Islander News Articles 3/22

Newsday: Greg Logan's recap of New York loss to Ottawa had comments at length from Chris Campoli and Mike Comrie where the beatwriter brought up head coach Scott Gordon's recent criticism of bad apples no longer in the room with their reaction.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was a day that merited extra blogs and articles. If Mr Logan had Campoli's comments Friday as he writes where was the blog entry Saturday?

No pregame blog for Comrie, Campoli or even a report while Newsday provides blanket coverage and a live blog of the team they own for their game among several updates.

Sorry gang, no one else will write it so we have to here. Seems like only thing Newsday does more of is advertise their product during New York Islander Hockey games these days.

Campoli and Comrie as expected were both class acts with their comments who went out of their way to praise general manager Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang.

Hopefully there is something on Josh Bailey's two goal game and post-game from Scott Gordon.

Ottawa Citizen & Ottawa Sun: Recap Ottawa's win Saturday 5-2 with early Canadian Press update here. Reports Bridgeport defeated Providence Saturday 3-2 at Harbor Yard.

2. PRO Ryder, (4) (Penner, Knackstedt), 13:27
2. BRI Sim, (8) (MacDonald, Smith), 13:45
2. BRI Lessard, (12) (Fraser, Sim), 19:39 (PP)
3. BRI Kohn, (4) (Colliton, Wotton), 13:05
3. PRO Marquardt, (8) (Lehtonen), 18:49

Nate Lawson started with twenty eight saves.
Robin Figren did not play.

Hershey won 5-4.
WBS Pens lost in regulation.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's 3-2 win against Providence at home Saturday night, with comments from Junior Lessard, Dustin Kohn and head coach Jack Capuano and Bridgeport is down to single digits for clinching it's first playoff spot in two seasons. Mr Fornabaio previews Sunday's home game at 4pm against Portland here with blog entries on the game.

Providence Journal: Uncredited special to the Journal covered Scott Gordon's former team in their loss at Harbor Yard Saturday.

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Ottawa 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2009 09:37:00 PM | Comment Here Recaps New York's 5-2 loss to Ottawa Saturday night with Associated Press.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not a lot to write about this one, nice that Bailey had two excellent goals one driving the net and one off an outside shot.

Isles looked like a tired team and unitl the game opened up in the final minutes did not get much outside of some low percentage shots by Andy Hilbert. Some good work to draw some powerplays. (Park)

Gervais, Tambellini had breakaways (Okposo a very nice read to find Tambellini) before Bailey showed some nice hands on his second goal of the game.

Still, Islanders simply had numbers most of the time on defense but little jump on what looked like choppy ice with a lot of bounces.

Ottawa hardly looked dominating themselves and did not get much early. McAmmond had a turnover for the 1-0 goal with a pass up the middle. Nielsen a turnover up the middle after that. Sens best goal was Alfredsson to Kuba for the 3-0 goal. Heatley's shot looked like it hit a defender for the 4-0 goal.

Danis did not get much help but the 1-0 goal is one you expect him to save, aside from that he played well enough to win.

Someone's going to have to explain how Ottawa got a powerplay out of that late scrum with Rechlicz which led to the final goal by Ottawa on a broken play that kind of summed up this game best?

Comrie and Campoli were both classy in the pregame. Cablevision sure does like making sure we know the out of town playoff scoreboard for a team in fifteenth place and not even for the game most important to Islander fans.

Isles took a few big hits in this game without much of a response beyond Rechlicz fight. Hillen has looked a little spotty in the last two.

I expected a little better for a team that had four days off going into Friday tonight. Ottawa despite the recent winning did not simply dominate play.

Islanders come home for a game against Minnesota in a week that sets up like this one with games in Detroit Friday and home Saturday.

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New York at Ottawa 7pm Msg+ Comrie out

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2009 02:00:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders pregame reports Mike Comrie will not play, apparently he still has the flu despite comments he would return tonight in Ottawa papers.

02/10/09 Cody Bass C Shoulder IR. Out indefinitely
03/10/09 Alexandre Picard D Lower body IR. Rest of season
03/10/09 Jason Smith D Knee IR. Out until at least late March
01/20/09 Pascal Leclaire G Ankle IR. Out for the season

03/19/2009 MTL 4 @ OTT 5
03/17/2009 BUF 2 @ OTT 4
03/14/2009 OTT 4 @ PIT 3
03/12/2009 OTT 3 @ BOS 5
03/11/2009 TBL 2 @ OTT 3

GOALS: 33 D. Heatley
ASSISTS: 45 D. Alfredsson
POINTS: 68 D. Alfredsson
+/-: 8 D. Alfredsson

Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan had comments from Chris Campoli and Mike Comrie about playing the Islanders and the 3-0 record against the Senators this season that has put a big dent in any chance of the Senators making the playoffs.
New York Islander Fan Central Comments:
So how many of you out there if I told you before the season started the Isles would open 3-0 against the Ottawa Senators going into this game would not be in contention at this point?

The New York Islanders go for the sweep tonight against a team that dominated them seemingly since they joined the NHL and won that big game 4/10/93 at the Coliseum.

In my estimation this game is the best test for the young Islanders then they have seen against a red-hot team in a long time with the singular exception of the Devils game at the Coliseum recently.

Isles have played Boston and some teams that will go to the playoffs but no team has been as hot as Ottawa recently who after almost a full calendar year of struggling have finally found their collective game under a new coach.

The Senators, have won seven of their past eight and six in a row at home. Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson have combined for 32 points in the team's last seven games.

You can bet after Comrie and Campoli left quietly in terms of the media after Scott Gordon's " rotten apples " comment they will be ready to stick it to their former coach and team if not in the media on the ice.

Say whatever you want about Comrie or Campoli's play but find me a quote in a paper where they were ever critical of the New York Islanders?

Goaltender Brian Elliott tries to extend his personal winning streak to seven games, which is already a franchise record for a first-year netminder.

I would guess Yann Danis gets the start here, how will he react with all the time off against a rested team play very well?

If the Isles make Chad LaRose look like a star, Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley could make the Islander defense look awful unless their reads improve.

Dean McAmmond's return against his former team.

