New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2016 09:41:00 AM | Comments
Honestly folks, I have nothing new from most of the entries written here about the 2015-16 New York Islanders.

If you thought last season's schedule from late-Feb to the end of the season was brutal, and stopped that teams momentum, this time it's far worse beginning 2/2.

I find it hard to see a team playing 35 games/69 days (more on the road) gaining ground, much less playing at a ten game over five hundred pace they will need to match last season where they finished nineteen games over, which only clinched a playoff spot two days before the season ended.

At best I see a five hundred team from here that's going to be exhausted from travel/lack of days off, there are also going to be injuries with that kind of schedule.

Having written this ANYTHING can happen, but if you are asking what I expect to see happen based on how the season has played to date, this is how I see things, and it does not look good.

No, I do not want to see a Milbury plan where prospects are traded for rentals. If Okposo, Nielsen, cannot be retained there are few realistic alternatives in UFA.

If you are asking me who is available in a trade start with Grabovski who has no business as a left wing, he's a career center, who's not a top six scorer at his best. There are plenty of forwards here who should be full time centers. (Nelson/Strome) After that I would put anyone on 4th line on the table in a trade, with Bailey/Bernier/Kulemin if it lands a top six scoring forward.

So much for all that depth on defense, it went fast, with a lot of those prospects getting sent to the ECHL.

Starting on 2/2 over 69 days we will get our answer if this is a playoff team.

New York needs 45/70 available points to match years 101 point total. 

The years of words from this organization, and it's players all come down to this.

1/23/16: New York vs Philadelphia Postponed

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2016 10:30:00 AM | Comments

Win Or Lose Expect Capuano To Stay

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/15/2016 06:10:00 PM | Comments
1/14: NY Times makes clear leadership on Islanders fully support head coach Jack Capuano, who was named as a team USA assistant coach for the World Cup of hockey next year.

NYIFC Comments: 
Let's be clear my view does not matter.

I'm not in the lockeroom  which is the first thing I remind anyone who speaks like they know what the players have no idea, neither does the media most of the time.

I give my views based on how the team plays, and the few comments the worst media in North America provide. Dave Caldwell is a joke who could barely cover this team when he was fully working at the Times before he bounced to the WSJ, and now back at the Times occasionally, his rhetoric is not relevant nor that of his occasional media counterparts/editors with cost cutting agenda's.

Having written this the players quoted comments are paramont, and what a general manager puts a lot of weight behind when deciding to make a change or retain the coach. Mike Milbury made very clear the players exit interviews was why Peter Laviolette was not retained after 2003 under contract, despite Wang regretting that decision years later on WFAN.

Wang-Snow have not been shy about paying coaches here to go home under contract.

Also let's make clear despite calling for his dismissal since last May, I like Jack Capuano. Outside of a Kirk Muller/Petrov (you sign a contract you live up to it) situation never dislike any Islander player beyond how they play.

For me it's always strictly about how the team has played, and if they are taking steps forward to win a Stanley Cup which is why a team is in business.

At the end of 2013-14, I absolutely wanted Capuano retained because how well this team played on the road finishing 17-5-2 with a team loaded with injuries/prospects/potential. At the end of 2014-15 I called for a change because the Islanders had Washington on the ropes after game one, and could not beat a backup leading 3-1 in game two like they were waiting to lose which is not where a team should be after 82 games/101 points of learning.

New York should have won that series in four/five games, the Caps looked as tentative as Islanders in game seven beyond Halak, despite injuries that should not be the lessons learned of 82 games, and a regression of what we saw in 2013 against Pittsburgh with far less talent on roster.

This year since day one I see far too many players regressing who should be improving, including Tavares. Endless line changes with combinations not built to last, and now calling up prospects to not play the position they were developed at in Bridgeport. Even worse this team rarely outworks anyone, and only seems to win when the other goalie has a poor game or the other team is exhausted.

If it's one player that's ok, when it's most of the roster, and a healthy team is giving up over 35 shots most games, and the star player is struggling with a weak powerplay what can I write when the coach is getting very repetitive?

Bottom line the players (even UFA) spoke up and defended this coach as we have seen for years. 

The coach could be the one thing keeping them here, it obviously was not an issue for the two players who signed seven year extensions who know what it takes to win a Stanley Cup or the many players who have enthusiastically resigned with this organization or even when leaving have great words for this management.

Makes no difference what I think or see during games if that's how the players feel, as a fan I have to defer to that.

What I see during games this season so far has not worked. Will keep hoping something clicks, and Capuano's message takes this team to a playoff spot/cup run we all want. 

What's Been Wrong Since Day One With 2015-16 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/11/2016 01:52:00 PM | Comments

I guess the NHL figured out the New York Islanders, or their kids have taken a big step backwards with many veterans. We have seen them struggling through half a season with most of the team healthy and underachieving.

The west is a great example of this. Anaheim is a ghost of the team they were with many of the same star players.

Dallas is the standard new good team for now, they came here exhausted, and their goaltending was poor so the Islanders beat them, it was more about the Stars playing seven games in eleven days.

