12/20/10

Scoring From Defenders A Huge Problem

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/20/2010 04:33:00 PM


Milan Jurina is back in the lineup, granted he has a one year contract but does not have much value in trade market.

Unless Radek Martinek and James Wisniewski can come to terms on a deal one of them will likely be moved before the trade deadline, do you even want to sign players who could get hurt for 2011-12 before this season ends?

Eaton/Mottau, both are signed for 2011-12. Could be traded, but perhaps not.

Short term (barring injury) this team should get back it's full starting defense from opening night (less Mark Streit) so again it will come back to Gervais on the sidelines with likely Jack Hillen, however an interesting choice will have to be made.

Do you send back Travis Hamonic or leave him with Andrew MacDonald? If Hillen/Gervais are already sitting, who sits so Hamonic can stay in the lineup?

Plus next fall likely brings deHaan, Streit and perhaps a defender as a top pick, to say nothing of Bridgeport/college prospects/UFA market.

For those scoring at home, New York goals in 2010-11 season from defenders?

Even Strength: Jurcina/Martinek, one each.
PP: James Wisniewski, two.
Shorthanded: Jurcina, one.

Total goals from defenders, thirty games: Five.
Scoring among NHL defenders.

Fair to say, it's a factor in the offensive struggles. Cam Fowler has three goals in Anaheim.

MacDonald can score from point but injury set him back in that department.

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12/18/10

DiPietro Knee Swelling Returns, Nate Lawson Starts

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2010 12:04:00 PM


Islanders website: Reports Rick DiPietro has minor swelling in his knee, and made clear it's nothing serious. Nate Lawson recalled and is expected to make his NHL debut.

Lawson is expected to start over a very rested Dwayne Roloson.

Jon Sim may have been a paper transaction and is with the team.

Islanders website: Nate Lawson discusses his first pro start, Rick DiPietro discusses his injury and Lawson.

NYIFC Comments:
Sadly, if this problem has returned after all this time, and if it's the same knee he had surgery on, it could well be the beginning of the end, unless this is a short-term issue or very precautionary which is what DiPietro is taking about.

Having written this nothing minor about a player who has had knee swelling issues over two seasons after two surgeries having swelling, the past has taught us that much.

Very strange Lawson is in goal over Roloson, who has had more than enough rest recently.

The NHL roster freeze for the holidays begins at midnight, so any trade for Roloson would have to happen today, after perhaps losing Rick DiPietro?

Lawson starting makes little sense, he relieved Mikko Koskinen Friday night and allowed a goal on his first shot, he has been injured and plays in a three man rotation for Bridgeport.

In short if Roloson is healthy/not being traded, Lawson is starting because he was due to start in AHL?

Of course, let's call a spade, a spade. Roloson age/UFA status, the teams record, and the current standings scream it does not matter who starts one game.

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Glendale Pays Over 220m/Nassau-TOH Nothing For Wang

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/18/2010 09:03:00 AM


Our fans should stop blaming Charles Wang and take the fight to save this team to Ed Mangano and Kate Murray's doorstep daily, it's been going on long before Wang bought this team.

Bottom line in a town that already has a new modern arena Glendale government has agreed to give incoming owner, Matthew Hulsizer close to 200m dollars and control of revenue from facility.

This was after Glendale paid the NHL 20-25m to guarantee any possible losses for them running the team for a second season.

Meanwhile all we get here after Charles Wang has lost hundreds of millions, in the league's second oldest building (while Dolan's get their tax exemption from NYC) is he should spend more or fans will not support the product. Nothing from Mangano, Murray or the Nassau/TOH politicians that have given this team nothing but Smg-controlled lease that Wang (and or Scott Rechler) will pay 17m to make back some revenue from events at Coliseum or Kate Murray's LH project, which was designed to be rejected, and never made it to a public hearing.

Smg only agreed to this deal because of fear or losing revenue during a renovation, Wang/Rechler don't make back 17m or become profitable from agreeing to this. Smg losses money on the Nassau Coliseum also.

Forget the weak UFA player market last summer, all the front-loaded contracts it requires today to sign a quality player, and forget the Islanders depth chart going into camp.

Every other local/NJ team that got taxpayer money in bonds/tax breaks or infrastructure to build new facilities here, Glendale stepped up for it's team and it's modern building to keep it's primary tenant.

Why won't Nassau County/TOH do the same for a man who has lost hundreds of millions, who would never see a dime of profit in his life-time if the Wang-Rechler full LH project started construction tomorrow?

Charles Wang is sixty six years old, if construction on original LH started today, was rented/financed/competed on time/budget (all economic/construction miracles) by the time Wang paid back banks for his share of financing (with Scott Rechler) he would not see a dime of profit (to say nothing of money he's lost over a decade running the Islanders) in likely two life-times.

Yet some maintain he bought the team for the land and only to make money. Comical, given the man also has a lease in Bridgeport until 2021 for the Sound Tigers to save that team from late Roy Boe and has no real estate projects there.

