Friday Night Greg Logan blog:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 07:19:00 PM | ||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan updated his blog earlier tonight about the scoring problems on the powerplay and possible changes to the unit, that the club may continue to dress seven defenders, Radek Martinek wanting to play against the Rangers and some possible lineup changes beyond the Altanta game.

“We’re going to change it up a little bit, maybe use Miro a little more on the half-wall,” Nolan said. “He’s very intelligent with the puck, and he loves to attack the net.”

“We’ve got to get pucks to the net, get traffic and create some opportunities,” Nolan said.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For those curious Jeff Tambellini, Ben Walter, Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau and Frans Nielsen are all in the Sound Tigers lineup against Binghampton with Bootland, Jackman and Steve Regier here.

At this point in the first Bridgeport trails 1-0 and is being outshot 12-1.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette & Several credible media sources: Dave Molinary talks about Forward Mark Recchi who has been a healthy scratch for several games because of lack of production and who's future status with the club seems to be up in the air.

Mr Botta, call the NYC sports editors again.

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 03:43:00 PM | ||||Comments
New York Observer: John Koblin has a fascinating article to me about life covering Madison Square Garden's franchise team with quotes from several of the folks who used to cover the New York Islander beat (Alan Hahn, Marc Berman) and the Garden's politics with reporters.

“I think it’s fair to say that Jim [Dolan] is aware of, and a part of, the shaping of the media policy,” said Barry Watkins, the senior vice president of communications for the Garden. >Garden policy has meant that before and after every game, there is a media relations official—a minder, really—with a BlackBerry in hand who furiously types away while listening to reporters’ conversations. The notes that the official takes are then e-mailed up the chain of command.

“It’s Madison Square Garden, it’s New York City, it should be one of the top beats in New York,” said Newsday beat reporter Alan Hahn.

Instead: “It’s maddening. What it should be and what it is—it’s a shame.”

“Some of the things they practice here are completely against what you’d expect a normal team to do,” said Mr. Hahn, a second-year reporter on the beat who said that he now misses his old job as a hockey reporter covering the provincial New York Islanders. “They come up with things all the time. There’s zero access to players. They would rather you don’t even write.”

“I guess it doesn’t matter what they do to us, the beat guys,” observed Mr. Hahn. “But you’d think they care a little more about presentation when other reporters come to town. They don’t.”

“I’m in shock now,” said Mr. Berman. “The sexual harassment trial was bad enough, and then to have a November like this, when you’re a national joke, for someone covering the team it’s depressing ’cause you want to write positive stuff. Soon the readers aren’t going to care anymore.” His voice got quiet. “In December, who’s gonna read my stories?”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Some may ask why is this about the New York Islanders?

Msg as everyone knows owns the Islanders, Devils and Buffalo Sabres broadcast rights and FSN. If they control the print media people this much I can only imagine how tough it is on the paid employees hired to call games.

This is the same Garden controlling the hockey spin coming from the Ranger writers in the local papers. No wonder Larry Brooks had to do a public back step recently after he was critical of Brendan Shanahan and the over the top defending by John Dellapina for Sean Avery who can fight his own battles.

I get the impression from his comments over the years Mr Botta works very hard to fight the sports editors for Islander coverage and does all he can. This is an opportunity to once again ask the city sports editors and even the publisher what it will take for more Islander coverage and some blogs in the city papers as well as Westchester and New Jersey. No doubt the Islanders will allow all the access the media wants without the political climate Msg is apparently placing on it's beat writers considering it has bloggers in it's lockeroom because the club needs more coverage.

It's an opportunity for New York Islander Hockey to expand it's coverage and get more folks attending games by reading about them. As Mr Botta wrote recently we want the Daily News, we need the Daily News.

New York Islanders also want and need the Times, Post, Sun, Ganette, SI Advance, Newark Star Ledger, and the club needs to reach out to it's tri-state area fanbase and tone down the Long Island mantra placed on everything which does not help coverage in New York City where a percentage of the fan base lives.

If the Islander p.r department has to drive into Manhattan and do a face to face sitdown with Leon Carter and the Daily News publisher if necessary to improve the coverage that's what has to be done. Then a trip the Post publisher followed by one to the New York Times, a stop over at the New York Sun, followed by a stop at the SI Advance, Newark Star Ledger before a trip to the Westchester Ganette.

Worst they can say is no, right?

Fascinating stuff from the beat writers and the garden because what I just read was unprecedented from the collective beatwriters who usually are in competition with one another.

As for Alan Hahn, I wonder if he misses Alexei Yashin now?

Impress me Colin Campbell

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 12:31:00 PM | ||||Comments

If Colin Campbell is really interested in preventing injuries it's hits like this he has to give out suspensions for and set a precedent. Orr got four minutes for this, he clearly he was going for Comrie's head with his elbow and just missed his jaw.

The league should review it. If Comrie had to be carried off he would have been ejected and then we would have seen Campbell do something. And if it were Comrie doing it to Orr the same precedent has to be set. Injury or not Colin Campbell has to hold players accountable for actions like this, not just when the Flyers injure players on the Boston Bruins.

Sure seemed like Hollweg was going after Martinek's stitches. Billy Jaffe is a former player he knows when someone is trying to go after a players injury. Howie Rose has seen enough hockey to know immediately when it's intentional and said it also during the telecast.

I'm sure folks by now know Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe are paid Msg employees, they do not work for the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Update: Poll results Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 09:53:00 AM | |||||Comments

Thanks to everyone who voted in a five day poll on the biggest concern regarding the Islanders:
Lack of balanced scoring 9 (90%)
Special Teams 2 (20%)
Injuries 0 (0%)
Team Defense 0 (0%)
Roster Depth 1 (10%)
Schedule 2 (20%)

New poll will be up shortly.

Blog notables:

* I took down the hand written schedule and instead went with the NHL gadget box that displays an Islander calender with the upcoming games, news and a calender with the games highlighted to add to the scoreboard posted at the top of the page.

* An NHL search engine was added to the page within the last week.

* I am officially cutting out the tags for writers and publications in most instances. Writers and their publications are credited properly in each blog entry anyway and there is just not enough space in the tag feature and the idea is to provide a reference for who the articles are about.

* The fantasy section is up on a trial basis but does a good job with current updates on Islander players. So far I like what I see from it's feeder.

* Problem with a video center is occasionally some non-hockey news will filter into it. If some luxury apartments rented by Islander players filter into it there is not much I can do there.

* As for the latest Q & A from questions hitting the mailbox:
for those who do not want to respond on the blog or board.

Q: How about Islander fans writing to the publisher of the NY Post that we will boycott the paper because of the lack of coverage of the Islanders. I usually read that paper but I am stopping during the hockey season and reading Newsday.

A: I feel your pain and agree completely. I have suggested the same thing and have not purchased a single New York Post and all you can do is vote with your wallet and demand change which I have done.

It's insulting the Devils and Rangers get full daily coverage in that paper while Dan Martin does small articles on days his PSAL beat does not get in the way. Mr Martin works where his editor tells him to but since Evan Grossman left for the NHL a full time replacement has not been found nor does the Post seem interested in bothering to find one. Part of what I do here is hold the media under the spotlight but I cannot do it every single day. No excuse for the Post not assigning a full time daily beat writer (home and road games) and a blogger for their publication.

Q: Are there any bars where Isles fans meet up before games at the garden?
A: I'm not really sure if there is a select meeting place, but given a strong Islander fan turnout at Msg, I'm sure there are several. I do not want to mislead you here and give you a specific place because I could be wrong and that would not be fair to you. The recent Msg games I have gone to have been directly from work or home.

Finally, I received an e-mail today asking me to be a guest Saturday on an excellent local hockey radio show called Hockey Night on Long Island here which got a write up in Newsday with Neil Best recently here hosted by Alex Silverman and Steve Grill.

Unfortunately I am not going to be around tomorrow afternoon. My thanks to Alex and Steve for their very kind invitation and keep up the great work. I do think you have touched upon something badly needed in the New York Islander Fan Community. I have listed to this show, called in once and they do an outstanding job discussing Islander Hockey.

Hockey Night on Long Island is one of the few featured feeds at New York Islander Fan Central along with an outstanding blog called Tom Liodice's Tiger Tracks and Islanders Esoteric which is an excellent stat and information blog. Our message board features game threads and Mr Prospects, who does an outstanding job providing prospect updates.

Schedule changes for next season approved

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 07:43:00 AM | |||Comments sources: Confirm the NHL has approved a scheduling format that will have each team play 24 divisional games, 40 in-conference matchups, 15 games against non-conference teams and three wild card games against out of conference teams.

"Every team will play every other team at least once," commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters after the day's Board of Governors meetings.

