Resign Nielsen As Fourth Line Center Or Trade Him

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2012 01:39:00 AM | Comment Here

A big decision is coming for the New York Islanders regarding Frans Nielsen's pending UFA status, his value may have gone down a bit from last year in the views of some, however that's a subjective view.

Last year some considered him a dark-horse for the Selke, he is a highly regarded player with intangibles that go beyond a score sheet.

Having written this it's time to face some hard facts.

Nielsen is a strong defensive player, not a physical player who is going to score many goals at five on five or turn a game with a big hit. He was drafted in 2003 so he's had sufficient time for his offensive game to progress.

Nielsen is outstanding in the shootout, his pk work is strong, he deserves credit for the team pp success, with three goals after producing none the previous two years.

This year his short-handed scoring has dropped from seven goals to zero goals.

His five on five scoring is up from a year ago, where he had his second goal in February last year, both poor efforts allowed by Sergei Bobrovsky.

Short Term Problem:
He only has four goals at even strength, none since Nov 15th on a club desperate for secondary scoring:
1-Redircted slap pass from Streit 10/10 against Wild.
2-Opening goal in Pittsburgh 10/27.
3-One against four goal on rush against Caps 11/5 where Vokoun played shot poorly.
4-11/15 goal against Rangers.

Former Islander 1st rounder, Petteri Nokelainen, scored the kind of goal this year to beat the Isles in Montreal, Nielsen has never produced when needed, outside of one overtime game against Boston.

Long Term Problem:
Long term the depth chart does not lie.

John Tavares is a center, Josh Bailey has to play center and management needs to surround him with some skilled players to get him the puck.

* Ryan Strome is a center, like Tavares you don't make same mistake that was made with Bailey and change his position.

* In Minnesota, Brock Nelson was listed as a center, many sites list him at forward.
* Casey Cizikas is a center.
* David Ullstrom had his position changed from center to wing.
* Obviously future Islander draft picks will be natural centers.

Seems the only workable alternative is to finally fill the fourth line center spot with Nielsen who will produce a positive rating, score the occasional goal, still fill the special team role and take all critical face-offs.

When was the last time the NY Islanders put out a fourth line that came out of a season with a plus rating vs it's counter-parts with all these one-goal losses?

Marty Reasoner has not been that player, he is signed for 2012-13.

The future trend of fourth line players is going far away from fighters by appointment, you need one or two at best on a team.

If Garth Snow has to overpay Nielsen for the fourth line center role, with a ton of special teams play, it's the best long-term move. There is no law he cannot move up to another line as we saw with Richard Park countless times.

If Nielsen feels that's not best for his career, it's in the clubs best interest to make a trade come the deadline to improve their core long-term, Nielsen would bring some interesting value to a defense that will likely have some holes to be filled and needs a top four defender with better intangibles than Milan Jurcina.

To say nothing of a defender who can produce goals from the point, another critical weakness of the 2011-12 New York Islanders.
Toronto Loss:
Only watched the third period/highlights in the loss to Toronto, my twitter has comments. Have to expect a sluggish team playing it's fifth game in seven days that has traveled a lot.

Still, it was 1-0 in the third, without a pp drawn by New York. Tavares went past Toronto defense with speed on one impressive rush, he had other chances.

Two changes cost them two goals, they had chances to tie in the third. Capuano reunited Parenteau with Tavares/Moulson late and put on big pressure, but were exhausted/changing when Lombardi beat Bailey, who was waiting to get on.

The 2-0 goal was the game.

Perhaps the last change helps in New York, or Leafs size is too much for a club about to play it's sixth game in eight days that may have hit a wall.

Standings don't lie, they needed the two regulation points Monday desperately, as they need secondary scoring.
Tavares scoring streak, no coverage or writer from Brown-Dellapina NHL media relations department Saturday.

Isles shutout, writer assigned to cover Leaf win on

NYI Should Demand Msg's Rose Apologize/Media Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2012 11:54:00 PM | Comment Here

NYIFC has criticized countless articles during it's time, this blogger has also suggested many writers have an agenda, however never once was there any thought to employ a disability term about an individual or outlet to make the point an article was poorly done.

