New York 4, Florida 3 Shootout/Thirty For Grabner

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2011 10:37:00 PM | Be the first to comment!


Color me pessimistic about winning a skills competition in the Bermuda Triangle for the Islanders tonight, granted it's the first win of any kind back to 2006.

This team should not be that tired/sluggish considering how well they have skated with far less rest recently.

Game had the pulse of an exhibition game from both sides for long stretches, for a good week now the Islanders have not had that extra jump or speed in their game.

Florida looked like a team playing out the string and still the Islanders did not have many sustained shifts in Florida's end of the ice.

I was far more impressed with Grabner's back-check that led to a goal then his effort (from Nielsen) to score his 30th short-handed. Some good individual efforts, not many good teams plays. Seemed both teams picked it up when Comeau got his first career fighting major and Gervais stood up for DiPietro.

As for DiPietro, it seemed like the defense needed him to get involved stick-handling/diving for pucks. He played well and bailed the Islanders out early, BUT the third goal is the one Montoya has not been allowing, and on paper (sure final minutes may have gone different with Florida trailing) it's one he cannot allow.

Yes, DiPietro bailed them out stopping the penalty shot, and was quick/fast in shootout.

On the individual front, Parenteau had a nice shot for his goal, Haley made a great rush. (same as Pittsburgh goal) Tavares had a nice rush at the net, Joensuu went right at the Panther net for a quality chance.

Hillen got beat bad on second Dadonov goal, first goal he just made a nice deflection. Hillen also setup Parenteau.

Last time New York won at Florida. Mike Dunham had to make forty plus saves to win a 4-1 game where nothing could have been more misleading than the final score, in terms of how well Dunham played. I remember the interview with his father after the game.

DiPietro's has had a few comeback games in Florida, none with wins, even in preseason.

Miami Herald: George Richard's blog has Peter DeBoer's comments on the Panthers shootout loss.

Playoff race, Buffalo knocks another two points off the elimination number to eight for unofficial elimination (ROW favors Buffalo by five) as tie-breaker.

Ok, now we see if Tampa gives Dwayne Roloson a start against his former team, New York has a win with DiPietro in Tampa this season.

Bridgeport: A rare comeback win 2-1 in overtime. Lawson had thirty eight saves, Ness plus one, DiBenedetto had the ot game winner.

Second game in two days Bridgeport rallied to force a game to overtime.



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A Very Different New York Team Returns To Florida

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2011 02:02:00 PM | Be the first to comment!


Last time New York played in Florida, they came in 4-1-2 on 10/23 as a first place club with Scott Gordon already concerned about even strength play. Tavares had a hat-trick, the Panthers played pin-ball with a pass along the walls by DiPietro that helped Florida setup a pp goal and the game turned into a 4-3 regulation loss.

It was the beginning of the end.

Next time New York won a game was 11/26 with the next win after that 12/16, only two overtime losses/one shootout losses in-between. Eight skaters from that game for New York are injured, off the team or back in juniors. (Niederreiter)

MacDonald, Hamonic and some current players were not in the lineup due to injury or on the team.

So here we are in far different circumstances.

Montoya a nice bounce-back game in Carolina, with several days of rest before/after Canes/Panthers game and DiPietro gets the start after Lawson has been sitting for weeks?

I'm not seeing this for same reason you don't start Lawson here because he was well past point of rust anyway.

Granted the number to be eliminated is six combined points or nine counting Buffalo and not their games in hand.

Is it a huge deal DiPietro or another goalie is starting? Not really, but the choice should be ride Montoya until the club is eliminated or until the Atlanta home game where the schedule picks up. There are two more days off in Florida after tonight before facing Tampa Bay.

Also have to expect if Streit and Weight are on the trip skating they have to be getting very close to participating in a game if that is part of their plan for this season.
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As for the teams play, sure Cam Ward kept Carolina in the game, but where was the team before the Devils game that put clubs away in the third? The Canes outworked and out-skated them, Moulson's pp shot was only quality chance in third and may have given Islanders the 3-1 goal, but the team should expect more from itself besides hanging on if it's about building something.