"And we did it notwithstanding that this is likely to be the third year in a row with record attendance and the fact that divisional games are better attended than any others we did want to be responsive to the fans."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Right move by the league. I'm sick of seeing the same four teams in the division this much and as a fan of the entire league it's tough to notice the other conference when you do not play teams for three years in some cases. Islanders problems are their own in terms of attendance and are doing what they can to get folks into the building in a media market that has no real interest in hockey because of the over saturation of the other sports, specifically baseball because that's where the advertising revenue is for the newspapers.

Islander News Articles 11/30:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 06:40:00 AM | |||||||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on the Islanders loss, Ryan Hollweg's attempt to pull at Radek Martinek's stitches with a glove in his face and the teams scoring problems on the powerplay.

"He came and said he would take my stitches out," Martinek said. "It was stupid." He said Hollweg managed to get a glove on the wounded area but did no damage.

Asked if he'd experienced anything like that with another player, Martinek said, "Never, never. He could show a little respect, but he didn't. I cannot respect him."

Newsday: Greg Logan's article was on Ted Nolan's choice of
dressing seven defenders and scratching Sean Bergenheim while moving Richard Park to the first line.

Newsday: Steve Zipay has the Ranger centric coverage.

NY Times: Lynn Zinser Ranger centric coverage has Ryan Hollweg's comments.

“There were three guys all over Orrsie, and he was going in there,” Hollweg said. “I might have face washed him, but I didn’t try to pull his stitches out.”

Daily News: John Dellapina's Ranger centric article talks about the Islanders having to play five games in eight days and how bad Henrik Lundqvist wanted to win.

"We wanted this one badly," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "You don't want to go 0-4 against a division team - another New York team. We approached this game as a really big one."

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space article is on Hollweg-Martinek with comments from Ted Nolan, Hilbert missing the open net in the third period and the schedule catching up with the Islanders.

"Give Marty a lot of credit, playing with an injury like that," Nolan said of Martinek, who had been sliced by a skate blade during an awkward collision Wednesday against Ottawa. "In this game, you have to have some respect. When a guy like Hollweg tries to scratch open a cut on somebody's face, it's not very professional and not a very classy thing to do."

"It's just one of those that have to be put in," Nolan said. "I wasn't a great goal-scorer when I played, but I'm quite sure I could put that one in."

NY Post: Dan Martin's very limited space for the Islanders today was only about Hollweg-Martinek.

NY Post: Larry Brooks Ranger article is posted on the Islander page, a lot of cheer leading for one win against a team playing it's fifth game in seven days but Straka was a factor for the Rangers.

NY Post: Instead of proper Islander coverage Jay Greenberg talks about the big name differences between both clubs and ignores the fact the Islanders were playing a fifth game in seven days and still could have won if they did not miss an open net.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is what you get when Jay Greenberg does not cover Islander hockey, a lot of misconceptions and of course some history about Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake to make up for any current information. If this was a statement win by the Rangers which seems to be his message, the statement is their name players barely got past a tired
team and still forced them into several early shorthanded situations.

Journal News: Sam Weinman has the Ranger centric coverage on their win against the Islanders. Paul Mara was injured on a Trent Hunter hit in the third peirod that did not look good.

Ct Post:: Michael Fornabaio's Friday is on the Johnson brothers, Gregg with the Sound Tigers and Keith with the Utah Grizzlies and tonight's game at Binghampton.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Binghamton Senators:
WHEN — Tonight, 7:05
WHERE — Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, N.Y..
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

Press & Sun Bulletin: Michael Sharp an update on the Binghampton Senators, with former Sound Tiger Justin Mapletoft, who face Bridgeport tonight.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's always fun on days like this seeing the passion and spin in the media by the life-long Ranger fans with jobs reporting hockey coverage and as I have written several times Greg Logan or anyone is not obligated to be an Islander fan because they cover the club in a newspaper. I read something recently and I agree with it completely on days like today.

Sadly what much of us New Yorkers believe is what the NY media machine wants us to believe, but somewhere in there lies the truth.

Unfortunately in my perspective there are no Islander fans covering this team in any paper, Newsday included. Cannot make writers be fans of a team just because they are assigned to write about it for a living.

Rangers 4, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2007 06:19:00 AM | ||Comments

Islanders Website: Has the recap of last night's 4-2 loss to the Rangers.

"When you're tired you don't make the best decisions," said head coach Ted Nolan, noting the team had played three games in four nights. "We'll get some rest and get back to it."

The Islanders took a 2-1 lead, 6:20 into the second period on Drury's power play goal, and did not relinquish the lead. The Rangers scored two power play goals – both in the second period, taking advantage of two turnovers in the Islanders' defensive zone.

"We gave them those two power play goals," said Nolan. "We didn't make them earn the goals. There were two situations where we didn't clear the puck down when we had it. Then they score. Those are a couple of mental things that hopefully can be corrected."

"The biggest thing is our power play," said a frustrated Bill Guerin. "Our power play has failed us for way too long. Things have to change. We're scoring most of our goals even strength. Two even-strength goals a game is pretty good. We put in one or two on the power play and it makes a big difference."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know it's five games in seven days, but the Islanders have to finish their chances and make the power play work because they cannot expect to win or get points with two goals a game for eleven games in a row. Andy Hilbert has to score the tying goal and put all the pressure on the Rangers and force them out of their trap.

Islanders did what they they could, hung in and clearly they were tired in the third and did not clear the puck a few times shorthanded in the second. Comrie played with a nice edge to his game and Martinek made a nice play to get him the puck, Guerin cannot hit the net right now. Hunter had a few chances and some hits. Simon's penalties are not helping. Park almost finished but Bergenheim's skills were perfect for tonight's game and would have been my pick over Bates.

Straka's return was a big difference for the Rangers and their team had the extra step, especially after the first period. DiPietro played well but his defense struggled in the second.

If the Islanders were scoring more than two goals a game this would be no big deal, but eleven games in a row, something has to give. The hard work is there, not the goals.

Cannot win them all against the Rangers who finished their chances and deserve high marks for their effort, but this was a winnable game for the Islanders.

11/29: New York at Rangers 7pm FSN/Msg

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2007 09:37:00 AM | ||Comments
Islanders Website/AP: Has tonight's pregame against the Rangers at Msg.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Last night's game was a taxing game for the Islanders, especially in the third period/overtime. Maybe tonight the Rangers drop their trap, go after the Islanders early and try and score a few to force Ted Nolan to change his strategy on a club that may go back to Berard or stick with the same lineup that won which has been his trend.

Or the Rangers have some rust on their game after three days off and will attempt to do too much against what is clearly their biggest rivals.

Can Tom Renney come up with a way to out coach Ted Nolan with three day's rest? To this point Nolan has had the better of Renney for two seasons.

DiPietro had to work very hard and was extremely active so it may be asking a lot for him to do win another low-scoring game.

From the Rangers side he will not have to deal with Avery who is going to have wrist surgery and will be out for a while. Straka has done well against the Islanders and will be in the lineup.

Islanders for their part will have to keep working in the corners and finish and put some bodies in front of the net on the power play. They seemed to have far more high quality chances against the Senators but simply missed the net which could be a sign this offense is getting close to a big night.

Islanders will get a long break from the Rangers after tonight. Win or lose the next time they meet things will likely be different for both clubs.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2007 08:57:00 AM | |Comments
A few general observations on the Islanders and the conference.

* This stretch of two goals for ten straight games will end but it may mean surrendering more goals to make it happen. That's how the trends for things like this usually run. Of course this kind of scoring slump for the Islanders is approaching all time record lows for the franchise.

* Islanders have no real options, they break up the defense and give up on a Campoli, Gervais, Hunter or Bergenheim to improve the scoring it may hurt in another area. Islanders have to hold onto Kyle Okposo and their first round pick.

* Outside of Washington at the bottom and Ottawa at the top there is no real separation between the teams in the mix of the playoffs or out of the mix. Islanders are five points out of fourteenth and only three points out of second overall. A poor week or a winning streak can change everything quickly. New Jersey had found their game under Brent Sutter and is in right in the mix despite some poor goals from Martin Brodeur against Dallas. Atlanta will come in here with their season turned around and playing well. The word for this is parity and for the Islanders to keep their place they will have to keep finding ways to win games and add points. Last year they lost in regulation only twice in twenty games in the second half, that's what the need to do here.

* How is Boston and Montreal with such low expectations from the so-called experts finding ways to win? Bruins keep losing players and keep finding the win column. Buffalo is getting over it's changes in the summer and it's recent injuries and is starting to get it's game together. Rangers are trapping like they prefer a low scoring game and holding back Jagr who cannot find anyone to put on his line despite the ninety million they spent on centers for him. Seems like there is some bickering on that team too with Lundqvist calling out his defense for losing a shutout and Avery refusing help from Shanahan. Between Jagr losing his guaranteed contract unless he meets incentives and trading away his center in Nylander is there any reason why he's going to stay loyal to the Rangers unless it means more post-career hype and money from Msg?

