Latest on Jiggs McDonald

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/30/2008 08:01:00 PM | Comments
Orillia Packet: Sara Ross has the latest from Mr McDonald's daughters on the situation of her parents unable to leave Thailand.
Orillia couple stuck in Thailand hopes to be out by Friday
By Sara Ross

Ken “Jiggs” and Marilyn McDonald are packed and ready to move out of their hotel room in Bangkok at a moments notice. The Orillia couple has been grounded in Thailand for almost a week after a throng of yellow-shirted anti-government protesters took the airport by storm, shutting down all flights Tuesday afternoon.

Expo Cruises and Tours, the company leading the couple’s 30-day land and sea tour of Asia plan to have the Canadian tourists out by Friday, said the McDonald’s daughter, Susan DeSimone.

“There’s a possibility they will be getting out on Friday, but (my parents) don’t really know if it’s going to happen or not,” she said, adding that other alternative plans have failed.

Her mom, 68, and dad, 70, a former NHL announcer and Hockey Hall of Fame member, are traveling with a group of almost 80 Canadians, most of whom are from Ontario, with a few from the West Coast.

The protesters are blocking two international airports in a bid to force the government to resign. They accuse the administration of being a puppet of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

On Saturday a pro-government (red shirts) group marched through Bangkok to protest the yellow shirts. DeSimone who lives in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn., is concerned that conflicts could break out between the two groups, leaving her parents stranded for an undetermined length of time.

“If something between them turned into a clash it would happen where (my parents) are, which would make it that much harder to get out,” she said

DeSimone said she doesn’t expect the Canadian government to intervene with the protestors, however she does hope they would help the Canadians, trapped in the heart of the problem.

“The whole thing has been somewhat passive between the Thailand government and Canadian governments response to what’s happening,” she said. “Everything is just like, well let’s wait and see how it turns out and meanwhile there are these people that are stranded.”

DeSimone said the Canadian Embassy’s promises to help tourists find doctors and get prescriptions have not yet transpired.

“(The Canadian government is) worried the longer this goes on it has an effect on the Canadian economy because there are Canadian owned businesses trying to make money in Thailand,” she said, mentioning that her father has spoke of this in several interviews. “There concern is trying to get it over with so that commerce can continue not so that tourists can get out.”

Kelly McDonald, another daughter of the couple, talked to Marilyn last night and sent the information she received from the call to her sister through an email.

“(Marilyn) says she's staying inside and plans not to leave the (hotel) until it's time to move out,” Kelly said in an email. “Apparently a lady in the group called the Foreign Affairs Ministry directly and they told her to consider it an extra week of vacation. I wonder if they take their vacations in politically unstable countries!!”

*With files from Teviah Moro

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Islander News Articles 11/30

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had a quick update on Jiggs McDonald with an e-mail response from his daughter Saturday.

Orillia Today: Mike Dodd has comments from Jiggs McDonald to his local paper from Saturday.

Newsday: Greg Logan has the postgame where he credits the line of Sim-Park-Tambellini for their hard work among several subjects including Freddy Meyer comments on his goals and the club's third period defensive play.

Newsday: Mr Logan had more on Josh Bailey staying with his comments about his confidence increasing the more he plays and felt he was given an opportunity here he made not have had in other places as he stayed while injured.

Newsday: Mark Herrman never one to make Islander fans feel good about anything used his space on Josh Bailey staying to tell the fans he is not going to be a big time thirty-forty goal scorer (nor is Kyle Okposo) while doing the history lesson of all the scorers the club did not draft or traded over the years, Scott Gordon comments.

NY Post: Dan Martin's recap is on the Islanders holding on with a lead with Scott Gordon and Freddy Meyer's comments. The statement on Josh Bailey with GM Garth Snow's comments is reposted.

Daily News: Peter Botte had Scott Gordon and Freddy Meyer's comments.

Ottawa Citizen: Ken Warren in his game recap reports Radek Martink left the game in the second period with an apparent shoulder injury which could have been mistaken with Mark Streit going off for a few minutes. Martinek
saw a regular shift in the third here.

Ottawa Sun also has game coverage here.

Espn: Pierre LeBrun reports in his blog general manager Garth Snow informed Josh Bailey he was staying on the plane ride home Friday night.

Mr Lebrun also reports the Heals and Flats show (for older Islander fans) is officially reunited as the NHLPA has hired former Islander Pat Flatley, who will be the assistant director of player affairs and serve as Glenn Healy's right-hand man looking after player and on-ice issues.

Times Union: James M. Odato reports SUNY Stony Brook is using hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funds to pay the New York Islanders and other entities to advertise the school.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's game coverage had Peter Mannino who talked about his experience in the NHL, head coach Jack Capuano who praised his play in Saturday's loss and Mike Sillinger.

Ct Post: Has Michael Fornabaio's blog update on Bridgeport's 4-1 loss in Worcester on Saturday.

Blake Comeau scored Bridgeport's goal, Peter Mannino allowed three goals on thirty nine shots.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Bill Ballou has the Sharks coverage.

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New York 4, Ottawa 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2008 10:01:00 PM | Comments

Associated Press & Sportsnetwork & Has the recap of New York's 4-2 win against the Senators Saturday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Considering all the hockey this team has played over eight days and the very tough third periods the last games, I'll take the win and not put a lot of stock into how they got there because it was hardly a classic.

That loud screaming you may hear could be coming from Craig Hartsburg as the Senators bus drives by your home tonight. For a team that came in playing better on a run with some rest they were very undisciplined.

Cannot remember a recent Islander game where the third period script did not give the other club a bunch of powerplays to even things up after the Isles got a bunch of them.

Nice deflection by Hilbert on the first goal, good break on Meyer driving the net for a redirection that led to his second period goal while his third period goal was an excellent shot that simply beat Auld top shelf.