What happened to all the people who were blaming Nassau/TOH and saw the real problem that has gone on here for closer to twenty years? The one that even Glendale paid huge to fix for an owner who will lose plenty of money in this deal, regardless of what they give him.

Same as Charles Wang.

Meanwhile, Mangano/Murray are barely mentioned anymore. Our fans got lazy in that fight and would rather blame a man who was told in 2003, Nassau/TOH cannot do anything for the Coliseum which is the only reason Wang/Rechler were approved by Nassau as LH developers or why there was ever such a plan to begin with.

Meanwhile the same short-sighted fans come off like Kate Murray and demand Wang, simply lose more money and renovate Nassau/TOH building for them, plus take the full hit on the teams payroll.

Sadly many of the same fans/media dumping on Wang, sound more and more like Howard Milstein and demand the building be filled before they invest in the team, except they they demand Wang spend 50-60m and gut their prospect pool before they will fill the seats.

In short, they will not return under Wang, unless the same Milbury plan they reject to this day happens here again.

Charles Wang is spending the same 40+ million he did before a salary cap, a little fact lost along the way.

While the same fans/media say we don't care, lose more money, don't leave spots for prospects or worry about paying them down the road.

What part of there is no MOU/LH project without Scott Rechler don't these same fans or media understand?

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12/15/10

Real Development vs Surviving A Season

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2010 11:30:00 AM


I keep getting the same comments, the New York Islanders have been rebuilding/developing for years, then comes the no playoff wins since 93 mantra.

This is simply not true.

My response to this always is when they were making four playoffs in six years, that was not developing. They did have some prospects who could contribute at this level, however most did not make it.

The verdict is in on the drafts from 2002-2005, outside of Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen or Bruno Gervais, it's not looking very good in terms of impact players in New York or around the NHL.

In Ted Nolan's final year when they lost a league leading 402 man games to injury or a league leading 582 in 08-09 that was not developing.

Those seasons (especially 08-09) were about finding enough healthy bodies to fill out a lineup with Tim Jackman playing five games in five days for the Islanders and Sound Tigers. In 07-08, the injuries hit hardest the final month so they stayed in contention to a degree.

Last year with only 250 man games lost to injury, that was more about development, the proof was in the improvement in the standings, and the wins against all of the top teams.

This year ended before it got a chance to start in many ways, it's very much like 08-09 now even with the scoring problems surfacing early, and the reality check that many of the past picks/some via trade (Nielsen, Comeau, Hunter, Tambellini) did not step up and produce at a time they had to for this to have a chance.

I don't see 2010-11 as developing, as much as I see it as again surviving a season.

That may happen along the way but Travis Hamonic is here because practically every single defender has been out or injured/suspended or playing hurt.

The hard, bitter truth is Florida never got there with development, and a decade later are still working through it. Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago took close to a decade, and a lot of steps backwards along the way. St Louis, Columbus, Nashville and many other franchises could still go either way.

One year, one eighteen point improvement, sandwiched between three years decimated with injury is not real development or giving a plan a chance. It's not even the start of real development/improvement until these players not only produce at this level, but learn to win, and have a healthy supporting cast to help them.

Right now this is only surviving a season, and seeing what some of these kids can do.
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Glendale stepped up and invested in saving the Coyotes franchise, for better or worse their new owner (when approved) will be willing to bleed millions for likely a decade plus.

Nassau/TOH are not giving Charles Wang (or Scott Rechler) the time of day for free, Wang and/or Rechler are paying Smg 17m for what some claim are a gift.

The clock is ticking.
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To the best of my knowledge, it's Calvin deHaan, Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson, Nino Niederreiter representing New York at the WJC starting Dec 26th.

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Brian Rolston to New York? No Thanks

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2010 06:13:00 AM


Lou Lamoriello is still saying all the right things about his team still having a chance for the playoffs (which mean the Islanders on paper still have same chance) however reality is New Jersey, incredibly with veterans on roster, have barely been able to stay ahead of an Islander team with one win since October, and have scored less goals than New York.

That's not easy to do.

For those who don't understand the process with players over thirty five, you sign them at that age, they count against your cap until the contract ends. Brian Rolston has one more goal than Jon Sim, with a far better veteran cast of players, and happens to play the same wing as Matt Moulson, Blake Comeau. (sometimes)

Rolston is claimed (even if he goes on re-entry waivers at some point) and his cap hit is cut in half 2.5m, same thing. He quits, retires, whatever, he is paid and his contract counts against the cap, sending him to the AHL does not change this.

New York needs veteran scoring help. I do not think they need a player who cannot produce with veterans at that age on a team that's going nowhere this season that need to develop their own prospects. This team already has one player over thirty five who has not been healthy very much since December 2008 in Captain Doug Weight.

What they needed was a scoring right wing to replace Okposo, then Hunter. Garth Snow did not/was not able to sign Guerin/Satan, who would have solved nothing, or a better alternative. Parenteau/others so far have not proven to be an answer.

