11/8/10

My Plan? Bailey to Nielsen's Spot At Center

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2010 04:08:00 PM


Garth Snow traded down twice to draft a center who had 96 points with Windsor in Josh Bailey, it's time he play his natural position of center full time regardless of who has to be moved to make that happen.

Frans Nielsen is better suited to the fourth line role because he cannot score at even strength. Rob Schremp had two even strength goals last season, but fifteen points at even strength. The tradeoff from defense is huge between Schremp vs Nielsen and a risk.

No law Konopka cannot play a fourth line wing with Nielsen centering and Weight on right side.

It's also time Blake Comeau go to left wing (as he was Saturday) and stay there for the rest of the season regardless.

Moulson-Tavares-Grabner
Comeau-Bailey-Parenteau
Martin-Schremp-Hunter
Konopka-Nielsen-Weight

Is the right side weak offensively at even strength? Absolutely without Okposo and with Hunter stuck on zero goals, along with Parenteau with a zero at even strength.

Putting Michael Grabner on top line makes that painfully clear also.

They need someone who can produce at even strength on right wing and down the middle.

Will Scott Gordon make these kinds of changes? I doubt it. Weight has been in on four even strength goals, and is only a -1 playing his natural position of center, from last year he had no interest in Schremp on the club as anything but a center.

Absolutely Nielsen is due at even strength and can keep a game close, but he is also not Michael Peca or showing any kind of signs he can produce as a top nine forward this year. If your fourth/third lines are not scoring plus top lines are not producing at five on five what can be done?

On defense they are stuck with the six they have at this time unless a call goes to Bridgeport.

In net Dwayne Roloson let up a goal he cannot allow against Ottawa, Rick DiPietro allowed a soft goal in Philadelphia, he had two turnovers vs Carolina (one stick/one glove) that led to both goals against.

Beyond that the goaltending has not been the problem, but at this point you play the goalie who gives you the best chance at winning, for now that is Roloson but not by the statistical discussion some will make.

Of course if DiPietro does start and win you have to play him.

The losing streak does not bother me (see Toronto) as much as what appears a weakness in the scoring that does not seem correctable so far either with the players here or how they have been used.

Updated:
NHL.com: Brian Compton reports on Monday's practice and believe it or not put together Bailey as a center on a line with Comeau and Parenteau.



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11/7/10

Even Strength Goals -10 From 09-10 Season After Fourteen Games

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/07/2010 12:04:00 PM


Not sure where things go from here, something has to give.

That was about as hard as this team could play last night in a sixty minute game, and it still was not enough, they played with about as much desperation as you can ask from a team. Sure Moulson's shot or Konopka's breakaway could have been goals, with a few others to take the game going away but they weren't.

Moulson's pp goal was more a broken play.

Josh Bailey has his third new forward position, Blake Comeau was back at left wing.

However none of this is the point. You see Weight, Schremp, Nielsen, Hunter, Konopka and many others eating minutes at five on five and nothing is happening. You don't win games only by face-off numbers. Frans Nielsen has zero even strength goals this season and he's out on the pp?

Philadelphia in the third period with the game on the table, finally had a good shift and from there until they scored the back-breaking 2-1 goal, they looked like the team with a powerplay at five on five.

I'm not sure what else Scott Gordon or anyone can do, he does not have the five on five scoring to go with his powerplay and this goes beyond coaching. I'll go through these numbers last year vs fourteen games, in short Tambellini's hat-trick, Witt's two goal game vs Edmonton produced some better even strength numbers by game fourteen.

2010-11 New York Islanders Even Strength Fourteen Games:
1-3-1-1-2-1-2-1-1-1-0-1-0-0=15 goals

2009-10 New York Islanders Even Strength Fourteen Games:
1-1-2-1-2-0-3-0-2-0-2-4-4-3=25 goals

What's going to happen when they go to the West Coast? Other teams are going to press at five on five and force them into an offensive game, knowing by the numbers they are not keeping up at even strength.

No trade or firing of a coach makes Hunter move faster or Nielsen finish the few quality chances he's generating. Tavares is not producing at five on five, seems Moulson/Grabner are the only five on five players they have who can find the net.

Doug Weight is not someone who is going to produce at five on five very often, was sad seeing Richards/Carter on one side vs some of the players not scoring at five on five for this roster.

Garth Snow/everyone connected with this organization said this was the year the had to make progress and compete for a playoff spot. They either figure out their five on five struggles (among many problems) soon or this team will be approaching seven-eight games under five hundred with little hope of a turnaround.



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11/6/10

Not Rocket Science No Even Strength Scoring

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2010 04:46:00 PM


Last year they were at the bottom in special teams, but had the ability to produce at five on five. This year the even strength scoring is simply not there.

If you cannot score five on five you are not going to win many games, forgetting the struggles on defense and in goal.

Even Strength:
Frans Nielsen -1: 0 goals/13 games. Overall 2 goals. 1 ps goal, 1 empty net.
John Tavares -11: 1 goal/ 10 games. Overall 6 goals, 4 pp goals, 1 empty net.
Matt Moulson -7: 3 goals/13 games. Overall 5 goals, 2 pp goal.
PA Parenteau -9: 0 goals/13 games. Overall 3 goals, 3 pp goals.
Trent Hunter -1: 0 goals/ 9 games. Overall 0 goals.
Blake Comeau -6: 2 goals/13 games. Overall 3 goals, 1 pp goal.
Josh Bailey -2: 1 goal/ 11 games. Overall 3 goals, 2 pp goals.
Doug Weight -1: 1 goal/ 13 games. Overall 2 goals, 1 pp goal.

At five on five play the primary offensive players on this roster have a total of eight goals scored in total.

James Wisniewski's two goals are on pp/zero even strength -11.

Michael Grabner's three goals are all at even strength.
Matt Martin's goal is at even strength.
Nino Niederreiter's goal is at even strength.
Radek Martinek's goal is at even strength.
Milan Jurcina had one even strength goal/one shorthanded.

