New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2010 07:27:00 PM | Comment Here
What can be written now I have not been writing here in these infrequent updates?

I suppose the New York Islanders will go win ten in a row scoring four goals a game, let's hope so.

We knew this was a team with flaws in terms of size or physical play or veteran players who could finish. We also knew the special teams numbers and five on five play were at the bottom before, during and after the winning streak.

Those were terrible signs moving forward,

I felt the winning streak would help turn those numbers as the team got more confident in themselves, it did not happen nor has a fourth line with Doug Weight and Richard Park produced any significant offense however no combination has.

You have to be able to do one thing well to build off of to get out of a losing streak whether it be a hot goaltender, powerplay or penalty killing.

None of the above has happened whether it be Bryce Salvador's goal in the second Devil game or the St Louis goal against Tampa. Powerplay has been an outright disaster.

Doug Weight said something just as the losing streak started that was spot on, he said (not exact quote) you can throw pucks on goal and get bounces but he added you have to have players who can finish.

We all now know the Islanders have given back all the ground they gained and more with their recent losing streak and again sit at four games under break even. It's very disappointing they beat a lot of teams you would not expect them to beat and then lose to all the bubble teams.

The good news is the hard work has been there. The shots taken per game, the opposition blocks and shots missed by the Islanders do not reflect a club being out shot by huge numbers being pinned in their own end of the ice.

Scott Gordon is repeating himself a lot after games as well. His players have worked hard, he cannot be over critical when they do that.

It can turn around, pucks can start going in, the difference is spotting Roloson is working as poorly it did in October when this was done with Biron, both goaltenders now with Rick DiPietro are letting in that one bad goal a team scoring a goal or two per game cannot allow.

Moving forward (as in six days of games) unless the team strings together some wins immediately they will have to be sellers at the deadline with some very tough choice on some prospects and veterans.

Brendan Witt:

I'm disappointed Brendan Witt is in Bridgeport but his knee injuries have been frequent and it has effected his game. Witt had at least three knee injuries over the last two years and played through it as long as he could and you could see his game pick up in December 2008 when he finally got back some mobility. I will not knock Witt because he gives all he has to give over sixty minutes.

As always, Witt was first class and his usual positive self in Monday night's interview with Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post.


I'm very disappointed in how Jeff Tambellini has been used and that Blake Comeau plays right wing (unless Trevor Gillies dresses for three minutes) Matt Moulson as a left wing is part of a reason for it. Scott Gordon cannot create five left wing spots and some of this goes beyond him to his players also.

You can read my previous entry on failure of prospects for all the repeat comments.

Rick DiPietro:
Some excellent interviews where he has opened up. His bad goals in some games have been a big problem but he apparently is healthy and should only get better. He beat
Miller and Martin Brodeur within a few days.

Ilya Kovalchuk:
Very disappointed he is no longer with the Thrashers and terrible for the Atlanta hockey market and the league in general. I would not be happy even if Garth Snow got him for our team at a similar cost.

I'm a huge fan of players staying with the team that drafted them. I suspect Thrasher ownership could not give him his money front loaded which is why a deal could not get done and what no one will talk about if he does sign a front-loaded deal with a corporate team willing to give him thirty or forty million over the first three years and lose money.

I will hold out hope the Thrashers will be offering him a contract come July.

What's Next for the Islanders?
They go play the Predators at home, travel to Pittsburgh, finally two games before the break which includes trade freeze. They need a 4-0 stretch here or the playoff gap grows to seven-eight point range with six teams blocking them.

In short playoff contention becomes unrealistic.


NYIFC will be taking a full vacation during the winter Olympics rooting for Mark Streit but not covering games, that includes all Bridgeport games which are available here and on the prospect blog.

My Thanks as always to all our readers of NYIFC and our twitter entries.

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Chris Botta's Point Blank Out at NYIFC

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2010 04:07:00 PM | Comment Here
Everyone has a choice to make and I have made mine to no longer carry or discuss Chris Botta's Point Blank at NYIFC nor will our twitter feed note his contribution.

Bottom line Mr Botta should write what he wants. I am not into the sensationalism game or what can be done to create buzz or page views and frankly it's not my business.

If Mr Botta has issues with the Islanders that is also not for me to speculate on.

All I do know is Mr Botta's message this season has rarely been about our fans getting to know our players or provide game-team information (his efforts for Pat Lafontaine, Okposo/MacDonald interviews the rare exception) nor does he seem to respect our teams right to hold information as other teams do whether it be league policy on injuries, the LightHouse and he seems to contradict himself from other entries far too often.

Again, that is his choice and he's entitled to write whatever he wants.

