2009-10 Islanders Can Make Playoffs......IF

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/18/2009 11:00:00 AM | Comment Here

For all that went wrong it was one heck of a struggle to finish dead last a year ago.

The way some folks write about the team they finished 30th by twenty points and it was clinched by November 15th.

When you add in the injuries, one-goal losses and the early blown leads in the end it took a horrible December & January and even that was not enough to guarantee anything until the final games.

Colorado went from a playoff spot to almost finishing 30th very quickly in a dramatic free fall.

If the man games lost to injury got the play the Coliseum did more folks would understand that this season is different from a year ago.

That's the good news which any semblance of health should help fix to a degree.

Bad news is this is not the same team with veteran scorers like Comrie, Guerin, or Sillinger that kept them in contention until injuries caught up with them in March 2008.

It's also not Ted Nolan's team who had them in contention both seasons.

There is really no place to hide for Bergenheim, Nielsen, Tambellini and Comeau at this point in their career. Being here and having good games will not be enough anymore, the production also has to follow from those players that were drafted in 02,03,04.

That's not even counting on absolutely needing production from Bailey, Tavares, or Okposo at a point we are asking a great deal from them and Okposo not scoring off his natural right wing side last season.

Without any doubt Hunter and Weight have to produce offensively or both should be moved. I know Garth Snow praised Hunter recently on the NHLPA website but he has had two poor offensive years in a row despite all the other things he does and has not been the same player since 2004 with his knee on knee with Sean Brown.

Doug Weight has to score at even strength or he is not the right player for this roster.

If these players do not score it leads right back to the same trap which is counting on Richard Park to score. Park has been everything and more as an Islander but expecting him to lead the team and score on a regular basis is asking for too much.

Then you start looking around at the kids plus Tim Jackman and everyone is wondering where the next goal is coming from?

I'm not concerned with the physical department as so many are and there is always another Andrew Peters to be signed as the UFA told the Buffalo News Monday.

Between Jackman, Rechlicz, Sutton, Witt this roster has a few players who can win a fight or two.

Snow could sign anyone among a bunch of players for the fight by appointment.

Bottom line John Tavares is not skating on a line with Joel Rechlicz and will take his hits just like Crosby did not skate on a line with Eric Godard. This is all part of the process and no fight by appointment is going to fix this and there are no more Clark Gillies in this league to score thirty, fight and play on the top line.

It's also fair to lay it on the line with the defenders and the head coach.

If Andy Sutton, Freddy Meyer and maybe even Radek Martinek cannot stay healthy it's time to give the job to someone who can.

Career trends do not lie for some of these players. Brendan Witt did stay in the lineup and got his mobility back around December after his third knee injury in the calendar year.

Individually they are good defenders when healthy, we have to see some chemistry develop and with the farm system changes will be coming. Andrew MacDonald, Mark Katic and even Dustin Kohn could get a look before another veteran depth signing plus Hillen is on a one-way contract so he will beat out someone or wait for an injury with the Islanders.

Mark Streit needs a repeat season and will need to do it hopefully in a playoff race under real pressure.

A huge question remains if Scott Gordon's system works at this level.

How Witt reacted and how Gordon changed system last year was notable and begs the question if the coach is not doing what he does best what can he do because a big reason he was hired is now compromised? A lot of good AHL coaches systems and tactics simply do not work at this level. Gordon also seemed to react poorly on Danis or other players at times and his I like goalies to finish what they start comment did not match the record in Providence.

Plus if any of these coaches were Gordon's hirings the Isles website or the media did not indicate that. Snow was the only one who commented and hiring a coach-gm from another organization is never a good sign.

Hopefully Gordon had input or a part of the hiring process because year one he had someone else's staff.

Still the two-year trend goes all the way back to Al Arbour, coaches do not last three years here that's something this coach has to be thinkng about too.

You got another blog entry. I got a new flash player, sidebar backgrounds, I'm quietly getting a lot done here. I only wish I had learned these things when the blog was still going daily but I will put up a little hockey content to test the changes.

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New Background USA Camp Ends

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2009 10:02:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Saturday 8/15 Final game at Lake Placid Team USA won 6-0 with Aaron Ness and
Matt Donovan against Russian Isles prospect Anton Klementyev.

Camp concluded Saturday.

Team USA Page (above) provided camp updates and box scores of these games.

Katie Strang in Islanders Newsday blog (Rss still down for all blogs at Newsday) had
assistant gm Ryan Jankowski's comments on Ness-Donovan.

Hockey Canada.ca: Had their Developmental Camp last week which included Travis
Hamonic and Calvin deHaan.

It took a full year but finally the page borders are perfectly centered and extend
to the top of the blog.

