Thursday, February 28, 2013

REPORTS: Isles Negotiating Out of the Lease

According to reports, the Islanders are negotiating to get out of their lease in Nassau County to be able to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn sooner.

There had been rumors of this happening for a while, but these are the first substantiated reports from credible sources.  The sooner this happens the better it will be for the team, especially if it involves a change in ownership.

If this move involves a change in ownership it could be the best thing to happen to this team in quite a while.  If it doesn't though, then it could end up being the same thing in Brooklyn as it is here which does nobody any good.

Pre Game: Leafs @ Islanders

Tonight, in their third game of a seven game home-stand our Islanders play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and James Reimer for the Leafs.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different tonight as David Ullstrom and Radek Martinek will be returning to the press box.  In their place tonight will be Joe Finley on defense and Eric Boulton at forward.  In light of what happened in these teams last game with Tavares and Phaneuf.  Adding a little muscle to the lineup for the game tonight is intriguing.

The Leafs played last night, so they should be tired coming out to play today so the Islanders should be able to jump on them.  However, the Islanders have been notorious bad starters this season so that isn't a guarantee.  With a loss tonight, the Islanders will set a new record for their worst start to a home schedule in franchise history. 

Tune in at 7:00 to see if they can stop it from happening and achieve their second home win of the month.

Rick Dipietro Admits to Suicidal Thoughts And Later Says He Was Kidding

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In an interview with News 12 today, Rick Dipietro admitted that over the last few years that he had thoughts of killing himself.  He said that losing, fan hatred, and injuries were the main driving forces behind those thoughts. 

However, later in the day he told ESPN NY and the New York Post that he was "totally kidding" and being 100% facetious about it. 

I have little doubts that DP battles some sort of depression.  However, this is something you cant joke about.  Its a very serious issue that actually has a real effect on people. 

DP Reports Quietly To Bridgeport

After getting the weekend off, goalie Rick Dipietro reported to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday after clearing waivers over the weekend.

After declining to speak to the media on Tuesday, he spoke with the media yesterday and that can be found below.

Upon his arrival, the Tigers let goalie coach Steve Valiquette out of his PTO.  Last weekend, Valiquette served as the teams backup goalie after Kevin Poulin was recalled.

Matt Carkner Out Indefinitely

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Earlier today, the Islanders announced that defenseman Matt Carkner is out indefinitely after suffering a setback while rehabbing from a groin injury.  Carkner was expected to be back for that embarrassing loss against the Flyers on Presidents day but his return now is unknown.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Isles Loss Ties Worst Home Start in Team History

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Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 4-1 to the Boston Bruins giving them a home record of 2-8 so far this season.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Tuukka Rask played really well for the Bruins.  The Islanders didn't have a ton of chances, but when they did he was usually there to stone them.

-Nice setup by Bailey on the lone goal.  If only he made plays like that on a consistent or semi consistent basis.

-Defense was pinned in their zone once again way to much tonight.  Having a small defense going against such big Boston forwards didn't help either.  The small defense has been an issue for a while though.

-Nabby didn't have that good of a game.  He made some nice saves and kept us in the game which is what you want.  However, two of Bostons four goals were soft.  Especially the second one where Nabokov was so far out of position you were thinking the ghost of Rick Dipietro was haunting the Coliseum.

-I know Boston has a good penalty kill, however the powerplay was pretty much inept tonight.  They are supposed to be a top 10 powerplay but once again it seems like they are going through one of their streaks.

-Josh Bailey had a decent game tonight.

With the way the Islanders have been playing, you would think they would be near last place in the NHL.  Well, they are still just two points out of a playoff spot.  Yet, our GM doesn't see a need to do anything to improve the team to try and get them over the hump because if this month doesn't show they aren't there yet I am not sure what will.

Next Game: Thursday 7:00 VS Toronto (A loss in this game would give us the worst home start in team history, yet another record for this team)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pre Game: Bruins @ Islanders

Tonight, our New York Islanders play host to Tyler Seguin and the Boston Bruins.  Tonights game is a nationally televised game so you will not find it on MSG or MSG+.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Tukka Rask for the Bruins.

The Islanders lineup will look a little different tonight as after a week of being a healthy scratch forward David Ullstrom will return to the lineup.  Sitting out to make room for him is vet Keith Aucoin.  With how many large forward the Bruins have, I was a little surprised that Joe Finley wasn't put in the lineup for tonights game.

Islanders projected lineup:








Bruins projected lineup:









Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lifeless Third Causes Isles To Fall 4-2 To The Hurricanes

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Tonight, our Islanders once again couldn't get a win for their home fans.  Tonights loss dropped them to 2-7 at home so far this season.  For the second time this year, tonight with a third period go ahead goal, the Hurricanes defeated us by a score of 4-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-Powerplay wasn't good tonight!  Struggled with entry far to often and was one and done in the zone to much.  They need to have a smoother transition into the zone and better zone time.

-Postgame tonight, Capuano was noticeably upset.  I want to know where this emotion has been for the past year plus?  Last night he was yelling at Buffalo coaches, tonight hes antsy with reporters calling players out.  We saw some emotion and stuff from him in his first season, since then though it has been like locked up.  Is he showing the emotion now because he knows his job is on the line and then once he gets comfortable again it will go under lock and key?  If so, that is a bad recipe for the team.

-Congrats to Tavares on getting the league lead in goals.

-Not a bad game from Poulin in his debut, there was a soft goal but he gave the team a chance to win and that is all you can ask.

-Good to see Radek get some game action in, he had a decent game for it being his first NHL game in quite a while.

-Why is Kyle Okposo still in the lineup?  Ullstrom should be starting over him.  Okposo needs to be benched and then maybe smacked a few times to see if can snap out of the slump he is in.

-The third period tonight was a typical third period we have come to know under the Snow/Wang era.  The team was trapped in their zone for a fair majority of the third period, played on their heels and just didn't skate.  The reason these keep happening is not only the players but management as well.  The team needs a culture change and that doesn't mean making Doug Weight or Brent Thompson coach.  That means people from outside the organization need to be brought in to bring a fresh perspective to things.  Will that happen?  I don't think so, but in my opinion that is one thing that badly needs to be done.

