Monday, September 30, 2013

Islanders Announce Final Roster

Within the last hour, the Islanders announced their 23 man roster as the season prepares to start this Friday in New Jersey.

One of the contested spots on the roster, backup goalie went to Kevin Poulin.  This was assumed by most, even though Poulin didn't have a great camp.  With the time Anders Nilsson missed last season, he wasn't ready yet to be here and would benefit more by gaining the additional playing time as starter for Bridgeport.

On defense, the Islanders kept around Matt Donovan as well as Griffin Reinhart.  After his stellar play this pre-season it was expected for the team to keep Donovan around.  Meanwhile, it appears with Reinhart that he was able to force the teams hand with solid play this pre season and he will get his nine game tryout to begin the season before the team decides what to do with him.

The Islanders also made the right decision in keeping Brock Nelson up with the big club, likely on a line with Peter Regin and Pierre Marc Bouchard.  Even after his solid play through camp and great rookie season in Bridgeport last year, the idea of Nelson sticking with the team wasn't clear to a few people through camp.  Some people thought that Ryan Strome would make the team, even after his placement on the teams "fifth line" in practice. 

Cal Clutterbuck was placed on IR as he recovers from a laceration to the leg suffered earlier this pre season against Calgary.

Some of the notable names sent to Bridgeport include, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Calvin De Haan, Anders Nilsson, and Kirill Kabanov.  Forwards Justin Johnson and Riley Wetmore as well as goalie Ken Reiter were released from their tryouts and will report to Bridgeport.  According to Newsday, there has been no word yet on what Radek Martinek will do.

The team also sent defenseman Ryan Pulock back to his junior club the Brandon Wheat Kings where he served as captain last season.

For more, check out the link below:

Predictions: Defensemen

Today, we will continue our prediction series by talking about the teams projected top six defensemen.

1) Travis Hamonic

6 goals

24 assists

30 points

After signing a big extension in the off-season I think Hamonic will come out this year and further prove why that deal was a bargain by not only improving his offensive game but improving his defensive game as well.

2) Andrew MacDonald

5 goals

17 assists

22 points

After having his playoffs cut short last year by a hand injury I think MacDonald will come out and continue to excel with his longtime partner Hamonic.  Not only that though, being a contract year for MacDonald may prove to be an extra motivator for him as the year wears on.

3) Lubomir Visnovsky

10 goals

30 assists

40 points

After causing some controversy when being traded here, Visnovsky ended up coming here and was a big piece of the defense on the way to the Islanders first playoff birth in 7 seasons.  With the departure of Mark Streit to the rival Flyers, Visnovsky will be looked upon to pick up some of what the team lost in Streit in the offensive zone.  Being someone who has been one of the better offensive defensemen in the league for a long time I think Visnovsky will have little issue adjusting to his role with the increased responsibility.

 photo courtesy of

4) Brian Strait

2 goals

10 assists

12 points

After struggling in the pre season this year, Strait is looking to revert back to his pre injury play of last season that earned him a three year contract with the Islanders.  If he is able to get back to that play, the Islanders would be in a much more comfortable position defensively then they currently sit.

5) Thomas Hickey

4 goals

15 assists

19 points

After being claimed on waivers before last season, Hickey ended up finding a place with Lubomir Visnovsky as his partner and it did wonders for his game.  After signing Hickey to a two year deal over the summer, the Islanders are hoping the play they saw down the stretch alongside Visnovsky can be something Hickey shows on a consistent basis.

 photo courtesy of

6) Matt Donovan

8 goals

17 assists

25 points

The departure of Mark Streit over the summer opened up a spot on the Islanders blueline and as was speculated highly over the summer, it appears that the spot is going to go to Matt Donovan.  Over the last two seasons Donovan has managed to put up 93 points in Bridgeport.  Last season Donovan tied Justin Schultz for the league lead in scoring amongst defensemen.  Also last season, Donovan added a bit of an edge to his game amassing 112 penalty minutes.  I think Donovan will fit in fine on the Islanders blueline as well as possibly the point on the teams second power play unit.

Guys who could see time:

1) Griffin Reinhart

1 goal

2 assists

3 points (these stats reflect Reinhart getting a 9 game tryout and then being sent back to juniors)

It has been speculated recently that the 19 year old defenseman was going to make the Islanders out of camp and get a 9 game look before the team decides if they want to send him back to his juniors club or keep him with the team for the season.  Based off his play this pre season, it is hard to argue with the team deciding to do this if they go that route.

2) Matt Carkner

0 goals

3 assists

I think Carkner will see action selectively depending on the opponent when the coaches feel a bigger body might be useful for them.  After having a so/so regular season last year, Carkner proved to be more valuable when it came to the playoffs.

Happy Birthday Colin McDonald

 photo courtesy of

Today, Islanders forward Colin McDonald is celebrating his 29th birthday.

After being a surprise invite to camp last season following the end of the lockout, McDonald impressed fans and management alike with his hard nosed style.  That style ended up earning him a two year contract with the Islanders.

We would like to wish McDonald a very Happy Birthday and wish him the best of luck as the season begins later this week.  You can follow him on twitter here.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reinhart To Stick Around?

 photo courtesy of

Earlier this week, Brian Compton from reported that the vibe he was getting from people around the team was that Griffin Reinhart would make the Islanders out of camp and receive his nine game tryout at the start of the season.

Now, Bob McKenzine from TSN is saying the same.  Earlier, he reported that while a final decision hadn't been made, it is more likely than less likely that Reinhart will stick out of camp.

Like I said when Compton reported this, I am just not sure where Reinhart fits.  Does that mean Matt Donovan goes to Bridgeport?  Or one of the current projected top six guys become a healthy scratch?  We will just have to wait and see what the coaches decide.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pulock/Quine Sign ELC's

Earlier this evening, the Islanders announced they had come to terms on entry level contract agreements with 2013 draft picks Ryan Pulock and Alan Quine.

Pulock was selected by the Islanders 15th overall in this year draft back in June.  Last season, he managed to put up 45 points in 61 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL.  He also served as team captain last season.|NYI|home

Meanwhile, Quine was selected in the sixth round of this years draft by the Islanders.  Last season, Quine managed to put up 67 points in 54 games in the OHL split between the Peterborough Petes and Belleville Bulls.  Quine was a third round pick of the Red Wings in 2011, but they failed to retain his rights.

