Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lighthouse Approval Is Almost Finished

BD Gallof of Hockeybuzz has a great article on the progression of the Lighthouse Project.

This is great news for Islanders fans. According to the article, if they were tracking the progress in steps, out of 100, they are at 75. So 3/4 of the way completed and ground could break between April and December.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Islanders & Montreal

The Islanders will finish their 3 game road trip against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at the Bell Centre.

Saturday night, the Islanders evened the season series against the Buffalo Sabres with a 4-2 win at Buffalo. Four different Islanders scored goals, and Joey Mac made 35 saves to improve his record to 8-7-2.

The Islanders got goals from Andy Hilbert, Jon Sim, Bill Guerin and Mark Streit .

The win against the Sabres gained the Isles to 1-1 on the road trip. However on Friday night, the Islanders went through two losses. After they literally bowed to New Jersey, a 5-2 decision in a non-decisive game, and lost Frans Nielsen for 8-12 weeks after a cheap hit by the Devils' Mike Mottau. Nielsen suffered multiple leg injuries and Mottau was suspended two games for the hit.

Next up.....Montreal. A team that has already won this season at the Nassau Coliseum, but Canadiens had to come back from a 4-1 beating in the third period earlier in November, and defeated the Islanders, 5-4.

Since that win however, the Canadiens have gone 3-4-2, and the Boston Bruins have been on fire, dropping them out of first place in the Northeast Division. The Bruins literally took it to the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday to expand their division lead.

The Canadiens are having trouble scoring right now. If the Islanders play their system for 60 minutes, they took take this win tonight. The Younger players need to contribute something in order for them to stay in it against Montreal.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Islanders Flat In Loss To Devils

Pretty much, the Devils took it to the Islanders. At least three of the goals on the 5-2 loss were deflections, and cannot blame MacDonald. Devils hustled, and the Islanders plalyed for maybe 30 minutes of the entire game.

What I had feared, happened. Fritz was brought up and not used, and we lost two forwards in Neilson and Hunter for the rest of the third. If Fritz is not going to be used, then why is he here?

Buffalo tonight, and Colliton gets the recall. Let's see how the Islanders can bounce back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Islanders @ Devils Tonight

7:00 start. According to the Islanders main page, for now it looks like Sim will take Okposo's spot on the line with Bailey, and Hilbert. The Islanders added more toughness by bringing up Mitch Fritz, so we should be in for a real tight game. I'll be at the game tonight and will return witha full scouting report on the team.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fritz, & Mannino Get The Calls

Mitch Fritz gets the call for the weekend while Kyle Okposo is out for the week. After reading a few stories it appears that a line with Jackman, Park, and Fritz will be created.

Peter Mannino will be given the duties of backup goaltender so that Yan Danis will get a few starts down in Bridgeport. Danis has not played sice November 1st, and Mannino has earned his way to the NHL by posting an AHL record of 6-1-2 with the Sound Tigers with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

So here's my take on Fritz being called up. I heard Iggulden was also a consideration but the Islanders elected to go with more toughness for the weekend. Fine. This is why I disagree. New Jersey doesn't really have a team that could physically compete with us at this time. Most of their heavyweights are injured. This will aslo be Jersey's second game in a row, and the Islanders system will be too much for them to handle.

Now Buffalo, whom we play on Saturady, too it to them 7-1 the last time. Now, Buffalo, losers of 4 out of their last 5 have been issued a warning by Ruff to either get their acts together or they'll be benched. The Islanders are currently on a 3 game winning streak and full of confidence. Buffalo is not going to just take it to us because they don't want to make any mistakes and act like they're walking on egg shells. The Islanders system, which has been greatly imrpoved by the players, will be able to keep Buffalo on their toes, and it won't turn into another beating by the Sabres.

Point: For this weekend, in my opinion, skill should not have been replaced by toughness. If this is just precaution, fair enough. Also it's not like Okposo is out for a month, just a week. But losing a skilled player like Okposo, should've been relaced by someone other that Fritz.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tack on Meyer To The List

Point Blank has reported that Freddy Meyer has been skating and looks good so far for the game against the Devils.

Witt Comes Back; Okposo Out

Brendan Witt is off the Injured reserve and will play against the Devils. The last person on the defense to come back will be Freddy Meyer. Brett Skinner has been sent back down to Bridgeport.