So once again tonight, the Islanders have a big game with the chance to get to .500.  What do they do?  They squander it!  This, like the third periods has been a recurring theme of the last few years.  It almost feels like the team is scared of prosperity.  In my mind, this could helped out majorly by management changes to bring in a fresh perspective and insight into things that people under the current umbrella of the organization have been oblivious to.  Additionally, a management team that demands accountability.  That is not present in the organization at all at the moment and that starts from the top.  Unfortunately, I don't think the proper people would come here though because of our owners reputation around the league and his insanely controlling nature.  So, as the old saying goes, that leaves us between a rock and a hard place.

Next Game: Tuesday @ Home 7:30 VS Boston on NBCSN

Nabokov Leads Isles Past Sabres 4-0

 Photo courtesy of

Tonight, in sort of revenge for last Saturdays loss, our Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-0.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Evgeni Nabokov was amazing tonight!  He made many key big saves which kept the Sabres off the board.  He was truly the Islanders top penalty killer.

-Really liked seeing the emotion from Jack Capuano late in the game when Kaleta took a run at Mark Streit & Josh Bailey.  Where has that been the last year and a half?  Also liked that he responded with the 4th line on the next shift.  In the past coaches would've sent out the first line but Cappy sent out the fourth line to send a message.  This message coincided with Matt Martins postgame comments to Arthur Staple, "If they want to be physical around our net, we'll do it around their net. It goes both ways."  This is a more then welcomed change!

-Nice shot by Tavares on his goal!

-Nice setup by Casey Cizikas on McDonalds powerplay goal late.

-Dare I say that Marty Reasoner didn't have a bad game tonight? 

-Good seeing Grabner finish a partial breakaway, hopefully this will get him on a bit of a roll again.

-Still makes zero sense to me why Okposo suits up over Ullstrom.

After tonights impressive effort, Nabby really made the coaches decision tough for tomorrow nights game.  In the end I think they start Poulin though because of Nabokovs age and Poulins good career numbers against the Hurricanes.  Tonight, the Islanders took advantage of a struggling team and they had the killer instinct they haven't shown in years past.  Tomorrow night starts a stretch of seven in a row at home.  All the players this season have been talking about making the playoffs.  If they want to make a serious run for the playoffs they need to be better then 2-6 at home, and that starts tomorrow night.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night 7PM VS Carolina MSG+ 2

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Sabres

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Tonight, our Islanders finish their brief road trip in Buffalo taking on Thomas Vanek and the new look Buffalo Sabres.  Earlier this week, Buffalo fired their long time coach Lindy Ruff and replaced him with Ron Rolston who is the older brother of former Islander Brian Rolston.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and presumably Ryan Miller for the Sabres.  Earlier today, netminder Rick Dipietro cleared waivers and was assigned to Bridgeport.  Also this morning, Kevin Poulin landed in Buffalo so he will in fact be able to serve as Evgeni Nabokovs backup tonight.

The Islanders lineup will remain the same as it was in Thursdays 4-3 OT win over Montreal.  This means of course that David Ullstrom once again will be a healthy scratch.  One has to wonder what Ullstrom did to get in the dog house it seems like.

After last weeks game when the Islanders drastically out shot the Sabres plus the sending down of Dipietro today, I have a feeling the Islanders will come out flying.  Conversely, when a team changes coaches they usually have a surge right after it happens.  So it is safe to expect that Buffalo will probably match us in this department.  This should be an entertaining game.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Updates On Mark Streit

Through a Swiss news outlet, some interesting news came out on the Islanders captain this morning.

First, is that he has been playing hurt this season.  Streit reportedly got hurt in November while playing in Switzerland and the Islanders have kept it quiet.  This could better explain why he has struggled defensively as much as he has this season.

Secondly, Streit is looking for a 3 year 10 million dollar extention to remain with the Islanders and would be interested in a fourth year as well.

For me, the term is too much and the money is a little to much as well.  I wouldn't go above two years three million per season for Streit.  With all the kids coming up, I am not sure how you could make that kind of commitment to Streit especially given his declining defensive play.

Isles Place Rick Dipietro On Waivers

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Update 3: According to Newsday, Rick Dipietro won't report to Bridgeport until next week.  The Islanders gave Dipietro permission to take the weekend for himself and he is expected to join Bridgeport next week.  In the meantime, Bridgeport signed their goalie coach Steve Valiquette to a PTO to serve as Kenny Reiters backup until Anders Nilsson is healthy.

Update 2: According ESPN NY, the Islanders may buy out DP this offseason without using the compliance buyout so his cap hit still counts against the cap floor.  His cap hit would be 1.5 million every season for the next 16 seasons. 

"On Rick DiPietro’s future with the New York Islanders, an unnamed team executive in the NHL tells Pierre LeBrun: “You would think they will buy him out after this season. If they do, they might not use the transition buyout so that his buyout counts against the floor going forward.""

If this actually happens then shame on our owner!  I wonder if people who have defended him all this time would start to jump off his bandwagon if he did that.

Update: According to Newsday, barring injury, the Islanders have no intention of recalling Dipietro from Bridgeport this season.

This afternoon, many fans were pleasantly surprised when they read that the Islanders had placed Rick Dipietro on waivers.  Speculation has already begun that this is an indicator of a summer buyout thus ending Dipietros Islander career.

When Dipietro clears waivers tomorrow, he will be sent down to Bridgeport and Kevin Poulin will be called up to backup Evgeni Nabokov.

If this truly signifies DP's end with the Islanders, then it is a good first step for the front office to make to show they care about putting a winning team on the ice.  How they proceed this summer will be telling.

Hickeys OT Goal Leads Isles Past Habs 4-3

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Tonight, our New York Islanders upset the number one team in the conference when they defeated the Canadiens by a score of 4-3 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Our 5 on 5 play remains terrible!  We were dominated in a majority of this game and were very fortunate to get one point let alone two.

-Our powerplay seems to be clicking again, it really kept us in the game tonight.

-Good rebound game tonight for Nabokov after Mondays terrible effort. 

-Congrats to Thomas Hickey on his first NHL goal, and boy was it a pretty one.

-Great setup by Tavares on Moulsons second goal.  He totally orchestrated that play himself.

-Good seeing Moulson get back on the scoreboard after a couple game drought.

-Why Kyle Okposo remains in the lineup over Ullstrom makes less and less sense to me by the day. 

Coming into this game against the number one team in the conference after dropping our last two, the feelings weren't good amongst fans.  Those feelings were justified in the first two periods as the team save for a couple of special teams minutes were dominated by the Canadiens.  For a rare time, 20 minutes of good hockey in the third then overtime was enough to get the win.  Coming on Saturday, Buffalo is a team in transition after firing their long time head coach Lindy Ruff yesterday.  A win for the Islanders there would be big to end this brief road trip as they head back home Sunday.