Jon Sim and Zeon Knonpka failed to score a single goal, along with Trevor Gillies.

Total even strength goals scored: Twenty in thirteen games or less than two per game.



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11/4/10

Signs This Could Be A Season-Ending Free Fall

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2010 09:59:00 AM


For the long-time folks who read NYIFC, I don't do the alarmist game here.

I watch games, occasionally write about what I see and look at what's working vs what is not working, and review the trends of team/individual players.

Very early they did comeback and win games they would not have come back in a year ago, I did believe it would translate to five on five play.

Recently, even when they were winning games I asked what's really different (besides pp Bailey/Comeau) than the start a year ago when they could not win early, and what happens when they do have some bad games.

We're finding out.

The signs are there right now for a season-ending free fall that make the 2008-09 injury ravaged season look tame by comparison before it fell apart when Joey MacDonald could not repeat his third NHL star of the month performance that November.

They have not scored this season at even strength, the powerplay was/is due to go into a slump. Sure if Carolina can be shutout back to back games and put up seven on the Islanders, this team can do the same starting in Ottawa tonight but there is nothing happening to indicate that it would.

The fantastic early signs of Bailey-Comeau being critical producers has stopped between injuries/line combination changes, there are very fair questions to ask of Scott Gordon on that subject.

Gordon is also falling into the Richard Park trap with Doug Weight at even strength, and sure he's in on most goals. Grabner down 5-0 off Weight's work are not going to sustain this offense or get it un-tracked at five on five.

I saw Bailey's play against Philadelphia where he was robbed, I know Weight's fore-check got the puck to him. Having written this I saw where Bailey was on left wing and my first impression was what if he was playing his natural spot at center where he did all that scoring earlier and in juniors?

Worst of all the teams edge/defensive play/blocked shots/lanes has been lost the last three of four games without Andrew MacDonald. Roloson had to be outstanding in Montreal to allow only four goals, it could have been eight or more.

The 2-1 winning goal against Montreal on Friday, Tavares and Martin did not hustle back to have their man who had all night to come in to slot and score. In Philadelphia and Carolina, we have seen players on other teams beat the defense on the walls, get behind them for easy tap-ins and to the center ice for one-timers.

Team defense includes the wingers and centers.

Doug Weight floating through middle not having Staal in the high slot for the third goal last night, Schremp getting beat at the blueline by Samanov and again to the net on Matsumoto's first goal is not acceptable, his reaction (along with Scott Gordon) said it all.

Skinner on the sixth goal is not quality coverage.

DiPietro's Fault?
His one poor goal allowed vs Philadelphia was terrible, the first and fourth goals against Carolina go entirely on his inability to handle/cover puck.

Having written this ten other goals were scored that went beyond goaltending and were about poor defensive play by the entire team. They did not lose the last two games because of Rick DiPietro, even though a few want to blame him for even being part of this team regardless how he plays.

Marty Biron was 2-11-1 last January when Roloson was around ten/eleven games over five hundred. Biron allowed soft goals last October that cost this team a lot.

Right now DiPietro is 2-3-2, they cannot afford many more poor goals or mistakes.

My preseason concern about DiPietro/Roloson splitting games and being effective still are a question here.

Bottom line:
Last year even with injuries this club had ability to stop the bleeding and win a bunch of games, even in March.

This year has a very different feel and almost the opposite with the five on five play fair and the pp terrible for long stretches.

This begs the question if you don't have even strength scoring for most of twelve games, if it's down to Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton having to play as top four defenders, with the struggles of Hillen/Gervais (+1 Wed) and a lot of forwards not paying price to win pucks in the corners or the middle of the ice, plus a goalie allowing making mistakes on a team that cannot afford a single one, where does a turnaround begin?

You have to have something that works to turn things around to get the confidence going. At even strength Parenteau, Hunter and many of these forwards don't look capable of that.

Even with a different team/coach in 07-08, the club lost seven straight, but you could see them getting close to breaking out by plays they were creating, when they finally won what they built toward produced a six game winning streak.

I wrote last week some things were due to start/stop working for this club, they are showing no sign the long overdue even strength scoring is getting close, and now the team defense is struggling.

Five straight regulation losses mean zero/ten available points. In this league playoff teams cannot allow that, earlier they were getting to overtime or winning.

They will not be winning as they did against Detroit, Vancouver, Chicago last year playing at this level five on five. Last year's team would have gotten that game in Washington to overtime, and did twice.

Again, I don't want to be an alarmist. It could turn around, but if it does not soon it could be a season-ending free-fall.

I don't like the signs/trends or what I'm seeing in these games. This is an easy team to play against in too many areas.

-Nice high stick on Martinek not called or run into DiPietro on Carolina fifth goal, by the officiating. Not an excuse, but what needed to be called.
*******************************************
-Jon Sim (unfortunately for Sim/great for Islander prospects) went to Bridgeport for an 11am game, scored a hat-trick, the shootout goal in a 6-5 win and did everything short of taking the 7,000+ kids out to lunch afterward.



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11/1/10

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2010 10:17:00 PM
Updated:


"If you look at the replay, it's clearly not a crosscheck which is two hands moving forward. It's a push with one hand. The mistake I made is my stick was up there. Is it worth three games for that? I don't think so.

"And on top of that, I missed him. I didn't even get him ... My glove grazed the top of his helmet, not my stick."

No shock, Colin Campbell decided Daniel Briere's second suspension for head-hunting only carries a three game suspension which appears to have been decided based on schedule. Somehow a second suspension (not including his 2006 suspension) for head hunting does not even merit the five games Thomas Pock received with no prior history.

Briere has his own logic, where he thought at best he would receive a game here and is shocked at the decision.

"I made a mistake, my stick was up. I'm the first one to admit that it shouldn't have been there,'' Briere said. "After what happened with Trevor Gillies on Coburn, I said, 'I got to protect myself,' and if you see the faceoff before, he gets me in a headlock and punches me behind the head.''

