Quick Clarification On My E-Mail Question To The GM

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2011 05:31:00 PM | Comment Here

I would like to briefly clarify something in my e-mail to Garth Snow. Under no circumstances do I expect Mr Wang or Mr Snow to discuss other teams business, or start front-loading big contract offers to star free agents.

Anyone who read/reads NYIFC knows this.

If I wish to call other franchises by the corporations that own them, I feel that is my business to phrase it in my question as I choose.

Having written this my question was never intended to suggest the New York Islanders should start making front-loaded contract offers because that would completely unrealistic given the losses they have claimed. There are teams in brand new facilities, under corporate ownership unable/or to date, not willing to make such an offer to an unrestricted free agent.

Nor have I ever made the case, Mr Snow should be asking to spend more money on payroll.

The point I wanted to convey with my question was when a big front-loaded offer is made, the age of the facility does not matter as we see in outdated building like Msg or Joe Louis Arena.

It was not to suggest the New York Islanders should follow suit because Mr Wang does not own Cablevision or Little Caesar's. He is not Mr Snider from the Comcast Flyers that can front-loaded heavily. I have pointed out in the past Chicago could not do this without losing significant money here.

As I have written many times future judgment on Mr Wang in terms of spending will be in his ability to pay to keep the players that are crucial to Garth Snow's plans of building with prospects meaning resigning Tavares, Okposo, Bailey ect. His work on Nielsen, MacDonald, drafted prospects, Moulson, Hunter, Witt, Comeau, Bergenheim has been very impressive. Mottau, Eaton were also impressive signings in terms of finances at a time they could have gone with an inexpensive option in Dylan Reese or recalled a Kohn, Katic, Klementyev.

Instead resources were spent to protect the prospects and put the best possible team on the ice they could.

I have written enough on Paul Martin/other UFA offers made this summer per agent's side that this owner/gm are willing to spend.

Hope this clarifies.

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Garth Snow's Answer To My Heavily Edited Question Was Disappointing

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/07/2011 06:56:00 PM | 1 Comments

I submitted questions for Garth Snow's, GM Show, segment for Monday 2/7. One of my questions was read, in fact, it was the first answered.

Here was my e-mail. (second question not included)

Mr Snow,

Why is it the New York Islanders are holding themselves to a different media standard given 20+ teams not owned by corporations (in any kind of building) cannot sign marquee free agents either because they cannot offer front-loaded contracts which is what all top free agents require now? Is it more than fair to write the New York Islanders are not in a position to offer a front-loaded contract, while corporate Little Caesars Wings or Cablevision Rangers in a facilities that are frankly as outdated as the Nassau Coliseum or older only can make such signings because they are heavily front-loaded?

NYIFC Comments:
Sadly, it was edited to the point very little of what I asked was read to the general manager. I don't know if/how Mr King, Mr Snow or the Islanders p.r department edit these things in some manner.

No, I do not see Snow sitting there polishing up questions, if he read my complete question I did not expect him to discuss other franchises.

I guess Mr Snow told me the New York Islanders can offer a front-loaded contract as they apply different standards to each individual player. I gave the gm a chance to make it clear front-loaded contracts from corporate teams in buildings as old as the Coliseum can help make a huge difference in signings.

I get it that Wang-Snow have to push the arena issue to get a new facility and the Katz way in Edmonton (threats) is not going to help. Snow said the Coliseum was one factor a few years ago, media disregarded it was not the only factor he said, but Snow usually goes back to that issue often.

I felt I asked him an excellent question, too bad, he did not go for it and make a case front-loading in old buildings can bring free agents.

Too bad it was not read by Mr King as I wrote it or intended it to presented.

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DiPietro Was Durable But Did Not Prove He Can Be Starter

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/05/2011 12:11:00 AM | Comment Here

Sorry, I know we have folks out there, who simply don't want Rick DiPietro here under any circumstances.

I'm not one of them.

The combination of Johnson's forearm/elbow pad to his eye combined with knee swelling likely could be the end of his season. It would have been great if he could have continued to split starts or even take the starters job full time from the day Roloson was traded, but it did not happen.

You can bet management is asking questions.

I saw a goaltender who despite the numbers had basically two poor games against Carolina and Philadelphia.