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Next Seasons Defense Needs Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2009 10:00:00 AM | Comment Here
Brendan Witt-Contract extension.
Radek Martinek-Final year of contract
Bruno Gervais-Two years left on contract.
Andy Sutton-Final year of contract.
Mark Streit-Four years left on contract.
Freddy Meyer-Final year left on contract.
Jack Hillen-Pending RFA
Thomas Pock-signed as a restricted free agent 2006, likely pending UFA.

Cannot go into next season with a defense that did not play a single game healthy last season and outside of Streit do not have anyone who is expected to produce.

Considering some of the free agents defenders on the market Garth Snow needs one to put in his top four pairings with Streit and Witt. To say nothing about Mark Katic, Dustin Kohn, Joe Callahan or if the club drafts Victor Hedman.

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Islander News Articles 3/21

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 10:13:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Scheduled Saturday blog entries:
Next seasons defense 10am
New York at Ottawa game preview 2pm
Newsday: William Murphy and Eden Laikin have comments from Charles Wang, Scott Rechler, Tom Suozzi and Kate Murray with Town of Hempstead Hempstead Attorney Joseph Ra who according to Newsday in letters that surfaced this week has told the developers that since the town cannot guarantee a decision by the start of the hockey season, they "may wish to consider whether continued expenditures in pursuit of its application are appropriate or wise." He said that if they consider the state's environmental review process "unduly onerous" they may wish to contact state lawmakers about changing it.

Also reported from this article:

Wang said Friday that if Ra's comment was meant as a veiled threat, "they should say they not going to do it. "It seems like the town wants to say it can't be done by next hockey season," Wang said. "But my commitment to Long Island, Nassau County and the New York Islanders loyal fan base is to make every effort to get a successful outcome by the beginning of the next hockey season."

Murray said in a letter to Suozzi earlier this week, in which she declined his invitation to attend Friday's meeting, that she was "deeply committed to moving the project forward." But she said it would be "inadvisable" for her to attend a private meeting about a matter that she will have to vote on as a member of the town board.

"The town will hold public hearings for all taxpayers," Murray said. "I won't attend a developer's pep rally supporting his agenda."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Kate Murray said the exact words I wrote here three days ago calling 3/26 a pep rally.

So a focus meeting on the Lighthouse is now a pep rally for Islander fans to Kate Murray? All the name calling in the papers is just worthless and just another sign this is not going to happen when Wang-Rechler need an answer by if at all.

The question is if Tom Suozzi does let Charles Wang out of his lease in some manner yet to be determined because it is binding until 2015 when TOH rejects the project or Wang-Rechler say enough will Kate Murray and the TOH have any ability to fight that to keep the hockey team here and enforce the lease forcing Wang to sell locally or retain the club?

Sports Network: Had an article on Friday's loss to Carolina.

Newsday: Greg Logan's game coverage of New York's 5-4 loss Friday at Carolina has comments from Blake Comeau and Peter Mannino on some of the calls made or not made while head coach Scott Gordon felt "The two-on-three could have been played differently," by his defense on the game winning goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

If anyone caught the Carolina post-game there was Mr Logan scribbling things furiously into a pad as head coach Scott Gordon answered his questions. Not the first time the beatwriter was simply jotting down comments quickly this season. Only Newsday and Mr Logan knows if he carries a recorder or if this is standard practice at the paper or up to the individual writer.

Guess my point is if he had quotes on a recorder would he have more things to write stories about?

Carolina News Observer: Chip Alexander's game coverage of Carolina's 5-4 win over New York with blog entries here.

Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan reports Mike Comrie will return after missing two games with the flu for Saturday's game and speculates Brian Elliott should be back in goal trying to extend his personal winning streak to seven games, for the red-hot Senators who have won seven of their past eight and six in a row at home. John McGourty incorrect points out in an article on Alexander Ovechkin scoring his 50th goal of the season Wayne Gretzky scored fifty goals in thirty nine games the same season Mike Bossy scored fifty in fifty.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr McGourty does some excellent work for and some quality features on the Islanders, simply got this one wrong. Recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 win against Worcester Friday night in Nate Lawson's return with thirty seven saves.

2. BRI Lessard, (11) (Fraser, Walter), 8:34
3. WOR Armstrong, (23) (Cavanagh, Kaspar), 1:13 (PP)
3. BRI Sixsmith, (4) (Haskins, Lee), 6:17

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 against Worcester Sharks Friday night at Harbor Yard with a preview of Saturday's home game against Providence and blog entries here.

East Division GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 70 42 20 3 5 92
2 Hershey Bears 68 42 19 1 6 91
3 WBarre/Scranton Penguins 70 43 23 2 2 90

Bridgeport has seven home games of the ten remaining. (AHL plays eighty)
3/28 at Hershey
4/3 vs Hershey

Point Blank: Mr Botta was at Harbor Yard with an in depth look at the Sound Tigers.

Worcester Telegram and Gazette: Covers the Sharks.

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Carolina 5, New York 4

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 09:46:00 PM | 1 Comments
Carolina News Observer: Chip Alexander's blog recap of New York's 5-4 loss in Carolina to the Hurricanes Friday night.

Associated Press: Also recaps Friday's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No doubt the first overall pick fans are happy with this, I'm not.

Okposo gets spun around in the second, no call. Third periods officials start calling everything but are not consistent with McAmmond who they even give a penalty to for arguing to create a five on three advantage. This after Mannino was run on the 4-3 goal by a player who made no effort not to avoid the goaltender?

I have seen Andy Hilbert, Tim Jackman called for goaltender's interference in games where they barely grazed the opposing goaltenders.

Edit-Martinek pushed him a little but not much.

That was just a poorly officiated games top to bottom, nothing was called for a good part of the night then they start finding things?

All you ask for is a little consistency. I may just be someone with a blog but McAmmond knew and so did Billy Jaffe who always goes above and beyond to defend the officials.

For the Islanders part they never got it going in the third period against a team that dominated in the second because of how often they were shorthanded. Carolina in this game was on the ropes with the Isles creating some great chances with the speed and skill.

Isles did everything but put away a team on a seven game home winning streak with their playoffs on the line.

Tambellini made a great play at the net, was robbed in the first and sent Tim Gleason flying with one hit. Nielsen, Comeau, Okposo had some excellent moves with two very impressive backchecks. Bailey made a very nice inside-out move for a chance he just missed on in the second.

