Isles look like they need a shakeup

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 11:37:00 PM | |Comments
I do not want to be critical of a team because some players are out with the flu, clearly this goes well beyond one game.

We are at the point a game they give up over forty five shots and score three shorthanded goals is a great effort overall?

Tonight's goal was off the tail end of a Kings power play where Berard made a good read and stole a puck.

Fair to write Ted Nolan's merit system and his patience with a lot of players is being pushed to the max this season and it also seems he is running out of things to try. We have seen this before where the lines are shaken up, when that does not work they go back to the same combinations.

It's also fair to write many are living up to their reputations as players who just are not consistent scorers on a team desperate for offense.

Did anyone go into this season expecting thirty goals from Josef Vasicek and consistent scoring all year?

Did we expect a repeat of Ruslan Fedotenko's big year in Tampa?

Were Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie going to carry a first line without a first line left winger?

Can Richard Park contribute as a first line player in terms of offensive numbers?

Was Andy Hilbert going to have a breakout season?

You go into these things hoping one or two of them work out with career seasons and that things balance out.

Were getting our answers and unfortunately it seems to be no on all fronts.

This does not even touch on the scoring consistency from Sillinger, Hunter or Satan who's offense is critical to the teams success.

Many will recall last year after 1/31/07 this club was a game over five hundred but out of nowhere Sillinger-Hunter-Hilbert scored a bunch of goals and the team got on a winning streak that saw them lose three times in regulation over twenty games.

Isles have just lost three regulation games in a row. The five on five play from last year is completely different which got a lot of those games a year ago to overtime and produced that streak.

This year it's not happening and for all of Blake Comeau or Sean Bergenheim's hard work and good long-term signs most games it's not realistic for them to produce on a consistent basis at this point in their careers.

I'm not sure we have seen rock bottom yet because the loss of Campoli to this defense is huge and on a team playing with virtually no margin for error one mistake from anyone can be the difference.

We saw some big mistakes from the team defense against Ottawa from both the forwards and defenders, we saw them tonight where Dubie made a few big saves.

I think Ted Nolan is facing the biggest challenge of his coaching career to get this team to play a sixty minute game at this point and put together the kind of hard working team he projected them to be. Full games where the Isles carry the play just are not what this team seems capable of doing.

We are also well past the point of players settling in to a new team because we have seen Comrie and Guerin have stretches with some goals and points, Guerin got settled in here during his hot December stretch. Comrie had his breakout game against Ottawa recently.

We are also seeing this teams defense produce more than it's offense at times.

I really don't think there is an answer with the talent on the roster. I do not see callups from Bridgeport solving anything and to do this you have to move some players.

The kind of shakeup they need could cost them their young talent or a veteran like Satan. Will it produce any answers or just be a lateral move that would be shortsighted to give up a prospect.

Are the Isles out of contention? Obviously no one is out of anything. They are due for some good efforts and a few wins, but it's fair to acknowledge it could start to fall apart from here, the schedule is brutal and despite Los Angeles winning recently that was a game the Isles needed to come out and outwork the Kings.

It is starting to look like they will be at best a low playoff seed. The separation in the standings from the top clubs is only growing with the teams below them catching up quickly. One thing I do see is a club not capable of winning more than a few games in a row.

Also I do not see five teams from one division qualifying.

Lot's of questions, no answers.

Islander News Articles 2/1:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 11:29:00 PM | ||||||Comments
Newsday: Erik Boland is the winner of Newsday's Islander coverage by committee contest (no blogs) with Mike Sillinger talking about his teams frustration and these one goal games. Ted Nolan was very critical of his club aside from the penalty kill and the goaltending with Wade Dubielewicz thoughts on the lack of offense and getting pucks through to the opposing net.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Steve Zipay had three afternoon blogs for his beat. Not like I want to be critical but this has to be written because our fans deserve dedicated coverage and blogs regardless of who is on vacation at Newsday. If Anthony Rieber can blog for the Rangers when Mr Zipay is off, Erik Boland should be doing likewise if he's assigned the beat for a day or two or Newsday's blog administrator should be telling us why.

NY Post: Dan Martin's article has a lot from Ted Nolan about the lack of effort with Bryan Berard's comments on how the club has to get back to winning on home ice.

Daily News: Peter Botte was provided space for seven very small paragraphs with the only thing new from Wade Dubielewicz on how the winning goal " squeaked " past him.

Los Angeles Times/Daily News only had A.P coverage of the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Disgraceful a market with that media no longer covers road trips, but Helene Elliot has written about this for a long time.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann put together the Islander insider Thursday afternoon which was mostly about what the Isles could do come the trade deadline with it unlikely they make a huge move with prospects because they gave up a lot last year for Ryan Smyth.

There was also some praise from Ted Nolan on Radek Martinek and mention of him as an unsung all-star.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a profile of new Sound Tiger defenseman Jeff Dwyer with Jack Capuano's comments who will replace Dustin Kohn who reportedly is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Bridgeport play at Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins Friday night. Sound Tigers website has a game preview here.

Los Angeles 3, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 09:45:00 PM | |Comments
Islanders website: Has the early recap of tonight's 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No fault on Dubie here, he gave his team a chance to win but once again this team simply cannot score or work hard enough to force the opposition into mistakes. It looked like hard word for the Islanders tonight and a team that did not seem very enthusiastic outside of the work that led to Berard's goal. They are not drawing many powerplays either.

Everything this year's team was advertised to be is just not happening most nights these days.

First period most of the shots came from the defense.

Cannot improve on what Ted Nolan said himself about his team: Lethargic, unacceptable, no energy, cannot expect to win or entertain with that effort.

Looks like a team in need of a shakeup, some players are not meriting their
ice-time. Labarbera did not have to be very good until a few saves in the third period.

Welcome to last place in the division and out of a playoff spot.
More tomorrow.

1/31: New York vs Los Angeles 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 06:37:00 AM | |Comments
Islanders website: Has the preview of Thursday night's game against the Los Angles Kings.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's purple, silver and black and we have not seen them since the opening week of last season. I think the last time Los Angeles saw the Nassau Coliseum was the game Trent Hunter went knee on knee with Sean Brown.

Most days do not pass without a Rob Blake trade rumor.

I guess we'll see what the flu does to the lineup, but the Kings have been playing some good hockey 5-2 and are a higher scoring club than the Islanders. Kings just played a one goal overtime loss with Philadelphia and have a lot of young talent.

Islanders need two points here badly. Buffalo is gaining on eighth spot with games in hand. Not the worst game to start Dubie if DiPietro is not a hundred percent.

At this point everyone who visits here knows the drill on possible lineup changes:

1. Check Michael Fornabaio's blog for the Sound Tigers practice report because he knows who's missing first.

2. Check Cory Witt's blog who will report on any recalls after Isles practice.
3. Check out Isles tv for the practice report because Chris King and Steve Mears report who is practicing.
4. See if by chance someone blogs for Newsday which is usually around 5pm.
5. Wait for the telecast or the announcement of changes if your going to the game.

Updated 6:55pm
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports no Bridgeport callups.

Dubielewicz starts, DiPirtro backup. Sutton/Fedotenko still out.

Islander News Articles 1/31

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2008 06:20:00 AM | ||||Comments
NY Post: Dan Martin reports on the flu bug with Hunter/Guerin comments, Bryan Trottier at practice and the club's struggles at home recently.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes seven games against the Penguins in the final 34 games. Jeff Dwyer, from Utah (ECHL) will likely be called up and fill in for Dustin Kohn, who injured a shoulder (earlier reported as seperated) and will likely sit out at least through Saturday.

Note-The LA Times/Daily News only had ap/staff reports for the Flyers game and no updated informaton on Thursday's Islander game.

Islander Watch: Jeff Hamilton on waivers

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 09:05:00 PM | ||Comments Carter reports the Carolina Hurricanes have placed former Islander/Sound Tiger Jeff Hamilton on waivers Wednesday.

The Canes signed Hamilton to a two-year contract worth $800,000 a season in July, he has five goals and 12 assists in 45 games played but was scratched for the fifth straight game Tuesday night. Some may recall he did a good job in Chicago.

Teams have until noon Thursday to put in a claim.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
He sure would not hurt the powerplay and if Carolina is looking for a spare defender the Isles have a few to offer. Of course waivers work by standings.

Poll results

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 08:12:00 PM | Comments
Thanks for the e-mails and votes on the recent poll.

Given that there were three e-mail votes in favor of adding the press conference video to the game highlights with ths six who voted for it in the poll combined with the fact I can put the HTML in the same box I will include both for a while and see how it goes.