Howie Rose went far over that line on Saturday employing the words " House-bound Agoraphobe, " to make his point about an Espn writer, he was doing fine without any of that.

Butch Goring, in only his second year got it correct, simply suggesting the writer cover another sport.

No, this blogger is not Agoraphobic, and has never known any such individual, our point is Mr Rose conduct is not professional for taking hockey discussion where he did.

Before a game on 11/17/2008, the Vancouver media was very rough on the New York Islanders before a game at the Coliseum.

During that game Mr Rose and Billy Jaffe took their shots back and let the " All Knowning, " Vancouver media have it good when the Isles won the game in a shootout here without going where Rose did Saturday.

NYIFC personally feels Mr Rose remark about individuals with agoraphobia, during Saturday's game inappropriate and completely uncalled for.

To quote Mr Rose, he has some explaining of his own to do.

The New York Islanders should publicly demand James Dolan's Msg employed broadcaster issue an on-air apology and distance themselves from this conduct.
As for the rest of the local NY media good thing the local papers/editors do not have a salary floor for covering NHL hockey?

Seems the better John Tavares, Matt Moulson and this team plays the less coverage they receive at home.

Hardly unexpected, we touched on this subject before the season began that the New York Islanders have the worst professional media of any professional sports team and it would only get worse, regardless how the team plays.

Dwindling blurbs from AP in Manhattan media? No writer sent by former Daily News Ranger die-hards, Frank Brown, NHL VP of media relations and John Dellapina, NHL Director of Media Relations?

Daily News: Had part-time at best hockey writer, Kristie Ackert, covering the Nets in New Jersey, who announced only 10,000+ crowd Sunday.

These people are well aware the team has lost thousands of viewers with Cablevision-Time Warner blackout, and the limited work of Arthur Staple behind the Dolan's paywall.

The NHL is not allowing feeds to be aired by teams per Islander Twitter:

@NYIslanders: Unfortunately NHL broadcast restrictions prohibit streaming. We know this is a tough time for our fans.

As for Charles Wang, the 5th annual Lighthouse Tournament did not receive one word of local press. Mr Wang is photographed with the kids Sunday, who again spent his time/money to bring them here from all over the New York area and around the world.

NYIFC does no infomercials for Charles Wang or anyone, we simply point out what's fair and appropriate.

Mr Mangano was sent a twitter message from NYIFC:
@edmangano Why were you/staff not at Nassau Coliseum for kids Mr Wang brought in for 5th annual Lighthouse Tournament this week?

NYIFC: Misleading Journalism 101

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/20/2012 07:32:00 PM | Comment Here

I wish to start this entry a little differently.

There are times this blogger does not have a lot of patience with those not interested in a fair and reasonable discussion regarding the New York Islanders.

There are times this blog goes after media double-standards and does not hold back if something is unfair. If Peter Botte can take digs at Rick DiPietro, NYIFC can take our own shots will Mr Botte's editor at the Daily News let him cover even less games than DiPietro plays?

That would also go to media that refuse to spend money on covering games, but will be the first to question Charles Wang's payroll?

NYIFC finds it disingenuous so many in the hockey media, who barely cover our team or check in once a year are so interested in marketing their views will play instant expert on all thirty teams, but usually need an outdated playbook a decade old or even longer for that yearly article.

Toronto Star: An article today proves my point omitting Wang's committee was something he said he would abandon if unsuccessful which he did, ignoring Dallas followed same model with Brett Hull, disregarding several playoffs Yashin/DiPietro contracts brought to Islanders, also the first time Mike Milbury's team missed playoffs (excluding first season) he resigned as Charles Wang's gm, who never hired him, but retained him.

Dolphins owner, Steve Ross, for those wondering was a minority partner in Howard Milstein's New York Islanders here but this writer did not report it.

Bottom line, no one is an expert on all thirty teams, most are not experts on one, but please do not insult our intelligence.

Media who go with that self-serving approach produce so much incorrect information, it's insulting to even the fans who do not follow any team closely.

