3/31/09

4/1: New York at Washington 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2009 12:40:00 PM
Mark Streit has a groin strain, Joe Callahan has been recalled for tonight's game, add another player to the injury report.

Washington Post: Tarik El Bashir reported from practice Tuesday with Donald Brashear still recovering from a sprained left knee, the Caps have recalled center Keith Aucoin from Hershey. Brashear practiced with the team this morning, but he's doubtful for tomorrow's game against the Islanders.

Mike Green is also on the ice after missing yesterday's practice with the flu. I'll check on his status later, but he appears to be participating fully.

Here are the forward lines that Bruce Boudreau is using in the scrimmage:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr
Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin
Laich-Nylander-Kozlov
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley
(Aucoin is rotating in the the fourth line).

Washington Times: Cory Masisik also filed a post practice report that Mike Green is ready, Donald Brashear is not.

03/27/2009 TBL 3 @ WSH 5
03/24/2009 WSH 2 @ TOR 3
03/21/2009 WSH 1 @ CAR 4
03/19/2009 WSH 5 @ TBL 2
03/17/2009 WSH 3 @ FLA 0

03/30/09 Donald Brashear LW Knee IR. Out until at least early April
03/24/09 Boyd Gordon C Finger IR. Out until at least early April
02/13/09 Brent Johnson G Hip IR. Out until at least late March
02/05/09 Chris Clark RW Wrist IR. Out for the season
03/22/09 Quintin Laing LW Spleen Likely out for the season
03/27/09 Alexander Semin LW Flu Questionable for April 1


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Sorry folks, this will be the only update at NYIFC until after Wednesday's game with no news articles Wednesday. (check feeders for updates) For New York MacDonald won in Detroit and with Montreal coming in Thursday there should be a good chance Danis again starts against his former team who he recently beat in Montreal unless the coach wants to switch things up.

For Washington only questions remaining are whether they finish second or third in the conference unless they run the table catching Boston or lose every game with Carolina passing them with those teams winning or losing out themselves which are both highly unlikely. Caps are second seed by a point at this time so it is a big game if you see a difference between finishing second or third which no doubt the Caps will.

One thing for sure is as highly skilled as the Caps are, their goaltending is suspect and their recent record says they are vulnerable with that game against Tampa tied in the third very emotional after Ovechkin's celebration in the prior
game against the Bolts for his 50th had them very upset.

Updated 1:30pm
Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reported Joel Rechlicz will be recalled, Sean Bergenheim is still not medically cleared to play.




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Howard Saffan says Harbor Yard Violated Lease

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2009 11:00:00 AM
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan's comments that a company called Centerplate who operates Harbor Yard violated their lease agreement forcing the club to move games to the Nassau Coliseum blaming them with Arena executive director Lynn Carlotto who was not in the office Monday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

Saffan said the Sound Tigers have sent e-mails about the situation to Carlotto and other officials of Centerplate, the company that runs the arena, since January about those dates.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Seems Michael Fornabaio is not willing to give the Sound Tigers the benefit of the doubt here and he raises a great point asking if this was a problem going back to January why a Saturday night announcement to only Islander fans?

Howard Saffan said the right things and showed the beatwriter the lease, I tend to believe him. Ok, if that's the case I cannot blame the Islanders but how this was announced and released was terrible and compounded things when this could have been made public a long time ago.

Dates should always be made available for the primary tenant.



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It's All About Smg Lease that's Isles Problem

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2009 10:11:00 AM
Of course most folks know this already.

To be fair Smg did not give themselves this lease and if it were me, I would want my revenue from a binding contract also.

Nassau County/Tom Suozzi who is saying Lighthouse or bust is doing a good sales job but he's doing a good Kate Murray impersonation on getting Charles Wang or the team any immediate financial relief on rent or Smg lease.

In short, Nassau will not do a thing financially for the club besides approve the Lighthouse.............Maybe if the TOH does approve this down the road.

In July 2003 Richard Sandomir of the NY Times spoke with Islanders owner Charles Wang here about the teams finances/Smg and reported the following after the club came off two playoffs:

Rent at the Coliseum rose to $2.5 million that, based on paying SMG, the landlord, 11 percent of net ticket revenue. The team gets nothing from parking and concessions and pays SMG and the county 40 percent of its advertising income.

Newsday: We also now know the Islanders for at least this season the Islanders paid Smg a fixed rate in advance for the advertising income from the recent meeting with Newsday:

HAVE LOSSES AFFECTED PAYROLL/WANG: We watch every penny. We try to be as conservative as we can. You see the attendance isn't that great, and you know the deal we have with SMG isn't that great. The more fans we get, we get admissions, but we don't get a cut of food, beverages or parking. Once we build a new one, the county is going to condemn their lease.

PICKER ON INCOME: Merchandise is up, we give a percentage of ticket revenue to them. We give them a fixed number for sponsorship now. It used to be 35 to 45 percent of sponsorship. We bought ourselves out of that this season. So, now, it's a fixed number we pay SMG.

WANG ON PAYMENT TO SMG FOR SPONSORSHIP: The reason is that the inventory we're creating, digital signs and things like that, we really want to be able to create without having to think. So, we paid SMG money and bought it all out.

WHY DID ISLES AGREE TO LEASE/PICKER: It's the old owners. We knew that going in. We understood the negative sides of it. But there was a vision that we thought we could pull off and we're hoping to do that and that we can push this forward in a timely fashion to alleviate all these types of questions that are out there to get us the benefits we've been talking about.