Islanders Send 7 To Bridgeport

According to the Islanders website, the team assigned seven players to Bridgeport today.  They will report to Sound Tigers camp when it continues on October 1st in Bridgeport.  Bridgeport opens their season on October 5th at home against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

For more, check out the link below:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tavares 2 Goals Lift Islanders Over Predators 6-4

Tonight, before their home fans, the Islanders defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 6-4.  Here are some of my notes:

-After getting shut out the last two games, it was nice to see the team put up some goals.

-Tavares line was solid, Bailey seemed to work well with them.

-Loved Brock Nelsons game tonight, he really set up Colin McDonalds goal, and didn't look out of place on his brief couple shifts on the Tavares line either.

-I thought Nabby played alright, the end of the game was a bit discouraging.  But, to be fair, the defense wasn't helping him much by then.

-Pekka Rinne is a darn good goalie!  Sure the Islanders put a few past him tonight, but they should've had a couple more that they were totally robbed on.

-Matt Donovan didn't look out of place either which is encouraging.

-Real nice setup on the powerplay goal by Visnovsky at the end of the first.

Overall, I was impressed with their play tonight.  I know its only pre season, but after not scoring for back to back games tonight was a more then welcomed sight.

Next Game: Split Squad Sunday against Ottawa (Pre Season Finale)

Pre Game: Predators @ Islanders

Tonight, the Islanders continue their pre-season schedule against the Nashville Predators.

Evgeni Nabokov will be getting the nod in net for the Islanders tonight and is scheduled to play the entire game.

Below you can find the Predators roster for the game from their beat writer Joshua Cooper.

Here are the Islanders lines according to Newsday:










This is likely going to be the opening night lineup with Okposo hopefully in for Lee.  It should be interesting to see the team fares after falling to score for their last two games.  This game will not be on TV and there is no internet stream because of technical difficulties at the Coliseum.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lawmakers Attempting To End MSG Tax Break?

According to various reports, NYC lawmakers are attempting to end the tax breaks received by MSG citing that the city needs the money right now more then MSG does.

NYS Assemblyman David Weprin from Queens called the tax break "absolutely absurd corporate welfare."

For more on this check out the article from islanderspointblank below:

Okposo Day To Day With Eye Injury

According to reports, Kyle Okposo is day to day with an eye injury sustained in the game against the Devils in Brooklyn this past Saturday.  Taking his spot at camp in the meantime is forward Anders Lee.

Given the fact that he got stitches and was at practice the next day I have to think the injury isn't to serious and this is just a precaution.

Predictions: Bottom 6 Forwards

We started our predictions series a couple weeks ago with the top six forwards and now were going to continue with the bottom six forwards.

 photo courtesy of

1) Michael Grabner

30 goals

20 assists

50 points

Grabner has been a consistent goal scorer in his NHL career to this point and he has shown no reason why that wouldn't continue.  The Islanders will need him to be a consistent secondary threat for the team to be successful.

2) Brock Nelson

15 goals

20 assists

35 points

After seeing Nelson a ton in Bridgeport last season I am very excited for him.  His shot really impressed me and his all around play was solid.  He didn't look out of place either in his one playoff appearance which was encouraging as well.

3) Peter Regin

10 goals

15 assists

25 points

Assuming Regin is able to stay healthy he could prove to be a solid acquisition by Snow and be a valuable member of the team this year.

 photo courtesy of

4) Matt Martin

8 goals

8 assists

16 points

135 PIMS

Over the last couple years Martin has quickly become a fan favorite and he will continue with that this season.  He won't put up a ton of offense but will be a valuable contributor to the team in other ways.

5) Casey Cizikas

10 goals

15 assists

25 points

After having a solid rookie season Cizikas will continue to build on that this season and anchor the Islanders stellar fourth line and be a fixture on the penalty kill as well.

6) Colin McDonald

10 goals

16 assists

26 points

McDonald really surprised people last season leading to his two year extension.  As long as he continues with the play he displayed last year he will remain a valuable player for the Islanders this season.

Guys who could see time:

 photo courtesy of

1) Ryan Strome

15 goals

15 assists

30 points (these stats reflect Strome playing 45 games on Tavares wing on the first line)

Even though he has shown to be skilled he could use some time in Bridgeport to fine tune his two way game and get more acclimated to the professional game.  I have little doubts though that he will be up by the all star break at the latest though.

2) Anders Lee

3 goals

1 assist

4 points (10 games)

I think Lee will have a cup of coffee with the team this year serving as an injury replacement at times throughout the season.  In that role I think he will have some success.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

NHL News: Glen Sather Calls Derek Stepan A Fool

The contract struggle between the New York Rangers and center Derek Stepan has been long documented this offseason by analysts.

The gist of the situation is that Stepan wants a deal that pays him based off the stats he put up in his breakout season last year.  Where as the Rangers want him to take a smaller contract because the team has cap troubles and can't afford to pay him what he is looking for.  According to NBC Sports, the gap between the two sides has gotten down to just 600K per season.

It is clear by recent statements from Rangers GM Glen Sather that at least the Rangers side is clearly feeling the heat of their top center possibly not being in the lineup on opening night next week.  Sather told ESPN New York's Katie Strang, "...I don't think Derek's going to let this linger too long.  I don't think hes a big enough fool..." (h/t to Vinny for the link)

I don't know about you, but to me that doesn't seem like a way to talk about a top young player that you are trying to sign to a long term contract.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nassau Legislature Approves Coliseum Plan

According to Newsday, within the last hour the Nassau County Legislature voted to unanimously approve Bruce Ratner's plan to develop the Nassau Coliseum and some of the surrounding property.

While this is certainly a pretty big step for the project, it isn't the last one it will face.  For more on that check out the Newsday article below published in yesterdays issue.

While this is encouraging, as the article says there are still many things that can bring this project to a screeching halt.  However, if all goes well, Ed Mangano said today that construction is expected to begin in August 2015 after the Islanders leave and the new arena would open in 2016.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thoughts on The Barclays Center

Tonight the Islanders were defeated 3-0 by the Devils at the first NHL game in Brooklyn.  I was fortunate to be there so for those that couldn't make it here are some of my thoughts on the arena:

-Very easily accessible, no complaints at all.

