New York Defense Simply Too Slow At Even Strength

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2011 05:28:00 AM | Comments

The same blog entries cannot be repeated every few days here.

This is simply not going to work.

A slower, less mobile defense, that is mistake prone, throws off every facet of what worked for close to four months a year ago. The powerplay was not the problem on this day.

Well aware San Jose was red-hot, Sharks goalie made some great saves or it would have been a win, and the Sharks skated like a team that just played in Detroit the night before.

Isles skated as well as they could with who they had, obviously the puck hit the glass in overtime.

Here's the big questions our fans should be asking:

1. This was the Isles best offensive game of the season? How much sustained five on five pressure did the Isles get to go with another night of no five on five goals? For myself (and broadcasters) they noted fourth line shift with about three minutes left in second, where they cycled and had San Jose pinned in.

I noticed it immediately.

That was about it for another sixty minute game.

2. How often on forecheck now are the Isles forced to simply throw low percentage shots on goal because the defense is too slow combined with Rolston/Pandolfo?

3. Then we get to the usual story, nothing personal against Steve Staios, but signing him to play with Mark Streit is a flat out joke, it's costing this club every single game to go with Mottau/Eaton.

Streit wears down too a lot more with Staios, after a year off injury that's asking too much.

Jurcina is hardly any better than Mottau.

# 24 penalty in opening seconds 1-0.
# 24 out with Streit on second goal, Streit having to work harder.
# 24 gassed and too slow, did not have his stick down or the right angle on OT goal, so that long cross-ice pass got through him for the shot. He had nothing left to pressure the player making that pass and was not skating.

Quality offensive players will pick that apart every time.

It's positioning, lack of speed, slow reaction, giving players room to work without pressure, who can already finish. Simply not being able to keep up.

What do you expect from a thirty eight year old player, who's never been a top two defender, who was a camp invite, who was out most of last season, and who's value was that of trade for Aaron Johnson/pick two years ago?

This makes the Isles collectively too slow to maintain a forecheck, it makes them play shifts throwing the puck out of their end, as opposed to skating and it hurts the cycle/forechecking which means not being able to control play in the offensive zone at five on five or sustain any pressure.

It leads to a lot of give-up plays, where the end result is throw puck at net and hope for something to happen, it's not a quality setup, even when Tavares deflects the shot in the net. This runs contrary to how Matt Moulson's success off work in the corners or passes from forwards that led to his five on five goals.

The effort was there against San Jose, beyond Rolston throwing too many bad angle shots at the net, all lines could have produced a goal off a rush against a sluggish San Jose team.

Comeau had some good shifts, with a few uneven shifts.

DiPietro played as well as Nabokov/Montoya, his stickhandling even helped start a few rushes. Goaltending has not cost them a single game to this point.

Lack of mobility on defense has cost them the identity they produced as a team from mid-Dec/mid-March a year ago.

It's not going to return unless management makes changes to the defense, by then, it likely will be too late.

If New York Goes Into Free Fall This Time It's Different

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/26/2011 07:41:00 AM | Comments

This time it's going to be far different than the last three of four years.

Many of those seasons, the club had massive injuries, that either lingered into the season or hit the club in camp, then accumulated. What could be done with Sillinger, Comrie, Weight, Guerin, DiPietro, Hunter with so many others but wait?

This time no excuses can be given, even if last year's even strength scoring did struggle badly early and some things are similar with Mottau and Eaton, it's not.

A year ago, it was reasonable losing Okposo and Streit to injury, and expect it to catch up with them which it was already doing at 4-1-2, same as Scott Gordon's first year or Ted Nolan's final month when the injury count shot up to a league leading four hundred two games lost.

All those teams led the NHL in man games lost to injury, by huge differentials vs most other clubs.

Not the case in 2011-12.

Twenty one periods of New York Islander Hockey in 2011-12. One acceptable period against a Tampa team throwing pucks in their own net, that could not get out of their own way for twenty minutes.