A few other second period close in chances (Sim) and a few good shots from Bailey but overall the Islanders offense was choppy at best. Powerplay again was brutal and gave up more than they got with the man advantage. I think everyone got a look with Richard Park becoming a powerplay regular.

Senators hit a few posts and had the Islanders running around too much. Second Ottawa goal Islanders had three chances to clear before they made that great play.

MacDonald again had to be good in this one with a few big kick saves. Meyer and Witt do not look settled on the backline in this system, Sutton had some hits but does not seem as locked in as he was a week ago. Ottawa got some big hits in too for their forwards.

Martinek made a nice play skating the puck out to draw a powerplay.

Too much scrambling by the Islanders tonight but they did gut out a win at a time they should be tired and fragile.

Three out of three against Ottawa?
I'll take the two points they badly needed.

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Latest on Jiggs McDonald Saturday

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2008 06:01:00 PM | Comments
Under these circumstances I have decided to post full articles to help make folks aware of how serious this is.

Unless the situation is resolved very quickly NYI Fan Central will be posting updates only about this with hockey on hold. Has more from Jiggs McDonald Saturday as the circumstances in Thailand escalate.

Explosion rocks Thai PM's compound: official
Updated: Sat Nov. 29 2008 4:29:05 PM News Staff

An explosion inside the Thai prime minister's compound in Bangkok has wounded 33 people, a local emergency official said early Sunday local time.

About five of the injured have been taken to hospital, a spokesperson with the Narentorn Medical Centre told The Associated Press, though police have yet to respond to the scene.

The Associated Press photographer reported that an explosive device was thrown at the compound from outside. Local media have said the device was a grenade.

Anti-government protesters have held the compound since August.

"Protesters have returned to their positions, they are not scared," Suriyasai Katasila, a spokesperson for the People's Alliance for Democracy protest movement, told local Channel Three television.

Late Saturday, protesters occupying Bangkok's main airport chased riot police from a checkpoint, as tensions continued to escalate on the fifth day of a standoff that has disrupted Thailand's lucrative tourist industry.

About 150 officers sped away in their vehicles when attacked by a throng of protesters, many armed with metal rods, and some with guns.

Footage of the incident appears to show one protester firing a gun at a full police van, but it was not clear if anyone was injured.

The attack broke a cordon that police had erected earlier Saturday around the protesters.

It appeared that as many as 400 protesters marched the two kilometres to the checkpoint, hitting police vehicles, smashing windshields and seemingly throwing firecrackers.

The protesters then occupied the checkpoint, which police had been using to search vehicles headed into the airport.

About 2,000 officers have been deployed to Suvarnabhumi international airport since Tuesday, when protesters camped out, forcing the cancellation of all flights.

It is estimated that about 100,000 tourists are stranded in Thailand. Police have yet to amount a full-scale operation to re-capture the airport.

In addition to the prime minister's compound, the protesters have also occupied Bangkok's domestic airport in an effort to compel the current government to resign.

Thai security officials have warned protesters to vacate the airports. However, the protesters have vowed to remain steadfast until Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns.

The protesters accuse Somchai of being a puppet of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and fled the country rather than face corruption charges.

Somchai, who is Thaksin's brother in law, has been running his government out of the northern city of Chiang May since being blocked out of his Bangkok office.

A police spokesperson said Saturday that two more warnings would be issued to give the protesters time to leave the airports.

"The police will issue another warning to protesters to leave the two airports. The language in the warning will be stronger than the first one," said a police spokesman, Maj. Gen. Amnuay Nimmano.

He said if the protesters do not leave, a deadline will be issued "in the third warning -- the last one before we take action."

Suvarnabhumi airport is expected to remain closed until at least Monday evening.

Supporters of Somchai's regime, who are frustrated by the ongoing demonstrations, are calling for a sit-in in central Bangkok Sunday.

"We are calling for our supporters nationwide to come out (for the rally). They have been told to bring their clothes and food because we will be here long," said Somchai supporter Viphutalaeng Pattanaphumethai, who has clashed with the protesters in the past.

Rescue efforts underway

Some airlines are operating flights to evacuate stranded passengers to the U-Tapao naval airport, which is about 140 kilometres south of Bangogk. However, the small facility can only process so many travellers.

According to China's official Xinhua News Agency, about 3,000 Chinese tourists were to be evacuated on special flights Saturday. As well, the Hong Kong government was to arrange two Cathay Pacific flights to assist stranded travellers, Xinhua reported.

Since the standoff began, companies from around the world have cancelled tours. As well, about 88 aircraft, many belonging to foreign airlines, are stuck at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Legendary NHL broadcaster John Kenneth "Jiggs" McDonald and his wife Marilyn were supposed to leave Thailand early Wednesday after a 30-day trip, but are instead stranded at a Bangkok hotel.

In an interview Saturday on CTV Newsnet, McDonald said tension levels are high among his tour group, as some have run out of essential medications or are worried about jobs they must return to next week.

McDonald said a representative from the Canadian embassy has promised to help stranded Canadians leave the country, but warned that the embassy is being inundated with calls.

"He could make no commitment to finding a way out of Bangkok or out of Thailand for the group," McDonald said. "And all we're asking is assistance in getting to a gateway city where we can make arrangements to get back to Toronto or to Vancouver or wherever."

McDonald said his group is largely concerned that tensions will spread from the airport and into the city proper, which will make leaving Thailand early impossible.

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Ottawa at New York 7pm Msg+2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2008 09:57:00 AM | |||Comments
Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan reports on the Ottawa Senators who come back to New York on a two game winning streak and playing some good defense. Head coach Craig Hartsburg praised the Islanders as one of the surprise teams in the league.