Nice sign is Nielsen is scoring a few at even strength. Okposo has to give them something in terms of goals. Did not like Jurcina on Canes first goal where he was badly out of position.



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Aaron Ness Signed by New York, DiPietro Activated

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/16/2011 05:10:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!


Updated:
Pioneer Press: John Shipley has comments from Aaron Ness and Gophers coach, Don Lucia on Ness signing with New York and concluding his college career.

Islanders website: Announced Wednesday 3/16 that they have signed defenseman Aaron Ness to a three-year, entry-level contract. Ness will report to the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and play out the remainder of the 2010-11 season on an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO).

NYIFC Comments:
Do not be shocked to see a few more moves like this with players reporting to Bridgeport on ATO contracts. I believe Brian Day (College), Casey Cizikas (CHL) and Anders Nilsson (SEL) are the three prospects who must be signed by 6/1/11 or 22nd birthday this summer.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has more on fallout in Bridgeport on a team that has been decimated by injury and a losing streak on par/worse than the Islanders earlier.

Islanders website: Has Rick DiPietro's comments on returning to the lineup which included Nathan Lawson being sent to Bridgeport, along with Justin DiBenedetto.

NYIFC Comments:
Not much to write on DiPietro, the report was 4-6 weeks when he was injured, it's within the time frame and he likely will get a game by the weekend or he will start in a place he had one of his worst games against Carolina. New York with all the home games has not had an actual road win since 2/15 in Ottawa shootout win with Lawson in net, but several one-goal/overtime road losses.

Another forward could be called up for DiBenedetto or it could be a paper transaction before the club goes on likely it's last extended road trip.

Bridgeport has a game at home on Wednesday. Mikko Koskinen was injured last weekend and could not dress for one game, so it's possible Lawson could start against Charlotte.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2011 11:34:00 AM | Be the first to comment!


As long as this team works hard down to the final game, I'm satisfied with what I have seen to bring back virtually the entire team for next season, along with the head coach.

But were not down to the final game or have any idea what Garth Snow thinks of his interim head coach.

Having written this hard to remember the last time this team had a bad night or were out of a game early so it's not just about wins and losses but maintaining a high level of performance, which they have demonstrated better than any Eastern Conference team besides Boston since middle of December.

That's more than a hot week or two.

The team is loose, and have nothing to play for is the latest spin from outside media that cannot name more than five players without a scoresheet? Non-sense, many of these players are working for their future in this league. Last year they went 9-8-3 in March/April and were much closer to a playoff spot.

A lot of fun to watch these games as they took the play at Boston, Toronto and they have a speed factor that goes beyond Grabner. If only Nielsen got hot at even strength and Okposo got on an overdue scoring run.

New York keeps working hard/playing very competitive hockey (not so much at Newark vs trapping Devils style) but not gaining the kind of ground it will take to leap over all the teams in front of them to qualify for a playoff spot, plus they don't have the games in hand.

Nassau Coliseum West against the Rangers (hopefully the Islander fans help Msg announce a legit weeknight sellout for a change) or in Carolina, who cares? For this segment it's about making the playoffs with every game now virtually a must-win before they become elimination games with the number tonight starting at thirteen.

The Dolan's shifted the Islander coverage to Msg2 tonight for first time all season so the Garden's franchise team (Knicks) could have Msg and Cablevision's hockey team can have Msg+. The minimal newspaper for hockey coverage will be brutal win or lose because the Islanders don't have professional media covering them exclusively not owned by Cablevision.
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As for our interim head coach and respect factor, his team has won some games.

Nielsen getting a misconduct was a joke, along with no powerplays vs Devils. You let both teams play/hit or neither. If an official has a problem with some teams or has obvious trends where he pads his numbers vs one team, he should be out of a job or have good explanation why those games produce an imbalance of calls.

