New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2010 11:29:00 PM |
Sixteen December games played, only one contest (Atlanta) where the team scored three goals over sixty regulation minutes against any goaltender with the head coach taking about how his team had lost it's edge.

New York during December dropped to four games under five hundred at one point, were dead last in league scoring (with serious powerplay struggles) and had not played well in the homestand they survived fourteen out of seventeen on the road prior with virtually all the clubs having games in hand.

Surely by default or just head to head games some teams would gain ground. The eighth seed in the Western Conference is ten games over five hundred with nine more points than the Islanders.

Atlanta was seven games over, Florida had been showing signs of a breakout after a self-inflicted humiliation of the Isles 7-1 and even Toronto, Tampa were showing signs of going on a winning streak. Tavares, Moulson and Streit not only stopped scoring but have looked painfully slow and ineffective trying to produce any kind of offense. Okposo created some chances but did not finish.

Even with some injuries and all this downside the 2009-10 New York Islanders are still in this race and even managed to get back close to five hundred.

Imagine if we saw the team that was scoring four goals a game earlier?

One thing disconcerting about 2009-10 has been the young players in Tavares, Okposo and Bailey were producing early, that is a bonus. The way it's supposed to go is they struggle early and then start doing well.

That's what we have to bank on moving forward.

This has been the opposite and why it's a problem along with Nielsen, Bergenheim, Comeau and Tambellini not ready, not used properly or at all to become reliable offensive players when they need to be.

After all these years of development either the player or the coaching has failed to bring out their best hockey and produce at a point they should be productive.

There is no go-to offensive line or players nightly that will produce the three goals needed. Right now there is not enough chemistry from any one line to even merit keeping them together long, we all know enough wingers play out of position already and that will continue with Schremp, Sim and Weight dressing.

Where would they be without some big, ugly goals from Jon Sim, btw?

Having written this how can they survive another month (much less a few weeks) without some breakout offensive games and everyone getting in on scoring with some line chemistry? Can they somehow get past much improved Colorado, Phoenix, then come back East and survive Detroit, New Jersey, Buffalo and games in Pittsburgh?

Everything screams no chance, I hope I'm wrong.

Islanders scoring absolutely did not improve but somehow won enough ugly, low scoring games against struggling teams to gain enough ground while no one else was gaining.

Temporarily the 2009-10 New York Islanders are still in the playoff race, despite their front-line lack of scoring with Scott Gordon getting virtually nothing in terms of goals from Tavares, Comeau, Okposo, Nielsen, Moulson, Streit with Bergenheim on the sidelines.

The kind of sustained winning streak it will take to get into a playoff spot requires scoring. Not going to get many wins or bounces like they have against Atlanta or Columbus and it cannot be Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron or even Rick DiPietro holding them in every night but what's happened so far does say a lot about this teams defense (Jack Hillen/Andrew MacDonald) and Dwayne Roloson's play.

Bottom line for now, somehow the 2009-10 New York Islanders are hanging in despite not reversing their poor offensive or power play trends in a very mediocre Eastern Conference combined with no bubble teams getting on a role and many in a tailspin have helped keep the Isles in contention.

Tuesday night not one game involving a bubble team went to overtime in the East.

I do not see New York hanging in much longer without solving their scoring problems and winning eight out of ten at least.

It should have been over, but it's not.

This was never last year with the same trends, players or injuries and the projections like many teams league-wide proved worthless.
Media-Misc Notables:
With Newsday announcing more cut backs Tuesday (not Ed Laikin leaving Newsday or Michael Martino leaving LI Press to work for new county executive Ed Mangano) expect the disgrace from 12/31 of Katie Strang not being sent to Ottawa to cover New York Islander Hockey to continue. Steve Zipay was sent to Carolina that same night. Ms Strang to her credit did blog right up until and after midnight on 12/31 with an update eight minutes into the new year which is all she can do.

After one recent game writing she forgot to blog is not acceptable however.
Point Blank/Mr Botta for all his Coliseum attendance counting (even he decided it would stop for a while) wanted no part of writing about all the Islander fans/empty seats at Msg for the first game which even Arthur Staple acknowledged after the early December win. I guess what he writes are his new " colleagues " would not appreciate it or he did not wish to go go there. I have no problem with Mr Botta's criticism's (most justified) when they are fair but he is far quicker to write about negative items then wonders why people are not at games?

