben Walter. Thompson can win a few faceoffs but the Islanders have invested years in Colliton and traded Nokelainen (a first round selection) to bring Walter in trade.

Do not take this as a knock on some of these players, but career trends do not lie.

I would love Nate Thompson to become a twenty goal scorer who will knock players around and become a good middle-weight, same for Jackman.

No one is rooting harder for Richard Park to do what Jason Blake did here combined with his tireless effort in all three zones. Park wins a lot of games for this team whether he scores or not (remember that dive to save an open net goal) but should he play at the expense of Tambellini's development when your team is 30th in the NHL?

Should decisions like this come at the expense of many prospects taking steps backwards in the last year or nothing changing?

If this were a team with any chance at a playoff spot like last season at time time I could see it.

Not now.


Not much.

Islander News Articles 2/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2009 09:46:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's game recap has comments from Andy Hilbert, who credited Yann Danis goaltending and how competitive the team is playing now but feels it's still it's not enough if you lose, Bill Guerin discusses his pass back to Doug Weight while Yann Danis shares a story about the referee placing the net back on it's moorings in overtime.

Newsday: Michael Frazier has more on the Daily News article earlier Tuesday on a potential Islander move to Flushing but nothing really that we have not read to this point with Islanders lease preventing a move.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann speculates whether Kyle Okposo could play for team USA at the next Olympics with his comments along with defenseman Jack Johnson.

NY Post: Dan Martin's recap has head coach Scott Gordon on why he went with Nielsen, Okposo and Bailey in the shootout with Okposo and goaltender Yann Danis comments on the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

For those who actually follow the team Nielsen shot against Luongo and scored earlier, Okposo and Bailey both have been included in some Islander shootouts. I would not chalk it up to going with kids in shootouts when it's happened already.

Dan Martin covers home games and should know Nielsen scored against Luongo in a shootout at home. Josh Bailey I'm very sure took his first shootout attempt at home also earlier this season.

NY Daily News: Peter Botte's article gives us a few quick paragraphs on the game with quotes from Kyle Okposo and head coach Scott Gordon but most of the article is a repeat of the Daily News article on Islanders moving to Queens.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

You think Mr Botte simply could have linked to the article instead of 1/4 of it being about re-written material instead of a game summary.

Where did they get this headline writer? Islanders take a royal beating losing a shootout. If you did not watch you would think they lost 10-2.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article that was deleted early Tuesday on Avery was finally released for the paper now where Mr Herrmann now feels the Islanders are more interesting than the Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I that wrote article may have been pulled because it was not pro-Ranger. I guess not, but of course Mr Herrmann had a little dig at the Islanders.

Los Angeles Daily News: Has Rich Hammond's game recap with Jack Johnson's comments with print coverage here.

Newark Star Ledger: Rich Chere reports Devils defenseman Johnny Oduya expects to play against the Islanders tonight.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article features defenseman Chris Lee along with Sound Tigers weekly here.

San Antonio visits Bridgeport tonight at 7pm for a rare weeknight home game against the Western Conference.

In a few weeks weeknight games will become the norm for Bridgeport with one six game stretch in eight days.

Los Angeles 4, New York 3, Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2009 08:40:00 PM | Comment Here
Sports Network: Recaps New York's 4-3 shootout loss to the Kings Tuesday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That was a fun game to watch from the drop of the puck, both teams skated well and created turnovers. Islanders offense faded for a while in the third.

Did not feel like a game where Los Angeles had a big shot disparity that was 32-18 at one point.

Kings were impressive with their speed and skill on offense, the Islanders did get on them in their own end at times.

Forgot Jack Johnson in the pregame here, excellent skill team.

Drew Doughty made a fantastic play to break up a two on one with Bergenheim and Comeau in the first period.

Whatever mistakes the Kings made was about the pressure the Islander put on who skated very well themselves, they had Jonathan Quick scrambling a few times.

Kings are a very fast club and in the opening few minutes they really forced the action creating a turnover from Martinek before Simmonds scored off a play where the puck hit the referee and came back to him at the faceoff dot.

Simmonds is a big player who can skate and looked good beyond his goal, Islanders could use three players with that kind of overall ability.

After that Islanders forced some pressure of their own with Nielsen almost finishing alone in front before Comrie found Guerin who made a heck of an unconventional play finding Weight to tie the game.

Hunter, Nielsen nice give and go, Hunter was hitting. Comeau took the body well, had an early third period chance at the net before drawing a penalty.

Seemed like Campoli got just enough of the puck off the two on one that Kopitar scored their second goal into an empty net, Gervais pinched on that play.

Scott Gordon and Nielsen were talking a long time at the end of the second period as the Isles came off the ice. He was also diagramming the play for him after the timeout in ot.

Bergenheim drew a penalty, made a Zednik-like move on his off wing in the second and then took a third period offensive zone penalty in a game the officials were letting both teams play that led to the 3-3 goal. Okposo took a penalty like that in the second.

Bergenehim after he got out of the box, found Park who re-directed the pass wide, after that he drew the Islanders a powerplay.

Jackman made a nice play and a great shot for his goal, he had no chance on Frolov's goal. Hilbert drove the net well off a good read by Witt who put the puck on goal, Quick gave up the rebound and Hilbert finished.

Hillen in the second came in off the point and got a good chance, like what I saw from Callahan against some fast forwards on defense who got penalty kill time in a tie game in the final ten minutes and then blocked shot Kopitar on a rush.