According to Mr Brennan Alexandre Picard is out, Brian Lee & Zach Smith were recalled with the later making his NHL debut if Shean Donovan cannot go. Hartsburg reportedly will keep the Heatley-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson line together tonight.

Luke Richardson decided to retire yesterday when Ottawa placed him on waivers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islanders come in a very fragile club that have to be a little tired and banged up while Ottawa was waiting in New York and no doubt remember the two losses to them.

You can bet like Pittsburgh & Boston teams are watching films of the Islanders leaving the middle of the ice open.

Only question (at this time) is whether Okposo gets back in the lineup now or he gets another five days by resting tonight. MacDonald will be back in goal according to the head coach yesterday and will have to put yesterday behind him.

Okposo plays and I expect another right wing in Jackman is the odd-man out but it could just as easily be Colliton unless the coach is running out of patience with Tambellini.

Gordon has space here to rest a defender if he wants.

Overall this is almost a must game for the Islanders, standings do not lie and all these regulation losses are simply too much to remain in any feasible contention for long unless they have a long winning streak in them again.

Regulation losses in this league are killers, this is why you have to get games into overtime.

This was expected to be a very tough stretch and it has been. 2-3 is hardly terrible
but it needed to be better considering the record coming in and one of those wins came off a gift goal.

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog
in reporting Bailey's signing also had Kyle Okposo skating with the injured players meaning he will not return tonight.

A second blog by Mr Logan again mostly about Josh Bailey includes Yann Danis was recalled today with Peter Mannino heading back to the Sound Tigers.

Mr Botta at Point Blank here reports Thomas Pock has been placed on waivers.

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Josh Bailey Stays With Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/29/2008 09:32:00 AM | |||Comments
Note-Islanders have issued a brief release with comments from General Manager Garth Snow and Josh Bailey here.

Windsor Star: Jim Parker reported Josh Bailey has informed the Windsor Spitfires he would not be returning to the club at this time, general manager Warren Rychel & head coach Bob Boughner comment.

Mr Parker reports the Islanders could still opt to send Bailey back to junior before OHL rosters are frozen Jan. 9 but at this point if he plays tonight the first year of his contract counts.

My Point Blank: Mr Botta noted the article last night and the Saturday announcement.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hopefully the folks in Windsor are not critical here and let Bailey enjoy this.

I'm not sure if this is the right move in 08-09 for Bailey but it's obvious he has the ability to play at this level now and with Nielsen out there is a spot for a young center. That pass to Hilbert in the second against Boston was just another example he can make plays at this speed.

Just before Hunter scored against Pittsburgh he was already ahead of him.

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Islander News Articles 11/29

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa has a feature on Islanders head coach Scott Gordon with Doug Weight comments who likes playing for him:

He believes in accountability, which I think is what makes a team run. He's put a lot of responsibility on the veterans on this team to buy into that and buy into his system. He's been honest. He's been forthright. He's been very good to us.

Scott Gordon according to the writer wanted to get his Providence assistant Rob Murray to come here.

Patroit-Ledger: Bob Stern has a feature on Scott Gordon with the following from team captain Bill Guerin:

“He’s very passionate and he’s very detail oriented, but that’s what you need now,” said Guerin. “You need that in the game these days. The better coaches are the better-prepared coaches, and he’s definitely prepared for every practice, every game. He demands a lot out of us, and that’s what you want. You want a guy to push you.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Two Newspapers that actually see the big picture with the Islanders, noted the injures and the recent record. We almost never see this kind of reporting in the local papers, just a lot more on the blown leads.

This was the best team I saw the Islanders play to date.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio recaps Bridgeport's 4-1 win over Hartford with Ben Walter, head coach Jack Capuano and Yann Danis comments. Saturday's game in Worcester is previewed here which concludes Mike Sillinger's conditioning assignment.

WHEN -- Tonight, 7:05
WHERE -- DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
ON THE AIR -- Webcast and Internet pay-per-view at
RECORDS THROUGH THURSDAY -- Bridgeport 14-4-0-2; Worcester 10-8-0-0
SEASON SERIES -- Bridgeport leads, 1-0.
LAST MEETING -- The Sound Tigers won 2-0 on the road Oct. 25.

Hartford Courant: Has a staff report on the Wolfpack loss.

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Bridgeport 4, Hartford 1

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 09:21:00 PM | Comments Reports Bridgeport rallied down 1-0 entering the third period and beat the Hartford Wolfpack 4-1 Friday night at Harbor Yard.

Yann Danis had forty five saves in goal.

1. HFD Anisimov, (6) (Ouellette, Denisov), 13:47
3. BRI Walter, (4) (Haskins, Pitton), 6:17
3. BRI Smith, (7) (Walter, Iggulden), 11:30 (PP)
3. BRI Sillinger, (1) (Comeau), 11:49 (PP)
3. BRI Haskins, (4) , 15:54 (SH)

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had line combinations and other information in his blog. Mitch Fritz and Andy MacDonald were among the Sound Tiger scratches.

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Jiggs McDonald trapped in Bangkok

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 04:29:00 PM | Comments
Vancouver Sun: Darah Hansen reports on citizens trapped in Bangkok for several days because of unrest which according to this article include Hall of Fame Islander announcer Jiggs McDonald ans his wife on vacation here where his daughter comments from Minnesota and reports they are safe at this time.

Los Angeles Times: Helene Elliott has more on this story.

Toronto Sun: Jason Buckland has an early evening update.

Updated Saturday:
Canadian Press: Has comments from Jiggs McDonald about what he described as very stressful circumstances.

All I can add is I hope the violence ends and all these folks can come home safely.

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Boston 7, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 03:16:00 PM | |||Comments
Associated Press & Sports Network: Recaps New York's 7-2 loss against Boston Friday afternoon.