Considering Newsday has cut the Islanders coverage during the Superbowl week and the team does not get road coverage or much of anything at home from the city papers I think it's important to have one place where we can hear everything from the coach and players in press conferences because there is not enough space in the newspapers for it.

Bottom line if you want to watch these video's it's available for you here and if not do not click the play button.

Islander notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/30/2008 04:01:00 PM | |||Comments
Newsday: Erik Boland covered practice Wednesday and reported Rick DiPietro, Mike Sillinger, Bryan Berard, Andy Sutton and Ruslan Fedotenko - all missed Wednesday morning's practice at the Coliseum with the flu and are questionable for Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Kings with Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin's comments.

Updated 8:30pm
Trent Hunter and some other player comments were added to this article which I guess is Thursday's Islander news article.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess we'll see if someone is called up.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updated the Sound Tiger blog.

Newsday:Kathleen Kerr reports Clark Gillies between 2002 and 2007, who lives in Dix Hills, donated $1million to the hospital for an in-patient pediatric unit.

It should be noted Steve Zipay had three full blogs from Philadelphia on a Ranger offday while Erik Boland/Mark Herrmann gave this team nothing in terms of a blog today.

Greg Logan is on comp time until Friday if I read correctly.

Islander News Articles 1/30:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 10:41:00 PM | ||Comments
Newsday: Mark Herrmann is today's coverage by committee person assigned to write on the Islanders 5-2 loss to Ottawa with the story being the Islanders twenty one giveaways, with Ted Nolan's comments that he felt his team played in spurts. Bryan Berard is quoted on the club's struggles at home.

Ottawa 5, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 09:57:00 PM | |Comments
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You make those kind of mistakes on defense and you beat yourself against any team, Ottawa is a good team that did not have to be very good to win and basically dominated the game from start to finish, even if they looked rusty at times.

As usual it seems Bergenheim or Comeau are two of the best Islanders. It's easy to blame Bergeron but where was Sillinger to cover his man on a goal? Meszaros has had a lot of good luck at the Coliseum this year, his pp goal off Meyer set the tone.

DiPietro did not have a lot of help but Ottawa did not need a lot of shots.

Nice play by Bergenhiem to score and Berard to jump in from the point and give the club a powerplay goal, but even at 3-2 it seemed like a matter of when before Ottawa would close out the game.

Another expensive loss in the overall standings with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston winning.

Bill Guerin sure seemed to be hanging on that second Ottawa goal after looking at the replay.

1/29: New York vs Ottawa 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/29/2008 07:54:00 AM | |Comments
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators with Ted Nolan's comments about the game and a few other subjects.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dany Heatley or not Ottawa can humiliate a team if they are not on their game and this time the Sens are not coming off a back to back with Detroit. Daniel Alfredsson had seven points in a win for his club before the break who have been losing some games but are an outstanding team overall.

Fedotenko/Sutton out with flu. Berard/Johnson in.

My guess here is Martin Gerber gets the start.

From the Islanders side the quotes and comments are great but we all know the standings and what the Isles must do to stay in contention and it's time for action with the club making a push to get into the top of this division. The even strength and powerplay must do better and this club must protect it's goaltender.

Boston, Carolina and Philadelphia were not good overall efforts at all considering it took three shorthanded goals and almost forty five saves to win.

Should be interesting to see what Comeau going to the second line means for Bergenheim, who has been outperforming Fedotenko.

I suspect the Islander Newsday blog and Cory Witt will have updates today after the morning skate.

For those who may not know Center Ice is having a free preview that begins today if you care to watch some out of market games.

Islander News Articles 1/29

Newsday: Erik Boland has comments from Bill Guerin and Ted Nolan on the Isles success against Ottawa and that this team wants to win the division, not just settle for eighth. Rick DiPietro will be back at practice Tuesday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted the print edition of Newsday in Queens did not include the Islander story today.

NY Post: Dan Martin made a guest appearance at practice and had Bill Guerin's comments about what he saw from San Jose about the Isles last year vs what he wants this season. Blake Comeau practiced with Vasicek and Satan Monday as Ted Nolan wants to increase his role.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Let's see if Mr Martin will be assigned to cover the game. Not the first time we have seen a preview and then no coverage.

Windsor Star: Dave Waddell had Red Wings coach Mike Babcock comments on Monday was very impressed with Rick DiPietro at the all-star weekend.

Winnipeg Sun: Bruce Garrioch reports some folks are considering the possibility of the All-Star weekend/skills competition be overhauled or outright scrapped after next season.

Sports Business Daily: Reports the all-star game drew a 0.8 preliminary rating on Versus, up 60% from 0.5 in 2007. The game drew a 0.3 in host city Atlanta, down 63% from the national average was on pace to be the second-lowest rated All Star Game since at least 1991, though previous All Star Games aired on broadcast television, as opposed to cable.

Ottawa Citizen: Ken Warren reports Senators goaltender Ray Emery arrived late at practice yesterday which could lead to a fine or a suspension by the club who have had several problems with the goaltender. Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson flew in from the ASG but did not practice. Dany Heatley is out with an injury.

Nanaimo Daily News : Reports Bryan Trottier will be participating in a local game with former NHL stars, in aid of the Brent McDougall Foundation, on Monday, 7 p.m. at Nanaimo's Frank Crane Arena.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an all-star notebook on Jeff Tambellini's goal to tie the all-star game with his comments while AHL President talked about a possible AHL outdoor game.

Projecting out the standings Pt One

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 10:15:00 PM | |Comments
My favorite feature of the NHL season where I look at the trends of the Islanders season look at the their upcoming schedule and project out the Islanders point total and if they can acquire enough points to make what I consider the playoff mendoza line which starts at ninety two points but could go as high as ninety six points.

As a rule for me part of that mendoza line has to be ten games over five hundred.

Every week or so I will revisit this and we can laugh at how wrong I was about the game or how close I came to getting it correct.

For the first edition of this feature we start with the current standings and the games played. Islanders go into the break with thirty two games remaining and fifty four points.

Note-Regardless of what happens with the Islanders or any team in terms of trades/injuries all predictions made today are final for the rest of the season.

Eastern Conference
Games played/points
1 Ottawa Senators* 50 66
2 Philadelphia Flyers* 48 59
3 Carolina Hurricanes* 52 52
4 Montréal Canadiens 49 60
5 New Jersey Devils 49 59
6 Pittsburgh Penguins 49 58
7 Boston Bruins 49 55
8 New York Islanders 50 54
9 Rangers 51 54
10 Washington Capitals 50 51
11 Atlanta Thrashers 52 50
12 Florida Panthers 51 49
13 Buffalo Sabres 48 48
14 Toronto Maple Leafs 51 48
15 Tampa Bay Lightning 50 45

Islanders remaining games:
Record 24-20-6 54 points
Jan 29, Senators-Loss 54 points 24-21-6
Jan 31, Kings-Win 56 points 25-21-6
Feb 2, at Canadians-Loss 56 points 25-22-6
Feb 5, Ducks-Loss 56 points 25-23-6
Feb 7, at Penguins otl 57 points 25-23-7
Feb 9, at Wild W 59 points 26-23-7
Feb 12 Flyers L 59 points 26-24-7
Feb 14, at Maple Leafs L 59 points 26-25-7
Feb 16, Thrashers W 61 points 27-25-7
Feb 18, Sharks W 63 points 28-25-7
Feb 20, at Capitals ot L 64 points 28-25-8
Feb 21, Lightning W 66 points 29-25-8
Feb 23, at Devils L 66 points 29-26-8
Feb 26, Penguins W 68 points 30-26-8
Feb 28, at Thrashers W 70 points 31-26-8
Mar 1 Flyers ot-L 71 points 31-26-9
Mar 2, Panthers W 73 points 32-26-9
Mar 4, at Rangers W 75 points 33-26-9
Mar 6, Rangers ot-L 76 points 33-26-10
Mar 8, at Flyers L 76 points 33-27-10
Mar 11 at Lightning W 78 points 34-27-10
Mar 12, at Panthers otl 79 points 34-27-11
Mar 15, at Canadiens L 79 points 34-28-11
Mar 18, Leafs W 81 points 35-28-11
Mar 21, at Devils L 81 points 35-29-11
Mar 23, at Flyers W 83 points 36-29-11
Mar 24, Penguins W 85 points 37-29-11
Mar 27, at Penguins otl 86 points 37-29-12
Mar 29, 2 Flyers W 87 points 38-29-12
Apr 1, Devils W 89 points 39-29-12
Apr 3, Rangers otl 90 points 39-29-13
Apr 4, at Rangers W 92 points 40-29-13

There we are folks, ninety three points, eleven games over five hundred and what is a good shot at one of the last playoff seeds. Could be wrong by a lot either way or correct but this is how I see things projecting out given the trends and not too many critical injuries or major trades for a club going for it now or cashing in if they go into a major tailspin.