If I'm going to be critical of Park, Jackman and Hilbert for not scoring enough I have to give them their due with the plays they made to score and create goals, Jackman made two outstanding passes, Park a beautiful top shelf shot, Hilbert outstanding pass to find Gervais who has never looked better and more confident despite the delay of game.

Mannino was very good but he cannot give up the goal he allowed in the opening minute, beyond that he had little help on some breakdowns or good play by Carolina with the games usually a pinball game down there with those boards where a lot of goals seem to happen fast.

Chad LaRose looks like a world-beater against the Isles, the defensive reads on some plays were not good even when the Isles had numbers. Brendan Witt looked out of place in this one.

Rechlicz had a few shifts where he skated well. Streit does look like the leader of this team right now. Okposo got credit for the goal off his shot but he is simply dominating.

I think without the third period penalties the Isles keep generating chances and put this one away. They had Carolina beaten on this night.

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Tom Suozzi on WFAN Friday

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 07:58:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Sorry folks, very busy Friday beyond scheduled updates. Has an interview Friday morning with Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi where he was critial of TOH supervisor Kate Murray for not declining to attend Friday's meeting.

Newsday: William Murphy has an article on Tom Suozzi's WFAN appearance Friday and that he met with the developers about a timetable, not the merits of the plan, which the town board must approve.

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New York at Carolina 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 02:00:00 PM | Comment Here
Carolina has a seven game home winning streak going into Friday's game.

Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
10/01/08 David Tanabe D Concussion Out indefinitely
03/18/09 Scott Walker RW Upper Body Questionable for March 20

03/18/2009 NJD 2 @ CAR 4
03/14/2009 CAR 4 @ WSH 5
03/12/2009 CAR 2 @ DAL 3
03/11/2009 CAR 2 @ CHI 3
03/09/2009 NYR 0 @ CAR 3

Stat Player Total
Points Eric Staal 64
Goals Eric Staal 34
Assists Ray Whitney 40
PIM Tuomo Ruutu 71
Plus/Minus Matt Cullen 10
PP Goals Eric Staal 12
SH Goals Chad LaRose 2

-------------------- GP W L OTL GAA SV%
Cam Ward 59 31 22 5 2.51 .913
Michael Leighton 17 6 6 2 2.94 .900

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write for this game which will be one of two in Carolina before the end of the season. For the Canes it's desperation time and even though it's three games in four nights I expect Cam Ward to start because these are two points they have to bank after coming off a win against the Devils with Kevin Weekes in goal.

Canes dominated the Isles in one of their rare second half clunkers at the Coliseum last time out. I'm not sure if we will see the rust we saw earlier when more veterans were in the lineup and the Isles came off an extended break but it's an interesting test with another game on Saturday before another shorter break.

Carolina also has Erik Cole back since the trade deadline.

No Islander transactions at this time in terms of callup to fill out a lineup or if McLean is ready to play. More Richard Park, Nate Thompson as the club gets a little more healthy but using less youth with Sutton-Weight expected back this season.

I expect Peter Mannino earned another start whether it be tonight or against Ottawa on Saturday. All depends on whether the coach rolls the hot hand after four days off.

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Final State of Islanders Media: Time for Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 10:00:00 AM | Comment Here
I guess we will call this entry Final State of Islanders Media as we look forward without NYIFC.

I only consider the print media a credible source of information with Mr Botta
now in that mix only because he worked for the Islanders over twenty years.

I do not agree with a lot of what's presented by the print media these days and the quality is not very good but I respect that whatever is written is professional and that sets it apart.

Caveat Emptor beyond that.

We are at a point where anyone writing anything anywhere for some is considered a credible hockey source because they read it on a blog/website/whatever.

New York Islander Fan Central falls in that later category.

You see folks now on sites with credentials that are at best spotty and because they were given space (enough have asked me to write for them also) and we like to read we accept anything presented as fact.

It's tough out there for our fans when most of the professional writers who occasionally write about the Islanders can only name the 1999 team but not the 2009 version and throw things against the wall just as filler. You get these people from SI or THN and it's obvious they don't watch the games.

You see this level of reporting and wonder how much worse it can get and start reading anything you can find.

I understand why many fans go in that direction but my advice is do not go that way or read it for what it is but do not take what's presented as fact.

It's not.

NYIFC is not a member of the PHWA, you visit here for the same reason you visit other hockey non-professional sites, what I have written here is my perception and not professional.

I only hope moving forward you can tell the difference. I pull no punches and only had the New York Islanders best interest and fair coverage for the team in mind.

Caveat Emptor.
With regard to the Professional Media:

At some point Cablevision will go subscription-only with Newsday, life goes on.

New York Islanders at the very least deserve a beatwriter in Newsday who works at least as hard as Steve Zipay does for his team.

My personal take is it's time for Newsday to hire a new beatwriter for our team and Greg Logan to move on to his next assignment.

It's sad that Mr Logan does barely the minimum for the only paper with a full time blog for our team while Steve Zipay puts in the time with a lot of entries. A lot of his updates are long ones and he does more chats while Newsday does more live game blogs for Mr Zipay's beat.

The only time Mr Logan picks up his pace is when it's time to quote anonymous players
or air the lockeroom's dirt which is fine but we do not see that with the Cablevision owned teams and we do not see the same work put into hyping up the team for individual accomplishments.

That does not even count Mr Herrmann's so-called NHL, Islander, Ranger blog that runs about eight to two in favor of his favorite local team.

My advice to everyone would be simply just read the quotes and understand the people asking the questions have their own motivations and for our team it's just a paycheck and an assignment for Greg Logan who is not a life-long Islander fan like many other hockey writers covering teams.

This does not make Mr Logan a poor writer or Hank Winnicki a poor sports editor, but it is what it is because it's someone simply doing his assigned job who is not required to be a big time fan of the club or should be obligated to be.

A lot of NHL teams in this league have Newspaper writers passionate about their beat and treat their team as a public trust, our team deserves no less.

Greg Logan is not the right person for that level of New York Islander coverage and he never will be.