Maybe Snow will put in a claim if it comes down to re-entry, I don't see it and for now Lamoriello is not playing the re-entry card. Character players, well liked are all well and good, but this team needs speed, skill, size and someone to finish.

Rolston comes here and decides to retire at end of season, his cap hit counts against Islander payroll.

What do I want? To see more of Rhett Rahkshani, Joensuu, Martin, Hamonic and a look for Robin Figren. I like Frans Nielsen's defense, his offensive game at five on five simply does not lead to goals. Schremp is scoring enough to merit a spot, Bailey should be back playing his natural position, and Tavares is not going anywhere.

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12/14/10

What Can New York do? Develop and Play Out Season

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/14/2010 04:30:00 AM
The World Junior Championship Section Is Opened on Sidebar.



After seven or eight straight one goal/empty net losses, a bad night was due, and it happened Monday in Nashville.

Sure some wins are long overdue also.

You take Eaton and Martinek out of an already paper thin defense, with an offense that is painfully weak, against a team that's been playing well and this is going to be the result.

I get the impression from some folks, they don't understand most scoring forwards in the NHL have NTC/NMC. The ones who don't are in the Fedotenko, Comrie class and are not the answer for this team.

The Devils are doing the same as the Islanders, waiting to get healthy and playing with what they have.

As for New York on Monday, liked some moves Tavares made, MacDonald jumped into some plays, Roloson let in a soft one but he's been sitting for a while and been great this season.

Folks don't like stock answers from Snow, however I have never read one response from anyone with a plan to bring in a prime talented forward. The Islanders put all this time/financial into developing Jesse Joensuu, it's his third year, he should be here by now, and receive a full chance.

PA Parenteau is not a very good offensive player/struggling at five on five especially, but neither are a lot of players on the current roster. I would love to see Nielsen dropped to a fourth line center spot, and Bailey recalled to play center, with Rhett Rakhshani on his right wing. I would like to see Jon Sim go back to Bridgeport but they need a veteran or two here.

Bottom line for the 2010-11 Islanders, competition for the playoffs is officially over. It will take all they can to avoid dropping twenty points of 28th, if things continue as they have been going.

Plus some players anger/frustration is going to surface more and more. These are kids and veterans playing for their NHL careers right now, anyone who thinks a single player is tanking for a second should understand that.

Ownership/Management tanking? What do you want Charles Wang/Garth Snow to do besides trade his best prospects or talent for a quick fix player, who's not going to produce or he would not be available in the first place?

The kind of players available, are struggling on their current teams, in decline or heading to UFA. I'm sure Lou Lamoriello would love to unload a poor contract like Dainius Zubrus who does not have a NTC, but he cannot produce or help this team.

This makes makes no sense for Garth Snow, plus the injury problems are not going away like 08-09 which were a league leading 582.

All they can do is play out the season, see what prospects show signs they can help at NHL level, and make some choices on the ones who have had a long enough look.

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12/10/10

Islander Notables/Snow's ITV Interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/10/2010 06:04:00 PM


I watched Garth Snow's interview, with Chris King on ITV Friday.

Outside of the general manager getting MacDonald's injury wrong vs Florida and " goosebumps " comment I saw nothing really new there, he did use rebuilding word when in past he went out of his way to defend this as not being a rebuild.

He made it clear enough the Milbury plan will not be happening, which I absolutely agree with. Outside of the arena questions, or no one asking if Snow can offer a front-loaded deal, he said some of the things Lou Lamoriello did this week, about the trade market, not giving up prospects.

Reality check is there is no trade, no transaction that is going to make this group collectively bigger, faster or get them scoring at even strength, these are four line problems, that only time and experience will answer.

They have been as competitive as a team can be without winning based on all the recent one goal/empty net games. The starts to games have been a problem, the pp and even strength scoring terrible. DiPietro makes his mistake a game and it's fatal.

Only criticism I can make is why is Jon Sim on a third line (I know they need veterans/someone to crash net/stir things up) however, when he cannot score you want to see Rhett Rakhshani or Robin Figren get a serious look and bring scoring ability Sim does not have?

Perhaps I answered my own question.

Tough Decisions:
Josh Bailey was drafted to be a center. As long as Tavares, Schremp, Nielsen are here he cannot be played at his natural position at this level, that's a problem which is not going away. Management cannot play him at center in the AHL, then recall him to go play left wing here. It will not work if the gm is talking about his confidence.

Frans Nielsen may be among the scoring leaders, however he has one even strength goal and that was a terrible one allowed by the Flyers last Sunday.

The third period chance Comeau had against Boston was excellent, he has to do it on a nightly basis and finish a few of them or it's time for someone else to get that chance.

You want veteran scorers? What would last summers UFA scrap heap of vets have done for this group? Most could not score, or stay healthy, the younger ones had some scoring ability but had never show it consistently. Other players were enigmas who have proven to be so far on their new clubs.