Newsday: Greg Logan has the early recap of Boston's 7-2 win against the Islanders on Friday.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had head coach Scott Gordon on why he pulled MacDonald with the Islander goaltender not happy with his forwards for not coming back forcing the defense to make longer passes.

The Islander coach was also not happy with the officiating.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That early boarding against on Islander not called was brutal and something I should have brought up below. He was not turning, he was square to the board and got drilled from behind. I can see where Gordon was coming from with Tambellini's second penalty.

MY Point Blank : Mr Botta had a post-game blog that had a lot on Jeff Tambellini's play suggesting it's time for a conditioning stint for him at Bridgeport as part of his game update.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Scott Gordon did not have Joey MacDonald finish what he started.

Not sure if MacDonald was upset about being pulled but his reaction after Lucic's goal with 2:20 left where he was pointing and visibly upset left no doubt he was not happy with the teams defensive play in front of him.

On the 7-2 goal Tim Jackman got caught as Lucic drove the slot making him look like Malkin as the Islanders went to one man and left the middle wide open.

I pointed to this stretch of games for a reason last week, this group of clubs has the speed and skill to blow a team out of a game and that's exactly what happened when it got to crunch time today. Buffalo gave up a four goal lead to Boston and have the ability to run any team out of the building.

This was not all about the Islanders but a very good team with speed and skill that has learned how to win.

Islanders hung in and did not have a bad half of a game but even at 1-1 when Boston was not finishing they were flying with skill and the Islanders had to pay a big physical price at times to move the puck. What Wheeler did to Streit was no fluke in the second.

Tambellini's second penalty the Bruin player raised his stick, no doubt a lot of folks will not want to read that but we cannot put the third period and what happened on any one player.

MacDonald was good in this game and again gave the Islanders every chance. Sutton, Witt, Martinek, Meyer and Campoli all struggled with the Bruins and all of them had a few very costly turnovers.

Ryder, Savard, Lucic, Wheeler, Krejci & Kessel at times were dominating.

Witt giveaway led to the 2-1 goal, Campoli deflected in the 3-1 goal on the cross ice pass. Meyer-Sim got caught in center ice for a goal. Sutton almost deflected in a few others. Sim got badly beat for a goal by Krejci who powered past him, Jackman the final goal.

Mannino had little chance in what became garbage time. Witt, Jackman did what they could in the fight department.

Islanders hung in and did better than the final score will show but do not have the speed, skill or players with hands who can finish at that level with the Islander powerplay much slower. A few good rushes at the net but nothing to get the Bruins out of their game.

This was not an Islander team that came out and mailed in the effort which some may think if they did not watch this game, not even close.

Colliton had a nice pass off the boards for Thompson's goal. Guerin took a hit from Chara early and went right back and pushed him down and the Islanders tried to stand up for themselves but simply put faced a deeper, better club with a record that does not lie.

Some shots and a few rebounds for New York but few high-quality chances, maybe if Guerin finishes it's different.

This is why they needed the Devil game and all those other games they had a lead, a team like Boston is as tough as it gets.

Now they face a club that will remember what happened a few weeks ago. Will be interesting to see how MacDonald reacts.

ITV had the postgame up with Scott Gordon's comments in record time.

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Newsday Friday Islander Insider

Newsday: Greg Logan has the Friday Islander Insider which includes a lot from Andy Hilbert who is just concentrating on playing vs scoring and has ten points in twenty two games with Scott Gordon on how he does not cheat the system.

Other Topics:
* Mr Logan on the working relationship between coach and general manager with regard to Garth Snow's choice as in Scott Gordon with Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff's comments.

* Sidney Crosby on his former Halifax neighbor in Joey MacDonald and how happy he is to see him in the NHL.

* Scott Gordon about how players who would not seem the best fit for his system on paper can do well in it citing Trent Hunter because he is dedicated to it with the theme how will Mike Sillinger play when his conditioning assignment ends after Saturday?

* Brendan Witt talks about the third period breakdowns, Andy Sutton compared when happened to him vs Ryan O'Byrne of the Canadians on Monday.

Newsday: Mr Logan had an update in the Islanders Newsday blog where he feels Josh Bailey is a lock to stay based on the coaches reaction as he praised Bailey while the Islander coach said he has not gotten any official word on it and ultimately his opinion will be ask for but it's the general managers decision.

Mr Logan also reports Manny Fernandez starts in goal with Boston playing Detroit in it's next contest.

Sound Previews tonight's game at home against Hartford.

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The Problem is the Atlantic Division

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 09:06:00 AM | Comments
Every season has trends, this one is no different.

Last year's standout trend was two goals or less fourteen games in a row, this years it's the record against the Atlantic.

Wednesday was the first time Pittsburgh star players just took over a game against the Islanders and dominated when the two points were on the line, that did not happen in eight games last year.

Last year Islanders had the following division head to head records:
Penguins 3-5 (Witt late deflection goal/Simon stomp/53 shot loss decided series)
Devils 6-1-1 (Isles opened 6-0)
Flyers 1-6-1 (special teams dictated the series)
Rangers 5-3 (Isles opened 3-0, won both Msg games March/April)

This year:
Penguins 0-1-1
Flyers 0-1-1
Devils 0-2
Rangers 1-1

One regulation win in eight games, three overtime losses. Four out of a possible sixteen points.

Combine that with the third period games lost with the lead and that tells the Islanders story in terms of the standings with the injuries.

Almost the entire division is on a big winning streak.

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Josh Bailey Decision Day

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 07:34:00 AM | Comments
I'm not sure what Garth Snow-Scott Gordon will decide to do with Josh Bailey after Friday's game but the vote is in and what was a deadlock a few days ago is now a rout in favor of him staying with the NHL club.

I voted for him to stay because he did not look out of place with the speed at this level.