In the past I would point out what I felt were mistakes on his part like claiming x Lighthouse gathering was the biggest day in nine years or telling us to ignore x writing ripping on our team, then he would go at another writer himself for something he considered unfair.

Could my viewpoints here be wrong? Absolutely, however it's how I see things and it's something I can no longer ignore or subject NYIFC readers to.

Having written this the New York Islanders are not a circus nor can I continue to endorse a message on my sidebars that I feel operates under that premise. It's not what our proud team is about or what writing about it should represent.

I wish Mr Botta the best and hope for his readers he get's back to what made his blog special, less was always so much more as was his wonderful efforts for Brandon Sugden. Mr Botta never needed to become Larry Brooks because his message was always superior to Mr Brooks sensationalism based journalism.

As for NYIFC readers (mostly via twitter) when the puck drops we will know who dresses and it's very easy to figure out who has been recalled or demoted, when trades or waivers happen as always my policy is dead-last and a hundred precent correct. We can live with features on our players which have been very good and not packed with fluff like we saw on Tavares scoring struggles.

This is my choice for NYIFC.

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New York Islander Fan Central | 2/01/2010 08:22:00 AM | Comment Here
The verdict is in and it's not good.

No folks, I'm not writing about the youth movement of John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey or even UFA signing Jack Hillen & Andrew MacDonald, we have more than a few years left on that subject.

I'm talking about the youth movement starting with 2002 first rounder Sean Bergenehim, followed by Frans Nielsen, Blake Comeau, Jeff Tambellini via trade and Bruno Gervais.

It's time to point fingers and ask tough questions.


New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2010 08:34:00 AM | Comment Here
10-3-1, that's what it took to even bother writing this post for a club that was four games below five hundred.

I did not see it coming (much less dominating games) considering the lack of scoring combined with not being able to string together any back to back wins for well over a month. You factor in the schedule they had to face plus where Isles are in so many league stats as a team there was nothing to build off of.

But here we are and every fan of this team should be thrilled.

I have no idea what happens from here but for now we keep doing the math and hope the balanced scoring, strong defensive play (this is with Andrew MacDonald and Jack Hillen doing a fantastic job among others) plus hot goaltending continues as DiPietro gets out of training camp mode. Things are going to change with the standings daily a lot so best thing to do is look at big picture as to what the New York Islanders have to do.

Thirty one games left, sixty two available points. New York has fifty four points.

Eleven games until the Olympic break/NHL trade deadline.

From where I see things it's going to take ninety five points which means from this point forward Isles need forty one of sixty two available points to reach ninety five.

Or some combination of 20-10-1.

Needless to write a lot of work ahead and no hiding from finally beating the Flyers and other clubs in this division. No such thing as an easy game for any team in this league. Carolina/Toronto can jump up and beat any club on a given night that is not working hard.

Isles can play with and secure points against top level clubs, they have to do it against everyone else.

I expect the scoring to dry up as it did earlier with different players going hot and cold but they seem to have four lines capable of finishing, they do not have the luxury of an enforcer or even dressing one if they had such a player.

As I wrote last time, look at it in three game segments, six points are a huge swing now. To go beyond that or declare the Isles will be there come the break is jumping way too far ahead.

But at this time, enjoy because this team is absolutely in contention and they have earned their spot.

Keeping with policy of very limited blog entries but twitter box providing so many updates it's almost as old format used to be with a lot written daily and links to several articles. I also finally advertised NYIFC sites on twitter background page.

I have also reopened the comments section here after closing it for several months. I prefer comments via e-mail.

I have also been working to resolve problems for those with internet explorer 8.

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New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2010 09:29:00 AM | Comment Here
Despite all the downside I have posted recently with a team in the bottom of almost every league stat (goals scored, pp-pk, shots allowed, five on five) out of nowhere the scoring (ugly & otherwise) has finally picked up and so have the points.

7-2-1 in last ten. 5-3-3-4-6 goals scored (not adding shootout goals in wins awarded) for a club that did not score three regulation goals (not counting open net awarded against Leafs) since December 3rd in Atlanta before the Thrashers came to the Coliseum on January 2nd.

For now the 2009-10 New York Islanders remain alive and in realistic playoff contention whether it be deflections off other players in the Atlanta game or the Coyotes not putting someone in the box before the Isles pp finally finished a few to the domination of a tired Wings team. New York had a three goal game in Dallas and lost in regulation which was very costly and we all know they handed back the lead in Phoenix.

Bottom line the scoring has to continue, they need an eight out of ten stretch for starters from this point forward unless this year becomes an anomaly where it takes a total below ninety points to qualify.

It's not 2002-03 with a different point system, I would not count on that given crunch of teams. The New York Islanders do not play in Western Conference or the story would have been written on their season.

The story continues and we look ahead at what the team must do to stay in contention.