Sunday, December 30, 2007

Isles Have Shot at The Division

After watching the Islanders beat New Jersey last night, looking at the updated standings, I could not believe how close every team in this division is this year. In my opinion the division is still Pittsburghs' to lose. However, The Penguins record against their own division 4-10-1, and the injury bug continues to hit them. The Devils cannot beat the Islanders, and Rangers, and also have a losing record in their division (6-7-3). The Philadelphia Flyers are still in the hunt, but unless Gange comes back soon, the Flyers may not have enough in the tank to take the division. The Rangers are 10-4-0 against their division foes, three of the loses however come at the hands of the Islanders. The Rangers are looking for more scoring help and chemistry with Jagr. I guess money can't buy you offesnse. Which leaves me with the Islanders. The Injury bug has certainly hit them early this year (see Sim, Johnson, Bates etc), but the Islanders have been no worse then a .500 team this year. The Islanders divisional record is 9-5-0, second only to the Rangers, for now. If they can remain healthy, and the young stars improve in the second half, the division is certianly theirs for the taking.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merit System Working

Ted Nolans merit system appears to be working in the Islanders favor. With the move to the first line, Richard Park has ignited the Islanders first line of Comrie and Geurin. Bringing up Comeau from Bridgeport, instead of making a trade, was another smart move becasue thanks to his call up, Hilbert has surged, and there is an actuall chemistry on that fourth line. What Islanders fans are not used to seeing is a 3+goal game and multiple lines scoring in one game, which is refreshing. If the Islanders defense can begin scoring on the powerplay, that will give more time to the checking line of Fedotenko, Sillinger, and Hunter to work their magic. The young players are getting better as the year goes on, but look out for Sean Bergenheim in the second half. If he continues his play, not only will he score more, but watch for the second line of Vasicek, and Satan heat up as well.

The Merit System Is Working

Monday, October 22, 2007

Satan Scores First Goal; More To Come

Satan will start scoring more soon enough. Remember fans, he was paired up with Tamby for the beginning of the off-season and the first few games before he got sent down. Satan's now used to Bergenheim, and all they need is someone to start scoring on that line. If the New Jersey game was any sign or indication that the line is gelling and now scoring, this is really going to solidify the team. Imagine if Satan and Vasicek continue what they are doing and Bergenheim can also add in a few? Less pressure on the first line, the line of Sillinger, Geurin, and Hilbert will be able to just take out the opponents first line, and the richard park line can wear everyone else down. Don't trade anybody!!!!!! Let this team grow and develope as the year goes by. Think about it, when was the last time this team this stocked with veterans and rookies? Probably 2002. Tamby may help us in the playoffs, like Trent hunter did in 2002. Don't trade away any talent yet, just watch and have fun.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Berard Signs; Sim Out

Let's see now. Losing Meyer, gaining Berard equals an improved defense and powerplay. Watch for Berard to be on the powerplay with Bergeron, but not a lot of ice time during a five on five. Bringing Berard in will most certainly improve a powerplay that has already looked good so far. However, at even strength, you want the defensive pairing that is out there now, especially Campoli and Gervais, whom both have looked very good early on. Losing Sim for a while means it's time to see what Tambellini can do. Leave him on the second line with Vasicek, and Satan. If he doesn't score, he may be able to get Satan to finish off a score by getting to the rebound. This will also let the Islanders see what Tamby can do in the NHL and see if he's worth keeping around.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This Preseason So Far

After watching this team now for a little over a week thanks to the new Islanders TV, I can say that the Islanders are bonding and developing chemistry very quickly, which was needed for them to suceed. They showed toughness, and resilancy against the Rangers, and they also sent a message that they will not be pushed around this season. As far as the youth development, much praise has been given to Tambellini, Comeau, and Colliton, along with defenseman Aaron Johnson. There is enough depth once again on this team going all the way to the minors, in case there are injuries. Berard has shown he is a positive factor on the power play, and should make the team. The Islanders play the Devils tonight, which should be an excellent game since there is a mutual respect for one another. Expect to hear more good things coming from the first line once again (Tank,Comrie, and Guerin), and the emergances of Sim and Vasicek. Make no mistake about it, The Islanders are not going to be at the bottom of this conference, and will once again prove to many others, and earn the respect they deserve.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Preseason Is Here