I also think Nielsen's injury opened a spot for a young center and he will stay but that's my guess, anything is possible but the minutes he has been given do not lie.

Garth Snow said recently if he does stay, no WJC, he plays the entire season as a New York Islander.

Having written that it's tough to say what the Islanders will actually do here despite the minutes and the strong play he has shown. He looks comfortable with the speed of the NHL game, he has very good passing instincts and is not shy about getting in the trenches and he is visible.

Of course there are a lot of good reasons for him to go to Windsor and then the WJC and just develop with players his own age on an outstanding club.

There is also the situation with his contract, which begins now if he plays his tenth game on Saturday. Sometimes if things are equal (sometimes/not) things are decided by contract.

Nate Thompson has returned-Mitch Fritz is back in Bridgeport.

I would guess Jackman-Colliton are the replacements for Sillinger-Okposo.

Roster wise at some point Mike Comrie will be back.

I expect by the trade deadline if Frans Nielsen is ready a lot will again have changed with the roster to where he will have a spot.

We'll know very soon.

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New York at Boston 12pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2008 06:00:00 AM | ||||||Comments
Newsday: Has the preview of Friday's noon game in Boston with comments from head coach Scott Gordon on returning to Boston and Doug Weight.

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Nate Thompson will return with Mitch Fritz heading back to Bridgeport.

Boston Globe & Boston Herald: Have the latest on the Boston Bruins (Marco Sturm out/Matt Lashoff was returned to Providence) going into Friday's noon game after it's loss against Buffalo on Wednesday here.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Rob Rossi had a few words from Mark Streit on the not so bright spotlight hockey has in New York City against major sports in an article on Sidney Crosby perhaps someday playing in this market.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on callup Dennis Packard with his comments while head coach Jack Capuano talks about the process for recalls between Bridgeport and Utah.

Bridgeport plays against Hartford Friday night 7pm at Harbor Yard.
NYI Fan Central Comments:

Lets call this the daily articles and game preview mostly written Wednesday for Friday morning combined. I will have a postgame blog entry on Friday afternoon.

Everyone knows the Bruins record going into this game and how they have had the Islanders number since Claude Julien became head coach. Scott Gordon's first regular season game coaching in Boston after a preseason visit.

A year ago Islanders appeared to mail in two games in Boston, the second coming just before the all-star game where the Bruins came in off a big loss and talked about how badly they wanted two points while the Islanders players talked like it was the last game of the season and drew some criticism afterward when they lost handily.

Good measuring stick here for what kind of effort we see, win or lose.

Every club in the division is on a good run, they won five of six and kept pace or even lost ground. No doubt they will be a little fragile after Wednesday but there is no time for anything but winning.

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Islander News Articles 11/27: Happy Thanksgiving

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2008 07:00:00 AM | ||Comments
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from NYI Fan Central, some direct links to articles I did have time to include.

Newsday: Greg Logan has the early recap of Wednesday's 5-3 loss, no quotes at the time I posted this.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann gave us a very good feature on Josh Bailey with his comments along with head coach Scott Gordon and worked his contribution into the story.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette & Tribune Review: Has the Penguins coverage on their 5-3 win.

NY Post & Daily News: Coverage of Wednesday's 5-3 loss.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers coverage.

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Pittsburgh 5, New York 3

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2008 10:40:00 PM | Comments
Sports Network: Has the recap of the Islanders 5-3 loss against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Hate to write it, but I could see it coming. Islanders had Pittsburgh on the ropes with Sabourin pulled, got a powerplay and it looked like last year with the Pens getting the better chances, carrying the play and Malkin hitting a post.

It was like they went out not to get scored on and the Pens came right at them several times with MacDonald robbing Staal.

Felt like the ice and the game shifted right there and even with the lead were in trouble.

I know that's a talented team with a 7-1-1 record that can score like this on anyone but you have them in that spot you have to put them away and force their defense that was giving up chances. Islanders look very satisfied with the lead and some world class players made them pay on the 2-3, 3-3 goals in a way the Pens usually do not score against the Islanders.

Curry barely had to break a sweat on his end.

Sutton got a bad break on the game winner, kind of the same break the Islanders got when the puck bounced on a Penguin for Hunter to score.

No idea what was going on with Doug Weight late or why Scott Gordon did not use his timeout. MacDonald in the opening minutes gave them every chance with five very good saves on the Penguins opening powerplay.

I would love to write about the good things they did for about thirty five minutes when they skated and forced mistakes but what they did the last twenty five was the hockey game and the story. Bailey had his assist, Weight had his play for a goal but it means nothing if this is how things play out with two points on the table.

Islanders stopped skating or ran out of gas, they paid huge and this was not with
a lot of defenders out, this is Radek Martinek and Brendan Witt on home ice that is supposed to close out games.

Every team is this division is winning games in big bunches and all gained two more points on the Islanders. That's a huge loss following a game they got a gift to win a game on the road that can send a club into a big tail spin.

Cannot happen.

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Some Quick Thoughts...

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2008 05:18:00 PM | |Comments
Newsday is promising another Lighthouse update for Thanksgiving, with Mark Herrmann around the club I hope it's not his latest Islander viability article number whatever that we see written every few weeks.

Hopefully Mr Herrmann just writes about the sports and a team that has earned some talk about it's play.

Unless one of the business writers like Mark Harrington have something here there is very little left to say from the sports department.

Kate Murray made her comments, Mr Botta at My Point Blank was mostly critical of her here and has plenty of past background as an insider as to what was done/when vs what is delaying things to know if she is being honest.

Hopefully Mr Wang-Mr Rechler have nothing to say. Less is more and complaining to a Newspaper solves nothing as we have learned over a decade of this game. Mr Wang's getting plenty of support with his silence.