Only answer now is to keep working in young players and stick to plan. There is no ten game winning streak coming to get this club back to five hundred or the outer fringes of playoff contention.
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Upcoming:
Moving forward the very painful choice of Roloson's departure vs Poulin, Koskinen or Lawson must be addressed. You cannot let Anders Nilsson walk away and sharing work among three goalies who need to play more than once a week, is not the best choice for development.

I have no doubt Roloson is a very good influence and agree with the goaltending consultant's interview he can play another two or three years. If the Islanders found an acceptable package for DiPietro, now that he's proving he's healthy, I would not take a trade off the table involving him, even though the chance is very good after a full year of working off rust he may well be a franchise goaltender again.

I see a bad goal a game from DiPietro with rust, lot's of NHL goaltenders without missing two years perform the same for their clubs. His numbers do not reflect the games or how well he has played in most of them, or quality chances allowed that led to goals against.

Of course Roloson at this point in his career should get an opportunity to win a cup for someone, injury cost him his finals chance in Edmonton.

Now that Eaton, Mottau have contracts for next year, how do you hold back Hamonic or not bring back Martinek? MacDonald should absolutely stay, Hillen and Gervais with Jurcina (Gordon's player) may well be on outside, with deHaan and other defenders in system needing a chance.

If I'm gm, Wisniewski is resigned because he is a very good two-way defender, I want to see him with Streit next season. That is something management should be working on now along with Matt Moulson, but given the past a signing/injury is always possible.

Final comment on my last blog entry for those writers who are very quick to point out Wang is only spending to the cap floor, and using past contracts/not putting Streit/Okposo on IR to get there.

Charles Wang was spending over 40m on payroll before there was a salary cap, he's doing the exact same thing now.
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Misc:
What can be done about Quebec fans coming to Coliseum Saturday? Nothing.

It's up to the New York fans in the long-term to support the product, and for the Islanders to circulate it's message to it's New York fan base, which is why they have a website and a vehicle to communicate, but don't expect reality television updates because no team does that.

It is however weak the Times hockey staff through it's Ranger beatwriter, does not have resources to cover Islander hockey games, but goes above and beyond to get out the Quebec message. Not even Sather protest got a full print article last year in the Times.

Seems NY Times only put in time/money when it's negative about the club, and not do do features on the players. The Times also goes cheap on the Rangers too and treats the Devils same as Islanders, they are never shy about kicking them when down.

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12/7/10

HOW DARE THEY....Wang, Snow & Dolan Employee Jim Cerny

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


Today's blog entry simply as the question, how dare they do this to us?

Charles Wang:
How dare this man raise ticket prices to pay to offset his massive losses running this franchise (not only the last decade) but gave us ticket prices only four dollars above the league average which took a nineteen percent increase to go that high since last year.

Note-Despite countless discounted tickets offered for most games/loud-ville/whatever.

How dare Wang (with or without Scott Rechler) paid seventeen million dollars to get back some of his revenue in the Smg lease, which was only given so if a renovation did happen, Smg would have a guaranteed income with the building closed in the summer, which some selectively seem to think Wang (and or Rechler) got as a gift?

How dare Wang say he is going to honor that lease until 2015 he can now get out of with Nassau approval.

How dare Charles Wang put up his own money to renovate parts of a building he does not own, with no agreement from Nassau County/TOH on anything, not only last summer, but over the last decade, with new scoreboards, the first local facility to have wrap-around boards, and redo glass/boards, despite the 17-19m Wang-Rechler invested in the LH preparation.

How dare Charles Wang allow his general manager to offer the most money for Paul Martin, and perhaps other free agents, or add Wisniewski's contract. How dare Charles Wang put out money for Mike Mottau's contract when he could have simply let Dylan Reese play here.

How dare Charles Wang only speak at the beginning of the season, and not talk to us when James Dolan did not speak for three years while Cablevision's laughingstock franchises on the ice matched the Islanders, and on the court set standards for poor performance.

The true judgment of Wang's future commitment will come based upon how he pays the players who are part of Garth Snow's long-term plan.

Until we get that answer, how dare some peripheral media who don't cover this team daily because their editors are too cheap to do anything but write bi-yearly articles slamming Wang and not cover the games claim anything about his commitment.

Garth Snow:
How dare this gm after years of leading the NHL in man games lost to injury have the conviction to make a plan and stick to it, despite another year where injuries have hurt this roster, which few will mention.

How dare Garth Snow make the anti Milbury like decision last summer to continue with Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen, Trent Hunter, or qualify Rob Schremp after his strong finish (while not qualifying Tambellini, Bergenheim) and instead not open Wang's checkbook to sign franchise (sarcasm) stars like Zherdev, Frolov, Jokinen, Tanguay, Satan, Fedotenko, Guerin, Torres, Nystrom or Comrie in an UFA class that was frankly terrible outside of Kovalchuk among forwards while offering the most to some UFA defenders per their agents.

How dare Snow not speak to the media every single week, when he engages everyone in the professional media several times a year, while Sather and other local general managers in this town are in witness protection for all the times they make themselves available to anyone.

