New York should build like............NEW YORK

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2010 12:06:00 PM | Comment Here
We all know the New York Islanders have to deal with the worst newspaper publishers, the worst sports editors who fail to give them adequate space or coverage, the laziest and least knowledgeable columnists who can go a year or longer between updates who cannot name five current roster players but give us a decade old history lesson before departing for another year and beat writers in the print media who add nothing of value unless it's time to put anonymous quotes to players in the locker-room to get some page views.

I hope you know this.

In other sports, there is competition among writers in this town and for someone to write something incorrect means there are others looking for a story and will use space to criticize a fellow writer so they do need their facts straight.

Not for hockey and especially not the New York Islanders.

The coverage (aside from Bridgeport/Ct Post) is the only thing tanking year round and the damage they do creating our teams perception does stick on a lot of fans and credible newspaper writers in other markets. The limited print media in newspapers is all our fans have to present as professional coverage and there is nothing of value anywhere else beyond infrequent updates with features on the players where they tell their own story.

Having written this does someone/anyone in a newspaper follow hockey enough to get something correct even once in a while?

Which brings me to this blog entry.

I flat out laugh every time I read something that the New York Islanders should build like Chicago, Pittsburgh and now even Washington but let's take a look at all three teams and I will tell you why the only team New York should be built like is the New York Islanders and correct some of the revisionist history.

Chicago Black Hawks:

How many times have I written Charles Wang needs an Espn Zone like Chicago has?

I'm not knocking the current Blackhawks who have a world of talent and are 0-2 against the Islanders the last two years but..........

Does this mean Scott Gordon should be fired like Denis Savard after four games next season, or if Garth Snow is fired in a year because somewhere an Islander alumni aka Scotty Bowman's kid Stan took over operations and hired his father so Dale Tallon had to go and it's no big deal?

Does this also mean when Garth Snow or the next gm forgets to file contracts properly for Bailey, Okposo and Tavares in a few years (like the Hawks did with their three young players) forcing them to spend much more money to keep them earlier no one is going to notice?

I guess this also means the Isles can sign another Yashin contract and give out a Marian Hossa-like, twelve year, front-loaded contract while he was too hurt to even play or give out an absurd contract like Cristobal Huet received ($22.4 million/ $5.625 million per season) combined with someone else getting a Duncan Keith thirteen year deal?

I suppose Garth Snow or his successor can also do a Brian Campbell like signing and give a player who's a poor defender $7.14 million annually through the 2015-16 season and the club can follow Chicago's plan to build a team.

Scary how many mistakes the Hawks can make and still be packaged and sold as some kind of great rebuilding job after a decade of brutal hockey.

But who's noticing if a team is winning with our joke of a media? This is how we are told the New York Islanders should build their hockey team.
Pittsburgh Penguins:
Bottom line is Pittsburgh won a league-wide lottery for Crosby and that is not a plan any general manager can follow. Garth Snow or his successor is not going to get that kind of chance (beyond another lockout) and as great as Evgeni Malkin is they did not win a cup because they drafted Jordan Staal or M.A Fleury to go with former Islanders Bill Guerin, Miro Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko.

Pittsburgh gave away Angelo Esposito in a trade, Colby Armstrong and Ryan Whitney were also traded. The Pens drafted a fellow by the name of Matt Moulson who now plays for the New York Islanders.

Same kind of stuff you read about Pittsburgh doing it right but no one remembers after they won the league-wide lottety for Crosby they signed a team of UFA for Mario Lemieux coming out of the lockout that was so painfully bad LeClaire, Recchi, Zigmund Palffy and Lemieux were gone by mid-season and Crosby finished up his rookie year with.......

Former Islander Andy Hilbert.

Craig Patrick lost his job after that season.

Is that how the New York Islanders should be building?
Washington Capitals:
So the right way to build is give away Jagr's contract paying half his salary only to give an even bigger/longer contract to Alexander Ovechkin?

Is that how Garth Snow should have built his team after years of George McPhee's clubs being outright horrible without leading the NHL in injuries?

Washington's goaltending is on par with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers entering the playoffs with former Islanders Tom Poti and John Erskine on their defense after former Islander Viktor Kozlov played for the Caps. Semyon Varlamov to me is the only real shot they have in goal unless it's a high-scoring game.

Having written this there is a strong case to be made George McPhee did a fine job drafting Mike Green (3rd rd/2004) & (Semin 1st/2002) and of course Nicklas Backstrom along with Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon but this was a very weak team for a long time that still frankly has some significant holes which Garth Snow's club did exploit taking three of four games to overtime and winning one.
Hopefully the kids in the Islander locker-room just give stock answers and let these writers move on to their next update because aside from the quotes of coach/players there is little/nothing of value in the questions asked.

A long time ago when Steve Stirling was hired he talked about the New York Islanders needing to play like Anaheim and New Jersey, both who had played in the Stanley Cup finals but in the end New York should only build their team and play hockey following the New York Islander blueprint.