Ms Murray's comments about allowing Wang-Rechler to pay hundreds of millions to renovate Nassau County's building by itself is an insult unless the county offered something that pays them something back to make that feasible.

Her comments about Mr Bettman are not welcome (nor were Bettman's about her) and Mr Botta correctly points out the NHL generates a lot of revenue for Nassau County and without Charles Wang as owner it will come down to Nassau County and the NHL.

This is not how you make a pro sports league feel welcomed and again if Mr Bettman &
Ms Murray want to talk this is not how you go about it.

Having written this a measured response from all parties working together is the only place left to go. The alternative is awful for everyone including Nassau County.
I did not have anything to write about DiPietro's comments in the Post and was almost shocked to see Dan Martin was allowed to cover an Islander off-day practice after a road-trip. He was given more space than most games receive.

I felt bad for the goaltender and obviously he will not be ready within the projected time frame. Nothing he can do but get himself healthy but this is something new for him and a very bitter pill to swallow.

His reputation is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL who can carry a club and did last season, he was the biggest reasons they were in sixth last January.

Most discouraged he ever seemed in print and obviously all he wants to do is win a cup for this franchise. He is not having the exact same injuries, something else keeps happening.

Long-term hopefully it's just a big part of one year. I suspect when he finally gets back to full health he will be as good as ever, we will see him this season.
Very busy time with all the defenders healthy and scratches required which has to be a very bitter pill for Bruno Gervais. Bailey's decision by Friday, Okposo perhaps by the weekend and Sillinger's return.

It's getting interesting on and off the ice. Gervais is not a player like Aaron Johnson, he has a three year contract and has never sat healthy for an extended time.

Big if but everyone stays healthy something has to give on the backline.

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Pittsburgh at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2008 02:01:00 PM | ||Comments
Note: I posted Scott Gordon's pre-game on the sidebar which went about eight minutes because it had a lot including Okposo may be ready by the weekend and more injury updates.

Interesting watching some reporters with hand-held recording devices vs writers with the pad and pen the last few days. ITV should keep showing things from those angles.

Freddy Meyer will return tonight, Thomas Pock and Bruno Gervais are healthy scratches. Mr Logan had more in the Islanders Newsday blog here along with more when Sillinger-Okposo are ready what could happen.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Rob Rossi scouts the Islanders for tonight's game which includes the Penguins injuries with a second article on Marc-Andre Fleury's roster replacement during his injury in John Curry here.

Dany Sabourin is again expected to start against New York.

Ticker: Previews tonight's game which includes the Penguins struggles in their last game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
There it is folks. All six defenders are finally healthy and Bruno Gervais sits in the stands. Took almost the entire preseason and 1/4 of the regular season to get what on paper seemed the top six.

It becomes very interesting the longer Gervais sits on the sidelines.

Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 with the 1-1 coming in the last two games but were seeing a team that can score in bunches with a lot of offensive talent and this time Crosby is not coming back from an injury. Sabourin played the previous Coliseum game and won in a shootout but the Islanders led in the third period.

Schedule making this tough with essentially the Islanders home Thanksgiving whatever happens Thursday before they travel to Boston for a noon game. Penguins have been off since Saturday so they have the rest and perhaps the rust?

This worked in the Devils favor recently and on home ice the Islanders have to keep establishing their game which finally led to a few wins.

Satan, Fedotenko and Eric Godard (did not write about him last game) make their second return to the Nassau Coliseum.

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Newsday: Kate Murray Interview on Lighthouse

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2008 10:12:00 AM | |Comments
Newsday: Jim Baumbach had a blog entry containing a long interview with Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray regarding the LightHouse project.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I looked at the Coliseum event schedule today before I found this and nothing is scheduled in the building past April which could mean something or nothing.

Nice job by Newsday/Mr Baumbach getting us an interview from the one person who seems to have the most control (at this time) of where the project eventually goes, all due respect to Mr Baumbach's speculation but it means nothing.

What we did learn is most of the same things we knew already:
* The Town of Hempstead (Kate Murray) is more than willing to let Mr Wang/Mr Rechler renovate the Coliseum for Nassau County while Smg keeps all the building revenue while negotiations on the Lighthouse continue.

* Kate Murray could care less about Gary Bettman's timetable which could be a problem if Wang does sell to another owner who may not want to keep the club in the area and fight to have Smg lease voided and willing to walk away from TV revenue until 2030.

* Kate Murray wants it to be done correctly and is not interested in how long it takes for approval.

* The Town of Hempstead never talks about this team for all it's done like the politicians elsewhere who treat their local teams as special which we have seen with all the local negotiations to hand them brand new stadiums.

What I did not know was:
The Town of Hempstead only got the plans for this nine months ago for review despite all the years of negotiations.

Bottom Line:
About a hundred things have to happen for full approval from a lot of agencies yet to be heard from and we all know the political process in Nassau County is a nightmare and could kill things for any number of reasons.

Is Charles Wang or Nassau County willing to compromise any further or for both sides is it take it or leave it?

Even if Charles Wang sold the Islanders tomorrow he owns the Marriott Hotel on that property and can block future development from someone else.

Finally it fair to say Nassau County wants to keep the thirty six year old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum operational they will have to invest hundreds of millions of dollars they do not have or eventually close the facility and forfeit the revenue the building brings the County.

Of course there is always the SMG question beyond 2014.

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Islanders Missing Persons Interviews

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/26/2008 07:19:00 AM | Comments
I thought today it would be a little fun to give my own little list of all the Missing Persons on the New York Islanders in terms of media interviews where our fans read some actual quotes from them and perhaps get to learn a little about them.

Seems the best of Jon Sim and even MacDonald have come from their local papers in Canada.