Next Game: Saturday @ Buffalo

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Montreal

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Tonight, our New York Islanders continue their road trip as they head to Montreal to take on Carey Price and the Canadiens.

The goalie matchup tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Carey Price for the Canadiens.

The Islanders lineup will look the same as it did in Tuesday nights loss to Ottawa.  This mean, Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek, and David Ullstrom will be the healthy scratches tonight for the Islanders.  One has to wonder if Ullstrom is in the coaches dog house or something with him being scratched so much in the last week and a half.

Haven't We Heard This Before?

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In an interview with Newsday yesterday, GM Garth Snow told Arthur Staple that he wouldn't make any rash moves to try and spark the team.  One thing of note that he said was,  "We're not going to mortgage our future to make a quick fix. That's not our plan."

If that statement from Snow looks familiar, its because it is.  In an interview in 2010 with The Hockey News, he said the same thing:

"THN: How far along is this rebuild and when is it realistic to expect to see some results and some playoff appearances?

GS: Obviously, we’d rather have it be sooner than later. We’re trying to develop our players as quickly as possible. We’re going to do it the right way, there won’t be any quick fixes. We don’t want to compromise our goals. We have to make the right draft picks, develop those draft picks and stick with the right free agents."

Its been over two years between those interviews, and yet Garth doesn't yet realize he doesn't have to trade every prospect he has ever drafted to make a deal to improve the team.  Its called a "hockey trade" and is something that has forsaken Snow through most of his tenure as GM.  Its possible to just trade one prospect, or a prospect and a pick for a guy who can help.  A simple deal like that, to bring in a leader and not a guy on his last legs in the league (Rolston, Reasoner, Staios) would do wonders for this team. 

The term "quick fix" was used in both quotes.  Well, when does the term go from quick fix to helping the team take the next step?  In order for this rebuild to take the next step, that needs to become the mentality for the front office.  Budget constraints or not from the owner, its time for Garth to put his big boy pants on and give the fans a team that they deserve!

Given the ticket prices the team charges and everything else, the effort made to improve the team over the last year or two is down right minuscule and is a slap in the face to fans.  The Tim Thomas "trade" a couple weeks ago is yet another example of that.  This summer, its time that the front office show they care.  If they once again fail to do anything, why will there be any changes in the standings next year?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Isles Woes Continue As They Fall 3-1 To Ottawa

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Tonight, our Islanders fell to the Senators by a score of 3-1.  Here are some of my notes:

-Contrary to what some are saying, Dipietro didn't have a bad game.  The third goal he let up was just awful, but outside of that he wasn't bad.  All be it, he wasn't tested much so he really didn't have the chance to be bad.

-Our powerplay struggles continue, we must have one of the streakiest powerplays in the NHL.

-Defense has to get out of the zone better.  They get trapped in their zone to much, and they don't do a good enough job of clearing the crease.  On the penalty kill especially when clearing the crease is so vital!

-Kyle Okposo needs to be benched!  Yes, he did get a point today.  However, his trying to hard and just down right stupidity put the Islanders on the penalty kill twice.  Why Ullstrom sits over him doesn't make sense.

-Hopefully, tonights game was enough of a showcase for Reasoner to be moved (waived or traded) because the sooner we don't see him in the lineup anymore the better.

-Good for Hamonic & Tavares showing emotion.  During the postgame, many people were using the fact that Craig Anderson is on fire to excuse the loss.  Not Hamonic, who said "running into a hot goaltender is an easy excuse at this point."  If statements like this don't show Hamonic future as at least an assistant captain on this team, I don't know what does.

Well, after yesterdays game, there wasn't a very optimistic outlook on the game tonight.  That was compounded when it was announced that Dipietro would be starting tonight.  After Montreals win tonight against the Rangers they should be flying on Thursday so it isn't like it will get easier for the Islanders.

Next Game: Thursday Night @ Montreal

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Ottawa

Tonight, after yesterdays embarassment, our Islanders travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators.

The goalie matchup tonight will feature Craig Anderson for Ottawa and for the Islanders Rick Dipietro will get the start after Nabokovs bad performance yesterday.

The Islanders have once again made what lineup shake ups they are capable of.  Forward David Ullstrom will be scratched again tonight.  Taking his spot in the lineup will be center Marty Reasoner.  Reasoner will be centering a line with Okposo and Grabner on the wings.  Meanwhile, Keith Aucoin will move to the right wing of the Bailey and Nielsen line.  On defense, Thomas Hickey will step into the lineup in place of Brian Strait.

For Ottawa, Peter Regin and Milan Michalek are unavailable tonight.  With Spezza and Karlsson out for Ottawa the loss of Michalek is a big one.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Isles Place Strait on IR/Activate Martinek

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According to Newsday, the Islanders have placed defenseman Brian Strait on IR after suffering an injury in todays game against the Flyers.  Some Islander people believe he suffered a broken ankle which would come with a 6-8 week recovery time.  If that is the case, that would pretty much end the defensemans season who had been impressive in his first season on Long Island.

The Islanders activated defenseman Radek Martinek off IR to take Straits roster spot.  With this, I would expect to see Martinek or Hickey in the lineup tomorrow night against Ottawa in place of Strait.

Flyers Steamroll Lowly Isles in Isles Worst Home Loss In Team History

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This afternoon, before a sellout crowd, our New York Islanders were thoroughly embarrassed by the Flyers and lost by a score of 7-0.  According to Eric Hornick, this was the Islanders worst loss at the Coliseum in team history.  Here are some of my notes:

-Did any players decide to show up today?  The offense didn't generate much with only 19 shots, the defense was below average at best leaving Nabby hanging more then one time, and Nabby made like Dipietro in some instances.

-After being hot on the powerplay the last two games, it was just awful today!  The terrible 5-3 in the first period really set the special teams tone for the game.

-Good to see Matt Martin try and lift the team up with a fight, to bad his teammates forgot there was game to play today.

-Once again, like Saturday, good job by the fans filling the Coliseum to the brim.  Unfortunately in typical Islander nature, they played terribly for the big crowd.

-The penalty kill was the best part of the game and even that was average at best.  The one powerplay goal the Flyers scored in the third was clearly the team just going through the motions and losing coverage.

-This was possibly Nabokovs worst game as an Islander.  He played the Flyers third goal horribly, and by the third period he seemed to have lost interest.  The sixth goal he played it like DP would've, and got the same result.