My Critical Mid-season stats

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 10:13:00 PM | Comments
Islanders did their first half stats and game highlights breakdown showing the top leaders in stats like hits or blocked shots among several statistics.

I thought I would go the other way and look at the key trends that were a problem last year.

* As many know last year the Isles were a very good five on five club and this year they simply are not with the plus minus telling that story.

* Where things are different is last year the Isles pp to penalty was over a minus ninety disparity. At this point Islanders have improved if you want to call it that to a minus twenty eight at two hundred seven times on the powerplay vs two hundred thirty five times shorthanded.

* Isles are twenty third in powerplays vs fifth in times shorthanded so again Colin Campbell's officials seem to not be giving the Isles anything close to an even split, never mind the teams who are a plus in this department.

* Islanders are sixth best shorthanded.
* seventh in shorthanded goals scored with seven.
* twenty seventh in powerplay goals with only thirty three.
* twenty ninth in powerplay goals against with nine. (Carolina 30th)
* Isles are ninth in faceoff percentage.
* Isles are in a mix around 20th in overtime losses with six.

Jeff Tambellini scores in all-star game

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 09:56:00 PM | ||Comments

 Reports Jeff Tambellini scored his first all-star goal in tonight's game which did tie the game and force overtime which the Canadian all-stars won in a shootout.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged during the game.

NYI Fan Central Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2008 12:15:00 AM | Comments

Some subtle changes to NYI Fan Central over the weekend.

* A New York Islander Roster section was added linking to all the current players along with statistics, game reviews and the schedule.

* Sound Tigers section added more links to current roster, stats, standings.
Ct Post articles
Complete schedule

* Several Prospect links from major websites added.

A few words about Chris Botta

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 11:46:00 PM | |||Comments
Chris Botta for those who may not know is the Islanders media relations VP and has been associated with the club for over twenty years and does a blog this year called Point Blank here as media relations coordinator Cory Witt does a media blog on the club here and for the most part when both are not assigned to cover other assignments do a very good job with the updates.

Some may feel because Mr Botta/Mr Witt were kind enough to add New York Islander fan central to the list of people they selected for the blog box I would give them a free pass on things I may disagree with?

Anyone who follows this blog knows that has not been the case and when I feel Mr Botta or the club have gotten it wrong I have written about it.

I tend to think fans are under the impression Mr Botta spins the truth but so many occasions he has written and given his opinion which at times has turned out differently than what the Islanders actually do.

Folks need to understand the difference between Mr Botta issuing a press release for the club vs instances where he gives his personal take on a subject. He's also not part of the hockey staff making decisions which a few folks at times seem to forget.

For myself Chris Botta and the staff were the star of the show in Atlanta with so many interviews of writers or media people this blog has been critical of and will continue to be based on what they write. I look for fair and objective treatment of the club based only on how they play or how they are covered and I think it's important to ask hard questions when this does not happen.

I like the fact Mr Botta sent out e-mails, got responses and let the fans get to know these writers, their viewpoints and appreciate how hard the Islanders have worked to tell the Islander story this weekend. It's really above and beyond what I expected and to read a Ray Ferraro talking about 1993 just makes it even better.

I'm sure it does not hurt to have some of these writers see and deal with the club directly which will make them think a little more before they unload on a decision the Isles make in July and August. Given some of Adam Proteau's and Ken Campbell's articles earlier I want to see what they have to write now that they have met some of these people in person as Mr Campbell did with Rick DiPietro.

Mr Botta let the writers responses speak for themselves which is absolutely the correct thing to do even if it's not what we may want to read or what I may not agree with, but that's another blog for another day.

Anyone who has followed Mr Botta for years knows on occasion he has not been shy about stepping up and claiming unfair treatment of this club by the media. He also seems to understand he has to keep a good working relationship with the Times, News, Newsday, Post and countless other publications in the process who want to set up interviews with players so he will ask questions of Leon Caver at the Daily News and the Daily News commercials on the radio but at the same time correcly point out wrote " we want and need the Daily News coverage " which makes it a tough balancing act.

It seems this process picked up out on the West Coast to let some of the media that have not seen the Islanders in years get to reconnect with the franchise. To the staff's credit this was also done at a time when a lot of attention was on Kyle Okposo coming to Bridgeport back here.

I remember a long time ago Mr Botta did a feature when the Milstein's purchased the club. Howard Milstein, Steven Gluckstern, Tom Gulotta had the press conference and wanted the Stanley Cup present. Mr Botta's instincts at the time felt that was not a good idea and put it in his article. He went on to write they gave him the hope of dreaming about the club winning another cup by doing so but at the time it was an honest answer where he even went on to admit he did hold back in some past updates because things were not too good at the time but it was not going to happen again.

I may not agree with everything Mr Botta writes but I really learned to respect him for letting us get to know him a decade ago, regardless of how things worked out on the ice under those owners and if they did not live up to their promise.

Of course in his final blog entry from Atlanta here Mr Botta does his usual great job crediting Charles Wang and Atlanta for giving Rick DiPietro and Islander fans a first class show.

For myself in Atlanta Chris Botta and the staff have been the MVP of the Islanders show despite the Islander goaltender getting a lot of votes, it made me pay more attention than I was expecting to.

Rick DiPietro one goal allowed

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 07:04:00 PM | ||||Comments

One period, one goal against for Rick DiPietro.

The Western Conference scored their only goal in the opening twelve seconds while DiPietro was talking on a live microphone through the first period.

A few very good saves, one great one on Cory Perry.

Former Islander goalie Chris Osgood let in five but also made a few great saves. Eastern Conference while DiPietro was in had a big edge in the play.

Mike Emrick did a great job letting him do play by play in the final seconds.

MVP? Doubtful because he did not have to make a ton of great saves.

Eric Staal of Carolina won the MVP, Nabakov of San Jose was outstanding in the second period as was Tomas Vokoun of Florida.

Globe and Mail: David Shoalts felt Rick DiPietro was the games best player for the first twenty minutes in his recap.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio is in Binghampton blogging on the AHL all-star games and skills competiton reporting on how Jeff Tambellini is doing for the Canadian all-stars. Recaps the skills competition which the Canadian all-stars lost.

Islander News Articles 1/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2008 02:27:00 PM | ||||Comments

Islanders website/Point Blank: Report Rick DiPietro will start the all-star game tonight in Atlanta with Chris Botta's Point Blank leading the coverage with several interviews and updates.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game article is how the Sound Tigers scored the tying goal with forty seven seconds left and won the game in a shootout with comments from Jack Capuano, Steve Regier and goaltender Mike Morrison on how the team stuck together and worked well.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on Jeff Tambellini who will appear in the skills competition tonight for the Canadian All-Stars in Binghamton, N.Y.; tonight's skills contest begins the festivities, and the All-Star Game is Monday night.

The American Hockey League via it's B2 Network is offering the skills competition Sunday night and the game Monday night free to everyone
here which also includes all television outlets that will carry the skills competition and the game. Reports Jeff Tambellini will participate in the following events at the skills competition tonight:
Event 2 - CCM U+ Skate Fastest Skater
Event 3 - CCM U+ Stick Rapid Fire
Event 7 - Toyota Breakaway Relay

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder why Dave Andrews and the folks in the AHL who make these decisions decided to put the skills competiton on the same day as the NHL All-Star game? Considering the AHL wraps up it's regular season a week after the NHL was there some reason they could not format this better so NHL fans could watch both on seperate days?

Should be noted Ranger beat writer Steve Zipay has had four blogs since all-star weekend began and did a brief write up on the Rangers at the Young Stars. Meanwhile the Islander franchise goaltender is hurting during the skills competition and Mr Logan who made a lot of claims about the club's improved coverage to Chris Botta in an e-mail interview is AWOL aside from the stock article written before the skills competition.

Anyone else think Mr Logan could have taped the event if he did not have time to watch it Saturday and update his blog this morning for the fans? That's what I do for this blog at times when I cannot see a game live.

Newsday had space in it's papers today for the Sunday NHL feature which of course had no mention of the Islanders.

DiPietro hurting in skills competition

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 10:35:00 PM | |||||Comments

All I can go by for now is what he said after Marian Gaborik took his second shot and was wired for sound as he went back to the sideline. On the play he was down on his stomach and kicked his left leg back against the post and made a great save.