* I feel terrible for Jason Blake having Leukemia, he says he feels better than he did a year ago but he simply cannot finish and is the anti-Joseph Vasicek in terms of shooting percentage. For all the Leafs problems they shutout the Senators last week so again a good week and all is forgotten, even if the political climate in Toronto seems to suggest John Ferguson is about to lose his job regardless. When a gm wants to fire a coach and is refused there is no point in keeping that gm.

* SouthEast Conference seems more scary than ever. Carolina looks dominating at times, Tampa's scoring will keep them in the race and Florida who is usually a terrible team early and relaxes once the pressure is off and does well down the stretch is off to a better start. No way Jacques Martin keeps his job if it comes down to him or Olli Jokinen after all the years and money they have invested in their franchise player. Atlanta is back to being an offensive threat every game even if Lehtonen has been injured and erased it's 0-6 start.

* No doubt Rick DiPietro will be named to the all-star team because every team has to have one player and he's earned it with his play.

* On the media end of things it's about time the press conference is shown live for the fans. Ted Nolan does enough, he should not have to do a special hallway interview with Deb Kaufman after games. I want to see and hear the media's questions from this market and outside markets.

Islander News Articles 11/29

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on the win against Ottawa, Bill Guerin having a big shootout goal and Rick DiPietro's play.

"We have strong leaders on this team," Nolan said. "They don't lose faith in themselves, and we don't lose faith in them. The captain came through."

"Just to see the puck finally go in was nice," Guerin said. "I don't have many moves in my arsenal, but that one worked."

"People have been waiting for us to go away since the start of the season," Nolan said. "We feel we have a good hockey team."

Newsday: Greg Logan's second article is about Randy Robitaille who went to Russia and played on the same team as Alexei Yashin for a while.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yashin's shot and offensive game on this team would be a positive. Two goals for ten straight games is not going to be enough long-term.

Newsday: Katie Strang has some comments from Henrik Lundqvist on Rick DiPietro and the rivalry.

"He's fast and he's very skilled with the stick," Lundqvist said of DiPietro. "I think I play deeper in the crease. He's more aggressive and maybe a little bit more of an acrobatic goaltender. I try to be square and stay back a bit more."

"They have three wins so far, so we definitely want to get back with a win [Thursday]," Lundqvist said. "He's been playing really well. Maybe he's a little extra fired up against us, I don't know.

Newsday: Steve Zipay previews Rangers-Islanders from his Ranger centric point of view.

NY Sun: Kevin Greenstein has a feature on the Islanders buying into Ted Nolan's system with comments from Brendan Witt. Bill Guerin talks about how hard the club is working to score more goals.

"We have a great group of guys, we hang out together and we're a tight-knit group," defenseman Brendan Witt said. "Ted makes it fun, he's a good player's coach, but there's also an understanding that you need to put the effort in."

"We're not executing," said captain Bill Guerin. "We're working hard, but when it comes down to it, we've got to get into the areas where you score goals, in front of the net. We've got to pay the price, and we've got to shoot the puck. Guys are trying like crazy, the effort's there, that's never a question. It's just the execution. If a guy's open for a shot, you've got to get the puck to him where he can shoot it."

Daily News: Peter Botte's writes a limited space article on the win that goes far more into the history than the game but does get a few comments from Ted Nolan and Rick DiPietro.

"It's a big win. Obviously we haven't had much success against (Ottawa)," said DiPietro, who made 35 saves in his 17th straight start. "But there's not much time to savor this one. Every season, every game, we treat like a fresh slate."

NY Post: Dan Martin's article is about how last year's team is different than this years, comments from Mike Sillinger, Bill Guerin, Ted Nolan.

"People have been waiting for us to go away since the start of the season," Nolan said of the low expectations that surrounded his team. "But we do simple things. Sometimes, ordinary people can do extraordinary things."

"He's a pure goal-scorer," Sillinger said. "Even though he's going through a tough time, he's very important to us, whether he's scoring goals or not."

Ottawa Citizen/Cam West News: Ken Warren has the Senator's centric coverage of their loss but credited Trent Hunter with Mike Sillinger's shootout goal in his first paragraph. A second article on Mike Comrie discussing Bill Guerin's leadership is also written here.

Ottawa Sun: Chris Stevenson has more on the Senators loss to the Islanders.

Associated Press: Ira Podell seems to have the most complete article of all on the game with comments from Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger.

"It's a big two points," Islanders captain Bill Guerin said. "They're the top team in the league right now. If we play our game we can play with everybody. And not just play with everybody, we can win."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on the upcoming games and some team notes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's not in the update but a nice job by the club having the prospect sits at the Coliseum for a game.

New York 3, Ottawa 2 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2007 09:58:00 PM | ||Comments

Islanders Website: Has the recap of tonight's 3-2 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Despite the Senators struggles coming into this game that's a huge win for the Islanders. DiPietro in the shootout is money. Something has to get Bill Guerin going, maybe this is it.

Sillinger, the team defense did a fantastic job. This team ever breaks out scoring they are going to be very tough to beat. Ottawa has an excellent offensive team, they have the edge in skill and speed, but the Islanders have the edge in net. DiPietro's dive at the puck was a little scary as was another baseball swing at the puck in his own end. The first goal he let up was a poor goal and a long shot beat him for the second Ottawa goal, still he made up for it with a lot of quality saves and robbed Heatley a few times.

Time for Chris Simon to go back on the fourth line after that penalty led to the 1-1 goal. Martinek hung in there and came back. Bergeron made some great plays on defense in this game. Vasicek and Fedotenko made a solid play and great hand-eye coordination by Vasicek for his goal. Powerplay looked completely lost and did not go near Emery for some reason. Sillinger's first period slapshot to an unscreened Emery may have gone in with some traffic.

Why John Paddock for the better part of two periods put Randy Robitaille on the powerplay and broke up his big line was a gift.

Islanders offense got some very good chances by Comrie and Guerin who was given the puck alone in front of Emery and missed. Richard Park needed to shoot in overtime on that odd man rush. Hilbert was outstanding on defense in this game and kept winning the puck and clearing the zone, Hunter too.

Good thing Robitaille's goal did not count because it looked like Sutton did push him into the crease. Too many Senators were driving the net and making contact in the third peirod.

Ten games with two goals or less but finding a way to get points the majority of the games. It's ugly hockey but you take the points against a team that has had the Islanders number.

Bates in, Berard out?

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2007 05:36:00 PM | ||||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan confirmed Shawn Bates will be in the lineup at wing on the fourth line with Richard Park and Sean Bergenheim. Mr Logan also speculates because Bryan Berard met with the Ted Nolan after the pre-game skate, he would be the healthy scratch on defense.

“I’m definitely hungry,” Bates said. “There’s no question about it. I’m going to come in and do what I do, skate, hit and chip in if I can and try to bring in some energy to the game.

“It’s been a long time. My last game was almost 10 months ago to the day. It’s been a battle. Mentally, it’s been frustrating, but it’s nice to be back with the guys and get into a game.”

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a quick blog on Darryl Bootland getting through practice.

Feature on Sound Tigers Gregg Johnson

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2007 03:23:00 PM | ||Comments
Journal Inquirer: Ken House had a feature article on Gregg Johnson of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

"The organization is run well," Johnson said. "The team lets guys have a chance to move up. We've seen a number of guys move up and play for the Islanders. That's good."

"I'm trying to help them any way I can, whether it's to score and put up points or be responsible defensively," he said. "I need to be able to be used in every situation in order to help. I think I've done that. They seem to like me. It's definitely a good fit."

11/28: New York vs Ottawa 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2007 07:22:00 AM | ||Comments
Islanders Website/AP: Has the early pregame for tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ottawa comes in not having played since Saturday where they lost badly and have taken a beating in the media for their recent mini slump. This club will come in looking to blow out the the Islanders quickly tonight, but they are giving up goals so this could be the Islanders chance to finally have a breakout offensive game and get some confidence.

One team likely gets back Daniel Alfredsson, the other Shawn Bates. Just about tells the story of both teams offensively. Ray Emery is expected to start for the Senators. Former Islander Randy Robitaille X2 returns to the Coliseum, Nick Foligno was called up from the AHL, Joe Corvo missed practice but is expected to play tonight and has had good numbers against the Isles recently. Mike Comrie plays for the first time against the club he went to the finals with last season and will not be facing Darren Quint this time.

This is a great test for the team defense, Rick DiPietro who has been in so many low scoring one goal games and the pp, who should have some confidence after the big goal by Satan late against Dallas.