-With Brian Straits injury in the game, it seems like Hickey will be playing tomorrow as they await the return of Matt Carkner from injury.  After the game, Capuano told reporters that Straits injury could keep him out a while.  This is really unfortunate for Strait as he was having a pretty good season.

Well after two huge wins against division rivals, saying this game was a disappointment is an understatement to say the least.  Not only did the team play bad, but it seemed like by the third period especially that they just didn't care which falls on the coaching.  With our "backup" going tomorrow night, this has the potential to once again get ugly.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night 7:30PM @ Ottawa (The Islanders will be hosting a viewing party tomorrow night at the TGI Fridays in Westbury for any fans that want to come down)

Pre Game: Flyers @ Islanders

Tomorrow afternoon, our Islanders play host to the Flyers in a Presidents Day matinee at 1:00PM. 

Evgeni Nabokov is expected to start tomorrow for the Islanders.  Check twitter closer to the game tomorrow to find out who will be starting tomorrow for the Flyers.  With their day off today, I would suspect Ilya Bryzgalov to be in net for them tomorrow afternoon.

It was thought that Matt Carkner would return to the lineup in this game.  However, after practice today, Capuano told reporters that he needs a couple more days.  So with that, expect to see Joe Finley in the lineup again for the Islanders.  Since they are playing Philly, there is a chance Boulton gets a look.  However, with the way the team has been playing I don't think they will change it up so the forwards will likely be the same as Saturday.

Going into a stretch of five games in seven days where DP will probably play at least one, getting points against a lackluster Flyers team would be a good start.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Isles/Streit Talk Extension

According to Newsday, the Islanders and CAA the agents for Mark Streit have had preliminary talks regarding a possible contract extension for the Islanders captain.

Given his struggles this season, Streit still leads Islander defensemen in points with 6 but also has the worst +/- rating on the team with a -9.

If he wants 3+ years Streit will walk, however, on a one maybe two year deal depending on the money he could certainly return. 

It will be very interesting to see how Visnovsky and Nabokov get handled.  The article mentions that they have yet to open extension talks with Nabokov.

Tavares Hat-trick Powers Isles Past Devils 5-1

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Tonight, our Islanders defeated the Devils who are the top team in the east by a score of 5-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:
-Well to start, great job by the fans coming out in droves tonight!  Even with the win the other day, the team hasn't been playing that well so it was nice to see the fans come out.

-You cant say enough about John Tavares!  Over the last few games, he seems like he is taking the team on his back and single handily leading them to victory and when he is successful like tonight, it is a beautiful thing to see!  He is quickly becoming one of the best players in the NHL and its really special to get to watch him night after night!
-Josh Bailey had his best game of the season tonight!  He actually threw a couple of big hits which was a welcomed change for him.

-Quiet steady game for Matt Moulson tonight!  Not many guys can have a 4 point game as quiet as Moulson did tonight.

-Nice game from Matt Martin tonight, he played the agitator role to perfection!  His line in general was very successful tonight as well!

-Once again, Joe Finley played like an NHL defenseman tonight.  I wonder if he will remain in the lineup with Carkner expected back on Monday.

-Pretty good game by Grabner, good to see him get rewarded with the cheap one at the end.

Well, coming into tonights game most fans were wondering if we would see a good game tonight, or a typical Ranger hangover game.  The fact they came out and played the way they did is very encouraging and the momentum they have now will hopefully carry them for a while as they are coming up on back to back games against sub par teams.
Next Game: Monday 1PM @ Home VS the Flyers

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pre Game: Devils @ Islanders

For the fourth time already this season, tonight the Devils travel to the Coliseum to take on John Tavares and our Islanders.

The goalie matchup tonight features Johan Hedberg for the Devils, and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

David Ullstrom returns to the lineup tonight for the Islanders.  After playing the last game and fighting former Islanders Aaron Asham, enforcer Eric Boulton will sit this one out alongside Thomas Hickey and Marty Reasoner.

For the Devils, defenseman Henrik Tallinder will return to their lineup tonight.  Mark Fayne will sit, Tallinder last played on February 2nd.

If you remember, in their last meeting on Superbowl Sunday Hedberg pitched a shutout against the Islanders in a third period that was headlined by a terrible penalty call on Brian Strait

Can the Islanders break through against Hedberg who is 8-0-2 in his last ten starts?  Find out tonight on MSG+ at 7:00.

REPORT: Wang Looking To Sell The Islanders

According to a report in the New York Post, Charles Wang is in talks with the Raine Group about the sale of the team.  From what I have learned, the Raine Group wouldn't be the purchasers of the team but they would help Wang facilitate a sale.

The Post says that Wang is hoping to sell the team for 300 million dollars, but most agree that price is unrealistically high.  New motive to sell the team has come up recently according to the Post because Wang has a 75 million dollar loan that comes due at the end of next season.

The Raine Group and the Islanders new friends in Brooklyn have a history with one another.  When Bruce Ratner sold to Mikhail Prokhorov a couple years ago, the Raine Group were an advisor for Ratner in the sale. 

Since he was named as part of the "hub" development help, there has been some speculation that Bruce Ratner would eventually have a role in the Islanders ownership.  Well I think the speculation just intensified! (h/t to I4E11 on IslanderMania for the link)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tavares Leads Isles Past Rangers 4-3 In A Shootout

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our Islanders finally snapped their five game losing streak by defeating the rival Rangers by a score of 4-3 in a shootout.  Here are some my notes from the game:

-Well it was bound to happen, it was nice to see the team end the streak here instead of extending it out like they have done in previous years.

-Don't like Finley, but Finley had his best game as an Islander tonight.

-Matt Martin had a good game tonight as well, his physical presence was very noted which is a good sign with him.  He was great on the penalty kill as well!

-Great pass by Casey on McDonalds goal!  He continues to bring good efforts game in a game out.

-Not a huge surprise that Doug Weight was the one to rip into the team after there terrible first period.  Although, the emotion shown by Capuano on Hagelins goal was probably the most emotion I've seen from him in his time as Islander coach.

-Nice game from Tavares, turnovers were a little high again but it is always good seeing him get on the board.

-Penalty kill remains a great strength for the team this season!

Well the Islanders were due for a win, tonights probably bought Capuano a little bit of extra life in terms of keeping his job.  For the future games though, a more consistent effort is needed.  They can't come out and only show up a varying points of the game, need to be there from the start which wasn't the case tonight.

Next Game: Saturday @ Home VS The Devils

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Rangers

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For the second time in a week, our Islanders travel to MSG to take on Brad Richards and the rival Rangers.