Afterward he said as the mic was open as he skated back to the sideline after he made a quick comment on his save:
Timmy (Tim Thomas) you go in there, I'm done. Oh my god, I just blew my whole leg out. I'm out. You want to go? I just (expletive) up my hip again.

Afterward he stayed on the ice, was smiling and the camera's caught him interviewing in the lockeroom with a big smile on.

Newsday: Greg Logan's Sunday feature on the goaltender was not filed from Atlanta and before the skills competition.

Updated 11pm:

Islanders website: Recap his very good night in the skills competition where he scored two goals and did not allow any. DiPietro told reporters after the competition that he was a little sore, but would still be okay to play in tomorrow's All-Star Game.

I posted his post skills competition press conference where the media pressed him on getting hurt and he said he would be fine.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a player who's leg buckled less than a week ago in a game and according to media reports who had hip surgery after last season and was on crutches.

I have no idea about anything. If that's what he said it's impossible to know what happens from here. It was interesting to note he did not play in the youngstars game but that could have been predetermined.

All I do know is if he's asking another goalie to go in for him during an event that's not a good sign at all. His comments on a live open microphone speak for themselves. Reports the Sound Tigers beat the Philadelphia Phantoms in a shootout Saturday night at Harbor Yard with Kyle Okposo scoring his second professional goal and Jeff Tambellini adding to his total, Matt Keith also scored for Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog on the win reports Dustin Kohn appeared to seperate his shoulder,. Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman were sent to Bridgeport in terms of paperwork/salary cap savings but did not play in the game while Jeff Tambellini is simply dominating.

Will Rico score a goal in the skills content?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 04:03:00 PM | ||Comments

Just to let everyone know the changes to the skills contest will have goaltenders shooting at the opposing net to try and score in some manner tonight. Seeing Rick DiPietro do that is worth the price of admission and a great idea to add to the skills contest.

Side-bar: Chris Botta over at Point Blank is cranking out blog updates with interviews and features that are fantastic and will outpace NYI Fan Central this weekend.

Constructive Criticism

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 02:22:00 PM | ||||Comments
Point Blank: Chris Botta did an e-mail interview with Greg Logan which he put on his blog several questions and answers about the teams beat.

It's only appropriate a blog that puts the media coverage of our team under the spotlight responds and asks the tough questions.

First let me write going into this that Greg Logan is not the sports editor at Newsday in control of how much space the team is permitted or what the sports department decides to give him in terms of coverage space. As I have written several times he's not required to be a New York Islander fan as part of his job which unfortunately for our fans seems very apparent and given his long experience no writer can be fans of every subject they are assigned.

Mr Logan responded to Mr Botta and wrote:
I feel an even stronger obligation to the fans to provide as much information as possible because I sense how much they are relying on Newsday for insight.

New York Islander Fan Central strongly disagrees with this statement.

When Steve Zipay writes triple the blogs Mr Logan does most days and dresses up the Ranger page at Newsday with links and information (which he said he was able to do) while a team with Four Stanley Cups and this clubs incredible history is not even a footnote and who's team page looks terrible. I disagree he does any more than what's required of him by his job description.

Newsday's Ranger page is even linked to the Hartford Wolfpack coverage while the best writer in the AHL at the Ct Post in Michael Fornabaio's work is not featured on the Islander page.

I'm also highly skeptical Newsday's Islander blog cost Mr Logan or the sports editor anything more than time it takes to write it at a small price. I have seen a marginal improvement in this regard since the Canada road trip with a blog appearing around 5pm most days but it's nothing close to the blanket coverage Mr Zipay is providing from morning skates to in game and even some post-game blogs.

I'm also not a big fan of Mr Logan's statement this teams beat needed rebuilding considering Alan Hahn for most of his time had an infrequent mailbag that Mr Logan has not been provided and that the Islanders occupy a special place on Long Island as if the club does not occupy a special place in New York?

If the Giants occupy a special place in Newsday coverage and play in the New Jersey Meadowlands perhaps Mr Logan would care to acknowledge the large Islander contingent at the Meadowlands and the Garden for games mandates a priority?

Given Mr Botta was critical of Alan Hahn on the club's website in March of 2006 for some comments about Mike Milbury, it's fair to speculate Newsday's relationship with the club was not good for a short time but I have seen nothing different in terms of space provided since the previous writer moved onto the Knicks beat. Come playoff time on Mr Hahn's beat you saw blanket Islander coverage so I'm a little unsure what Mr Logan felt needed to be rebuilt between Newsday and the fans?

Mr Logan wrote:
But from Day 1 on this beat, I recognized how much passion was out there waiting to be tapped. I checked the fan Web sites to get a sense of what issues concerned Islanders fans not only in relation to the team but to the coverage of the team as well. If you go back and check the first two blogs I ever wrote on Islanders Beat, I let everyone know my experience with the Islanders dynasty of the past to assure them of my appreciation for the history of this franchise, and then, I promised in the second blog to do what I could to expand coverage of the Islanders. I followed through by taking a different approach with the blog to supplement coverage in the paper with what amounted to full-length articles on a variety of subjects on the blog. The feedback I've received from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive, and 90 percent of the criticism has been constructive. I consider my relationship with Islanders fans to be a vital part of the job. We're not always going to agree on the issues, but we're going to keep the conversation going and I believe the coverage has responded, in many cases, by attempting to answer the fans' most pressing questions..

It's absolutely true Mr Logan's blog updates are like full articles and far longer than Mr Zipay's shorter blogs where he provides several frequent updates. Having written that Islander fans still go days between updates and longer blogs should not mean less blogs. I have seen no increased expansion in print from Mr Hahn's or even John Valenti's tenure on the beat and I see nothing special from Mr Logan in terms of making up for what the city beats are not providing in his space which he seems to have no interest in doing which may be unfair of me to ask but should be suggested.

What I have also seen is no Johnette Howard, Joe Gergen, Shawn Powell coverage with only Mark Herrmann when he's not subbing for Mr Logan doing additional features for major events.

Also for Mr Logan to make light of the fact Giants coverage only eliminates the Islander notebook means it only eliminated about fifty percent of the coverage which is a very big deal and suggests he does not have a good grasp of how important more coverage is necessary for this team to draw attention which sells tickets and increases revenue which attracts free agents. Given Mr Logan at times has written about the club's viability in this market he should be the first to tell us coverage is critical and losing fifty percent for even a few days is a very big deal.

All I can add to this is what I have been writing all along. This team needs a passionate Islander fan in the beat at Newsday. Just like you see John Dellapina, Sam Weinman, Larry Brooks after their team plays games whether it be positive or critical because winning and losing does matter for them as fans.

Greg Logan has written two passionate things to me all season. First was his comments about Chris Simon being suspended, second was traveling to Edmonton from Colorado.

Not personal on my part but constructive criticism that does have to be written or I would not be doing my part as someone writing about this teams media coverage and looking to see it expanded.

As for Newsday's sports editor there is no excuse that can be made for the paper not being in Atlanta to cover Rick DiPietro at the all-star game. We will see a stock feature Sunday in Newsday.

We will not see Islander-centric coverage.

Rick DiPietro starts in All-Star Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/25/2008 02:11:00 PM | ||Comments

Rick DiPietro has been named as the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Atlanta.

Barring any major news regarding the Islanders over the All-Star weekend like Rick DiPietro winning the MVP I will be not be blogging much until Tuesday morning if at all.

Sunday's Newsday will have a feature on Rick DiPietro's first all-star game which the news feeders will have along with Saturday's Sound Tiger game.

Versus has the skills competition on Saturday night with the game Sunday at 6pm.

The feeders will have the Newsday articles and possible blogs/all-star game features and the Isles/Sound Tigers website have their updates linked to the blog so no one will miss updates or video. Has the format for the entire weekend with several features & Dan Rosen has an article on the changes to the skills competition.

Islanders website: Islanders VP of Media Relations Chris Botta announced he will be in Atlanta and in his Point Blank Blog here will include updates on Rico's weekend, with analysis, rumors, interviews.

Mr Botta's blog is also featured on the sidebar at New York Islander Fan Central.

Islander News Articles 1/25:

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 11:04:00 PM | |||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan reports on the loss with comments from Ted Nolan, Rick DiPietro & Bill Guerin, who credited Tim Thomas for not letting the Isles back in the game with some big saves.

Boston Globe & Boston Herald: Have Bruins centric coverage of the game with a few pictures of players running into Rick DiPietro on both sides.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article for Friday is on Joey MacDonald's improved play who credits his defense for clearing the front of the goal. Jack Capuano talks about how well his goaltender has played with the lack of goal support and goaltending coach Mike Dunham encouraging him to be more aggressive.

Bridgeport is off Friday and has a repeat performance against Philadelphia at home on Saturday before the all-star break.

