Monday, November 23, 2009

This Blog is Closed

For anyone that visits this blog, I just want to inform you that it is shut down. I may choose to reactivate in the future. In the meanwhile I recommend IslandersPointBlank.com or Lighthouse Hockey for informative Islanders reading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Long Island Press report - Lighthouse without Light


Please see the link below to the story on the Long Island Press website. To be honest, I don't give this report much credence, but Islanders Country is up in arms so it is worthy of reporting.

http://www.longislandpress.com/2009/10/14/press-exclusive-plugged-is-pulled-on-lighthouse/

Please also check B.D Gallof's take over at HockeyIndependent.com. This is a great new site that B.D. has set up to attract hockey bloggers from all over the NHL landscape.

http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/?p=3231

Finally I always recommend Chris Botta's blog which will be continuing throughout the upcoming Islanders season thanks to a new sponsorship agreement with AOL's NHLFanhouse.

http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2009/10/report-lighthouse-project-goes-dark/

I'll add thoughts on this whole potential debacle as more information becomes available.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

(Not so) Listless Bruins

9:49 PM - Though the Islanders garnered another point, this is by far their most disappointing game of the season after a great start that lasted two and a half periods. It'll be interesting to see how they perform on Monday afternoon.

I'm off now to watch the Montreal Canadiens at the Edmonton Oilers on the NHL Center Ice free preview. I may yet sign up for Center Ice this year.

9:43 PM - Blake Wheeler nets it for Boston first. Schremp nets one for the Islanders. Patrice Bergeron hits the left post. Richard Park is denied. Marc Savard nets one for Boston. Kyle Okposo is denied. The Boston Bruins win the game 4-3 in the shootout.

9:39 PM - No Overtime goal. We are now goint to the Shoot Out! My predictions are Tavares, Streit and Schremp in no particular order as the first Islanders shooters.

9:30 PM - The third period ends tied. We are going to Overtime...again.

9:24 PM - At 17:26 the Bruins scores to tie the game at 3. Matt Hunwick is credited with the goal but it looked like it deflected off of Mark Recchi to go into the net. The Islanders third period problems continue in Coach Gordon's second season with the team.

9:20 PM - We have a hockey game now folks. At 15:45 of the third period, Byron Bitz scores off of Meyer's right toe to reduce the Islanders lead to one goal. 3-2 Islanders

9:12 PM - At 11:59 of the third period Marc Savard scores to take away Roloson' shutout chance. 3-1 Islanders

8:49 PM - Late in the second period, Bruins defensemen Dennis Wideman left the ice with what looked suspiciously like a dislocated shoulder after a clean hit along the boards by Matt Moulson. Also I neglected to mention earlier that Trent Hunter did not start tonight and is two to four weeks with a partially torn pectoral muscle. Dwayne Roloson is looking sharp in the net tonight.

8:31 PM - At 15:48 of the period, John Tavares scores his second career goal to make it 3-0 Islanders. This was a beautiful shot on a 2-1 on rush. Freddy "God of Thunder" Meyer gets an assist.

8:25 PM - At 12:43 of the second period, Radek Martinek scores to make it 2-0 Islanders. Assists to Mark Streit and John Tavares.

8:16 PM - Doug Weight is out tonight with the groin again. Nate Thompson takes his place in the lineup. Joel Rechlicz was recalled from Bridgeport to add a little beef to the lineup.

After a first period in which the Islanders failed to capitalize on numerous power play opportunities, Jon Sim scores a power play goal at 4:04 of the second period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Sim was assisted by Rob Schremp and Kyle Okposo on his first goal of the season. This was Schremp's first point as an Islander.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More on Monday - MSG Plus

Per B.D. Gallof over at IslandersIndependent.com, Monday's game will be broadcast on MSG Plus at 10:30 pm on a half hour delay (which is the same as on the NHL Network). This delay is due to Canadian programming conflicts. This explains the time confusion that I previously mentioned.

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Tavares on Monday

Per Katie Strang of Newsday, John Tavares is not playing in the Hockeyville game which will be broadcast on the NHL Network this Monday. Sorry to those whom I may have misled on this subject.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Islanders Pre-Season Game on TV (Updated)

I hope you have all enjoyed your summer. I took a break from blogging for the most part over the summer. I expect to become more active on this front now that it is time for Pre-Season Camps to start up. The Islanders camp takes place at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Camp starts on Saturday September 12th and runs until Sunday the 20th.


On Monday the 14th, the Islanders will travel to Terrace, British Columbia to compete in the 2009 Kraft Hockeyville game which was awarded to Terrace as result of that community winning the CBC Kraft Hockeyville reality series. This game will be shown on the NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada at 10:30 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). This will be for most Islanders fans the first chance to see a glimpse of John Tavares in a game situation.

The Islanders will also play the following games during the preseason; none of which will be broadcast on television (don't even ask about Islanders TV). All times are EDT.

09/16/09, 9:00 pm, @ Oilers

09/17/09, 9:00 pm, @ Flames

09/19/09, 9:00 pm, vs. Flames (Saskatoon)

09/20/09, 9:00 pm, vs. Oilers (Saskatoon)

09/22/09, 8:00 pm, vs. Kings (Kansas City)

09/23/09, 7:00 pm, vs. Devils (Uniondale!!!)

09/29/09, 7:00 pm, @ Devils

The Islanders regular season schedule starts at home on Saturday October 3rd versus the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Big Deal is Tomorrow


Nothing original here. Just passing on info from the Islanders about tomorrow's public hearing. I can't attend, but if you can, do so. Please read below.

Starting at 8 a.m. TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at the Nassau Coliseum, leaders from the surrounding communities, labor, as well as fans and supporters of the project will rally and march to the Lighthouse Project public hearing at the Adams Playhouse on the campus of Hofstra University. BE THERE!

The rally will be held in Lot 8 of the Nassau Coliseum and feature special guest speakers including Islanders Owner Charles Wang, Islanders Alumni and local elected officials. Islanders forwards Josh Bailey and Joel Rechlicz will on site meeting and greeting fans and supporting the Lighthouse Project.

At 8:45 the rally will conclude and everyone will march from Lot 8 to the Adams Playhouse for the 9:30 a.m. start of the public hearing.

"Just Build It!" T-shirts will be available for the first 2,000 people in attendance. Parking at the Coliseum will be free of charge.

If you have a website and you would like to promote the public hearing and the rally, please click the following link to downloadable buttons for your site.

http://www.lighthouseli.com/media/download#logos

For further questions, please visit http://lists.neulion.com/users/link.php?UserID=71194&Newsletter=810&List=4&LinkType=Send&LinkID=1753 or the Official Blog of the Lighthouse Development Group, The Light Post at lighthouseliblog.blogspot.com. You can follow the Lighthouse project on Twitter at @Lighthouse_LI or join the "I support the Lighthouse at Long Island" on Facebook.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Save NYI Point Blank

Yesterday evening after work, I opened my web browser and clicked on the tab for Chris Botta's must read blog to see what was new in Islanders world. I did not go to the official website, I did not go to other blogs which I consider essential Islanders reading, I went to "The Source", also known as NYI Point Blank. I saw the report on Jack Hillen's signing and was very happy with that news. 90 Minutes later, I refreshed that tab and was greeted with news I did not want to see. NYI Point Blank is essentially defunct. Now this was not unexpected, but the reason for it was surprising.

I had thought that Mr. Botta might move onto greener (or more lucrative) pastures based upon his 20 years of experience working for the Islanders including many years serving as the team's Vice President of Media Relations. I never expected the reason to be that the Islanders were pulling the plug on this successful interest generating sponsored blog operation . This may be a bottom line decision about dollars versus the income it creates, however it would seem to be shortsighted decision.

The Islanders have a wide range of community outreach and assistance programs. All of which serve three interlinked purposes. The first to be a good corporate citizen (which is great for public image). The second is to help those who could use some assistance in their lives including but not limited to having a good night out at a hockey game. The third is to generate interest in the team not only from people who will buy tickets and merchandise, but almost more importantly from children who will hopefully become lifelong fans. One could propose that NYI Point Blank contributes to the mission of the third purpose listed above. There is a wide age spectrum to the readership of NYI Point Blank as has been evidenced in comment section of that blog many times.