How dare Snow to this point stick to his plan, which in the past did include trading former Milbury picks and could well go that way again.

You want to blame Snow for bringing back Doug Weight and not trading Trent Hunter, it's fair to ask, but other teams see what Hunter has failed to do, and if Weight was helping Tavares, Moulson, of course it's something you have to strongly consider.

All I ask of Snow is if you have something to say to the fans on ITV, don't waste our time Friday on generic items/stock answers about your job when your team is whatever points out of eighth place with Scott Gordon working along side of you, no longer behind the bench.

Jim Cerny:
Mr Cerny after formerly serving as a play-by-play voice of the Islanders long ago, now feels the damage done to the franchise is at a point where he suggests it should finally be the end. Never mind his employers franchise has one Stanley Cup since 1940, and is irrelevant themselves inside baseball's year round market, with their own padded attendance at Knick and Ranger games which has gone on for years.

How dare Cerny, who is currently employed by James Dolan, and would have been thrown out of Msg by their security if he wrote that about any of their teams, pile on as an employee of another NHL local team.

As I previously wrote the Rangers made same four playoffs as the New York Islanders the last decade, both scored the same 222 goals last season, with both missing the playoffs.

Both these teams were separated by three points when the played their final games last March, a little fact lost on the Cablevision/Msg employee.

The Knicks for a decade have been a flat out disgrace on every level, with Dolan's media having countless issues with publications, writers that continue today with their own paper behind a paywall. Wallace Matthews quit because he did not wish to work for Dolan, or put up with the sports editor Hank Winnicki/lead editor Debbie Kranck coverage standards, in a long list of people who have quit or been fired by Newsday.

How dare Jim Cerny not call out James Dolan's coverage of the New York Islanders, on his network, and in his publication which has badly hurt the franchise ability to market to the public on every possible level and contributed to driving down attendance. This is the network that ignored the teams first home camp in thirteen years, would not put a single preseason game on television (while spamming their own all over North America) and are so restrictive of competition, own the Devils tv rights, but would not air Kovalchuk's press conference.

A few years ago Msg pulled this teams pregame, withheld money from the Metro Ice Challenge in a dispute, and would not even allow live web-casted games during the preseason be released on the teams website until days afterward.

These are the standards some will claim is a partnership with the Islanders, Devils and Sabres (webcasted games/no radio last year also) when all it boils down to is restricting and limiting competition to control perception and media.

This is also the company that transferred Butch Goring's Msg contract to the Islanders broadcast booth while Msg saved money not resigning Billy Jaffe, and outside of two Pat Flately cameo's have not hired anyone to represent the Islanders on their studio show.

Nassau County/TOH did not give Charles Wang, John Pickett or any owner in between the Dolan's tax exemptions, free electricity for life that Msg received in 1981, which for many years covered the entire Msg payroll of the Rangers.

How dare Mr Cerny, an employee of another NHL team that regulates this teams television and newspaper coverage kick them when they are down like this or blindly ignore the media and coverage double-standards. The Devils are not getting hit like this in the Star-Ledger, the Leaf media, or Panther media does not pull this.

How dare Jim Cerny not call out his current boss, as he did Charles Wang on all these items.
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Side Note: Cablevision is allowing the unwashed masses free access for a month to see the latest redesign.

NYIFC Comments:
Debbie Kranek designed the first failed model, and was promoted to editor for the design which met with nothing but criticism to be kind.

Are they trying to improve from the thirty five subscribers?

The twitter box returns Wednesday, updates are being made.

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12/6/10

A Little Good News...Hamonic, Joensuu, Martin.....And Some Media

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2010 09:04:00 PM


It may well be a lost season, however there are some good individual things taking place here with the development of Jesse Joensuu, Travis Hamonic and Matt Martin.

Joensuu has more speed than I expected, and a nice ability to cut to the net, he has the scoring hands as he displayed against the Devils, and I love what he did against the Rangers to stick up for Nielsen. Win or lose was nice seeing an Islander have a size advantage in a fight/scrum for once.

Travis Hamonic may look like he is fourteen but apparently the Islanders liked what they saw in him so much, the very reliable Dylan Reese went back to Bridgeport Monday who are overstocked with depth again on defense. Cannot say he looks out of place or over matched to this point.

I know Matt Martin has not put up the numbers or do I see him driving the net as he did a year ago, but he hits a lot and is a noticeable player.

Rhett Rakshani/Robin Figren absolutely need to come up and get a look on this teams wings. I'm very impressed with Rakshani and feel he brings a scoring element lacking on this team.

I know Andrew MacDonald has had three puck go off him for goals the last two games, I'm not worried about his play one bit. He will settle in, get the rust off his game and at some point contribute on offense.
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I know folks don't want to read this and may get the impression I'm trying to spin how poorly this teams record and season has been, however this team has played competitive hockey all season.

So far this group is not going out and losing games 6-0 every night, to portray the club in those terms would contradict how games have been played.