Beyond that I saw few poor overall efforts, but a goalie who was slower, and as usual tried to do more than he should have. Some sloppy play, bad breaks, and some goals he should not have allowed off the high-stick/non-call on Martinek, but for the most part about what you expect after so few games over two seasons.

Sure, this was DiPietro's chance to start with little on the table in terms of playoffs, it was a chance to knock off rust and leave no doubts for 2010-11 in terms of starting.

Did not happen, he rarely played back to back games. He did not prove he could start for one week.

It's not nearly enough for anyone but this year he did prove himself durable in terms of his knee injury from virtually day one of camp, until the game in Pittsburgh. He did not hobble off with a serious knee injury against Pittsburgh.

A while back I did an entry that I felt his contract is still a good one for Islanders here and to date I still agree with my entry.

This year was not a great start for DiPietro by any means, in a season that ended with a 1-21 nightmare long ago, but it was a beginning for him to participate in twenty one games and keep a record above five hundred most of the season.

Next season he has to take the next step, he must be able to take the starters job, he did not demonstrate he could do that this season. Perhaps many don't understand he could not return to do what he used to do in year one, perhaps expectations were too high from staff/fans/player/everyone in that regard.

Sure he can always be the long-term backup, his contract is structured for him to be in a role long-term. For that to happen next season would mean the contract has become a failure.

This year was about proving he could return and remain durable, which he did for the most part. Next year he has to take a step up to a dependable starting goaltender, building back toward a top flight NHL goaltender.

Bottom line he was over five hundred, on a team ten games under five hundred at one point, much more will be expected.
As for the effort in Pittsburgh, I was disgusted with the teams play. Outworked, badly outhit, out-skated, by a team without it's best players, and virtually no fore-check established the entire game.

Both teams played the night before and won, to frankly get manhandled like that with virtually no puck possession or zone time was a brutal display where no excuse can be given.
Joel Martin signed a two-way contract, which means the Odessa goaltender, who has five AHL games since signing with Bridgeport 1/5, may be backing up here. Another goaltender has to be added to Bridgeport's roster or another has to be added from somewhere.

Nate Lawson is out 2-4 weeks based on his late January IR date.

Too much is being asked of Kevin Poulin at his age. To callup Mikko Koskinen also is asking a lot.

Mike Smith cleared waivers, he was also injured recently.

What's next? Play Senators, with Spezza returning, who handily won at New York recently, then see what happens by Tuesday. Hunter, Weight and Jurcina are getting closer and that could mean someone is moving in a trade. Wishart will get his look with Reese demoted. They looked good in Atlanta with Grabner's pass to Okposo fantastic read.

I suspect the feature on Martinek today is a sign the club is looking to resign him, and they should. This group cannot have enough depth, who can move puck.

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Regardless of Injuries Garth Snow Must Be Blamed For Teams Record

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2011 08:09:00 AM | Comment Here

Garth Snow came into this year making it clear everyone had to be better and this team must be making a run at a playoff spot.

I can write about Grabner, Parenteau, Moulson numbers and Snow can have credit for their very solid statistical seasons, but bottom line is the win total.

He failed and it does go on him.

NYIFC You have been writing about injuries non-stop here, about three out of four years of leading the league in man games lost, so why does Snow not get a pass for that?

This year was significantly different than the veteran team of 2008-09 that lost 582 man games, it was different than 2007-08 club, where Ted Nolan's had a league leading 402 man game lost where bulk of injuries happened in March, when the club fell completely out of contention.

How many times did I write last summer if you want to add, you have to subtract, that many spots were taken?

Sadly Trent Hunter should have been moved after years of injuries and struggles, or it should have been anticipated the same struggles/injuries could continue.

Because the decision to resign Doug Weight, who was an injury waiting to happen, has not been an even strength player for countless years. Because PA Parenteau who could only produce on pp, early had too much asked of him too soon as a first line player at five on five. Because early Blake Comeau into Dec 2010 was the same unproductive player he was last season with fourteen points into February 2010 before he got hot at the end when goalies started letting in softies.

Because Frans Nielsen has proven time and again for all his solid defensive play, he simply cannot produce at five on five or on a pp. Zeon Konopka, nice addition, not a scorer.