All I can add is just because teams are winning now the history should not be re-written as to how they got there as a blue print for anyone else.

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2010 Bridgeport Sound Tiger playoff senario's

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2010 06:51:00 AM | Comment Here

Not much to add beyond twitter updates regarding Bridgeport's playoff picture and the standings tie breakers. Ct Post/Mr Fornabaio is doing his usual outstanding work but wanted to give everyone one entry where they can have some groundwork.

The Ct Post Rss is not Sound Tiger centric like we were able to get last year but twitter/Ct Post blog entries are working on sidebar.

Going by past AHL playoff formats are worthless because Bridgeport changed divisions last summer but because of fifteen teams in one conference a 5th seed in the Atlantic can jump over to the Eastern division and be seeded in their playoffs which is a very real possibility for the Sound Tigers.

To be the fourth seed in the Sound Tigers former division (East) means the Hershey Bears at 59-16-0-3 with 334 goals in round one. To be fourth seed in Atlantic means Bridgeport plays first place Worcester.

Bridgeport enters the weekend out of a playoff spot, as Atlantic 5th seed they can still move to East and play as a third seed against that divisions second seed which is Albany.

Schedule for weekend:
Bridgeport at Lowell
Manchester at Bridgeport
Hartford at Bridgeport

Note-This update is only on primary NYIFC blog here. NYIFC Prospect Blog has an AHL scoreboard along with all things Bridgeport.

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Did New York improve long term based on 09-10?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2010 02:33:00 PM | Comment Here
Was this really a season of improvement and something built to last that will carry over into next season and beyond for the New York Islanders?

If you want to make that discussion based on standings or goal differential while bringing John Tavares, Matt Moluson to the NHL and giving/expanding Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo roles along with Andrew MacDonald becoming a twenty five plus minute defender and playing outstanding hockey the answer would be yes.

For myself, it's far too early to tell and more changes will be coming this summer as Matt Martin, Jesse Joensuu, Dustin Kohn and likely others will push for the few spots available on this roster despite some looking at 7/1 and expecting front loaded contracts to start flying.

Having written that New York dropped their man games lost to injury by about three hundred fifty from a year ago and still were far from a healthy team going through twelve defenders between trades and demotions. Add to this the special teams/third period numbers in the painfully mediocre Eastern Conference where the bottom three seeds really have no business even in the playoffs and that would include the Isles if they had qualified despite a solid finish.

Keep in mind if the Islanders played out West and the usual 95 point playoff cut were the standard this season would have been over before the Olympic break with them close to twenty points out of eighth.

Would anyone be taking progress?

You beat the top teams, have a strong record against a very good western conference you should be a playoff team (previous entry) given this will be the worst the conference has been since 02-03 when an 83 pt New York team that was only a game over five hundred qualified for the 8th seed.

In enough of these blog entries Bergenheim, Nielsen and Tambellini were discussed at length with Blake Comeau, we can look at Comeau's recent numbers and call it progress and his final goal was a very nice play along with some others, but most of his goals were just brutal play by the opposing netminder.

I hope that did not come off as harsh because that's not my intention but bottom line was as of February 10th Comeau had six goals, about eight assist and was sitting so Trevor Gillies could play three minutes against Philadelphia. This is not a prospect in his rookie season but a player drafted in 2004 and the same can be written about Bergenheim's season despite what happened in his last game. Nielsen's defensive game is fine, his offense game has a way to go.

This is also not a question of Comeau's work habits because he does work hard in games and deserves credit for putting himself in position to score and set up goals along with everyone.

But is this real progress?

To me progress built to last goes beyond a painfully mediocre conference and a few solid weeks against teams having some poor games combined with some good work by the Islanders as well. I'm hoping as much as anyone it does carry over for Comeau statistically and the other players because one thing that can be written is this group works very hard with so few poor nights.

For me that's been the one thing I think is built to last moving forward we can take out of this season.
Perhaps a state of the Islander blog entry or two after the season is wrapped at NYIFC. I will twitter through Bridgeport playoffs if they qualify.

It's getting late for Bridgeport facing must win games to qualify and with more injuries that means leading scorer Greg Mauldin for the Sound Tigers was recalled and may not be there for those games which is a tough call but a well-earned reward.

Hopefully that means Bailey, MacDonald, Kohn and others have a place to perform come playoff time.

Every playoff home game needs to be at Harbor Yard in front of Sound Tiger season ticket holders.
The only reason the New York Islanders were a lottery team for two years was because of the 582-402 league leading man games lost and the same thing held true with Edmonton this year. I will be thrilled to see New York out of the lottery if standings hold because it's not what our teams great tradition and history are about.

For myself, no team should be allowed in more than two lottery's in a row. If you finish in the bottom a third straight time you should be moved back to 10-16 with everyone else moving up a spot. Four years in a row you move to bottom ten in first round and five years in a row you automatically are seeded 30th. Any team trading for your pick early takes same burden.

Sure would provide incentive for general managers to improve.

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