After last weeks pathetic showing and their recent struggles, it would make sense to expect the Islanders to come out quick tonight.  The fact that management so far hasn't punched them in the stomach with a sham trade pre game can only help matters as well.

The goalie matchup tonight will feature Marty Biron for the Rangers, and Evgeni Nabokov will return between the pipes for the Islanders after Rick Dipietro got the start Monday.

Forward David Ullstrom and defenseman Thomas Hickey will be scratched tonight for the Islanders being replaced by Joe Finley and Eric Boulton.  On his reasoning for this, Capuano said he felt they were out muscled a lot last week.  Both of these guys played in the game last week though so that doesnt make much sense on his part.  Adding size to the lineup is a good thing, but both of these guys especially Finley are liabilities when they are on the ice so this move doesnt make much sense to me.

For the Rangers Brian Boyle will return to the lineup tonight and young forward Chris Kreider will be scratched to make room for him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Islanders Interested In O'Reilly?

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Colorado RFA Ryan O'Reilly is the last remaining of this years crop of restricted free agents to be un signed.  Reports suggest that he is looking for a 5-6 year contract for 5 million dollars per season.  Meanwhile Colorado is offering around 3.5 million per season.

Many news outlets think this saga is going to end with Colorado trading the young center because of his high salary demands.  They are reportedly seeking a roster player and a top prospect from a team in a trade.

According to, the Islanders are one team that has shown interest in O'Reilly.  As of now the price is probably to steep for them, and given O'Reillys career up to this point it is a very steep price.  Through three seasons in the NHL, O'Reilly has only put up top six caliber numbers one time.

In his first two years, O'Reilly put up 26 points respectively in each season.  However, last year O'Reilly broke out and put up 55 points.  To relate this for Islander fans, what O'Reilly is doing would be like if after his first season here Pa Parenteau asked for a multi year deal worth millions without proving himself first.  O'Reilly should follow Parenteaus model and if he does he will no doubt get paid.

As things currently sit, I don't see the Islanders making a play for him.  Having to trade a roster player then a top prospect and on top of that signing him to that massive contract is just not the Islanders style under Garth Snow.  If anymore news breaks on this we will be sure to update, however I wouldn't go out and start reserving your Ryan O'Reilly Islander jerseys.

Who Would Replace Capuano?

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With the Islanders recent struggles of late, talk has been rampant about whether or not the teams play would cost another coach their job like it did Scott Gordon a couple years ago.

So with that we started to wonder who could be some possible replacements for Capuano:

  1. Marc Crawford-He is a Jack Adams award winner, has the history of coaching teams while they are in transition like the Islanders are, and is the third youngest coach in NHL history to reach 400 wins.  On top of that, he has a cup ring with the Avalanche from the 1995/1996 season.
  2. Mike Keenan-Like Crawford, Kennan has one cup ring and that came with the rival Rangers in 1994.  He is the 5th winningest coach in NHL history.  Kennan currently serves as an analyst with MSG for the Rangers but he would certainly be worth a call to find out if he would like to coach again.
  3. Doug Weight-Currently an Islander assistant and one of the favorites for the job since he was named to a management position with the team before last season after announcing his retirement.  An ideal situation for Weight would be to get some head coaching experience in the minors before jumping right to the NHL.  While he is a NHL hall of famer, that doesn't mean he would be a great coach and look no further then Wayne Gretzky for proof of that.  Additionally, Weight is a great spokesman for the franchise and someone people around the NHL have respect for.  Once things would inevitably go bad under him, they wouldn't just be firing a coach but a great spokesman for the team and that is something at this stage the Islanders just can't do.
  4. Brent Thompson-Fresh off his division title with Bridgeport last season, over the summer Thompson was named an Islander assistant coach.  Different then Weight, Thompson has a pedigree having been a head coach/assistant coach in the AHL for upwards of half a dozen years.  Not sure how his coaching style would translate here, but I think there is a decent chance we see it.
While I would prefer one of the top two guys or someone of that pedigree to be our next coach, I know that will only happen in a dream world.  The fact is that coaches like that won't touch this team with a ten foot pole due to our owner.  Its pretty much certain that Weight or Thompson will be the next head coach and Scott Pellerin currently the Bridgeport head coach will probably end up being an assistant coach.  Thus continuing the cycle of coaches for this team over the last half dozen years or so.  When does the cycle end?

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More Line Changes Made

Yesterday it was reported that the with their recent struggles, the Islanders had made changes to their forward lines in practice. 

Well today, changes to the defense were made.

The new lines:




Matt Carkner skated earlier today, he is not yet ready to return according to Newsday however.

Well like the 5-5 offense had been rather comatose, the defense has had huge struggles getting pinned in their own zone.  A guy like Hickey who was good at the first pass out of the zone was supposed to aid with that but he hasn't done much.  One thing to note is that for the first time in a while Hamonic and MacDonald have been split up.  Being they were together so long maybe this change can spark there play.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why the Islanders Need To Buy Out Rick Dipietro This Summer

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Now, it is no secret that I am not a fan of Rick Dipietro.  However, this is not about that, or how his injuries have caused his skills to erode no longer making him an NHL goalie.  While that is obviously vital being in a results oriented business, Rick Dipietro is more then a player for this team.  He is a symbol of what the team used to be and as they move forward in the rebuild and into the Barclays Center he needs to be bought out so the Islanders can move on from that period of time.

Through the middle of the last decade, the Islanders were a fledgling mediocre team led by Dipietro.  Then the injury bug struck DP, and he went from leading the team to being the butt end of every joke about the team because of the 15 year contract Charles Wang signed him to in the summer of 2006.  This contract pays Dipietro 4.5 million dollars per season, which for a healthy number one NHL goalie isn't bad.  However, Dipietro couldn't be further from that right now because of how his injuries effected his play.

When the NHL announced that with the new CBA agreed to last month there would be 2 compliance buyouts, many Islander fans got excited because they thought it signaled the end of Rick Dipietro without him having to haunt us like Alexei Yashin has.  Not so fast, because some analysts most notably BD Gallof of hockeyindependent don't think that Dipietro will be bought out because they don't think Wang will spend more money on him then he has to.  So far, this has been proven true because the team declined to buy him out during the accelerated compliance buyout period the week before this season started.

However, the team and fans alike continue to say the next step for the rebuild is playoffs.  With the team looking to step up to places they haven't been in a while and create a new image as they head to Brooklyn, they need to start this summer with getting rid of the biggest symbol of what the team used be and that's Rick Dipietro.