Teams have film sessions and break down plays, no reason officials cannot be called on carpet and shown films of their calls which no doubt happens often when a complaint is filed.
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Funny how Kenny Jonsson in the 2002 playoffs got his head smashed into rock-hard glass at Air Canada center in Toronto via Gary Roberts charge/hands to head and they did not threaten the league to withdraw sponsorship or contact the Leafs and take the name off the facility or refuse to pay for naming rights.

Even more comical to read Mike Murphy (another former Ranger in the Colin Campbell-Frank Brown-John Dellapina-ex Ranger club) make comments on Chara about his past conduct being a factor when that should have nothing to do with anything.

Yes, the league got the call correct. The Habs owner should stop complaining about an arm or push and stop writing letters to the other owners and not have a glass encased box between player benches. He had no complaints and wrote no letters when Max Pacioretti threw the exact same hit to Eaton in December with his arm/body as Chara threw.


As usual the game goes on with spin provided by sponsors, ad agencies and now the companies that have a vested stake in the product? Those sponsors need the local papers that cover the teams and in many cases the beatwriters/salesman of those teams to sell whatever the management is telling them.

What's next Comcast (Flyers owner Ed Sinder) and Little Caesar's determine league punishment. Bad enough the NBC-Comcast merger seems to put Ed Snider's team center stage as often as possible.

Of course for the New York Islanders, it's exactly the opposite as we saw against Pittsburgh. I guess Michael Haley should have been suspended because he was challenged to two fights and won them before Johnson was at his blueline as Koskinen stayed in his crease?

Mario Lemieux wants to impress everyone? He should have suspended Dan Bylmsa himself regardless of what the league decided as soon as Eric Godard left the bench.

Same old game, all about laundry and sure the Islanders are just as guilty as anyone, only with less sponsors/media spin to sell their side.
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Brendan Shanahan is now an equipment expert? Should be fun watching the NHLPA agree to protect players by having them wear less body armor for their clients which is a big part of the reason for many injuries and goes beyond any one person as technology improved to make players bigger and equipment better/stronger.

I got a nice rule, how about all these NHL employees (outside of Bettman and Bill Daly) can only serve for three years and all thirty teams must be represented in the NHL front-office in some major area on a rotating basis and the public receives a list of what teams are represented where?
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Weight, Streit and DiPietro keep practicing, at some point do they actually return or are they shut down for the season?

I don't see the final Coliseum game against Pittsburgh as a contest to dress Doug Weight and use a roster spot that may be needed for Gillies, despite the warnings that will be going out days before the contest.
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Has not been a great chance for Nate Lawson to showcase himself this year. He got called up when Roloson got traded, was quickly injured, then when he returned Montoya beat him out for the majority of the starts. Will he get another look if DiPietro does return because given depth chart (including Nilsson/Nabokov) I don't see a place for Lawson next year.

Montoya is an RFA, it may not mean anything.
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One final thing, Aaron Ness was ready to go to CHL a year ago and leave school, later on his father insisted he is going to college. He can sign with the Islanders but until the teams website/Gophers site confirm it's usual source game to be ignored.

No law Ness cannot sign and return to school, his father, Jay Ness comments a year ago said a lot here.

The Islanders have a senior or two they need to make decisions on when they graduate also.

The twitter box will return at 5pm.


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New Jersey 3, New York 2 Shootout....

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/06/2011 05:55:00 PM | Be the first to comment!


New Jersey 3, New York 2 Shootout postgame.

That dive call against MacDonald was one of the worst calls I have seen all season and that's writing quite a bit considering how bad some officiating has been.

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Statement Game For New York vs Devils? No

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/06/2011 06:13:00 AM | Be the first to comment!


Sunday is not a long-term statement game regardless of the Devils run compared to New York having the second most points in the East going back three months, depending on where you draw the line.

We can draw the line anywhere we like, but bottom line is the complete NHL standings.

Of course, I love what I'm watching on the ice. This team is skating hard every game, even when you would expect the club to be tired/sluggish or another team is waiting to play them. Pick a player and virtually all of them are working hard and progressing/effective from Parenteau's work to setup Moulson/Tavares, to Katic's skating to Wishart's strong play, with Tavares getting more confident with every game along the boards/in front of net.