This simply begs the question are these professional media people so desperate to impress their bosses, maintain a living or simply make a name for themselves at any cost, they must know all or pretend as such?

It would be great/refreshing once in a while to see some of these folks, drop the pretense and just say they are not sure and do not follow x team closely enough or are only going by stats or simply that they could be wrong.

Even better if someone wrote because I work for x employer part of my job is to sell x team because it's good for our advertising, my ability to make a living in hockey/sports media because I'm building my own career resume.

As for NYIFC the great part about writing NYIFC/Islanders-Sound Tigers all these years going back to 1999 is there has never been any interest in hockey journalism beyond asking Kevin Allen long ago what the exact process is to become an a member of the PHWAOA which Mr Allen was kind enough to write about in 2008 for NYIFC here.

Does that mean everything NYIFC writes here on the New York Islanders, on twitter or anywhere else is absolutely correct and everyone else is wrong because I follow the games/articles?

Absolutely not.

There is always room for fair and reasonable points from everyone. This blog goes into entries hoping for good counter-points that contribute and make discussions even better, that help our knowledge, there are many in e-mails.

Any outsider who tells you what is happening in a teams locker room or what owners/players or general managers are thinking are wasting your time, they don't know.

Same for fans and media that love character question topics, unless you are in that room and around these people, it's insulting to go there and says more about the character of the person asking that question.

Unless a player is quoted, and these days you really need supporting video, it should not be trusted as reliable because many quotes are taken out of context, by the third of fourth article, the headlines can turn a story into something very different.

Speculation is one thing, but anyone throwing out gossip (positive or negative) is again simply being disingenuous.

NYIFC simply gives it's viewpoint with as much supporting knowledge as can be provided. It's a place of knowledge that will not insult it's readers with sourced based information and does not play the sensationalism game. That level of reporting even at the professional level is misleading at best, unfortunate at it's worst.

The viewpoints here are very basic.
1. How the player skates during games.
2. What the player says in direct quotes.

Of course, you look at stats of other players who come to your team, but like many of the articles are usually misleading.

I hope this answer the questions a few folks have asked.

Tavares Best Game Ever in New York Win at Philadelphia. Defensive Chemistry?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/19/2012 10:26:00 PM | Comment Here

None of this changes the big picture at this time, which would be the standings, however tonight was special and not because they finally beat a team they could have easily been 3-0 against this season.

Without Sergei Bobrovsky's outstanding goaltending it could easily have been 7/8-1.

John Tavares and this teams defense was simply that good.

The 4-1 final score/shots against will not reflect how dominating John Tavares was against the Philadelphia Flyers, nor will it reflect how much better this team is on defense with Steve Staios/Mike Mottau's lack of speed not in this lineup.

Nabokov was given the third star with forty statistical saves where he was solid, however not required to be great. Tavares got first star to give folks an idea how the game played out.

Even including the five point game in Vancouver, tonight was Tavares best career game.

Tavares almost created breakaways or was going around players one on one almost every other shift, he forced the Flyers to take penalties, or finally the Isles made them pay as quickly as they converted the goal to give them breathing room in Washington.

The shots against will make it seem Nabokov was under huge pressure, many Flyer shots came from bad angles or in the third when Philadelphia pressured. Like the Caps game this defense is much quicker and able to skate in the defensive zone with Reese in and Staios out, and keep the other team to angles. They can compete for pucks in the corners which creates transition with speed the last two games that looked very similar to the second half of last season.

Dylan Reese even had to fight because the Flyers were getting frustrated, he more than held his own and got the take-down.

It was effective, New York outworked Philadelphia, had the better chances and like in Washington were the better team and earned the two points.

Martin's shorthanded play sprung Bailey for a top-shelf goal. Tavares work fed Moulson to open the scoring after one was correctly disallowed in the first on a kick.

These last two games were fun to watch, it did not look like off nights for the other team, but the New York Islanders outworking the opposition and taking two points.

The last two games were impressive for the first time this season, it was not about a bad game for the opposition or it's goaltender.