That represents the bulk of the scoring at five on five beyond Mark Streit point shots redirected by forwards into the net, or an odd broken play. (Moulson's goal against Rangers)

The new forwards brought in do not look in sync at all, the returning forwards seem effected by it. The defenders who returned from injury (aside from Streit) are too slow/old to keep up in all three zones, and are not getting faster or younger, and that has thrown things out of balance entirely.

You can see what happens when the defense pinches or how other teams defenses outnumber the Islander forwards for pucks. This defense is not mobile or creative in the offensive zone with three veterans beyond Streit.

They are easier to defend, it forces individual efforts as we see with Tavares.

Hamonic and MacDonald do not have the same edge to their games yet, MacDonald had major surgery.

Eventually the three goalie system is going to produce a poor game, so far they have gotten efforts that should have produced points out of all seven contests.

DiPietro's puck moving ability seems best suited to the defense lack of speed, but his mistakes and inconsistency combined with the lack of five on five production leave the team zero margin of error.

Beyond what's been written about call-ups and getting younger/faster on defense, I see no solution here with the current group. Perhaps an opponent/goaltender is going to have a very bad game or the special teams can carry the club to a token win here and there. Maybe someone can do what Montoya did against Minnesota.

Most who do not follow the team (some who do) who only see record, will claim it's the Islanders struggling for the same reasons.

Even though this blog has written NOV 2010 Islanders are not going to win, it not November 2010, even if two returning defenders are from that badly struggling roster with Jurcina making it three.

This time if things fall apart, it will be far different than the last three of four years.

Time Already Running Out For New York?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/25/2011 08:58:00 AM | Comments

Sorry to write folks, after only six games, with a very light schedule ahead until mid-November, there is no time for anything but winning or a sustained streak/not losing in regulation.

The first segment is in the books, 3-3, with a lot of serious questions and a team that looked nothing like it did from mid Dec 2010/mid March 2011, this does not call for a patient approach when a rested team is outplayed to this degree.

One period where Tampa fell asleep is all they have to show for their five on five play, most of this season's offense is all PP/point shots to produce goals.

As we saw after 4-1-2 a year ago, it did not last when the pp struggled.

Despite games in hand, New York losses to Pittsburgh on Tuesday in Richard Park's return, they will trail them by ten points in the standings. The recent history at Pittsburgh has been terrible so that could easily become twelve.

After that San Jose, Winnipeg, Washington at home, then some serious road travel with Boston, Colorado and Vancouver.

Then things finally pick up schedule-wise, but will things be so out of hand by this point, realistic contention will be on the fringe of being over?

Either the club figures out it's even strength/offensive and defensive speed/coverage problems by this point or they will find themselves approaching the eight-ten point cutoff behind the eighth seed before mid-November, likely four/five games under.

NHL five hundred is nowhere, this team has to find itself at least ten-twelve games above that number to be in contention, that may still not be enough.

Garth Snow's tenure should be on the line here if this team drops out of contention, going with his Nov 2010 choices on the backline in Eaton or Mottau, plus signing Staios and if his choices in Pandolfo, Reasoner and Rolston simply do not produce.

If Blake Comeau is again a lost player for half a season or longer that goes on management for not leaving him where he was productive in the second half, and how that effects Josh Baily with no regular right winger. Also there is no hiding the lack of five on five production Nielsen and Okposo have never had long before Okposo got hurt.

Jack Capuano also will have to be accountable for his lineup decisions, something he rarely changed with his forwards last season.

NYIFC personal take is this defense is too slow, they are not going to win games banging bodies because they do not have that kind of defender.

If they can win over the better part of four months with Wishart, Hillen, Reese, a revolving door of injuries last year without Streit, it's time to use some of those future considerations or put Mottau on waivers/AHL, Staios in the stands, while limiting Eaton's minutes or including him in a trade.