This team had Eaton, Mottau, Wisniewski, Hunter, Jurcina, Comeau, Martinek and others healthy (most games) when they were in their season ending free-fall setting even strength records for not producing, Scott Gordon was concerned about the clubs play in the first games at 4-1.

At the end of this season I may well do more blog postings about NY leading league in man games lost, about the four, five or more twenty goal scorers where a few years ago Bill Guerin was the only twenty goal player.

What I will not be writing is Garth Snow should not be blamed, regardless of individual success on the statistical front. The Islanders could get thirty out of Parenteau, Grabner and Moulson, but when this team needed scoring to stay in the race, it was not there from many of his regulars. Sim returned with his thirteen goals and could not produce.

The five on five scoring was as big a problem as the starts to games are now for this club. It's something that speaks to the general managers construction of the team.

Even without Streit/Okposo/Schremp there was no excuse for the remaining healthy players to struggle to the degree they did, when all this team needed was to remain around five hundred.

Nice that outside of ten games or so all were games decided by two or less goals/empty net, still does not excuse what happened.

Sure, leading the league in man games sets back teams badly, but unlike past seasons where this happened, the season was lost with many regulars healthy.

That goes directly on the general manager, which is boss must ask him about.

Star Phoenix: The Islanders had to give permission to allow another game in Saskatoon this fall, they could still return there for a game, but at this time the club still working on plans.

Someone want to explain why Kohn, Katic, Klementyev and Wishart are in Bridgeport for Gervais and even Reese to finish up this season? I know Gervais is playing better but it's highly unlikely he is staying without a two-way contract.

Whatever happens, Schremp and even Nielsen should change positions so Josh Bailey can play his natural position at this point in his career. As soon as Okposo is out of camp mode, Comeau-Bailey-Okposo. Grabner-Nielsen/Schremp.

Jack Capuano is fighting for his NHL future, players who he claims are playing selfish will be sitting or seeing time cut.

Garth Snow said he expects the deadline to be quiet for his club, could happen, however what he says on television in quick Cablevision interview means nothing.

For those who e-mailed, I do not believe Nabokov being over thirty five in July 2010, means his contract must be paid if he retires because for starters he never reported and is suspended nor does the over-35 rule apply because of his birth-date.

NHL.com: Deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, has made clear he owes New York a full year if he will not buy time for Poulin, DiPietro, Lawson now.

Next year if everyone is healthy, I suspect Lawson (the veteran/undrafted goalie) will not be retained, one of Poulin/Koskinen will be here and Anders Nilsson will be signed and part of Bridgeport goaltending rotation.

Unless DiPietro is injured, I see no place for a tolled Nabokov next year, even at a discount. It's counter-productive to have Nilsson, Koskinen and Poulin in Bridgeport with DiPietro-Nabokov sharing a crease here.

Billy Jaffe knows Cablevision can wreck his career, good to stay on terms with former employer, regardless if they let you go over money. Flately has done two shows as " Islander replacement " for Butch Goring, who's had to do double-duty on a few occasions.

Has Cablevision-owned Newsday done another overt negative on the Islanders yet, seems the negative campaign is picking up steam.

Funny how in almost two years under Cablevision/Newsday rule we never see them about Dolan's teams?

I will end this entry by asking a few questions?

Is the plan to give Hunter his spot back, expect him to stay healthy and score twenty next year because he has two years left on his contract?

It's fair to write that's the plan that helped end this teams season by Nov. I like Hunter, loved his resigning/classy negotiations, but three years in it has not worked at all.

Why will it work next year?

For those scoring at home, Streit, Eaton, Jurcina, Mottau, MacDonald, Hamonic are all signed for next season. Hillen is a rfa. I would like to see Martinek return, but what happens next for deHaan when this team desperately needs an offensive defender and some goals from the backline?

In 2010-11 this team did not score from the backline. Are the expecting Mark Streit to jump back in and put up fifty points after a year off, for a player in his thirties can change them for good.

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New York Resigns Matt Moulson For Three Years

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2011 07:54:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Reports Matt Moulson has come to terms on a three year contract extension with New York.

NYIFC Comments:
Have to give Garth Snow credit, who went on television last night and gave away nothing when asked about Moulson pending UFA status. Another quiet, classy negotiation where the same things were being written about Trent Hunter as he approached free agency but in the end amounted to nothing, but a player who wanted to be here and signed long-term.