Unfortunately I suspect coverage at Newsday will not be improving for the New York Islanders and the hardest work by the staff I suspect will be on dishing the teams dirt or when the paper is not given full access/disclosure as we saw when the staff went harder on the Islanders about the NHL injury policy than any media in the league here.

If they covered the club as hard as they went after the injury policy there would not be a problem.

My advice is if you must read the articles concentrate on the quotes, understand some/many questions are meant to stir the pot and that all teams are not covered the same when teams are owned by a paper. The Islanders are covered with the glass half-empty, the Knicks-Rangers with the glass half filled.

It was that way before Cablevision bought Newsday too, it will only get worse.

Maybe if the Islanders do draft John Tavares it will force regular game coverage from the city media again. Hopefully at some point a newspaper will hire a few Islander fans who will tell the teams story and not pull punches but also be there to hype up the team when merited.

What would you have me write about Dan Martin at the Post, Peter Botte at the Daily News or the two/three articles the Times allowed Dave Caldwell to write?

Their print space was limited, most days the coverage was not very good or made no effort to tell us something we did not know already and I could never get an answer as to why their editors would not let them watch games and blog afterward but I tried behind the scenes. Mr Martin had more from DiPietro than Newsday. The Islanders have no one better than Mr Botte in the print media with the experience to tell this teams story best and unfortunately we did not get nearly enough.

The Islanders:
For the Islander organization it's their team, their coverage and it's up to them to get their message to the public or deal with the consequences which means less tickets sold and less people telling their story.

If the revenue is there to show the coach and players being questioned by the media on occasion they should have every second available for the fans so no one misses a thing and we do not have to guess what the exchange is with the media.

In 2008-09 the Islanders did a terrible job not showing Scott Gordon meet the media daily at practice or putting up the full press conference after games beyond CJ Papa/Stan Fischler softball questions. Chris King and Steve Mears video from practice was cut or eliminated during the season but we see highlights of games for kids teams on the Islanders website?

Mr Botta or any blog should never be a substitute for the teams website.

The pregame/postgame website coverage was worthless all season. Why was a broadcaster's blog added and why did Mr Witt not update more? Chris King and Steve Mears used to update regularly.

The Long Island label stamped on virtually everything this franchise puts out is doing a lot of media damage. You want an outdoor game in New York and city media coverage on television/radio start acting like a New York team with the advertising and drop the Long Island campaign for the final time.

This is as misguided as the Giants and Jets demanding they be recognized as only New Jersey and media walking away from them.

The logo and team name says New York, Islander fans are in all three local arena's, start acting like a New York based franchise.

It's killing this team in the media and providing an excuse for media to do so.

Msg was a nightmare in every area and as long as they own the broadcast rights it's only going to get worse. When you cannot get summer or live coverage when a new coach is hired, a pregame or even preseason games on the internet for days because Msg does not want competition (every Ranger preseason game was on TV) there is little else to write aside from this is the non-sense we don't see written about when low ratings come out for the club and Neil Best defends not giving the club more coverage.

If I owned a team's broadcast rights, hid them year round of course the ratings would be poor, that's the idea behind paying so much for the rights. The media does the rest to justify less coverage after that.

Mr Botta's Point Blank:
I do not agree with about half the things Mr Botta writes at Point Blank but he works very hard for the fans and that's the kind of passionate coverage the team needs a lot more of.

I wish he would be as quick to call out local media coverage as he did when he worked for the team or when Mr Logan this season pointed out he has a team sponsored blog but that's his choice.

No matter what at some point writing what he thinks will offend someone, it's his space and he has to make the best call.

Either way I hope he continues to write his blog and the team continues to sponsor it. He was always a class act with me and a pleasure.

I only hope the team adds to what he's doing with more professional writers.

The Blog Box:

From where I sit the Islanders need about four more professional media folks in the same capacity Mr Botta is in now whether it be hiring them from Newspapers cutting staff or how Craig Custance in SI/Pierre LeBrun Espn changed from media to websites that cover hockey.

I emphasize the words professional media. Michael Fornabaio who does a great job at the Ct Post is the professional media, NYIFC is not the professional media.

Full time which means they go on the road with to write what they want and full access just like the folks with Newspaper credentials.

This will only push the print media to do more, they cannot do much less. Mr Botta's work has forced Mr Logan to work a little harder, a box full of professional media team sponsored will demand ever harder work from the print media to keep up or at the very least provide more details of a story.

The Islanders no longer need a blog box program with amateur writers doing a few updates when they can now that. They have Mr Botta and his brand of coverage, they should simply add to that with several professional team sponsored blogs moving forward.

Perhaps they should create/keep a side page of folks who want to link their amateur blogs on the Islanders website but the blog box had it's time and served it's purpose.

The Isles (Mr Botta/Mr Witt) were first class with this blog and at the end of year one they took my advice to add as many blogs as possible.

Now it's time for changes again. This should all be about what we can do for the Islanders, not the other way around.

It's also about the best coverage they can find to tell the teams story, if they can add Mr Botta they can add more professional hockey media.

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Islander News Articles 3/20

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2009 08:37:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Two blog entries scheduled for Friday:
Final State of Islanders Media 10am
New York at Carolina game preview 2pm

Newsday: John Jeansonne's article is on defenseman Bruno Gervais with comments from head coach Scott Gordon about how his play has improved while Gervais talks about next season and how he approaches the wins, losses and the club's struggles.

NY Post: Dan Martin covered practice with Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit and Scott Gordon's comments.

Carolina News Observer: Chip Alexander has the latest on the Hurricanes.

Point Blank: Mr Botta has an excellent interview with Bruno Gervais's comments. Queens County opened up a new hockey indoor arena today inside Flushing Meadow Park. A few of the New York/Queens leaders who discussed the Islanders recently were present but no apparent New York Islander representation on the video.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews Friday's game against Worcester which should include the return of Tyler Haskins, Nate Lawson and Dustin Kohn with two or three players being recalled to the Islanders if they are not with the team in Carolina. Head coach Jack Capuano comments.

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So what's really going to happen March 26th?

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2009 05:46:00 PM | 2 Comments
Someone has to explain to me why March 26th is being advertised as a big meeting or seemingly more important than most of the other focus meetings for the Lighthouse?

Nothing is going to be approved that night.