For those who have followed NYIFC, I saw the signs of problems when they were winning, and wrote a free-fall could happen. Scott Gordon was talking about his offensive problems after the Tampa win, which I highlighted and agreed with.

And sure two years ago they lost a ton of one goal games also, it's nothing to celebrate at all, but does have to be written this team does not go out most nights and mail it in.
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You read this non-sense from a few over the top vindictive folks in the media, who go above and beyond to bury this franchise, most facts do get lost along the way because they need their page views and really don't watch the team play.

New York has twenty losses at 5-15-5.
Eleven were one goal games, five overtime/shootout. Three two goal losses via empty net.

The last six games New York could have easily won and absolutely were competitive, if their even strength scoring and pp gave them any timely goals/or anything.

I don't think that can improve this season, twenty five games is enough to see there are offensive issues not going away.

I do see some poor efforts and big losses coming, all teams have clunkers, this team has had about three or four this season, and are again due.

Plus Boston, and some upcoming teams can fill the net and embarrass anyone, I saw what they did to Tampa, winning 8-1.
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Good time to see how many friends this team has in NHL media circles, these days, the kind answer is not many.

I don't like to write about other teams, however for the very limited Ranger fans in the local media who love to kick the New York Islanders (for their personal enjoyment/past success, lack of money to cover them full time, or to satisfy some former employee's personal agenda/grudge) whether they are up or down, spare us.

The New York Islanders, Rangers both made four playoffs last decade, both scored same 222 goals last season (as did Devils) and both missed the playoffs, both play in dumps for home facilities.

I did/do not see articles from the same shock jock crews calling for the NHL/NBA to step in and remove James Dolan.

No doubt it's a very tough time for the New York Islanders and our fans, knock off the vindictive attacks or hold all local teams to the exact same standard or kick all teams when they are down. Charles Wang even paid out of pocket to upgrade a building he does not own nor was obligated to do, why don't you write about that?

Maybe the league should step in and have former Ranger beatwriters, Frank Brown and John Dellapina, never shy about bashing the Islanders, who currently occupy top media positions in the NHL, have a few meetings and request these money losing publications have their editors at the Post, Times and Daily News give this team full time coverage and blogs or demand the Dolan's open their pay wall and hire a full time, experienced professional beatwriter.

Writers that actually cover the team, all games, that interviews the players?

Coverage that went in the tank under past media relations coordinators that worked for the New York Islanders, and set them up for the lack of credible coverage they receive now in newspapers.
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When I twittered Ranger Newsday beatwriter, Steve Zipay why his article said New York was 1-13-1 at Msg recently, I asked if the Dolan's wrote that for him? He replied the Islanders media gave him the notes for a game in his own building?

I guess Mr Zipay does not proof-read his work or Sports editor, Hank Winnicki has a very short memory given the Islander were around 9-4-2 at Cablevision Garden going back to 2005-06. Most of those games Mr Zipay personally covered.

Msg does not provide the media notes in their own building about the teams record at home against the opposition?
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Have been a bit behind on WJC, however will have a few updates. Usual suspects like deHaan will play for Canada, of course Niederreiter, others.

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12/5/10

57 Game Pre-season All That's Left For 2010-11 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2010 05:09:00 PM


Very tough time to be a New York Islanders Fan right now, sure a lot of people are staying home and that's very disappointing but the nature of NY market when teams lose.

Having written that you stick by your team, and support them as best you can. I'm not going to pretend to insult anyone's intelligence by writing that's easy, however that is what loyal fans do.

Four playoffs in a decade is not acceptable, not here, not in Florida or with countless franchises in NHL/sports, who have performed the same or worse.

The 2010-11 New York Islanders have dropped to sixteen points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference race, with a team decimated by injuries at the NHL/AHL level, that has not demonstrated this season they can score at even strength (even with minimal injures) plus have road trips coming up where Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver are on the upcoming menu, you cannot pull punches.

The competitive part of the season in terms of playoff contention is likely over, the next important game in terms of standings October 2011.

This is also looking like a different Eastern Conference from last year, with the one year anomaly of three seeds under ninety points over.

Blame?
All that's left is plenty of time for this, but frankly speaking Comeau, Nielsen, Hunter did not give them the even strength production they had to have at a point in their careers they needed to pull their offensive weight. The decisions to go with Doug Weight/Parenteau or not trade Hunter have not brought the speed/skills/offensive creativity that gives other players room at five on five. Bailey/Comeau were shifted around too much by Scott Gordon.

Bailey and John Tavares are very young players.

No, the injuries don't mean an automatic pass when you have a flaw exposed from day one of the season, but they are part of this teams story. The loss of an Okposo/Streit would hurt any roster going into camp, the additional losses of Schremp, MacDonald, Weight, Hillen, Hunter, Jurcina, with others playing hurt would effect any team.

Moving Forward:
The head coach has been removed, the general manager, who said everyone has to be better this season is still here. An interim coach on a struggling offensive team is likely not going to be retained, or sent back to the AHL, playing a system that he was not teaching the last two seasons.