I think it's safe to say that the first line will be Fedotenko, Comrie, and Guerin. That line will be depended on for this seasons success. From what i've been reading, Tamby is looking good at this camp, and is fighting for the second line against Jon Sim. Too early for now, but I think Tamby would look good with Vasicek and Satan. The one line that should remain intact is the Hilbert-Sillinger-Hunter line. That was the most consistent line the Islanders had last year, and I think you'll see a better year from both Hunter and Hilbert. The fourth line will be changing the most, and probably wont be "solid" until mid October or early November. Camp, injuries, and suspensions will determine who plays on that fourth line. As for the defense, you can pencil in the obvious ones. Witt, Bergeron, Martinek, Sutton, Campoli. Gervais is a Nolan player, so he should make the team, while Berard, if healthy, can replace the numbers lost by Tom Poti. This is a big year for the defence. They have the potential of a lot of power play goals, and if they stick to the new defensive system, this could be the making of something big on Long Island. I won't put my predictions in yet until the night before the first opening game against Buffalo. Until then, time to watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Berard To Practice With Islanders

Well now, this should be an interesting camp. I think, when healthy, Berard is still a top 4 forward, and could replace Poti's numbers from last year. However, he's been having Martinek like numbers when it comes to playing full seasons. Is Berard good enough to make the team?Yes, he is. That would leave Freddy Meyer the lone defenseman out of the loop here. But the nice idea about having Berard on the team, assuming he makes it, is that like the forwards, Nolan will play anyone on defense who is playing the way they should, and if Berard needs a break, can be replaced by Campoli and Gevais and then Berard can be used over a longer stretch in less minutes per game. Having someone like Berard on the team would certainly help their powerplay, along with Bergeron, and his booming shot. Now we'll have to see and wait what happens during camp. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vasicek Signs With Islanders

Signs one year deal. Diamond in the rough is my opinion on this guy. Dave Scatchard type player: physical, two-way, and plays gritty. Could have a scoring touch with the right players around him. Will be very difficult around the net also.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sutton An Islander

Now that Andy Sutton is an Islander, don't expect the Islanders to pursue another defenceman this offseason. So where do they get the points missing from Tom Poti? Campoli and Gervais should be able to handle the load assuming they stay healthy, and if Meyer sees more ice time, he may help as well. There has been talk of the Islanders need for another center. Looking at the depth of the team, the next third center would be Hilbert in front of Bates who would be on the fourth line. At this point, I've read about Vasicek, Allison, and possibly Forsberg. For now, I'll say forget Forsberg, but it's nice to dream. Vasicek or Allison would be an upgrade to Hilbert, who should really play along side Sillinger and Hunter for one more season. This center will be paired with Satan and Sim, assuming the forementioned line stays intact. The Islanders need a Dave Scatchard type of center, scrappy, physical, and two-way. That points to Vasicek who is also younger than Allison, and does have more potential in the now. Allison however, if healthy, could be a point per game center and could improve his wingers goal production as well. Any move Snow makes will only improve the offense.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What's Next For The Isles?

Now that Hunter has been signed to a one year contract, i'm curious to see what other plans are in store this offseason with the Islanders. Looking at this roster I can't see the Islanders being finished. Last year they did sign Sean Hill and Kozlov very late in the off season, and Islander fans should expect that same philosophy this year. First, let's address what the Islanders currently need. From looking at the current roster, a top four defensman, and a center at the forward positions. Once again hearing rumblings about McCabe coming to Long Island. For now, i dont know if i like that idea. Toronto is so cap heavy it'll be difficult for them to sign anybody else during the season should they falter. I've read in numerous articles that Stajan is a avialable, but the Islanders don't have enough to give back to Toronto. I certainly am not in favor of trading either Campoli or Gervais, so let's see about the unrestricted free agents. On defence, there's really only four I would think the Islanders would consider: Markov, Sutton, Berard, and Tanabe. Any one of those would help out the Islanders this season, even short term. Now for the centers. Vasicek, and Scatchard are available, but injuries have slowed them down. A couple of sleepers could be, Jamie Lundmark, or Kris Beech (my pick between the two). All in all not a lot to choose from, but would improve the team. For now we ponder, and wait........