NYIFC Comments:
So in Briere's world, he needed to protect himself from Frans Nielsen with a five on three man advantage, that included only Mark Eaton and Radek Martinek on the ice while Trevor Gillies was already out of the game? Also Carcillo, needed to hit Nielsen from behind because Briere needed even more help?

About as big a mismatch as the Cablevision's invisible Islander media vs the Comcast Flyer media, in a game of who controls the spin which obviously influences fan viewpoints which Campbell likely uses because player record obviously do not play into this.

If Pock received five game with no record, Briere as a repeat offender for intentional head-hunting must receive ten games, not three. You don't intentionally raise your stick towards anyone's head. PERIOD.

Comical, as usual. If New York did not play Philadelphia Saturday, it likely would have been less games.

No folks, not a word on Trent Hunter's penalty being rescinded by the league, we don't have Pittsburgh media either to lobby for any action.

-Apparently, Rob Schremp is healthy per the Islanders website here.

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously Josh Bailey will not be used in his natural position if he's being moved off center for Doug Weight, who is not going to score at even strength. Only the coach knows what's ahead for Schremp in terms of position but did say last year he must play center.

Jon Sim was placed on waivers here.

NYIFC Comments:
With Schremp and Grabner returning, someone had to go. Matt Martin may or may not be following him to Bridgeport, but Sim on a two-way contract had to standout to remain.

On a two-way contract this year (unlike past) there is a fair chance sim could be claimed to play for another organization at the NHL/AHL level because he is a hard-working player who is good for an organization, and was a huge part of Bridgeport making the playoffs a few years ago. Andy Hilbert has yet to play due to injury so a veteran is needed in Bridgeport.

It seems this club needs a steady fourth line, too many nights it's been three lines and a mix, as Trevor Gillies barely sees the ice. The breaks in Nov schedule indicate Gordon has the luxury this month of going with three lines/mixing.

The hitting Matt Martin brought against the Canadians is an element lacking on this roster.

Would it be a day without another player injury? Milan Jurcina out 2-4 weeks.

First things first, some even strength scoring and a sixty minute game in Carolina.



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10/31/10

Campbell's Officials Creating More Problems/Injuries

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/31/2010 01:40:00 PM


I know Colin Campbell is an easy target, however he makes himself one.

This man is the NHL's executive vice president of hockey operations and supervisor of officials, he has no clue of anything besides the calendar or standards no one can follow regarding officiating/league decisions.

I don't have a clue what's going to be decided.

Sun Sentinel: Colin Campbell here is too busy cracking jokes beyond admitting a mistake that cost a team a game and could have cost Florida it's goaltender due to injury after Orr ran the Panther net-minder.

Meanwhile Konopka was taking the puck at the net last week and was given an interference penalty?

No folks, this is not about the scoreboard or watching hockey through blue and orange glasses, it's about getting calls correct/consistent regardless of laundry.

It's about a five minute penalty and ejection to Trent Hunter for a shoulder on shoulder check that helped put away an Islander team that was playing poorly already, it's about setting up a five on three for Philadelphia by giving Trevor Gillies three minor penalties, which I have never seen in thirty plus years watching hockey for a few pushes and a swipe.

Hunter's penalty should absolutely be overturned.

Meanwhile the officials leave Dan Carcillo in the game after his two fights with Konopka (who was ejected) and after that he get's into it with Gillies and he's left in again so things could escalate in a 6-1 game?

Where is the common sense from the officiating there? Nielsen was jawing at Briere, and got a ten minute penalty?

So now we see if the NHL conference call for Briere Monday TSN results in a suspension that we can only guess at because it's October and not April?

For those scoring at home (not Campbell) Briere was suspended for two games in 2009 for head-hunting Scott Hannan of Colorado.

Are we supposed to be happy Nielsen was not seriously injured again? Is an intentional chop to his head decided based upon it being 10/30 or dismissed because it's just a part of hockey on this day but not when Pock or Brendan Witt hits a player?

These things all occurred last night because poor officiating led to them happening.

You eject Carcillo, Knopka, Gillies and keep things close to even strength.

Meanwhile the Islanders were being handed bench minors and somehow Roloson's name appeared in the box-score for serving a penalty to DiPietro?

As for DiPietro he let in a very soft second goal, he was the victim of a bad bounce off end boards on first goal, and some terrible coverage/Flyers pp on the others. He displayed a ton of guts to stand up for his teammates, and was lucky Pronger did not engage him. The fungo act has to stop, along with the clearing attempts up middle.

Having written this goaltending was not even close to the reason the team got blown out on the ice or started that game with absolutely no jump again. DiPietro did not have an easy third period, yet stopped everything.

I will say this for Butch Goring, he's a former NHL head coach and either read NYIFC or does not understand what Scott Gordon is doing either because one minute into live coverage he's wondering why Bailey and Comeau are being moved around this much between center and wing?

He was dead right, it's hard enough to play at this level without that. After the start both had they should have been put right back together and left together.

27th in even strength goals after eleven games is not going to get it done, if the powerplay falls off as expected it could be a very rough ride unless these problems get solved right now.

Not the same team defense without Andrew MacDonald, the breakdowns and mistakes along the walls led to some goals that go beyond netminder.



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10/30/10

Depth Gone, Even Strengh Scoring Not Happening, Slumps Expected

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2010 05:04:00 AM


Of course, they could have bounced a few past Alex Auld Friday.

Matt Moulson could have scored on his breakaway, Tavares was robbed, Weight took the puck at the net like he was ten years younger than his birth certificate, however that's not the point, it's about building something for the long-term here.

Enough opposing coaches/players credited the Islanders hard work last year or being a tough team to play.

When you think of how this club was on special teams a year ago, the pp has been a fantastic trend so far.

The starts to games, the even strength scoring are all alarmingly poor trends for more than a few weeks now.

Rick DiPietro starts Saturday.

Scott Gordon was surprisingly upbeat in his post-game press conference after a third straight loss Friday here which Cablevision promised to show but eventually decided not to wait for and after a while cut the telecast off so Msg+2 could show it's test pattern.