Unless Michael Grabner, Schremp and others step up at even strength it's going to be a very trying second half to even stay within distance of 29th. That losing streak was no bad stretch, it was a flaw exposed in the roster from game one.

The very tough questions of Moulson, Martinek, Wisniewski and Roloson's future all come into play as the trade deadline approachs, the loss of any of them may not be replaceable.

Jesse Joensuu, Matt Martin are likely going to stay, who's coming back at forward from the injured list to replace them when Jon Sim is now on a third line? How much more bouncing from center to wing helps Josh Bailey's career to recall him when he is healthy and producing at his natural position in Bridgeport.

Rhett Rahkshani, Robin Figren will likely be here very soon. Outside of the three goaltenders for one job in Bridgeport, the depth has taken a beating at the AHL level.

Expect a few ugly moments like Mark Parrish's comments a decade ago when he called out the fans, there are no doubt a lot of frustrated players already. Mark Eaton did not sign on for this, many saw the improvement last year and how tough this team was to play against.

Media:
There will be an avalanche of negative coverage, some fair, others very unfair, and a few will display a level of vindictive reporting that even the Knicks have not seen the last decade.

The ones who have agenda's/vendetta's will kick the franchise the hardest, and they are not interested in man games lost to injury. The media in Florida does not go that negative to it's fanbase, it's not what the Knick media does to it's fans to drive people away.

Of course the biggest joke of all is Cablevision, Msg, Newsday, and it mistreatment of the New York Islander Franchise on every level as more games will be hidden on Msg+2 and Butch Goring/Howie Rose will jump as high as James Dolan demands to remain employed by Msg.

The New York Islanders will do exactly what they need to do, continue the business of hockey in a very long-tough season, same as New Jersey, Edmonton, Toronto and many other losing markets so far this year must do.

Bottom line:
The fans who hated the Milbury plan around 2000, who stayed away long ago are forcing Snow into a position where he may have to act like Milbury to bring fans back to the building sooner rather than later. Snow if he goes that route he will deal with far more problems than Milbury had.

In a front-loaded contract league packed with NTC/NMC this owner with most cannot afford front-loaded contracts, a decade ago there were holdouts all over the NHL which led to Milbury landing Peca/Yashin.

The climate is different now, unless you want to play Toronto's way and give up picks for a Kessel, which has been a disaster.

In short like last summer the UFA classes are not there like they used to be, and as we have seen in New Jersey sometimes that kind of spending backfires badly, at least for now. Front-loaded contracts, NTC/MVC have made this a very tough league to improve strictly through free agency.

You want to blame Charles Wang for not losing/spending more money, and his losses are not your problem that is your choice. I do not see that as fair because he inherited an impossible arena situation and county government. Just because he (along with Scott Rechler) are likely very disappointed a LH project has stalled/stopped, the answer cannot be Wang should throw away money and drive up his payroll toward 50m+, when at some point he will need to pay the players his general manager drafted players the last few summers.

There is no easy out, this owner intends to honor his lease by his comments and is firmly vested in running the Hotel and the Coliseum at this time, if the owner don't care he has a funny way of showing it renovating Nassau County's building for them out of pocket.

Unlike the money losing Caps, he does not receive revenue sharing, unlike many corporate teams bleeding red ink, he cannot call up Comcast or Cablevision and add another 100m to the teams debt.

About twenty other NHL teams have the same problem as Charles Wang.

As for this season, the playoff competitive part is likely over, it's going to be a rough four plus months, the Islanders have played six one goal/EN games in a row, they are due to start struggling.


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11/24/10

Bailey Demotion Is A Shocker, Good News on Mottau

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/24/2010 02:43:00 PM


Islanders website: Reports Josh Bailey has been assigned to Bridgeport and will make his AHL debut with the Sound Tigers against Providence.

Mike Mottau is only expected out four to six week.

NYIFC Comments:
If Mottau is only out four-six weeks that is a huge relief compared to Bryan Berard, Bob Nystrom and what happened to many players who had eye injuries, this easily could have ended his career.

Bailey is a shocker that caught me off-guard and frankly I see as a mistake. He's been moved around too much, he needs to play his natural position of center and stay there. He has offensive ability many of the current forwards on this roster lack.

The idea a healthy Weight, Nielsen with his even strength goals at zero is not a good move for this franchise. It's a stretch Rob Schremp cannot play winger for Jack Capuano and in the pecking order Bailey must rank ahead of Schremp.

No folks, I do not see Bailey as close to one of the passengers on this roster, his three goals, three assist make him a sniper compared to a few players.

Unless this team puts a few wins on the board immediately, it's not going to matter who plays where soon. Columbus is a winning team, New Jersey had a breakout game.

They simply cannot fall any further.

No game reviews/twitter updates tonight/tomorrow, have a great Thanksgiving.