Mr Prospects on the message board does his usual outstanding job for us and updates the game results of the Islander prospects:

January 22
WHL-Medicine Hat 6,Edmonton 1-Robin Figren,no points,-1.
USHL-Waterloo 3, Indiana 2-Blake Kessel,no points,even.

January 23
QMJHL-Victoriaville 5,Shawinigan 2-Simon Lacroix, no points, -3.

Updated 1pm Friday:
Newsday: Greg Logan's Friday Islander Insider is on Richard Park who has been playing on the first line and closing in on his final point total from last season already, who credits his linemates in Bill Guerin/Mike Comrie and the players on the penalty kill with him. Wade Dubielewicz talks about the plans to play him in Carolina and the conditioning stint in Bridgeport to prepare him for the game.

Greg Logan credits Brendan Witt for his play who felt he deserved all-star consideration and credits the recent production of Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger. Ted Nolan talks about the loss of Chris Campoli, who's shoulder surgey was considered successful with a four to six month recovery period. Sillinger talked about how the Isles looked to go after Carolina's powerplay while Trent Hunter talked about how the club likes to play one goal games and is second in the league with twenty seven.

Mike Sillinger also discussed how this team can build off last year with the players left and that their belief factor is better. Scott Burnside handing out his mid-season awards of course can never give the Isles much credit for anything calling them a bit of a freak of nature with a lineup dotted with castoffs and leftovers that simply that defy logic with a threadbare lineup that continues to hold down a playoff position but did nominate Ted Nolan for the Jack Adams for putting a surprisingly resilient,
hard-working crew out of these parts.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unfortunately with Scott Burnside there are no surprises which means as usual he's wrong about the Islanders and did not do his homework in the summer or learn from last season. This is no surprise at all to any of the writers who bothered spending any time with this team on a regular basis.

Boston 4, New York 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 10:31:00 PM | ||||Comments
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins with Ted Nolan's comments that the Isles did not bear down in any fact of the game tonight and lost as a team.

AP: Ted Nolan said guys were thinking about the break before the game started and that it's hard enough to win when you're not, never mind when you are. Marc Savard talked about how badly Boston wanted this game. Rick DiPietro talked about a bad third goal he allowed and how at times this looks like a good team while at others is looks like a bad team.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not much to write on this game now, maybe more tomorrow.

One team came out and played hungry like they wanted two points after losing big, the other played like giving up over forty five shots and winning meant it's was not a big game tonight. Boston was the better club top to bottom against a club the Isles outworked for years head to head. Isles did not show up until the second and by then Thomas made his saves to keep his team ahead while Boston extended the lead.

Islanders power play again did not do much.

Your going to have bad nights in an eighty two game season, that's acceptable. When your own coach feels his club was thinking more about a break then the game that's unacceptable.

Meyer made a bad read, Martinek and DiPietro almost got hurt.

Would have been nice if this team gave DiPietro gave him some goal support tonight, he got better as the game went on.

Blake Comeau looked like the player who was working hardest among the forwards.

Comeau for young stars? No

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2008 03:58:00 PM | ||Comments
Sports sources: Report Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy will miss the young stars game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure who statistically deserves to go in his place in the East but how about a vote for Blake Comeau?

Some may recall Mattias Weinhandl participated as an Islander.

David Clarkson of the Devils replaced Kennedy, he's been up all season.

Updated 5pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan's blog update in on Freddy Meyer. In addition there will the Islander insider Friday by noon to go with with game coverage. Sunday’s Newsday will feature Rick DiPietro in his first All-Star appearance that day in Atlanta.

1/24: New York at Boston FSN-2 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 10:10:00 PM | |Comments
Islanders website:Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch have the preview of Thursday night's game against the Boston Bruins.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa reports Glenn Murray and P.J. Axelsson will not play against the Islanders, but Phil Kessel who suffered a stinger during the game against Montreal will. Alex Auld started and played only the first period in Boston's 8-2 loss to Montreal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Boston is a lot like the Islanders in that they do not have several poor games in a row and no doubt they will come out fast against the Islanders and work hard after a bad loss against Montreal. My guess is Thomas starts. Of course Sturm, Kobasew will make things tough on the offensive end and Chara is on the defensive end.

From the Islanders side of things this is not like other years where they had the Bruins number and if they let up another forty plus shots it's likely not going to be good enough. Isles need a much better powerplay, less penalties and a strong five on five effort.

Good news is all three lines are giving them some scoring in the recent games.

This game is for seventh place, if the Isles win they open up an extra game's worth of ground and considering what's waiting after the all-star game and the home struggles they could use a sixth straight road win here.

We'll see.

Islander News Articles 1/24:

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on Mike Sillinger and how he thinks the club just has to win games and not worry about the standings or where the goals will come from as long as they stay within the teams system.

The Rochester Times: Mike Whaley has an excellent feature on Freddy Meyer and the rollar coaster he has been on this season. Reports Bridgeport defeated the Phantoms 4-1 at Harbor Yard Wednesday Night.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game recap has the stick swinging incident in the penalty boxes involving Stefan Ruzicka of the Phantoms got his stick into officials box. Jeremy Colliton talks about his goal and how all the Sound Tigers are contributing.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's post game blog reports on a good Sound Tigers win to bring them back to five hundred with heady play from Frans Nielsen. Bryan Trottier was behind the bench.

Michael Fornabaio: Has the Sound Tigers weekly which includes winger Sean Bentivoglio is out 1-3 weeks with an oblique strain he suffered Monday at Portland.

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 05:27:00 PM | ||||Comments
Quiet day on the Islanders TV Front, the club practiced at Boston University.

Radek Martinek and Mike Sillinger did not practice, Rick DiPietro did. Freddy Meyer talked about his contract extension and being a player who graduated Boston University where Rick DiPietro played as a freshman.

Chris King and Steve Mears reported Chris Campoli's surgery will be Thursday and was playing with a seperated shoulder which is why he left some recent games.

Ct Post: Blogged on Campoli's injury and the Sound Tigers out for tonight's game aganinst the Phantoms, with apparently their future at the old Spectrum in doubt.

Finally Happy Anniversary to Mike Bossy
Jan. 24 1981 -- Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scores his 50th goal in
the 50th game of the season in a 7-3 victory over the Quebec Nordiques.

Quick NYI Fan Central Q & A

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 12:33:00 PM | ||Comments
A Question in the e-mail box....

Q: Do you think the Isles will make a big trade?

A: I have avoided topics on this subject because it's too early to tell. I have not been big on posting the odd-trade rumor here because I did promise to only use established media sources and even the rare ones posted by credible media sources are like one of ten or twenty rumors in one article with no quotes from players or executitives aside from Doug Weight which the Blues denied.

Trade market has been mostly dead this year with the cap and just a chessmatch that I see will go on until the deadline because it's fair to ask is any Eastern Conference team out of realistic contention and will that change in the next thirty odd days?

I'm guessing at best two teams from the Eastern Conferece fall off the playoff map with the Kings and another Western Conference club.

In the end as the trade deadline approaches I am going to hold to my promise to be a hundred percent correct and last to report any deals but I will pick out the most credible media sources for possible Islander trade rumors. I'm not interested in breaking the news or scoops, I want to get it right.

From our club's perspective how they do on the ice will determine direction and a month is an eternity. Isles could be making a push at second or making a run at the number fifteen spot and you can write that about a half dozen clubs at least.

I do not see Garth Snow or the hockey committee giving up another number one pick or a top prospect. I can see them adding salary for teams wanting to unload a player but I just do not see a big deal like last year. We went from the gm talking about signing Comrie, Fedotenko to silence and we have read nothing on Trent Hunter, Vasieck or Miroslav Satan.

If the Isles fall out of realitic contention, I think all bet's are off and we could see a big house-cleaning with many potential UFA to go with Guerin, Sillinger and even Brendan Witt who both are signed for next season. That's how you rebuild quickly and kind of do what the Flyers did a year ago.

Earlier this year I read a few things on Peter Forsberg wanting one more big contract which a team like the Isles may be willing to pay to have a name star.

As always I expect the trade deadline will be interesting for the Isles.

Funny thing about depth

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 11:09:00 AM | |Comments
Back in early November I did a blog called Prospects at the Crossroads and pointed to the lack of production in the system and how many were not making much of a statistical impression at the time with the exception of Steve Regier at the time.

I also looked at how the Isles simply called up Trent Hunter slumping in 2003-04 and gave him his spot for good at a time he was not producing well for Bridgeporthere and he just dominated scoring his career high twenty five goals.