Finally and most importantly. NYI Point Blank has become the authoritative source for Islanders information. Losing this "voice" will be a major hit to the team's fan base. Don't let it happen. Reach out to the team in any capacity necessary and let them know how you feel.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

C. Wang on Mike'd Up on WFAN


Here is a link to today's long winded discussion between two self proclaimed hockey ignorant people about the New York Islanders and the proposed Lighthouse Project.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Day After


Luckily this was not the scene last night at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders were in tune with the wants of most of their fans. While everyone was happy that the team was able to trade up to pick number 12 (from 26). There are starting to be rumblings about why they traded that high to pick defenseman Calvin De Haan and the associated cost in picks. My thoughts remain that they really like De Haan and they had a lot of picks (to spare?) obtained in last year's draft. My sober conclusion the day after is that they could have obtained De Haan at pick 16 and they did not need to trade up further to pick 12.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, here are the details the Islanders two moves to trade up from 26 to 12.

1. The Minnesota Wild's first-round pick went to the New York Islanders as the result of a trade on June 26, 2009 that sent a first-round pick (#16 overall), a third-round pick (#77 overall) in 2009 and a seventh-round pick (#182 overall) in 2009 to Minnesota in exchange for this pick.

2. The Columbus Blue Jackets' first-round pick went to the Minnesota Wild as the result of a trade on June 26, 2009 that sent a first-round pick (#12 overall) to the New York Islanders in exchange for a third-round pick (#77 overall) in 2009, a seventh-round pick (#182 overall) in 2009 and this pick. New York previously acquired this pick as the result of a trade on June 26, 2009 that sent a first-round pick (#26 overall) in 2009, a second-round pick (#37 overall) in 2009, a third-round pick (#62 overall) in 2009 and a fourth-round pick (#92 overall) in 2009 to Columbus in exchange for a third-round pick (#77 overall) in 2009 and this pick

On to today's picks. I'm going to start by saying I am not a professional hockey scout and I do not know a lot about the players the Islanders are taking in rounds 2-7 so I will purely analyze the trades of picks and the positions that these players play. If I come up with any interesting tidbits as I am working, I will of course include them.

As I correctly predicted (not in writing, rather while lying in bed this morning) the Islanders used the first pick in the second round, 31st overall, to select a goaltender. I figured this based upon the fact that it is general knowledge that Islanders needed depth in goal and that they picked a forward and a defenseman in the first round. The pick was 6'7" 20 year old Finnish goaltender Mikko Koskinen.

The Islanders traded their remaining second round pick (#56) to the Columbus Blue Jackets to reacquire the first pick in the third round (#62) and the first pick in the fourth round (#92). Please note that their were 31 picks in the second round due to the compensatory pick awarded to the New York Rangers as a result of untimely and sad death of their 2008 first round pick Alexei Cherepanov.

At the start of the third round, the Islanders held picks #62 and #91 (#91 was obtained in the trade that send Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2009). With the first pick in the third round (#62), the Islanders select...another goaltender, 6'5" Swedish goaltender Anders Nilsson. Well that is the second goaltender the Islanders have picked which speaks volumes about how General Manager Garth Snow feels about goaltenders and about one particular goaltender. The Islanders then traded pick #91 to the Phoenix Coyotes for their third round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.

At this point in the draft the Islanders had three remaining picks. The first pick in rounds four through six (#92, #122, #152).

With their fourth round pick (#92), the Islanders selected 5' 10" center Casey Cizikas. Cizikas played junior hockey last season with the Mississauga St Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

With their fifth round pick (#122), the Islanders selected 6'1" Russian defenseman Anton Klementyev.

With their sixth round pick (#152), the Islanders selected Anders Lee. Lee is a 6'2" center out of Edina High School in Minnesota. Per Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank, there is a good chance that Lee could end up choosing football over hockey.


The draft appears to be complete at this point for the New York Islanders unless there are any last minute trades made to obtain additional picks. I want to give special thanks to the New York Islanders, Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank and B.D. Gallof and the crew at Islanders Independent for an exciting draft night and an exciting week leading up to the draft.

Friday, June 26, 2009

All Hail Garth Snow


So I am home now from the Draft Party at NVMC. It was quite a night. I was correct in my prediction that the Islanders would select John Tavares. Now it is not like that was a big reach, so I do not take credit here, but I am glad that Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski did not go against the grain.

It is such a wonderful night to be an Islanders fan. The moves the Islanders made to go up to pick 12 and select Calvin De Haan came at a very reasonable cost. For all of those who were apoplectic at last years moves to trade down and select Josh Bailey, this is what it was all about.

For all the doubters out there, let it be known that Garth Snow has proven himself to be a smart General Manager. Yes, this last year, the Islanders had to suck on Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls in order to get the first overall pick in the draft. That being said, when you combine the moves and picks in the last two drafts (there are still 6 more rounds left in this draft), my respect for our starting goalie cum backup goalie cum General Manager has just increased significantly.

Further analysis to come over the weekend. Have Stanley Cup (in a few years) dreams tonight.

Updated Estimate

With over 24,000 tickets given away for the draft party, I am upping my estimate to 8,000 - 10,000 people in attendance for the draft party.

Also of course I am going to reiterate what I said back in April. It is this bloggers humble opinion that the Islanders will select John Tavares with the first overall pick in the draft.

Other than that, I am starting to get inpatient waiting for my friend John to arrive so we can leave for the Draft Party. Of course he said between 5:30 and 6:00 so I guess I should just settle down!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MadMen


I may be a bit late on this considering Chris Botta's post on this subject today, but considering I posted a similar theory on the comment section of his blog yesterday, I'm not feeling very plagiaristic about it. Also, I have a different take on the subject.


The Public Relations/Advertising team with the Islanders are touting that 11,000 fans have grabbed their free tickets for the Islanders Draft Party scheduled to take place at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (NVMC) on Friday June 26th. This sounds like a lot of Islanders fans are very excited about the upcoming draft, which is absolutely true. But there is a catch to this public relations ploy.

Public Relations or PR men are a lot like advertising men who are also known colloquially madmen. They spin truth and facts about a product or event to show it in the best light and generate a buzz. Nothing wrong with this in my opinion. After all we live in a capitalistic society. However as a consumer, one should always be aware of this.



So "More than 11,000 Islanders fans have gotten their free tickets" Really? I find this rather entertaining. I would say that the whole reason why you need a ticket is so they can post this little factoid on the Islanders website. I assure you the number will keep going up taboot. After all it was only 10,000 yesterday.

So let's look at the reality of the situation. By going through the Islanders website, you can request up to six free tickets per customer. So let's use myself as an example. I requested six tickets. There is a chance, that I may use all six, but I consider it unlikely. To use all six, my son would need to attend the Draft Party after the Islanders Spring Hockey League "picnic" which coincidentally takes place at NVMC immediately before the Draft Party. My son is 14 and most likely would rather hang out with his friends on the first Friday after school ends. My girlfriend would have to be able to attend and that is iffy since she has responsibilities to her 15 year old daughter as well as to her aging father. The aforementioned 15 year old daughter would have to attend (see the comment about my son). Then my friend John would need to attend and bring either his wife or son or both. If all the above came we would need one extra ticket. I think it more likely that it will just be me and John. If that happens than four of the six tickets requested will go to waste. Using myself as a microcosm and assuming that most people requested six tickets just because they could, then 11,000 becomes 3,666.

That is one way of looking at it. There is also the possibility that many folks requested six (or even less) tickets for themselves and their friends not knowing that their friends have likewise done the same thing. Say a group of four friends, that always go to games together, each requested four tickets, not knowing that each of them has requested the tickets. All four friends are going to go to the Draft Party, but then twelve tickets will go to waste. Using this example, 11,000 becomes 2,750.

Both of the above examples do not take into account that some folks may have requested tickets on the chance that they might want to go to the Draft Party, but will then decide that they do not feel like going that night and being accosted by Sparky and his sweaty paws.

I think it likely that their will be approximately 3000 - 4000 people in attendance. Your thoughts? Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So Nice




I went to see the Mets play today on Mother's Day with my lovely girl Trish who is a fantastic Mom. When we drove into the parking lot, I thought I had taken a wrong turn and arrived at the Domino's headquarters. When we walked into the main entrance and were going up the escalator, I cracked that I felt like I was in a shopping mall. And that is true, but it was a very upscale baseball oriented shopping mall that I was imagining. When we entered an elevator to go up to our seating level (Excelsior), Trish was very confused about the nicely dressed elevator attendant that was pushing the buttons and announcing the levels. To her it just seemed out of place, and to be honest, it did to me too. Picture yourself walking in circles on concrete ramps as you have so many times in the past (if you are baseball or football fan, or if you've seen concerts at the old NY stadiums). Definitely an interesting start to our day at Citi Field.