Sports Business Journal: Andy Bernstain in 2000 before Charles Wang bought the club had a lot on the Smg stranglehold lease not only here but in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Also reported Smg was willing to make changes to the Pens lease letting the team play rent free but with concessions and that was with KC hanging over everyone's head in Pittsburgh.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Bottom line-Charles Wang takes the financial losses, Smg enjoys it's legal and binding lease and makes money off the Islanders (including the gate) while Tom Suozzi and Nassau County do nothing to help ease Wang's financial burden.

Updated:
Since the Dec 2009 Smg sublease agreement in Tom Suozzi's final days as County Executive, many aspects of this agreement were altered from this entry. It would be best to read Dec 2009 and subsequent entries from that point forward.


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3/30/09

Islander-Sound Tiger NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2009 04:59:00 PM
AHL.com: Reported Joel Rechlicz was returned to Bridgeport but a lot of these have been paper transactions.

Point Blank: Mr Botta has an exclusive interview with defenseman Jack Hillen.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Islander Prospect Kevin Poulin is in Bridgeport, with Matt Martin, Justin DiBenedetto to Bridgeport also from the Sarnia Sting possible soon.

Mr Fornabaio apparently is not allowed to say much on Bridgeport's relocation to New York for playoff games but I will let his words speak for themselves.

Newsday: Greg Logan had an Islander Insider on Rechlicz who may stay down in Bridgeport because Sean Bergenheim could be activated among several subjects with a team comparison to the Detroit Red Wings.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Logan does a nice job telling us about the Wings success and how old and run down their facility is, he does even better informing us owner Mike Ilitch receives all the things Smg receives today instead of Charles Wang.

What he fails to point out in his comparisons is the Wings for years were spending anywhere from sixty to eighty million on team payroll that set them up for their current reputation as a model franchise to attract players.

Mr Logan also failed to note the Wings have had attendance problems deep into the playoffs here and reportedly going into the lockout needed to make the finals simply to break even financially here.

The thing about NHL revenue no one writes about is if you spend 120m to generate 100m as a return that is generating a lot of revenue but it's still losing money and plenty of it which no one writes at all in these worthless estimated team financial evaluations.

For billion dollar companies who happen to own sports teams as a sidebar it's a smart risk to take that advantage but it eventually erodes the financial system.

This is what clearly is going on with Dallas and Colorado who could finally not buy their way out of a bad season or sustain their spending with the later maybe qualifying for revenue sharing here.

The Montreal Canadians have had financial problems too despite any revenue they generate here they have had a history of losing money even being a team that was not spending 80m a year on payroll before the lockout.







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Howard Saffan on Bridgeport at Coliseum

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2009 03:38:00 PM
Sound Tigers.com: Issued a Statement with Ted President Howard Saffan's comments as to why the Sound Tigers will have to relocate their first two playoff games from Harbor Yard to Nassau Coliseum.

It should be noted Bridgeport has four scheduled home games starting Friday after Tuesday's regular season road finale.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

I don't know the AHL traditions as well as the NHL but no scheduling conflict would displace playoff home NHL games this far in advance and I tend to think the same holds true in the AHL given Bridgeport's playoff history and their opposition.

It's obvious from Mr Fornabaio at the Ct Post the staff at Harbor Yard did not know the Islanders were planning before this before it was announced Saturday night so obviously the communication was poor.

I can appreciate the Islanders wanting to do something nice for their fans here but this is about this people in Bridgeport who support that team and have waited for playoff games for two years who go to the forty home games all winter long and have given them great fan support in a tough economic climate.

How could Harbor Yard book events to a point the building for it's primary tenant was unavailable this far in advance for any potential block of games, anyone who's been following knows the Sound Tigers at worst would be a middle seed.

I think in this instance the Islanders who own this team should have sat down with the folks who operate Harbor Yard and made dates available, to accept anything less is a mistake and one of the biggest made in a long time by Islander management.

If anyone knows of an instance AHL teams were displaced for home playoff games this far in advance I would like to know.




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Daily News Has Exclusive with Charles Wang

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2009 12:47:00 PM
NY Daily News: Nicholas Hirshon in the lateste from the paper that stopped covering home games has an exclusive interview with Charles Wang from Thursday who said he would consider moving the hockey club to Queens but vowing to mull all choices if his bid for Lighthouse is not approved by October.

"Right now, the whole focus and the whole plan is on one thing: getting this thing built," Wang said Thursday. "Obviously, if it doesn't get done within the time frame, then we look at all options."


Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi also is quoted.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted Mr Botta at Point Blank reported the Daily News was at Thursday's meeting and the article says these comments were from Thursday. What's a little different is Mr Wang did acknowledge for the first time Queens could be considered which is why I posted it here.

You can bet Mayor Michael Bloomberg given his non-working relationship with Msg and the Dolan family would be very happy to have the New York Islanders inside the City limits. Charles Wang for his part could construct an arena across the street from Msg and there is nothing the Garden can do about it in terms of territorial rights for those wondering.

Now the question is does Charles Wang (or Scott Rechler) want to be the developer for Willets Point and switch plans on the NYC timetable (this year) which is a much bigger and far more expensive area with existing businesses that would have to be displaced in a nasty fight.

Thing with this is NYC would be willing to give Wang-Rechler tax breaks and a lot of financial approvals they gave to the Mets to get a baseball stadium constructed because they want the eyesore businesses out of that area. They already went all-in with giving both baseball teams huge revenue streams and the area around Shea Stadium is all part of that.



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Colorado goes 0-6, Isles cannot gain six points

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2009 10:00:00 AM
I have done a lot of writing about free falls this season for our team vs competitive games. I went over almost the entire 2009 (starting January) Islanders calendar year and most of the games have been competitive.

