October 2007

Monthly Archive

The Day After

Posted by on 28 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: General

Well, here I sit relaxing in SoCal after having spent the day getting a guided tour of Downtown San Diego and the surrounding areas. I must say, I am almost adjusted to the time difference and no long suffering the effects of jet-lag. A brief aside, I can't comprehend playing a hockey game after this type of travel.

I got to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time, at the beautiful Torrey Pines beach. I have to say, even with the slight haze of smoke on the horizon – it was amazing. Not putting down our beaches on the island, but it was awesome. Here is a quick picture:


Another first, fish tacos from Rubio’s – a local favorite. Nothing like good food and being adventurous – something I don't normally do at home.

Now to the hockey talk! Going back to last Saturday after the overtime win against the Devils, Bill Guerin was asked about what it meant to win before such a long break in the schedule. He was quoted as referencing the NFL and how those players would have to wait a full week for another game and how the loss would hurt for the entire time off. The next time the Isles play is Thursday night – 5 days after suffering a blowout to the Carolina Hurricanes. Looks like they will get that “NFL” experience after all – hopefully they will use this as a learning experience, having been scorned in such a big way.

For those who may be interested in what reporters experience being in the locker room after one of these losses – check out Chris Botta's blog as he posted an in depth look on this very subject.

That's about all I have for tonight, we are heading out to Vegas early in the A.M. so I think I am going to relax for a bit.

I will have access to the net and will watch Thursday's game via slingbox, so expect a few more posts between now and then.

Isles Fall to Carolina 8-3

Posted by on 27 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Gameday

Anyone who said that this crazy NHL schedule will not or cannot affect how a team plays is completely wrong. The Isles initially showed some jump during the first period, but gave up some early goals to Carolina. DiPietro looks shaky tonight, trying to do way too much with the puck and getting caught out of position twice.

We had a few power play opportunities, but couldn't finish. Satan had a great chance but hit the post, he sure did look disgusted.

Overall, I think they are playing ok despite some breakdowns. Like they just said on the intermission report, they are gaining Carolina's blue line with ease and are cycling the puck almost untouched.

We need to get on the board because this game can be salvaged.

More as it happens.

Fedotenko just scored, even though it was reviewed. Excellent drive to the net by Gervais.

Showing some life after that early period goal by Carolina.

Carolina just scored again to make it 5-1.

And again to make it 6-1, DiPietro was just pulled and Dubie is now in the game.

Thank god I am not there tonight.

Isles power play, Bergeron scores off a pretty drop pass by Comrie. Bergeron also showed patience with the puck and waited for a good shot instead of blasting a huge wide shot.

Now that we are in the second intermission, the Isles continue to bring pressure to the Carolina zone, but they are not getting the same breaks as Carolina. Defensively, the Islanders need to pick it up tonight.

Park was just awarded a penalty shot but tried to do too much.

The Rod just completed his hat trick. Another PP goal

Williams just scored also on the PP.

Sillinger scored his first of the season on the PP.

PS: IslesFaninCA, now I know how it feels to watch the game from your perspective. It's crazy watching hockey from across the country at a completely different hour.

Blogging Live From SoCal!

Posted by on 27 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: General

Good evening Islander Country, I am blogging live from my friends house in San Diego – no, there are no fires where we are at so no need to worry.

I am here in SoCal to hang out with my friend Chris, before we head to Las Vegas for the 2007 SEMA Auto Show. For those that may not know, I am a contributing writer and photographer for X7 Media and attend this show every year – it just so happens that it fell in the midst of a long break in the Isles schedule. Unfortunately, I am missing two home games, but as a season ticket holder its hard to make every game. Thank god for Slingbox! I am watching as I type this.

I will be updating as the game progresses, let's drop that puck!

Let's go Islanders!

Berard Out 2-4 Weeks!

Posted by on 23 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: News

For those who may or may not have been so keen on the idea of carrying so many defenseman, should now know why it could turn out to be a godsend. With surplus d-men playing forward and riding the pine pony – a little juggling gives the Isles someone who can cover for Berard while he recovers from his groin injury.

As reported over on the Islanders Website, Berard will miss about 2-4 weeks, which will amount from anywhere between 2-5 games given the Islanders freakishly slow schedule.

Berard has been really solid and even has 2 game winning goals, hopefully this injury isn't too serious and he can bounce right back.

Horrible ice conditions 2, Islanders 0.

At least the depth and well planning (?) of Islanders management gives us some flexibility. But who will get the call? Johnson has looked O.K. at best on the 4th line and covered on defense when Berard went down, Bergeron has played on the PP (albeit with defensive gaffes) and Bates is set to make his return this Saturday – so there really are some tough decisions ahead.