Line Changes Made In Practice Today

After last nights 5th straight loss, the Islanders have made some line changes in practice today.

The new lines:





I have no issue with this and at least they are trying because god knows they need to do something to spark the 5-5 offense which is comatose.  Only thing is, Okposo should not still be in the top 6 because his play through 12 games doesn't warrant that kind of minutes.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Isles Drop 5th Straight 6-4 To Hurricanes

Tonight, before a small crowd our Islanders dropped their fifth straight to the Hurricanes by a score of 6-4.  Here are some of my notes:

-Save for the last powerplay which was terrible, the powerplay was finally on tonight which was refreshing. 

-Rick Dipietro was decent!  Did he give his team a chance to win?  Not really, however, he didn't get much help in some instances.   

-Kyle Okposo needs to be benched!  His play continues to be abysmal through 12 games.

-First line played better tonight, although there are way to many turnovers.

-The Bailey-Cizikas-Martin line has been pretty effective.  Marty Reasoner should be waived ASAP because it seems like barring injury Casey Cizikas isn't giving up his spot.

-Hickey didn't have a good game!  Save for tonight he hasn't been bad, but the fact that he is a rookie really shined through tonight!

-The third period tonight was one that weve seen for the better part of the last 5 years, just terrible!

-Our 5-5 offense is abysmal, you cant count on special teams to win you every game!

-Brad Boyes is starting to become like Okposo in that every time he shoots the puck, he misses the net.

I think the teams frustration can be seen perfectly with the video below courtesy of Kevin Schultz from pointblank.

Some have speculated that a poor showing on Thursday at MSG could cost Capuano his job.  I would like to agree, but then I remember the team we root for and the fact that simple logic isn't usually their strong suit.

Next Game: Thursday @ MSG 7PM

Pre Game: Hurricanes @ Islanders

Tonight, our New York Islanders play host to Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes.

After struggling the last few games, Evgeni Nabokov will get a game off tonight and Rick Dipietro will get the nod between the pipes.  The Hurricanes haven't announced their starting goalie yet.

The Islanders will be rolling with the same lineup tonight that managed over 40 shots on Saturday night against Buffalo.

The Islanders, losers of 4 straight are looking to get off the snide and do something they haven't been able to do in recent years and minimize losing streaks.  Having that happen would be a very small sign of progress for this "rebuild."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Isles Drop 4th in a Row To Buffalo 3-2

Tonight, before a surprisingly large crowd, our Islanders fell to the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-2.  Here are some of my notes:

-As much as I dint like him, I could see DP getting the start Monday.  Nabby hasn't been sharp over the last few games and the third goal tonight exemplifies that.  A sharp Evgeni Nabokov makes that save!

-Defense let Nabby down on the first goal, bad coverage in front!

-Nice play by Casey to set up McDonald on his goal!  Casey should be in the lineup every night over Reasoner.

-Although Tavares had a goal he seemed a bit snake bitten as he also hit two posts.  Not fair to him that in order to have the team be successful he needs to carry the team on his back.

-What happened to Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo?  Streit is a shell of the all star defenseman he once was and makes you rip your hair out when he is on the ice.  The case with Okposo clearly shows that he didn't stay in shape during the lockout.  I think a seat in the press box maybe needed for him for a game or two.

-The crowd tonight was larger then I thought it was be given the atrocious weather of the last 24 hours.  Good on the fans for braving the elements and coming out!

This to me is typical Islanders!  Every year they go on a long losing streak after a hot start and sadly this seems to be this years streak.  Hopefully they cut it off before it all but ends their season!

Next Game: Monday @ Home VS Carolina

Pre Game: Blizzard Day Sabres @ Islanders

Tonight, after winter storm nemo blasted the north east last night, the Islanders play host to the Buffalo Sabres.

According to reports, the Sabres got in last night before the storm so this game will be played. 

The starting goalies have yet to be named for either team.  But if I had to guess id say it'll be Ryan Miller for the Sabres and Rick Dipietro for the Islanders.

With the Islanders lifting the suspensions of Lubomir Visnovsky and Josh Bailey yesterday I fully expect them to be in the lineup tonight.

For the Sabres Patrick Kaleta and Andrej Sekera will be returning to their lineup.  Making room for Sekera young Tyler Myers is a healthy scratch tonight.

Hopefully the new additions will give the Islanders a much needed spark because in a shortened season like this you cant afford to go on 3+ game losing streaks.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Does Charles Wang Care?

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Yesterdays acquisition of Tim Thomas phantom cap hit has made me think of something, does Charles Wang care? 

I know on the surface Wang does care about the team because of how long he fought to get the new arena eventually settling on Brooklyn.  However, does he care about whether the team is successful or not?  I right now don't feel that he does.

A couple years ago, in the midst of one of our usual early season losing streaks Wang told Newsday that "at least we aren't getting killed out there every night."  People wonder why players wont come here?  Sure the arena had somewhat of an effect, but when your owner doesn't care about winning why as a player would you come here?

Over the last few years, Wang has repeatedly brought in people with little to experience for positions that were open within the organization and most recently he acquired Tim Thomas phantom cap hit last night.  I didn't think of this at the time, but last night the team played like they were just punched in the stomach.  In a way with the pre game acquisition of Thomas they were because of the message the trade sends to the locker room.

The Thomas move is basically setting the Islanders up to trade off assets by the April 3rd trade deadline if not sooner and not go below the cap floor.  The Islanders might be the only team in the NHL who sets up their own fire sale just ten games into the season when they are sitting in the 8th spot.  This move was a slap in the face to fans and its a shame that nobody in the press credentialed media will call Wang or Garth out on this because they are probably scared of getting their credentials taken away like what happened to Chris Botta a couple years ago.

To me, this is blatant cap floor circumvention and it blows my mind that the NHL allowed it.  The fact that the Islanders were the team to find the loop hole allowing them to do this doesn't surprise me in the slightest though.

Carkner Placed On IR

According to Newsday, the Islanders have placed defenseman Matt Carkner on  IR with a lower body injury and activated Josh Bailey off suspension.

The injury to Carkner opens a spot to insert Visnovsky into the lineup, assuming he is ready to go tomorrow night.  If he isn't, expect to see Joe Finley in the lineup once again.

Regarding Bailey, it should be interesting the line changes made to fit him into the lineup.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lifeless Islanders Fall To The Rangers

Tonight, our Islanders fell to the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1.  He are some of my notes from the game:

-Another shaky outing from Nabby, the first goal shouldve been stopped and from there things just spiraled.