We are kind of seeing the same thing now with Blake Comeau to a lesser degree in a different role, where even Ted Nolan said his game is better suited to the NHL after not have statistical results in Bridgeport.

My question today is how many more players at the AHL level in Bridgeport does this apply to? I look at Jeremy Colliton who has been hurt but has not been producing as well as one would expect at this point or is he just learning to be a
well-rounded game more suited for the NHL?

Coaches want players who can play defense in the NHL when they are called up, not players who only play offense or who can not win the puck in the corners who play without a lot of composure. Colliton when he was drafted was a top level prospect, has anything really changed besides the face he's been injured?

I look at a player like Frans Nielsen who is an older prospect and wonder how the club will make room for him with Andy Hilbert, Bates signed for the long term and Ben Walter needing his opportunity sooner as opposed to later? I look at Richard Park with his long-term deal on left wing with Bergenheim and Comeau and ask if Fedntenko is re-signed how do they find any spot for Jeff Tambellini next year and that does not include left wing Chris Simon unless Ted Nolan plans on moving Comeau back to a right wing role?

Looking at the Sound Tigers it's hard to get a read on Jack Capuano's line combinations with so many callups, injuries and pto signings at the Bridgeport level where even Justin Bourne got a game on right wing. Ted Nolan seems to keep players in their designated positions but Blake Comeau broke in as a right wing, Steve Regier a right wing. At this time however a lot of those players are on the left side and the roster has six centers listed, even though Matt Keith was a right wing.

I'm not even close to done yet when you even mention a Jason Pitton and Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio and the wave of upcoming talent including the prospects from the WJC (Tomas Marcinko/Rhett Rakhshani) and maybe even Luciano Aquino entering the last year of his contract having a great statistical year at Fort Wayne.

To say nothing of a Jesse Joensuu, Shea Guthrie, Brian Day, Jason Gregoire, Maxim Gratchev, Kim Johansson, Doug Rogers and wildcards from past drafts like Igor Volkov
and Evgeni Tunik.

Funny thing is Petteri Nokelainen went from center to right wing and now back to center which was his draft position.

I look at the all the defenders signed for next year and ask how can Dustin Kohn win a spot?

Point Blank: Chris Botta had a blog on several subjects but also talks about the club's prospect depth.

Funny thing about depth is when you seem to give players a chance you find you go from not having enough to maybe having too many options.

That's a good thing.

More changes to All-Star Lineup

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 10:46:00 AM | ||Comments Announced the following changes to the All-Star rosters for Sunday's game.

Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Mike Ribeiro, Dallas Stars
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Segeri Zubov, Dallas Stars
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Scott Niedermayer played seventeen games and is handed a spot in the All-Star squad, and now the Devils do not have anyone going to the game? If Niedermayer was still in New Jersey this never would have happened.

Would not have been the worst idea to expand rosters by one more spot so all teams can be represented if something like this happens so a Zach Parise could be added and a team in first place has someone at the game.

One more tweak to Rick DiPietro and his status for the weekend will be doubt also. That all-star skills competition is a lot of work for the goaltenders.

Quick Poll

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2008 02:15:00 AM | Comments
Sorry, not big on poll's about the blog but needed some help and wanted your feedback.

I recently added Islander game highlight's from the Islanders website on the sidebar for those who may not have access because this is video we are allowed to share.

This is set up so you are not annoyed by it playing constantly every time you visit. You click on it if you want, it plays once and that's it.

Being that the club has such limited media coverage and the papers are not giving the Islanders much space for the comments of Ted Nolan or the players, would you like me to include the post-game press conference ITV also does on the sidebar so you can hear the large majority of the press conferences and the player interviews?

A lot of out of town papers and websites ask questions that you may be interested in that are not going to make it into Newsday and especially the city papers.

I'm not going to start posting game day skates or anything else, just the game highlights on the sidebar and the post-game questions and answers if enough folks think it's a good idea and makes the blog more enjoyable when you visit.

If folks want to answer the blog here or in e-mail as many do that's fine if they do not want to do a poll.

Either way, thank you in advance.

Islander News Articles 1/23:

Newsday: Greg Logan's recap has Ted Nolan's comments on how the club held together and on Blake Comeau's play, Wade Dubielewicz talks about the pressure on the Isles and how a game like this can help give them their confidence back and Brendan Witt talks about bis goal and how the club had to have this after a game with three shorthanded goals.

NY Times: Richard Sandomir reports Versus has agreed to carry the NHL through the 2010-2011 season. Has the Hurricanes coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a brief preview of Wednesday night's home game against Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phantoms 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

Herald Net: Nick Patterson reports a trade of Islander prospect Robin Figren was all but worked out with the Regina Pats however, the Edmonton Sun revealed that one of the conditions on Figren reporting to the expansion Oil Kings this season was the right to veto any trade, and he decided to veto the trade despite Regina being a contender with Oil Kings more likely to miss the playoffs.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The comments from the Oil Kings gm Bob Green at the time here gave me the impression they were loyal to Figren, if he did in fact veto a deal as per his contract that put's things in a different perspective but in the end it comes down to what is best for Robin Figren's development and he's happy in Edmonton.

New York 6, Carolina 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 07:46:00 PM | |Comments

Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 6-3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Strange game but one the Islanders found a way to win. Too many shots against and too much third period pressure.

Three shorthanded goals !

Dubie was fantastic and won the game for them. NHL career high fourty four saves which is what he has done in the AHL on several occasions. Witt does what leaders do and that's give them something when they needed it which tonight was his second goal of the season with Comeau making a good play.

Islanders did not start the game well and Carolina did, who had the extra step from the drop of the puck combined with the Isles not getting the puck out and Dubie was very good on a few good chances in front of him, the crossbad helped on one.

Sutton and Hunter had outside shots but Ward only had one great chance against which was Sillinger's shorthanded setup which produced the Isles goal as Carolina had five forwards on the ice so when four went to Hunter behind the goal, Sillinger was all alone. Comrie and Sillinger fanned on good chances. Sutton's penalty were Staal got involved with him seemed like a terrible because not taking both players.

Carolina then got it back on a very good deflection, but overall Carolina outskated the Isles.

Pk for Satan's delay of game was outstanding with Park looking like he could have skated back to the Isles end of the ice. Islanderd first powerplay, second very good with Satan just missing open net. PP at the end of the second did not go well at all.

Comeau breakaway where he stayed on his backhand are those instincts Ted Nolan talked about, he forced Ward to make a save.

Richard Park second Islander shorthanded goal off Martinek beating Cole and going glass outstanding play. Canes go to sleep on Sillinger second shorthanded goal on the same powerplay.

I remember Anders Kallur and Bryan Trottier having two shorthanded goals on the same Minnesota North Stars powerplay in opening game of the 1981 finals and Tom Fitzgerald in the series against Pittsburgh on two seperate shorthanded situtations.

Bergenheim a beautiful effort off a great play from Satan and Gervais for the 4-1 goal. He took the trip to stay with the puck, great instinct play like Comeau when he had his chance.

Dubie's second period save on Brindamour was outstanding, Isles almost had a fourth shorthanded goal.

Canes second goal was off a Witt deflection so I guess he owed his goalie one.

Islanders needed this tonight and found an unconventional way but the shorthanded goals and Dubie were the difference. Most goals since the opening weekend.

Isles gain on Philadelphia with the Devils winning in regulation and the Rangers trapping their way to a win against Atlanta.

Campoli out for season, Meyer resigned

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 05:24:00 PM | ||||Comments
Islanders website: Report Chris Campoli is out for the season with shoulder surgery and Freddy Meyer has signed a two year extension with the club through 2009-2010. Ted Nolan comments on Campoli, Garth Snow on Meyer.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Devastating loss for the club to lose Campoli for the season given how well he has played this year and the progress he was making.

Now I know why Freddy Meyer's comments on the other day were about bringing back the same core as if he was automatically going to return or the club would want him back.

Mixed reactions on this signing with Sutton, Campoli, Witt, Martinek and likely Gervais signed to Campoli's extension sooner or later and a younger player like Johnson to say nothing of Mark Katic and Dustin Kohn.

Meyer was put on waivers by the Isles, not claimed and now the Isles are locked in for another two years after this?

Sometimes you have to save a spot for a top level defender in free agency or a player who is better. Meyer's had a good few weeks but was that worth a two year commitment?

Islanders want to impress me here they should resign Bergenheim and take away a potential Gandler problem if he's still his agent and see if something can be done with Hunter, Comrie and the other UFA. If you have a core locked up on July 1st that's what impresses UFA.

Newsday: Greg Logan updated Newsday's blog on both moves with Garth Snow's comments and speculates this means Marc-Andre Bergeron will not be traded. A few words on why Dubielewicz is starting today are also included.