Kyle Okposo is out for roughly a week with arm injury. So far no call up has been announced.

Mike Sillinger is returning, but will have a three game stint first at Bridgeport.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vancouver Tonight

The Islanders take on a tough Canucks team tonight at the Coliseum. And yes some of us get to remember our goalie that should have been when Luongo, the Canucks Captain, will be in goal tonight. But in all honesty, that's too far in the past, and time to move on to the present.

The present is not Dipietro, but MacDonald, who has been improving every game he plays. He has his goals-against-average down to 2.82 and his save percenatge is up to .911. After tonight, Macdonald may lead the league in total saves, and with his confidence growing, so does the rest of the players.

With a healthy defense almost ready to return, there has been more of a microscope on the offense. From what i've been reading, many believe the Islanders offense is not that good. Then they're not doing the math correctly. The Islanders offense, for now is hot, and should give Vancouver, and Luongo a good run for their money.

I'm still pulling for Tambs, but I think expectations of him are far too great, and should be lowered considerably, like the Stock Market. Tambs only averaged around 5 minutes a game during his first 82 games that he has played. A far cry for sure, but you cannot expect a guy to come in here after playing most of his career in the AHL and start lighting it up in this league. Tambellini may get you 10 goal this year, and that's it.

If there is a winger everyone should be looking closer at it's Bergenheim, and I believe that this year will be a breakout year for him. He's on pace for 17 goals, and is getting top 6 forward minutes now in Gordon's system. leave Tamby alone, and let him develop with Gordon, and start paying more attention to Bergenheim.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Islanders And Senators II

Islanders look to sweep the home and home series tonight against Ottawa, who should play with a chip on their shoulders. Pock knocked out Shannon with an elbow, and was suspended for five games. Replacing him is Martinek who is back from an injured shoulder.

Some are saying that Pock will not be playing anymore for a while with the return of Witt and Meyer. So what happens to a defense that has everyone healthy? Pock was claimed off waivers, which means he'll probably be placed on waivers, and Skinner, despite playing 11 minutes a game, is a plus 2, will be sent down to the Bridge. So here is how our defense should look by the time Pock's suspension is over:


Gervais is certainly in limbo, and the next few games will certainly tell the future for Gervais. He's playing 20 minutes a game, but his +/- is a minus 9, with no goals. For now I'll say he sits in the press box, and learn some more, or he could be used as that seventh defensman. Gervais has to show more poise, and the ability to put the puck in the net, if not, then it will be a long year for him.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bailey Gets Point Across

Josh Bailey recorded his first NHL point tonight, assisting on Kyle Okposos powerplay goal, and help the Islanders win 3-1 against Ottawa.

So far so good. He's making his case after two games that he wants to stay. Since Sillinger and Comrie appear not to be coming back anytime soon due to injuries, it looks like the Bailey-Okposo combination will be around for another 7 games, and possibly more. What a combination that could be, and add a suddenly offensive Andy Hilbert, and you have yourselves a possible dnagerous line for the next two weeks or so.

But what happens to the veterans when they're healthy and ready to return? That's for Snow to decide, but let's make this clear. Bailey will make his statement to stay, and if you see Okposos numbers improve, Snow will have to make moves.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keeping Bailey On Long Island A Good Move

Josh Bailey, before Tuesdays loss to the Flyers, had not played a game since the leaves started to turn color. However because Mike Comrie is injured with inflammation to his surgically repaired hip, and Mike Sillinger is still out, Bailey was given the opportunity to play in his first NHL game.

Why not? He was on the fourth line, saw some minutes, and contributed as best as he could. This is nothing more than a scouting event this year, and by this bloggers take, they're better than their 4-9-2 record would indicate. So like the rest of the youth movement, stick him in for the next 8 games. Maybe he can show the Islanders brass that he belongs this year and not next.

My honest opinion though is this. His junior career will be over in March (give or take a week). The trade deadline will be over, and there may be a vacancy open at the center postion by then. For now it's a little full with Comrie possibly coming back, and eventually Sillinger.

But for the next 8 games, I hope Bailey makes it really difficult on his coach, and general manager.

Power Play Fizzles Again

After the Islanders first line on the powerplay went powerless, I think It's time too see the youth movement in it's full throttle. That means Okposo, Tambellini, Hilbert, Bailey, and the other young studs should be getting more ice time on the power play unit. Add Campoli to that mix on the point, and keep him with Streit. More to come later......