Milan Jurcina is also a very disposable part, he can also be moved for a low level pick or someone that helps.

Wishart, deHaan, Reese go into the lineup and perhaps one of Donovan/Ness.

Pandolfo is not a great shutdown, NHL defender, he's not going to produce much or win games with speed or physical play. The club needs a physical element beyond Gillies three minutes, so recall Michael Haley or put Rolston on a fourth line.

When things are not working you try and replicate what did work.

Here were the defenders dressed when New York finally broke out on 12/16/10:
A. MacDonald 25:53
T. Hamonic 23:38
J. Hillen 12:46
M. Jurcina 13:19
R. Martinek 20:57
J. Wisniewski 22:25

Obviously that group did not stay healthy or together for long, a lot of games the goaltending was the story.

They cannot bring back the 2010-11 defenders who are no longer here, but they can call up defenders with the speed to get the offense producing. No one is going to convince me the players are not in the system/current organization with Streit to replace some of the speed no longer here.

I do not believe older, slower defenders become faster, even if rust melts off their games from a long time out. It's a shock-blocking defense, that is so slow it forces the forwards to play the game in the defensive zone.

This offense requires a faster, more mobile defense to get the other team on the defensive.

The November 2010 defense that featured only injured Mark Streit, MacDonald is not the answer.

Travis Hamonic came up Nov 24th, a year ago.

Nov 2010 New York Islanders Are Not Going To Win

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/21/2011 05:21:00 PM | Comments

Not that tough to go back and watch tapes from second half of 2010-11, even in losses this team could skate, and forced the opposition to work.

What we have seen so far are the November 2010 New York Islanders.

Nothing new to really add beyond recent entries on signing Steve Staios, or the teams overall lack of speed, plus using players out of position, and a slower veteran supporting cast.

Jack Capuano, even in wins, knows something is not right with his team, he reactions during games, his comments (win or lose) make clear he does not like how his team is playing.

All due respect to Tampa Bay, they did not have a very good game themselves, it's not about one game, just as it was not when I wrote about it after the second game.

Wait until the New York Islanders start playing teams that know how to win, or have top offensive talent, that can move the puck.

The November 2010 team is going to get beaten badly.

Is this blog the only one that understands that Blake Comeau needs to play left wing every single game, does the team even follow his history?

No folks, John Tavares individual effort is not an overall team offensive improvement, all it means is the team is too slow to set up a player, is forced to carry the puck and more along in his development to do so. Most goals are coming off point shots by a defense too slow/predictable.

I do not see this working with Pandolfo, Rolston in a different position than where he was productive (LW) in the second half for the Devils, or with Mottau, Eaton or Staios dressed together.

Sure, Staios made as great a play as a defender can make diving to stop a breakaway and getting all puck. His penalty led to the opening goal, his lack of speed created several other chances for Tampa Bay.

That's not how this team had it's success in the second half of last season, nor with Eaton (even when it works) or Mottau diving all over the defensive zone.

MacDonald lost a puck that led to a goal, where the defense backed off, seems he's only able to play games working back from his injury?

So others are finally figuring out Kyle Okposo had five goals in the second half last year, skating with Frans Nielsen, who cannot score at five on five, and has never produced with Nielsen has his center?

Nielsen scored his first five on five goal a year ago in December, his second in February, he's ahead of his pace. I guess without penalty shot goals, shootout goals, shorthanded goals, folks are finally seeing the big picture?

Capuano never had to juggle lines last year, now he feels he has to, the head coach can see this is not the same team he had in the second half.

Again, repetitive from previous entries.

The Nov 2010 plan is simply not going to work.

10/14 Mangano's Latest Coliseum Plan Announced/NY Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2011 08:04:00 PM | ||||Comments

Ed Mangano announced his latest plan for the Nassau Coliseum site on 10/14, it could mean a new Coliseum on the Northern part of the Hub constructed, or a renovation of the current facility.