Quick NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 02:44:00 PM | ||||Comments Reports John Ferguson was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs as general manager and is not interested in a position with the club. Former gm Cliff Fletcher will be the interim gm and makes clear he does not want the position full time. Former Islander Jason Blake comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is one of the NHL's worst kept secrets that has been coming for months, the bigger surprise would have been if he was not fired.

Leafs are in contention for a playoff spot as every team is but the treatment of Mr Ferguson from here seemed to have been inappropriate. The media distorts things in a hockey centric market like that because they are all in competition with one another and even though his trades and signings justify a dismissal the apparent treatment of him did not seem fair at all by the media. I have no idea how much input he was allowed in the decision making process.

Many may recall Cliff Fletcher made some of his worst trades with Mike Milbury which led to the Islanders acquiring Kenny Jonsson and a fourth round pick which became Eric Brewer or Roberto Luongo and Mr Fletcher's eventual firing. My guess is decisons will not be made entirely by him at the trade deadline to hamper his successor.

If the blame goes on anyone to me it's MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie and the pressure to win now.

From an Islander standpoint you want the distractions to take it's toll on the ice because that leads to a club not focused that has enough problems being consistent from game to game.

Penguins website: Report Sidney Crosby will be out six to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. Evgeni Malkin will replace him at the All-Star game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I may be in the minority here but this is a good team that's far more than about one franchise talent. They scored five against Washington in a shootout loss and before that Ty Conklin had a shutout. His play since Marc Andre Fleury/Sabourin injuries has been outstanding and carried the club. They also lost Gary Roberts which is no small sidebar.

The young players on the club are a year older and more experienced. Even with Crosby healthy they were not going to continue that long winning streak but to me this club is just good and only getting better.

And they will get Crosby back.

1/22: New York at Carolina 7pm FSN-2

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/22/2008 01:49:00 PM | |Comments
Islanders website: Adam Baruch, Chris Botta and Jason Lockhart compile the preview against the Carolina Hurricanes where the question is asked does Wade Dubielewicz start tonight?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Outside of the Daily News comment by DiPietro that he tweaked something which looked like his leg or knee in the second period there has been no blog from Bridgeport or Newsday about a possible call up. This is a game I think was just setup for the Isles to give DiPietro a rest and Dubie getting two games in Bridgeport to play a team he beat in Carolina which is a pattern we used to see with Garth Snow always starting in Philadelphia.

Or DiPietro starts as usual. No word on Campoli or possible changes on defense.

Greg Logan usually blogs around 5pm if he traveled to Carolina.

Islanders have more pressing problems which begin with how the Hurricanes played in the third period where they got several quality chances and outworked the Isles and I'm not talking about the goals but the energy they got from them which could carry over into the start of the game tonight.

An interesting sidebar reported yesterday was John Grahame who was put on waivers and sent to the minors after being pulled against the Isles was recalled to Carolina yesterday. Even though the Canes had the weekend off this could be a game Peter Laviolette slated him to start but the Canes are off Wednesday.

My guess is Cam Ward keeps playing with his club on a winning streak.

Will the same officiating crew that called no penalties yesterday be making the trip or will the same two teams play a penalty filled game beginning in the first period tonight?

Updated 3:30pm
Chris King and Steve Mears report on ITV Wade Dubielewicz starts tonight and this has been the plan all along. DiPietro was on the ice at practice and will be the backup and start in Boston on Thursday.

Islander News Articles 1/22:

Newsday: Greg Logan's theme to his article is will the two points cost the team down the road with comments from Ted Nolan and Bill Guerin?

Newsday: Mr Logan's other article in on Blake Comeau having a plus two game and his adjustment to the NHL with his comments Ted Nolan, who feels his young forwards hockey sense is why his game is best suited to the NHL level while praising Brendan Witt & Radek Martnek's play in their return to the lineup.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It should be noted in the Islanders only full time paper, our beatwriter returns and tells us about how the lost points recently could be a problem and how the Rangers are only two points behind the Isles (as several teams are only a few points behind the Isles) and does not do a single blog while the Ranger beatwriter is making his case for the his team becoming like the Giants with the glass half-filled to go with the weekly feature and several blog updates.

Not like I want to be critical of Greg Logan or look to be but this is how I see things and when he writes in Nolan's view the Isles played well enough to win it's not as if he agrees. I never see any optimism from Mr Logan about this team for the long-term or talk of making a run at a Stanley Cup or how important it is for New York and the Islanders market.

NY Post-Dan Martin's editor allowed him to preview the Islander game but was assigned the Giants coverage Monday, meanwhile the two hockey teams who did not play Monday got articles today while the team that played in front of a sold out crowd was left with AP coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not like I want to complain but as someone putting the Islanders media and their perspective of our team under the spotlight, they leave me no choice. Dan Martin goes where he is told by his editor so it's not a criticism of him but this subjective and unfair coverage cannot be ignored and begs the question why not let Everson who works the Devils beat in New Jersey go cover the Giants so Mr Martin can provide game coverage, especially after he wrote a preview?

It's either a very badly run sport department or it's intentional.

Daily News: Peter Botte got a little more space today while Ted Nolan talked about his club not getting the breaks and the officiating while Rick DiPietro admitted he tweaked something in the second period and talked about the club not being able to finish games after getting the lead.

Edmonton Journal:Doug Mittler had an update on Project Hope with comments from Charles Wang and Ted Nolan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Had to go all the way to the Edmonton Journal for an article on this. Newsday did nothing on Mr Powell's visit to the Coliseum or anything beyond the one article a few days ago on the project.

Miami Herald: Pete Pelegrin reports former Islander Olli Jokinen asked for a trade from the Islanders back in 1999-2000 and made clear he wants to be a Florida Panther. Rachel Carter has the Carolina game coverage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio felt it was one of the Sound Tigers best efforts of the season with Jeff Tambellini, Jack Capuano and Joey MacDonald's comments on Bridgeport playing a solid game where they kept Portland to the sides and limited the shots. Sean Bentivoglio left the game with an apparent abdominal strain.

Portland Press Herald: Covers the Portland Pirates.

Carolina 3, New York 2 ot

Islanders website: Has the recap of Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes with Ted Nolan's comments his club did not get the breaks but played well enough to win.

ITV: Has video from Ted Nolan, Bill Guerin, Rick DiPietro and Brendan Witt's comments to the media aferward.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Very tough loss today and another game the Isles could not hold the lead, this time ahead 2-0 entering the third period. At least they added a point and avoided what would have been a disaster if they lost in regulation which almost happens if DiPietro does not rob Cory Larose right after they tied the game.

Bergeron and Gervais did not look too good today overall, some bad breaks but just not a lot of chemistry.

Not a ton of physical play on either side and a very choppy first period, too bad Park could not finish the play he knocked into Ward or Comrie could not hit the open net when the Canes goalie mishandled the puck. 3-0 I think would have finished the Canes or changed how they played which would have led to some odd-man rushes for the Isles.

Name of this game is adding points consistently, long unbeaten stretches in regulation like last year where they lost three regulation games in twenty is what they have to do but this was a game you expect two points.

It seemed like the kind of game the Islanders wanted to play where they kept the chances down and the pressure off. Two long shots on screens got by DiPietro and back to back penalties finished them in overtime with the Canes forward getting position on Martinek for a rebound. Not a bad team defensive effort considering how Carolina can score a lot of goals and was coming off a big effort.

Fedotenko's cross-check not called against Carolina and Sutton's is? Officials were not consistent there even though there has not been much to complaining about the officials for most of the season. Maybe the shot hitting Fedotenko had something to do with the non-call, but Martinek's call on Staal seemed weak in a game where not many penalties were called.

Of course going into the third nothing was called which begs the question. When the Isles finally got a chance to make it 3-0 against the league's worst pk, the Isles pp went nowhere.

Ward did not have to be very good in the third period. Comeau put on some nice displays carrying and holding the puck on one third period shift.

This time the boards gave the Islanders a goal with Andy Hilbert getting the bounce, after that Blake Comeau made a nice pass to Satan who put the Isles up 2-0, who was in Bergenheim's spot.

Satan's line had the only good chances in the third and skated well.

Classy show put on by the Isles again today with Colin Powell and another sellout on a very cold day.

Again, just not enough to win when they played well enough to get two points.

Both clubs meet again tomorrow.

Sound Tigers website: Has the recap of Bridgeport's 2-1 in Portland against the Pirates today where Jeff Tambellini scored his 25th goal and Steve Regier in his return had the game winner with Joey MacDonald leading the way with twenty six saves. Frans Nielsen had two assists.