-The arena is literally not even a 5 minute walk from the train terminal which is good.

-Walking in, it has the feeling of a new modern place which is nice.

-While my seats had a little obstruction, for the price I paid I thought it was a great deal.  Looking around from my seats though it was quite evident that some sections needed to have work done to them.  On the train ride home, someone who sat in section 104 showed me an image of the view from their seats and around 50% of the nearest zone was blocked including one of the goals.

-The concourse on the main level is quite nice and spacious and you never have issues walking in it even during intermission.  However, it is a different story upstairs.  I found the concourse during intermission to be just as bad as the Coliseum if not a little worse which really surprised me.

-The bottled soda selection is quite limited to only coke zero, all other soda options are fountain.

-Food was overall underwhelming.  Although, the cheesecake even though it was expensive was good and it was a big slice to.

-Was disappointed to find out that staff wouldn't let fans with tickets upstairs go down by the ice for warmups. 

-Leaving was quite simple just like getting there was.  

Overall, while it certainly wasn't perfect, it could've been a lot worse.

Devils Defeat Islanders 3-0 In Barclays Center Debut

Tonight, making their debut before a crowd of 14,700 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn the Islanders were defeated 3-0 by the Devils.  Here are a couple notes from the game:

-Nabokov even though he gave up three goals played pretty good, came up with a couple big saves.

-Doug Weight needs to get to work because the powerplay was pretty bad tonight, they couldn't do much of anything!

-Cory Schneider is really good!  That was a great move by the Devils

-Concerned about Okposo, hope he isn't out a while!

Don't really have much more thoughts tonight because nobody really stood out to me.  The team as a hole was quite flat and sloppy.  It is just the pre season though so we can't get to crazy yet.

Next Game: Tomorrow @ Nashville

Reinhart To Make The Team?

According to Brian Compton from, the vibe he is getting regarding defenseman Griffin Reinhart is that the 19 year old will make the team out of camp and will have his 9 game tryout in the beginning of the season to give the team time to decide if they want to send him back to juniors or not.

Even though Reinhart has looked pretty good thus far in the pre season, I am kind of surprised by this.  What does that mean for Matt Donovan?  A start to the season in Bridgeport?  Or that Radek Martinek isn't going to make the team and Carkner will be the 7th defenseman?  Beyond that, I am not sure how Reinhart can fit.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pre Game: Isles vs Devils From Brooklyn

Tonight, the Islanders continue their pre season schedule as they take on the Devils at the first hockey game ever from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  The game is set to begin at 7:00 and will be streamed on the Islanders website because MSG refuses to air it.

The goalie matchup tonight features Cory Schneider for the Devils and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.  According to Newsday, Nabakov will be playing the entire game.

Below is the lineup for tonight according to Newsday:













Save The Isles Chats With Christian Imperato

As part of our season preview interview series, our next one is with Christian Imperato from  We would like to thank Christian for taking the time to talk with us and you can follow him on twitter here.

STI: Could you give some background on yourself for those that may not be familiar with you?

CI: I have been a die-hard Islander fan for all 28 years of my life.  I started a blog on the Islanders area issues a few years back.  The reason why I started the blog was due to the frustration I felt (I’m sure all Islander fans felt it) when the referendum failed and all the miss information was out there.  

STI: What were your thoughts on the Islanders draft this year?  Who would you consider to be a sleeper pick in this year’s class?

CI: My initial thought was how great it was that the draft wasn’t our highlight for once.  When it comes evaluating the draft I will leave that to others, since I thought Mikko Koskinen was our goalie of the future.

STI: Between Matt Donovan and Brock Nelson, who do you expect to have a bigger impact on the team this season?  Why?

CI: Between these two choices I would go with Matt Donovan.  I think it will be easier for Donovan to make the team, since we have more openings for defensemen and the Islanders’ forward positions are pretty well filled.

STI: Do you think Kevin Poulin will win the backup goalie job out of camp?  Or do you think Nilsson will surprise some and steal the job from him?

CI: With all the health issues Nilsson suffered last season sometime in the AHL to get his rhythm wouldn’t hurt, so I will give Poulin the edge.  Honestly, I would love if Poulin cemented himself as the Islanders goalie this season, but he has a lot to prove for that to happen this season.  

STI:  What are your thoughts on the Islanders off season?

CI: I give Garth credit for staying with his blueprint.  I think a lot of fans (including myself) wanted to see the Islanders be very active after how competitive we were during the playoffs.  However, Garth has a vision for this team and he didn’t steer away from it after last season's success. 

STI: With the realigned divisions, do you think they did enough to qualify for the playoffs for a second season in a row?

CI: I think the Islanders will be fighting for one of the last few playoff spots again this season.  I believe that we have enough talent and that the playoff push last season will help us secure one of these spots.  I’m even hopeful that we will win our first playoff series in twenty seasons this year.

STI: Being someone who has followed the arena situation closer than the average person, what do you think will end up happening with the Nassau Coliseum property?

CI: I can see the Nassau Coliseum becoming the home for the Islanders’ and Nets’ minor league teams.  This will allow for the Islanders to keep in the touch with their birthplace and the heart of their fan base.  In addition, this will allow the Nets to grow their brand and fan base eastward on the Island.  Another benefit remodeling the Coliseum will have for Long Islanders is that they will still have a venue of their own to see concerts and family shows.  After the failure of the Lighthouse project and referendum this is probably the best result that people could have asked for.  The team stays local and somewhat connected to Nassau, and Nassau residents still have a venue to enjoy concerts, family shows, and sporting events.    

Friday, September 20, 2013

Handrails Installed At the Coliseum

Today, while at camp I noticed that handrails had been installed throughout the 200's and most of the 300's sections.  One may ask why they are doing stuff like this now when they are leaving in a couple years?  Well, these were actually installed through a grant from the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

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D'Amato Still Playing a Part in the Coliseum?

According to a recent Newsday article, Forest City Ratner, the firm picked last month by Ed Mangano to renovate the Coliseum and some of the surrounding area is represented by Park Strategies a lobbying firm run by former senator Alfonse D'Amato.

It has long been talked about and is even mentioned in the bottom of the Newsday piece that the death blow for the Lighthouse Project was when Charles Wang refused to hired D'Amatos brother Armand into the Lighthouse Development Group because of his suspect past.