Obviously Moulson is very happy to remain in New York and be part of this franchise.

For those wondering, Moulson is represented by Nabokov's agent.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports goaltender, Mikko Koskinen is being shutdown for the weekend with his nagging injury. Kevin Poulin and Dylan Reese will not just be paper transactions, but will participate in games for Bridgeport.

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Islander Notables: Bailey-Nielsen-Schremp Plan Failing

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2011 07:51:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here

The team is falling back quickly, the progress made recently over. They played horrible in Buffalo but won, they were better at home but lost to the Sabres in the rematch.

Josh Bailey looks like a man without a position, who's confused on both offense and defense, he did not come back from Bridgeport with that problem.

Rob Schremp's offense and defensive game have fallen off dramatically.

Frans Nielsen's offensive game is status quo, he can't score at even strength or on the pp, and he's taking a lot of players offense with him as Jack Capuano makes him his go-to forward on too many occasions.

That leaves one line or the hope of some bounces.

I don't like what I'm seeing and it's forcing Comeau, Grabner to have to rely on individual efforts as Nielsen-Okposo are paired under a third Islander coach.

All the moving around of Josh Bailey is making him a confused hockey player, it's not the right strategy. The Islanders need defensive players, Nielsen being counted on the score simply has not happened.

I don't have an answer but Bailey is the top prospect, the standings dictate he play his natural drafted position which is center. Is there a rule Nielsen cannot play the fourth line and be the second center on faceoffs?

Jeremy Colliton has gotten his chance, there is no rule Konopka cannot sit for a game if they want to continue that look.
I really have nothing new on Nabokov that I did not write when he was claimed, he wants to stay home he risks the Islanders tolling the contract and his next season if the league sides with the Islanders.

The CBA says he needs to report here and play out his agreement, if he does not wish to honor his agreement, it's his future. Garth Snow has a right to protect DiPietro's health and Poulin's development with the best available player he can find.

Whatever Snow says before the Carolina game that's the bottom line unless he wants Nabokov far away from his prospects which means risking depth. Koskinen returned for Bridgeport but Lawson is still out.

Nova Scotia News: Jon Sim had the following:
"There was a lot of things going on with the whole season with the Islanders and I just felt it was time to move on and just be happy," he said by phone from Switzerland Tuesday. "I was sick of getting sent down and getting called up. I had to make this decision."

NYIFC Comments:
Jon Sim signed a two-way contract knowing there was a good chance he would be sent up and down or not even make the NHL team out of camp. He was given chances on top lines with injuries to Hunter, Okposo and several forwards. He went from thirteen goals to one with the opportunities he was given, and passed through NHL waivers countless times.

Sim should have been loyal to the organization and been the positive he was for Bridgeport on so many occasions. I like Sim a great deal as a player but disappointed to read such comments.

What's next is New York plays more hockey games after the break, jobs are being decided for next season.

Tonight will be very tough, Carolina can score/skate, will be rested/waiting plus they forced some of DiPietro's worst mistakes of the seasons in the earlier game, if he does start Wednesday.

Poulin is outplaying DiPietro in these games, but at his age you don't keep him in the NHL a year out of juniors.

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New York Claims Nabokov, Snow Has Right To Improve His Team

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2011 08:48:00 PM | | Comment Here

Toronto Sun: Garth Snow had a few more words on Nabokov as of Saturday night. Blues President, John Davidson wants rules changed on fee for waivers because he lost two players to claims.

NYIFC Comments:
Snow did not go whining to the media a few years ago when Dubielewicz was claimed and the Islanders did all the groundwork plus had him at practice, so Davidson should mind his own business.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reported Mikko Koskinen dressed in Saturday's win against Worcester, but did not start because according to interim coach, Pat Bingham, something was nagging at him.

NYIFC Comments:
Bridgeport plays Sunday and Tuesday, so it's Joel Martin, Koskinen or someone has to be signed or reassigned.

Islanders website: Has general manager Garth Snow's comments on claiming, former Sharks goaltender, Evgeni Nabokov.

Detroit Free Press: Has gm Ken Holland's comments on the Islanders claiming Nabakov, who have recalled former Islander, Joey MacDonald.