What's going on with Colorado is an outright free fall with one out of fourteen points. I know the final weekend lineups change for teams in a playoffs spot that have a seed decided or playing out the season or they are playing to remain in the playoffs.

Anything could happen starting Wednesday but it would not surprise me if Colorado did not earn another point in their final six games. The free fall they are in is even less competitive on the scoreboard than the Islanders.

I suspect the Islanders will do a lot better than five points in their final seven games after giving basically every team a tough contest down to the wire or into overtime to say nothing of wins at Chicago, Detroit and the two against the Devils.

Isles are going to lose the first tie-breaker with Colorado (wins) so you can add an extra point on paper to the Avs lead over the Isles.

Having written that if Scott Gordon's club gains eight or nine points out of their final fourteen I suspect they will not be finishing 30th. At least five of the Isles final seven games features opposition desperate for points with Boston maybe meaningless the final day for the Bruins.

Peter Budaj & Andrew Raycroft are about as weak a goaltending combo a team can have in this league not only by this years stats but career record.

Mar 15 at Vancouver L 2-4
Mar 17 at Minnesota OTL 2-3
Mar 19 vs Edmonton L 1-8
Mar 22 at San Jose L 1-3
Mar 25 vs Anaheim L 2-7
Mar 27 vs Vancouver L 1-4
Mar 29 at Anaheim L 1-4

Wed Apr 1, 2009 Coyotes-Avalanche
Sun Apr 5, 2009 Avalanche-Canucks
Tue Apr 7, 2009 Avalanche-Sharks
Thu Apr 9, 2009 Stars-Avalanche
Sat Apr 11, 2009 Canucks-Avalanche
Sun Apr 12, 2009 Blues-Avalanche

I tend to think Colorado will not gain another point unless it's that final weekend, but we'll see, they are due to win but so were the Isles for most of December and January.



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Islander News Articles 3/30

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2009 03:09:00 AM
NHL.com: Reports Islander Prospect Corey Trivino -- who was selected in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, opened the scoring in Boston Terrier's win Sunday which sends them to the NCAA Frozen Four.

Calgary Herald: Bruce Downbiggin in a Flames centric article had former Islander gm Mike Milbury taking on media personality Al Strachan about why his record with the Islanders is talked about but not Wayne Gretzky's as Coyotes coach?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What's interesting is Mr Downbiggin defends Gretzky by writing among several reasons the experienced Olli Jokinen was a dud for ol' 99 in the desert.

That would be the same Olli Jokinen who showed up out of shape a decade ago for the Mike Milbury-Butch Goring Islanders and was traded.

AHL.com: Reports Bridgeport lost 5-3 at Lowell Sunday. Peter Mannino faced thirty five shots (twenty two in the first period) in a game Bridgeport trailed 5-1.

1. LOW Rheaume, (8) (Zharkov, Vasyunov), 5:06
1. LOW Bergfors, (21) (Pelley, DiSalvatore), 14:54 (PP)
1. LOW Rheaume, (9) (DiSalvatore, Eckford), 16:05 (PP)
2. BRI MacDonald, (9) (Sim, Smith), 8:45 (PP)
2. LOW DiSalvatore, (19) (Pelley, Corrente), 12:01
3. LOW Vasyunov, (14) (Zharkov), 5:44
3. BRI Lee, (6) (Hennigar, Marcinko), 6:29
3. BRI Wotton, (5) (Hennigar, Marcinko), 11:25

WB Scranton defeated Hershey 1-0 Sunday.

G W L OTL SOL PTS
1 x Hershey Bears 74 47 20 1 6 101
2 x WB/Scranton Penguins 74 46 24 2 2 96
3 Bridgeport 75 44 23 3 5 96

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had comments from head coach Jack Capuano's on Bridgeport's loss at Lowell who's club got in from Hershey at 5am Sunday morning for a 4pm game with Joe Callahan on the teams loss. Mr Fornabaio reports officials at Harbor Yard were not informed in advance of the Islanders announcement to take the first two playoff games out of Harbor Yard which have yet to be determined along with the Sound Tigers even clinching a playoff spot.

More is expected on this Monday from the team.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio reports Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan was unavailable for comment but had more on Sunday's loss and media relations coordinator Kimber Auerbach's comments on the Bridgeport to New York switch.

Lowell Sun: Has Devils coverage.



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3/29/09

Quick Look at 2009

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2009 03:36:00 PM
0-7-0 Jan 1st-17th (four one goal losses/one empty net goal allowed in loss)
3-0-1 Jaunary 19th-31st
4-7-2 February (three one goal losses/two empty net goals allowed in losses)
6-5-2 March (two one goal losses)

Isles have played about six poor games (on scoreboard) in terms of losing by two or more out of the last thirty seven games.

Very few games I have seen a poor/tired effort.






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Bridgeport Playoff games at Coliseum Unfair

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2009 01:08:00 PM
Given the great support those fans at Harbor Yard have given that team this season to take away their first home playoff games in two years is about as bad a decision as Islander management has made in a long time to play the opening two home games at Nassau Coliseum here.

It was bad enough to play two home games in Canada during the season, the die-hard fans who attend three games in three days during homestands deserve a lot better than this.

I don't see this as very fair to the work team President Howard Saffan has done to get people to the games either.

Bridgeport's Islander-playoff roster for the two games will include Jon Sim, Blake Comeau, Joe Callahan, Jesse Joensuu, Mike Iggulden, Jack Hillen.

You can bet the games will not be televised by Cablevision or even a live webcast permitted.

This only makes it easier to decide whether I want to provide Bridgeport playoff coverage here.
************************************************
Sound Tigers took a double-hit Saturday with Michael Fornabaio stuck at Harbor Yard covering the NCAA not permitted to travel to Hershey to cover for the Ct Post what could arguably be their biggest road game in two years for first place.