New York again did not start a game well at all, not only on the scoreboard, but in terms of creating chances, it's a trend that has lasted quite a while and very noticeable.

It's been a different than a year ago (not counting injuries) however the trends/NHL averages/player careers suggest the pp was not going to carry them for eighty two games. Tavares is not going to be a goal a game player, Doug Weight, James Wisniewski are not going to make a run at a hundred points.

This means others have to step up, and fast. Travis Moen looked like a superstar driving the net for two huge goals in back to back games.

Paging Jon Sim/Trent Hunter/Zeon Konopka.

I maintain Blake Comeau has not been the same player since he was banged up repeatedly in games, or does not have the extra step. Josh Bailey has looked pedestrian (granted only two games) where before he looked like a first line center in how he was playing in all three zones.

With Bridgeport getting a rare weekend off, Rob Schremp either waits in Ct for Wednesday or returns to New York. If Gordon maintains his stance from a year ago that Schremp must play center, Bailey is moving back to wing.

What if Bailey needs to play center to be as dominating as he was?

So much for depth.
Milan Jurcina was injured Friday against Montreal and is out for Saturday. This means Bruno Gervais has his full time spot back on defense, Trevor Gillies likely goes back into the lineup vs Philadelphia.

Time to start reversing the trends, the 6-1 losses/poor games all teams have over eighty two contests are also one of the trends due to happen soon.

The even strength scoring is overdue, so is a sixty minute effort.

Things have to start balancing out, regulation losing streaks cannot happen in this league if you expect to be a playoff team.

Bottom line in an eighty two game season there are x nights you are going to be the better team and win or play just well enough to steal points, or the team is going to have a clunker and lose big.

It's what teams do in those other games up for grabs that separate the contenders and pretenders.

Six points/three games were just lost that were clearly on the table for this team to win, they got none of them.

Successful teams find a way to win those points, this team must do the same thing.

Don't count on another year of three clubs under ninety points making the playoffs from this conference, last year was the exception, not the rule.

There are trends to be broken all over Philadelphia on Saturday for Scott Gordon's players.

-NY Times: Dave Caldwell was allowed to do a feature on Zeon Konopka, but not cover the game.

The Times did not cover the game at Cablevision Garden vs Carolina Friday.

-Oregon Live: Nino Niederreiter had an assist in Portland's 4-2 win over Kelowna Friday.

NYIFC Comments:
The local paper that covers the Winterhawks is on NYIFC prospect blog for those who would like to follow Nino Niederreiter's game by game progress.



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10/29/10

Kirill Kabanov Traded To Lewiston Maineiacs QMJHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/29/2010 12:03:00 AM


Good night to do some blog entries apparently.

Lewiston Maineiacs website & Sun-Journal: Justin Pelletier reports the Moncton Wildcats traded Islander prospect Kirill Kabanov to Lewiston for a package of draft selections in next summer's QMJHL entry draft, along with 17-year-old net-minder Jordan Kennedy.

Lewiston GM Roger Shannon, Coach J.F. Houle and Managing Consultant, Bill Schurman comment on trade that includes following on paperwork and Immigration status:

"We know they don't work on weekends, so unless he goes down and everything is absolutely taken care of tomorrow, this weekend is out," Shannon said. "But having him in town next week for the game against Quebec is still a possibility."

"We're working hard on that right now," Schurman said. "We're hoping we can get the t's crossed and the i's dotted and have him the lineup, maybe by Wednesday."

Moncton Wildcats: GM/Head coach/Former Islander assistant coach Danny Flynn had the following statement on the trade:

“Kirill is a talent. I want to wish him the best of luck in Lewiston. In return we receive a young player and 4 draft picks that will help us maintain a solid future for the Wildcats.”

NYIFC Comments:
In short Lewiston (Lewiston, Maine) are the only QMJHL team located in the United States, hence the possible paperwork and immigration issues/delays.

Times/Transcipt: Neil Hodge had more from Danny Flynn on why Kabanov was traded.

"There were no issues here at all this season that prompted this move. This was purely a hockey trade. It was something that we've talked about for quite some time.

"It was a difficult decision to trade him, but we just thought this made sense from the standpoint of the future of this franchise. Acquiring a good young goaltender and four significant draft picks gives us options."



NYIFC Comments:

As for the hockey situation it was obvious Kabanov had worn out his welcome in Moncton, regardless of his recent departure for personal reasons or Danny Flynn's classy statement. If a professional like Flynn/Wildcat management decided to make such a trade this reflects very poorly on Kabanov, who's interviews contradict his actions.

Obviously Lewiston management thinks very highly of Kabanov, it's now all up to him to develop on and off the ice. It said a lot the Islanders demoted him before a single exhibition game, when they needed prospects for split-squad contests.

The rest is all words and speculation. Mr Pelletier the other day had some speculation on Kabanov being traded, it was not packed with source game, so I added it in twitter updates here.

For reference former draft pick Max Gratchev from 2007/4th round also played in Lewiston.

NYIFC Prospect blog is updated with change for Kabanov.




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10/28/10

Jimmy Devellano Article on Islanders Website/Not Torrey FLA Tributes

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/28/2010 10:46:00 PM


NHL.com: Brian Compton does a feature on former Islander scout Jimmy Devellano and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 8th.

"The Islander days were very important to me," said Devellano, who admitted he reflects often on his time in Long Island. "First of all, I don't get to Detroit as a general manager if I don't do a job for the Islanders. I know that. Bill Torrey was a great boss; he was a great mentor for me. He really gave me a lot of authority. Basically, he entrusted the draft to me.

"We had a lot of success. It led to four consecutive Stanley Cups. You really put that into perspective … that no other U.S.-based team has ever won more than two (consecutively). Here are the Islanders -- in their eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th years of existence -- (winning) four in a row. It was a team that almost was 90-percent built through the amateur draft. I'm very proud of that. That was my role there.