Those two third period Islander powerplays did not produce much. Park shooting from the corner is not what I would call a quality chance. Nielsen skated into a one against four after that.

Finally Okposo generated a late chance, Gervais stepped into one and hit a crossbar just missing his first goal in 150 games.

Islanders pressed well the last few minutes, Hilbert/Comrie also hooked up off a Doughty turnover. Nielsen another good chance off rush.

Overtime was entertaining, Guerin's penalty. Danis came up huge on Brown to force a shootout and was solid in goal.

Nice move by Okposo in the shootout. Jack Johnson made a heck of a move for a defenseman to win it for the Kings.

Josh Bailey? Not on this night, a bit too quiet in regulation also. I think he took one shot from the outside.

Los Angeles went into New Jersey and beat the Devils 3-1 and have been playing very well, Islanders did a nice job here against a skilled team that is obviously improved.

We'll see what they can do tomorrow in Newark against the bigger Devils.

Los Angeles at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2009 01:00:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
LA Daily News: Has full stats, lineups and preview of the Kings.

Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
02/03/09 Marc-Andre Cliche RW Shoulder IR. Out until at least late February
02/02/09 Denis Gauthier D Suspension. Eligible to return Feb. 14
02/08/09 Oscar Moller RW Clavicle IR. Expected to return at N.Y.
02/05/09 Tom Preissing D Dizziness Out indefinitely

Los Angeles Daily News: Rich Hammon's blog coverage from Monday indicates head coach Terry Murray is still on the fence about whether to put Oscar Moller back in the lineup for the reason that came up here the other day. Murray is happy with the way things are going and doesn't want to disrupt the rhythm. He said he will make a decision Monday night after discussing it with his coaches.

-- Jonathan Quick will again start in goal. Murray said he hasn't seen anything to indicate that Quick is tired or wearing down.

-- There's a bit of a flu bug running through some of the Kings. Murray said Drew Doughty was quite ill before Saturday's game but still played, and a few other guys have symptoms. It's one of the reasons Murray did not have the team practice Sunday.

-- Murray said he talked to the team, and will do so again todayy about not having a letdown in the final game of the trip, against a team that (at least in the standings) looks much less formidable than some of the teams the Kings have already defeated.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Looks like LA Times is going AP only so LA Daily News is the paper of record for the team on the trip.

The Kings are 3-1 on this road trip -- 6-1 in their last seven and, with a 23-21-7 record, they're two games over .500 for the first time this season with a hot goaltender who just won player of the week honors and some young talent that can produce.

For the Islanders I guess the question of the day is MacDonald or Danis and if Mark Streit returns or they give him more time.

Losing 1-0 and 3-2 is not about poor defense so far.

Between the flu for the Kings and a possible letdown with them heading straight home afterward it may be hard Los Angeles to avoid a letdown.

Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, Patrick O'Sullivan, Stoll make up a nice core with Qunicey and Doughty.

Newsday: Mr Logan reports Nate Thompson will be out four-six weeks with a shoulder injury while head coach Scott Gordon discusses his faceoff ability. Kings franchise prospect Drew Doughty has a few words on Jonathan Tavares vs Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman.

Yann Danis is expected to start in goal for New York.

Point Blank: Mr Botta speculates why
Jon Sim would play over Jeff Tambellini and reports Mark Streit is out which Mr Logan did not report.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sim did not play with Thompson out in Florida, not sure what changes besides the club lost and it's time to get Tambellini/Sim minutes but not at Bergenheim's expense on left wing.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his Sound Tigers blog forward Jason Pitton will miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery after having his season end last year with a similar injury to his other shoulder.

Daily News Reports Queens Reaches out to Isles

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/10/2009 11:22:00 AM | | Comment Here

Daily News: Nicholas Hirshon reports the The Queens Chamber of Commerce is making a long-shot bid to lure the Islanders from Nassau County as part of redevelopment plans for Willets Point, a maze of auto body shops near Citi Field with the Islanders declining comment.

A spokesman for the Town of Hempstead board, which must approve Wang's plans, said its members are "anxious to do everything we can to keep" the Islanders in Uniondale.

Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Jack Friedman is quoted as saying the following:

"Queens makes sense [for the Islanders] from so many levels because of the airports and its central location," Friedman said, also noting the area's proximity to highways and subways.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said she would be "very receptive" while the city announced it's "open" to letting the team play in a Queens park.

City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) is quoted with the following:
"A hockey team like the Islanders enjoys a strong fan base," Liu said of the local following the team has built over four decades. "Their enterprise is not like a warehouse you could plunk in the middle of anywhere."

Even Mets third baseman David Wright was willing to share the borough's sports scene.

"I'd recommend it," Wright said of an Isles move. "I would endorse playing in Queens."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
My speculation is Charles Wang is using his Queens college connections here to apply a little more pressure on Lighthouse approval. This comes on the heels of SBJ report recently that National Tennis Center could put a hundred million dollar dome and bring in Islanders and Nets which is far more likely than Iron Triangle.

Love the outreach for the New York Islanders in Queens but this does not get Lighthouse approved. It should be noted this could also be a shot across the Mets owners bow for bidding on the HUB a few years ago or setting up a potential sale of the club to the Mets which would also seem unlikely.

A rumor like this also brings into the mix does Mr Wang want to own the team regardless? The Islanders paid their territorial fee back when they they joined the NHL, they can build an arena at 33rd street and sixth avenue in Manhattan if they so choose.

In short all of New York is Islanders territory right now.