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3/28/09

Islander News Articles 3/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2009 11:25:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's recap of New York's 4-3 loss to Philadelphia in a shootout Saturday with comments from Doug Weight on why he dropped the gloves after Jackman was hit in the first, how the team is coming together and head coach Scott Gordon on Yann Danis among a few subjects.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann does a very classy job crediting the fans for their support of a last place team not only last night but at the meeting Thursday and credited the club for how they have played along with owner Charles Wang for his strategy on the Lighthouse, Josh Bailey comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If I'm going to be heavily critical of Mark Herrmann here I have to give the man his due when he does praise the Islanders. As great as it was they sold out against Philadelphia, everyone knows it's was a big partisan crowd last night with the Isles fan base comprised of kids, on the ice the plan seems to be working with the young players giving this team something every game that is translating not just to good shifts any longer but with goals/points/chemistry and the confidence to make plays at this level.

Newsday: Mr Herrmann also has some comments from Hall of Fame General Manager Bill Torrey about the Isles, and what still are very strong and active ties to the area and the NHL.

NY Post: Mike Puma's coverage of the Isles shootout loss with comments from head coach Scott Gordon on his shootout choices and Doug Weight about the club sticking up for one another.

Note-For some reason Larry Brooks felt obligated to take a very unprofessional cheap shot at Mike Milbury.

Note-If Peter Botte was dispatched to cover the game his Sunday article for the Daily News will be added but at this time of year the Daily News usually bails on home coverage.

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

Philadelphia Inq/Daily News: Combined Flyer coverage.

Delaware County Times: Also has Flyer coverage.

Windsor Star: Bob Duff had comments from Josh Bailey about his year in the NHL with head coach Scott Gordon on his top draft picks development to this level after the game in Detroit on Friday.

AHL.com: Reports Bridgeport lost huge in Hershey in a first place battle on Saturday 7-2.

1. HER Aucoin, (24) (Sloan, Giroux), 7:24
1. HER Bourque, (20) (Giroux, Aucoin), 8:30 (PP)
1. HER Aucoin, (25) (Mink), 18:20
2. HER Mink, (32) (Lepisto, Varlamov), 3:58 (PP)
2. BRI Smith, (29) (MacDonald, Sim), 5:17 (PP)
2. HER Giroux, (53) (Aucoin, Helmer), 12:44 (SH)
2. BRI MacDonald, (8) (Lee, Iggulden), 16:07 (PP)
2. HER Giroux, (54) (Aucoin, Bourque), 17:16 (PP)
3. HER Gordon, (21) (Bourque, Kronwall), 0:43 (PP)

Nate Lawson was pulled after allowing six goals on seventeen shots. Bridgeport had forty shots.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio was at Harbor Yard for the NCAA but had a blog entry on the game.

Note-If the paper has a game article from the Ct Post beyond Sunday's preview against Lowell on the road 4pm Sunday here I will add it in tomorrow.

Ct Post: Dan Sernoffsky had an article that was mostly Bears centric with no Sound Tiger quotes.

Patroit-News: Tim Leone has Bears coverage of their win which gives them a five point first place lead with a game in hand for a team the Sound Tigers led or were tied with only a week ago.

Lancaster Online: Harold Ziegler also has coverage on Hershey's win.

1 x Hershey Bears 73 47 19 1 6 101
2 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 74 44 22 3 5 96
3 WBarre/Scranton Penguins 73 45 24 2 2 94

Hershey plays WBS Pens Sunday

AHL season is eighty games.





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Philadelphia 4, New York 3 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2009 10:31:00 PM
Associated Press: Recaps New York's 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia Saturday.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Better team tonight lost the skills competition or decided to turn the shootout into an exhibition, if not for 0.02 at the end of the first the game is likely out of reach for Philadelphia earlier.

Someone is going to have to explain to me why we see calls like the one against McAmmond decide a game but tonight night when all we hear is you are responsible for your stick Jackman takes a high stick in his face right in front of the official, blood is drawn and no call is made nor do the officials even consult with one another?

That turns a tie game with three minutes left into one the Isles take into overtime with a powerplay.

It's huge.

Overall I'm very happy with the Islanders effort.

For a team rested and waiting with all those twenty goal scorers the Flyers were very passive, sat back early and did not try and take it at the Islanders who not only generated good chances but took the early lead and simply were the better team that were standing up for one another beginning with Doug Weight who jumped right in and defended a teammate.

You would be hard pressed to know who was competing for a playoff spot tonight.

Goals? Nice shot by Martinek, good hand-eye by Tambellini but again for me the shifts these young players are having between Bailey-Okposo-Nielsen-Comeau-Tambellini are the story where they create quality chances and it's not one thing but just the body or work as it's obvious they are more and more comfortable at this level.

They are consistently the teams best players game in and out.

Defense for Islanders was solid across the board, Flyers did not get many quality chances until the third.

Veterans created their chances too with McAmmond and Weight getting breakaways, the officials made a terrible call against Philadelphia when a player dove and got the puck with his stick but gave the Isles a powerplay.

Also loved how they stood in and fought when it was needed combined with some big hits. Comeau buried a Flyer at the end of regulation. Rule of thumb is you don't wake up Aaron Asham, Jackman found that out the hard way.

What can I write about Yann Danis? He seemed composed and in control for two periods but he cannot allow that first Flyer goal which changes the momentum. It's obvious he's fighting the puck but the third goal he had no chance on as Streit got beat before he almost immediately crashed the net to tie to score.