It's also the first game in the post-Yashin era for what that is worth even though the Islanders have struggled badly with Ottawa since it's inception.

Hard work usually beats skill without hard work. Islanders have to win the battles get their shots and be the hardest working club. Emery could have some rust here from being out for so long and clearly is in competition with Gerber for his job. The extended layoff for the Senators could be a factor.

I keep writing the aame group of players who are not scoring need to finish and every game it's a low-scoring game. We'll see.

Islander News Articles 11/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2007 06:41:00 AM | ||||||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's article in on Mike Comrie playing his former team, the Islanders record against Ottawa, the club's scoring problems and Bates likely return to the lineup.

"The frustrating thing is that we're not getting a lot of goals," Comrie said of the Isles' recent drought. "It's not from lack of effort or the chances ... You just have to keep your focus and get pucks to the net."

NY Post: Dan Martin did a pregame article with comments from Shawn Bates on the upcoming games.

"Now, maybe we have a more difficult stretch."

"But we have enough experience, enough grit on this team to go through that, and hopefully we will."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an Sound Tigers notebook that has comments from a few former Sound Tigers in Jamie Johnson and Brandon Nolan. Pascal Morency is expected to miss two-four weeks after cutting his hand in a fight.

Ottawa Citizen & Ottawa Sun: Have Senators coverage with some interesting comments from former Islander Randy Robiaille who was signed by Ottawa.

"Everything starts from the goal on out and they've got a good one in Rick DiPietro," he said, also crediting the work of coach Ted Nolan. "Teddy got in there last year and did a great job of turning things around. A lot of people said they overachieved last year and that was pretty thrilling making the playoffs in the shootout against the Devils. I'm not as surprised by their start like a lot of people would be."

Edmonton Sun: Jason Hills reports Islander prospect Robin Figren missed his last game with a wrist injury, is expected to be out for an extended amount of time and there is concern he could be left off team Sweden's roster for the World Junior Championships. Figren has twenty two points in twenty three games for the Oil Kings after he returned from a hernia injury that kept in shut down in Moncton during Islander training camp.

"I haven't had good timing with my injuries at all this season. In a couple of days I will go for another x-ray and hopefully it's just sprained and not broken and I'll be back in 10 days."

Bates expected to play Wednesday/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 04:45:00 PM | |||Comments
Islanders Website: Reported Ted Nolan said after practice that Shawn Bates is likely to return to the lineup Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators.

"Shawn has worked extremely hard on his conditioning and spent a few games down in Bridgeport," said head coach Ted Nolan. "So we'll probably more than likely see him tomorrow night."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog has an update on injuries to Paul Morency, Darryl Bootland, Drew Fata and Kip Brennan. Ross McKeon dropped the Islanders from fifth to tenth in his league power rankings.

Islander cheapshots in media again.

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 12:20:00 PM | ||||Comments Ken Campbell posted an article over the Espn website on the state of the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday, who could take over for general manager John Ferguson, who reportedly was not allowed to fire head coach Paul Maurice last week. He goes through the possible general managers and talks about experience and when it comes to hiring inexperience writes " Let teams like the New York Islanders do this kind of thing. The stakes in Toronto are simply too high for the Leafs to hand the reigns to these guys"........

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What it is with so many of the The Hockey News and Espn writers? Do the Islanders media relations people treat them badly at some point or are they still annoyed with the Four Straight Championships or did Mike Milbury rip Ken Campbell, Adam Proteau or Scott Burnside to Frank Brown who is NHL’s vice president of media relations?

Are they that upset Islanders beat out the Leafs the final day and took away work for playoff games and to this point have made them look foolish in their predictions?

The stakes in terms of winning are far higher for the Islanders in New York than it is for the Leafs in Toronto. Is the Teachers Pension Fund going to Boycott the club, will everyone stay home if the Leafs land in the NHL lottery?

Losing is like Christmas for these writers because they get to complain more in print and many of them are die hard fans of those teams, but that's no excuse for Ken Campbell here.

New York Islanders have to win to get attention and keep people coming in a baseball centric market.

The real stakes for Mr Campbell is the competition for coverage in the Canadian Media and all of them not being able to write the same thing. Folks like Mr Campbell are all in the business of selling themselves.

Fox Sports: Al Strachan who was at the Toronto Sun for years and is a contributing writer at Fox, goes into a mini rant regarding Neil Smith's contract when talking about Maple Leafs looking for a new gm.

Islanders Twenty Game Report: Defense, Goalies

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 10:52:00 AM | |Comments
Part Three of the Islanders twenty game report looks at the defense and goaltending.


Brendan Witt: An absolute force on defense, shutting down wingers, not taking penalties and putting his body in front of any shot he can get to. Total warrior and as many have said has adjusted his game to the new NHL and keyed a defensive unit that has helped keep the pressure off the goaltender and played outstanding in so many games with no margin for error.

Radek Martinek: A few sloppy turnovers but is in a critical role on the top defensive pairing for the first time in his career and is doing it after coming back from a major injury. Has been outstanding winning battles and quickly moving the puck out by carrying it or finding forwards with the open pass. His offensive game is not improving but on this team he is not on the power play. Has played almost exclusively with Brendan Witt.

Chris Campoli: The fast start in terms of goals stopped but his offensive instincts are only getting better as he knows when to step up. Defensive play also keeps improving and a perfect balance to his defensive partner who he has excellent chemistry with. He is displaying a nasty edge to his game in the physical department and doing it legally which is how you force the opposition to take retaliation penalties. Folks forget how young Campoli is and the more he plays, the more it looks like he is part of the long-term answer and clearly he can play in the top four of a club's defense and there is no doubt he has won over Ted Nolan.

Bruno Gervais:
A stronger and even more steady presence on defense than Campoli without the offense or the big hits. Has a lot of Kenny Morrow's quiet defensive ability about him as he gets into position and wins the puck which helps keep the pressure off. Looks more relaxed than a year ago, has earned the club's confidence and his spot in the top four and should only get better. His offensive ability was there in Bridgeport but for now the club should just let his natural progression continue because he too looks like part of the long-term answer. Given the performance, his age and the responsibility he has been given it's an excellent start.

Andy Sutton: A terrible start, some goals off of him blocking shots and a few awful decisions made this long like a bad signing early and still has some plays like the one against Montreal for the first goal. More and more he is settling into his role here and just playing steady hockey, blocking shots and moving the puck to the winger. Has a nice ability to step up and hit but takes a few penalties when he does not time in right and does upset the opposition with his play. He does not step in much on offense in this system.

Bryan Berard: It's been a wild ride in his second stint in New York between the late signing, missing games with a groin injury and a few big goals. He has more a physical edge to his game by stepping up and leveling a few Bruins and Rangers in recent games and seems to be concentrating on defense. His pp work has been spotty but it seems more a byproduct of the forwards struggles to gain the zone and set up. Clearly the talent is still there for Berard and he's been an asset. Considering how much he has been injured for so long it's a good start.

Marc-Andre Bergeron: Last year he has no pressure or expectations. Sutton's early struggles also have to be included in his grade but it seems when he is given the responsibility of being in a prime position as he was early with expectations his defensive game has problems. Offensive and power play game are excellent, he has an outstanding shot that produced a big goal against the Rangers. Unfortunately his defense and six defenders doing better overall make him a seventh defender or a scratch. It's easier to give him a lower grade here but Sutton's early struggles have to play into this. Too bad he cannot relax on the defensive end. On this defense they will have injuries and he will get his chances again.

Rick DiPietro: Fourth fewest shots against in the league is a far cry from last year when he has to be great every game and stop near the most. He still faces a lot of high quality chances against. Has been cool under pressure, is not stealing many games but is playing with virtually no margin for error on a team with two goals or less for nine games in a row that is keeping pace but there is the occasional soft goal like against Boston. What's interesting is his composure level seems much higher and his movement is down. It seems to have improved his puck handling as in several games he's been like a third defender and almost never makes a bad decision outside of one against Carolina. At Msg during one Ranger power play he took three pucks under pressure behind his goal and easily elevated down the ice.

Wade Dubielewicz: Impossible to grade on such a small workload. Has a tired Islander team in Toronto who did not play well in front of him, was outstanding against Pittsburgh when he had to be.

Islanders Twenty Game Report: The Forwards

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 08:59:00 AM | |Comments
In the Islanders Twenty game report Part One I looked at the club's place in the standings and broke down where the club is in terms of overall league numbers. Here I will do a quick paragraph as a brief summary of each player and give a grade to spice it up a bit.