I find it amazing that the guy hasn't been involved in politics in how long?  But he still has so much influence over what occurs in the area.  Further on that, it is a damn shame that he still needed to get his pocket lined in order for something to happen at the property.  In the article a spokesperson for the firm said they didn't represent Ratner during the process and only set up the initial meetings between him and the county legislature after he won the competition.  That maybe so, but I find it hard to believe that D'Amato isn't getting something out of this, it isn't the way he operates.

Happy Birthday Tavares

 photo courtesy of

Today, newly appointed Islanders captain John Tavares celebrates his 23rd birthday.

Last season saw Tavares finish 3rd in the MVP voting behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.  He managed to put up 47 points in 48 regular season games and then another 5 points in 6 playoff games.

We want to take this time to wish Tavares a very Happy Birthday

 photo courtesy of

Some Pictures From Camp Today!

The Barch VS Gallant Series

Tonight, the Islanders defeated the Devils by a score of 5-3 to earn the teams first pre season win of the season.  The game wasn't without its fireworks though as Islanders enforcer Brett Gallant and Devils enforcer Krys Barch engaged in a series of three fights throughout the night.  If some of you are unfamiliar with Gallant, he has been the top enforcer of the Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the last couple seasons.  Videos of the three scraps of his from tonight can be found below:

If you notice, at the start of the one above they take each others helmets off.  This is done to combat a new rule instituted by the NHL.  That rule is that fighters will be given an extra minor penalty if they take off their own helmets prior to the start of a fight.  The loophole found by these two guys has caught the attention of a lot of media people including puckdaddy over at Yahoo.

Personally, I feel as though if the team wants to devote their 13th or 14th forward spot to a fighter that it should be Gallant and not Eric Boulton.  Unlike Boulton, Gallant is actually a smart player for his style and not just a pair of fists on skates.  

Boulton's Game Winner Gets Isles First Pre Season Win

Tonight, the Islanders defeated the Devils by a score of 5-3 to earn their first pre season win this year.  Here are some of my notes:

-Great games from Bailey and Okposo!  They are looking really confident and like they have more confidence heading into this season.  Hopefully, that continues!

-Thought Pedan had a solid game, used his body well!

-I thought Poulin was alright.  He did have some nice moments most notably in the third period after a bad Reinhart giveaway.  However, he did have some poor moments as well though.

-Reinhart has seemed pretty solid through two pre season games which is good to see.

-Why did we resign Eric Boulton?  The guy is a joke and serves no purpose!  He is literally a pair of fists on skates.

-Joey Diamond didn't put up the stats tonight but he seemed like he was flying around the ice out there.

-Thought Diamonds linemate Alan Quine had some brightspots as well.  His performance in camp is probably going to be a key component they use when they decide where he is going to play this season.  Quine was pretty mum on the issue when we interviewed him in July.

-The Lee-Nelson-Strome line combined for a pretty slick little play which ended in Lee's powerplay goal.

While the game wasn't perfect there were definitely bright spots.  The fact that we could have a team of predominantly rookies go out and beat pretty much the Devils team is certainly encouraging.

Next Game: Saturday 9/21 @ The Barclays Center VS the Devils

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clutterbuck To Miss A Month Or More

According to Brett Cyrgalis from the New York Post, Cal Clutterbuck will miss at least a month if not more after suffering a laceration from a skate to the back of his right leg on Tuesday in the game in Calgary.

Yesterday, Jack Capuano had announced that Clutterbuck would miss extended time but wasn't able to shed any further detail on it then that.

It is a shame for Clutterbuck that he will be out and hopefully he is just out for the month.  However, it is better that this happened now rather then in the middle of the season.

Pre Season Game 2: Islanders @ Devils

Tonight, the Islanders continue their pre season schedule as they travel to New Jersey to take on Marty Brodeur and the Devils.

The goalie matchup tonight features Marty Brodeur for the Devils and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.  Newsday reports that Kevin Poulin will play the entire game tonight.

Below you can find the Islanders lineup for tonights game courtesy of Newsday:







Some key storylines for tonight's game will include how Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome look.  With Clutterbucks injury, the door is now wide open for one of them to make the team out of camp.  Additionally, how will Kevin Poulin look after his so/so start to open his pre season the other night against Calgary.

This game will be streamed on the Islanders website as well as the Devils website.  It will not be on TV!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Clutterbuck To Miss Extended Time

According to Newsday, Islanders coach Jack Capuano today said that forward Cal Clutterbuck will miss extended time after getting cut by a skate in last nights pre season opener against Calgary.

The incident occurred in the third period when Clutterbuck when to hit a Flames player and missed him, the Flames players skate came up and got Clutterbuck and he went right off the ice.  The timeline for his injury is unknown as of now.

Post Game: Isles lose both

Tonight the Islanders fell to the Flames 4-2 in Regina. I don't feel like I could give a fair report considering I did not watch or listen to the game. What I do know is that our first line seemed to play well, racking up some points.

In Calgary the New York Islanders fell 5-3. As expected there was some positives and some expected negatives. 

Carkner played an awful game.  With young kids coming up in a hurry, I don't see him being anymore then a number seven dman on most nights.  

Kevin Poulin played an average game.  He had his bright moments for sure, making some big saves when the team needed it.  A few bad turnovers almost cost the Isles a few more goals.  Poulin found himself out of position a few times and often scrambling.  Luckily the post and crossbar was there to save the day a few times.

Anders Nilsson was thrown right into the fire, having his team go down on a 5on3. A nice wrist shot from Wideman beat Nilsson, one you really cannot blame on the young goaltender.  The next one was a total defense nightmare allowing the opposition to sit in front by himself out waiting Anders and flicking it into an empty net.  I thought Nilsson settled down and played a quiet sound game, usually being in good position on shots attempts. 

Most can agree that the most impressive player on the night was young dman Matt Donovan.  Donovan was a (+)1 on the night while also adding a nice assist.  Rushing from the point he made a strong wraparound move and threw the puck in front.  He looked very calm and collective, not looking out of place.  It's only game one, but a very encouraging sign.  