Is the Town of Hempstead going to send someone who wants/does not want the project or ready to tell Mr Wang-Rechler what they do not like as Mr Wang asked recently?

Or is this basically another pep rally with the following:

Tom Suozzi, Charles Wang and Scott Rechler tell us renovating Coliseum is not feasible without the Lighthouse, Kate Murray's people in politics (or Newsday) will do the hockey fans only care about the project dance while one of the shock jocks at the paper will write about the teams viability despite getting 13,000 fans in a 16,000 seat building with a 30th place team.

Mr Botta for his part at times has been over the top negative with Kate Murray from what I have read from him.

When it's all said and done, Kate Murray will be talking renovate the Coliseum only, Charles Wang will be telling us the Ligthouse has to be approved by opening day of the hockey season and Gary Bettman will be telling us the league cannot sustain a franchise in a building not as old as Msg that is just as outdated and like the buildings the Red Wings or Oilers play in.

A lot of spin from all sides.

Tom Suozzi, Town of Hempstead and no one from the Lighthouse will be talking about voiding/buying out Smg's lease NOW so Charles Wang actually receives back revenue from his ticket sales, parking and concessions as many NHL teams have. The Garden got it's tax exemptions to keep their teams from moving. Isles got both these things that would make the Coliseum financially viable.

Tom Suozzi will not commit to Nassau condemning/buying out the lease regardless of whether the Lighthouse is approved.

The only thing more misleading than Kate Murray telling us why doesn't Charles Wang pay to renovate Nassau's Coliseum (for absolutely nothing in return) which is absurd is this new angle the Coliseum should not even be renovated without the Lighthouse.

Suggestion one: Kate Murray's office should present something to Charles Wang where the hockey team can make money NOW like starting by voiding Smg's lease which is in the Lighthouse plan but not discussed at all. If the TOH is against the project help make the club financially viable for ANY ownership.

I understand the TOH cannot void the Smg lease now, that's Nassau's deal but everyone should be talking about ways for whoever owns this team to lose less money because Charles Wang did not make that deal with Smg.

Suggestion two: Charles Wang should knock it off talking about voting people out of office if he wants his project approved, that's how you get the project killed and the line in the sand has been drawn before election day.

Suggestion three: Newsday should make clear they have a vested interest in this project not being approved because the Islanders relocating saves them hundreds of millions in television rights and a possible expansion of the Msg brand into Nassau County.

But we all know those things will not happen on 3/26.

At the end it will be more of the same.

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Tim Jackman signs one year extension

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2009 05:18:00 PM | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Reports forward Tim Jackman was signed to a one year contract extension with general manager Garth Snow's comments.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog also repeated the general manager's comments with a few words on the signing which is a one-way contract at 550k.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No knock on Jackman who does his job well enough and improved his game a lot but on a team without a first line or even a second line, a player with a big minus rating who's at best an average middle-weight in terms of fighting who's not going to score this was a spot they should have looked to fill later.

They already have Richard Park locked up and Nate Thompson seems like a player Scott Gordon wants on his team. Then there is Andy Hilbert's future status.

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Islander News Articles 3/19

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2009 08:18:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
The New York Islanders were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday with Carolina's win against New Jersey.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had more from head coach Scott Gordon and Peter Mannino on his win against Chicago in his first game he got to start. Also reported, Joey MacDonald was headed back to the doctor and for now his status for the weekend is in question which could mean another start for Mannino.

It should be noted Newsday also had a brief video of today's practice. Lindsay Krammer has Jon Sim's comments about playing in Bridgeport and what's ahead.

Point Blank: Mr Botta had comments from Doug Weight about signing with the Islanders beyond this season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As always I will provide only a small portion of Mr Botta's work here because you should visit Point Blank.

I like Doug Weight but Islanders either need a top one or two center (Marian Gaborik, Brian Gionta) who can produce at even strength or someone who understands this team will be about it's young players getting the best chances from day one next season. Only Weight knows if that's for him but given his comments in January he sounded like a man not willing to give up his spot and made his case in the media that for me came off more like an ultimatum.

Is Doug Weight willing to be played here like he was in Anaheim if others beat him out for a spot? If I'm coaching Bailey, Nielsen and Tavares if drafted/signed are my three centers down the middle. I'm not changing anyone's spot for Doug Weight and if Scott Gordon is giving Kyle Okposo the left wing powerplay point he should be there over Weight from day one.

Mike Sillinger also sounds like a man who wants to continue his career as a New York Islander and is another center who can win some faceoffs which this roster needs.

Then there is Colliton, Walter and some other players who decisions need to be made on.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had comments from head coach Jack Capuano, Ben Walter and the teams trainers on how Bridgeport played finished 22 games in 38 days Sunday, going 14-5-0-3 to move from 11 points out of first place to one point back. Trainer John Sullo is quoted in the article with the beatwriter also crediting strength and conditioning coaches Chris Schwarz and Jesse Demers.

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Final Season For New York Islander Fan Central

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2009 04:15:00 PM | 5 Comments

I have written about the future of this blog a few times in the recent months and I have decided that after this season I will stop writing New York Islander Fan Central.

At some point within the next few weeks I will contact the Islanders and ask they remove NYIFC from it's blog box program whenever they choose to do so.

I will continue to update as I can until the end of this season as always which means unless something unexpected happens there will be plenty of updates.

Ten years is a long-time writing about hockey on a year-round basis and I would not take back one day of it. I had a fantastic ride doing this in different versions and I cannot thank everyone enough for all the overwhelming support.

Sure, I could continue to do this part time or just write a few entries a month as so many do and it's tempting to go that way, however I set a very high standard here and giving you less would not sit well with me or the way I like to do things.

Those who know me best understand I have been doing this for a long time and it would never be about the hockey product (Islanders could be undefeated and winning a Stanley Cup and I would be writing this today) I feel blogging is a game for the younger generation (for most) or those who make a living off it.

I have never done anything hockey-related for some kind of gain whether it be for financial or otherwise. I simply wish at this time to start doing other things.

New York Islander Fan Central will NOT be returning in any new version with a new name.

I will discuss a lot more of the specifics in the coming weeks as to how things will close here but as always the hockey is all that matters at New York Islander Fan Central.

