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


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


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 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.)