"I would still tell you the highlight of my life was the first Stanley Cup with the Islanders. You get into this business, you don't know if you're ever going to win one. If you do win one, you're not that cocky to think you're going to win two or three … or six or seven. It happened, but I didn't know that at the time. Those were very, very happy times."

NYIFC Comments:
Thrilled for Mr Devellano, I'm long familiar with his role here when New York won the Stanley Cup, I remember his return for the 25th Anniversary and his comments back then as well, first class gentleman.

I would be lying to my readers if I said I wrote a separate update for this because it was announced long ago.

This was posted this because the Florida Panther raised a banner to Bill Torrey Saturday, the Panther website had several updates, but none of them appeared on the Islander website, nor was anything special written by the Islanders staff.

The ceremony was posted on ITV quietly with nothing added where our fans coulod view it. Doug Weight came out during the tribute, but all our fans saw locally were highlights from his night back in 2001 beyond a very quick look in.

So why is the Islander website using NHL.com updates for Mr Devellano but not for Mr Torrey?

The teams website is quick to give us features on Gillies-Konopka or about video replays (all worthy features) are made (Msg employee Butch Goring's quote was even allowed to be used by Cablevision) but they ignore Mr Torrey's ceremony plus Jiggs McDonald as emcee?

No excuse for this from the Islander website or the New York Islanders so-called
television partner who did not cover his live ceremony last Saturday, on the latest hidden Msg+2 telecast, but did interview him between periods.

Our fans should have seen the full ceremony and the New York Islanders writing staff/management should have honored Mr Torrey with written tributes.

No excuse for anything else.
******************************************
For some reason Rob Schremp twittered he is going to play for Bridgeport Friday in Manchester, then it was quickly erased. I guess we will know tomorrow if he is traveling to the Sound Tigers road game.

NYIFC Comments:
Either way it's not a state secret that will have Manchester management scrambling to late night emergency meetings to adjust strategy. If he does play it's almost the equivalent of Scott Gordon's game day goaltending announcements. Fair to say most teams know and are well prepared/scouted for Dwayne Roloson or Rick DiPietro.

I have never had any problem with the Islanders being secretive with injury announcements per NHL policy. With the brutal media treatment they receive, I would not tell outlets anything and simply have them copy all breaking news from the website, and let them work off that.

This is Scott Gordon's practice and he does it in a way like it's going to give him some kind of advantage by waiting until game day.

Fair to say no one on the Islanders is scrambling tonight since the announcement of Alex Auld as the Canadians starter Friday to watch video.

If Scott Gordon does not know who his starter is Friday at this point, fair enough.
************************************
Thoughts:
James Wisniewski near the top of NHL defenders scoring which is fantastic on countless levels for the New York Islanders, having written this I did not like how he played that Montreal short-handed goal, watch how he did not cut out the passing lane, despite him having position.

A disaster? No. Wisniewski has been very good and it's first month with a new team, but it's worth noting it's not the first time Wisniewski has not had his stick in right area to cut down passing lane, but skated to the correct area or had position.

Sure Weight/anyone could have lost the puck pinching and got beat, that's going to happen, it almost happened before he set up a goal by Bailey against Colorado, and he lost one against the Rangers which could have turned that game.

Not related to any of above but this defense seemed to have lost it's lynch-pin with the loss of Andrew MacDonald, that's with Radek Martinek playing his usual steady game.

Mark Eaton reminds me a little of Andy Sutton's very early days here when he was a victim of bounces, deflections or blocked shots that went to players who scored.

I'm not sure yet about Jurcina or Mottau as New York Islanders, better than track records, but expect mistakes. Maybe they can be better here than they were in New Jersey or Washington/Columbus.

Too much rust on Jack Hillen, far too much rust on Gervais, this classy kid needs to play somewhere and soon, even if it means a conditioning game.

EXTRA:
The teams website had a good thing going with Islanders Authorized last year, they went out of their way to promote it, then stopped using it around June or July and now release things on Facebook/Twitter but it's jumbled among the comments/announcements and harder to follow.

The advertisements on the Islanders twitter feed for so many things and not hockey updates only made it impossible to use here on sidebar which extended to team website updates last year.

NYIFC is trying to keep up. The Islanders Authorized feature was removed and something was created for Islander-Bridgeport Facebook/Twitter.

Bottom line it would be appreciated if they use one outlet and stick with it.

Looks like Fox Rupert Murdoch has no problem doubling Cablevsion Ranger coverage in Post, having Jay Greenberg cover games while the Islanders have received nothing written in quite a while.

A few more days of this and Mr Murdoch may tell his sports editor to send Larry Brooks and Greenberg on the road with the Islanders.

Does the Daily News take Peter Botte out of hiding for a night? His twitter feed does not reflect someone watching games with any enthusiasm for the club whatsoever, who does not even follow.

The NY Times has the budget to pay a writer to do crossword puzzles with the Islander players, but does not have the money in that nice, modern building to cover any of the teams hockey games?

I'm sure there is a word that can fit on a crossword puzzle.

The twitter box will be re-posted at 5pm Friday.



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Niederreiter Returned to WHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/28/2010 03:55:00 PM



Islanders website: Report Nino Niederreiter was returned to the Portland WinterHawks by the club today, the teams website had an update with his comments here.

NYIFC Comments:
At such a young age or almost a year younger than Tavares/Bailey when they were rookies it's easy to see why this is the right move for Niederreiter, but he obviously made it tough on management with his seasoned play. Matt Martin was expected to be here going into camp, plus they have Joensuu/several wingers in Bridgeport with more seasoning who need an opportunity, plus at some point Kyle Okposo will return along with Rob Schremp moving another center to wing.

You can only play three right wingers on top three lines.
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Tsn.ca: Report Alex Auld will make his debut for Montreal Friday in New York.

NYIFC Comments:
Given the road trip coming up along with the Islanders constant struggles in Philadelphia, this club needs a win Friday regardless who Scott Gordon puts in goal. Four games now in a row they have outplayed for long stretches of games.