When we got off the elevator on the 5th floor (Excelsior), I immediately started going towards what I knew was the third base line side of the field. I brought us right to our seats and we sat down and started watching the game. Trish turned to me and said that it seemed like I knew exactly where I was going. I told her that the signage was great and it was very easy to know where you were going if you knew your section number.

After a few innings we decided to take a walk out to out Taste of the City section and walkway behind the outfield. As we first entered the Left Field side of the walkway, I was immediately struck by how it reminded me of KeySpan Park in Coney Island, but of course this is the Major Leagues and it was so much better. It is very cool that they have a lot of tables out there and cup holders for people that lean against the rails. The auction table is in an unobtrusive segment of the walkway and is not a major impediment. It was really nice to be able to just walk around and see the game and check out the accouterments all at the same time.

We returned to our seats for the last few innings and had a good day at TARP field. Being a Yankees fan. I am rather disappointed that I saw the Mets new home before I saw a game at the new Yankee Stadium. That is what a rainout will do to you as I had tickets for last Sunday's Yankees game that was rained out.

My point with this post is remind myself and others what an outdated dump NVMC is and state that the Islanders badly need a new or renovated home. If it takes surrounding infrastructure to make that happen, so be it. Remember folks, the Lighthouse is a privately funded project and not coming out of your tax money.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Draft Choices

As all Islanders fans know at this point, the Isles indeed won the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL Amateur Draft. As I expected, Garth Snow did not follow the lead of Tampa Bay and announce their intention to draft any particular player, whether it be John Tavares or Victor Hedman or anyone else.

Anyone that has followed the Islanders for the last few seasons should know that Islanders are following a very corporate model of not discussing their internal discussions with the media. They also seem to keep their options open. That being said, unless the team is completely blown away with an offer, expect the Islanders to indeed make the first pick in the draft and pick John Tavares.

If you read between the lines of various interviews with Garth Snow, they expect to use that pick wisely. He has stated in multiple interviews that will be getting a great player. Not a good player, not a player with leadership ability, not a player with promise...a great player. Here is a link to an interview yesterday afternoon with Garth on Toronto's AM640 as an example.

http://www.640toronto.com/HostsandShows/LeafsLunch/Audio.aspx

More to come in the next weeks and months folks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Entry Level Igloo

Per Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank, the Islanders have signed two of their amatuer prospects to three year entry level contracts in the past two days. Mark Katic (3rd round - 2007) and Justin Dibenebetto (6th round - 2008), who both have been playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario (Junior) Hockey League are now both Islanders "property" and will both get an opportunity to play with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the end of this season on Amatuer Try Out agreements.

With the season ending wrist fracture suffered by Blake Comeau on Tuesday night, Mike Iggulden gets the call from Bridgeport for tonight's game in Pittsburgh versus the Penguins. Jesse Joensuu, Joel Rechlicz and Mitch Fritz all stay up with the Islanders for tonight's game as well.

The Islanders can clinch the top seed in next Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery and are guaranteed a top 2 pick if one of the following three things occur:

1) The Islanders lose in regulation to the Penguins tonight

2) The Islanders lose in overtime or a shootout / Tampa Bay gets one point tonight versus Washington

3) Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitols tonight

8:17 PM At 5:06 of the first period, Frans Nielsen scores a powerplay goal to make it 1-0 Islanders. Franzie was assisted by Doug Weight and Josh Bailey. At 14:15, after another juicy Joey MacDonald rebound, Philippe Boucher scores for Pittsburgh to tie the game 1-1. You gotta love Jiggs...Sean Bergenheim just "rang the chimes". Tie game to end the first period.

9:12 PM At 3:51 of the second period, Pascal Dupuis scores for Pittsburgh to retake the lead, 2-1. At 8:19, Matt Cooke scored make the score 3-1 Penguins. That's the way the period ends. Tampa Bay is losing by the same score to Washington.

10:04 PM At 11:08 of the third period, after a nice pass from Sydney Crosby, Bill Guerin scores to give Pittburgh a 4-1 lead. At 12:36, Sergei Gonchar scores a powerplay to make the lead 5-1. At 16:58, Tyler Kennedy scores to add to the humiliation and make the score 6-1 Penguins.

The Islanders have clinched 30th place in the NHL for the season. They are now guaranteed to have the first or second overall pick in the draft. 48.2% chance of obtaining the first pick in the draft lottery to be shown on Versus this Tuesday at 8:00 PM.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Weight

So the 2008-09 NHL season is apparently not Doug Weight's Last Waltz. Per Chris Botta at IslandersPointBlank.com, the Islanders extended the grizzly center for another year at a reported cost of $2 million for the season with a 200K incentive if the Islanders make the playoffs. This is a solid move on the Islanders part. Fans should not read this to mean that the Islanders prefer Victor Hedman in the upcoming amateur draft. There may be a potential glut at the Center position, but don't forget injuries and the fact that any center on the roster could be asked to play a wing position. I'd rather have that problem than asking a winger to start taking faceoffs (or even worse...asking Brendan Witt to take them).

On to tonight's game versus the red hot Carolina Hurricanes. Jesse Joensuu, Joel Rechlicz and NYI Five Hole favorite Mitch Fritz have been recalled from Bridgeport. Mark Streit returns after a few games off and Sean Bergenheim returns from an eleven game absence. We'll also be keeping an eye on the game across the East River. The Montreal Canadiens visit the New York Rangers in a game with major playoff implications. I think all Islanders fans welcome Jiggs McDonald into the booth in place of Howie Rose for the remainder of the season.

7:47 PM Jack Hillen rushes a clearing attempt which leads to a quick goal by Dwight Helminan at 2:54 of the first period. At 9:07, Eric Staal floats one towards the net, which Yann Danis unbelievably does not grab, to make the score 2-0. At 19:21, Scott Walker glides in on Danis' right and sinks one in the upper right corner of the net. The score is 3-0 Carolina to end the period. Across the river, the score is 1-1 after one period on pretty goals by both Chris Drury and Matthew Dandenault.

8:33 PM As I hoped for but did not expect, Coach Gordon pulled Danis out of the net and Joey MacDonald is in goal to start the second period. At 0:06, Richard Park gets his stick up and takes a double minor for high sticking. The Islanders kill the double minor with a few nice saves by JMac. At 5:12, Eric Staal scores his second goal of the game off a long lob pass by Erik Cole, to take Carolina's lead to 4-0. The Islanders defense looks like swiss cheese tonight and their offense is anemic. Park takes the Islanders first shot on goal of the period just after the 10 minute mark of the period. At 11:06, Mitch Fritz gets called for hooking. At 12:29, Rod Brind'Amour scores a powerplay goal to make the score 5-0. At 16:51, Eric Staal scores to make the score 6-0 and create a mess of hats on the ice. It is his fourth hat trick of the season as compared to the Islanders team count of one hat trick (by Sean Bergenheim which included an emptynetter). Mercifully the score is still 6-0 after two periods and 33 shots by Carolina. Across the river it is 3-1 Rangers with four minutes left in the second period of that game.

8:40 PM 3-1 Rangers to end the second period of that game.

9:27 PM At the 4:00 mark of the third period, after cross checking penalties by Mark Streit and Brendan Witt, Tuomo Ruutu scores a powerplay goal to make the score 7-0 Carolina. At 9:25, off multiple Islander sticks, Jussi Jokinen gets lucky and a shot goes through JMac's legs to add to the misery. 8-0 Carolina. At 14:20, Fritzie takes a roughing penalty which leads to a powerplay goal by Ruutu at 15:50. The final score is 9-0 Carolina. Islanders goaltending faced 57 shots on goal. The Rangers appear to be on their way to a 3-1 win over Montreal with 3:50 left in the third period.

9:32 PM The Rangers win 3-1 and are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Habs Invasion II ?

Will tonight be another evening where the French-Canadien throngs take over NVMC? I'm kind of doubting it. Les Canadiens other visit to Long Island this year was on a Saturday night. That being said I'm sure there will be a few hundred of them in old barn.

What are the surprise injuries tonight? We have Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit out with bad cases of Islanderitis also known as a Strained Groin. Dean McAmmond is out sick. That is right...out sick. Nice and vague, boys and girls. Trevor Smith and Sean Bentivoglio have been recalled from Bridgeport on an emergency basis. It will be Bentivoglio's Islanders/NHL debut. Joe Callahan is sticking around for another game.