The study, which needs state funding/private investment, was from something called Accelerate-Nassau-Now which had images in rough sketches.

NYIFC Comments:
Page eight, nine, ten, fourteen are the sections on the Coliseum. Twenty, twenty one relied on some Lighthouse background information.

Means nothing unless Charles Wang agrees to a lease extension.

Staios Signing Garth Snow's Worst Player Decision As GM

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/12/2011 11:29:00 AM | Comments

Garth Snow's worst personnel decision as General Manager was signing Steve Staios to play in this role. I amended title from worst moment, because this is specifically about signing a player.

Steve Staios, two years ago had trade value equal to former Islander, Aaron Johnson and a third round pick.

Instead, not only is tryout player Steve Staios here, he's an assistant captain, playing top line minutes with Mark Streit?

That's almost the equivalent of Doug Weight centering the first line, it makes no sense given the slow, veteran defenders returning or Staios age/resume.

Staios and Mottau right now are two players who at best get two-way contracts, come up as seventh defenders. I would absolutely even use Dylan Reese over both.

Snow tried to get a top four defender this summer, but I absolutely expected to see him to do what twenty nine other clubs looking for that kind of defender would have done, go with what they have, exercise patience using the defenders he had success with in the second half that brought the speed out of his forwards.

Instead Garth Snow signed Steve Staios, knowing his returning core was older, slower.

Wishart played twenty games here and posted a plus five rating, perhaps they were counting on Katic to replace Martinek or Hillen, but his injury changed things.

deHaan cannot be called up quickly enough. Ness, Donovan also have to get serious consideration. Why did Snow sign Klementyev so quickly for him to barely be used in the AHL the last two years?

Add to that moving Comeau off his natural spot, plugging in older/slower Rolston, Pandolfo, Reasoner is hardly known for speed with a mix of Staios, Mottau, Eaton and eventually Jurcina is it any surprise the team is pinned in their own end, forcing the forwards back, scrambling for large portions of games?

Snow's worst management decision by a mile. All the posts saying no to McCabe, Kaberle and other players make this even worse because you don't sign Staios for the same reasons. Campoli's worst game is miles ahead of Staios, and under no circumstances would I want Campoli back.

Even Souray would have been a better choice, but a terrible one.

Perhaps Garth Snow is so concerned with injuries, he overstocked on the backline. I can understand that reasoning given his experience/man games lost since he took the job as general manager, but you don't improve a weakness, by adding the same kind of player.

Snow had a fantastic summer locking up the core players, even if he did make the call to not retain Martinek, Hillen or Gervais, he should have been patient enough to see things through with his prospects on defense or identifying the right player.

Steve Staios on a team without Eaton, Mottau, Jurcia is at best someone to be used as a sixth defender with a two-way contract.

I also believe Snow's decision on Panfolfo is also a significant mistake but he is not playing first line right wing.

Again, this is not about the first two games. I never expected Staios to be employed in this manner on a team bringing back Mottau, Eaton that already had Jurcina.

Bottom line, Steve Staios, is not going to get younger or faster, same as Doug Weight was never going to start scoring at five on five on a top line. Eaton, Mottau are all limited even without rust and not going to become faster defenders who can spring a rush, by winning a race to the boards, to chip pucks to Grabner/Nielsen or anyone else.

This extends to the offensive forecheck as well, slower point defenders need more time to get into position, they are not going to be able to move in traffic as well and will be easier to read on the perimeter when they make passes or put low percentage shots on goal.

Most of this corrects itself next offseason, but for now, this team is going to be scrambling in it's own end of the ice, forcing the forwards back to play the game in their own end of the ice.

The kind of game they played in November of 2010, the kind they did not play in the second half of last season as other clubs had problems with the Islanders speed and aggressive play.

This is a step back.

Quickly and quietly, Garth Snow, just made his worst personnel decision as General Manager. Jack Capuano has him playing with Streit, so no hiding his decision here to make this combination.