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Ice Background, Hockey Content

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/13/2009 09:58:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Friday's test code is a new ice background for something I'm working on elsewhere but for some hockey filler just to write anything I found it funny the Canadian/Toronto media did not go hard after Leafs owner Richard Peddie's deposition which Jim Balsillie wanted from the league which the judge in Arizona is not going to allow.

Mr Balsillie also wants team finances going back several years including how several teams in one market apparently do in ticket sales, revenue and not just worthless Forbes estimates which you can bet means New York market.

Why do I have the feeling if Mr Balsillie wanted Wang's deposition the Canadian or Leaf media would be relentless and tell us about the Isles struggles on the ice, the Jacobs family in Boston got a little rip job from the Canadian writers too, but not the Leafs after forty plus years without even appearing in a final?

These publishes/editors/writers know who pays the bills up there and provide advertising and you can bet the Leafs are one big reason such a move will not happen which all these writers are crying for as they bash the Arizona market daily, so why not put some blame on Richard Peddie.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Seems those Long Island papers Friday had some serious opposition to the Lighthouse, questioning EIS on water despite seemingly daily floods all over New York, size of project and scaling back things and how other businesses are already hurting for customers. One paper the other day asked how much is the current empty parking lot hurting the drainage system?

I never knew a barren parking lot was considered suburbia by so many.

When the public comment period ends after Monday then things will really get down to business because there is nothing left for TOH but to sit down with Wang-Rechler and what if anything they will have to do for approval or is that hundred foot high wall that has killed every plan for twenty years about to come into view?

If that happens I don't want to hear anything from Tom Suozzi but how the taxpayers now pay for an Smg buyout immediately and a brand new Nassau Coliseum plus an announcement this team will never be moved regardless of who owns it. NYC in the early eighties gave Msg an eighteen million dollar exemption (about triple both teams payroll back then) and tons of perks like low-cost electricity for the Garden to keep their teams from moving. NYC handed the Yankees and Mets millions/billions for their ballparks with permanent revenue streams and full ownership of the facilities.

Either Tom Suozzi get's this project approved or taxpayers pay up and he breaks the bad news.

Talk has been cheap since he took office and he let this sit for years before and after a developer was selected. He can blame Tom Gulotta or anyone he wants but it's his job now to make the New York Islanders a business that can have a chance to be profitable for whoever owns this hockey team in the future and solve this problem if he cannot get LH approval or the TOH in line.

It got solved in Pittsburgh so it can be solved here with no Lighthouse.

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I guess you want my reaction on Mr Logan ?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2009 10:03:00 PM | | Comment Here
I added some thoughts to this thread to be as fair as possible Friday night and edited a few items also because in my haste to experiment with codes and colors I did not do a very good job on this entry and I was not as fair with Mr Logan as I should have been.

I'm sorry about that and apologize to Mr Logan and the folks who read the earlier entry.
All due respect to Greg Logan however I'm not sorry to hear of his departure from the Islanders beat which Mr Botta broke and Katie Strang confirmed.

No doubt this is the right move for everyone involved in my estimation.

Mr Logan is a professional writer with over thirty years experience and it was never his fault he was not a die-hard passionate New York Islander Fan. The job did not require him to be but fair or not that's what this team desperately needed which made him a bad choice from day one.

I started NYIFC with the viewpoint he did an excellent job his first year.

In the end Mr Logan was simply a case of wrong writer, team and perhaps most of all the wrong era for what was required.

For the same reason it could mean Katie Strang is not the right person either.

Alan Hahn was a die hard Islander fan and things did not end well there either with Mr Botta in April 2006 critical of Newsday coverage. Back before blogs he did a few mailbags a year but in those days Mr Hahn wrote a column for the Sporting news. Peter Botte wrote for faceoff.com on the Isles and if I recall did THN publication reports.

Cutbacks finished all these things for hockey.

That passion I wrote about (above) is how Marc Berman in the Post used to write about this club which you saw recently in a rare article. That's how Peter Botte covered the team for years when given proper space at the Daily News and that's what George Vecsey used to give us at the NY Times long ago (with countless other writers over decades) and what Mr Botta has given us at Point Blank over two years and why he has made the connection he has with the fans.

Larry Brooks right or wrong goes all out for his team, his passion is always there.

Let me add all those veteran writers I am praising here never had to blog several times a day in a 24/7 media world now and Mr Brooks has a web editor or someone to do many of the NY Post blog updates. Newsday did not provide Mr Logan any help on a daily basis in that department and when he hit the road he was alone.

Then again it has to be mentioned how someone like Michael Fornabaio did interviews by telephone when the Ct Post did not let him go to Norfolk or the West Coast/Canada last season or blog with everything he could about a game and he's been the Sound Tigers writer since day one. He has had to change how he does things too and in the AHL there are few plane rides with three games in three days often. Some may recall Mr Fornabaio's auto accident a few years ago so it does not seem like he has a seat on the bus for road games. Mr Logan was not happy about traveling problems to Edmonton from Colorado one season.