Does anyone even notice anymore Travis Hamonic is a rookie and Andrew MacDonald is in his first full season playing these minutes?

Look out if Bailey, Comeau or Okposo get hot and Grabner starts finishing.

It's not just the goals, the skating, but the quality shots against. When this team was getting it's 15/18 points in December they were being outshot/outplayed badly.

Not anymore.

Remember that win against the Devils in Newark here where the Devils dominated for long stretches, and outshot the Islanders 35-14 or New Years Eve in Detroit where but the Islanders scored on their few shots, where Roloson had to make 43 saves?

This has been different with the club getting stronger instead of fading. It's been fun to watch this team play games. Sunday is a good test because it's a Devil team that virtually never losses (allows more than a goal or two) facing one of the hottest teams in the East going back to December.

This gives us a good look to see where the Islanders are, and if they can win what will likely be a low-scoring game.

Ultimately the statement will be made when next season starts, with a lot of different players that include most of the defense out and Trent Hunter.

And that will also include if Jack Capuano is back or someone else is hired, with a new coaching staff.

Extra:
As well as Al Montoya has played with his adjustments made by staff after Buffalo game, it's tough to see him keeping this up or Rick DiPietro out of the net when he's ready to play, now that he's returned to practice.

The test for Montoya will be how he bounces back after a bad game, it says a great deal about how well he has played that to this point he has not had a bad game once he got a start.

Having written this he's making a case to be qualified as a RFA next summer and force a decision regarding goaltending that includes Koskinen, Poulin, Nilsson along with Nate Lawson/Rick DiPietro.

Grabner made his best pass this season to Parenteau for that goal, might be worth considering switching Okposo to first line for a few shifts.

As for 2010-11 playoff statements if New York goes 16-0, they finish with 91 points.

New York wins Sunday they are one point behind the Devils, who many feel can pull off a miracle and qualify for the playoffs.

10-6 matches last seasons 79 points which is incredible considering how far back they were from that pace with all the injuries they have had.

We'll see, win/lose another game Tuesday.

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Trevor Gillies Suspended Another Ten Games

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/04/2011 06:09:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!


NYIFC Comments on Colin Campbell's latest suspension to Trevor Gillies.

NYIFC Comments:
Beyond my twitter update....This was entirely different from his head-shot against Pittsburgh.

From the right side view, you see Gillies hit Clutterbuck an instant after DiBenedetto got boarded as part of the play going on. Gillies it him clean with the right shoulder and he did not jump into the player.

With his left arm there is no elbow, high stick, or cross-check. Gillies does clearly raise his left hand in a punching motion and drive his gloved hand into his head in an uppercut motion, that combined with Gillies hitting him from behind drove Clutterbuck into the boards.

I have seen a lot of hits like that in this league go without penalties, much less a ten game suspension. Gillies head-shot, punching and subsequent actions against Pittsburgh/combined with taunting cannot be defended, this is something different.

Lot's of similar hits and worse not being called much less suspensions give.

For those who would like a nice team photo of the 2010-11 New York Islanders from Friday 3/4/2011 that included most of the long-term injured here.

I'm pretty sure that's Mark Eaton in the photo also with Weight, Hunter, Streit, reportedly no one got injured when photo was taken. Rick DiPietro has returned to practice which likely means he is on time-table to return of 4-6 weeks.

Nothing on any recall as of this writing. If Haley is still out, the club no longer has a Joel Rechlicz to recall and Yablonski has not played in months for Bridgeport, so they may be short an enforcer.

Schremp is in Atlanta off waivers, so it's Joensuu, Rahkshani seven defenders or someone about to make a debut.

The twitter box will return on Saturday morning.


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Trade Deadline Passes....Schremp Claimed by Atlanta, DiBenedetto Recalled

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/28/2011 05:12:00 PM | Be the first to comment!