Slow Defense Big Early Notable on 11-12 New York Season

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2011 09:57:00 AM | Comments

Well aware it's only two games, this is not about the record but what alarming trends have been seen.

Simply put this team is living down to the worst of our expectations, token win stolen by Montoya aside against Minnesota.

Martinek, Hillen, Gervais or anyone's ability to skate the puck out or chip it to spring a rush from the boards is desperately missing.

Two poor/mediocre teams have badly out-skated and outworked the New York Islanders, in a way rarely seen during the second half of last year.

It looks like Jack Capuano got back Scott Gordon's November 2010 club again with Eaton, Mottau on the backline, which now includes Staios.

Eaton needing to dive early to break up a play, Staios watching players take the puck at the net? Mottau/Eaton/Staios struggles moving the puck all over the defensive zone, forcing the forwards back, Pandolfo's lack of speed with Reasoner?

Anyone watch the play against Florida in the third by Staios, a Panther saw him not have his angle, and he went right to the net, slow to read and react.

I liked Eaton's game a year ago and pointed out his plus rating, even through the losing streak, however you can only carry one defender who plays that kind of game.

Comeau looks completely lost as a right wing, who took some big hits against Florida drifting to the middle, while Rolston hardly looks ready as a left wing, which does Bailey no favors.

Has management learned yet, you turn Comeau into nothing but an inconsistent player, by moving him off left wing? We saw this for years with other coaches, and last season.

One offensive zone setup against Minnesota with Tavares (all individual efforts) to find Moulson in the first period for sixty minutes? Six shots after the first period?

And the New York Islanders are taking some big hits, slow plays developing are easier to defend and target forwards for legal hits.

I understand two games is just that, but the speed, jump, quick plays to spring the rush along the boards, are not there with this slower, older defense, nor does it look like it has anything to do with two games, but current resume/calendar.

It's not what we saw with virtually no healthy defenders in the second half of last season, as the Islander forwards were flying and forcing teams on the defensive.

The 2011-12 team are getting pinned in their own end scrambling to get the puck out, in a way that does not create any odd man rushes or offense because of a lack of speed to get to pucks.

It holds back the faster forwards from breaking out, and easier to defend.

The two teams the Islanders have played, stepped it up and took over the game, they saw they could play the game forcing the Isles defense. Minnesota could barely get out of their own way for a good part of the game on Monday.

The idea of Steve Staios being used as a top paring defender, is frankly alarming, and begs the question why did Garth Snow go in this direction?

deHaan, Katic, Wishart, anyone would have been a better alternative in terms of puck moving in the corners/walls to spring the forwards for rushes.

I guess the good news is Montoya has started fast, Nielsen's even strength goal puts him a month and a half ahead of last year's pace. Streit is not in game-shape, however his talent carries him to a large degree, with that brilliant shot-pass to Nielsen.

Tavares individual efforts to create chances, looks great, but far from what's expected.

Perhaps more rust comes off Staios, Mottau, Eaton, Panfolfo, Reasoner, Rolston, even MacDonald, who are hardly in game shape, but that collective defense is not getting younger or faster.

This entry is not about two games, more about something that is seemingly not fixed with the current group. It's something we did not see in the second half.

This team looked fast in Bridgeport against Boston, they looked fast against the Devils at home for the one preseason game.

Tampa, Rangers (pick a team) are going to eat this defense alive, no goaltending is going to hide this for long, if these trends continue. Wishart should be here over Mottau, deHaan over Staios.

Even a risk of calling up Donovan/Ness may have to be considered.

Jurcina is no answer.

Katic's speed would have been a huge help.

Radek Martinek's ability to move the puck in traffic, is missed....badly.

Even the defender coming in Wednesday from Tampa (Bruno Gervais) is a big improvement moving the puck vs what has been seen so far.