Anyway for now, we have some New York Islander Hockey to get back to and I have a blog to write.

Time to get back to work.

Thank You

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/18/2009 03:01:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Point Blank: Mr Botta had an update from practice Wednesday on several subjects where one is Andy Sutton returned to practice and will play at some point.

* Head coach Scott Gordon on XM Radio yesterday reported Doug Weight could also return within the next week.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported on the changes at Sound Tigers practice.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I suppose at some point it does not matter if Jack Hillen is returned to Bridgeport for a Sutton return so he can get ready for the AHL playoffs. No open spot down the middle for Doug Weight with Nielsen, McAmmond, Bailey, Thompson down the middle with Richard Park who also can play center but started on wing.

Usually someone is injured and these problems solve themselves before changes are needed to be made.

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Islander News Articles 3/18

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/17/2009 10:59:00 PM | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which included Tuesday's practice and Robin Figren's comments with Andy Sertich.

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Hunter's spot should be in play next season

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/17/2009 02:00:00 PM | Comment Here
Garth Snow gave Trent Hunter a five year contract a year ago and regardless how it works out that is an excellent signing given his career to that point.

Hunter does a lot of things to help win a hockey game but those are many of the same things I will write about Richard Park, Andy Hilbert, Nate Thompson, Tim Jackman and even Dean MacAmmond. Character, hard-work, excellent team play.

After his hot start would should have been writing about a player closing in on thirty goals by now, he will not even hit twenty and they way he was going I doubt he would have done that if healthy.

In other words for the last two seasons Trent Hunter has not scored nearly enough on a team that desperately needed him to produce. It's obvious we will never see the player who was flying and had those twenty five goals in 03-04 again.

That means contract or not, his spot should not be as safe as it's tenure. This is about giving players time to develop the best version of their game, there is no excuse for this player not to produce next season.

If I were coaching I would not name him captain, if anything with Okposo as the first line right wing (who plays his shifts on the left side) and no doubt a prospect pushing for a spot if any right wings who can score are added Hunter's spot may not be the lock many feel it is if Garth Snow does resign Jackman.

I'm not going to pull punches, for their very brief looks Mike Iggulden, Jesse Joensuu and Kurtis McLean had a similar or better impact on the offense than Hunter did for a good part of this season.

If they can skate, get to high quality area's faster and get their shot off quicker they have more offensive value than Hunter.

Alexei Yashin had the kind of season Trent Hunter did for the better part of two years folks would be talking buyout. Maybe he needs a change, maybe it's the talent around him, a lot of maybe's but it's time for production or time for a change.

Jon Sim has not gotten the opportunity Hunter has this season, Scott Gordon never really found a spot for him, still when he finally started producing a little he was sent down and continues to produce.

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Islander News Articles 3/17

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/17/2009 03:18:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on defenseman Mark Streit with head coach Scott Gordon's comments the defender does not sacrifice defense for offense and did not know any defender having a better season as Streit discussed his powerplay goals in Sunday's game and possible Norris consideration.

St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspatch reports on the end of St Cloud State's with comments from Islander 4th round prospect goaltender Jase Weslosky, who says he will return for his senior season but faces competition for a spot in goal.

Sports Business Journal: Tripp Mickle-Eric Fisher reports the league and team Cablevision appear ready to settle their lawsuit with seemingly the Dolan's record for losing still perfect as this article claims they will have to pay 15m for the league's legal fees as part of what is still being negotiated along with the latest poor NBC ratings for Dick Ebersol's Ranger-Flyer weekly Msg spamfest here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted the Ranger-Bruin game generated a very low 0.8 the week before and that's with Islander and Devil fans helping those numbers that could not beat NASCAR or out of town basketball games in New York City.

It's time to show the best teams, not the ones Dick Ebersol has a business relationship with for the good of the league. A lot of teams in this league can do as well or better than a 0.8 rating.

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If the Islanders win the lottery announce Tavares

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2009 02:00:00 PM | 1 Comments
I know were getting ahead of ourselves because there is a long time left and based on how things are going I do not see the Islanders finishing 30th.

We all know from 2002 finishing 30th is no lock to select first.

Having written this if the Islanders do win the lottery, just put out a statement shortly afterward the team will be selecting John Tavares when it comes time to pick in June.

Saves a lot of speculation, a lot of endless articles Snow will trade down and a lot of non-sense.

Just make it a done deal come lottery night, Tavares already said he will play for New York.

End all suspense in April, make it un-official/official and start the marketing campaign he will be drafted by New York.

After that anything short of a career ending injury before the draft you take Tavares and add him to Bailey, Okposo and these other prospects you got something to work with that can attract free agents.

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Pick a goalie Danis or MacDonald

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2009 10:00:00 AM | Comment Here
This weeks poll was added early as of this point I'm the single vote for Joey MacDonald in a choice where you only get to bring back one for next season.

Since camp started and the preseason games both Joey MacDonald and Yann Danis proved they could perform as number one goaltenders at this level. MacDonald's play early saved them team from having only five wins and many games he held them in with exceptional play.

The numbers do not reflect it but anyone who watched the games knows it.

He did not win third star of the month for a losing team as a token nomination.

After he got injured Yann Danis stepped in and after shaking some early rust and a little very tough love from Scott Gordon has performed like a number one goalie and swung the debate the other way.

Of course we could make a case DiPietro will not be ready to start 2009-10, his six weeks are about up, we could be reading about more surgery sooner than later and if that's the case both may need to be signed for 2010.

I guess it's fashionable to pick the recent hot goaltender in Danis but for me this would be the toughest poll to date because both have earned NHL contracts and like how both have played a lot. I suspect there will be a spot for both of them in this league next year.

Our poll asks who would you sign if you have to make a choice between them.

I do know one thing, the goaltending was good enough this year to secure a playoff spot which speaks volumes to how well both played.

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Islander News Articles 3/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2009 07:30:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here

Newsday: Greg Logan has the recap of New York's 4-2 win against Chicago on Sunday afternoon with comments from goaltender Peter Mannino and head coach Scott Gordon.