Wait until the Islanders have the same schedule in Feb-March.

I do not see Snow trading his prospects, and on paper he has no forward in Bridgeport with NHL potential healthy.

It's Bernier & Boulton.

Ryan Pulock's not good enough to play in the NHL as a right defender (Bridgeport went 0-28 on powerplay) well rested Zidlicky is not good enough to dress over Adam Pelech (natural LD) who was recalled and played two games at RD (vs Dallas/Washington) a position he never played in Bridgeport or his entire career before Mayfield was recalled so both could play their natural positions.

Says all you need to know about Zidlicky who played 82, 84 games the last two NHL seasons or how poorly the Islanders have handled him? 

Brian Strait, a left defender is again playing right defense which is not his career position, the result is big mistakes like Flyers second goal where he looked completely lost as he did when Grabner scored the easiest goal of his career untouched in front of the Islanders goal for several seconds. 

If Capuano expects changes to the forwards it has to come from within because 29 other teams are looking for the same things. The coach for some reason he does not stick very long with Lee-Tavares-Okposo which is his best forward at each position.

It's a team that's been carried by it's goaltending/penalty killing.

The general manager apparently does not see this as a coaching issue despite the many underachieving players, who are largely outworked/outplayed most games. The players who always have this coaches back, are not responding when the puck drops unless the opposing goaltender/team has a poor game.

Capuano's words are very repetitive these days, like a coach the team has tuned out.

Since camp I kept writing something was wrong and hopefully something clicks, but just do not see it happening.

Ultimately I do not see a playoff team here or at best one which is a very easy out. Strome/Lee/Nelson (who's been moved around and played acceptable) are young and maybe this is not their time. Maybe Leddy/Hamonic are still too young also?

Not expecting Jenner to kick in another puck which is the only reason the Islanders did not lose in regulation to Columbus last time. The Rangers five man goalie unit is getting a nice rest/recharge against many tired teams, which included Washington.

Philadelphia is no fluke, their last loss at home was 12/8 against NYI in a shootout and they had 46 shots in that game. The Pens are looking much better, and have Fleury/top defender back. The Devils usually play their goalie box, give up only 20 shots a game for a top goaltender like Schneider, and will get Mike Camalleri back at some point who will turn one goal losses into overtime games.

These teams are all going to pass the Islanders if this continues. 

Carolina has been a very tough out, and scores goals in bunches, they are climbing up the standings also.

But there is half a season to play. We will keep waiting for something to work, and this team to pick up it's skating/game.

Yormark Speaks/Post Ratner Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/05/2016 07:49:00 AM | Comments

Only Number That Matters Is Points....BUT

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/04/2016 01:34:00 PM | Comments

Strait For Boychuk? Who Cares........WIN

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/02/2016 01:46:00 PM | Comments

Strait for Boychuk. Go win on the road like they did in 2013-14 for over three months. 

Yes, I know they started something like 0-11 that season on the road, and were a terrible home team with only nine regulation wins. 

You have read many of my past entries on that season, here we are two years later. Some of those players are gone or seemingly buried in the AHL. Czuczman went to the ECHL, Carkner is on an AHL contract.

The defense has been far worse and had road success. This group is older, better and should be able to do the same thing without waiting for forty save efforts from the goaltenders.

Struggles Continue/NY Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/01/2016 02:19:00 PM | Comments
Nothing new to write about the on-ice play since last entry beyond the new injuries to Halak, and likely Boychuk for a longer-term.

It's almost all goaltending by Greiss with excellent penalty killing which is due to falloff. The goals scored are mostly the by product of poor goaltending by the opposition in the wins vs New Jersey, Anaheim, Toronto.

Buffalo's goaltender played very well but we are not seeing many setups the goaltender has no chance on by this offense. 

Grabner scored the easiest goal of his career at Barclay's, completely untouched, allowed to stand at crease as long as he wanted. Zidlicky at around +9 needed to continue to rest for Brian Strait that game which makes me wonder why not just give Pulock his spot now if that's what Capuano thinks of his game?

Buffalo was exhausted playing it's second game in two nights, NY was waiting for them, and with powerplays the Sabres had a 16-1 shot advantage, 43 overall on the game, and looked like the rested team.

Capuano pointed out the even strength shots were 6-5 in the first period at Buffalo. Ok, but why are your players again being out-worked/out-skated when the opposition played/traveled? 

The games are almost the opposite of a year ago, the hitting fading more recently also.

Hope something clicks out of nowhere, but reality is going to hit hard very soon unless that happens. The Devils, Pens, even Carolina are playing at a higher level. The Flyers completely dominated the previous game beyond Halak stealing two points.

We'll see what happens with Boychuk, and what Pelech can do with his call-up, there is really no one in Bridgeport who can statistically spark the offense among the forwards.

Okposo is likely playing with his injury which means he's not going to be effective often. 
The news has been very good from WJC, but it will come down to next training camp for Barzal vs the older prospects. Soderstrom has a signed contract in KHL.

Michael Dal Colle, was traded to Kingston.
Mitch Vande Sompel is suspended indefinitely, Josh Ho-Sang for two games per OHL.