Expect the Habs to come out of the gates strong tonight. I'm sure they will try to catch us on our heals and take a quick lead since the Isles were on the road last night. Unlike the Islanders, they really need the two points. More after the game.

Update - 10:40 PM

It would seem that my estimation of Habs fans loyalty was a little off. I'm estimating there were about 1500 fans in the house in the classic Red, White and Blue jerseys (if I get a better estimate, I will update). They were not disappointed as Les Canadiens spanked the Islanders by a score of 5-1.

Here a few bullet point notes:
  • Bentivoglio looked pretty good in his NHL debut. He registered a pair of shots on goal. He also took a holding penalty. One of mny penalties taken by the Islanders.
  • Georges Laraque and Joel Rechlicz fought early in the second period. It was mostly dancing and few punches thrown by Laraque before they both fell to the ice.
  • Doug Weight and Glen Metropolit provided a more entertaining fight late in the third period.
  • The lone Islanders goal was a gorgeous unassisted shot over Jaroslav Halak's left shoulder.
  • Five different players scored goals for Montreal.
  • The Islanders are taking a lot of bad penalties in the last two games. Is this how we combat the fact that Colorado is blatantly tanking the rest of their season?
  • Andy Hilbert left the game with bruised ribs and did not return.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Goal Cap

I'm back again after another few days in the hospital. A post-operative infection caused me to squirm in agony, but I feel a lot better now. Joey MacDonald is starting in goal for the Islanders. Mark Streit is day to day with a groin strain. Joe Callahan has been recalled from Bridgeport as an emergency fill in. The cablevision feed is very crisp tonight for a change. At 13:52, Sergei Fedorov takes a holding penalty which leads to a Kyle Okposo powerplay goal at 14:04. Okposo was assisted by Frans Nielsen. That is all the scoring of the first period.

At 0:37 of the second period, Frans scores to make it 2-0 Islanders. Assists for Jeff Tambellini and Radek Martinek. At 1:40, Joel Rechlicz and John Erskine each get five minutes for fighting. After a big hit to the head on Andy Hilbert by Washington defensemen Mike Green (who left his feet) a scrum ensues and Tim Jackman and Jeff Schultz each get five for fighting at 3:16. Green gets two minutes for elbowing which leads to an Islanders powerplay. The Isles do not cash in. At 5:37, Alexander Ovechkin scores his 54th goal of the season to cut the Islanders lead to one goal. At 9:54, after a flubbed clearing attempt by Joe Callahan, Keith Aucoin ties the game for Washington on a wrist shot through JMac's five hole. Yann Danis would have not have let that kind of juicy rebound get back to Aucoin. That's all of the scoring of the second period.

A beautiful backhand goal by Richard Park at 2:12, retakes the lead for the Isles, 3-2. Josh Bailey gets the lone assist. Mike Green scores a powerplay goal at 10:55 after a bad double minor penalties were taken by the Wrecker and Blake Comeau. Tie game. At 12:12, Mike Green scores another powerplay goal after an interference call on Tim Jackman. 4-3 Capitals lead. At 19:04 Nicklas Backstrom scores an empty net goal to seal the deal for Washington. 5-3 Capitals win.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wild Night at Nassau Coliseum

I survived my surgery and now I am back to blogging for you. Not really sure who 'who' is, but... I'm happy to be back on my feet and attending an Islanders game. I had given my ticket for tonight's game to my season ticket partner so he could bring his son, but the stars seem to have aligned my way. I attended Point Blank (II) night not long before my surgery and I won a pair of tickets. Well my recovery has proceeded faster than expected and to my surprise I was actually able to attend the game tonight. Much thanks to Chris Botta not only for the tickets and a great night, but for providing the premier website (weblog) on the New York Islanders. Here's to hoping my belly does not offend you.



The Islanders lost the game 6-2 tonight. Joel Rechlicz was overpowered by 6'8" Minnesota Wild defensemen John Scott in a long drawn out fight at 4:27 of the first period. The scrappiness continued throughout the game. A big hit on Blake Comeau, who falls through the door to the visitor's locker room, leads to a major scrum after the whistle blew to end the first period. Kyle Okposo flew in and knocked Annti Miettinen from his feet to escalate the scrum. Never seen Kyle so angry and pumped. Brendan Witt and James Sheppard fought at 6:10 of the second period to continue the love. Cal Clutterbuck provided fine examples of what a pest he can be, but only incurred a 2 minute roughing penalty joined by Blake Comeau of the Islanders.


On to the taboo subject that I have not touched on once, but now will finally address. Where is Rick DiPietro? As Islanders fans, we all know that Rick is out for the year due to his ongoing knee injury. Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank reported today that Rick is progressing well and will be ready for Training Camp. That being said, many have wondered about DP's absence from NVMC. Many think that he has not been coming to watch his team play. I assure you this is pure fodder. My friend John clued me in to where I could find DP. As usual, Rick was very gracious when approached by one of his fans and posed for this picture with me.


Thursday night March 26th at 7:00 PM, the 180th Community Outreach Meeting on the Lighthouse Project occurs at the Long Island Marriot in Uniondale. Scheduled speakers include Charles Wang, Scott Rechler, Chris Dey and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi. I'll be honest I'm not sure when or where the other 179 meetings occured, but if you support this project, this is the event that you should attend to show your support.


I'm not even going to bother with a rundown on the scoring tonight. Bruno Gervais scored a goal for the Islanders. Other than that, I'll just say if you want to see the carnage, look at a box score.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Le Ville du Hockey


There is no simply no bigger city for hockey than Montreal. Members of Les Canadien are rock stars in this city. I can't wait to see a game there again soon.

Injury update - Sean Bergenheim (groin), Joey MacDonald (knee)and Kurtis MacLean (leg) are out with injuries. MacLean injury occured during an unofficial pre-game soccer circle warmup. Isles will be short a player tonight. Nate Thompson returns to action tonight. Peter Mannino is serving as backup to Yann Danis tonight.

I have not been able to post during or after the last two games. Unfortunately after tonight this trend will continue for the next couple of weeks due to some medical issues. After that I should be back in tip-top shape and back to posting often.

Bob Gainey will be behind the bench for Montreal tonight. On Monday, the Habs GM fired coach Guy Carbonneau, his former teammate and close friend.

At 1:13 of the first period, Jack Hillen took a high sticking penalty and Montreal almost scored but the goals was waved off as being knocked in with a high stick. First Montreal power play foiled. At 3:32, Brendan Witt is called for interference. Back to the PP for the Habs. At 5:04, Thomas Plekanec scores a PP goal for Montreal. At 7:45, Ryan O'Byrne is called for holding. The Habs have been completely dominating play, maybe this Islanders PP will end that pattern. No scoring on this power play. At 11:33, Mike Iggulden scores his first NHL goal to tie the score at 1-1. Assists to Mark Streit and Blake Comeau. At 19:39, Andrei Kostitsyn took a slashing penalty. The Islanders PP will continue in the second period. Play has evened out after the Habs complete domination of the first 10 minutes.

The Habs killed off the rest of Kostitsyn's penalty and when he gets out of the box he proceeds to get his stick up on Tim Jackman and resumes his place in the penalty box. Howie Rose busts his Chateau Bow-Wow reference, which is more fitting than usual tonight. Islanders now 0-3 on the PP. Some solid playing by the Islanders including a breakaway by Josh Bailey that did not materialize a goal. Joel Rechlicz and Tom Kostopoulis had a TV time out scrum and get two minutes for roughing at 14:28. At 16:03, Radek Martinek takes a holding penalty resulting in a 4-3 for 25 seconds. When Rechlicz and Kostopoulis left the penalty box, they renewed their acquaintance in a heavyweight bout. Five minutes each for fighting. Isles kill of the rest of the Martinek penalty. Isles limit the Habs to 7 shots in the period. Score remains 1-1.