Florida at New York OPENING NIGHT or Opening Night

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/08/2011 07:10:00 AM | Comments

Welcome to OPENING NIGHT or Opening Night for the 2011-12 New York Islanders, depending on how you view the first game.

NYIFC goes with Opening Night.

Last season's 4-1-2, first place start became 5-18-3, so those putting huge stock in how a season begins, or media who were hyping the club early last season after Tavares beat Toronto in overtime, simply got selective amnesia a year later, as no one wrote about that this summer.

Just as few wrote about the injuries in previews, no one touched on the subject of man games lost to injury three of the last four years, however folks who follow the team here understand this.

As for New York Islander Fan Central, we will be sticking to the game plan released recently for the 2011-12 season here but felt an obligation to set everyone up as best as possible to begin the 2011-12 season, so a great deal was put into preseason for our readers.

Now we go into periodic updates, some by blog entries, others via twitter. Game by game updates for all eight two games (including a reduced eighty for Bridgeport) are a thing of the past, even in twitter format.

Our thoughts have been expressed endlessly on several subjects, now we will see how things play out on/off the ice.

Thank You and enjoy the 2011-12 hockey season for the New York Islanders, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and our teams prospects.

NYIFC prospect blog is an excellent resource to follow the upcoming players.

New York Notables: Assistant Captains/Comeau Moving To RW

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2011 06:17:00 PM | |||Comments

ITV: Released interviews with Head Coach, Jack Capuano, and several of the players. The big news of the day is once again, Blake Comeau, changes postion to open the season as a right wing, despite the fact changing his position in the past has hurt his progression.

NYIFC Comments:
I saw Comeau in the video feed from Bridgeport playing right wing.

That likely means Rolston slides to left wing where he had his forty points in his final forty games a year ago vs a twenty four goal player, who's production has been very streaky at best over six months. History says, this hurts Comeau, who has struggled with this exact move made by several past coaches.

NYIFC twitter feed has notable moves on Thursday, which include assistant captains named, plus Jeremy Colliton being named Sound Tigers captain, with another menu of goal songs. Has a recap of many of the ITV interviews Thursday.

Ct Post/Greenwich Times: Has Colliton's comments along with several players named as assistant captains.

Fort Erie Times: Includes a footnote that Jordan Bailey (brother of Josh Bailey) is the teams early leading scorer.

Here's NYIFC Official Vote for the permanent goal song---NOTHING BUT THE CLASSIC SIREN:

Prediction In 2011-12 For New York? From Stanley Cup To 15th

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2011 03:28:00 PM | Comments

In many past years I would put the New York Islanders in the final playoff seed or last year, the pick was anywhere from second to fifteenth.

Other years:
2007-2008: Sixth Place
2008-2009: Sixth Place

This year we are going to go with a novel idea, and it's not based on doing a lazy preview, however one based on not only the New York Islanders, but the Eastern Conference/entire NHL.

The New York Islanders in 2011-12 could finish anywhere from first to fifteenth.

New York Announces 23 Man Roster: Strome Staying For Now

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2011 03:20:00 PM | Comments

Islanders website: Announced it's twenty three man roster. Trevor Frischmon and Dylan Reese have been assigned to Bridgeport, Kirill Kabanov has been returned to Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Forwards (13)
Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Jay Pandolfo, PA Parenteau, Marty Reasoner, Brian Rolston, Ryan Strome and John Tavares

Defensemen (7)
Mark Eaton, Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, Steve Staios and Mark Streit

Goalies (3)
Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov

Jeremy Colliton, Trevor Gillies, Mark Katic, Nino Niederreiter and Rhett Rakhshani are all listed on the team’s injured reserve list.

NYIFC Comments:
Strome and Niederreiter are likely tied together, however given practice lines, Parenteau, Okposo and Rolston are the right wingers with Pandolfo. After nine games off IR for Niederreiter, nine games for Strome, we will get our answers.