Bill Guerin: I'm not in the lockeroom, but clearly from every comment and article written he has been a huge positive factor in the room and it's his first time as a captain and likely a burden for him on a new team. Concentrating on defense he's not scoring which could be a factor coming from the Western Conference and it could be his age catching up with him. He's virtually invisible as an offensive factor and clearly is pressing. He's talking a great game but when the puck drops this player making almost five million dollars is not producing and takes a lot of bad angle shots and not getting into the higher percentage area's of the ice. A hat-trick because of terrible goaltender by Olaf Kolzig and a gimme in overtime against New Jersey is not enough for a player who had thirty eight goals last season. In terms of offense he's making Yashin look like a superstar at this point. Only reason this grade is not an F is because he is respected and his leadership is helping this group play team hockey.

Mike Comrie: After a great start is showing he is a one dimensional player on a club needing more defensively from him that is hurting his offensive game. Having players who are not loaded with speed and skill on right wing (Hunter-Guerin) are not helping him. Recently has had Chris Simon on his left side after getting a bit stale with Fedntenko. He works hard and has a lot of individual skills and a good shot. A few lazy penalties and a few times he has been caught but clearly is this teams most dangerous offensive player.

Ruslan Fedotenko: Overall he's been visible in most games and usually does a lot of little things to help win a game. On a respectable scoring pace but on this team is not going to get a lot of help. It's been a very solid signing but fair or not he has to score more and has that ability.

Josef Vasicek: So far a flat out steal for Garth Snow and Ted Nolan who usually generates a lot of chances with a shooting percentage of over thirty percent. He has done everything asked and more at both ends of the ice and is not shy about driving the net. Has better offensive instincts and speed then anyone could have asked for expected. Clearly needed time for his knee to respond and that was not possible for a few years.
Grade A

Miroslav Satan: As usual a very streaky player. A lot like last year where he started slow, then got red hot and every goal on a low-scoring team became huge. Is working hard in both ends and responds when teams push him. Should be producing more but for some reason is just inconsistent. Why can't we get more goals like the one where he dropped the shoulder against the Devils and rushed the net for a fantastic goal.
Grade C

Sean Bergenheim: Vasicek's line started producing when Bergenheim was put on that line. He's not doing enough on offense or being asked to do a lot more on defense, which offsets it somewhat but clearly the speed and skills he showed as a rookie are still there and just need more time. An injury and some wandering cost him some ice time along with Richard Park and Chris Simon getting some time on the top lines with Fedntenko moved to the second line. Less then average start but the talent is visible.
Grade C-

Andy Hilbert: He's played well on defense but he's not a great shutdown winger, he cannot score on a team that needs scoring. The hard work is there, plays that help win or change a game in the Islanders favor are not.
Grade D

Mike Sillinger: Does a lot of things beyond a score sheet to help win a game and his face off ability is a huge plus. Unlike last year has been virtually invisible on offense. Looks older and slower in the offensive end of the ice or is being asked to concentrate more on defense. His line mates have been the same outside of Guerin being moved to his wing for a while. The hard work is there from Sillinger, the production is not.
Grade C-

Trent Hunter: As always works hard at both ends of the ice and is this club's best player in the trenches and a force at hits and blocking shots. Does a ton of things to win a game but his offense is not improving on a club that badly needs him to score more often. Was placed on the top line and did not force Ted Nolan to keep him there by scoring more.
Grade C +

Richard Park: Reminds me these days of Jason Blake in 2001-02 before he started finishing his chances and broke through to play on the club's scoring lines. He's a dynamo most nights, never stops working and is creating a lot of chances and plays well at both ends of the ice. Almost all of his goals are big goals and he is forcing the coach to give him longer looks on the top lines. Outstanding work shorthanded to read plays.

Chris Simon: Sat out his suspension for the first five games, saw limited minutes and recently is getting looks with the top lines. A few very poor penalties but his offensive game meaning his hands still seem good and does play his role as club enforcer well, but he has to give this club an offensive contribution for whatever time he is given.

Tim Jackman, Darryl Bootland, Ben Walter: All had some strong shifts, Bootland set up Park for a goal against Washington and I think Jackman had a point. Did not cost the club on defense and gave some shifts with a lot of energy but no goals.

Islander News Articles 11/27:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 08:16:00 AM | ||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's recap is on the lack of scoring and Satan's play that led to the tying goal.

"I don't sense any frustration on the team yet," Satan said. "Our record is fine, and there's enough experience and grit on this team to go through that."

"Bergeron has a pretty hard shot," Satan said. "If it's not a goal, you get a hard bounce. That's what happened, and Mike [Comrie] came off the puck and tied up the defense and the puck was loose for me."

Newsday: Greg Logan's other article is on the Islanders rolling three lines, Marc Andre Bergeron's not being just a powerplay specialists, when Shawn Bates could play and Fedotenko being used on the second line.

"If there's a week to put him in, this would be the week," Nolan said of Bates, who hasn't played an NHL game since January. "We could play seven on defense for a while, but we can't do it for any length of time. We have to get four lines going. With our schedule right now, we need more forwards."

"We don't want him to be a one-dimensional guy to kind of come in and fix the power play," Nolan said. "That's like a DH: If you don't hit the ball, you don't get to play. So he has to be much more, and he's very capable of doing it." ..

NY Post: Dan Martin was permitted to cover the game and got reaction from Ted Nolan, Mike Comrie and Brendan Witt.

"It's real frustrating," Mike Comrie said. "We've had so many close chances. Goals that you think are in, don't cross the line . . . chances you'd like to have back."

The defense was strong again, which is enough for Brendan Witt.
"It'll come," the defenseman said of the offense. "The main thing is we're playing well defensively."

NY Times: Dave Caldwell of course did not cover the game but did do a feature about where the goal judges have been relocated in the arena and why they are no longer in the front row behind the goals.

“We know it’s a tradition, and it was not something we take lightly, but in the end, we decided it was better for the customers,” said Chris Botta, an Islanders spokesman.

Daily News: Brian Bohl covered the game for the Daily News.

"It's really important we scored on the power play and held their power play to zero," Nolan said. "That's a big difference and one of the reasons why we got the point."

Dallas Morning News & Ft Worth Star Telegram: Has the Dallas Star coverage on their win.

Dallas 3, New York 2 ot

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2007 06:56:00 AM | ||Comments

Islanders Website: Has the recap of Monday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars.

"It was one of those games where maybe we shouldn't have gotten a point," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We found a way to get a point and it all equals out in the end."

"If the chances aren't there then maybe there should be frustration," said Nolan, "but as long as you have the opportunities, eventually they'll go in."

"Considering the team we're playing, it was nice to get that power play goal and keep them from scoring on the power play," said Nolan regarding the Stars' five power plays. "That was the big difference and one of the reasons why we got the point."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dallas came into Monday on a five game winning streak, they may have been due to lose but have plenty of confidence when the game is on the line.

No one is happy losing a game but the important thing is to get the game to overtime and make sure to get at least one point. As I wrote after the Boston game Saturday in the context of one game it was a good team effort.

Islanders did not lose from lack of hard work. Ted Nolan seemed to try everything in terms of line combinations. Islanders generated some quality chances but could not finish. Teams that score two goals or less in nine straight games simply have a problem that goes beyond coaching. As tough as it has been on offense that's how good it's been on defense.

Chris Simon's no goal is the perfect examply of shots not going in for this club, great save by Turco, perfect setup by Comrie.

To score a shorthanded goal against a powerplay this good was a very impressive play by Martinek and a great finish by Richard Park. Marty Turco made a terrible read and had another bad turnover.

Nice work by Andy Sutton on Hagman as he pushed him away from the front of the net and breaking up a home run pass by Dallas in the first period.

Powerplay did come through with a big goal by Satan when they needed it most and it was a great shot. Bergeron's hard shot got through from a bad angle and he hesitated to draw the defender down and get a lane.

You can see the Islanders pressing. Bill Guerin had three penalties and none in the defensive end of the ice. Park was given an offensive zone penalty late in the second period. Refs seemed to make a few terrible calls against the Isles in this game on Guerin too. Defender on Richard Park lost an edge, he was not pulled down.

Rick DiPietro played well and robbed Stu Barnes early in the third period. Modano made a good shot for the Dallas goal off a rush. Halpern's goal for the 2-1 lead was just a broken play where Sillinger made the block and it went right to him for an empty net. Robidas, Riberio also had great chances DiPietro stopped.

Modano beat Martinek on the game winner after DiPietro made the save crashing the net. Robidas made the play coming in from the net.

Next up an Ottawa sitting around angry aftrer losing 5-0 to Philadelphia that is likely getting back Daniel Alfredsson.

Islander News Articles 11/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2007 09:49:00 AM | |||||Comments
If there is a Newsday article today for Islanders-Dallas it did not make it to the print edition of the paper.

Dallas Morning News: Mike Heika previews tonights game.

Dallas: RW Antti Miettinen (groin) is questionable. D Mattias Norstrom (facial laceration) and RW Jere Lehtinen (abdominal strain) are out.