How awesome was it to see some Islander hockey?  Even though I sat and watched it on a laptop screen, it was a joy.  Till next time, Lets Go Islanders!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Have Some Fun With It: NHL14

So like many other crazy hockey fans, EA Sports NHL 14 was a must get.  If ever interested in a friendly game please let me know your online name (I play on the ps3).  After some crazy hits and one punch knockouts I had some fun looking at the overalls of the Islander players.  These overalls are before any roster updates and such I must add:

  • John Tavares: 89
  • Matt Moulson: 86
  • Kyle Okposo: 84
  • Travis Hamonic: 83
  • Frans Nielsen: 82
  • Andrew Macdonald: 82
  • Michael Grabner: 82 (94 speed)
  • Cal Clutterbuck: 81
  • Lubomir Visnovsky: 80
  • Casey Cizikas:80
  • Josh Bailey: 79
  • Joe Finley: 75
  • Matt Martin:74
  • Colin Mcdonald: 70 
  • Evgeni Nabakov: 81
  • Kevin Poulin: 75
Joe Finley is a 75, maybe EA made a mistake and meant to reverse it?(57?)  Colin cannot be happy with his rating with a 70, that's a punch down low.  I bet Tavares cracks the 90s next year.  Also much love to Mr. Cizikas but someone left Matt Martin hanging with only a 74.  Just some fun with a video game, have your own ratings? Would love to hear them, happy playing and Go Isles! 

Islanders Release Tomorrow Night's Rosters

Tomorrow night, the Islanders begin their pre season with a split squad game against Calgary.  Earlier today the Islanders released their rosters for their games tomorrow night against Calgary and Regina.  Below you can find them, courtesy of

Isles @ Calgary

  • Josh Bailey
  • Chris Bruton
  • Jason Clark
  • Cal Clutterbuck
  • Michael Grabner
  • Justin Johnson
  • Kirill Kabanov
  • Frans Nielsen
  • Kyle Okposo
  • John Persson
  • Peter Regin
  • Riley Wetmore
  • Matt Carkner
  • Calvin de Haan
  • Matt Donovan
  • Andrew MacDonald
  • Ryan Pulock
  • Griffin Reinhart 
  • Anders Nilsson
  • Kevin Poulin
This game airs tomorrow night at 9:00 and it will be streamed through the Flames website.  The Islanders site will pick up the stream.  It will not be on TV!

Isles @ Regina

  • Pierre Marc Bouchard
  • Eric Boulton
  • Casey Cizikas
  • Brett Gallant
  • Mike Halmo
  • Anders Lee
  • Matt Martin
  • Colin McDonald
  • Matt Moulson
  • Brock Nelson
  • Ryan Strome
  • Johan Sundstrom
  • John Tavares
  • Joe Finley
  • Travis Hamonic
  • Thomas Hickey
  • Scott Mayfield
  • Aaron Ness
  • Brian Strait
  • Lubomir Visnovsky
  • Parker Milner
  • Evgeni Nabokov
  • Ken Reiter
This game will also air at 9:00 tomorrow night and will not be available via stream or audio.  This game will not be on TV!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Isles Open To Playing Regular Season Games In Brooklyn Before 2015?

According to reports, when addressing the media today, Islanders owner Charles Wang said the team would be open to playing regular season games at the Barclays Center before the team moves there permanently in 2015.  As of now there aren't any plans to leave the Coliseum early he also said.

I'm not sure how this would work because doing what Wang describes would breach the lease.  I see no reason why they would be given permission to do this so I think this is a more dream scenario for Wang then actually something plausible.

News From Today In Brooklyn

This morning, the Islanders kicked off training camp in their future new home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Below, you will find news that came from todays first day at camp:

No Color Change In Brooklyn

Brett Yormark, the CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center as well as in charge of Islanders marketing, suite sales, and ticket sales announced that the Islanders colors will remain the same upon the move to Brooklyn.  However, a third jersey will be designed and a new patch will be added to their jerseys in order to speak to the Brooklyn audience.

Capacity Bigger Than We Thought?

According to reports, Brett Yormark told reporters today that the capacity of the Barclays Center for hockey will be 15,813.  That includes the possibility of adding additional seats in the future.  That is only a couple hundred less then the Coliseum holds now.  Additionally, that is far more then the 14,500 initially reported after the move last year.  Although, it is unclear of that number how many seats will have some sort of obstructed view.

Brooklyn Merchandise

The selection of merchandise as you can see below is limited.  However, it is now available!

Islanders Release Camp Roster

Earlier today, the Islanders released their roster for training camp starting tomorrow morning at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The only camp invite is defenseman Radek Martinek.  This is the second year in a row that Martinek has come to Islanders camp on a tryout.  You can find a link to the full roster below:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Isles Send 5 Back To Juniors

According to their official website, the Islanders returned five prospects to their junior teams today.

Defenseman Kyle Burroughs, a 7th round pick in this years draft was returned to the Regina Pats in the WHL.  Burroughs had 5 goals and 28 assists for the Pats last season.  His 28 assists was enough to be tops on the team amongst defensemen.

Forward Victor Crus Rydberg, a 5th round pick in this years draft was returned to the Plymouth Whalers in the WHL.  Rydberg spent last season playing over seas, so this will be his first year in juniors.  If you recall during camp in July, Rydberg was the recipient of some high praise from fans and media personnel alike.

Defenseman Jesse Graham, a 6th round pick in last years draft was returned to the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL.  If that team looks familiar, it should because that is the same team that 2011 first round pick Ryan Strome played for.  Last season for the IceDogs, Graham put up 4 goals and 35 assists.

Defenseman Loic Leduc, a 4th round pick in last years draft was returned to the Cape Brenton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.  Standing at 6'5, Leduc is just another imposing figure that could find his way to the Islanders blue line in the future.

Defenseman Adam Pelech, a 3rd round pick in last years draft was returned to the Erie Otters of the OHL. Last season for the Otters, Pelech put up 8 goals and 32 assists which led all defensemen on his team.

Martinek Or Satan To Be Invited To Isles Camp

According to Newsday, either Radek Martinek or Miroslav Satan will be invited to Isles camp when it starts on Thursday in Brooklyn.  Minor league enforcers Chris Bruton and Justin Johnson will also be in camp when it opens.

Brad Boyes who was also speculated might get an invite chose to go Florida instead according to Andy Graziano from eyesonisles.

Politicians Working To Keep The Islanders In Nassau?

 photo courtesy of

According to a recent Newsday article, two politicians said that attempts were still trying to be made to keep the Islanders in Nassau.