Rob Schremp was claimed off waivers by Atlanta, Nate Lawson cleared waivers. Justin DiBenedetto was recalled.

The trade deadline has passed, with no further transactions by New York.

All future waivers not eligible for NHL playoffs after Saturday.

NHL.com: Recaps all trades/transaction from Monday's deadline in what was a quiet day where major moves were made in advance.

First deadline this blog, took off the entire day leading up to 3pm.

NYIFC Comments:
First of all the best of luck to Rob Schremp in Atlanta, he did practice with Bailey and Comeau on Monday, but bottom line is the Islanders needed him to be a winger with Tavares, Bailey and Nielsen here. For a year and a half Bailey played out of position, he needs to be a second line center and hopefully Atlanta gives Schremp that opportunity, who will play the Islanders in March.

I have followed Justin DiBenedetto this year and prior, he will be a better fit on the wing than Schremp and it was time for him to get a look. I believe our fans will see his skating, offensive skill fits this rosters will.

Very happy Radek Martink was not traded for a draft pick after all the years he has been here and how much his defensive game brings to this lineup when healthy, I hope a contract is worked out and he finishes his career in New York. Also believe the right move was made in not trading Knonoka, who is a good part of this core, and hopefully can come to terms in the future.

Sometimes the right move is to support the direction the club is going, I do believe how they have played recently is an endorsement of that by the general manager, along with sticking to their plan.

Trent Hunter and Rick DiPietro were in Bridgeport Sunday to honor the inaugural Sound Tigers team that went to Calder Cup Finals. Nate Lawson cleared waivers, but Ottawa claimed Curtis McElhinney so he is likely not going to Bridgeport.

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Washington 3, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/26/2011 09:51:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!


Washington 3, New York 2: NYIFC game review.

NYIFC Comments:
Not going to do this after tonight, just getting everyone used to what it will look like it twitter box for a second game.

Misc:
Ty Conklin, Pascal Leclaire and Curtis McElhinney, were placed on waivers Saturday, which may explain Nate Lawson going on waivers again, but could also mean DiPietro may be close/may be shut down. There are no playoffs for Bridgeport so no law Koskinen cannot play a game or two. Montoya's test will come when he does struggle in how he recovers from it.

As for Rob Schemp, fair to write it would be a waste for him in Bridgeport given there are no playoffs upcoming for them, but maybe the organization has decided what Scott Gordon said long ago, that for him to have a spot here, it must be at center. As long as Tavares, Bailey, and Nielsen are in the middle, it's better for Joensuu, Martin or someone else to be in that spot.

I expect both players to clear waivers, Schremp had a brief run after an early injury which kept him out the first month but obviously management made the correct decision in placing Josh Bailey in his natural spot, and stopped moving him around, after he was recalled (was doing great at center in AHL) immediately they put him back on wing.

Schremp's best fit is as a second line center somewhere, I don't see that here, sure he could clear, finish out the season and then we see if he's qualified.

Of course like many players, being placed on waivers does not mean they are necessarily going to Bridgeport or anywhere.

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New York Trade Deadline Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/25/2011 02:15:00 AM | Be the first to comment!


Obviously not much to write here unless something very unexpected happens.

This is not a great draft class, the later first round picks will/have been in play more than past few years already.

Garth Snow says he is always looking to improve his team, but unless he wants to part with players who are part of his core, prospects or his top draft pick, he has no position of strength to make a major move unless it's a salary dump from another club with a contract for next season.

Teams in playoff position do not give away depth or any asset at the trade deadline if they have the ability to help them in playoffs. Many players go on waivers/clear and are not even physically sent to the AHL.

No folks, you don't give up a potential lottery pick for Zach Bogosian, that's Atlanta's problem.

The kind of players you would want to have in play at this deadline are all injured in Weight, Hunter, Mottau, Eaton. The value of a Rob Schremp at this time is of little value above a waiver claim now that he no longer has a spot at center and is moving from wing to wing/being scratched.

Why? Josh Bailey was drafted to be a center and is first round draft pick, they wasted enough time moving him around when it's hard enough to get established at your natural position.