Newsday: Mr Logan had a six paragraph entry in the Islanders Newsday blog noting that Mark Streit not only passed Mike Comrie's point total that led the club in scoring last season but noted his strong defensive play and the extended minutes he and Bruno Gervais saw against Chicago. Streit for his part praised Peter Mannino's strong goaltending as the beatwriter says he know's he'll be writing more about Streit in the next few days.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Mr Logan should be hyping up Streit for the Norris. Once again the Cablevision-owned club in Newsday received more print space Sunday, three blog entries and a live game blog while the Islanders are simply not treated as the primary hockey team in the local paper.

Jay Greenberg is allowed to travel/provide additional Ranger coverage at the Post with Larry Brooks but are only providing full time coverage for two teams?

If the Post finally has revenue to assign Mr Greenberg do extra hockey coverage it should be for the New York Islanders. He should have been sent straight to Chicago after being assigned to Montreal to provide more coverage for Martin Brodeur on Saturday or he should have been in Boston on Saturday for the New York team, then Chicago.

Associated Press: Also recaps the game.

Chicago Tribune: Chris Kuc game and blog coverage also has Peter Mannino's comments.

Chicago Daily Herald: Tim Sassone's game coverage with the Islanders blocking nineteen shots and losing sixty four percent of faceoff's Sunday.

Edmonton Sun: Cary Sastanga has an article on former Islander Bob Bourne, how he has some problems with his weight/health and what he does now to stay in shape. He also discussed the rivalry with the Edmonton Oilers as he will be part of the NHL Oldtimers' Hockey Challenge skates in Edmonton on Wednesday, when the NHL legends take to the ice against the Edmonton firefighters team at Rexall Place in support of the local chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Chicago Sun Times: Len Ziehm's game coverage had comments from head coach Joel Quenneville on the loss. Recaps Bridgeport's 3-2 loss at Hershey Sunday afternoon.

Mike Mole started in goal for Bridgeport. Sound Tigers dominated the third with ten shots before the ten minute mark but could not get the tying goal. Andrew MacDonald's goal was a five on three pp goal.

1. BRI Sim, (7) (Lessard, Callahan), 15:28 (PP)
1. HER Bourque, (18) (Wilson, Gordon), 16:22
2. HER Osala, (21) (Lepisto, Kronwall), 13:32
2. HER Giroux, (47) (Perreault, Bourque), 16:11 (PP)
3. BRI MacDonald, (7) (Sim, Walter), 16:27 (PP)

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage of Bridgeport's loss 3-2 loss at Hershey Sunday with blog entries here where Trevor Smith, Mike Mole discuss the game and head coach Jack Capuano's praised his players character at the end of a 14-5-0-3 stretch in thirty eight days, including a 13-1-0-3 run in the middle that gave it a three-point lead Friday night over Hershey.

Robin Figren made his AHL debut with no stats for Bridgeport.

York Daily Record: Dan Sernoffsky covers the Hershey Bears along with Harrisburg-Patriot News here.

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New York 4, Chicago 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2009 05:52:00 PM | Comment Here

 Recaps New York's 4-2 win at Chicago on Sunday afternoon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratulations to Peter Mannino on his first NHL win.

Strange game.

I guess this was the Islanders version of the sixty shot loss they had against Carolina where Chicago (like the Islanders that night) had a lot of chances but not a lot of great quality chances or passing plays.

Chicago only had around forty but if you remember that Carolina game you get the idea.

Seems as the game got into the third period the more Chicago tried to do the less they got done and were fighting the puck.

Peter Mannino for his part was outstanding, he stopped a few breakaways where the Isles had pressure on the shooter and flashed the glove in the first on one save but for the most part Chicago most of the game was a play or a pass short and you could see them struggle to generate a quality chance with even both of their goals coming off scrambles for garbage goals. Mannino was very composed, compact and the Hawks did not make him scramble.

You can see why they have been struggling lately by their record not only for wins but goals.

Chicago played a good physical game and knocked the Islanders around a lot, their first pass out of the zone was excellent early but once they gained the zone they did not seem to have any chemistry creating quality chances.

Brent Seabrook was excellent for Chicago, Ben Eager played his usual annoying game as we saw when he was in Philadelphia. Their young players did not impress me or show a lot of chemistry.

Islanders for their part looked like a team playing it's sixth game in eight days with a roster top heavy without players with scoring skills after subtracting even Bergenheim, McLean and Joensuu. They got little at Khabibulin who looked like a goalie waiting to get beat and did when the shots finally came. Comeau made the pass to Park and set up the 2-1/3-1 goals. Nielsen made a nice move to finish.

That seemed like a major-league elbow to Nielsen and to the head, two minutes?

Isles did not generate much but struck quick, their powerplay did not look good overall but that's where Mark Streit came in not only with his world class shot that Khabibulin had no chance on. His game today stood out on offense and defense, he broke up that play diving at the end where Gervais took the penalty.

Gervais was on point when he fed Streit for his second goal, Okposo was moved to left wing for the powerplay. Hilbert, Park saw powerplay time.

Tambellini's effort drew a powerplay that led to a goal.

Not a great effort for the win but funny thing happened in the third, Chicago faded and the Islanders defense tightened up until the five on three. Even with that advantage they did not look very organized.

Hard to believe that called Witt for that play clearing the crease? Hawks had six and seven players (for a few seconds) simply not looking very organization.

Six games in eight days 4-1-1 with a lot of roster turnover. That's a heck of a solid job considering the overall road record.

Too bad they could not get a shot at the open net for Streit who absolutely deserves Norris consideration but does not have the media coverage to lobby for him.

Now everyone gets a well-earned rest.

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New York at Chicago 3pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2009 11:00:00 AM | Comment Here
Not much I can add to the injury report for Chicago that I did not have yesterday after in the Bruins postgame. Nikolai Khabibulin will make his first start since 2/11
and if the telecast was correct on Saturday Peter Mannino will start for New York.

Chicago comes in off a 5-3 loss on home ice to Columbus.