A lot of twitter comments during game.
Sadly, Radek Martinek has been shut down for the season by the Columbus Blue Jackets with post-concussion syndrome.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabio reports Jeremy Colliton is getting close to returning to a Bridgeport team on a seven game winning streak.

Positives For New York But Nothing That Changes Standings

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/16/2012 09:06:00 PM | Comment Here

The quality of the New York Islanders play has been mostly solid/steady, outside of the game in Phoenix you could make the argument the club has not had a real clunker since the Bruins/Pens stretch in November.

Most games the Islanders skate well enough to take the play at the opposition, even in recent losses. The opposing goaltenders have had to play well from Rinne to Bobrovsky to Hiller's save on Parenteau that turned the Anaheim game.

Overall, some fantastic progression from Tavares to superstar status(not just all-star), Matt Moulson looks dominating, Okposo is playing like a top pick, and visible, scoring in games for the first time since before his injury.

Hamonic/MacDonald are progressing well, and mostly solid efforts from Nabokov.

Parenteau has thirty seven points in forty three games, that's more than anyone could have expected.

Grabner's speed has finally returned, perhaps he needed this long to get back the jump after his groin injury, still it's a one line Islander team on offense, that simply is getting almost no production from it's other lines at even strength.

Bailey, Niederreiter have been getting their chances, or making their chances, Martin's hitting.

The veterans on up front and on defense, have given them virtually nothing in terms of offensive support. Rolston began his twenty nine point second half with the Devils, January 9th a year ago. Reasoner will be out a lot longer, Pandolfo is not a scorer at his natural right wing spot, much less playing a spot he's never played in his career.

A few nice plays from Staios, Eaton, Mottau and Jurcina, a few big mistakes as well which will be the theme. Outside of rare Jurcina goal, expect no offense.

Streit's delay of game for falling into net losing his balance is the latest in a series of absurd calls which began with the ot delay of game against San Jose, he had a three point game.

Rick DiPietro is going to have his surgery, the Islanders including his knee swelling has been a theme every single year and is the story, not the sports hernia.

Bottom line, a team holding firm at five games under, winning a few, then losing a few is a club going nowhere near a playoff spot, that's not even a discussion any longer unless the group wants to go 10-0-0 to get near the eighth seed, which they have given no sign they are capable of doing.

Losing deHaan to another shoulder injury is terrible. This team could use him here along with Ullstrom, after getting a few goals over the weekend.

Poulin was sent down after the Nashville loss, impossible to criticize him or the Islanders for how he was handled. Nabokov was playing well enough to get on a run, it was time to see if he could hold up physically and he did.

He seems happy enough to be here by his comments, we'll see what that holds if he stays past the trade deadline and continues his solid play.

A few teams are spiraling downward toward the Isles spot in the standings as the disparity between pretenders and contenders widen.

Bridgeport's won seven games in a row, with a lot of players on PTO. They are still outside the playoffs and really need another seven in a row to discuss them having a playoff chance.

Impossible to see any veteran holding much value at the trade deadline if Garth Snow decides to sell. The big question on Nielsen is coming as he approaches the trade deadline/UFA as a good defensive player, but simply not a five on five scorer.

Parenteau also enters this discussion.

Of course Garth Snow should be willing to gamble on younger players who have played well in the recent past, but are struggling on their current teams.

No law he cannot get his veterans for next year at the deadline.

Having written this, every team is looking for players to improve, that's one of many reasons there is little/no major activity beyond Mike Cammalleri, likely saying the magic words to force Montreal to move him by going public with his complaints.

DiPietro Sports Hernia Surgery, Not Career Threatening

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2012 07:03:00 PM | Comment Here

The Islanders twitter feed reports, the team will issue an official statement on Saturday regarding Rick DiPietro. based upon Cablevision owned Newsday: Is reporting Rick DiPietro needs sports hernia surgery, who comments along with general manager, Garth Snow.

NYIFC Comments:
The bottom line is the doctors have told DiPietro he can return from this injury, he wants to continue his career, and the general manager expects he can return.

There is nothing here that says this is related to his knee.