Legislator Kevan Abrahams told Newsday, "...We also want to explore keeping the [New York] Islanders [hockey team] in a revamped Coliseum, at home where they belong."  Meanwhile, Deputy County Exectutive Rob Walker said that they are still working to keep the Islanders in Nassau.  When asked about the idea of breaking his lease with the Barclays Center to move back to Nassau, Islanders owner Charles Wang laughed and then proceeded to mention that the team is still hoping to play six games per season at Ratners renovated Coliseum.

Personally, I feel this is all spin on the politician’s part to make it seem like they aren’t giving up and truly have the public’s best interest at heart.  The time to do this was years ago, not now.  It didn’t happen years ago because the politicians decided to act like children and look out for their political party rather than those who elect them to office.  The politicians made their own bed and now they are slowly going to realize that they are going to have to lay in it.

Ratners Coliseum Plan Going To Vote On 9/23

According to Newsday, yesterday Nassau County lawmakers decided Bruce Ratners plan for the Coliseum picked a couple weeks ago by Ed Mangano should move forward to a full legislature vote.

This vote will take place two weeks from yesterday on September 23rd.

If you are unfamiliar with the plan, it calls for a renovated Coliseum down to 13,000 seats, up to seven restaurants, a bowling alley, movie theater, ice skating rink, outdoor amphitheater, retail space, and a monument to Nassau Veterans costing at least 1 million dollars.

For more, check out the link below: (h/t to Roy for the link)

Savetheisles Chats With Eyesonisles' Andy Graziano

As part of our season preview interview series, our next one is with Andy Graziano from  We would like to thank Andy very much for taking the time to answer our questions and you can follow him on twitter here.

STI: Could you give some background info on yourself for those that may not be familiar with you?

AG: I was born in Brooklyn and did the natural progression of American-Italian families by moving to Staten Island then to New Jersey where I currently reside with my wife, son and daughter. I have played hockey my entire life, starting at age 7, through high school into college, now still dabbling. I have also coached for 10 years and am finishing up with my son’s bantam team this winter before he moves on to the older age bracket. I always knew I loved to write and when the opportunity presented itself to get my work out there at Eyes, I enthusiastically embraced the challenge. As an investment banker during the day, it does keep me very busy but when your pieces are well received it makes it all worth it. This season, we were granted an interview with the NY Islanders for inclusion into the blog box and were accepted by the team, marking 2013-14 our first as credentialed media members representing the only team I have ever rooted for. It really has been a surreal experience I hope to expand on down the road as other opportunities may present themselves because of the work I am doing at Eyes and am truly thankful to all the great people I have met as a result, both in and out of the media.

STI: What are your thoughts on the summer moves made by the team?

AG: I really feel that Garth Snow had a strong off-season. It might not have been the fireworks that some social media folk demanded but at the end of the day the reality was it didn’t have to be. The Islanders were already an up and coming team with a superlative farm system and if you didn’t see the rebirth coming, you just were not paying that much attention. Cal Clutterbuck is going to be an absolute terror to play against night in and night out for opposing Metropolitan division opponents and Peter Regin, if he has a strong camp, can make an impact on the penalty kill by adding even more speed to what Michael Grabner already possesses. Pierre-Marc Bouchard will likely get first crack at playing alongside John Tavares and Matt Moulson on the first line and could help turn that duo into the most prolific goal scoring pair in the entire league. The Islanders are most definitely a better team than the one that left the ice after game six in last season’s opening round of the playoffs. But as we all know, it’s also about chemistry and clubhouse makeup, something the team was already proud of as well. This is a great group that truly does enjoy playing with one another. The discounts accepted in the Tavares and Hamonic contracts for example prove that.

STI: What prospect are you most excited to see this season potentially make an impact at the NHL level?

AG: I am really excited, as I have been for the past six months or so, to see Matt Donovan. I really feel this is his year to step up and shine in the NHL and the opportunity is most certainly there with the departure of Mark Streit to Philadelphia. I am in no way predicting that his offensive explosion in Bridgeport will translate into Erik Karlsson numbers but the talent on both sides of the puck is clearly there. I can see him making this team out of training camp and playing about 15 minutes per night as 5/6 D-man. Ryan Strome is of course the other ‘hot ticket’ item that will be showcased in camp but I honestly think he could benefit so much more with a year in the AHL. Griffin Reinhart will start becoming a regular fixture in these conversations as early as next year.

STI: Who is one player you expect to have a break out year this season?

AG: Josh Bailey, who has been steadily improving since being rushed to the NHL, will take the biggest leap among Islanders forwards this season. Along with Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, the trio practically dragged the Islanders into the post-season with their outstanding play over the final two months of the 2013 season. All Bailey has to do more is shoot more in my mind to move into the 20-30-50 range of consistent offensive production. I feel that with the training wheels now completely off the bicycle, he understands his role and the responsibility placed on him to be an all-around player and will respond to that challenge.

STI: Which player do you think is most likely to surprise people this season?

AG: Many of the players on the roster will, I feel, produce close to what is expected of them by the fanbase. The one guy however who has been getting no ‘love’ this off-season is Regin. He has been dogged by health issues the last couple of seasons but when healthy is a real speed forward who can contribute 10-15 goals on the bottom two lines and play very responsibly in his own zone. If you pair him with Grabner, can you imagine the nightmares that would cause some NHL defensemen in trying to deal with all that speed? He claims to be coming into camp fully healthy and will have lots to prove, especially to his ex-employers, the Ottawa Senators. It’s just a gut feeling but I think he produces more than what the fans right now are expecting him to.

STI: What do you think is a bigger question mark for the team going into this season?  Goalie or Defense?  Why?

AG: Honestly, it’s both equally. They need each other to survive the 82 game slate that is coming up. The defense was outstanding in the final 6 weeks last season to the tune of a sub 2.00 GAA and that was not just a product of Nabokov. It was better clearances, quicker transition and a substantial increase in blocked shots. But with Streit gone, someone has to step up. Is it Donovan? Can Visnovsky, at 37, stay fresh for a full complement of games? Are Thomas Hickey and Brian Strait ready to be full time consistent contributors at this level? Between the pipes, the biggest question obviously is can Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson step up and give quality backup goaltending for 25-30 starts, keeping Nabokov fresh for what we hope is a playoff run? As you can see, the questions abound at each turn when you talk goaltending and defense. The Islanders will go as far as those two areas take them. We know the scoring will be there.