Last Five Games
Tue, Mar 3 Anaheim W 3-2
Sat, Mar 7 at Boston L 3-5
Sun, Mar 8 Colorado L 1-5
Wed, Mar 11 Carolina W 3-2
Fri, Mar 13 Columbus L 3-5

Points Patrick Kane 60
Goals Jonathan Toews 28
Assists Patrick Kane 38
PIM Ben Eager 130
Plus/Minus Duncan Keith 27
PP Goals Patrick Kane 12
SH Goals Kris Versteeg 4

Player Date Status Injury
P. Sharp C Feb 15, 2009 Injured Reserve Lower-body Injury
S. Pahlsson C Feb 2, 2009 Injured Reserve Mononucleosis
B. Sopel D Dec 26, 2008 Injured Reserve Upper-body Injury

The Hawks are 18-7-6 on their home ice, 3-3-1 in their last seven home games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Our old friend Aaron Johnson plays for the Blackhawks and for a while was in the top plus/minus players in the NHL and today sits at plus eighteen. Brent Sopel is keeping to his Islander trend being a non-factor.

Hawks have a very young team and in four games in a row have allowed three or more goals. The Islander prospects should see this as a statement game as to where they stack up with their young group vs Chicago who a year ago were a brutal team.

After how ineffective the Islanders were in Boston generating quality chances they should be very hungry for a big bounce-back game against a goalie working it's way back from injury and a team allowing goals.

Last time New York played in Chicago, Brad Shaw was coaching his first road game since replacing Steve Stirling on 1/17/2006.

Fair to say Kvasha's last overtime goal?

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Islander News Articles 3/15

Newsday: Greg Logan recaps the Islanders 2-1 loss Saturday afternoon in Boston with head coach Scott Gordon's comments.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa game coverage and live blog has a few words on Jackman vs Lucic.

Boston Herald: Coverage of Saturday's game with Providence Journal paper that covers Scott Gordon's old AHL team.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's interview with prospect John Tavares where he talks about the Islanders among several subjects.

Edmonton Journal: Had Bill Guerin's comments on his trade from the Islanders and the time he was away from the team before he was sent to Pittsburgh.

Slam Sports: Steve Simmons has comments from John Tavares agent, Pat Grissom who says " I know (owner) Charles Wang is trying to get a new building and that his feeling is, it will be his way or the highway and that if it were Grissom, he would avoid Tampa, Atlanta and the Island at all costs but it's not his choice and his client respects the process and the league. "

NYI Fan Comments:
It's one thing when the Canadian shock jocks like Mr Simmons (who went in this direction a while back) push for things like this but obviously Tavares agent does not think his client should play for the Islanders or a few teams which could make negotiations hard not only now but when the time comes he is a free agent.

Daily News: Elliot Olshansky has an outstanding feature on Jacques Lamoureux, about his very tough fight to overcome depression and as a sophomore who leads the NCAA with 29 goals for the Air Force Academy is a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award this year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's just a remarkable story and my thanks to Mr Olshansky for e-mailing it to me to post here for our readers. I know I'm rooting for Jacques Lamoureux to win the Hobey Baker and be signed by an NHL team if that's what he aspires to. I'm sure some folks remember what former Islander Claude LaPointe went through after he left the Islanders along with Shayne Corson who Islander fans will only remember from his famous fight with Eric Cairns.

Sarnia Observer: Dave Pual had a Saturday feature on Islander prospect Matt Martin who was the prospect on television between periods this week who plays for the Sarnia Sting with fellow draft picks Justin DiBenedetto and Mark Katic. Recap of Bridgeport's 6-3 loss at Hartford Saturday night which has the Sound Tigers trailing 3-2 at the end of the second period.

1. HFD Moore, (22) (Fahey), 1:04
1. HFD Sauer, (4) (Urquhart, Ouellette), 17:34
1. BRI Walter, (16) (Smith, Lee), 18:26 (PP)
1. BRI Walter, (17) (Lessard), 19:13
2. HFD Sauer, (5) (Denisov, Rissmiller), 15:10
3. BRI Lessard, (10) (Smith), 3:05 (PP)
3. HFD Weise, (8) (Moore, Sauer), 8:12
3. HFD Potter, (8) (Dupont, Parenteau), 19:03
3. HFD Dupont, (13) (Owens), 19:21

Kris Mayotte again started in goal for Bridgeport. Robin Figren did not make his AHL debut.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's coverage of Bridgeport's loss at Hartford Saturday with quotes from Ben Walter who had two goals and head coach Jack Capuano with blog entries here and a brief preview of Sunday's big game against the Bears in Hershey at 5pm here.

Hartford Courant: Covers the Wolfpack win on Saturday and had an article on the Boston Bruins win.

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Boston 2, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/14/2009 03:40:00 PM | Comment Here
Associated Press & Recaps New York's 2-1 loss to Boston Saturday afternoon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Last time the Islanders were in a 2-1 game at Boston in the third period, the Bruins put a physical beating all over the Islanders and simply dismantled them winning 7-2
in a game they were so badly outplayed overall it could have easily been double digits despite the close game in the third.

That game was a sixty minute mismatch.

Today's game seemed to pick up where that one left off for a while with the Bruins getting two very early goals, dominating play while the Islanders for a good half of the game generated nothing. Their first shift they even established a forecheck was at the beginning of the second period.

After that Islanders did a little better and got back in the game with some solid shifts but not the kind where they could test Tim Thomas or force him to make a quality save. Nielsen fell in a spot where he had a quality chance, Tambellini went wide and fell at a spot he needed to shoot, Okposo fanned on one. Hilbert had some outside shots but that was basically it aside from Streit's incredible goal where he undressed Chara like we saw in his Montreal highlight package.

Yann Danis was excellent and as poorly as the Islanders played early they kept the pressure off their goaltender aside from a third period powerplay where the Islander goaltender made some quality saves.

That five on three I would not have used Witt, you could see the Isles pressing for just one low percentage shot, standing still.

Aside from that not much else to write about this game. Boston after breaking their losing streak could have come in with a little confidence back and blown the Isles out but to their credit played them mostly even aside from that early stretch.

Was hoping for better but it was a winnable game.

Today's injury count was nine with Richard Park's return.

Chicago Tribune: Reports The Blackhawks practiced in Bensenville on Saturday afternoon. Forwards Martin Havlat, Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane all missed practice with injuries but could play against the Islanders Sunday afternoon.

Head coach Joel Quenneville confirmed that veteran Nikolai Khabibulin would be in goal against the Islanders for his first game since Feb. 11.

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