Ft Worth Star Telegram: Dallas Stars coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has coverage of Bridgeport's shootout win Sunday against Albany.

Sound Tigers Website: Has recap of Bridgeport's 4-3 win against Albany Sunday.

Updated 3:30pm
Newsday: Greg Logan checks in with a blog update on Rick DiPietro and the club about to have a discussion about getting Wade Dubielewicz some work in Bridgeport if necessary.

Islanders Website: Jason Lockhart has an update on the shots against being down significantly this season with quotes from Bruno Gervais and other players.

11/26: New York vs Dallas FSN 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 07:01:00 PM | ||Comments
It's green and gold and something the Islanders have not played hockey against since November of last season which was the final West Coast road game.

Islanders won 3-0 last year in Dallas.

Dallas Stars Website: Has a recap of their fifth straight win at Msg Sunday. Where they were outshot badly but won with their backup goaltender in net facing over forty shots.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dallas is red hot since the gm change. They have two capable goalies and likely will have Marty Turco rested for the Islanders. They have a very fast, skilled team and just got Brad Winchester healthy and back in their lineup who many may recall from the Roman Hamrlik trade about eight years ago.

Should be interesting if the Islanders can finally break through with some offense or can they hang around for another two goal game and win or does Dallas score early and force the Islanders into opening up. With Ottawa and the Rangers back to back in a few days, these are points they need to take.

With Tim Jackman demoted, I expect Shawn Bates to play or Ted Nolan to go with seven defenders again. Usually when the Islanders win Ted Nolan keeps the same lineup.

Bridgeport 4, Albany 3 shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 04:28:00 PM | |||Comments Has the boxscore of Bridgeport's 4-3 shootout win against Albany Sunday. Tim Jackman scored the typing goal in the third peirod.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a blog on the win Sunday.

Another Espn NY Islander Disaster.

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 02:41:00 PM | |||Comments Tristan H. Cockcroft, who apparently is the fantasy writer for Espn clearly is far more overworked than Rick DiPietro with this fictional analysis of the Islanders goaltender in previewing this weeks upcoming games.

New York Islanders (DAL -- Mon, OTT -- Wed, @NYR -- Thu, ATL -- Sat): Again, it's a shame to waste a four-game week for any team, but Rick DiPietro has yet to show us this season that he's consistent enough to overcome tough matchups such as these. Sure, he has beaten the Rangers in all three meetings this season, but that's a tidbit to exploit only in leagues that allow daily transactions. After all, the Rangers are the weakest of his four opponents offensively, so his success against them that comes as no shock.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This borders on ridiculous. DiPietro faced the most shots per game on average last season and had a 9.19 save percentage. He has proven himself for years against top teams except Ottawa which many goaltenders have the same trouble against.

Rick DiPietro may or may not play well in these upcoming games, but he's allowed two goals or less in thirteen of eighteen starts this season, has two shutouts and is 3-0against the Devils. Islanders have no recent history against Dallas, have beaten Atlanta and the Rangers the last two seasons.

If he can shutout the Tampa Bay Lightning who have one of the best offensive teams in the league, maybe this writer can explain how the Islanders cannot win three of four of these games?

Did Scott Burnside help him write this?

Islanders Twenty Game Report Pt One:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 08:28:00 AM | |Comments
Part one will be on the team numbers. Part two will be about the individual players tomorrow. Has the conference standings and there is a lot of good news for a team many predicted last or next to last in the conference

Eastern Conference
Rank GP W L OT Pts GF GA
1 Ottawa Senators* 22 16 5 1 33 71 53
2 Carolina Hurricanes* 24 13 8 3 29 80 72
3 Philadelphia Flyers* 22 13 7 2 28 70 60
4 New York Rangers 23 13 8 2 28 51 44
5 Montréal Canadiens 23 12 8 3 27 69 62
6 New York Islanders 20 12 8 0 24 49 52
7 Boston Bruins 21 11 8 2 24 52 51
8 New Jersey Devils 23 11 10 2 24 56 59
9 Florida Panthers 24 11 12 1 23 63 69
10 Atlanta Thrashers 23 11 12 0 22 61 78
11 Tampa Bay Lightning 23 10 11 2 22 74 70
12 Pittsburgh Penguins 23 10 11 2 22 68 69
13 Buffalo Sabres 21 10 10 1 21 61 58
14 Toronto Maple Leafs 24 8 11 5 21 70 86
15 Washington Capitals 23 8 14 1 17 56 69

NYI Conf Rank NHL Rank
Goals 49 14 27
Goals Allowed 52 3 5
Shots per game 29.6 9 11
Shots allowed per game 26.4 1 4
Power play % 17.6 9 15
Penalty kill % 86.0 14 25

First the good news and there is a lot of it:
Currently sixth in the conference.
At a pace for ninety six point season based on eighty games.
Have given up the third least goals in the conference, and that's even with two eight goals losses against.
Have three games in hand on all eastern conference teams except Buffalo.
Have a 7-3 record in a division many said they could not compete in.
The three losses were all even games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Far less penalties per game than last year.
Solid penalty kill.
Strong on face offs with Sillinger.

The not so good news:
Dead last in scoring in the NHL with forty nine goals.(part of that is lack of games played)
Two goals or less in eight straight games.
PP that has struggled for a long stretch.
Still not generating many powerplays per game.
Several one goal losses, one overtime game.
No long unbeaten streaks, it's win or lose.

Update on Prospect Rhett Rahkshani

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 08:06:00 AM | |Comments
Orange County Register: Jeff Miller has an update on Islander fourth round pick in 2006 draft, forward Rhett Rahkshani.

"Everyone asks me how long I'm going to stay here and I can't see any reason to leave," Rahkshani said that night. "I can definitely see staying here four years and then going on to the NHL. There's no question I'm not ready for it yet. I have a lot more things I want to accomplish for this team and for the national team."

"Whenever we'd play in a big game, Rhett would always get the puck and do something great at the end," Jeff Turcotte said. "The 10-0 games weren't the time to watch him. He was there when we needed to win."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For those who recall Wade Dubielewicz was signed by the Islanders out of Denver University.

Islander News Articles 11/25

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 05:10:00 AM | ||||||||Comments

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had tonight's coverage of the Islanders 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins with comments from Richard Park, Ted Nolan and Andy Hilbert.

"It's been frustrating, but from the coaches to the players, they have been behind me, they've been positive toward me," Hilbert said. "It sure does help a lot when guys are positive.

"Andy has been doing everything a hockey player should do," the coach added, "except put the puck in the net."

"The bottom line is, we got the two points," Park said. "It doesn't matter who got the goals, at the end of the day."

Newsday: Mr Herrmann's second article was on Shawn Bates, the sold out game on Saturday and Ted Nolan's thanksgiving.

"The travel is a little bit different than in the NHL," he said, with a grin. "You're back on the bus. But it was a good experience."

Daily News: Peter Botte's limited space article is on the scoring problems, the win with comments from Richard Park, Andy Hilbert, Rick DiPietro on the hit to the head late in the third period and Ted Nolan.

"You don't feel like that because of our situation, the nature of our game is that everyone wants to score every game," said Park, who chipped in a rebound with 12:30 remaining for his second goal this season. "The bottom line is we came out with two points. How we got there doesn't really matter at the end of the day."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Botte reported Tim Jackman was sent to Bridgeport, during the telecast it was reported he was scratched. Michael Fornabaio did not have this but the Sound Tigers were in Albany. If this is true Bates could return Monday against Dallas.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins centric coverage on the loss.

"I think we played against a team that wanted it more than we did," coach Claude Julien said after last night's 2-1 loss to the Islanders before 16,234 at Nassau Coliseum. "I thought we got outworked and out hustled all night. There was more determination on the other side than there was on ours. We were actually fortunate to still be in it after two periods. I think if we can understand that as a group, we'll get better. If we don't, then we didn't learn anything tonight."

Boston Herald: Rich Thompson had coverage on the game with some insights from goaltender Tim Thomas on Andy Hilbert's goal and the game winner by Richard Park.

“It was a good shot by Hilbert,” Thomas said. “He was effectively using the screen and I played with him in Providence (when Hilbert was with the B’s AHL club) so I know how he does that sometimes. I just lost it for a second and that’s when he decided to shoot.”

“The first shot got tipped and that’s why I couldn’t control the rebound,” Thomas said. “The second guy put it in my right leg and physics says the rebound is going to go to the right side.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Guess I was wrong in my post game comments on Hilbert's play for his goal. Have to defer to Tim Thomas.

The Republican: Fran Sypek has a full feature on Bill Guerin in Sunday's paper after his return home to Boston.

"We're working hard, but we're not executing and when it comes down to it, we've got to pay the price and get in the area we need to be to score goals," Guerin said. "In this game, if a guy's open in the slot, you've got to get him the puck."