STI: Are you excited for the outdoor game?  What element of the game are you most excited for?

AG: Obviously any time the Rangers and Islanders meet it’s a grand event. Especially in my house, which is divided right down the middle. Wife and son bleed Ranger blue while my daughter and I wear Isles orange. So it’s usually them in one room and us in the other. I actually think the league overdid it with all these outdoor games. The spectacle and what made it so special was the one time it was held with all the attention focused on that one city and two teams. Now it’s become a bit of overkill, especially putting a game in Los Angeles. If it was not for the Kings winning the cup two years ago, would they even know they still have a team? I will be right where the view is the best and the cost is the least, on my couch warm and cozy cheering on what I am hoping is an Isles victory. What I am looking forward to the most in that event is the media having to fully acknowledge the rebirth of this great franchise and start giving them the respect that they have earned.

STI: If you could make one bold prediction about the 2013/2014 New York Islanders, what would it be?

AG: Bold is what you want, bold is what you get. The Islanders challenge the Penguins all season long for the division crown, just falling short at the end of the season. Still a second place finish in the newly minted Metropolitan division and top 5 Eastern conference seed is enough to get the Isles into the second round of the playoffs.

STI: Of the three local teams, which do you think will have the best season?

AG: The Rangers will finish 3-5 points behind the Islanders for that aforementioned second place spot and that is only because they have arguably the best goaltender in the game today .They will open things up a bit under new head coach Alain Vingeault but still struggle to score more often than not. The Devils, after losing Ilya Kovalchuk, are probably the slowest team in the entire league, especially given the off-season additions of Michael Ryder, Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr. They will have a decent power play and still are a good defensive team but will be on the losing end of a lot of 2-0, 2-1 type games this season and finish last among the three metro area clubs.

STI: What are your expectations for the Islanders this season?  

AG: I think it is very important for the team to not take a step back this season. My expectations for the season are to challenge the top teams in the conference every night and make themselves a real nuisance to play against, finish top 3 in the division and top 6 in the conference. As you can see, my expectations are realistic and not too far-fetched. I think that is very important for fans to consider when analyzing this team. Don’t go overboard, be realistic and you will be pleased with this years version of the hockey club. Now, if you ask me again two years from now? I expect to be a Stanley Cup contender. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tavares Officially Named Captain

This morning, at a news conference prior to the start of the Islanders charity golf outing, Garth Snow introduced John Tavares as the 14th captain in team history.

It had long been speculated since Mark Streits June trade to the Flyers that Tavares would be named the teams new captain.  Streit had served as captain since 2011 before the trade.

Tavares had 47 points in 48 games last season on the way to leading the Islanders to their first playoff appearance since 2007.  Tavares ended up finishing third in the MVP voting this season behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Isles Bringing Vets To Camp?

According to Newsday, some familiar vets maybe in Islanders camp when it starts next week.  A couple of those vets include Radek Martinek and Brad Boyes.

Last season for the Islanders, Martinek managed to put up 3 goals in 13 games in limited time in the lineup.  Meanwhile, Boyes was the right wing for the Tavares/Moulson line for most of the season and put up 35 points in 48 games.  Even given the stats though, Boyes often drew complaints from fans for lackluster overall play.

Although some veterans might be in camp, it doesn't appear as of now that any will be goalies, Newsday reports.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Islanders Bring In 7 Guys On Tryout Contracts

According to the Sound Tigers official website, the Islanders have signed 7 players to tryout contracts.

Goalie Ken Reiter and defenseman Dallas Jackson were signed to PTO's.  (Professional Tryout) Reiter started 12 games for Bridgeport last season where he put up a 2.53 GAA and a .914 save percentage while sharing time with Anders Nilsson and the since departed Rick Dipietro.  Meanwhile, in 21 games last year for Bridgeport, Jackson put up 3 points and a -3 +/- rating.

They also signed forwards Riley Wetmore and Greg Miller, defensemen Mike Dalhuisen and Mike Kennan, and goalie Parker Milner to ATO's.  (Amateur Tryout)  Last season for UMass-Lowell, Wetmore had 27 points and 40 penalty minutes in 41 games.  He managed to put up one goal in three games for Bridgeport at the end of the season.  Last season for Cornell, Miller managed to put up 33 points in 33 games.  Last season for Quinnipiac, the 6'3 Dalhuisen managed to put up 16 points and 72 penalty minutes in 42 games.  Adding Dalhuisen to guys like Mayfield and Pedan is giving the Sound Tigers blue line an intimidating look heading into this season.  Last season for Dartmouth College, Kennan managed to put up 16 points and 58 penalty minutes in just 34 games.  He then went on to Bridgeport and put up one point and 9 penalty minutes in five games.  Last season for Boston College, Milner managed to put up a 2.66 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 37 games.  If you recall, initial reports of the Islanders acquisition of Milner came out on draft day earlier this summer.

2013/2014 Islanders Predictions: Projected Top 6 Forwards

Over the next few weeks leading up to the season, we will be giving our predictions for each Islanders player broken up into 4 categories.  Today we will cover the projected top six forwards:

 photo courtesy of

1) John Tavares

40 goals

48 assists

88 points

This season, which will likely be Tavares first as captain, I think we will see a continued maturation from him leading to his first 40 goal season in the NHL.

2) Matt Moulson

33 goals

35 assists

68 points

I think Moulson will continue to be what he has been in his time here, a constant 30+ goal scorer and a great compliment for Tavares.

3) Pierre Marc Bouchard

18 goals

32 assists

50 points

If Bouchard is able to stay healthy for the season, I see no reason why he would have trouble putting up stats like this.

 photo courtesy of

16 goals

24 assists

40 points

Assuming Bailey performs like he did to end last season for a full season, there is no reason he wouldn't be able to put up stats like this.  However, if he falls into his old inconsistent ways, reaching these numbers will be difficult for him.

5) Frans Nielsen

12 goals

39 assists

51 points

Building on his successful year last season, it wouldn't surprise me if Nielsen came out and put up a year like this.