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hunter Goes For Arbitration

Hunter and the Islanders went to the arbitrator to see how much of a raise he will recieve for this year. I was reading a few articles that Snow wanted to sign him to a long term deal but Hunter was not intrested. Hunter should get a raise from last year but it certainly wont break the Islanders bank. Hopefully, the Isles can sign Hunter long term as the season continues.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Will Markov Sign?

I usually try to avoid rumors, but this one is interesting considering this was one player I was hoping the Islanders would sign this offseason. There have been heavy rumors that the Islanders are close to signing him. By signing Markov to a contract, I think that would take care of the defense at least for the first half of the season. The Islanders need to let Campoli, and Gervais, and even Meyer play more games to really see the potential out of these players, and I'm one of those fans who does not like to see any more prospects traded so they can prosper somewhere else. The Islanders still have enough cap space to sign Markov, and then concentrate on the offense. Could The Islanders be looking at a restricted free agent going into arbitration? Possibly. The Islanders can resign Hunter, and can still make a pitch to any free agent that a certain team can no longer afford. If the Islanders cannot pry a restricted free agent from another team look for someone like Josef Vasicek to be signed. Third line forward, possibly second, Nolan-type player with offensive upside.

Chris Simon Signs

The Islanders signed Chris Simon to a one year $475,000 contract yesterday. He will recieve bonuses if he plays a certain amount of games for the season. I've been reading a lot of comments from other fans, and they are mixed indeed. Most say it was a good move to resign. I agree with them. I think Simons role will be limited however this year. If the Islander fans remember, he was put on the first line with Yashin and Blake. That did not pan out as well as hoped, which is why Asham also saw time on the first line. This year a first line has been established with the recent aquisitions, so Simon will be in a checking role, and defending his teammates. Some fans have asked me, what about Tambellini? Tambellini, will probably make the team this year. Where do the Islanders put him? Look for the third line with Hilbert and Hunter for now assuming that the Islanders dont sign anyone on offense. Simon will get playing time, but it will be limited, and depending on injuries will probably play against the "enforcer" teams.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something is Up

Just looking over the players at NewYorkIslanders.com and noticed that Trent Hunter is not on that list......stay tuned.

Friday, March 02, 2007

DiPietro Learns The Hard Way....Again

When we lose, we blame DiPietro. When we win, we praise him. That is why he alone is responible for the Islanders playoff push and future. Yes, Jason Smyth and the rest of the Islanders will have to do their part, but in the end, the puck must go through DiPietro in the net for the other teams to win. DiPietro must grow up after this "loss" to St. Louis. Give credit where it's due, the Blues worked for their two points, but when your goalie holds a stick and thinks he wont get caught, is not acceptable this time of the year. DiPietro must remain focused and discliplined if he wants any success this year. Should he be blamed for losing the game? No, this is a team sport, and his fellow teamates also did not perform well those last three minutes of the game and deserve the same treatment. Should DiPietro be blamed for that last goal? Most definitly. Most Islander fans will almost surley have his head if he attempts to do that in the playoffs. Note to Rick: Play smart, and learn from your mistakes, and don't repeat what happened last night.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Smyth An Islander

Not official, but Islanders have dealt former picks O'Marra, Nilsson, and this years first rounder for Smyth.

This puts the Islanders ahead of a lot of teams, and it doesnt matter where they finish in the top 8 because they're now contenders. More analysis coming shortly.