"It's not like we can't score goals - every team in this league has the personnel to score goals," Guerin said. "It's all a matter of executing and making plays and often goals in this league are made off broken plays."

Providence Journal has additional coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports on the Sound Tigers 5-2 loss Saturday to the Albany River Rats who are no longer a Devils affiliate. Former Sound Tigers Jamie Johnson and Brandon Nolan both scored in a game that was 3-0 quickly. Darryl Bootland and Gregg Johnson scored their first goals for Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a blog on Saturday's loss.

"They're in a tough spot right now, the guys in that room," Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "I know what they're going through. (The coaches) have been there. They are the ones who have to pull together and get themselves out of it."

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also had a feature on athletic trainer John Sullo.

Albany Times Union: Has the River Rats Coverage.

NY Post decided not to send anyone to cover Saturday's sold out Islander home game with Mark Everson in Tampa providing full Devils coverage. Dan Martin was on his usual PSAL beat.

New York 2, Boston 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2007 04:09:00 AM | ||Comments

Islanders Website: Has Saturday's recap of the Islanders 2-1 over the Boston Bruins.

"We had a team meeting this morning, and discussed that the only thing we can control is our effort," said Nolan. "If we play like that on a regular basis, we'll win our share of games. Tonight we can walk out of the rink feeling we gave everything we had to give. We're fortunate to get another big goal from Richard Park. He's scored some big for us since he's been here."

"I've been obviously pressing quite a bit," admitted Hilbert. "I've been getting scoring chances, but none of them have been going in. When I got to the bench it was one of those things where you don't have to worry about it anymore. It was nice to get one when it mattered. It doesn't really matter unless you win the game. Ricky played great and Richard got a huge goal for us. Right down the line everyone stepped up."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure what I want to write about this game.

I do not want to do a blog that's dwells on the negative but also I cannot break out significant praise when it's clear this team has some major offensive weeknesses that no words from the coach or line comnbination can seemingly correct. I can keep writing any win is great and I'll take it and in the context of one game it's a solid team win. That written I'm looking at the big picture which also includes a team playing some fantastic defense that apparently must continue because their most important offensive players are not producing.

Islanders go into a game they have not scored more than two goals in seven. They they did not put up a great effort in the last two games and only score a goal from Andy Hilbert that Tim Thomas did not play well and a good effort from Fedotenko, Bergenheim, Park for the second goal?

If this were written in the context of a single game I would give more credit to Tim Thomas because he's had an outstanding season. Outside of Hilbert's goal he was very good but he did not face many great chances, he did control his rebounds well.

The key players on this team simply are not scoring. Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Miroslav Satan, Mike Sillinger, Ruslan Fedotenko and Trent Hunter have to score on a regular basis, it's not happening and they are trying. Only bad decision all night by that group was Comrie not backchecking on the Boston goal and one of his penalties.

Islanders skated hard, they dominated faceoffs, shots and play. It should have been a much easier win but the powerplay did very little and they did not put Tim Thomas into a situtation where he had no chance like the one Boston scored on where DiPietro had no chance. That's what teams with offensive chemistry can do, it's what the Islanders did the opening weekend.

Ted Nolan made some changes and put Bergeron back in the lineup for Jackaman and dressed seven defenders. He moved Fedotenko with Satan and Vasicek and put Chris Simon on the first line and it almost produced an early goal. One of his teams powerplay's had five shots but mostly looked lost.

Defense and in the faceoff department the Islanders played very well and Boston again seemed content to play a low scoring game. Campoli had some outstanding hits and played with a lot of smart aggression (no bad penalty) where he has learned when and how to throw a hit. Sutton's dive to take the puck off a Bruin who had a step on him was an outstanding play. Witt, Martinek, Gervais, Berard also had very strong defensive games and the team defense overall was strong.

DiPietro was not tested much but he had to make a few very good saves.

Ok, it's a win, I'll take it and they worked hard to get it. I don't know how long they can even play around five hundred unless they start getting some goals to go with that defense.

This team is around sixth in the conference right now, imagine if it does start scoring?

11/24: New York vs Boston 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/24/2007 05:09:00 PM | ||||Comments
Islanders website/Jason Lockhart had two articles in the preview today. One on Chris Campoli talking about the powerplay here and tonight's preview against the Boston Bruins here.

"We talked to the guys this morning and reminded them that the first few weeks we had the top power play in the league," said assistant coach Gerard Gallant. "We have to work hard, get pucks to the net and just get back to basics."

"There are so many talented guys on the ice," said Campoli, who along with the rest of the team faces Boston again tonight. "I want to try and get the puck to these guys, but it's clear that we have to just start shooting. That's what we did when the power play was working. The points would throw pucks to the net and the forwards would crash the net for rebounds. We're just not getting enough shots on goal."

"Once we couldn't get anything going the first 20 seconds, we started to force passes that weren't there," said Campoli about the two-man advantage. "One thing that surprised Bryan and me was the amount of pressure the high guy was putting on us. Axelsson stayed lower in the zone, but Sturm prevented us from passing back and forth on the point. That threw us off, but we're prepared for it tonight."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sounds good but it sounded good before a lot of recent games. Islanders need a breakout offensive game at even strength, with the man advantage, from the first period. Any win will be acceptable but to get on track they need a big offensive night from so many players struggling. Right now it seems they have no interest in scoring in the first period of games.

Boston did not play a good game either the other day, they will be hungry for a sweep here.

Newsday: Greg Logan's articles here & here were on the loss to Boston, the offensive struggles by Guerin and Hilbert, the pp struggles and Marc Andre Bergeron not in favor of being a winger on the fourth line with the coach asked about callups from Bridgeport.

We have to do something to shake it up a wee bit," coach Ted Nolan said, stopping short of promising changes. "The vast majority of the time, we're playing strong games, but offensively, we're a little bit bitten right now."

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has a blog Saturday afternoon about a team meeting, Bates back from conditioning stint but not going to play and possible changes to the powerplay. Reports Sound Tigers after losing against Hartford Friday trail Albany
4-1 at the end of the first peirod tonight.

Boston 2, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/23/2007 03:14:00 PM | ||Comments
Islanders Website/Jason Lockhart/AP: Has the recap of today's 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

"Our power play wasn’t clicking and we have to go back to the drawing board,” said Ted Nolan. “We were stationary out there and the confidence isn’t there. We’re holding onto the puck too long and it’s making it easy to defend against it. When things are struggling you squeeze the stick too tight.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Seven games since this team scored more than two goals in a game. They looked totally lost with a two man advantage and another pp down the stretch.

This was a Boston team that looked very content and were waiting to get beat.

It's a game last year's team takes to overtime and gets at least a point out of. One goal off a rush from Sillinger is not acceptable. Thomas made a few good saves but Islander pressure did not create a chance he could not stop.

Unless they plan on playing perfect defense and goal this team cannot win unless some players start scoring. DiPietro cannot let in a goal like that to Glen Metropolit with no offensive support which is unfair but how things are when your offense does not produce.

Another two points handed away because this team cannot put the puck in the net to save themselves. They basically slept through the entire first period and Thomas did not have to make a single tough save. After looking terrible against Montreal to come out and play a first period like this is not a good sign. I wonder why Nolan was so happy before the start of the second with that effort coming off a loss?

Defense was not the problem, they made some big hits but unless they plan on setting another record for most one goal games they are going to be in trouble because some players on offense look completely lost and it's well beyond a game or two.

Bill Guerin was shooting from every bad angle he could find. The words say one thing while his offense game looks totally lost. Can Andy Hilbert take a shot without his stick breaking? When a player who had six goals last season is your best offensive player you got big trouble.

It's not one game where Tim Thomas stole two points and played great, it's more about this team as a whole looking lost on offense.

It is now three of forty on the pp?

Islanders have to start scoring some goals or this is going to snowball into a long losing streak.

NYI Fan Central Update: Polls, Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/23/2007 09:24:00 AM | |Comments

A few quick blog updates for everyone:

Thanks for the response to the first poll and especially the e-mails with your support for the site. I know a poll about a site is kind of boring but I wanted a little more feedback on the site itself for the first poll. A vote for the prospect center was appreciated.

Second poll and all subsequent polls will be hockey centric and the latest one addresses concerns about the team on the ice.

Don't be shy about e-mailing or responding on the blog or message board.

I altered some video feeders because the content it produced were not Islander Hockey related. I added in a new one that has more postgame interviews.

I also changed some news feeders because a few were simply repeating articles.

I had three questions I did not answer so a quick mailbag Q & A:

Just wondering where Nystrom & Tonelli were on Al Arbour night?
Nystrom If I recall did come out with the alumni for the banner raising. I'm not sure about John Tonelli but he has been at so many of these events it's impossible to speculate. The core of four weekend later may see Tonelli, Potvin and a few others who did not attend.