6) Kyle Okposo

21 goals

30 assists

51 points

Okposo is being looked at by some a one of the keys to our season.  If he is able to come out and play like he did in the second half of the season and the playoffs, that will surely increase the Islanders chances of qualifying for the playoffs for the season season in a row.  Like Bailey though, if Okposo falls into his old ways that will be pretty big trouble for the Islanders.

Guy(s) who could see time in the top 6:

 photo courtesy of

1) Ryan Strome

6 goals

17 assists

23 points

These stats are on the assumption that Strome sees around 40 games in the NHL this season.  I think that is in the ballpark of how many he will see because I think he will start the season in Bridgeport.  Given that though, I would be surprised if he isn't on the Islanders by the New Year.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NHL News: Brian Burke Named President Of Flames Hockey Ops

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, former NHL GM Brian Burke has been named President of Hockey Ops for the Calgary Flames.  If you recall, earlier this summer the Flames tried to get Brendan Shanahan for that position but that didn't work out.

Burke most recently was the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2011/2012 season before being let go prior to last seasons lockout shortened season.  Burke won the Stanley Cup as GM of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SavetheIsles Chats With FanvsFan's Michael Hirschbein

Over the next few weeks leading to the start of the regular season, we will have some interviews with other Islanders bloggers previewing the season.

First up is a recent interview we had with Michael Hirschbein, one of the founding fathers of the FanvsFan network.  We would like to thank Mike for taking the time to answer our questions and you can follow FanvsFan on twitter here.

STI: Can you give some background information on yourself for those that may not be familiar with you?

MH: My name is Michael Hirschbein and I'm one of the founding fathers of the FanvsFan Network, home to sites like,, and I named my dog Volek because somebody needed to give David the love for his awesome goal.

STI: What are your thoughts on moves made this summer by the team?

MH: You call those moves? I call those typical NY Islander transactions. Garth doing what he does best, making something out of nothing. He is easily a Top 5 GM in the NHL. He deserves the name Garth "The Wire" Snow. Mainly because he his a waiver wire genius and I found a solid opportunity to plug one of the great HBO series of all time. If this guy wasn't on a budget, he would do more damage. Hopefully, the move to Brooklyn will change that. The guy took off the pads and kick saved his way to a General Managers position. Maybe we should give credit to Cornerstone Management in PA, they represented Garth and Paul Holmgren as players and watched them blossom into General Managers.

STI: What prospect are you most excited to see this season potentially make an impact at the NHL level?

MH: I want to see Strome make the team. Let the Nino situation echo this organization forever. Strome is NHL ready! Spending time at Bridgeport helps their ticket sales. We have 2 seasons left in Nassau, all I ask is we go all in. Letting Strome play 6 games then sending him down will be looked at as a money saving move.

STI: Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey have been notorious slow starters in their career to this point. After the success they had at the end of last season, do you think they have moved passed their slow starts? Or will it still be an issue for them?

MH: Hard to comment. If you characterize these guys as "slow starters" I would blame Cap for not getting them ready earlier. Maybe the Isles need to put players on a training plan and diet in the off-season to for the notorious slow starters. Both guys showed more energy and passion in a shortened season then all of their previous seasons combined Let's feed off that going into training camp.

STI: Who do you think will end up backing up Nabakov this season? Will it be one of the prospects (Poulin/Nilsson)? Or will the team bring in a veteran guy?

MH: I hope Poulin is the backup. He's still young and got some playoff experience last year which should build his confidence. If you think Nabby can handle a full season you might as well tell me Jesse Pinkman is going to survive on Breaking Bad. (P.S. That show is better than The Wire.)

TI: Are you excited for the outdoor game? How do you feel the Islanders participation in the outdoor game represents a change in the way the team is viewed around the league, if at all?

H: How can you NOT be excited for an outdoor game? What's BS, is this entire Winter Classic Stadium series essentially gave the NY Rangers 2 fake road games in the Bronx. Maybe next year they'll host it in Brooklyn at the Aquarium or Coney Island. 

I think the view of the Islanders has changed drastically the past 2 yrs with guys like Tavares signing long-term. Ever wonder why the Toronto media continues to poke fun at the Islanders? Doesn't help when we attempt to circumvent the cap. The view changes because we make solid draft picks that turn into core guys. The Blackhawks are the perfect example of a team doing everything the right way and rewarding their guys. That being said, I wouldn't have rewarded Mark Streit with that contract and the Flyers faithful will chew him up when he's spending more time in the box, and less time scoring power play goals. He will be missed but was replaceable.

STI: If you could make one bold prediction about the 2013/2014 New York Islanders, what would it be?

MH: We'll make the playoffs and have the best attendance numbers since the early 90's. I think collectively, people are going to realize that the magic of Nassau is about to end. You still have "old-timers" talking about some Grateful Dead show from the 80's as if the Coliseum was a tour staple. 5 straight Stanley Cup runs ran through Hempstead Turnpike. Cue the Newsday Nostalgia pieces. I remember my father taking me to a game and watching fake Isles $ fall from the rafters after every goal. Sadly, I'm going to miss spending 30 minutes on line for the bathroom. Did Razor Ramon Security guard retire, I didn't see him this year? If your not going to miss hearing beeping horns in the parking lot after Isles wins, I might as well tell you that you never were a real Islanders fan. 

STI: Of the three local teams, which do you think will have the best season?

MH: Isles have the most potential. Remember the Devils spiral after the Kovalchuk injury. Now they have an entire 82 game schedule without one of the best snipers in the NHL. They will miss the playoffs. The Rangers have the personnel but with Lundqvist entering the last year of his contract and the NY Media known for being the NY Media, it could naturally spin out of control if they start slow. Also, these beat writers have been use to 3 minute Tort pressers. Now, they actually have to miss their trains and do work which means you'll have grumpy writers on Alain. Poor Larry Brooks.

STI: How do you think the realignment will affect the Islanders chances at making the playoffs for a second season in a row?

MH: Hello! The Redwings are in the east now, which only hurts them. This team gave the Penguins the ride of its life last year. We need to build off that Nobody is going to strike Fear into us mentality. Devils advocates will say Nabby produced well because it was shortened season and then by the time the playoffs started, his tank was on empty. Longer season means you can treat injuries differently, scratch guys to prove a point, promote a guy after a good week at Bridge or demote a guy who can't get it together. We'll make the playoffs.