Perreault Returns To Toronto

Toronto aquires Yanic Perreault from the Coyotes for Brendan Bell and a second round pick in 2008.

This will help Toronto in their faceoffs as Perreault is the best there is, and he can still score.

Buffalo Gets Zubrus

The Buffalo Sabres made a splash aquiring Dainus Zubrus, and a prospect from Washington for Jiri Novotny, and a 1st round pick.

With the injuries to the Sabres, Zubrus will be slated in the top six forwards. This should help them win first place in the conference and very dangerous in the playoffs.

Atlanta Adds Another Defenseman

Atlanta gets Pascal Dupuis from the Rangers for a prospect.

Atalta has done a good job making a statement that thy're playoff bound this year.

Bertuzzi A Wing

Former Islander Todd Bertuzzi has been traded to the Detroit Red Wings from the Florida Panthers.

If i'm a hockey fan, i'd be watching the Western Conference in the playoffs this year.

Ducks Make Minor Move So Far

Ducks aquire forward Brad May from Colorado.

Ottawa Adds Depth

Ottawa recieves Forward Oleg Saprykin and a 7th rd pick from Phoenix for a 2nd round pick.

This is a depth for the playoffs move and you can never have enough depth.

Ward To Rangers

Aaron Ward is traded from the Rangers to the Boston Bruins. Rangers get Paul Mara.

This certainly helps the Bruins defense as Ward was a distraction in the Rangers locker room. I feel that Ward is a better fit in Boston and will produce better in Boston. Mara will be a good depth defenseman for the Rangers.

Guerin To Sharks

Bill Guerin has been traded to San Jose from St. Louis. As of now a 1st round pick and future considerations.

This was the trade eveyone has been waiting for. Let's find out what kind of effect this will have with Blake, if any.

Pittsburgh Just Got Tougher

Penguins aquired Forward George Laraque from Pheonix for Dan Carcillo, and an 8th round pick.

Update!!! 12:35pm Penguins send Dominic Moore to the Minnesota Wild for a 3rd round draft pick in this years draft.


Crosby now has protection in case anyone trys to go after him. Still doesnt fill their need for more defensive help though.

Biron To Philly...Conklin To Buffalo

Buffalo trades Biron to Philly for an undisclosed draft pick. Also Ty Conklin now traded to Buffalo.

Buffalo has extra cap room now with Biron gone. Great move by Philly and if they can sign Biron to a lomg term deal, this team has turned themselves around and should look good next season.

Roberts A Penguin

Roberts waived the no-trade clause to play with Cosby and company in Pitsburgh.

I've noticed that a lot of Eastern teams are getting better on offense right now. Atlanta got both defense and offense, but the focus really has been on offense.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Three Way Trade

Wings get Kyle Calder, Chicago gets Jason Williams, and Philly gets Kukkonen.

The Wings get experience in Calder, Chicago gets younger and promising Williams while Philly continues to rebuild by getting Kukkonen a possible top six defensman.

Blake Going To Anaheim, & Now Detroit

I know that basically the top Western Conference teams are in the hunt for Blake. However, it's been said that Nashville, Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose and Dallas all have interest. From another "source" of mine, the Islanders are ready to trade Jason Blake to the Ducks. Please stay tuned...

UPDATE!!! IF the Ducks cannont get there hands on Geurin, then Blake is their next option. But who will they give up? sounds like a first rounder. But I would like to see the Isles get their kid Cory Perry.

UPDATE!!! This coming from the Detroit Free Press: The Red Wings are still looking around for more depth in the hopes of adding another forward before this afternoon’s NHL trade deadline. The New York Islanders have called and offered Jason Blake; he doesn’t have much size (he’s listed as 5-foot-10) but he put the puck in the net 29 times in 62 games this season.

Smolinski & Sopel To Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks acquire Bryan Smolinski from Chicago for a 2007, 2nd round draft pick.

This will only help out the Canucks. Being a former Islander and have watched him play, he should be a good playmaking center for the Canucks. The one thing that has me going in the trades right now are just really draft picks, and other than St. Louis made a big splash getting quite a bit for Tkachuk everyone else is just a second rounder.....more trades to come....enjoy.