Scott Gordon before the game in Montreal had this quote, and I could not write it any better to sum up what I have been seeing, granted Comeau and some players have obviously not been same or playing hurt or getting banged up in games:

“Usually when a team struggles, they were struggling before they started to struggle, It might not have showed up in the win-loss column, but to me (our play) started to deteriorate after the Washington game. We didn’t come close to playing the last four games with the same kind of oomph that we had in the first three.”



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10/27/10

New York Does Not Need A Short-Sighted Contract/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2010 01:08:00 AM


Someone has to remind folks you only have six spots for your top two lines.

John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo and if he stays Nino Niederreiter make as much money as the CBA allows them to be paid with bonus money. Trent Hunter is on a five year contract.

Rob Schremp on paper is the second line center, and his production supports that kind of spot. After the season do you dump him or Blake Comeau because you need a higher paid veteran winger because your payroll is too low?

Charles Wang did spend plenty of money and his team qualified for four playoffs in six years before becoming the NHL's poster-team for man games lost to injury, acceptable results? No, but hardly a management that should ever be portrayed as poor or not trying to win.

It's kind of on the same level reading from some of these experts how Garth Snow is building like Chicago and Pittsburgh now.

Really?

So Garth Snow bought half the league like Craig Patrick a few years ago to finish in the basement after Crosby lottery before he was fired, or Snow should have paid Campbell, Huet/Hossa huge money and fired his coach after four games and the gm should have forgotten to submit his qualifying offers in time?

These are also the Hawks that lost 30m per their ownership after winning the Stanley Cup here.

Should this have been Garth Snow's blueprint because I must have missed it, either that or when you win the Stanley Cup, no one remembers what actually happened?

Folks want to write Garth Snow never should have given Moulson a shot at an NHL spot, fair enough. I was one to write they should move on from Doug Weight and added/traded for a scoring winger.

Guess what? Snow/staff made right call on Moulson regardless what the payroll turns out to be, and it's looking good on Weight/Parenteau early.

Not like Simon Gagne with no points/minus eight is off to the same start as PA Parenteau statistically with a far better offensive supporting cast on paper.

Hard to argue with adding someone with Michael Grabner's talents which are painfully lacking on this roster in speed/hands department. It's easy to argue with Trevor Gillies getting a very expensive seat to barely play or mix and match three lines.

Bottom line it's a long-season, but how much money you spend is not the answer sometimes. Management has proven so far the players it has targeted can help this organization, they are playing acceptable enough to accumulate points.

Long term Wang/Snow's payroll test will be re-signing Moulson, Wisniewski, Parenteau, Comeau and Schremp, their biggest problem will be in finding a way to fit Bailey, Okposo, Tavares into their budget.

If they reached out to Kovalchuk over the summer and made an inquiry, fair enough, obviously they were patient enough to identify players who apparently fit what management is trying to do. I felt they should have kept reaching out, so far the results suggest management knew better.

PA Parenteau is not the NHL's best kept secret, he's not a franchise superstar, but if this waiver-wire player becomes a fifty point winger here, he was the right decision regardless of the teams current payroll. Jussi Jokinen was passed on waivers by Snow/NHL, he went to Carolina and became a thirty goal player.

I watched the NHL market this summer as did everyone, what franchise offensive talent was available beyond Kovalchuk? You wanted a Simon Gagne trade fair enough, but asking the Flyers to trade in division is not their first choice of a salary dump.

You wanted Frolov, Torres, Nystrom over some of the players here now? Fair points.
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NHL/Islander Notables:
The loss of Andrew MacDonald is huge to this team's defense, the closest player they had to Mark Streit in terms of a two-way game. Obviously the club was not happy in practices/scrimmages with play of Jack Hillen which substituted for teams preseason schedule or Mike Mottau would not be here with a two year contract.
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My guess is I don't have a clue if Nino Niederreiter is going back to Portland. If I had to speculate I would say no based on Bailey-Tavares, but Matt Martin was not on rookie/Bridgeport camp list before his injury, neither was Jesse Joensuu.

I would send him back, put Matt Martin in Gillies spot, and callup Joensuu. Bottom line is at some point Kyle Okposo will return. You don't put Niederreiter on your fourth line and demote Sim.

Bailey, Tavares, Nielsen, Comeau and top forwards must stay healthy.

Sure Niederreiter has looked good enough to stay also with his overall play.

The bonus points and play of Doug Weight cannot be counted on long-term, the stats and age do not lie as fantastic as he has played.
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Tavares was never this dominating in front of goal as he was against Florida a year ago, the first/third goals were excellent signs, but he is still a very young player who should have no expectations of thirty goals placed on him, even if he reaches that number or greater.
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If they play in spurts like they did against Toronto, Tampa, Florida, they will be in a regulation losing streak soon. Games cannot come down to Roloson or DiPietro stealing points. Florida never played the Islanders in Sunrise, as poorly as they did on Saturday and still had four goals. DiPietro was not great, but the mistakes in front of him were not good either.
******************************************
Beating Habs is no major accomplishment, not late last year or now, but I would like a sixty minute game and a win Wednesday after Mike Cammalleri, cheap shots from Canadian media over split-squad roster.
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Always nice to see the Devils receive some coverage. Kovalchuk could score 100 goals and would not receive the coverage he got for one benching. I seem to write this every year around now, when the Devils are in first place will anyone remember? When they finally lose for a full year, things have changed, not before.
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If I'm going to be critical of Msg for not showing Torrey ceremony, the Islanders website did a pathetic job not recognizing Bill Torrey with a tribute. We don't need Gillies-Konopka features, as much as we do need people like Mr Torrey to be honored long and loud.

This was a website staff that was giving us non-stop updates on Sopel-Asham last June as they played in finals.

The twitter box will be up Wednesday afternoon.



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10/24/10

Bill Torrey Ceremony & Interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/24/2010 12:42:00 AM
For some reason Cablevision did not show Bill Torrey's ceremony live for New York Islander fans, they showed the teams 2001 highlights of his New York ceremony as this took place, while Rob Carlin conducted a worthless trivia segment with the pregame time which would have been appropriate for 2001 ceremony replay.