Michael Fornabaio always seems to blanket the Sound Tiger roster in this department making sure we get something from everyone. In the NHL a Guerin, Weight, DiPietro are constantly quoted but for today I thought I would make my own little missing persons list of players we rarely hear from.

Who knows maybe an interview or two with all these local Newsday
writers would make these players and the team a little less under-rated when they do well? Sure could not do any damage in the ticket buying department.

1. Radek Martinek-He's learning English and had improved from his last tv interview, someone can be brought in to do an extended feature. Too good a player to let fly under the radar with no publicity.

2. Someone call out the Richard Park/Andy Hilbert media police, I think I have read one quote from Park in Newsday this entire year and about the same from Hilbert.

3. Thomas Pock-I did not see any quotes when he was claimed on waivers for what seemed a few weeks, I'm not sure I read one thing until his suspension.

4. Brett Skinner-I'm not sure I read one thing from of a player who did a more than solid job in over ten games before he left.

5. Freddy Meyer-It says a lot when a player can go from Phoenix to New York and back without a quote for weeks last year. I think when he signed we finally got a few words. I did read his comments about adjusting to the system earlier this year but that's about it.

6. Brendan Witt-We do not read nearly enough on one of the leaders on this club who is a fan favorite.

7. Jeff Tambellini-Not nearly enough quotes for the fans interest in him and the obvious pressure on him.

8. Not much at all from Gervais or Campoli in terms of quotes.

9. The way Hunter is playing he should be getting a lot more ink. Bergenheim got a few words on ITV Monday, rarely quoted in the paper.

10. Same with Sutton and all those blocked shots/solid play.

I tend to think if the public got to know the players more they would identify with them.

Who would you like to hear from among the players?

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Islander News Articles 11/26

Newsday: Mark Herrmann covered practice with head coach Scott Gordon on the club's effort paying off and Bill Guerin on how they have learned from their third periods and feels the club is on the upswing and getting healthy but echoed the coach in that the players have to work hard.

NY Post: Dan Martin interviewed Rick DiPietro who talked about how tough it's been on him with his injury and what's ahead for him.

Point Blank: Mr Botta had a state of the Islanders where he talked about the club by position and what's happened for them to be in position to reach the five hundred mark.

National Post: Reports former Islander Wyatt Smith was traded from Norfolk of the AHL (Tampa) to the Phoenix Coyotes for future considerations.

Black Hills Pioneer & Rapid City Weekly: Peter Centineo has a feature on
former Bridgeport Sound Tigers assistant coach Joe Ferras, who is now a head coach with the Rapid City Rush. In the article Mr Ferras talks about former Islander head coach Ted Nolan's recent visit.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's update is on Blake Comeau with comments from head coach Jack Capuano and Mike Sillinger.

Mr Fornabaio also have more on Dennis Packard who was signed to a pro tryout. The Utah Grizzlies announced that they have loaned forward Dennis Packard to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

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Islander-Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2008 04:22:00 PM | Comments
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shelly Anderson reports on the Penguins at practice. Marc-Andre Fluery will not be ready to return against the Islanders who will face a well-rested club on Wednesday night. Dany Sabourin is 1-1-1 with five goals allowed in three starts in Fleury's absence with the NHL's best goals-against average, 1.66, and the third-best save percentage, .935 at 4-2-1 overall this season.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Mr Anderson also reports on the Pens changes to their powerplay which has been struggling for a club 7-1-1 in November and fourth in the Eastern Conference

Yahoo Sports: Ross McKeon had the weekly power rankings and it's obvious he does not follow the Islanders based on his ranking which apparently has little to do with the games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I have been phasing out all yahoo sports content, this will be Mr McKeon's final ranking to appear at NYI Fan Central. Cannot be bothered with work that is clearly poorly done or waste my readers time.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports Joey MacDonald's seven wins in November leads all NHL goaltenders.

Note-I posted the Islanders weekly prospect watch on NYI Fan Central Prospect blog on Monday when it was released. All updates are linked by date on that blog.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio blogged on Tuesday's optional practice with some schedule changes for the Sound Tigers later in the season.

No reported callups at this time as of his 2:30pm blog update.

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A Look at the Big Picture for 08-09 Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2008 07:39:00 AM | Comments
Big picture and I write this every year around the same time you have to have ninety two points/twelve games over five hundred to make the playoffs. Last year that number in the Eastern Conference went to ninety five points so it may even be tougher.

New York Islanders went from five under and a season that looked to be over by Thanksgiving in terms of playoffs to one where bought themselves more time.

A ton of work ahead.

Now they have to keep piling up the points and staying out of the regulation losses to see if they can take that next step which is getting above five hundred.

Then we can start talking playoffs.
So what's the secret as to why the New York Islanders have won five out of six games? It should have been more like nine out of ten given the position they have put themselves into entering the third periods long before the wins came which indicates what's happening is no fluke with the injuries they have had.

No secret that they usually generate that third goal which is far different than last year's club that had two goals or less fourteen games in a row. Doug Weight will do something that leads to a goal. Streit's speed and skill have been a big positive even when he is not scoring. Hunter is giving this team goals he did not give them last year.

No secret that this group does skate better in this system and are getting better individual efforts from a lot of players.

Best kept secret for all of last year's system and the hundred ninety eight shot against improvement is this group may even be better at it. You put a goaltender in net who makes big saves with that kind of team defense and you are going to be in every single game.

Between Witt, Hunter, Hilbert, Sutton there is always a player stepping up and making a big block and everyone is buying in. On the other end of that you have Martinek skating the puck out with Streit, Campoli, Gervais and it's a well balanced group with whoever is out of the lineup.

Because of it the New York Islanders have been in every game but one, even nights they have not played well.

It's no longer a coincidence.
Our poll comes to an end with Josh Bailey's ninth game trial on Friday when Garth Snow and Scott Gordon have a decision to make.