The Vancouver Canucks Have re-acquired defenceman Brent Sopel from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second and fourth round picks.

Well I think that should solidify what Vancouver was in need for. Both former Islanders should be a big support to the Canucks chances, and do make them cup contenders.

Zednik Is An Islander

Washington just traded Richard Zednik to the Islanders for a 2007 second round pick.

Well this means one of two things Islanders fans: One...he'll replace Blake on the first line cause Blake is on the verge of being traded. Two....he'll be on the first line with Blake and Yashin, and that could be a nice first line if Zednik gels with his new line mates. Zednik, when healthy, can produce 20+ goals a year and could be a force on a powerplay. More analysis after the trade deadline is over, but dont be surprised f the Blake rumors continue for now.

What A Wave Of Players

the following players have been placed on waivers: "Michael Leighton - Flyers, Denis Hamel - Thrashers, Jason Krog - Rangers, Niko Kapanen - Thrashers, Marc Chouinard - Canucks, Aaron Downey - Canadiens, Brian Boucher - Blackhawks, Bryan Berard - Blue Jackets, Petr Cajanek - Blues" according to TSN.

This is only marketable for teams who actually have room in there cap to aquire these players. It will be really interesting to see who picks up these players.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trade Deadline News

Starting now, and up until the trade deadline is over, I will be helping cover the trades that go on. Please stay tuned for the latest news, and trades that are made.

Quick note on the Rivet trade: Montreal did aquire a number one draft pick, which certainly means that Montreal is not done dealing yet, and may be in pursuit of another "big" name player. Another good guess, is that with Rivet's contract no longer in Montreal, could be a sign that Montreal may try to sign Souray sooner rather than later.

Blake To Be Traded

Lets also remember fans that Yashin is returning soon from his knee injury, and there are only two players in this organization who can play with him: Blake and Nilsson. Having Yashin back is like a major trade that never happened but will help the team. If you trade Blake now, and that first line doesnt gell, this could be a short post season. Snow must be very careful who he wants for Blake. Draft picks/prospects dont help a first line right now, they're good for the future, which this team already has. If Snow does pull the trigger, make sure it's for a top six forward, preferably a winger who can score. What also doesnt make sense is that if the Islanders are trading for offense, which is what they need, why are we giving up our top goal scorer this season? Are we gonna rely on Nilsson to suddenly put up big numbers when he gets here. Do the Islanders want to risk that? Another question into consideration is will this next person be able to play with Yashin? My best example: Miro Satan. The Islanders brought him here for Yashin and it never really panned out. Fans will have to watch what happens next, but I dont see the Islanders trading Blake.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ride The Wave

Before the season started, most columnists and hockey "experts" had the Islanders going dead last in the conference, possibly the league. The only two people to save the season were Nolan and DiPietro. Now that the Islanders are not even close to the cellar and are possible post season bound, the same two men will be the ones that the rest of the team will ride with. DiPietro will start against Toronto and Montreal, he'll demand it. So scratch off Dunham starting. Nolan will continue to work his players and the Islanders will soon be getting ready for the post season.
Now about the trade for Bergeron. A day after he was traded to the Islanders, Martinek was lost for the year, so Snow had to have known in advance that he needed to make that trade. If Nolan continues to work with Bergeron, he'll improve in the system. For the exception of this year, he as been on the plus side for his defense. Grebeshkov has shown promise, but not at the NHL level. We needed someone to replace Martinek and win now.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Another Move On The Way?