Mr Torrey was interviewed on the Cablevision-owned broadcast after the first period, as always Jiggs McDonald, who was a former Panthers broadcaster hosted the event.



10/20/10

First Place New York Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/20/2010 12:31:00 AM


The first place New York Islanders phrase fits quiet well, so for now enjoy it, along with a new NYIFC header honoring Bill Torrey, who will have a night from the Florida Panthers in a few days, with the New York Islanders the opposition.

You think by the way some Leaf media reacted, they were a first place team in March? The New York Islanders beat most first place teams all of last season.

I guess Leaf media has to write something to justify interest/page views for themselves in October, some were fair about correct on-ice calls made, others not.

For all the grief the officials receive that was a heck of a call on ice to notice the high stick on a Leaf non-goal. If an Islander scored a goal that way and it was negated you credit the officials just the same.

I hope that's how the calls are made in March, April, May and June regardless of what teams are involved.

It's October, there have been some very good things happening beyond the injuries, but the New York Islanders could have won or lost every game, and the same could have been said a year ago before the shootout win vs Carolina.

The hard work has been there and that is the mindset the players dressed must continue to have, regardless of result.

Last year they went to Washington twice and gained points, this year they lost in regulation 2-1. Last year early, they lost close games, this year they are winning them.

The local/national media by and large are a joke, who barely can write about the primary team they are assigned much less others so you will have to excuse their laziness in terms of hockey knowledge.

The 2010-11 New York Islanders are 3-1-2, it's October, not March. Of course they can be in first come March, or they can be in last.

If they stay reasonably healthy, they should be in contention.

For now, they have to survive any possible time without Bailey who looks like a franchise center in his natural spot ready to break out. His loss is huge to this roster. They have to keep getting results from Comeau, who also is likely injured but playing the best hockey of his career. Nielsen has to contribute, Tavares, Moulson have to score their goals, along with others.

Weight is giving Scott Gordon, no reason to cut his minutes or his role, he's in on most goals this team is scoring with the powerplay.

Bailey's franchise center potential vs Nielsen or Schremp is the decision down the road to be made. Would Bailey have done this as a wing? Great question but his natural position and these results have come with him as a center.

Hunter, is out temporarily.
Schremp, Okposo, Streit are out.

When everyone finally returns, management will have some very tough choices to make.

The bend, but not break defense has done the job, some mistakes and potential for breakdowns, but no worse than other clubs. Not a fan of Jurcina, or Mottau, who's mistakes can be big ones, but they have also provided some steady play.

Martinek's been the same steady (and more) player he has always been, who has proven invaluable. Wisniewski is steady but you see some mistakes too with potential.

MacDonald's been good, once he buries a goal, he'll even be better. Disappointing Hillen has no spot, but his time will come over 82 games, same for Gervais.

Roloson and DiPietro have both played well. Konopka did not fight Cooke in Pittsburgh (NY given powerplay) after DiPietro got run the second time, he needed that more than a fight by appointment vs Colorado. DiPietro's classly interview and efforts for BCA was excellent.

New York has five more chances to get even with Cooke, why would any team want to run mediocre Brent Johnson?

Gillies dressing for now means this team rolls three lines and mixes things up, Sim needs a goal or two, or Matt Martin/someone should be pushing someone's spot.

Put me in the group that likes Michael Grabner's speed/hands. No one finishes a two-one on this roster like he did Saturday against Colorado, then take the puck from one end to the other after that which he did after a Roloson save.

Parenteau is getting his points and making plays, he needs some goals to go with those minutes given.

I'm more impressed with Tavares faceoffs, defense, than his one-timer against Toronto. He does look faster/better this year for limited body of work.

We'll see. Seasons are not decided by October 20th. The New York Islanders if healthy could very well be a top team, they may be one anyway, whether the media spin doctors like it or not.

For now New York heads to their Bermuda Triangle in Florida and two teams that have dominated them down South. This is where they prove to me if things have changed because Tampa (bow down when you write the name Yzerman) is improved on paper but still it's Gagne, Bergenheim, Moore.

Looks like it may not include Lecavalier.

New York outscored the Stamkos Lightning a year ago.

Bill Torrey tribute night vs Florida will follow that game.
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Not sure what happens by next week with Nino Niederreiter after he plays his 9th game. The trends with Bailey, Tavares suggest he stays, and does not go to the WJC.

Niederreiter is almost a full year younger than Tavares/Bailey were as rookies. It could go either way. What's disappointing is no one in Bridgeport played well enough to give them more time.
**************************************************
David Ullstrom had his first professional goal credited today via video reversal.
Kevin Poulin had his first professional win, I held off on that because I thought he may have had one in an earlier cameo.
***************************************************
Nate Lawson cleared waivers, three goalies in Bridgeport for now.
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Cablevision hired Christine Simpson today to enhance Devils coverage. Pat Flatley was absent Saturday so Mike Keenan could review New York Islander hockey games on a night the Dolan's team did not even play, with Trautwig, Maloney and Daneyko.

This is entirely about Cablevision saving money on New York Islander hockey. Goring
has not been bad, lot's of enthusiasm/knowledge but it's all about who had a contract vs who's was expiring in Jaffe. Howie Rose keeps the candle lit waiting on Sam Rosen's job between vacations and off air five minutes after games. Stan Fischler works the locker-room for home games.

ITV makes up for all of them with complete interviews so you can get past writer viewpoint/bias to the quotes.
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Michael Fornabaio in the Ct Post says there is no agreement with Louisiana IceDogs, of SPHL, their site has owners comments and a team release saying there is.

I added section to prospect blog for them so we'll see.

Former draft pick Wes O'Neil, is with ECHL Kalamazoo Islanders affiliate.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL
Kalamazoo Wings ECHL
Odessa Jackalopes
Louisiana Ice Dogs



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10/12/10

Colin Campbell's Double-Standards Strike Again/Two For Wisniewski

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2010 06:02:00 PM
Islanders website: Report James Wisniewski was given a two game suspension by the NHL on Tuesday.