I think beyond his outstanding effort for Pat Lafontaine his most useful/informative update was about Okposo's asthma. He shares nothing about internal mistakes made when he worked for the club in coverage or team information vs what mistakes (or positive things) are done now.

Not much positive coming from him that would make me want to go buy a ticket or become a fan but that's not his job anymore. I cannot remember the last time John Tavares gave him a full interview. At the very end of Scott Gordon's ITV interview you could see what could have been a little frustration on Mr Botta's face about something as our limited media tried to get more out of the coach on DiPietro.

To tell the truth, who is going to be in the Colorado, Dallas or the Phoenix lockeroom in a few days to speak with the head coach among our media? Where were they when Isles won at Msg twice?

It does work both ways.
Dan Martin/Peter Botte space allotted by their editors with the Times for New York Islander Hockey coverage? Insert joke because the Isles could be undefeated with the season sold out and I suspect coverage would not improve.

Make no mistake this double-standard is all about these papers/editors not the hockey team. They go all out for the Knicks, Nets despite their struggles.
Did new County Executitive Ed Mangano pull those LightHouse ads from County website five minutes or ten after he was sworn in to office? How long before Sam Wyly is given a job by new County Executive?
Tom Suozzi's new sub-lease negotiation with Smg-Islanders is a game changer with County approval still required for Isles to relocate but if Suozzi did not let LightHouse sit in his desk drawer for years and make Wang go through developer approval with outside parties, there would have been a LightHouse answer years ago.

That is Tom Suozzi's legacy, nor did he give away the store to Wang with this sublease because if the building is renovated and closed there is no money coming during the hockey off-season for several years.

A lot more professional media need to release details. Fan speculation is completely worthless and unless Wang-Rechler have something to say there is nothing to add beyond those Verizon billboards all over the Coliseum that were banned from Cablevision's newspaper.

As for Charles Wang, Scott Rechler, silence is golden. Mr Wang sold the Dragons four days after cheering for them in what turned out to be their final game ever and will not resurface in the re branded league.
Willets Point had received contact from over twenty potential developers and there is an eminent domain fight ahead. Is this why Wang-Rechler paid close to a hundred million for the Marroitt a few years ago so they could abandon all the money spent for the Lighthouse reviews and start a new fight in Queens plus somehow find banks willing to give them money for parts of both projects?

You really think Fred Wilpon put that ballpark on the doorstep of those businesses just to own only a baseball stadium? Yankees got a neighborhood inside a ballpark, Wilpon wants his baseball neighborhood outside his ballpark, hence the cost differential in buildings and money provided by New York for tax exemptions.
NYIFC Notables:
Newsday's poor redesign by new editor Debby Krenek, who replaced John Mancini, apparently left one way to read all articles for free without subscribing.

I stumbled upon it doing some research.

Those who wish to know, drop an e-mail. I will not use NYIFC to link to Newsday coverage in any entries as long as they charge anyone.
Twitter has been a huge hit for NYIFC, thrilled with format and can even pre-schedule twitter updates. Twitter box on this page packed with almost as many entries as old format.

I'm not doing many full blog entries and there is no reason to change that policy at this time.
WJC Section will be up until Friday, great tournament. Congratulations to USA, CANADA, SWEDEN with Travis Hamonic, Calvin deHaan, Jyri Niemi, Kirill Petrov, Anton Klementyev, Matt Donovan and Anders Nilsson. Unfortunate what happened to Hamonic but long-term looks like someone who could help the Islanders in the near future.

NYIFC will not be covering the Olympics, just want to take a break unless Mark Streit and Switzerland make a run at gold.
Winter Classic 2011? Trust me folks, the ratings decline will continue, the novelty along with historic baseball stadiums are wearing thin and Washington vs any New York team will fail. Minnesota should host in their new baseball stadium against another Western team but we all know with Ed Snider/Comcast now running NBC and Dick Ebersol-Sam Flood interest in only their personal favorites we could see Philadelphia in every outdoor game and plenty of bias that has nothing to do with record or team success in choices.

Larry Brooks and some other hockey local media will continue to ignore all three teams desperately need the local attention from being part of such a game in baseball's largest 365-day media dominated market.
I did a twitter update and complained about lack of WJC updates from Islanders Authorized, it has to be noted they have not provided any rss for this and with each changing month the link to that month's articles change.

Islanders Authorized for a few days running had World Junior Championship updates, clicking on my picture link only would have brought up December updates.

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