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11/22/10

Expect A Defender Added or Hamonic Recall If No Mottau

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2010 03:53:00 AM


No folks, not inside information, simple math.

Mike Mottau has an eye injury and stayed overnight in Atlanta, so he likely cannot play on Wednesday. The Bridgeport roster is decimated by injury. Katic is out, Kohn was a last minute injury Sunday. Andrew MacDonald is likely not near ready for a return, nor Jurcina with neither at team practices.

Mark Wotton was not supposed to even be in lineup for the Sound Tigers fourth game in six days here on Sunday.

Bridgeport's defense Sunday consistent of the following:
Wotton-Hamonic
Motherwell-Landry
O’Neill-Klementyev

Some fans will recall Wes O'Neill was a former Islander draft pick, who was never signed by the club, the new ECHL affiliate signed him.

Only Klementyev, Hamonic or Wotton can come up without signing an NHL contract. I believe Wotton would also have to clear waivers which could mean the loss of Bridgeport's captain, and another defender without solving the problem.

On paper if Mottau is out, no defender added in NHL trade. Hamonic is the most comparable alternative.

This will not be one game day injury with no chance to get someone across the country in time, like with Jack Hillen.

Unless a signing, or trade, but long-term that does not make sense unless it really improves the team. NHL teams don't move quality defenders.

Marc-Andre Bergeron tour of teams not interested in signing him remains on-going.

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11/21/10

Atlanta 2, New York 1 Overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2010 08:10:00 PM


All you'll see is the 13th straight headlines but it does not tell the story of this one. Atlanta was rested, at home and just came off blowing out Washington, and for a good part of this game they were outworked.

New York played well, they missed chances, hit post or were robbed, but were getting to the net.

Atlanta was forced into a time out in the third and they had Thrashers scrambling and they did it with in back to back games with only five defenders after the first period.

New York skated well, and were creating chances five on five, they even showed a little speed. Grabner was moving very well, Comeau also.

If not for the hand pass goal to make it 1-1, New York wins 1-0, that was just a terrible non-call.

DiPietro was very good in goal.

No complaints with their effort, they work like that on Wednesday they have a real chance to earn two points, saw some good signs today.

Howie Rose is Cablevision's employee, he works for Msg and James Dolan, just like Goring does, and Billy Jaffe did. His unprofessional conduct and explanation for it is fine, but the New York Islanders should not have to tolerate his frustrations/technical issues/whatever, regardless of what Msg pays them to bury most games on their network.

Not calling for his dismissal because of today, that would be for years worth of issues here that have nothing to do with Sunday's game in of itself.

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Target Skating Wingers Who Can Move Puck Into Offensive Zone

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2010 05:46:00 AM


I believe I now understand the five on five struggles, and why they are occurring.

This problem has been there from day one, masked by the early season pp success beyond one game.

This is really the first time since 2002-03 they have not had a Jason Blake or a Richard Park/Bergenheim to carry the puck into the offensive zone. I finally figured out why so many past coaches relied on Park and kept using him on top lines, his skating/ability to move the puck over the opposing blueline helped setup the fore-check, even if his line did not score often enough it did get some offensive flow going and made the other team back up a little.

Of course Park (early Blake) could go months between goals, that's not the point, they could carry the puck to set up the other lines/or his own.

Things like this would help a Trent Hunter, Yashin, Guerin whoever get some room for their shots.

At Blake's best it helped set the offensive tempo when he was scoring, he failed in Toronto because everyone got annoyed he over-handled the puck, here it was necessary.

For all Bergenheim's flaws on his game he was usually a plus/close to even player, had puck carrying ability, and we saw the two games vs Islanders he was flying around them and driving net.

Comeau don't or cannot do it often enough to set any kind of offensive tone, Bailey's not a speed burner and what he did early did not stick for him, but that little give and go against Tampa where Comeau hit side of the net is speed/setup missing nightly.

Michael Grabner is one who can do it but not established enough to be relied on.

When Okposo was playing well and dropped the shoulder he could drive the net off left wing, I'm not sure he is the guy who can turn it on such a slow roster in transition.

Bottom line, no one can carry the mail like what they subtracted, even if those players did not score enough.

Weight, Hunter, Parenteau simply can't. Nielsen is a slow skating easy target when he tries to do it, and Tavares was not drafted for transition speed from defense to offense. Other teams simply outnumber them at five on five, collapse on them quickly and you see the lack of confidence skating the puck over offensive blueline as they keep going offsides.

Of course they are badly pressing right now, frustrated, with little team confidence.

All they do is look for Wisniewski for a shot on pp now, unless it's a five on three, even Martinek is out over Gervais now.

Plus nothing is replacing Sim's ten plus garbage goals, Jackman's six goals, Bergenheim/Park's offense, even when they were not scoring or finishing that skating got others into position to score and forced the opposition to move around drawing them out of position.

And of course both Nielsen and Hunter stuck on zero at five on five, Tavares, one?

I don't see a fix for this until they target that kind of player. Most of these players are simply slow forwards outside of Grabner.




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