Down the stretch seemed both teams wanted to get the game to overtime as the Flyers went back into first period mode. In overtime seemed both teams were looking toward a shootout.

Why is Brendan Witt opening a shootout and Mark Streit closing it? No idea but whether they score or not what was the point of that when there are a lot of forwards with better hands who he has used previously?

That one I simply do not get.

Flyer skilled players got the best of a struggling goalie in the skills competition.

Islanders did not skate like a tired team, had more energy and worked to create better chances, after last night's that's about all that can be asked.

All in all, it should have been a regulation win, Islanders were better in most areas.



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Philadelphia at New York 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2009 06:08:00 PM
Sorry for the late game preview.

Sports Network: Reports Martin Biron will start in goal tonight against New York in a preview.

03/26/2009 FLA 4 @ PHI 2
03/23/2009 NJD 2 @ PHI 4
03/22/2009 PHI 3 @ PIT 1
03/20/2009 PHI 6 @ BUF 4
03/17/2009 PHI 2 @ DET 3

Derien Hatcher is only player on Flyers injury report.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Flyers were waiting in New York for the Islanders yesterday and come off a very tough loss to Florida, as usual Philadelphia is about as consistent as it's goaltending where at one point they look unbeatable and others they simply cannot win but recently we have seen the better team and Biron has the Islanders number when he starts and lately has been the full-time starter.

Carter, Richards, Hartnell, Briere and Knuble are all healthy for tonight's game.

Flyers have a game against Boston tomorrow.

For the Islanders we see how they react off traveling and a big win that the goaltending played a key in but need a few more goals and chances themselves with a lot more fringe veterans in the lineup who are not goal-scorers. Should be Yann Danis with MacDonald coming off injury.



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Jim Baumbach pushing for Isles Finances

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2009 10:00:00 AM
Apparently Jim Baumbach is questioning why Charles Wang is not able to open up the teams books as he offered to in his recent interview with Newsday if given league permission here and cites a NY Times article from July 2003 by Richard Sandomir in the Times here that I was researching while investigating how much Smg receives from the Islanders where Mr Wang tells all about the Islanders finances.

Mr Baumbach among many things he would never ask about Cablevision/Dolans and how they intend to pay for a 500m Garden renovation or be given City approvals questioned how an NHL team could lose this much revenue and that he can't just take those losses at his word and proof is required.

Of course I included all the documented reports of the Rangers losing 25-40 million a year for him in that era as proof a pro sports franchise can and has sustained those kinds of heavy losses.

No doubt Mr Baumbach will be ignoring any reports of the Rangers losing money now or in the past and will not be questioning his employer or asking for the Rangers books.

NYIFC has posted the articles on Ranger financial losses several times from the Post, Daily News, Washington Times and Arthur Levitt and are available on request for all interested parties.



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3/27/09

Islander News Articles 3/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2009 10:46:00 PM











Will update early Saturday so we have as many quotes as possible from both sides.

Newsday: Greg Logan's game recap has goaltender Joey MacDonald's comments on his first career shutout against his former team in his game recap.

NHL.com: Brian Hunter has comments from Joey MacDonald on his first shutout who credited his team as he talked about his diving save in the second period. Head coaches Scott Gordon and Mike Babcock also discusses the game with Wings defender Nicklas Lidstrom agreeing with MacDonald the momentum swung with the two goals and the big saves.

NHL.com: Larry Wigge does a feature on Bill Guerin comparing his circumstances here vs Pittsburgh and uses Scott Gordon's rotten apples comment to make his point with the Long Island label slapped on virtually everything despite the head coach's praise for Bill Guerin.

Kyle Okposo in this NHL feature that has several subjects but leads with Guerin also has Kyle Okposo's comments about adding a franchise talent or finishing this season strong.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If Larry Wigge who is a long-time respected writer cannot do the homework or only goes for Newsday blurbs where even Greg Logan speculated he was not talking about Bill Guerin how is anyone else going to get these stories right?

Scott Gordon was on XM radio and praised Guerin earlier this week, that did not make it in this article at all.

Canadian Press: Has Bruno Gervais and Josh Bailey's comments in their recap along with MacDonald.

Detroit News: Ted Kulfan has the recap of New York's 2-0 win in Detroit.

Michigan Live: Ansar Khan also has a game recap.

Detroit Free Press: Also has Red Wings coverage on their loss.

Journal-Star: Kevin Capie reports Islanders scout Ken Morrow was one of at least five NHL teams scouting the Peoria Rivermen against the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio previews Saturday's big game in Hershey with head coach Jack Capuano and defenseman Andrew MacDonald's comments.



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New York 2, Detroit 0 " Thank God For Night Off "

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2009 10:08:00 PM
























Associated Press: Recaps New York's 2-0 win against the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday.

I'm sure older fans back from 72-73 understand the title when the expansion Islanders visited Detroit and found that sign waiting for them at the Olympia.

Congratulations to Joey MacDonald on his first NHL shutout which comes against his former team, that sprawling save was one for the books.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Team trying for a league record fifty wins four years in a row not since the 70's and you could see a lot of empty seats and not much noise in that building for a club first overall on a Friday night.

A few posts and Joey MacDonald giving them the goaltending we saw early in the season or as early as opening night with a few incredible saves but for the most part the Islanders got in the lanes, forced mistakes and pressured the Wings.

Without MacDonald's play and the post/crossbar Wings could have had four or five goals, the chances they created they worked hard for.

Some of the calls against the Isles seemed like homer/experience calls like Okposo in the first where the puck was there so it could not be interference or that late third period penalty against Martinek where Johan Franzen was touched and went down like he tried to draw one and did.

