New York Learning To Win Now For Later

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/25/2014 01:21:00 AM | Comments
There is a lot to be happy about, the scoring is balanced, and there are players due for a few goals, everyone is giving them something. 

Later can come any time, next week, month, or in March when this team will have to break out of a slump/losing streak.

That's when we see if this team has learned something here because you can't peak in November or March.

For now some solid positive signs. 

Look at it in five game segments as coaches like Pat Quinn and Al Arbour used to say.

For now this club keeps learning how to win long term as many clubs have in this league, there are reasons we see the same teams in the playoffs every year that go beyond front-loading corporate contracts.

It's something that this organization must become for the players here now, and the ones in the system coming in the future, otherwise it's just one nice November in another forgettable year like many where this team dominated at times after they were well out of contention.

Nothing was learned that carried over to the next season from that success despite the talk from management and the players. 

Now we see if something has been learned? 

Losing games with two goal leads became a habit, now taking over games in the third period has to become the habit.

They still need something to happen for John Tavares, whether it be outside or inside the organization to spark his five on five play because that's what Stanley Cup contenders need.

He's still on his eighty point pace. 

Brock Nelson has looked like a special player and has since day one of this season. Just leave everyone in one position, and let then keep developing. 

Despite Halak's play, there have been too many moments like the first goal against Pittsburgh, beyond that it's coming together for him, and the defense is giving him the low percentage shots against. 

Skills competition wins/losses, keep getting games to overtime and banking points.

Too many of these shootouts are treated like regulation wins/losses by far too many folks.

It's going to take 97 points/15-17 games over likely to even qualify, but that's down the road. 

A lot more to learn but for now this team is learning.

We'll see where it is in twenty days or so here, but for those watching judge it in five game segments of hockey. 

New York Celebrates History/Legends In Eviction Year

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2014 11:11:00 PM | Comments
Folks who have read New York Islander Fan Central know how I feel about our legendary players.

Core of Four weekend, 1980 celebration, all these things were written about. The archives are packed with updates/endless articles including Billy Smith on 7/17/2014 who is the greatest money goalie in NHL history

No goalie won more playoff series in a row, no team won more championships since in professional sports.

There is nothing new I can add for these players or the ones who will be honored moving forward. 

I honestly do not know how you honor players with their jersey's in the rafters who have been celebrated time and again over the years or what the players can say that's different?

They all deserve a final thunderous ovation from our fans.

For everyone honored this is the final time they will be at the current Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in their life times. 

Let's also be clear it's a very ambiguous and uncomfortable circumstance for the organization which was obvious on opening night and on the final year patch.

This team was evicted from Nassau County because it's politicians and most citizens did not care about this team or it's history to support it, that is the undercurrent of these celebrations, and it's justifiably very bitter for everyone, myself included. 

The history for this New York team since 1972 will continue in 2015-16, just as it did for the Giants, Jets, Devils, Caps who all moved locally.  

I keep reading stuff from the teams website and fans trying to pick a greatest player, my answer is simple.

There can be no greatest player. They had the greatest team management in sports history with Bill Torrey and Al Arbour.

They were the ultimate team.

The header to this site has reflected this since day one, it always will. 

Without every single one of them, they do not have that historic team success. From the retired numbers to every member of the core of four/Brent Sutter/Roland Melanson were all most valuable in what was accomplished.

Video October 15 2014: Ratner Talks Coliseum, Confronted By Question Demanding NYI Stay/Replace Coliseum

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/16/2014 12:01:00 PM | ||Comments
No pulling punches or fluff, Bruce Ratner on video taking very hard questions on Islanders, Coliseum with his plans which includes AHL. I would not waste our time otherwise posting it.

One person stands up and on video tells Ratner no one will go to Brooklyn, he should build a new Coliseum and change his mind about relocating, that only forty people bought ticket plans, and in five years team will relocate out of market. 