-Powerplay failed the team again!  To have some powerplays where the Rangers get better chances then we do is just unacceptable.  Doug Weight needs to get to work on those, make adjustments to the adjustments teams have made to us.

-Bad coaching decision pulling the goalie when we did.  How do you pull the goalie before we get control in the offensive zone?

-The effort was overall terrible tonight, the fire wasn't there and it was plain to see to anyone watching.

-Nice shot by Tavares on his goal.

The feel of the team now is one of a team that is primed to go on their annual losing streak.  The only saving grace for this team is that starting Saturday they should have new players entering their lineup.  If those new players don't cause a spark of some sort to the team or something, things could get ugly in the Coliseum.

Next Game: Saturday Night VS Buffalo @ Home

BREAKING: Isles Acquired A Phantom Cap Hit

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Update: According to the New York Post, if the Islanders were to toll Tim Thomas contract and he doesn't return to the NHL his cap hit would go away at the conclusion of this season.

Reports have surfaced that the Islanders have acquired goalie Tim Thomas from the Bruins for a conditional second round pick in 2014 or 2015.

According to Arthur Staple, the move was cap related and was to ensure they would be above the cap floor for this season at all times.  Also, the trade only goes through if Thomas suits up for one game as an Islander.

So instead of getting someone that can actually help the team, the Islanders go out and get a guy whose cap hit will count for the rest of the season and they wont have to pay him a dime and when he doesn't play for the team they wont lose their second round pick either.  Charles Wang must be in heaven right now!  I guess it would be to much to ask if they actually made a deal to fill a need.

Pre Game: Isles @ Rangers

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Tonight, our Islanders travel to NYC to take on Ryan Callahan and the Rangers.

The goalie matchup tonight will feature Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers.  For the Islanders, Evgeni Nabokov will once again get the start in net.

For the Islanders, defenseman Matt Carkner is out tonight with a lower body injury and Joe Finley will be dressing in his place.  Additionally, Casey Cizikas is likely to be a healthy scratch tonight replaced by Eric Boulton.

For the Rangers, Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle are scratched tonight according to reports.  Ryan Callahan will make his return to the lineup tonight, also Steve Eminger will take Girardis spot on defense.

Crosby: Isles Fans Didnt Show Class On Tuesday

In the second period of Tuesdays loss to the Penguins, Sidney Crosby took a puck to the face that was deflected of the stick of defenseman Brian Strait.

When Crosby hit the ice in obvious pain because of his reputation around the league and even his shenanigans in the game to that point, cheers came over the crowd and a chant of "Crosby Sucks" reigned from the rafters. 

Well, the star center for the Penguins wasn't shy today when asked what he thought about the actions of fans the other night.  This afternoon, before the Penguins game with the Capitals, he told reports that "The Fans didn't show a lot of class."

And Visnovsky Has Finally Arrived

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According to Newsday, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky made his long awaited arrival on Long Island tonight. 

Reports suggest he is due to take a physical tomorrow, practice Friday and could be in the lineup as soon as Saturday.;jsessionid=0514DB8BC8C8E696EE2F.3278?site=newsday&view=islanders_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=islanders&feed:i=1.4576187&part=1

How will you react to Visnovsky once he debuts?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Arthur Staple Calls Islander Fans Classless

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In the second period of tonights game versus the Penguins, Penguins player Sidney Crosby was hit in the face with the puck and went down to the ice.

Crosby taking a puck to the face, brought a massive cheer from the Coliseum crowd because of Crosbys reputation around the league.  However, it didn't only bring a strong reaction from the crowd.  Islanders, Newsday beat writer Arthur Staple also had a strong reaction.

Staple said this via twitter describing the actions of the fans, "Bad, bad form by Coliseum crowd, cheering as Crosby goes down after taking puck to face. No class."

Its understandable for Staple to have that view point, because it probably wasn't the best thing in the world for fans to do.  However, as the teams beat writer you can't go around making fun of fans like that.  That is, "bad, bad form!"

Powerplay Struggles Cause Isles To Fall 4-2 To Pens

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Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 4-2 to the Penguins.  Here are some of my notes:

-Powerplay once again comes up short!  They did get a few chances so it was better then Sunday, but overall not good enough.  They struggled multiple times with things like breaking in the zone and crisp passing.

-Nabby didn't have his best game, one arguably two of the goals were ones that should've been saves.

-Not a bad game from Martin.  Good to see him step in on that fight for McDonald.

-Okposo still seems like he is a step behind out there.  He did make a nice pass to set up Grabners goal, but he still seems like it all isn't there for him yet.

After Sundays loss to the Devils, tonight was a big game.  To go pointless again tonight just sets up our showdown with the Rangers to be that much bigger then it usually is.  Hopefully, the changes to the lineup soon will provide a spark for the team because they look like they could sure use one.

Next Game: Thursday VS the Rangers 7PM @ MSG

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pre Game: Penguins @ Islanders

Tonight, our New York Islanders play host to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

The goalie matchup tonight sees Marc Andre Fleury for the Penguins.  Meanwhile, Evgeni Nabokov will once again be in net for the Islanders.

The Islanders welcome back Colin McDonald tonight after serving a two game suspension he was handed following the Islanders Penguins game a week ago in Pittsburgh.  Eric Boulton will be scratched to make room for McDonald.

Islanders Sign Gallant

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This afternoon, the Islanders announced the signing of Bridgeport enforcer Brett Gallant to a one year entry level contract.

Gallant is in his third year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  In 37 games this year Gallant has zero points and 174 penalty minutes.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Lines Shuffled After Yesterdays Loss To The Devils

According to Arthur Staple, the Islanders shuffled their top two forward lines at practice today.

Brad Boyes was moved up to the first line alongside John Tavares and Matt Moulson.  Meanwhile, Kyle Okposo was moved down a line and put next to Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen.  Josh Bailey was skating as an extra with the top line.

Forward Colin McDonald was also practicing with the team on his line with Keith Aucoin and David Ullstrom after serving his two game suspension.

Lines today at practice:










Martinek To IR? Bailey To Debut Thursday Or Saturday

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, defenseman Radek Martinek is likely to be put on IR to make room for Josh Bailey who is returning from injury.  Josh is expected to return to the lineup Thursday VS the Rangers or Saturday VS Buffalo.