Tim Jackman annihilates Gregory Stewart in a middleweight bout after the first faceoff of the 3rd period at 0:07. Five minutes each for fighting and Stewart gets an additional 2 minute Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Islanders power play results in a goal by Frans Nielsen at 0:51. Assists by Comeau and Streit. It is now 2-1 Islanders. The Islanders commit one penalty and then another before play stops. It will be a full two minute, 5-3 manpower advantage for Montreal. Rechlicz for tripping and Brendan Witt for high sticking at 6:38. Habs use their timeout with 0:27 left in their 5-3 advantage. Great pressure by Montreal but the penalties are killed off, nice work. At 9:14, Kostopoulis scores off a great pass from Andrei Markov to tie the game at 2-2. The Isles take a too many men on the ice penalty at 13:31. Max Pacioretty takes a slashing penalty at 14:00 to even the man power advantage at 4-4. Bruno Gervais has been very good at both ends of the ice tonight. Score is still tied at 17:00. Great feed from Kyle Okposo to Jeff Tambellini at 19:05. It was denied with magical glove work by Carey Price. We're going to overtime kids.

Kyle Okposo scores the game winning goal on a great stuff through Price's Five Hole at 0:24 of the overtime period. What a great game!!!

Tampa Bay won tonight and we maintain a 4 point lead in the worst overall record contest.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poor Marti

So the young Islanders busted a can of whoop a** on Martin Brodeur today. I will give him his due as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game. He is incredible...just not today.

So we had a couple of theories on Jeff Tambellini's gorgeous goal today. One theory floated by Lefty Stick was that Jeff was wearing Bridgeport Sound Tigers boxers. The other theory was that he actually thought he was playing in Bport due to all the recent call ups. Either way, we need more goals like that from last year's leading goal scorer in Bport.

Jack Hillen collected a pair of assists today. If I keep heaping praise on this kid, soon I'll be accused of having a man crush on him.

Bergy, Bergy, Bergy! Sean Bergenheim scored three goals for a hat trick. He scored his last goal at 19:59.3 of the third period on an empty New Jersey net. Bergy has six goals in the last five games.

Mike Iggulden made his Islanders debut today. It was his second career NHL game (1 game with San Jose last season). He came away from the game with two assists, his first points in the NHL. He seems pretty solid, but appeared a little sluggish in wide open ice. I want to see more.

It has been announced that Trent Hunter suffered a fractured ankle in the first period of today's game. The speculated new Captain is out for the season.

Joey MacDonald was more than sufficient in goal today, but his rebound control continues to disappoint. He got the win.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Wrecking Ball

The Islanders lost 4-2 tonight to the New York Rangers. It really is that simple. It was a nicely played competitive game. A big turnover by Bruno Gervais led to the Rangers first goal. Their third goal resulted after a neutral zone collision between Andy Hilbert and Dean McAmmond. I think the Rangers brought their home referee tandem with them from MSG tonight.

Though Nate Thompson, Richard Park and Thomas Pock were returned from Injured Reserve all were deemed not ready to play tonight. Joe Callahan, Jesse Joenssu and Joel (The Wrecker) Rechlicz were called up from Bridgeport for the game tonight. It would be Rechlicz' NHL debut. The Wrecker did not have much work to do tonight as far as pugilism goes. He showed decent acumen as a player. He exceeded my expectations there and definitely has a head up on Mitch Fritz in the skills department. I do wonder what the rush was to return the previously mentioned players from Injured Reserve, if they were not game ready. I highly doubt we'll hear an explanation for those moves.

Sean Avery returned to action for NYR tonight. Trent Hunter took him out in the third period and received a 2 minute boarding penalty. He was not a major presence in the game other than being booed every time he touched the puck. Of course there were amusing/disturbing chants in the stands such "sloppy seconds" and "go to rehab". My feelings on these chants is described in the previous sentence.

I was at ice level for the pregame warm ups. In front of me were (what I assume to be) a father and daughter (girl maybe 16 yrs old); to my left were (I assume) a father and son (boy about 10 yrs old). Towards the end of the warm ups, a puck squeezed through the edge of the net and the top of the glass. The girl (in her Islanders home jersey) picks up the puck quickly and is really excited, but them she turns and sees the little boy in is autographed Sean Avery Rangers jersey. She looks down at the puck and then looks up and hands it to the boy. The boy was so happy and said thank you about five times. I had to share that folks.

I think it is fitting to mention that I saw no fights or ejections in the crowd tonight. If there were any, I missed them. A good night for New York hockey fans in that regard.

Here are your home game bullet comments:

  • Nikolai Zherdev scored on a wrist shot off the Gervais turnover to make it 1-0 Rangers at 8:33 of the first period.

  • Blake Comeau after a great effort scored at 5:37 of the second period to tie the score at one. Assists by Dean McAmmond and Andrew MacDonald. Comeau would add an assist later in the game and get the 3rd star nod.

  • After Trent Hunter was called for a weak tripping penalty, Chris Drury scored a power play goal to retake the lead 2-1 for the Rangers. First assist went to Nik Antropov, his first point as a Ranger

  • At 0:49 of the third period, Scott Gomez scored to make the score 3-1 Rangers

  • Jack Hillen scored his first goal of the year to cut the Rangers lead down to 3-2 at 3:44 of the third period. Hillen is becoming a Five Hole favorite. McAmmond assisted on this goal as well.

  • After Andrew MacDonald's delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass in the Islanders defensive zone, Markus Naslund scored a power play goal at 13:24 to seal the Rangers lead at 4-2.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Details


Per Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank, Bill Guerin has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional draft pick in the 2009 Amatuer Draft.

The conditions are that it is a 5th round pick, unless Pittsburgh makes it to the playoffs, in which case it becomes a 4th round pick. If Pittsburgh should happen to win their series in the first round and Guerin plays in at least 50% of those games, it becomes a 3rd round pick.

This was the only Islanders trade activity on deadline day.

Guerin is Gone

TSN is reporting that Bill Guerin has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional draft pick. More later as the news comes in

Monday, March 2, 2009

Avalanche


Well the faithful welcomed back Ryan Smyth in a fitting fashion. He was booed every time he touched the puck. Of course he was also booed when he scored both of Colorado's goals in the Islanders 4-2 victory. I don't personally harbor him any ill will, but the booing was deserved and was quite loud for such a small crowd. He played solid hockey for the Avalanche tonight as evidenced by his two goals which were his 22nd and 23rd goals of the year for him. His goals were scored at 0:33 of the seond period and 1:02 of the third period.



Jesse Joensuu made his NHL debut tonight for the Islanders. The 6'4" 21 year old Finnish Left Wing was called up this afternoon to take the place of the soon to be departed Bill Guerin. Joensuu was taken in the 2nd round (60th overall) of the Amateur Draft in 2006. Joensuu scored at 2:31 of the second period to retake the lead 2-1 for the Islanders. He scored in his NHL debut. Nice work kid.



In other notes:

  • Dean McAmmond scored first for Islanders at 13:15 of the first period to make the scored 1-0. McAmmond was wearing an "A" tonight serving as an Alternate Captain in the place of the injured Trent Hunter.
  • Bruno Gervais scored the third goal for the Isles at 13:04 of the second period. It was Bruno's first goal in three seasons.
  • Point machine Jon Sim got the primary assist on each of the Islanders first three goals. He was named 1st Star of the game.
  • Jeff Tambellini scored the Islanders final goal at 4:48 of the third period. This gives Tamby 3 goals on the year. One for each quarter of the season played.
  • Yann Danis was solid once again in goal for the New York Islanders.
  • Obviously, no news on the Guerin front.
  • Tickets to tonight's game can be used as vouchers for free tickets to one of the games on 3/25, 4/11 or 4/12.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sabretooth-less

The Buffalo Sabres had no bite tonight. Other than another great effort by Yann Danis for his second shutout in three starts, is the news that Captain Bill Guerin was pulled out of the lineup after warm ups. One doesn't have to be an NHL insider to recognize the significance of this. A deal is obviously pretty much finalized to trade Guerin. From a variety of media sources, it appears that it is an Eastern Conference teams. CBC's Hockey Night in Canada has reported that it will most likely be the Washington Capitols. B.D. Gallof has just reported on http://www.islandersindependent.com/ that it might be an exchange with Washington for a 2nd round draft pick and Jay Beagle a 23 year old center playing with AHL's Harshey Bears. Five Hole will have to get back to you with more on this player if the deal comes true. Beagle has played two games with the Washington Capitols, his NHL debut coming this past February 11th versus the NY Rangers.



Sean Bergenheim had the best game of his Islanders career tonight. This is a simple calculation. He has never had a multi-goal game in the NHL. Tonight he scored the only two goals in the Islanders 2-0 shutout win. Bergy's first goal was at 6:13 of the second period. After being fed a pass by Jack Hillen, Bergy spun around and fired a wrist shot past Lalime. Second assist to Kyle Okposo. At 17:58 of the third period, Fran Nielson passed to Bergy at the side of the net and Bergy stuffed the puck home. In the final 2:02 of the game, especially during Bufalo's emptynet, the Isles tried to set up Bergy for the hat trick, alas it did not occur.