The video is edited to fourteen minutes by myself for the content hockey fans would be interested in. Around seven minute mark Ratner faces the fan question above.

A standing room only crowd filled a ballroom at the Carltun in Eisenhower Park October 15th to hear Developer Bruce Ratner talk about the art of networking, the power of persistence, and the status of the Nassau Coliseum project. Ratner was the featured guest at the WCBS Small Business Breakfast presented by SCNB and hosted by WCBS Morning Business Anchor Joe Connolly from the Wall Street Journal. At the session at the Carltun, Bruce Ratner talked about small businesses being the life blood of local economies. And while he talked about the benefits of “big dreams,” he counseled the crowd on keeping those dreams reasonable. Below is the replay of the entire WCBS Newsradio 880 Small Business Breakfast.

Complete Event on Video (One Hour, Twelve Minutes)

What Have We Learned About 2014-15 NYI? Ho-Sang Traded To Niagara

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/14/2014 10:45:00 AM | Comments
Before addressing that question let's just be clear about one thing regarding the NHL in general.

1. Almost every year all 30 teams win 25-30 games, lose 20-30 unless you are historically good or bad, and even the 1972-73 team had a winning streak and the 9-7 win in Boston.

The New York Islanders had some horrible stretches during their Stanley Cup years when they were not winning fifteen straight games without overtime. 

1a. What you do with the other 30 games decides your season, it's that simple. Our team lost 14 games entering the third period with a two goal lead last season, and still finished 17-5-2 in it's last 24 road games, but won only nine games in regulation at home (none easy) with four more in overtime/shootouts. 

1b. Any team can beat any other team on a given night now more than ever. No such thing as one easy game, and if you need proof the Islanders road record back to last season with an AHL lineup is now 22-8-2.

1c. The back to back regulation loss streak that lasted from Dec 7th 2013 ended in San Jose. 

2. The New York Islanders were not going to allow over three goals all 82 games, they were not going to score five goals every game.

3. Eventually unless the team was a catastrophe they were going to play some low scoring games, and have a decent stretch killing penalties.

4. Eventually the scoring was going to dry up. Those are all normal trends for all teams over a full season.

What was alarming was Halak's play from day one of preseason, and Johnson after his win in Boston. Things leveled out for both, it's supposed to.

My experience watching our team in the past is the first trend, the one with the weak goaltending, poor five on five play and poor penalty kill with the awful home record, and excellent road record.

But with the roster turnover, the age of the core players does suggest the trends could be changing.

We also now know they are capable of winning low scoring games against good teams and killing some penalties.

What is alarming would be John Tavares two even strength goals, and no qualified 1st line left wing talent in the organization to replace Vanek's production which Snow decided he had to address last season.

And I have no doubt unless this team makes the playoffs Garth Snow and Jack Capuano will not be going to the Barclay's Center. A perception change based on the lack of results will be mandated, and completely justified. 

Also I can easily see a team with 95-97 points not qualifying from this conference just as it has been in the Western Conference and the New York Islanders being that team.

Ok, now we sit back for a good long while, and see what happens next.

New York Plays A Perfect Home Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/12/2014 05:33:00 AM | Comments

When everything comes together it's a lot of fun to watch.  That was even better then we we saw in April 2013.

All games are not all going to be like that obviously, and no illusions Colorado was struggling but they had a three goal comeback going into this game and the Islanders just outworked them in every area.

Despite the win they still need a first line left wing.

Ok, now we sit back for a while and see what Bailey's likely return and some very tough games bring.

Strome/Cizikas even Lee getting another goal is only going to help them relax.  Halak needed a night like this at home badly.

No sign a week ago they were capable of any of this with so many things simply not working since day one of camp.

Chemistry is a funny thing, it happens sometimes out of nowhere, and it goes away sometimes just as quickly.

But now we know this is a team that can play that way, in a conference that screams it could take 97 points to earn a playoff spot.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/11/2014 08:38:00 AM | Comments
The plaque was dedicated on 5/29/1972.