Mr Botta If I recall praised Mr Logan and how he got from Buffalo to Philadelphia for an interview one season.

But that passion has been missing at Newsday under Mr Logan for our team. Was this a fair standard to ask of him? Perhaps not.

Maybe if this team had four daily beatwriters like it used to things would not have been so noticeable.

Some things however were noticeable that go beyond him to the sports department.

I saw our team outblogged by a good five to one ratio by the Ranger counterpart in Mr Zipay at Newsday which sports editor Hank Winnicki (or whoever makes such decisions) should have immediately recognized doubling and even tripling up Islander coverage to supplement the dwindling city space cutting down or outright eliminating Ranger coverage.

At the very least Mr Winnicki (if he had the final call/whoever did) should have switched Mr Logan, a former Ranger beatwriter who appeared on Msg specials back to his former assignment with Steve Zipay moving to the Islander beat.

Mr Logan never seemed to make any attempt to make up the disparity from the city publications with his Newsday blog space.

Is that a lot to ask on my part? Perhaps, however for passionate professional writers about a subject it's something you feel obligated to do. For a veteran writer from a different generation like Mr Logan blogging is new and more work to do with news breaking at all hours.

There is all the traveling plus a life outside of his assignment.

The point is other teams have that level of information or print space, our team did not.

I wrote game previews and home/road coverage almost every day and I could see the differences between Islander coverage and other clubs whether it be Tarik El-Bashir in Washington, George Richards in Florida or Mr Zipay in the local paper.

We saw it in Newsday too.

Steve Zipay would go cover his team during vacation or on off-days, Mr Logan did a few times and put off vacation when Scott Gordon was hired last August. He also had a lot more comp time he told us he had to take which included long stretches of the season two years ago which he is entitled to like everyone else employed but as a fan it is frustrating to see less coverage.

Newsday opened an NHL blog for Mark Herrmann which had one Islander update and nothing else for close to a month early. Arthur Staple was switched to hockey, Islander coverage did not pick up (Ranger coverage did) and not nearly enough features.

Mr Logan's fault? Absolutely not.

I would suggest change does not mean enhanced coverage which we heard a decade ago when Sportchannel became Fox Sports Net and now Msg+ whatever. We'll see if the Newsday peripheral writers like Mr Herrmann, Baumbach or Rieber do a few rip jobs on the club which will let us know who was really behind this change.

What else do you want me to repeat again?

That even before Cablevision bought the paper the staff was made up of former Ranger beatwriters and admitted fans who kept the glass half filled on one club and empty on the other and now that Cablevision owns the paper the writers never are critical of the teams they own but go off on other teams in this market.

Old news.

Having written that Mr Logan at times stepped up his reporting (I remember how he ran down Ryan Smyth in a Minnesota airport after the trade here and got an interview late at night) and did a lot of outstanding features with the kids plus kept pace with the weekly insider but seemed to work hardest on the negative angles whether it be anonymous quotes on coaches or comments on DiPietro's maturity and health that were over the top in my estimation and stood out too.

Mr Logan's complaints regarding the NHL injury policy (from league meeting at finals) led to outright daily assaults for a while from the Newsday staff about the Isles which no team with injuries in North America had to endure from their local media here that I saw as out of line which began that June when Mr Logan learned of Guerin-DiPietro summer surgeries,. Perhaps his intention was to provide us information but other teams were not treated like this for following the same league policy.

Mr Logan got it wrong on draft day and called it wrong on other things? Get over it, he did not have to share anything.

You want someone who is generous and tries to give us more whether it's right or wrong in the end, that's where he failed most in my estimation. How many times did Mr Zipay ask his readers questions or ask for input to keep conversation going or suggest a player for his team?

How often did Mr Logan?

My Thanks and best of luck to Greg Logan whatever sport or beat he is assigned who many have told me is a gentleman.

You would be completely mistaken thinking my criticism of him was personal or beyond NY Islander hockey content. I only wish I could have praised his work more.

Bottom line:

I'm someone who wrote an amateur fan blog about my favorite team, it's easy for me to sit on the sidelines and second guess but what I saw from other teams and writers was impossible for me to ignore because our team needed the same thing and there were fair content questions I tried to ask here along the level of a Sandomir, Mushnick, Best or Raissman with my own hockey content.

This blog did daily articles as part of it's function.

Mr Logan has been a professional writer for over thirty years on an entirely different level covering several sports and has earned respect from the professional media across the board for coverage.

That's who Greg Logan is and it is something we all should respect.