“A lot of actions on the ice are regrettable,” Wisniewski said. “I’ve been given a suspension from the league and I’m going to accept it and move on from here.”

NYIFC Comments:
Frankly about what I expected.

As usual Mr Campbell's outright incompetence see's multiple slashes, a match penalty for chopping down a player with his back turned skating away as a one game suspension for one player/team, while the other player who reacted to Avery's initial gesture receives a two game suspension.

If Wisniewski did what Mike Cammalleri did Monday, he no doubt he would have received more than one game. I don't care about the laundry or what team it's about, all you want as a fan is consistent standards for punishing players.

As for New York, they have defenders who need to play some hockey, there will be no media who see's it the same way.

Bailey, Comeau, DiPietro & PP Very Early Story For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2010 06:24:00 AM

















Don't forget folks, this team is having it's regulars finally play games together, they had no full preseason games with a full lineup, they have a lot of injuries.

It's only two games against mediocre competition, but these are games they NEVER would have come back in to force overtime or win in regulation a year ago.

Five powerplay goals? Sure does not hurt the special teams numbers, but pk has been uneven and not good enough. Doug Weight still has his touch to make passes and take shots that deflect off other players for goals, but this is not a long-term answer.

Anyone else now think Josh Bailey should return to his natural position of center after some fantastic games, where he looked more dominating than John Tavares at his best last year? Incredible work in front of the goal to set up plays. His junior career suggest he can be a big scorer at this level.

Blake Comeau is absolutely making me a believer. These are not bad goals that were surrendered down the stretch a year ago, he is just working hard and seems like the game has slowed down for him where he is comfortable. He's only three goals and ten points behind where he was last February.

It's not the numbers, it's the skating, the positioning, driving the net to make plays and the passing.

Saturday night, Butch Goring in his debut hit the nail on the head, when DiPietro stopped a breakaway, and said if the Islanders come back, that's what should be remembered, but of course no one did. I felt DiPietro was hard on himself Saturday, shocked he started again Monday, but he played well enough and made big saves early.

Don't know where Gordon goes from here, but Roloson needs work, DiPietro needs to work his way back, nothing replaces two years without game action, day by day we see if DiPietro has any setbacks.

The defense I'm not that comfortable with but they have had little game time.

The good, bad, and ugly of Wisniewski is his offense, hitting but how he got flat-footed on a Dallas goal where he had space to close gap, block passing lane was a terrible effort.

This was a not a franchise player Anaheim surrendered to sign Andy Sutton, he has upside and downside to his game.

Eaton is not Sutton, he blocks shots a different way, is not physical, he lost his man for a goal Saturday but his game is steady play and it's preseason game mode in terms of NHL season for him on a new team. Milan Jurcina simply does not impress me, and it has nothing to do with same pass I gave Eaton. Mike Mottau is the full package but has to be limited because he can do too much and that get's him in trouble.

Martinek, MacDonald have been excellent.

Still, the group has a much bigger presence on the ice, even among the mistakes, they are not going to be out-muscled like they were in the past, even if on paper it is not big in hitting department. Jack Hillen needs to be in that lineup.

PA Parenteau for what little I have seen is obviously slower than Tambellini, but he seems to know where to be and the puck finds him better. This is not about his goal, but where he got other chances from.

Nielsen's game seems a grade higher, on offense, he has to score. Weight's had an outstanding start, but eventually will not have a place at center.

Watch Niederreiter's shift when the Islanders took the 5-4 lead Monday with less than three minutes left. Overall play like that is more impressive than his offense, and why Scott Gordon will want him to stay.

I guess everything was not written about regarding the media.

The comeback questions for Scott Gordon don't come as quick as the blown leads questions so he correctly walked on Ranger media fans/beatwriters, who had nothing about a team they are quick to ridicule, but not nearly interested in praising.

Sure the Ranger/Cablevision/Newsday media are selling/protecting Avery and the paper's house team, along with the few other Ranger fans out there in local press, but obviously for Avery to compare his need for rehab, that he requested at the time to this means he has learned little.

One other thing, I looked at video, Avery put his hands to his mouth before Wisniewski responded. Cablevision owned Msg did not produce a reverse angle.

The Colin Campbell joke standards are Niederreiter got three pre-meditated shots with a stick and was injured with the final one where he was skating away, while the Montreal player got one game, and an endorsement deal from a stick manufacturer.

If the tiny NY hockey media that complains the longest/loudest influence Campbell to where a suspension is given here, I guess three slashes to Avery while he was skating away would be better served for the game?

Bottom line is there is no consistency for Colin Campbell, if the Habs player got Pock plus two (seven games) for three intentional slashes, I would have no problem with a game for Wisniewski and Avery for initiating here if conduct/standards are enforced consistently.

But they aren't.

No folks, former Ranger Daily News/NHL media salesman Frank Brown, John Dellapina did not get into the NHL media department leadership for fair and balanced coverage of the New York Islanders. Of course, Larry Brooks is very upset his favorite team lost, and the player wearing Ranger laundry at this time was shown up.

All I can add is right or wrong 99.9 percent of the players are likely having a good laugh at Avery's expense, including no doubt, most of the players in his own locker room.

Yes folks, this is the same kind of media killing local hockey to where three teams cannot give tickets away for early season games, they complain about the Isles spending but don't spent on coverage? NY Times has a beautiful building.

12,000 at NJ to see Crosby in a new building with Kovalchuk/Parise? No doubt it would have been 13,000 by-partisan at Msg, announced as a sellout, and it will be in December if it's a weeknight.

Speaking of the Devils, I wonder what would have happened if the Islanders circumvented the CBA, were fined/had first round pick taken away, then did not have enough players under the cap to ice a team Monday?

Ok, now it's a Washington club they took 2/2 to overtime against last season on the road, a real test against a team they accumulated zero points in Pittsburgh, who have Mike Comrie on wing.

Tavares does not appear to be long-term, but what happened has to be monitored very closely.



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