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't Count The Islanders Out

There is no question about this team. If the Islanders had a full healthy squad, we would be at .500 or better entering our 15th game against Philly on Tuesday. BD Gallof had a good article about Dipietro on Point Blank, but I'm seeing this as a team as a whole. DiPietro is a key component to winning, but from what I've seen so far, this team cannot play focused hockey for a solid 60 minutes, and the losses cannot be blamed on MacDonald.

Some questions have arisen: Is it the system?

Too much effort in the first two periods leads to a third period bow out? So far yes. Again, this team is still learning the system, which means, learning how to win with this system. More than likely, it's not a full team effort, having a few players slack off, and there you have it, a melt down. Get everyone to believe in the system, and you'll see the wins.

Why are the kids not scoring?

We're they really supposed to? Okposo, Tambellini, and Neilson did not get the ice team needed last year. Watch for them to get it going in the second half like Bergenheim did when he first started out. Until then, let them learn the other factors of the sport. The veterans have more than stepped up in the scoring department, which allows the younger players to play hard and learn more. As the season progresses, they'll be asked to deliver.

Is it the goaltending?

If it wasn't for MacDonald, this team would be a lot worse. His save percentage is at .900, which on this team, is more than what they were hoping for. When DiPietro's healthy, MacDonald will be a mute point.

What's to come this week?

A game against the Flyers and two against the Senators. Both teams are struggling out of the gate, and If the Islanders figure out the third period, they'll take 2 out of 3.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Islanders Win 2-1

Two short handed goals by Thompson and Park gave the Islanders a 2-1 victory.

Quick thoughts:

MacDonald stood on his head and literally robbed the Rangers of a win last night.

Nielson is coming into his own. 5 points in 12 games puts him on pace for 34 for the season.

Six shorthanded goals in 12 games played as a team.

Tamby gets physical....which is a great sign.

Still nothing from our first line 5 on 5.

They took a lead, and held it this time.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Election Day

Tonight It's the Rangers at MSG. The Islanders are coming off a win last night against the Blue Jackets 4-3 in OT. Campoli had two goals including the game winner. Should see fritz in the game tonight, assuming Bergenheim is unable to play, but no official word on that just yet.

Look for Danis to get the start tonight. My presumption on this is because Dipietro is out for an extended time, and this is a back-to-back game. Both goaltenders should be on a regular schedule now. If McDonald does play, watch for Danis to play the next game against the Thrashers.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Islanders Win; Lose Parrish

Islanders win 4-3 in OT tonight on goals by Park, Geurin, and two by Campoli.

Nice to see the defense scoring goals to help out the offense, but I was really hoping to see one of the kids on the score sheet. The Islanders had a 3-0 lead heading into the 3rd, but again, allowed e goals to send the game to overtime. Campoli recorded his second goal of the night (twice) to seal it for the Islanders.

Mark Parrish has signed with the Dallas Stars on a two-way contract. So much for thoughts of him coming and playing with the Islanders.

Islanders Play Columbus Tonight

Here is a chance for the Islanders to pick up a big win, and regain some confidence. Columbus is 1-3-1 in their last five games, and their starting goaltender, Leclaire, is still nursing his ankle injury. According to Greg Logan, Okposo will be on the first line with Weight and Geurin.

Gordon put the Islanders through more video, and literally, a tougher practice yesterday to "enforce" the players what he expects from them. If the practice was received by the players, the fans should be happier with tonight's end result.

For me, I want to see some points racked up by the kids. The Blue Jackets are a team in a slump, and I think we need to see how the younger players can score against a lower level team in the NHL.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Please No Trades Yet

I don't care where the rumors are coming from....please don't trade anybody yet. There is no point. Let the development continue. The Islanders are on pace for 208 goals, 18 better than last year, with less expensive players. the Islanders are playing a solid 40 minutes a game, they'll get acclimated to playing 60 real soon.

I'll say this now....Look out for the kids this month. It's time. They've learned the system, now it's time to execute. Watch Tamby and Okposo have breakout games against Columbus, and get that confidence to go into the Garden and really take it to the Rangers.

More time and patience is needed, but everyting will come together once the Islanders get themselves healthy.

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