On the Islanders side of the puck a very solid team effort blocking shots and making good defensive plays across the board. Gervais looks like he went to the Mark Streit school of defense and to me has never looked more confident jumping in on offense or just clearing a puck when it needs to be. He has been a solid defender for a few years, lately he seems to be able to create offense and playing at a higher level.

On offense the kids with Comeau, Bailey not on that line with Tambellini-Nielsen-Okposo who simply were the Islanders best line worked for some chances with the Islander forwards who simply are not likely to score often.

Give Jackman high marks for his work to create Bailey's goal who got position on Nicklas Lidstrom and earned the second goal. Seemed like if the Isles got one to Streit on one of those powerplays he was going to make it 3-0.

Okposo looks more and more like a franchise player, some of the plays late he was knocking down Wing players on defense, his vision and patience to find Nielsen with that pass who made a great move on Osgood for the shorthanded goal.

A game everyone including the fans can highlight for this season, the kids were the best players, MacDonald was outstanding. Isles got in the trenches and did well against the best team in the NHL, not the kind of skilled offensive win against the Devils but still a good team effort.

Memorable night.

Philadelphia is here resting already, will be interesting to see what the Islanders do Saturday off that kind of win.







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New York at Detroit 7:30pm Msg+ Weight Activated

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2009 12:27:00 PM
The Islanders announced Doug Weight has been activated off IR and Mike Iggulden has been returned to Bridgeport so drop another player from the man-games lost to injury for Friday's game.

03/24/2009 DET 3 @ EDM 2
03/23/2009 DET 3 @ CGY 5
03/20/2009 DET 6 @ ATL 3
03/17/2009 PHI 2 @ DET 3
03/15/2009 DET 4 @ CBJ 0

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Pavel Datsyuk 73 30 59 89 35
Henrik Zetterberg 69 29 38 67 15
Marian Hossa 68 37 29 66 23
Brian Rafalski 74 10 47 57 21
Johan Franzen 63 31 24 55 19
Jiri Hudler 74 22 32 54 6
Nicklas Lidstrom 71 13 38 51 30
Niklas Kronwall 72 4 42 46 1
Mikael Samuelsson 73 18 21 39 5
Daniel Cleary 66 14 24 38 6

Updated Player Pos
03/10/09 Andreas Lilja D Concussion, knee IR. Out indefinitely

Player GP W-L-OT S GAA SV%
Chris Osgood 40 24-6-8 1048 3.18 .884
Ty Conklin 38 25-9-4 975 2.42 .912

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Detroit Red Wings tonight attempt to become only the third team in NHL history to record three fifty win seasons in a row which has not happened since the 1970's era.

Islanders last played in Detroit December 12/4/2005 and defeated the Wings 2-1 in a game if I recall Mike York scored a late goal. Steve Stirling was into his final month as coach for those looking back.

Needless to write the Wings are an outstanding club but their goaltending at times can be suspect, will they take the Islanders lightly who should not be happy with their recent play or how some games have gotten away from them because those losses seem a lot more about the mistakes by the team than what the other team is doing or do we see the club perform as it did against New Jersey and in Montreal where they generated quality chances and scored skilled goals?

This should be a fun test for the young players, only Scott Gordon knows who gets the call in net but with back to back I expect Joey MacDonald will start against his former team as Danis did against Montreal.

Wings give up some goals, but they also have scored 276 goals.

For the lottery only fans, it seems anything short of a free fall by Tampa and especially Colorado who are playing like they might not gain another point, it seems a three team race for 30th overall which means a first or second pick in this summers draft.

Islanders currently trail Colorado by eight points but with win disparity you can make that nine as the first tie-breaker goes to the Avs despite the Isles recent win head to head.

For my money I'd like to see the Islanders put on a very impressive show tonight because the turn-around back home the next night will not be easy with the Flyers already in New York on Friday waiting and coming off a bad loss themselves.

This is the final game against the Western Conference.



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Looking ahead for NY Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/27/2009 09:24:00 AM
This time of year always bring a few surprises like Trevor Smith being signed April 2, 2007. Sean Bentovoglio was a later signing that same year in May so I'll keep an eye out.

Prospects blog feeder usually catches this information. Not sure many of you found the prospect blog for NYIFC but I think those who do will find it one of the best updated anywhere with information here where you can get local coverage or team information on every prospect in the organization.

No doubt the Matt Gilroy watch picks up steam as he just won the Walter Brown award Patriot News with most NHL teams rumored to be looking into signing the UFA free agent defenseman who has no cap on his contract because of his age and is in the mix for the Hobey Baker.

New York Islanders:
For the New York Islanders we have a season to close out (hopefully with a few wins and no more injuries) and some playoffs after two years for the team in Bridgeport where there is a fair chance they can go far this spring.

Tragic number for finishing with worst record/primary lottery spot is down to nine which means combined wins/ot/shootout points gained or lost by Islanders, Tampa or Colorado who controls tie-breaker (lead by seven wins) so you can add a point to their record despite them leading the Isles by eight points currently.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers:
Isles are sending Blake Comeau, who's the only regular with Jack Hillen and Mike Iggulden but this team at the start will not have Kyle Okposo. Jeff Tambellini would have to clear waivers as well as Frans Nielsen and were not on Bridgeport's clear day list here.

Josh Bailey is not eligible to play for Bridgeport so this team will not have a heavy Islander flavor beyond some spot callups like Joe Callahan, Jesse Joensuu, Andrew MacDonald and a few others.

Prospect Signings:
The clock is also ticking on the 6/1 deadline to resign 2007 draft prospects from CHL such as Mark Katic or they can re-enter the draft. There has been no resolution with the IHL on European prospects on a transfer agreement so there is still no Stefan Ridderwall deadline or anyone else from that league.