Andrew MacDonald made his NHL debut tonight for the NY Islanders. Andrew was great in his debut. While not credited with a shot, he sent he a few pucks flying towards the net. He was solid playing on the third defensive line with Joe Callahan.



With Brendan Witt serving the first game of a five game suspension, Jack Hillen was promoted to first defensive line duty with Radek Martinek. Hillen as mentioned in the my previous post, is continuing to impress. Beyond his assist on Bergy's first goal, his hockey instincts are plain. If he bulks up a little, he could continue top defensive line duty for years to come.



Monday night's game versus Ryan Smith and the Colorado Avalance looks to be a lightly attended affair due to what is so far forecast as the largest dumping of snow (not Garth) this winter. I plan to be in attendance and may just get some good pictures if the barn is sparsly populated on this night. (I really need to get a new camera.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

YYZ


So the Islanders lost 5-4 tonight in shootout. The fact that they even got a point in this game proves that they have not thrown in the towel yet. Exceptional opportunities created by Sean Bergenheim tonight, but he only converted on one. One season ticket holder who sits near me thought it was Bergy's best game yet as an Islander. Unfortunately the picture to the left does not tell tonight's story, but I so wanted to use it anyway.


Here are the rest of thoughts on tonight's game bullet style as usual for a home game.



  • Ian White of Toronto scored early to make it 1-0 Toronto at the 1:23 mark. That was all the scoring in the first period

  • The Brendan Witt as a forward on the power play experiment seems to have ended.

  • Dominic Moore scored a shorty to make 2-0 Toronto at 0:57 of the second period

  • Dean McAmmond scored his first goal as an Islander to cut the Toronto lead to 2-1 at 14:32 of the second period.

  • Brendan Witt takes a five minute major penalty for elbowing at 2:21 of the third period. He also gets a Game Misconduct penalty.

  • At 3:30 Bergy bypasses Ian White and scores a beautiful shorthanded goal to tie game at 2-2.

  • At 5:35, Pavel Kubina scores a PP goal for Toronto to cash in on Witt's 5 minute major to retake the lead for Toronto.

  • Nik Antropov scores a 90 seconds later to make it 4-2 Toronto.

  • Islanders tie the game 4-4 on goals by Mark Streit and Jon Sim (yes, Jon Sim)

  • After the Isles dominated the overtime play, they lost in the shootout. Jeff (I love shootouts) Tambellini had the Islanders only goal in the shootout.

  • Islanders lose 5-4. They were lucky to get a point out of this game.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Penguin

Sydney Crosby is not playing in tonight's game due to a reported groin strain. The Islanders don't get a shot for at least the first 7 minutes. Bruno Gervais gets stripped up of the puck twice in the defensive zone on one play. The Islanders successfully defended the one power play that they gave Pittsburgh on the Holding penalty taken by Dean McAmmond at 2:24. After one period, there is no score and Pittsburgh is out shooting the Islanders 8-6. The Islanders came out on their heals but picked it up in the second half of the period.


Josh Bailey gets a great chance at 0:53 of the second period. Fleury denies him. Isles are applying a lot of pressure in the first three minutes. Trend reverses and now Pittsburgh is dominating. Sean Bergenheim breaks out but can't get a shot off at about 5:00. Hooking on Bruno Gervais at 5:28. Bergy breaks out again at the end of penalty, but misses the net. Nevertheless, nice PK by the Isles. Holy postshot Batman at 7:32 by Radek Martinek. Jack Hillen is impressing at both ends of the ice. Hall Gil takes a hooking penalty at 11:59, but the Islanders do nothing. Ruslan Fedotenko takes a high sticking penalty at 15:36. Islanders get no shots. Pretty unremarkable play for the rest of the period. Pittsburgh is out shooting the Islanders 18-17 after two periods.


Play is sloppy at the start of the third period, but there have been chances for Pittsburgh. Eric Godard takes a penalty at 3:30. Play stops at after some mass pressure on Fluery. Brendan Witt plays forward again on the PP. Isles again no shots on the PP. Nice shot by Tim Jackman on a 3 on 2 at 7:47. Good pressure by the Isles during the eight minute. That shot definitely hit the cross bar. No way that is a goal at 9:56. Original on ice call is upheld, no goal. Tambellini takes a hooking penalty at 11:00. Still no score with 49 seconds left in the penalty. Yann Danis is rocking and to prove it a lil G'n'R come on the PA system at the Igloo. Great lead by Geno and the Penguins almost score. Danis gets lucky here and help from McAmmond. Bergy gets a good chance around 16:15 but is harassed and gets a weak shot. After a bad clearing attempt by Brendan Witt, the writing is on the wall and Petr Sykora scores to make it 1-0 Penguins at 17:32. The Isles do pull Danis and there is some offensive pressure by Pittsburgh but the game ends 1-0. I'm done.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Trades Start


So Le Marquis de Snow just fired the first shot off the bow. Chris Campoli and Mike Comrie have been traded to the Ottawa Senators for Dean McAmmond and a first round draft pick that originated with the San Jose Sharks. This will be a late first round pick, but give credit to Garth for putting together a deal that garnered a first round pick rather than the expected second round pick that has been speculated for many of their trade bait players.

Salaries as commonly reported are as follows. Dean McAmmond is making $875,000 this season and will be an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) after this season. Mike Comrie is making $4,000,000 this season and will also be a UFA after this season. Chris Campoli is making $633,000 this season and is scheduled to make the same next season after which he will be a arbitration eligible Restricted Free Agent (RFA). The implications of this are that the Islanders may very well need to add payroll before the trade deadline in order to be above the "Salary Floor". Expect more trades and not just for draft picks.

So we traded a 24 year old defensemen and a 28 year old Center for a 35 year old Center and a draft pick. How does this fit in with our youth movement some might ask. NYI Five Hole's view is as follows. Mike Comrie though only 28 years old is on the downside of his career. Easy move to make as he will want a minimum of the $4 mil he made this season for future seasons. Chris Campoli, while he still has promise, is starting to show that he will at best be a team's top 4 defensemen, and maybe only a top 5. Chris Botta reported today that Campoli requested a trade a few weeks back. The first round pick will be late in that round, but could still be a huge acquisition depending on how it is used (anyone think Garth will trade up this time around...I do). Dean McAmmond is basically part of a tilted salary swap and will not be here next year. That being said, if he is a good faceoff man, this will help the Islanders from being completely blown out during the rest of the season. At best if he wins 40% of his faceoffs this will be an improvement for the team.

In summary, this seems like a can't lose deal for a team that is in last place of the entire 30 team National Hockey League.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hits from the...Blogger



There is really not much good that I have to say about the game tonight versus the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders lost 6-2. Ouch. Joey MacDonald was shaky all night. Trent Hunter returned to action. For tonight's game, I was joined by Leslie of the http://leftystick.blogspot.com/ blog.

Other than that here are my observations bullet style.




  • What the heck was up with Brendan Witt playing right wing on the Islanders first power play and then playing Center and taking a faceoff on their third power play? I'm very curious to hear the explanation for this move.
  • Major kudos to Tim Jackman for pounding the snot out of Tim Conboy as he exited the penalty box for his goaltender interference penalty. There was no reason for him to hit JMac like that in a 5-1 game.
  • Minor kudos to Mike Comrie for taking on Chad LaRose a few minutes later and showing that there is "fight" still in this team
  • The Islanders two goals were scored by Mark Streit (on the power play) and Jon Sim. Yes you read that right, Jon Sim.
  • See you on Saturday night for Town of Hempstead (unofficial Lighthouse rally) night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crosstown Traffic

Yann Danis is in the goal tonight. Jon Sim and Jeff Tambellini are dressing for tonight's game as well.

To start off, the Refs seem to come up with new and interesting ways to ruin the ebb and flow of a game even as it just starts. Two post shots by the Rangers between 3:30 and 4:00. Chateau Bow Wow gets mentioned by Howie. 1-0 Rangers on a goal by Nigel Dawes assisted by Chris Drury and Petr Prucha at 5:37. I'm already looking for Mitch Fritz, though I know he is not here. Mark Streit ties the game 1-1 off a beautiful Blake Comeau pass at 8:24. Very nice pinch shot. Great play by Andy Hilbert to almost knock in a flying puck at 17:36.