Glad Snow finally made a trade, and a good one. Now he has maybe one more to go. In all honesty since going 6-2-2 in the last 10 games, including Pitt today, eventually getting Yashin back will be like making a trade. Many of you already think that Blake does work well with Yashin, so why not keep both, and make one more trade for that winger that we're all craving for? That would give the Islanders four solid lines that could really make it difficult for any team to beat us. I'd hate to ruin the speculation but i dont forsee Blake leaving anytime soon, he's the only one working with Yash. You know if Blake wants to stay loyal with the Islanders, Wang will resign him. Having said that....Look for the Islanders to make one more trade for the forward to play along side Yashin and Blake. The Islanders do have quite a few defenseman on their team so the obvious thought is that one of them will be dealt. But this blogger will not get into speculations.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Make The Trade Now

If Garth Snow wants to make a trade, do it now. Whoever he wants to get, make the trade before the Islanders start on their 7 game home stretch. The Islanders have three great lines with Tambellini, Kozlov and Satan. There is no need for a second line center at this point with Tambellini forming a great mix on that line. Go for the big gun Snow, just dont trade away the farm. Ever since Yashin went out with the knee injury, everyone has contributed. Now its time to get someone in for Blake and Yashin when he returns so the Islanders really have a legitimate scoring first line. Okay now I have mentioned before who we should get, but if I had to go for two guys with the most availablilty right now, it would be Guerin or Anson Carter. I think Guerin could be a great "dream" move and if the Islanders aquired him, this is a post first round team in the playoffs. Carter is the wild card. When Carter is on, he finds the back of the net often, but he's not as physical as he should be. Either way, he's a better fit for a first line then Chris Simon is. Carter may also be more affordable then Guerin as well. But if the Islanders really want to make a statement in this years playoffs, then get a big gun winger and do it now. This team is ready to break out and make a big push during the homestand and need the firepower now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Buyers Or Sellers

The Islanders sit 4 points behind Carolina for the 8th seed in the conference as of this post, and are currently undefeated in regulation going 4-0-3. They play Philly tonight, which should help the Islanders in the standings. The question is simple: Should the Islanders be buyers or sellers? My answer is.....buyers, but i think the Islanders should look at low-risk, high reward player(s), or in hockey terms, a rental player(s). So what do the Islanders need then if they are to be buyers? Garth Snow has already indicated a second line center and a winger for the top line. Defense according to him from Newsday, said he likes the defense as it is with the return of Poti, and Gervais returning. I think with the unrestrited free agents out there, the Islanders most pressing need would be a top winger. Ther're a ton of wingers out there, but I think the Islanders will persue the following: Bertuzzi, Geuren, Lapointe, Carter, Doan, and maybe Modin. Yeah I know big splash there. The problem is, the teams trading these players will want more in return then the players worth. That's why bringing up someone like Jeff Tambellini from the minors is a good move for now. The kid has 3 points in 3 games, ride with the kid and maybe you wont need to trade for one of those big name wingers. As far as a second line ceneter goes depends on the winger the Islanders get in the trade. The Islanders should look at bringing back a former Islander: Bryan Smolinski, or...... yes, i'm saying this, Pierre Turgeon. Smolinski, Satan, Kozlov will definitly have teams paying attention to that line. If Smoliski is not available, or if we get a star winger, and need an inexpensive rental, and probably sell a few more tickets at the coliseum to give him a fond farewell, then I think the Islanders should go after Turgeon. He's been a healthy scratch in Colorado, and would only be worth a low draft pick in this years draft. He knows the atmosphere at the coliseum during the playoffs, and will defenitly give the fans something to watch. Now, i know Snow is not really looking for blueline help, but i would love to see if he could pick up Bryan Berard for the playoffs. He hasnt played at all this year, would prob be worth another pick, and Berard can at least come back for the playoffs, and showcase what he still has left. Berard would certainly help out on a powerplay that has not been great with scoring defensman on this team, and Berard would only be used on the third defensive pairing when Martinek returns, so Berard wont be under a lot pressure coming in. The Islanders would be more solid with Berard in the lineup than Gervais. If the Islanders do get players of this caliber, then they will give Buffalo or New Jersey a run for their money in the playoffs. But this should not hurt the core of the team, and if the Islanders do lose in the first round, then they would've only given up low round picks, and nothing else....depending on if the Islanders get a top name winger of course.......stay tuned.

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