I guess that includes the KHL for their veteran league.

Most of the Isles college prospects are not graduating this summer, some could be signed and enter the organization but for now whoever stays in school is not required to be tendered a contract.

Of course there is always a Rob Hennigar or Joel Rechlicz prospect in the mix.


NHL Draft/Free Agency/Roster Speculation:

Obviously the Isles are going to stock up big time again in this draft.

Free agency like last summer it's not just about the money or reaching the cap floor but to create room to fit a player on your roster.

If John Tavares were drafted here with Nielsen and Josh Bailey a first line center cannot be signed or you have to place them on the fourth line with Park-Jackman signed for next year

I suspect Weight's return depends on if the Isles win the right to draft Tavares or not.

With Bergenheim, Tambellini, Comeau what left wing do you want to kick off the team to sign a first line left winger? We did this last year and had our poll and managements actions reflected our poll on who would play where. All of them were benched or played on a fourth line or sent down, Jon Sim was waived twice before being demoted and has a year to go on his contract.

First line right wing (Bill Guerin's spot) is the only spot in play (Okposo-Hunter-Jackman) with Garth Snow needing to find someone who can fill the scoring with a franchise player or someone with NHL scoring ability.

Defense is locked tight folks with Witt, Sutton, Martinek, Gervais, Meyer and Mark Streit all signed for next year with Jack Hillen unrestricted. Anyone talking drafting Hedman, signing Mike Komisarek or even Gilroy has to make a trade for any of them to play here.

It's not just about signing players, rosters spots have to be created first.

I suspect Garth Snow has a trade or two to make.


NYIFC:

Still waiting on an official lottery date. I have not made any final decisions for a closing date for this blog right now partially because I'm waiting on the lottery.

Bad news is looks like 3/31 or 4/1 coverage with Caps game will be missed here entirely.

Still, it will be a fun ride to the end.



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3/26/09

Islander News Articles 3/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2009 10:46:00 PM
Newsday: John Jeansonne covered practice Thursday with head coach Scott Gordon's comments on the effort in the 6-2 loss and how he is using his young players.

Injury updates are given on Doug Weight and Sean Bergenheim.

Newsday: Eden Laikin recapped Thursday meeting on the Lighthouse which had no new announcements beyond County Executive Tom Suozzi quoted as saying if the project isn't approved, there won't be sufficient funding to rehabilitate the Coliseum - making it hard for the Islanders to remain.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

Begging the question why doesn't Nassau County's current Executive condemn former County Executives Tom Gulotta's lease with Smg so whoever owns the Islanders can get their full ticket revenue, parking and concessions?

Newsday: David A. Levy, counsel to the supervisor of the Town of Hempstead is given a full article in Newsday where he says the delays over the years is on Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who took years to approve a project, a developler and that the TOH is moving as fast as possible as Supervisor Kate Murray's actions were defended and have expedited this process as concerns of what the scale of this project will bring to the area.

NY Post: Dan Martin had three paragraphs on tonight's game and last night's meeting with his own speculation, he obviously was not in attendance.

Updated 11:00am
Newsday: Mark Herrmann in the NHL Newsday blog on had more on the exchanges between the Islanders and Wild in Wednesday's game where he used the Minnesota coverage.


NYI Fan Central Comments:

This was after at least two Ranger blog entries on their Thursday loss begging the question what took so long when Islander fans may have wanted to read this the day after the game?

Detroit News: Ted Kulfan has an update from Red Wings Practice and confirms former Islander Chris Osgood will start Friday.

Detroit Free Press: George Sipple has Red Wings line changes at practice Thursday with Helen St.James article on the Wings here.

WXYK.com: Has audio of Red Wings Head coach Mike Babcock's comments about the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Rob Hennigar was called up from the Utah Grizzlies on Thursday.

AHL.com reported Joel Rechlicz and Mike Iggulden were returned to Bridgeport but those could be paper transactions only.

Bridgeport has a rare Friday off but plays a big game in Hershey Saturday.




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Lighthouse Meeting Updates

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2009 07:47:00 PM
Newsday: Katie Strang in the Islanders Newsday blog is hosting a live event for tonight's meeting also Mr Botta at Point Blank is giving minute by minute updates for those interested.



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3/25/09

Islander News Articles 3/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2009 10:29:00 PM
Newsday: Greg Logan's game coverage had comments from Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, head coaches Scott Gordon (on several subjects) & Jacques Lemaire who was not happy with some of the hits by the Islanders.

Also reported the Isles had a brief statement on Rick DiPietro while Dr Logan again questioned the medical staff on Andy Sutton who was not cleared despite wanting to play.

NY Post & Daily News if writers were sent to the first home game in a while.

Pioneer Press: Brian Murphy recaps Minnesota's 6-2 win against New York on Wednesday.

Star Tribune: Michael Russo's game coverage and blog entries here.

Detroit News: Dave Dye reports former Islander Chris Osgood will start Friday against his former team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his Sound Tigers blog reported Hershey regained first place over Bridgeport with a win on Wednesday and WBS Pens also won on Wednesday.



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Minnesota 6, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2009 07:30:00 PM
Associated Press: Recaps New York's 6-2 loss at home against Minnesota Wednesday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Very disappointing result for a team playing excellent hockey at home. Almost seems like the last week or so the Isles bubble popped and what was helping them win and play competitive has let some games simply get away from them.

Bergenheim out, Joensuu in Bridgeport, Thompson-Park back in? Sure Park has scored since his return but it's not the same quality goals and chances as the Devils game or the Habs game.

Minnesota brought a lot to this game after they started slowly. Very chippy game with a lot of hits and scrums. Almost seemed like the fighting/scrums woke the Wild up and motivated them with the standings.