Radek was signed by the Islanders a week before the season started but has yet to get in a game yet this season.  Staple says that Radek will undergo an MRI today for a possible abdominal injury.

NHL Replacement Refs?

If you remember, back in the beginning of the NFL season in September, mired in a labor dispute with officials the NFL brought in replacement refs.  With the refs came, untimely delays on calls and a lot of blown calls which created un-needed controversy for the NFL.

Well, early on in this young NHL season with the amount of obvious blown calls we have seen, it leads one to wonder if these are replacement refs in the NHL games as well.  Here we will go through a series of calls that shouldn't have been made:

1) No Goal Call- Blackhawks Vs Blue Jackets 1/26/13

In the second period of their game on January 26th, the Blue Jackets down by one and on the powerplay thought they had tied the score with a powerplay goal.  However, upon scoring the goal, it was waived off by officials.  No reason has been given as far as I know as to why the goal was waived off, only speculation some of which you hear in the video below:

2) David Backes Major Penalty against the Red Wings- St Louis Blues VS Red Wings 2/1/13

Just a few days ago, during the third period of a tie game between the Blues and the Red Wings, Blues captain David Backes was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head of Red Wing defenseman Kent Huskins.  This penalty changed the game as Pavel Datsyuk ended up scoring the winning goal on the ensuing major powerplay.  As it turns out, replays show that Backes wasn't even close to making contact with Huskins head:

3) No Goal Call- Ottawa Senators VS Montreal Canadiens 2/3/13

Similar to the Columbus scenario, in a game earlier tonight the Ottawa Senators were down 2-1 to the rival Montreal Canadiens and attempting to mount a comeback.  At the 1:26 mark of the third period the Senators thought they had achieved their comeback by tying the score, however the goal was immediately waived off by officials.  On top of that, Ottawa was called for goalie interference on the play.  However, as one can see in the video below, the contact is made outside the crease and the little that is made is done by Carey Price not the Ottawa forward:

4) John Erskine elbow on Wayne Simmonds- Flyers VS Capitals 2/1/13
During their game a couple nights ago, Capitals defenseman John Erskine elbowed Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in the face.  This play occurred after Simmonds had beaten Erskine to a loose puck and was attempting to get an odd man rush started going out of his zone.  Oddly, with all the talk of player safety the last few years no penalty was called on the play.  However, Erskine was suspended today by the NHL for 3 games:

While there have been other "bad" calls made, those things are going to happen.  The refs are human and mistakes are sometimes made.  However, the fact that so many blatantly incorrect calls like the ones in the videos above have been made in just 16 days is a little bit concerning.  Maybe the players weren't the only ones that were rusty following the lockout.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Questionable Call Late Leads Devils Past Isles 3-0

 photo courtesy of

This afternoon, our New York Islanders fell to the Devils by a score of 3-0. Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Well our powerplay was bound to struggle and that happened today! They struggled with entering the zone alot and failed at establishing zone presence multiple times which is something that really hadnt been seen up to this point in the season.

-Nabby had a good game today! He kept the team in it and gave them every chance to win.

-Brutal call on Strait in the third!! It wasnt even close to a charge and it totally changed the momentum of the game.

-Matt Martin had a pretty good game! Threw some solid hits!

-Okposo isn't doing enough to be on the top line. With Bailey coming back lineup changes can be expected.

Today was a disappointing game. Two points were big and with the Penguins coming in that game just got bigger.

Next Game: Tuesday @ Home vs the Penguins

Pre Game: Devils @ Islanders

After a long 5 game road trip that saw our Islanders go 3-1-1, they return home today to play host to the Devils.

The goalie matchup will feature Johan Hedberg in place of Marty Brodeur, and Evgeni Nabokov will once again get the start for the Islanders.

The lineups appear that they will be the same as both teams iced this past Thursday when the Islanders were victorious in overtime.

If the Islanders can manage to get a regulation win today along with a loss from the Penguins they will have sole possession of first place.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bridgeport Rangers? Not So Fast Says Sound Tigers President

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According to the CT Whale blog at, Bridgeport Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan denied rumors that the Rangers AHL affiliate Connecticut Whale will be moving the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. 

According to the article, Rangers executive Jim Schoenfeld said the team is keeping all its options open as they await a new arena operator to be put in place at their current venue the XL Center in Hartford.

An issue for the Whale though is that the Sound Tigers lease at the arena currently runs through 2021 and according to the article the Islanders have no interest in leaving the venue.  Over the last few years, the Islanders have put money into the venue including having LED boards and a beautiful jumbotron installed in the arena this season.  Not to mention the fact that Bridgeport is among the leaders in the AHL in attendance this season.  So it makes sense the Islanders have no desire to leave.

For more on this check out the link below:,0,4611929.story (h/t to Jeremy for the link)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Visnovsky Coming to LI On 2/6

According to islanderspointblank, Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will be flying to Long Island on the morning of February 6th.

Initially, he wasn't set to arrive until February 11th because his son is set to have minor surgery on the 9th.  However, he apparently talked to his sons doctor and they found out it isn't necessary for him to be there.

A question I would ask is, why did he wait til now to talk to his sons doctor about this?  Why didn't he do it three weeks ago so maybe he could've made it here on time?

Tavares 3 Point Night Leads Isles Past Devils In OT

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Tonight, in a rare high scoring game with the Devils, our Islanders came out on top by a score of 5-4 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-With this win, the Islanders moved into a tie for first place.  How good does that feel to say?

-Another multi point game from Tavares, after what for his standards was a slow start he has certainly come on in this last week.  He currently sits tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring with 11 points.

-You have to love the energy Casey Cizikas brings!  His energy was infectious tonight and because of that the third line didn't lose a step with him stepping in for McDonald.

-Brad Boyes had a good game tonight, showed great vision on his assist on Tavares first goal.

-On his first game after his extension, Brian Strait was solid once again. 

-Nabby didn't have his best game, but he gave us a chance to win which is all you can ask.

-MacDonald saved the game in OT blocking the shot with his back on the penalty kill.

-Grabner had another solid game, and Ullstrom was pretty good to.

-What a story Keith Aucoin is, a little over 100 NHL games in his career coming into this season and now he has 4 goals in 7 games.

After the Penguins game, it left many fans wondering how they would come out tonight.  Whether it would be a typical Islander let down game, or if they would bring it to the Devils and get the win.  The fact that they managed to get the win after coming back three times is a real refreshing sign and hope the momentum carries into Superbowl Sunday against the Devils.

Next Game: Sunday @ Home VS The Devils 3PM