Of course, this continues a three headed goaltender system, with three more prospect goaltenders (one in Europe) and decisions to be made on Nabokov and Montoya on a team that has barely been able to keep one goaltender healthy for half a season.

Or the biggest problem that it's another lost year for DiPietro, where he took steps backwards, and did nothing to work rust off his game or prove durable even compared to last season.

It's at the point where management cannot wait for him or give him an opportunity vs other goaltenders in the system. As written the other day, the Isles can make future arrangements for him to play regularly elsewhere until he proves durable and effective.

Charles Wang's Management of Webster Bank Arena In Bridgeport Now Profitable Per Howard Saffan

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/09/2012 08:50:00 PM | Comment Here

Connecticut Business News Journal: Has a full interview with Bridgeport Sound Tigers President, Howard Saffan, on the management changes made at Webster Bank Arena since Charles Wang's group purchased the rights to what was, " The Arena at Harbor Yard ", reported in the Ct Post 4/29/2011.

The Sound Tigers lease runs until 2021, Mr Saffan made clear last August after the referendum defeat, the team would remain in Bridgeport for the duration regardless of the Islanders status past 2015.

Mr Saffan by his own words here formerly managed the Nassau Coliseum for Charles Wang, since the sublease changes in Dec 2009 where Charles Wang/and or Scott Rechler pay Smg to run the Nassau Coliseum through 2015 in exchange for revenue from events and New York Islander games.

NYIFC Comments:
I would not do a full blog on this if it were not important.

Apparently Mr Wang's group in Bridgeport is turning a profit at what is now Webster Bank Arena, they also received a naming rights fee for the name change.

Mr Saffan discusses the renovations done to the facility, and briefly discusses the events at the Coliseum, along with a very candid interview with the internal numbers.

Of course, Webster Bank Arena is not the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, however Mr Wang and his people are running both facilities.

2011-12 New York's Lost Season Becomes Audition For 2012-13

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/08/2012 11:16:00 AM | Comment Here

If the New York Islanders actually won in Anaheim, plus extended it to a five game winning streak in Phoenix, what really would have been different?

The standings do not lie, the weakness NYIFC has been writing about since opening night confirm with countless repetitive blog entries on the veterans and their downside eating minutes and producing little.

Twelve points out of eighth/ten points behind ninth/tenth spots.

The competitive part of this season has been over for a long time.

The balanced scoring is not there, the veterans on defense are limited and error prone in a way even worse than a year ago without the injuries. They have been lucky to get some steady play and some temporary health from Nabokov.

Nothing Like Last Year:
The second half of this season is going to be nothing like last year, where there were solid reasons the success would carry over to the next year. It's not going to become a feel good story with forty games of scoring, speed and chemistry or signs this is heading in the right direction as currently constructed.

The current roster is not the second half roster of one year ago, and has far too many veterans struggling.

Expect no signs beyond what Moulson, Tavares and Okposo, Bailey, Niederreiter can provide, or what Hamonic, MacDonald do in their maturing process, hopefully some of these players can stand the frustration and the physical toll.

It's an slow, older, limited team unless Garth Snow decides to waive some veterans, who are doing nothing for this team with the risk, if the players brought up are injured it could present even more problems.

There is little depth in Bridgeport to recall. Collton, DiBenedetto, Marcinko have been hurt, Rakhshani missed a big part of this year with a concussion, Ullstrom is here with his concussion.

Mark Katic has been out since the preseason opener. Sure there is deHaan, Wishart, Donovan, Ness.

The standings do not lie in Bridgeport either, despite the excitement of Kevin Poulin's three shutouts in a row.

What's Next?
The frustration mounts for the fans, players, as written about long ago, it's going to get ugly.

Expecting this team to steal points against Detroit and Philadelphia is not impossible, but in the end it does not matter because what was mostly a sixty game exhibition season, officially became a forty two game exhibition schedule.

Anton Klementyev Suspended:
Anton Klementyev's suspension is not the first time a player bolted from the AHL, or Bridgeport. Apparently he does not want a greater role in the ECHL, who the Isles have no affiliation with this year. Overall Klementyev was handled poorly by Garth Snow from day one, drafting him, signing him, then immediately taking him out of Canadian juniors to see a lot of part time at best play in Bridgeport.