Notable is Jurcina is on active roster. As players come off injured reserve, expect some players to go to Bridgeport, but Katic is likely season, Rakhshani longer term.

Gillies, if injured, will likely be spotted, teams are not permitted to falsely list specific injuries per NHL rules beyond lower/upper body.

Ct Post: Going back to an earlier article from Michael Fornabaio, Tomas Marcinko could play in Bridgeport, if he wanted, so his contract is not NHL or Europe only.

Teams generally do not carry twenty three skaters for long.

Blair Betts is a center for those who wanted him claimed to play right wing.
Hofstra Chronicle: Reports the teams radio contract is expected to continue for 2011-12, with an announcement Friday.

NYIFC Comments:
Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz treats the New York Islanders like the enemy, and seems very willing to let any mixed use development go next to his university per his lukewarm referendum comments back in May here and virtually no university support for their neighbor of forty years.

New York Signs Ryan Strome, Jay Pandolfo

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/04/2011 10:09:00 PM | ||Comments

Islanders website: Reports Ryan Strome has signed an entry level contract with his comments. General manager, Garth Snow, also is quoted on the signing here.

Islanders website: Announced the signing of Jay Pandolfo with his comments, to a one year deal.

NYIFC Comments:
Strome was an inevitable signing, I would be shocked if he is not sent back to his junior team on Wednesday, given he has not been practicing with the top lines at his natural position of center. The club has it's four centers, with Niederreiter and Rolston the right wings for the top three lines.

Not a big fan of the Pandolfo signing, I would be mildly disappointed if he was given a one-way contract, given he was a former AHL signing. Bottom line when you get past everything the question is can a fourth line of Gillies/Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo, be a plus line?

Winning fights by appointment, sending messages are fine/necessary at times, but a team needs to outscore it's opposition along with playing quality defense.

A fourth line that has to be hidden after a goal, who's tone-setting ceiling, is to come out of a shift even, is not going to produce enough to help an offense.

Ultimately all it does is eat minutes.

New York Notables: Update on Willets Point

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2011 02:52:00 PM | Comments

Nino Niederreiter and Trevor Gillies have been placed on injured reserve retroactive to September 30th, while Jack Capuano addresses remaining cuts here before decision day on Wednesday. Jay Pandolfo, Trevor Frischmon both comment.

Islanders website: Earlier twitter feed/NYIFC had the lines at practice.

Niederreiter did not participate, Rolston did on right wing, with Bailey/Comeau while Parenteau was on the first line right wing spot with Moulson/Tavares.

Ct Post: Reports center, Chris Langkow is in on a tryout contract. Mark Katic, Rhett Rakhshani and Jeremy Colliton, all on NHL injured reserve, are in Bridgeport.

NYIFC Comments:
Kabanov has to go to the Montreal Junior/re-branded team (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)or stay with the Islanders, he is not eligible to play in Bridgeport, same for Ryan Strome. (who is not signed)

A few players with the Islanders are likely headed down to make the final cut which will likely include Trevor Frischmon/Dylan Reese, who have already cleared waivers.

As out twitter feed wrote earlier, if Jay Pandolfo is practicing on a fourth line with Reasoner/Martin, expect a signing of Pandolfo or some other kind of transaction/trade/signing.
Crains New York: Reported among the early bidders for Willets Point, there was speculation, Charles Wang, was asked to partner with a developer, however at this time is nothing can be confirmed based on lack of direct comments.
Winnipeg Free Press: Assigned Jason Gregiore to the AHL.

Staios, Eaton, Mottau, Jurcina And Injuries A Concern

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/03/2011 03:53:00 AM | Comments

I would have taken Bryan McCabe over Steve Staios. Of course, my choice would have been Calvin deHaan, Ty Wishart over both with Mark Katic. This could also put Matt Donovan or Aaron Ness in the picture earlier.

Steve Staios is not a good payoff for a summer of waiting to wind up with a very limited, injury prone veteran.