Can you get better video's for the site?
I put up a link to the ITV video's from their RSS. The google, yahoo, youtube video feeds come from fans and you get a lot of good stuff and a few things not hockey related that I do not want here so I am being cautious.

What's the deal with Kyle Okposo struggling?
He lost his linemate and the club has been struggling but for me to guess about the Golden Gophers would not be fair. What's reported in the paper by the coach about Kyle Okposo's play and his own comments tell his story far better than myself.

Finally a quick thanks to the Islanders Cory Witt for doing a media blog update and including NYI Fan Central that was very kind and unexpected. I usually like to check to see if I miss some articles they put into their occasional digest of articles.

That's how I found out this morning when I looked.

More on Neil Smith's Islander contract

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/23/2007 04:57:00 AM | ||||Comments
Daily News: Peter Botte's game article on Thursday was mostly about new details on Neil Smith's contract that were first reported in the Globe and Mail here in an earlier blog posting.

Mr Botte reports:
Smith appeared reticent about working without autonomy within Wang's hierarchy and, inexplicably, never signed his agreed-upon three-year contract worth roughly $2.1 million.

Smith and Wang agreed to allow NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to serve as the mediator/arbitrator in the compensation case that has stretched over 16 months.

"I can't talk about this because it hasn't been resolved yet," Smith said last night.

One NHL official said Smith's lawyers argued that Smith "didn't know what he was getting into" in taking the "committee" job, although the Isles countered that Wang's outline of the job was well documented from the outset.

According to one source, Bettman recently informed Smith that his contract is not "enforceable," and that he likely will be entitled to a settlement estimated to be worth "between zero and 40 days' pay."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The other day I wrote if Mr Wang introduced him as the gm he should be entitled to some compensation.

That written how come Neil Smith did not sign his contract or understand things would be done by committee. Anyone who watched that press conference saw Mr Wang say several times it would be a hockey committee and took many questions on the subject.

Neil Smith deserves compensation but only for the time he did work which clearly is not going to amount to much. I wonder if Mr Wang will simply give him more money so there are no hard feelings but this is one of those times there could be hard feelings on both sides, only the folks involved know.

To his credit Mr Smith on SNY doing hockey analysis has not used his spotlight to make his contract a public issue and has done a fair job when the Islanders come up under tough circumstances and been a class act as always.

This is another mark against Neil Smith that has kept him out of jobs in this league
in a fraternity of owners who do stick together on some things whether they are right or wrong. Not sure how much consulting Mr Smith does for Dallas but he has not been on Versus or any broadcast I know of outside of SNY.

It's too bad because as part of Wang's committee Mike Sillinger and Brendan Witt did sign here. Sillinger did make it clear Smith was a reason he agreed to a contract.

Finally, all due respect Mr Botte, you need a blog at the Daily News for the Islanders and should be asking Leon Carter to set one up for additional coverage like this.

Two paragrahps as game coverage in the newspaper is not acceptable and tells us nothing. Anyone following this story knew about it three days ago when the Globe and Mail broke it, post game article should not take a step back for it.

11/23: New York at Boston 12pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/23/2007 01:56:00 AM | ||Comments

Islanders website: Jason Lockhart has the early preview of Friday's noon game against the Boston Bruins.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Even without Patrice Bergeron this is a much faster and skilled Boston team with Tim Thomas who had been one of best goaltenders in the league to this point in a very fast, skilled division full of teams that can score.

Marco Sturm, Savard and Chuck Kobasew had a great comeback and took over a game they were trailing to the Leafs on the road that was very impressive.

Same old story for the Islanders. They have to start producing some goals or play for a low scoring defensive game. Islanders met Boston twice in preseason, the notable game was the second in Boston which was the final pre season game that the Islanders won.

Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger need a big game here badly. No word on whether Bates, who's conditioning assignment with Bridgeport is over will return to the lineup. He was a plus one with four shots in a 2-1 loss Wednesday.

Islanders have not scored more then two goals in any of the last six games.

Islander News Articles 11/23:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/23/2007 12:37:00 AM | ||||||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's article was on the first line struggling and Friday's game in Boston.

"I don't think we played that well," Comrie said after practice Thursday morning. "You have to compete every night, and Ted wants our line to be competitive every time we get on the ice ... Our line struggled a little bit. We can't lose focus because it was one game where we didn't play as well as we should have. We've played pretty well as of late, and we've just got to get back to making plays and keeping things simple. We won't worry about the score. We'll worry about our work ethic."

"Yeah, we took a little break," captain Guerin said of the benching Thursday. "Our line was awful. We generated nothing, and we were on the ice for two goals. Everybody is subject to that. It's going to happen to everybody at least once during the year. Ted doesn't have to say anything. Actions speak louder than words.

Newsday: Greg Logan's Thanksgiving day blog is a full update on what's going on with Freddy Meyer.

“It was an interesting month to say the least,” Meyer said of his time away from the Islanders. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before, but I’ve come to learn it’s part of this business. I’m not the first guy to get bounced around to a few teams in a short period of time. You’ve just got to take it in stride.

“I got the phone call from my agent that I was heading back east. I spoke to Snowy while I was at the airport, and he said, ‘Welcome home.’ It’s been good.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
About time Logan got a comment from Meyer. Not many players are placed on waivers, go to another conference, then the AHL, then are reclaimed and we do not even know where they practice.

Boston Herald: Rich Thompson previews Islanders-Boston home/home, reports Tim Thomas will be back in goal and defenseman Matt Hunwick from Providence was recalled.

Newsday: Neil Best has an article on the NHL network and how it relates to the Islanders, a local radio show on the club, and some games on Chinese radio that was posted here a while back. He also reported on Billy Jaffe becoming a father and told our fans who cannot find the games to go to Jess Myers has an update on Kyle Okposo even though the Gophers as a team are struggling.

"I'm back," Okposo said after last Saturday's 4-2 Gopher loss to Alaska Anchorage. Okposo's face displayed a shy smile that betrayed his dislike for talking about individual accomplishments after a team loss. "I think I'm starting to play well. I feel like I've got a pep in my step and I'm starting to play like the player of old."

"We've got to start bumping guys, being more physical and just getting a little jam to our game," Okposo said. "We've got to be making plays, making short passes, making the right plays at the right times. We do that a lot. We do that at many points in the game, but there are some points where we don't do those things, and it comes back to haunt us."

Washington Times: Corey Masisak on Thursday reported on the Capitals firing coach Glen Hanlon and replacing him with AHL coach Bruce Boudreau.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Considering how well they played with injuries to open the season it's surprising the Caps struggled this badly with the improvements they made last summer to a hard working roster already. Semin being out was a problem but the hard working edge that was their trade mark the last few seasons seemed to be missing for far too long and this was a change I thought was a week away at best. Atlanta is back at five hundred and playing well even though I though the wrong person was fired.

Hanlon had a very long run in Washington, his teams did not win but worked very hard for him. I wonder how much blame Poti and Kozlov share in this. Personally I would have fired George McPhee because he brought in the players. Poti had a terrible turnover recently in a one goal loss.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's Friday article is on the Sound Tigers record when they fail to hit the three goal mark in games.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had two blog updates, one on the Sound Tigers being in last (seventh place) but with many games in hand and only a few points out of second and how they have responded in the past when at the bottom of the standings.

It is frustrating," centerman Ben Walter said. "Everyone's working hard, playing hard, drawing penalties. We go out on the power play, and we're not putting the puck in the net. "The guys who are counted on for scoring, myself included, have to get the job done."

"We had a few of those," Capuano said. The puck just wouldn't go in, though the Sound Tigers generated chances with help from their young defensemen. Andrew MacDonald and Dustin Kohn — a late addition when Drew Fata went down with back spasms — joined the rush and protected their defensive end as well. "They did the job. They played well," Capuano said. "Their gaps were good. They played really well."

Hartford Wolf Pack at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN — Tonight, 7:30
WHERE — Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If I'm in Howard Saffin or Garth Snow's spot here, I'm watching the Sound Tigers three games this weekened very close.

It's time for this group to step up or some pressure should be on head coach Jack Capuano's status. This team has not have major injuries, the top prospects have not been called up beyond Ben Walter and for the most part have played with a roster surplus that Greg Cronin, Dave Baseggio and Steve Stirling did not have as they played games shorthanded in the past at times. First place is basically over for the season considering the Phantom's record.

This roster on paper should be much better than what it has shown to this point and they are not responding. It's great Hershey's goalie had to be their best player on Wednesday and sometimes a goalie does steal a game but the Sound Tigers have had a few very bad trends this season that seem to indicate a problem that speaks to the coaching.