NYIFC Comments:
Garth Snow has every right to make this move. I'm not a big fan of it, and was against it as of last night, but Nate Lawson injuring his knee in Buffalo, Rick DiPietro the last month between knee swelling/abductor muscle, and flu along with the fact he has not played longer than one week on a regular basis all season means you protect your depth/players/prospects.

That's the general managers job.

If Snow does not want to use up more of Kevin Poulin's eligibility, or rush him at this level, that makes sense. If he does not want to risk Mikko Koskinen having to come up that also makes sense. If DiPietro is out again or cannot play more than a week without a break in year one of his return from injury that also makes sense.

Nabakov made his bed last summer when he did not come to terms with an NHL team, and when he signed in Russia/walked away from a binding agreement. If he wants to report, the Islanders have depth, if not, he can sit out the season suspended from the team with another black mark on his resume as he re-enters free agency far worse than he did a year ago, unless the rules mean he must put in a full year with the Islanders before he can become an UFA.

The choice is completely his.

The same media that loves to takes their shots at New York, and remain muted when their favorite teams (newspapers that are glorified cheer-leaders of those clubs) take advantage of same rules, are not relevant with poor hockey knowledge on their own clubs much less others.

The Wings/corporate teams use the CBA to front-load deals to gain advantages, the Islanders have the right to claim a waiver per CBA.

Bottom line Garth Snow has every right to do whatever he feels improves his team and protects his players/prospects or he should not be in this job. DiPietro has not proven durable enough to play any games in a row since Roloson was traded, Lawson hurt his knee and Poulin is a very young prospect.

Snow for now has to keep Poulin here, hope for the best on Lawson, or that DiPietro became even more durable, and maybe even called up Koskinen and sign Anders Nilsson to finish up Bridgeport's season on an early AHL PTO, which is how Poulin played his first Sound Tiger games.

Instead he made an attempt to improve his depth, no one sang sad songs when he signed Dubielewicz and he was claimed by Columbus.

If the goaltending situation stabilizes, there is no rule Snow cannot make a secondary trade to be persuaded to place Nabakov back on waivers.

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Islander Notables/Ups and Downs

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/18/2011 06:09:00 PM | Comment Here

The 2010-11 New York Islanders playoff season ended (unofficially) when they lost all those games in regulation back in November and early December.

The rest is simply book-keeping and finding out who deserves to be on the 2011-12 team vs what spots they need to go out and improve upon.

At the time I wrote there would be some rough days that go with this, and no doubt there have been, also the remaining games was in effect a fifty five game preseason.

There has been an unexpected turnaround also that has produce a very good stretch, now things are leveling off, with some wins/good efforts, combined with some losses/poor efforts.

Over eighty two games that happens to virtually every team. Off the Islanders losing streak it means you can't gain enough ground to enter any serious contention.

As great as Blake Comeau's scoring streak has been, and far superior to his goal/point late scoring streak a year ago from October 13th through December 11th he had one goal and eight points. Same trends for Parenteau's scoring which for a long stretch was only on pp.

They are now turning themselves into viable options for 2011-12, they are outproducing many UFA from last summer who received a lot more money, but this year it was too little/too late.

Michael Grabner at his age has shown potential combined with a speed element this team does not have. Snow get's fifteen-twenty out of him it's a great waiver pickup.

Frans Nielsen/Trent Hunter, the loss of Doug Weight. Rob Schremp's month out. It all added up to a team that could not score at even strength. Jeremy Colliton in one game had more pp goals than all the minutes Nielsen received on the pp.

No folks, at this point Tavares, Bailey production has to be considered more of a bonus at their age. Sure Tavares has been hot, while Bailey looks like a player who needs a regular position at center, but cannot get it here, even with Nielsen out.

I have seen games where Bailey looks like a young Bryan Trottier as he takes puck at net, while others he seems lost as he bounces from wing to center.

Seeing Jesse Joensuu go back to Bridgeport at this point is not a good moment for him who has had a very good opportunity here on a team that has even been dressing seven defenders in the final year of his contract. Nate Lawson (playing for Bridgeport Wednesday night) going back to Bridgeport (at his age) so Poulin can stay is not a good thing for Lawson's future because Lawson was the one splitting time in Bridgeport the previous two seasons, who should be best equipped for coming off bench in NHL.