I would like to see Mr Logan get assigned something he is passionate about but that is likely beyond his control like most writers. Our beatwriter from a decade ago at Newsday (John Valenti) now does the weather.

Finally for those who think it's impossible to find life-long New York Islander Fans in the professional media today I submit the 8/12 New York Daily News feature here.

You asked, I told and you even got another entry to read.

I got to try out another code for better reading while not changing everything on the side bars but still private or public blog no excuses at all for me doing such a poor initial entry.

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NYIFC Will Remain Visible

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/08/2009 08:32:00 PM | Comment Here

Enough folks have e-mailed and asked if they can continue to view both blogs or subscribe to the pages on private/restricted so I have been going back and forth with the settings for a week and I'm very sorry about that.

A few times I did not even remember what settings I left the pages on because I always see the pages anyway as owner.

I intended to keep NYIFC private for myself just to follow the team (among other things and even offered it to someone else outright without my involvement) but if folks want to see the pages here this much I will leave it visible but please understand upfront I will not be updating beyond what I would have done to keep the page updated for myself like keeping feeders working. I sometimes post links to articles I want to check out for myself when I have time.

I appreciate the very kind e-mails but as I said in my last audio entry I feel it would be disingenuous to continue this blog that would make anyone think I intended to do this into 2009-10 so that's the disclaimer for anyone who is expecting anything beyond viewing the pages from here on or if I suddenly just hit the delete key anytime before or after opening night.

I altered my final decision somewhat to keep the blog entirely private because enough folks asked but this is all I can do or promise and things will not be done as announced temporarily back on 6/3 entry which was for a short period of time only before audio entries took things in another new unexpected direction which I always maintained was an experiment that could end at any time.

The good news is I love adding new codes, script and HTML so blogger (specifically NYIFC) is a great platform to experiment and helps me with other things I am working on. I put in a drop down menu here this week for the Islanders quick access at the top of the page.

This also means you will view this page as an insider as I make changes and experiment with things I intended to do privately for other projects which means the page look will be altered a lot and not with NYIFC or hockey as the priority any longer.

Having written this I again thank everyone for their overwhelming support and appreciate the kind words.

Sorry I cannot do more.

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NYIFC Audio 7-29-09: FINAL ENTRY

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/29/2009 07:00:00 AM | Comment Here

Topic: Decision behind stopping NYIFC now.

NYIFC Audio Entry PT II 7-28-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2009 12:05:00 PM | Comment Here

Topics: Expanding on Scott Gordon earlier discussion, What was Kate Murray doing at Monday's " Pep Rally " at the Coliseum?

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-28-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/28/2009 07:00:00 AM | Comment Here

Topics: John Tavers, what little I know. Impressions of head coach Scott Gordon and year two for him in the NHL. Is the Nashville-Buffalo chemistry in the front office of value without a championship level team at some point?

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-27-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2009 06:18:00 AM | Comment Here

Topics: Governor Patterson/Lighthouse, Don't believe the predictions, this could well be a playoff team if healthy. Time for 2002, 03, 04 prospects to step up. Calvin deHaan.

Corrections: Taylor Hall, no Thompson/Satan content Wednesday.

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-24-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/24/2009 03:39:00 PM | Comment Here

Topics: Newsday's article on Thompson's salary meaning Isles cannot walk away from arbitrator award. Blake Comeau contract status, more on Mr Wang's interview and Mr Francesa's lack of hockey/Islanders-Lighthouse background, Bridgeport has a new head athletic trainer.

And NYIFC goes into it's summer mode colors complete with the dynasty header.

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7/23/09 Pt: II

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2009 06:47:00 PM | Comment Here

Topics: Mr Wang on WFAN, Scott Gordon's contract length revealed, Lighthouse, Rick DiPietro/Arthur Staple's speculation article. More on Biron signing/goaltending.

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-23-09: Biron signed

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2009 12:37:00 AM | Comment Here
Sorry folks, a choppy entry because I edited some things. I did update the Newsday links/feeds for their new format.

Topics: Martin Biron signed, DiPietro's status to start next season. More on media fallout from yesterday's decisions on Mr Mears, King, Papa being silenced/fired or not renewed (Msg spin version) and what I feel contributed to all of this.

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-22-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/22/2009 07:00:00 AM | Comment Here

Topics: Steve Mears, Chris King, CJ Papa not returning. Islanders radio going to simulcast only with Msg personalities. Cablevision's limiting of Islanders exposure led to this problem and resources it no longer generated. Why the cost cutting with a 3.7 billion dollar project, Scott Allen assistant coach.

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NYIFC Audio Entry 7-20-09

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/20/2009 09:28:00 PM | Comment Here

Topics: Charles Wang-Lighthouse, NHL schedule, Preseason schedule problems, Nate Thompson, Bloggers vs media.

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