Some may recall he sat for weeks and made a desperation cameo on the Islanders.

Bottom line is if you are that determined to make someone part of your organization he has to be played in a prime role and for many reasons never got that or was ready for it when he was put in the AHL. It took years for the Isles to make this decision with Klementyev, so they finally decided on the ECHL and he rejected it.

Klementyev has no right to reject re-assignment and was correctly suspended but how it got this point is the problem and goes on management.

If Donald Fehr's NHLPA is this intent on playing hardball over the new conference format, which was given many positive reviews by the players, get ready for another NHL lockout after this year. I'm not sure the format is dead or a negotiating chip, but it's obvious Mr Fehr is going to earn his pay, but will likely discover this is not baseball.

As for NYIFC, this blog is no fan of the new conference format or only four playoff spots per conference.

New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2012 04:59:00 AM | Comment Here

Do not wish to comment much on games based only on highlights.

The Isles twitter would not respond to a question about live streaming all games on ITV for Time Warner customers, we'll see if Cablevision allows this for their own teams?

In the meantime NYIFC will write what we can on a few subjects.

1. It's gotten to a point with Rick DiPietro that he simply cannot stay healthy.

For him to miss this much time, have a few practices, travel to Carolina, then go back home with a lower body injury might require the organization rethink what direction they go in with him after this season.

Groin problems for goaltenders can linger and ruin seasons, only the Isles medical staff can say whether this is related to his knee surgeries. Still a decision needs to be reached after four seasons, he's regressed for different medical reasons from a year ago.

If Mikko Koskinen can play in Europe under contract, the Isles can make similar arrangements for DiPietro.

2. Nabokov still has his mistakes which led to a goal against Carolina, he's also played well enough, but neither of the three goaltender have proven durable.

2a. If he proves durable and effective Nabokov should be offered a contract. Only he knows if he will wish to stay, but don't overestimate his value. If he goes at the deadline at best he's worth a late round pick unless a team badly overpays.

2b. I'm starting to wonder if Dwayne Roloson needs a change of scenery again next summer and would like to return, only problem here is at the moment the collective defense here is as weak as Tampa.

3. Love the decision to reunite Okposo with Tavares/Moulson which worked very well in Scott Gordon's first season.

3a. Not sure what that means for Parenteau's future, however for now he has a spot on the top lines.

3b. Also not sure what to make of Niederreiter, wrote he should have been sent back to juniors.

4. Michael Grabner's speed has been gone since his groin injury, perhaps it's time to sit him down, he was the key to the secondary scoring.

5. Nice to see Nielsen get a rebound/shootout goals, but at five on five his track record screams he's not going to score. Bailey desperately needs a few players who can finish or set him up on his wings, Rolston is not that player.

5a. Nielsen should also be phased out of any powerplays units.

5b. He should be in play come the trade deadline, he's not Michael Peca defensively or physically, he's the perfect fourth line center for this team moving forward but likely would not want that role.

5c. I see nothing that can be done with Reasoner signed through next season, short of sending him to the AHL via waivers.

6. Reality is this defense (especially the veterans) are making their usual huge mistakes for this team. Nothing I have not written about since opening night.

7. Not sure what's going to happen out West. Win or lose, this teams has demonstrated only that whenever it gains ground, it gives it right back and usually it's about their weaknesses catching up with them and not so much the opponent.

7a. Many elements of this roster are not built to last long-term past this season and doing little to merit a spot here now. Cannot fathom why Wishart, deHaan, Rakhshani and others are waiting for opportunities next fall they should be getting now.

7b. David Ullstrom has had his concussion for a long time now.

8. Been a long time since this team lost a game in a blowout like the Devils had against Boston.

9. Would like to see the Isles formally announce they wish a change from Howie Rose for next season and put the pressure directly on Msg.

Rose enthusiasm seemed painfully forced against Edmonton, he also did this before his previous vacation in his final game as if he's trying to leave a good impression.