Sure Lawson could be back tomorrow if DiPietro needs more maintenance days, the Islanders have no reason to do anything but make sure DiPietro remains durable, even if that means a split in goaltending, but that means DiPietro could not hold job of a number one goaltender in terms of durability.

I have already been asking the question should Matt Martin being going back to Bridgeport? He's not producing or near the net enough as he was a year ago, he's far less visible in games.

All these minutes and games are going to wear on MacDonald and especially Travis Hamonic, both are young players.

In the end the New York Islanders are going to try and win as many games as possible, they are going to lose their 400-500 man games to injury. Eaton, Mottau, Hunter, are likely done for the year and that could extend to Streit. Jurcina is on his second injury and all of them are signed for 2010-11.

The injuries are going to keep coming, so will more callups/changes. The solid games/poor efforts will level off. At some point Okposo will return with Nielsen.

The callups/changes have produced a Bridgeport team almost unrecognizable from the club that played well and entered playoff contention, that is sliding away quickly now, with virtually no depth for Pat Bingham.

What's next is the Islanders go play more hockey games, that will continue into April. I suspect if Tavares keeps producing, someone will be injured and that will send him to wherever the all-star game is this year.

Washington a year ago blew the Islanders out of the Coliseum at this time, Buffalo if not awake absolutely is now after the way the Islanders took the play at them.

Regardless, I have no interest in all-star game. The process is as comical as that which negated Parenteau's goal against the Devils when Grabner was pushed.

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Tavares Hat-Trick.... New York 5, Buffalo 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2011 10:47:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Heck of an effort and win Saturday night by New York, worth a blog entry because a lot happened.

Tavares could have had five and the Islanders could have had eight or nine if Miller was not at his best. This kids hands, move to the net are getting better and better, he looks very comfortable/confident in front of net. Miller made right play on all three goals.

Of course, even Mick Vukota can score a natural hat-trick here back in 1989 which was ironically a 5-3 New York win.

Vukota got his with about forty seconds to spare vs Tavares.

Early (aside from Grabner's speed or a Comeau miss in front, Tavares-Pareneau 2-0) the first period offense came mostly from the point, but second period the Islanders simply dominated with a level of skating and skill that was a lot of fun to watch.

That second period was a lot like the effort against Vancouver (after first) and several teams recently. Aside from Bailey, everyone was getting chances or kept moving, the Islanders overwhelmed Buffalo and put on pressure they could not stand up against.

So Jurcina get's a penalty at end of first for high-sticking Vanek who is kneeling in crease, next period a 5'5 Sabre makes contact on Milan Jurcina, draws blood but no call with all these officials on ice? Comical, because rule is you are responsible for your stick.

Rick DiPietro played very well, however his stickhandling at the end of the first led to Buffalo keeping the puck in which gave them a powerplay, then another, which led to their 1-0 goal. That may not be fair but as soon as that puck was barely kept in the Sabres got in close and forced a penalty, you could see it coming.

Either Hamonic/MacDonald spread full out to break up a 2-1 in the second which was great and led to Islanders getting a 2-1 the other way. Gervais was outstanding along with all the defenders tonight.

MacDonald has twelve points since December 18th, he is also -8 since 12/27 to go with huge minutes he is given.

Third period was too much of same script, I almost expected Capuano's time out after the first minutes. They have to keep pushing play, not sit back and let game come to them.

Grabner has been so due, his speed every game is generating chances on every shift, and that was a fantastic shot to beat Miller, and finally take off the pressure.

Buffalo was a desperate team 5-1-1 that needed a win tonight to keep pace, both teams could have scored a lot more but in this one New York was the better team.

Would it be a Buffalo-New York game without Hecht scoring? Officiating was again very questionable tonight.

Steve Montador was doing a lot of solid hitting tonight against Islander players, the Islander staff should be showing that footage in meetings.

Round one of four goes to New York, next up what seems like a Devils team that is showing signs of getting it's game back under Jacques Lemaire.

Jon Sim:
If the Islanders and Jon Sim parting was amiable, I have no problem with it. If it was not he signed a two-way contract and was obligated to see through the agreement he signed last summer when he was free to sign with any other NHL team. Bridgeport could have used his scoring on a six game slide and a veteran to help them as he has in the past.

