New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/03/2014 07:53:00 AM | | | | | | |
Updated 2:50pm:
Vanek, MacDonald, Capuano all comment on trade deadline NHL.com

Updated 7:00pm 
Justin Johnson was signed by the Islanders, he remains in Bridgeport. Anchorage paper is planning a full interview with comments on signing.
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This 3/1-3/2 weekend  in 2014 did remind me of the core of the four weekend, that team was on it's last legs also. 

Far too many passengers, and this was with Vanek/MacDonald still here.

Yes, I think both losses would have happened even with Tavares healthy.

New York showed up, skated hard against Toronto, and did for one period against New Jersey.

Then they stopped for the next four periods, lead against Florida notwithstanding.

They could have been up 5-1 (perhaps more) against Florida, but still they were not working hard. There is no excuse for it.

Win or lose, this team has had few poor efforts much less two back to back.

Sunday's game was gift-wrapped to be a win. 2-0 lead, a five on three two minute power-play? Florida was ready to surrender two points without a fight for two periods when both teams were not mocking one another or looking for cheap-hits/fights.

This was different than those other two goal leads the Islanders worked hard to earn, they earned nothing going up 3-1 on Sunday.

 Is Garth Snow still thrilled with his special teams coaching now that Florida dominated them with their poor special teams?

Win/lose you can always control your skating.

No excuse for it or some of the lazy frustration penalties, especially in the offensive zone.

If these players like Jack Capuano they sure did not skate like they want him to return as coach this weekend.

This group mostly seems to play to the best of it's ability for Capuano, it's not good enough but a team in a position to win all these games to begin with must say something positive about the head coach. 

Should that be enough? No, not if you believe management last October. They made clear what the goal was for 2013-14.

Shawn Matthias skated like he did in January when he dominated the Islanders, who let him when he started working, he may have had seven goals, but every time I watch him he's very noticeable for all the right reasons.

Playing Anders Nilsson three days in a row was a mistake. Why he looked ready for the third period against the Devils, and like he was lulled to sleep after two periods against the Panthers is on him or management?

It was like that one goal (off Carkner) completely shook him.

Carkner's penalties down the stretch were lazy, nothing more. MacDonald got picked apart by Matthias.

Colin McDonald looked he was skating in mud all weekend.

Mike Halmo was the better player on Saturday.

Why is Matt Donovan in Bridgeport so Carkner can dress? So much for Bridgeport's winning streak, two 2-1 losses for Kevin Poulin, and some defenders who deserve a look here.

I like what Hamonic did Saturday, but have not seen the league make a call like that in well over a decade awarding a six plus minute powerplay.

Isn't that was Cal Clutterbuck was traded/signed for again, so Hamonic with his concussions does not have to fight?
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It seems ever since the Islanders won the rights to a player the Rangers were heavily rumored for in Vanek, Msg employees have been taking some snarky shots at him.

His conditioning was targeted earlier this season by Msg.

Howie Rose was over the top (between his usual apathy for having to work before another vacation), Goring on Saturday/Sunday seemed to be getting into the act.

What is all this Vanek lately has not been whatever when teams have not played for almost three weeks?

 He did have three points Sunday, and more impressively back-checked hard to break up a 2-1 against early in the third on a power-play? Maybe Vanek should change his name to Callahan or Richards so the Msg employees know they have to be positive. (or with the laughingstock Msg meal-ticket Knicks)

Mr Goring, when the team scores five goals on Thursday, you cannot say, they have not been scoring a lot of goals lately when the last game was almost three weeks earlier. 
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I have no remaining sympathy for Pat Lafontaine, but of course the national media circus that went over the top to criticize the Islanders in 2007, was far more muted about #16 or the Sabres this time.

Perhaps it's because it's in-season with teams playing, and there is just not the time/space? What happened with the Islanders was in summer at a time nothing was going on.

This time #16 was the teams President, he hired the gm/others so it's much worse because his own choices did this. This was not Charles Wang's committee where he made clear what everyone's role would be at that press conference, this was Lafontaine's group. 

The Buffalo News knows where it's future ad money comes from, it's not Pat Lafontaine, so the circus is a lot more muted from their paid media salesman who cover the team.

John Pickett, Bill Torrey, Charles Wang deserve an apology from Lafontaine/media.

Wang's 2006-07 team made the playoffs, he did the right thing dumping Neil Smith before he signed his contract. Special adviser Lafontaine walked.

Lafontaine's very good at walking away when he does not get what he wants, it's something he has to start taking accountability for. I don't know if history repeats but I expect Ted Nolan stays, he did not walk away for Lafontine before, and the reality is no other NHL team would hire him if he walks now.
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I'm not sure what happens with the trade deadline for the Islanders.

I expect if there is a trade (or two) the return will be mixed. They don't have a lot of forwards left in the organization to simply recall so forget any housecleaning unless players are coming this way who would have to be young or signed for at least 2-3 years.

Plus they are in western Canada for the deadline, granted an off-day. 

Personally, I would take another shot at resigning MacDonald, putting Hickey/Strait in play for a trade instead. It's not going to shock me if Vanek is interested in July if the Islanders put the same offer on the table, but a corporate team will likely front-load which makes all the difference, even if the Islanders do offer more.

Most folks do not understand the front-loading of contracts. Players want that 10-20-30 million of their 50 million dollar contract as a signing bonus immediately. They do not want to wind up like DiPietro or Yashin, losing millions because they took their money as a straight contract with same dollar amount every year.

Why risk a buyout, losing money in the later years? Wang cannot front-load, he's not the only one who cannot front-load. 

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