Radek Martinek is clearly an excellent player to skate the puck out of the defensive zone, even without the new rules on hits to the head/boarding, Martinek would have been the better choice over Staios. Arguably, you could make the point Jack Hillen and Bruno Gervais also better.

Simply put you put all those veterans (Mottau/Eaton) off long injuries with Streit, coming off a year without playing, who looked perfect in all three preseason games, Hamonic and a returning from a six month injury, Andrew MacDonald, there is something to be very concerned about beyond all three goaltenders injury concerns.

Big, slow, injury prone (or coming off injury) and no big hitters, in general, is not good way to start an offensive rush or clear the defensive zone.

Mottau, Eaton were not injury prone prior to last season, neither was Streit, so this could work, however nothing a substitute for games, so rust had to be expected.

You could see some standing around or slow reactions from Eaton/Mottau in preseason.

Jurcina is always a concern in these departments.

Still, on paper, it's not very impressive at the moment.

New York Makes It's First Cuts

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2011 07:50:00 PM | Comments

Islanders website: Announced Sunday, Michael Haley, Sean Backman, Casey Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Brett Gallant, Tomas Marcinko, Tyler McNeely, Tony Romano, David Ullstrom and Tim Wallace, along with defensemen Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Anton Klementyev, Aaron Ness, Benn Olson and Ty Wishart, Mikko Koskinen, Anders Nilsson and Kevin Poulin, have all been assigned to Bridgeport.

Islanders website: With changes are still carrying extra forwards, defenders that for now include Niederreiter, Strome, Pandolfo, Frischmon, Kabanov, with Dylan Reese as the eighth defender, but give out the complete depth chart for now, including injured reserve.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports the group sent to Bridgeport will begin practice at Webster Bank Arena Monday, under new head coach, Brent Thompson.

NYIFC Comments:
We have to see how this plays out but twenty eight is likely already less Trevor Frischmon, Reese already having cleared waivers, Kabanov and Strome likely ticketed for juniors.

Given rule changes for hitting from behind vs age/durability, Steve Staios is a downgrade from Radek Martinek by a lot.

Haley is a mild surprise which could mean well mean Pandolfo receives a contract, or some other transaction is coming. Obviously still a lot to work out to get down to twenty three players. Report on several players on waivers, including former Islander, Ryan O'Marra.

Boston 3 New York 2 (Bridgeport)

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/01/2011 03:40:00 PM | Comments

Cut downs and possible Niederreiter news expected on Sunday.

New York lost 3-2. See twitter feed for what little there was in a game where video feed did not work for one period, with no sound until 13:00 minutes left.

Montoya was said to play very well. Tavares scored at five on three, Comeau made a great circle around offensive zone, before putting it in front to Reasoner who scored.

Islanders website: Released the Islanders lineup vs Boston tonight at Webster Bank Arena, which will be an ITV webcasted game.

Some twitter updates, but not a lot tonight unless something significant happens, obviouly Niederreiter out (also Rolston) places Parenteau back with Tavares-Moulson and no true right wing alternative.

A lot of veteran defenders. Streit plays back to back.

MacDonald finally gets a game. Seems the goaltending will play out as the two veteran goaltenders (DiPietro-Nabokov) will get most work vs one who was in the AHL last season, and finished out the year playing well, and was rewarded.

Sorry, but reports of Nabokov starting in Bridgeport were incorrect, Montoya started.

As an older fan, I'm used to the regulars getting a lot of games together at the end of preseason, however perhaps in today's NHL the standard (especially here) is to come out of it healthy which will not happen.

In the end, regardless of my thought process or what's transpired in the past, practically every team will not be playing games for close to a week before opening the season.

Florida comes here in a week, who finished their preseason earlier than the Islanders, not like there is a carryover effect.

If last season taught us anything, 4-1-2 and what happened afterward had nothing to do with preseason beyond Streit-Okposo injuries.