At 19:33, Frans Nielsen takes a hooking penalty, but the Rangers anemic power play has no game. Sloppy play by Josh Bailey and Bill Guerin in the Rangers defensive zone leads to two consecutive turnovers around the 3:30 mark. Great glove save by Danis around 4:00 off of Markus Naslund. An atrocious power play goal dribbles through Danis' FIVE HOLE to make it 2-1 Rangers. Scott Gomez is the lucky recipient at 7:26. All Hell just broke loose after Sean Bergenheim was the not so lucky recipient of a knee on knee hit from Eric Reitz at 10:16. Bergy and Prucha have a light weight bout where Bergy was clearly the winner. Here's hoping that is a good indication his knee is okay. He did go the locker room though. Islanders end up with a two minute power play on which they accomplish nothing. Bergy comes back to the ice after Brendan Witt's roughing penalty at 16:58.

Not much happened of note in the third period except for the empty netter by the Rangers to bring the score to 3-1 which was the final. I'm just finishing up this post now on Thursday evening as an old friend came over for the third period and a hung out out for a bit. I'm off to the home game at NVMC versus the Carolina Hurricanes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Captain Crosby from the Planet Krypton

First off Islanders won 3-2 in the shootout versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. We take it from there.

I don't get it...maaaan. Until the third period, it seemed like Islanders players were actually skating away from Sydney Crosby when he had the puck. As if he were Islanders Kryptonite and if they got close to the kid they would actually weaken and turn into ho-hum hockey players. Oh wait never mind, these are the Islanders.

It was a very good day at the old barn. A sell out crowd of 16,234 on Kid's Day Too. In my section there was not an inordinate amount of kids, but there certainly were a ton of them at NVMC as a whole. My eardrums can attest to that. The kids got to see a good game and they saw an exciting shootout win. That's good for the future fan base right? During overtime, it was definitely the loudest that the building has been all season and that has nothing to do with high pitched screaming voices. The "Let's Go Islanders" chant , that lasted almost a minute, bordered on deafening.

Joey MacDonald had a good game, though his rebound control is becoming a major point of concern for me. That being said, he only let in one shot in the shootout and got the win, so good job.

Mike Comrie continues to be a conundrum. Sometimes he looks like total sh*t out there and other times he surprises with unusual hockey sense and really creates chances. I'll take a late second round pick or a third one for him at this point.

Jeff Tambellini while he scored in the shootout, continues to disappoint. On one play in the Pittsburgh defensive zone in the second period, he passed the puck to "nobody" and then fell on the ice. I know it is one play, but it really serves as a picture of his play this year.

Goals:

Chris Campoli (NYI) - 1st P 11:34
Evgeni "Geno" Malkin - 1st P 18:07
Frans Nielsen (NYI) - 2nd P 13:26
Ryan Whitney - 2nd P 17:07

Shootout Goals:

Frans Nielsen (NYI)
Petr Sykora
Jeff Tambellini (NYI)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dancin with the Jersey Devil

Okay first off, I would like make a comment about last nights game. The set up and goal by Bill Guerin was really pretty. Kind of blocked that one out of my mind when I was writing my short post last night. I wanted to rectify that and now I have.

I am once again, writing this blog while I watch the game on a DVR relay.

Onto tonight. Trent Hunter will be sitting out the game with a Hip Flexor injury. He is day-to-day. Jeff Tambellini will dress for the first time in 7 games. Joey MacDonald is getting the start in goal tonight for the Islanders. Kevin Weekes gets the start in goal for the Devils.

Go-Go Gordon starts the 4th line as usual. Tambellini is playing on the 3rd line with Andy Hilbert and Frans Nielson. Beautiful setup from Blake Comeau to Radek Martinek to make the score 1-0 Islanders at 2:32. Brendan Witt gets the second assist. JMac lets one get by him, but keeps it from going into the net and Brendan Witt takes a penalty at about 7:45. Chris Campoli takes a high sticking penalty at about 8:00 giving NJ a two man advantage. Great work in front of the net by Bruno Gervais early on in the 5 on 3. Islanders kill the two penalties due a great save by JMac and few other nice ones. At 14:23, David Clarkson takes a high sticking penalty against Joe Callahan to give the Islanders a power play. The Islanders accomplish nothing and the power play looked stagnant. At 18:39, Zach Parise (Islanders Killer) scores his 33rd goal of the season to make the score 1-1. Great scoring attempt by Sean Bergenheim at 19:54 leads to a power play which could stretch 1:54 in the second period. Bergy looks great out on the ice so far tonight. Islanders get out shot 13-6, which is not good news.

Isles start the second period on the power play. I don't know if it is the trap, the lack of Hunter or just...the Islanders, but the power play has sucked tonight. Bobby Holik gets called for goaltender interference at 4:40. At 6:15, Kyle Okposo powers to the net past Bryce Slavador and scores a power play goal to make it 2-1 Islanders. Doug Weight goes to the locker room with what appears to be a knee injury from knee on knee contact with a Devil. At 10:09, Andy Hilbert takes a tripping penalty. Isles PK does good work under a lot of pressure. Upon leaving the penalty box, Hilbert collides with Comeau but both seem to be alright. A fantastic glove save by JMac along the left goal post was reviewed. Great replay footage by MSG+. Devils out shooting the Isles in the period 15-7 at 15:55. Bill Guerin takes a hooking penalty at 16:03. At 16:21, NJ Captain Jamie Langenbrunner scores a power play goal to tie the game at 2-2. After 2 periods the Islanders have been out shot 31-15.

A flurry of great sloppy Islanders chances in the first 30 seconds by the Islanders. At 11:47, Brendan Witt takes a tripping penalty. At 12:25 Parise scores a power play goal to make it 3-2 NJ. It's his second goal of the game and 34th of the season. At 15:57, JMac makes a great glove save in the upper right quadrant of the net. At 18:47, Jamie Langenbrunner gets an empty netter to make the score 4-2 NJ which is the final score.

The Islanders are out shot this game 50-25. That's a 2-1 ratio folks (for the mathematically challenged)! JMac was fantastic tonight. If not, it could have been a lot worse.

It is my lady Tricia's birthday Friday. You add that with Valentine's Day and I expect to be pretty busy this weekend. There will be no game post for the game on Saturday at 1:00 pm versus the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Road Kings

I have to be honest, I don't find myself having much to write about tonight. Both teams looked pretty lackadaisical in my opinion. It was a tight game though which kept it interesting. Doug Weight got the first goal, assisted by Guerin and Comrie. Tim Jackman's unassisted goal was simply gorgeous. A beautiful shot over the right shoulder of Los Angelas goaltender Jonathon Quick. Andy Hilbert made the score 3-2 for the Islanders with his 9th goal of the season. Danis looked solid if not spectacular. The Hillen-Callahan defensive pairing did their job. The Kings out shot the Islanders at almost a 3-2 ratio. The shootout was same as the game. The Kings scored the only goal of the shootout in Round 3 to take the game. I hope I can do better for you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No Road Game Blog Tonight


Hey Folks or is it Folk or is my voice just echoing...anyway I am "under the weather". No post tonight. I will be watching the game and I will be in the comments space on NYI Point Blank under the name "Brian from Massapequa". Yann Danis is back in goal tonight, Nate Thompson has been placed on Injured Reserve and Sean Bergenheim has been activated from IR. Let's Go Islanders!!!

Another Plug

Hey Folks. Considering yesterdays plug for Point Blank, I thought it time to make one more blog plug. I've been reading B.D. Gallof's Islanders blog since early last season. B.D. is the first blogger that I have ever read on a regular basis. He used to blog on Hockeybuzz and before that on HFBoards, but now has his own blog at www.islandersindependent.com

B.D.'s writing is lively but well reasoned. In the past his affection for Hunter S. Thompson has been apparent and that earned my respect immediately. Hopefully there will continue to be Sibling Rivalry posts with his brother Scott Gallof who is a Rangers blogger on Hockeybuzz. Once again this is recommended reading.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Islanders Point Blank

For those of you who are not aware, Chris Botta has a great blog called NYI Point Blank http://www.islanderspointblank.com/ There is a scathing post from Mr. Botta directed towards another hockey blogger who posted a rediculous rumor about the NY Islanders being for sale and for less than $100 million no less. The Comments section for this post on NYI Point Blank was rocking earlier and is still active. For lively discussion on this subject, I would direct you there.