Too many vacations and enough playing the Jiggs card, who can be given any role he likes if Msg wants to pay for it. Rose does nothing to help raise the Islanders profile and it's time to call the teams carrier on the public carpet after taking the hit for Billy Jaffe who was also apparently dumped quietly by what was formerly Versus and is not calling games for any team.

9a. Interesting no one called out Versus for Jaffe not being tendered a contract? He now does NHL Network highlights (Time Warner is providing NHL Network for free to replace Msg and he spoke via telephone with Moulson after Carolina win) and appears on Dolan's weekly hockey program, for keeping quiet/saying what was on the Msg cue cards when not renewed.

10. For those wondering Flyer owner Ed Snider's Comcast, who was a big part of Smg taking all the Coliseum's revenue, now owns NBC so whatever hockey programming is there will feature Snider's Flyers.

10a. Ilya Bryzgalov got a fat front-loaded contract from Snider to give up nine goals against the Jets, not start the outdoor game and overall is the latest mistake in goaltending 101 by Snider. This was after Snider had his other front-loaded long term flavors of the previous year traded last summer.

10b. Which is why the NHL needs a new CBA and changes to prevent this practice.

11. Brutal spin on the terrible winter classic ratings for Cablevision vs Comcast by Bettman and those who need Msg/Comcast ad dollars, who look the other way because it's not good for their careers nor would their editors let them write about it.

Correction: Not sure why NYIFC has been writing Brian Rolston had forty points in the second a year ago, he had close to thirty points from January 9th to the end of last season. Obviously a poor job here by a blog that prides itself on giving it's readers accurate information and not acceptable.

Having written this Rolston's second half production from January 9th forward made his trade for Trent Hunter's contract a good gamble statistically at the time which was the overall point to be made.

Clarification: Sorry NYIFC has done virtually nothing on the WJC, the link was posted weeks prior to the games for folks to read everything, simply did not have much to write on this subject to give it the space it was in the past.

Bottom Line: New York A Mediocre/Limited Team In 2011-12

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/27/2011 01:19:00 AM | Comment Here

No doubt it's a very tough time for the fans, or everyone associated with the New York Islanders.

There were realistic expectations of winning this season that came crashing down starting on opening night.

Unlike last year, this time expect the second half to be more of the same with a lot of frustration. It's a different club. Jack Hillen can progress, Bruno Gervais, Ty Wishart and even a fringe veteran like Dylan Reese can come up and progress.

Mark Eaton, Mike Mottau simply do not have that capability at this point in their careers. It's fair to write Frans Nielsen is someone who can still progress offensively at five on five, but to expect that does not reflect his career on a team where Josh Bailey is not ready to produce regularly, or Marty Reasoner has flat out not been able to.

Same can be written about Milan Jurcina, even when he has a good stretch.

As I have written many times since opening night, this team has flaws it simply cannot get past, it goes beyond any one specific player. It also goes to the basic construction in terms of speed, toughness, size.

All three goaltenders for the most part have lost very few games directly, even with the goaltending hanging by a thread in Nabokov at this time.

Jack Capuano no doubt is frustrated. He can single out players indirectly, however his team for the most part has been in every game. Having written that too many players on this roster are limited in what they can give each night, either by being too old and limited or too young and not ready.

I absolutely do believe all of them are doing their best most games.

The 2011-12 New York Islanders took some steps back with the decisions made last summer. Some were good gambles that failed, others just poor decisions in a weak UFA market that did not feature the kind of player who could replace the faster defenders who left or add the scoring veteran needed.

At best this group seems capable of a few steps forward, followed by a few back, it's not last year's first or second half beyond a few names on defense.

No pulling punches, after all the years of injuries, all the years of waiting for Bailey, Okposo to take the next step, for the most part it has not been working for the first round picks.

For Carl Hagelin to have same six goals as Kyle Okposo and score two critical goals against the New York Islanders is not acceptable at this point in their careers.

I'm not going to write this is a bad team yet, even with it currently in 15th place they have been in virtually every game.

Still, good/excellent teams dominate mediocre/limited teams, it could get a lot worse in the second half as the frustration builds, if it has not already.