I don't understand why his scoring was missing this year, last year he had thirteen goals and some big ones to keep the club in games. I do believe he got a fair chance this season and played hard, but without the production. Given the current standings, it made no sense to keep him up here, but without Rhett Rakhshani, Nielsen and Okposo this team could well be short a forward in a game they may not want to dress Trevor Gillies.

I'm going to miss Jon Sim, of course I wish him the best of luck in Switzerland.

Did you really expect anything but overt negativity from the Dolan's paper after a big night from Tavares and some very good play that has draw praise from opposing players around the NHL?

You think this paper is in business to hype the New York Islanders or credit DiPietro for solid play, it's not happening.

It was a hachet job, designed to be as negative as possible, surprised Baumbach did not lobby for more Al Arbour wins to be taken away.

The good news was Dolan's spin-doctors had nothing new from Wang's December interview, this article was growing stale sitting around waiting for release, so why not pick a night after a good win/Tavares hat-trick to drive away fans?

No arena in the NHL is older than Msg, which is a dump, you think Dolan's paper will ever write that or about the thousands of empty seats at Knick/Ranger games from their mediocre/poor teams?

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15/21 Points Earned/No Ground Gained In Playoff Chase/Half-Way Point

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2011 07:38:00 PM | Comment Here

Not much to write that the title does not tell us.

You want to talk playoffs? Win against Vancouver, then earn sixty of remaining eighty two points for a ninety four point season which this year may still not be enough in this conference.

Tuesday's game (which will likely be played regardless of weather) marks only the half-way point of the 2010-11 season, hopefully the Vancouver media can check it's 1982 grudge at the door for a franchise that has never won anything, but not likely.

As for the Islanders earning fifteen of a potential twenty one points and holding their own vs some top teams left the Islanders still seventeen points out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

In short, it changed nothing in terms of playoff picture.

Don't get me wrong here, some good wins (pp/flash goal based) but usually out-shot badly. The Edmonton game was the singular game the goalie did not have to be the clubs best player and they lost because pp could not finish.

Still, even in Hawks game their goalie had to be good. Capuano was right that there is no excuse for the Islanders effort given the Hawks were playing their fifth game in eight days.

Disappointing DiPietro's health again failed the team after Roloson was traded, if it's not knee related, it's likely not career threatening, but groin injuries and goaltenders are never a good mix. This was his time to work off rust and see if he can carry club, it's disappointing and reaffirms the decision to use high picks on goaltenders.

Instead both Lawson (goals against Hawks beyond first was not his fault) and Poulin stepped up and played well. I don't see a problem in the teams net costing them games on a regular basis.

Jeremy Colliton? This is why I love doing this blog. I followed him as the Islanders kept qualifying him when he went to Europe. This is a 25 year old player who's a second round pick and was producing in Bridgeport. He produced more pp goals in one game than Frans Nielsen all season.

Colliton does have to clear waivers for those wondering. I would like to see Nielsen, Colliton on this team right now and Sim (waivers/paper transaction Monday) helping Bridgeport or Matt Martin sent down to have the impact he had last year with his offense.

What would you have me write about injuries? It's going to be a 400-500 man game season again which media never writes about. Eaton joins the ever-growing list to a defense that is mostly signed for 2010-11. Is there a need to rush Okposo-Streit, given standings?

Hillen's been a lot better lately and settling down. When Martinek returns I expect
Reese to go back down. Still, despite pp successes, there are no goal scorers on this team from point.

Tavares is showing some nice signs of improvement lately, the moves to the net, the confidence in traffic, the goals have been something too.

Forty one games down as of Tuesday night/forty one to go, hopefully at the very least they can build a core group of players to carry into next season where they don't have to rely much on UFA.

Good news is that's it for West Coast road games.

Bad news is New York returns to the worst hockey media coverage in the US, and have a lot of games to be played without the long breaks they had earlier. Only the negative stories will receive attention regardless of players who have earned some positive press.

What a shock Jamie Langenbrunner being held out by the Devils so he could be traded was not met with the fire-storm of negative media the Islanders received when Bill Guerin was held out before being traded, not.

Looks like Cablevision just traded another front-loaded contract now that the bulk of the money has been paid. That has to be at the top of the next CBA changes.

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