But I don't refer you to NYI Point Blank just for that post. Chris' blog is must reading for any Islanders fan. Beyond his connections with the Islanders organization, the content is consistently accurate and is really what inspired me to start this blog. Go to Point Blank. What are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On the Highway to Sunrise (Florida)


I will update this post as the night moves along, so if you are reading during the game. Be sure to check back.

So the MSG + pregame show tonight started with the news that Joey MacDonald is starting in goal tonight. Yann Danis will be backing him up. I must admit I am puzzled by this. Danis has been playing great. Of course this team might be finally breaking it's habit of sticking with one goaltender with the "backup" getting spot starts. We'll see. I personally think Go-Go Gordon will start riding J-Mac once again. Mark Streit will be sitting this one out. Ouch, the power play is taking a major hit here.

J-Mac is challenged for the first time 3:25 of the first period. At 3:41, Jay Bouwmeester scores from the point making the score 1-0 for the Panthers. Karlis Skrastins scored at 16:43 to make it 2-0 Panthers. I think they should have stuck with the hot hand.

At 2:25 of the 2nd period, Keith Ballard takes a holding penalty and Islanders accomplish zilch on the power play. Doug Weight heads to the locker room around 4:30 after tripping on some shoddy ice. At 6:47, Brett McLean takes a tripping penalty on Richard Park and hands the Islanders their second power play. Perhaps they are trying to lose the game. Commercial timeout comes at this point as well. Campoli is getting first line power play time. Okposo has missed the net three times. Chris Campoli and Frans Nielsen set up Josh Bailey for a power play goal at 8:22. Score is now 2-1 Florida. At 11:45, I'm starting to get the feeling the edge in this game has tilted towards the Islanders. 12:28 on the clock and Doug Weight has returned to the bench. On a beautiful break in Richard Zednik skates and jumps and scores to make the score 3-1 Florida at 12:39. So much for my theory. At 14:48 after a bad turnover to Kyle Okposo, Ville Peltonen takes a hooking penalty on Okposo which leads to a power play goal 3 seconds later by Trent Hunter. Josh Bailey gets his second point of the game with the lone assist. Score is now 3-2 Florida. At 19:30, Horton takes a roughing penalty against Bill Guerin. Islanders now on a power play that will continue into the third period.

As we head into the thrid period, the Islanders get some pressure on the power ply, but to no avail. It was just announced that Nate Thompson will not be returning to the game after a collision that occured in the 1st period. One of the few icings of the game occurs at 4:29. Radek Matinek takes a slashing penalty at 4:56. Florida gets one shot on the power play. At 10:39, Andy Hilbert takes a holding penalty on Zednik. Under a ton of pressure, the Islanders kill the power play. 13:15 - Mike Comrie stripped of the puck after a horrible semi toe drag. At 15:30 the play is getting sloppy. At 18:36 J-Mac exits the net for an extra skater. Florida ices the puck at the 19 minute mark. Islanders take their timeout at this time. Intense final minute occuring. A flurry of opportunity in both ends. Thomas Vokoun makes a great save with 6 seconds left. Islanders lose this game 3-2, but they battled. If the winning streak had to end, it is better this way than getting blown out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Injured D-men

Mark Streit is out day-to-day with an "upper body injury" and Thomas Pock is out for approximately four weeks with an "injured hand". According to the Islanders website, Jack Hillen and Joe Callahan have been called up for the game versus Florida tomorrow evening.

Hey Blockhead - A Microcosm of NVMC

I'm going to start off by saying that this is my first season with "full season tickets" and I'm really enjoying this investment. I have a seat and to my right, my friend John has a seat. We often sit in each other's seats, but not on each other's laps. We picked these seats out based upon the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (hereafter known as NVMC) seating chart, not by visiting the seats.


Home Game #3 versus the Dallas Stars. John and I came back to our seats after our ritual cigarette, bathroom stop, and beverage run. I end up in John's seat and he sits in my seat. After a minute or two, John turns to me and says something to the effect of 'this seat sucks, it feels like a spring is going up my a**'



Fast forward to Home Game # 6 (11/1/08) versus Les Canadien de Montréal. John has been nice enough to give me his ticket for my cousin Sean, who is flying in from Montréal for the game and the weekend. The Habs fans were out in force on this Saturday night. My estimate would be approximately 3500. In a good natured attempt to irritate my cousin Sean, whenever the Habs fans would start their chants, I would shout "you people are French and nobody cares". Sean tells me at one point that he likes the view from my seats, but that it feels like he has a spring going up his a**. I told Sean that my friend John said the same thing, but that I had not noticed it myself. I made a mental note to contact my ticket rep about this.



I sent my ticket representative an email on Sunday night 11/2/08 about the seat issue. The next morning I received an email response from an Islanders employee who informed me that my old ticket rep was no longer with the organization and that he was the assistant to my new ticket rep. He went on to tell me that "I will forward the seat issue along to the Game Operations department so they can get the building to correct the problem." I did not attend the home game that night.



Home Game #8 was on Saturday 11/8/08 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. As me and John were entering our row, I immediately noticed a change. My seat is number "13". Instead there was a brand spanking new looking seat cushion with a number plate that read "4". I was amused about the number plate issue, but to this day I am enjoying my new seat cushion immensely. (Notice the color differential in fabrics and the dripping stain on John's seat.) As the number plate still reads "4", I'm waiting for the game when someone insists that their ticket is for section 3**, Row F, Seat 4 and that this is their seat. I'll have some fun with that I'm sure.



Fast forward to Home Game # 19 (1/13/09) versus the First Galactic Empire (hhmm... I mean the New York Rangers). For this game, I have purchased two extra tickets. John went to the game and he sat with the Kaiser in our regular seats. The extra two tickets were for myself and my Dad. We sat directly behind the Kaiser and John (Section 3**, Row G, Seats 12 +13). As soon as I sat down, I commented to my Dad and Hilbert Girl, that my seat felt like it was collapsing and that it was leaning down to the left (Hilbert Girl sits in Row G, Seat 14. John and I nicknamed her this for the vitriol that used to issue from her mouth towards Andy Hilbert at the beginning of the season. She has since come around about Andy and now comments about how good Jeff Tambelini looks in a suit as opposed to an Islanders sweater. I really should know her name at this point, but I don't and would not use it here anyway.)


We move four days later to Home Game #21 versus the New Jersey Devils. There were numerous Devils fans in our section and you could hear them making comments about NVMC. During the second period, John and I are trading quips with Hilbert Girl and her friend about the condition of our "old barn". Hilbert Girl's friend makes a comment about how their seats are being propped up by wood blocks. I think that he is joking and laugh at what seems to be an amusing anecdote about the condition of NVMC. A few seconds later, I turn my head and see that their seats are indeed being propped up by wood blocks.




To this day, Hilbert Girl's seats are still being propped up by wooden blocks. As noted above, when I contacted the organization about the issue with my seat, it was corrected very quickly. I will suggest to her that she contact her ticket rep and ask them to "permanently" fix whatever the issue with her seats.
I hope you've enjoyed my little story and my own experience with the "old barn".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Lightning Tonight

I got home extra late tonight after the Islanders 3-1 win versus Tampa Bay. Before the game, when I removed my car keys from my main key ring, the key that unlocks my car fell off...in my car!!! I had to call my girl Trish, who not only got out of bed to come bring me my spare keys, she even quickly shoveled the walk to the door at my house. Trish rocks!!!




I'm going to make this extra short, but here are my thoughts on tonights game.


  • Under 10,000 in attendence. About ten minutes into the first period, all fans sitting in the 300 level were invited to come down to the "lower bowl" and sit in any seats that were empty. I ended up in Row A in 118. Nice upgrade. Thanks for nothing Ticketmaster!

  • The Islanders were nothing special tonight, but they really poured it on in a four minute spurt in the second period when they scored all three of their goals.

  • Kudos to Vinny Lecavalier for sticking up for his goaltender even though Tim Jackman's hit on Karri Ramo was clean. Jackman seemed to take it easy on him and I'm sure Vinny accrued extra respect in his locker room.

  • Once again, it would have been nice to see Yann Danis get a shutout, the kid has been playing great.

  • I hope Mark Streit's injury is nothing serious. He skated off right near where I was sitting and I was concerned then and still am now.

  • I saw my favorite Ice Girl Brittany in Champions, while I was hanging out by myself (looking and feeling like a loser) waiting for my girl to bring me my spare keys.

I'll be posting my story on NVMC right after this one.