Defense? Garth Snow may need a transaction next week just to fill out his depth to last the remaining games and must be second guessing himself on Jared Spurgeon a little these days, who will be at Coliseum next week. Bridgeport is down to Dustin Kohn/Mark Wotton in terms of regular defenders. If Martinek were to return you almost cannot trade him any longer given what's behind them in the AHL at this time, same goes for Gervais.

I don't see Snow moving what he considered an extra first rounder in Hillen, who's had a good second half, even without the injuries on defense.

You take Jurcina/Martinek out of this defense and it's Katic, Gervais, Wishart, Hillen, MacDonald, and Hamonic with Al Monyota and Nate Lawson in goal. No team is going to hold up long with that kind of depth playing against teams fighting for first place or in must-win games for their playoff chances.

Is there a real value for a Zenon Konopka on the trade market where it makes sense to deal him next week and take a leader out of the room, who is good on faceoffs and can fight/kill penalties? I don't see it. If someone is desperate enough to offer a first round pick, see ya 7/1, Zenon, hello David Ullstrom.

If you feel Blake Comeau is never going to be any better here, maybe it's time to give someone else his spot because there are prospects or veterans who can be signed for his role, and maybe the return improves the club. I can see a trade there, but cannot see a team giving Snow anything of better current value/potential, but when Comeau starts scoring, it looks like he can carry a club.

Maybe after what happened in Philadelphia perhaps it's time to get left wing Matt Martin off the fourth line given what he did in juniors offensively, and last year when he got chances on top three lines?

This is written a lot here, but if someone puts up an upcoming or established talent with size, and offensive skill, Frans Nielsen's value may never be higher in a trade.

Great defender, faceoffs, pk. He has three even strength goals all season, two of them softies allowed by Sergei Bobrovsky. In three seasons part time, Kyle Okposo does not look like a good five on five player on his wing, maybe it's fair to speculate Trent Hunter's production struggles have to do with him at center?

Sure, he can turn into a Selke winner, he can also turn into Petteri Nokelainen, bottom line Nielsen has to be a five on five scorer for this team.

I don't see a trade for Mark Streit, but if another team comes with a big offer that includes a prospect along the lines of a Cam Fowler, that's something I have to listen to. Problem with moving Streit is UFA replacement will not be there to produce anything close to a two-way defender of his ability at his current contract.

No law a PA Parenteau cannot be traded if the right return is available, of course that would be along then lines of what Anaheim did to Wisniewski.

I see nothing happening in the goaltender department and fair to write it's a good thing Roloson (who's had some uneven games for Tampa w/four shutouts) is not here now or he might have had to stay. Montoya is not likely to keep up this pace based on his career, Lawson will have to be ready when called upon and we'll see what happens with DiPietro. If another injury happens, Koskinen will likely be called up again, Anders Nilsson may follow Poulin and sign a PTO to check out North America for a game or two in Bridgeport.

There will be no Bridgeport playoff run/the PTO contracts have been flying to supplant their roster which is almost pacing the Islanders in terms of injury with a smaller roster.

Playoff spot? 18-2 equals ninety points, which may well not be nearly enough. Carolina's number to eliminate New York from contention is 31 out of a possible 82 available points remaining between teams.

That does not include other teams between them.

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Islander Notables/Trade Deadline/Realistic Expectations

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/22/2011 02:55:00 PM | Be the first to comment!


Islander Notables/Trade Deadline/Realistic Expectations

This is the new format which is being used in all game reviews which appears as twitter link but is a full blog entry. I wrote a separate blog entry here to give folks an example of how it may look in twitter boxes on NYIFC main page.

Tons of topics/several subjects, quick to write.

This post really shows how a team now 17th in NHL scoring got into the playoff position they are in today here and how one month does not hide a season worth of offensive struggles/man games lost notwithstanding.

Twitter box will be re-post tonight at 7pm with game review posted in twitter box with same kind of link which had the review of New York 5, Florida 1 from Monday.


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