Islanders started the game well, did not sustain it long and considering they were the rested team there is no excuse for that. They had the better legs early but after Gaborik beat Thompson down low off a great centering pass to tie the game things changed quickly.

Streit a beautiful dish pass and a nice screen by Iggulden for Gervais who had a perfect shot. Big hits by Tambellini and Thompson early.

Yann Danis has to stop the second goal, the reaction by Scott Gordon on the bench said it all, he was not set or had his pads together, aside from that he did not have a lot of help or too much help on Skouka's third period goal with the screens from three Islanders or the one Owen Nolan shot off Gervais.

Overall his reactions were not sharp but again he did not have a lot of help.

Smg opened the door a second early which is why Comeau landed on the other side which could have been a serious injury, did not see anything out of line from the Wild there but loved Okposo's reaction.

Comeau kept talking penalties and fighting back. Too quiet a night from Nielsen. Bailey had a great third period chance, Tambellini a few plays at the net.

Tim Jackman needed to get involved in this one a lot more in the physical department.

Did Hilbert deflect it with an open net off Backstrom who was at the top of his crease which means Hilbert deflected it the wrong way? Second goal since he returned from injury which we all know is not nearly enough.

Nate Thompson's first NHL assist on that quality shift from that line.

For the Wild the best player on the ice was the best player in the building and that's Marian Gaborik with his four points. He got to the net for a goal and set up several others.

Three on three down two goals and Scott Gordon with the last change had Gervais, Martinek, Nielsen on the ice, eventually Witt came on. I know Okposo, Comeau and Streit were in the box, I think Bailey was in the lockeroom.

Would not have been the worst time to play Tambellini but that's an easy second guess.

Howie Rose called this one like his car was double-parked and running with the Minnesota trap angle which was disrespectful to a cup winning coach who's had a great deal of success. Wild in the second dominated the puck in the Isles end of the ice and missed a lot of shots which were not credited and came at the Islanders hard in the third.

Wild looked a lot more entertaining and played less of a trap than the Rangers have for over three years.

What was the cheap shots with Marc-Andre Bergereon's missing the net, that was uncalled for by Rose also.

Howie Rose had a very poor night doing his Vancouver media impersonation earlier this season.











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Minnesota at New York Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2009 02:00:00 PM
03/24/2009 MIN 1 @ NYR 2
03/22/2009 EDM 0 @ MIN 3
03/20/2009 MIN 0 @ NJD 4
03/17/2009 COL 2 @ MIN 3
03/15/2009 MIN 3 @ STL 5

Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
03/23/09 Brent Burns D Concussion Out indefinitely
03/23/09 Mikko Koivu C Knee Out until at least early April

Stat Player Total
Points Mikko Koivu 62
Goals Owen Nolan 22
Assists Mikko Koivu 44
PIM Derek Boogaard 87
Plus/Minus Derek Boogaard 3
PP Goals Owen Nolan 10
SH Goals Mikko Koivu 2

GP W L OTL GAA SV%
Niklas Backstrom 63 32 22 7 2.36 .921
Josh Harding 18 2 9 1 2.15 .932

Star Tribune: Michael Russo in his blog discusses how the Wild played and the chances the failed to finish in Marian Gaborik's return.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For the Wild about as close to a must-win as a team can have without facing elimination without Koivu who is one of their best players. For the New York Islanders a chance to defeat a team that outplayed them earlier this season when the Wild were struggling.

First visit in a few years for the Wild to the Coliseum. I would expect a callup from Bridgeport and that does not include Joey MacDonald's likely activation. Does Scott Gordon save Yann Danis for the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday?

Strategy, Minnesota is not a strong offensive team whether it be by system or the Gaborik injury, it should be a low scoring game, we'll see what the Isles can generate.



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Forget Doug Weight, Sign Zigmund Palffy

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2009 12:00:00 PM
























Forgive me folks, as well as Doug Weight has performed on the powerplay what center do you plan on moving between Josh Bailey, Frans Nielsen and maybe John Tavares so he can be a top three center who had four goals (including Ryan O'Byrne) and ten assist at even strength in forty four games with a minus twelve rating?

Do I again write about Mike Sillinger's comments he expects to be in camp next year or Dean McAmmond combined with other center prospects long overdue to play on the fourth line at this level to say nothing of Park-Thompson?

Why was it Rob Hennigar was signed at age 25 again if he's not going to get a chance on a fourth line someday?

Doug Weight's earlier comments about staying are very classy, a few months ago he did not sound like a man ready to give up his spot for a younger player.

What's going to change come September?

If the Islanders need a veteran how about someone who can put the puck in the net and at the very least used to be a dynamic player the fans can identify with.

This would not be playing the sentiment card but one that makes sense if you are looking for some scoring for someone who is off the NHL radar.

Zigmund Palffy, thirty six years old.
Skalica Extraliga (SVK) 07/08 46 30 45 75
Skalica Extraliga (SVK) 08/09 53 52 47 99

For those wondering how much former Islander Zigmund Palffy has struggled since he left Pittsburgh a few years ago.

I would absolutely make a call and see if he wants to return to the NHL if he's healthy and producing to this degree.

Anyone think he will do much worse than Bill Guerin on right wing with three goals in his last twenty games?

Not putting down the leadership or character of Guerin-Weight, at some point you do have to have a few players who can put up the numbers.

I may be in the minority but Palffy if he is playing well and Tavares would be a heck of a good combination with Okposo-Bailey.

It's not the same player from ten years ago, but if the Isles are going to add players on the other side of thirty five, this seems the best one for them because they need scoring.



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