I have no idea what will be the decision but my guess is Nielsen's injury opens a spot for Bailey. That pass in overtime that almost won the game is a skill this roster lacks, even with Weight who has been more than anyone could have asked and just keeps piling up the points.

A spot has to be made for Sillinger and Okposo when they return, I would expect both by next week. Comrie is still part of this club and there is Nate Thompson who must be getting close to skating.

Only two things I know.
1. This club is prone to injuries.
2. The more depth the better.

My guess on who is demoted starts with who can be without going through waivers and that's Jackman, Colliton and Fritz.

If it's my team Jeff Tambellini stays here and keeps throwing his hits or driving the net, he is doing a few things. All it takes is that one game where something clicks, a player gets confident in what he is doing and it all changes. I could be wrong but I do not see him clearing waivers and he has nothing left to prove in the AHL.

Twenty games is not enough in the NHL to lose him now is the Milbury plan revisited.
MacDonald made his saves against Montreal and their speed does force a goalie to react different but he gave up some rebounds. With games Wednesday, Friday (noon) and Saturday Dannis or Mannino have to play one here.

Danis got his two starts on the weekend, would seem the right move to recall him and give him the game against Pittsburgh.

Practice should tell Scott Gordon the story on this which is again why talk of schedules for goaltenders months in advance are pointless.

Islanders finally get a break after Saturday.
Pock's suspension has ended with Monday's game. Will be interesting to see if anyone gets a game off with Witt still working his way back in (does not see Witt's way of doing things) or another player on the backline.

Meyer has to be close to skating also.
NYI Fan Central will not have Thanksgiving day News Articles.

I may be able to post some Wednesday late articles but will pre schedule a blog with links to the Post-Gazette/Tribune.

Friday's coverage will also have no Daily Morning Articles. I will schedule a pregame blog for the noon game against Boston and have a postgame and may be able to watch live.

For those traveling early and everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Islander News Articles 11/25

Newsday: Greg Logan's postgame article has head coach Scott Gordon's comments on Ryan O'Byrne's owned-goal on a delayed penalty while Bill Guerin comments on the shootout.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is one of those days the ITV interviews need to be watched with a full minute plus of Scott Gordon answer questions and Mr Logan writing responses.

Newsday gave the Knicks Lebron James marketing campaign another huge cache of print space Tuesday. Mark Herrmann/Newsday staff beyond the beatwriter has not had anything (one Arthur Staple article) all to say about the clubs hot streak but Mr Herrmann was assigned to do a feature on a Phoenix Coyotes player begging the question how come the Newsday staff only seems to go the extra mile on Islander coverage when it's time to go negative?

One print article is not what I would call enhanced coverage and that has nothing to do with the beatwriter because his second article seemed to be his post-game blog.

Most games in the first half of last season the Islanders received a second print article before the Superbowl.

Newsday: Mr Logan instead in the Islanders Newsday blog had what we can call a second article with more on O'Bryne's goal with the Islander player comments. Mr Logan felt Canadians head coach Guy Charboneau threw Mark Streit under the bus explaining why the fans booed him for leaving "to take the money" elsewhere while Streit commented.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good stuff from Mr Logan defending Streit for taking the money as any player would, seems to be some lingering bad feelings with Guy Charboneau as Streit was outspoken about his forward-defense role with the Canadians when he signed here.

Seems Streit (at least in Newsday) took the high road in his return to Montreal while Guy Charboneau took the low road when he should have credited him for his defensive play.

Montreal Gazette: Red Fisher's game coverage noted players who do not score for the Canadians did the damage in this game in an article where he questioned Alexei Kovalev.

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey also had game coverage.

Note-Peter Botte was assigned by Leon Carter's Sports department to cover team Cablevision Monday with a lot more space than his Islander coverage receives. There was even room for a Gretzky feature.

Ct Post: Micheal Fornabaio had the Sound Tigers weekly during the day Monday.

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New York 4, Montreal 3 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2008 05:40:00 AM | Comments

AP: Has the recap of the Islanders 4-3 shootout win in Montreal on Monday.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know the win and the points are always the story and the Canadians are struggling to score and in a bit of a slide but the Islanders even with the injuries skated well against the Canadians and again blocked shots.

What happened after O'Byrne scored and the Habs went on the powerplay?
Block by Hilbert, block by Witt.......cleared.

Another block after Sim's penalty, Jackman on the ice in the last two minutes shorthanded and making a clear.

Islanders again were doing this all night, Hilbert early dove chest first for a block early in the game, Hunter always is doing this.

Combine that with Martinek who took the puck in overtime and was moving through traffic with Streit and you see where the speed is coming from.

Last year Red Fisher in the Montreal Gazette wrote in a game DiPietro gave them any chance he should have come out and skated with the puck just to show them out to move the puck.

Last night the Islanders moved the puck.

The points were huge and a little poetic justice for the Coliseum game and Park's broken stick that should have been the tying goal. Weight's reaction was fun to watch.

Josh Bailey played over seventeen minutes, his shot looked very good and led to Hunter's powerplay goal, he is starting to convince me he may just belong here and if he can make plays against a skilled club like Montreal he can make them against anyone at this level.

Islanders made the powerplay work for them. I'm not fan of Park on it but the pass Weight hit him with was impressive and if anyone has noticed Weight is more dangerous
as a forward with the powerplay than on the point.

Not a fan of how the Islanders again surrendered a quick goal after opening the scoring, too much traffic in front of MacDonald who again played well enough but gave up some rebounds in his third game in four nights. Cannot let Steve Begin do the scoring.

Streit had twenty five minutes.

You take the two out of three they had to have on this roadtrip and move on, they won the games I thought they would lose.

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