This Is How New York Must Play

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2014 10:57:00 PM | Comments
It took the entire training camp, preseason, and about thirteen regular season games, there was no sign of any turnaround coming beyond the strong road record since December 2013.

Maybe some chemistry is finally happening with this team.

Still a lot of problems starting with a first line left wing, and Strome producing with many other issues at five on five.

But that is how you need to play to win long-term when your scoring does not win 5-3. Whether it be Boychuck or Tavares out, regardless who dresses.

Every entry I kept writing it 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 games. Even if they lost the skills contest in Los Angeles or did not win against Anaheim or lost in overtime against Arizona 1-0 this is what it takes to be successful.

Injuries are the norm here--many of them.

Bottom line this is how they turned three weeks in April 2013 into a playoff spot.

Now comes the biggest problem of all. The road has not been the problem as they finished 17-5-2 to close last season and always find ways to win on the road.

New York Cannot Hide From Increasing Problems

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/06/2014 02:08:00 PM | Comments
Updated: New York vs Kings That's the kind of defense, penalty kill, skating, and goaltending it takes to win in this league. First time all season.

This is what I have been waiting for.

Even if they lost the skills competition (Nielsen vs Western conference=advantage NYI) that's the kind of work it will take to go with developing/acquiring true first line left wing.

I have little to add since my last entry after the Dallas game, it's played out exactly as expected with reality settling in.

Bottom line this team is simply not good enough without a true first line left wing, and forwards who can win pucks, play better defense, and produce.

And the penalty kill is a disaster.

It's nice the Islanders got a favorable bounce for what is only John Tavares second even strength goal of the season, that Kyle Okposo again used his power move (as in San Jose) to the middle for the man advantage 2-0 goal, and another Tavares powerplay shot from long distance beat a struggling Anaheim goalie to win one game in overtime against an injured team.

More importantly Jaroslav Halak is giving his team better goaltending for the moment.

Still the glaring problems remain as options have been exhausted, the schedule is only going to get harder.

Other teams make a push, the New York Islanders do not push back or show any ability to play a sixty minute game. Our team does not seem capable of any push at their opposition.

Something has to give. It could be the coach eventually but most of this comes down to the construction of this roster by the general manager.

Replacing Vanek's 44 points in 47 games with Conacher/someone not a first line player is beyond coaching.

This team is painfully weak at five on five scoring=player career resume=general manager.

The penalty kill is awful and desperately needs changes=coaching staff.

There are too many players who simply cannot score on this roster or not progressing:  Martin, Cizikas, Conacher, Kulemin, Strome. Clutterbuck has his goal vs Boston=players/coaching.

Career center Grabovski not playing center at 20m dollars=Coaching.

Wanting drafted center Nelson to play his natural position, not wing=Smart coaching.

Seven drafted or career centers/four spots.
#91, 51, 12, 84, 53, 29, 18=Management.

Lack of size/physical scoring wingers=General manger. 

Jack Capuano has no first line left wing who can produce, and down to Kulemin, who's not the answer in terms of career production, he's given everyone else a look which is all the coach can do. 

Ryan Strome has not improved at all in the corners, is very easy to knock off the puck, and does not use his speed/skill often enough. He has a few nice assists early but is mostly a non-factor in games with no sign of showing any progression.

Anders Lee needs one set spot=coaching.

What should work better? Defense if the goaltending is there. The defense is at full strength but this is a five man equation, and the forwards/centers are not physically strong to where as a group they win pucks.

Hope I'm wrong, but nothing I have seen (beyond defense contributing in offensive zone) has been encouraging and no, Johnny Boychuk/Nick Leddy are not 1/2 defenders or players expected to score beyond their career numbers.

No folks, a coaching change does not make kids or third line forwards, first line players or make them grow up faster.

No incoming coach fixes these issues.