Justin Bourne will meet his teammate from the Utah Grizzlies, Keith Johnson for the ECHL All-Star game in Stockton, CA.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio will have a blog up on the game later.

Ranger media site claims Isles-Milbury agenda?

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/21/2008 12:48:00 PM | |||||Comments
That did not take long at all, one game.

Looks like Mike Milbury did not get the sell the last place Rangers memo from NBC's Dick Ebersol or James Dolan before the game yesterday and a spin doctor Ranger fan site called the Hockey Rodent with Fox affiliation is very upset Mr Milbury was critical of a last place team struggling and Jaromir Jagr which claims an Islander agenda from the former gm.

This site is calling for a Milbury-free telecast against Montreal and a boycott of NBC products here as long as Mr Milbury is involved with the telecast.

New York Islander Fan Central is calling for the best game on television and cutting the Rangers out entirely until they earn the right to be televised based on standings like all teams should be.

Why is this Islander-related you may ask?

The person doing this article claims Mike Milbury is still under contract to the club and claims an Islander agenda yesterday which makes no sense because the former gm picked the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup earlier this year and terms of Mr Milbury's final Islander contract signed back in 2002 terms were not disclosed according to Dave Caldwell in this 2002 NY Times article, among several sources
here to say nothing of Mr Milbury's reported resignation and interview with Boston for their head coaching position.

If that's not enough the former gm was critical of the Islanders on video last week which was posted on this blog, someone under contract to a team does not rip his former team on television, do they?

I bring up this particular site because it says they have an affiliation with Fox Sports with the author calling for a Milbury dismissal/boycott of NBC products and sponsors but the site tells they they cannot act themselves because of a conflct of interest.

Yes, they do but not the one they bothered to tell you about.

That's the same Fox sports that televises Islander Hockey fully controlled by Cablevision today as part of part of a February 2005 restructuring according to here with Rupert Murdoch taking his own stations which did not include FSN-NY.

Regardless that site got it's message out and created their perception which is why NYI FAN Central will get involved and tell the true story as I see it.

* It claims the Rangers would deliver the single biggest hockey market in the Lower 48. If you don't believe this, then consider that their very next game will be Rangers-Habs - again a conflict between two franchises very not in cup contention.

I don't know what the single biggest hockey market is but what I do know is the Buffalo market outdrew the New York market by a two to one margin in terms of viewers during last year's playoffs as Alan Pergament made clear in the Buffalo News last spring which is no longer available in it's on-line editon. Feel free to check for the link in their archives
here for confirmation and reference.

The Rangers have the potential to be watched in 12 times as many households as the Sabres do because they play in the nation’s biggest market........

But in Round Two, the New York potential hasn’t translated into more viewers. The Versus coverage of Game One had a 25.3 rating here and a 1.1 rating in New York City. A rating point in Buffalo equals about 6,400 homes. A point in New York equals about 74,000 homes. According to Versus, the game was watched by practically twice as many households in Buffalo than in the Big Apple — 162,000 homes to 83,000 homes.

Several markets also outdraw the Manhattan market overall with the Penguins even outdrawing the Garden's prime sports property in the Knicks and the Nets as Bob Smizik told us in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette last April here while Bob Raissman told us in the Daily News last April a Nets regular season game outdrew a Ranger playoff game in terms of New York ratings numbers and claimed the Garden's personalities are creating delusional chatter about the club's true perception in the market here.

So already the Rangers are not even in that equasion given they drew a ratings avgerage lower than forty thousand homes last year which Richard Sandomir in the New York Times will tell you about here and their playoff ratings last year were terrible in New York to where the media noted several articles like this where NASCAR beat them here.

Bottom line Rangers will be on NBC because Mr Ebersol wants it that way and has a long relationship with the Garden to where the last place Knicks today for the same reason if Mr Wang owned NBC the Islanders would be on television the maximum number of times regardless of the club's record which is not in the best interest of the league or it's fans.

This also begs the question how are the Canadians or any club in playoff position not in cup contention at time?

This site also claims Mike Emrick clearly ratched back his typical wrestling federation delivery three notches so as not to alienate MSG cognoscenti and that Mr Milbury comments were pile-ons and gratuitous but failed to note Mr Emrick is also under contract to Cablevision to call New Jersey Devils hockey and could have a potential problem if he did what Mike Milbury did which also included criticism of the Bruins.

This begs the question if your telling the story why not tell the entire story if you want disclaimer's of Mike Milbury's Islander affiliation run during games beforehand?

Ok, enough of a Ranger fan site with ties to the media but just another example of how fans in the media business create perception for us which is up to you to accept or question.

My advice is to avoid the Hockey Rodent until that site cleans up it's act and does a more credible job but if sites like Fox carry that perception I feel I have given you reason to now ask your own questions if you read this at Fox.

My find word on this subject points to an outstanding article last summer by Jason Chung where he makes clear how Espn influences public attitudes in terms of the NHL in the

I feel the same thing happens a lot in our hockey market.

Feel free to comment and respond here or on the message board.

1/21: New York vs Carolina 2pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/21/2008 12:25:00 AM | |Comments
Islanders website/AP: Has the preview of today's 2pm game at home against Carolina.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For those scoring at home Philadelphia won big against Ottawa Sunday, New Jersey defeated Toronto, Pittsburgh without Crosby had a shutout and the Rangers got a point against Boston in two weekend games since the Islanders last gained a point.

Islanders are now six points behind three teams in this division who are all at least ten games over five hundred. If were hoping four seeds go to the playoffs from this division that may be ok, but given the Isles are going to have play those teams head to head to stay in playoff position down the stretch the Isles must gain points on a consistent basis against clubs out of division like the Canes.

Carolina was 2-7-1 before beating Edmonton 7-2 on Friday, they have has scored a power-play goal in three straight games and is among the league's highest-scoring teams with 3.02 goals per game. Cam Ward has been struggling as has the Canes defense.

Needless to say the Islanders are going to have to hope Witt and Martinek do not have a lot of rust on their game and can hold off a steaky Carolina team that scored eight goals against a rusty Islander team last time they were at the Coliseum but are very inconsistent as we saw on New Years Eve. The recent trends at home spread over a few weeks have not been good and it's clear the coach does not want them to get into any shootouts and play for a high scoring win.

My guess is Berard and Johnson are the healthy scratches on defense unless Ted Nolan sits a forward.

That spin the Isles had points in eleven of fourteen games after the Devils game now reads in the AP as having dropped six of nine for those curious.

Hopefully Satan's play to Vasicek get's that line going because they need more balanced scoring and clearly a better defensive effort with the shots and chances they are allowing. Vasicek took a few shots after his goal like the goal gave him some confidence.

No hiding from a bad game here folks, not in the conference standings and not from the Canes as both clubs meet Tuesday night in Carolina.

Islander News Articles 1/21:

Newsday: Katie Strang reports Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek will play Monday with Witt's comments about wanting to play against the opposition's top lines and his ten days off while Ted Nolan talks about their contribution and what the Isles need to do Monday against Carolina. Chris Campoli did not practice and will meet with the team doctors to re-evaluate his injured shoulder. the Carolina Hurricanes who are coming off a 7-4 win against Edmonton Friday and a weekend off.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio grades the Sound Tigers by position at the half way point in the schedule and highlights several games as the best and worst and reports on the return of Steve Regier with his comments here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on the Sound Tigers who have struggled in the three game in four night's format as they will meet the Pirates in Portland at 1:05pm Monday afternoon.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Portland Pirates
WHEN — Today, 1:05 p.m.
WHERE — Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
ON THE AIR — No radio; Webcast and B2 Networks Internet pay-per-view at Lindsay Kramer has an outstanding feature on Kyle Okposo where he talks about his transition to pro hockey with three games in three days, his departure from Minnesota and the fanfare he did not want to happen with what he has to do to improve. Jack Capuano and Don Lucia's comments about his transition and their impressions of his game. Chuck Gormley in his Atlantic Division notes has Bill Guerin's comments where he praised Ted Nolan for what he's trying to build here and credits his team for their efforts this season and how Nolan is a calming influence and keeps the club together and the opportunity here for players like Mike Comrie. Flyers goaltender also credits the Islanders for their hard work and his former coach in Buffalo while defenseman Freddy Meyer credits the goaltender and the leadership and how he would like to have all these players back next year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Gormley was in town with the Flyers but does a good job here letting Guerin, Biron and Meyer talk about the coach and what the Isles are trying to do. Very good article where Mr Kramer also just let's Kyle Okposo tell his story which brought out some things I did not read previously and a good job by Don Lucia adding his comments and putting his departure aside.