I guess only time will tell.

Isles Beat Devils 4-3 in OT!

Posted by on 21 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: General

Yea yea, I know – I am a day late with the post about last night’s game. I went out after the game for some food and didn't feel like posting when I got in.

The Islanders played very well last night, even though they lost another third period lead. No worries, the boys managed to pull it together and won it with practically no time left in overtime. The man who scored his first three goals against the Capitals on Thursday – came through again on the power play in overtime. Who was that masked man you ask? The Captain – Bill Guerin.

Enough about how the game ended, let's talk about how it started. Zach Parise scored 55 seconds into the game to put the Devils ahead – he really is sticking it to the Islanders for picking Robert Nilsson ahead of him. Such is life though; blame Mad Mike for that one.

The line of Vasicek, Satan and Bergenheim had another strong game – with Vasicek and Satan each scoring during the second period. Bergenheim provided support in the corners, again opening up plenty of room by being a pest – I love what I see from him.

The special teams continue to shine, improving every game and vaulting the Islanders to the top 5 in both the power play and penalty kill.

At this point and time I am not extremely concerned about the loss of another third period lead, but I may change my mind if that trend continues.

I did update my gallery with the pictures I managed to take during and after the game – but unfortunately (or fortunately?) I couldn't take many in the post-game. Why? For one, Chris Botta came into the room and pulled Dee (7th Woman) aside, he came back without her and told Ken from Okposo Net and I that we were going into the locker room with the rest of the media. As you may have guessed, cameras are not permitted in the locker room – so this is the reason why I couldn't take many. I was in complete shock and didn't know what to do while in the locker room. I am sure Ken felt the same way.

We both sat there with our recorders running as the “Big Boy Media” interviewed Guerin and then DiPietro. Going back to the first time we interviewed Campoli and sat through Nolan's press conference – once again, I used the night as a learning experience. I still don't feel comfortable enough to get myself through the crowd of media to ask my own questions. In a way, I realized tonight that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing. There are people who would love this opportunity, but I almost feel like I am in over my head sometimes.

Going back to what I said about 7th Woman earlier, I really feel for her. She often gets put in an uncomfortable position because for one, she is a Woman covering a mans game and two – because of the relationship she has with the team almost feels like she has a conflict of interests. I was joking (or was I?) that I should interview her, because I really am interested in what she feels in those situations. I have enormous respect for Dee and I am proud to consider her a friend – she really does a great job and takes everything in stride.

I could go on and on forever about this – but I will not. Please check out the photos in the gallery and support the other Blog Box members when you can.

Devils Visit Long Island

Posted by on 20 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Gameday

Weekend games are great, there is no work related stress and you can really sit back and enjoy everything about the day. Normally at this time of year, there would be a chill in the air – but here we are on October 20th and I am heading out the door in shorts and a t-shirt.

I apologize for not posting yesterday, but I had a horrible day – my truck got broken into and I had to get the window fixed because of the great weather we experienced.

Before I head out the door to the barn, I just wanted to share that for the second game in a row – I have been contacted by a blogger from an opposing team for some Q&A. Please give Devils Daily a visit and check out this great Devils site.

While there, check out some of the questions Jeremy Kenter asked me this afternoon.

I will try to update from the game tonight, check back regularly and later on tonight for photos from the game.

Isles Down Caps 5-2

Posted by on 18 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Gameday

The Islanders defeated the Capitals tonight by a final score of 5-2, with Guerin netting a HAT TRICK!! What a way to get your first, second and third goals of the season – also your first, second and third as an Islander! Looks like Billy G still has that touch and it’s good to see him rewarded for his play thus far! Two of Guerin’s 3 were on the power play which was on fire tonight.

Berard also scored on the power play (game winner) and Bergenhiem had his first of the season. Berard has been a solid pick up and a great addition to the power play. Bergy has been super-solid since he was placed on the 2nd line with Satan and Vasicek. It appears that the offense is finally coming – which is huge.

For the Capitals, Ovechkin scored early in the 3rd to make it 2-1 and Fleischmann about 5 minutes later made it 2-2. The Isles were also solid on the penalty kill, keeping the Capitals power play from scoring on several occasions including a 5-on-3.

Some notables:

New line combos of Guerin, Sillinger and Hilbert looked great, although the “Free Agent Line” of Guerin, Comrie and Fedotenko was reunited for power plays.

The Hunter, Comrie and Fedotenko line worked their tails off all game, Hunter created room and they were able to grind into the corners and move around the open space made by Hunter. I think this "First" line was a bit better than the previous line, but for different reasons – mostly due to dynamic.

Also, defenseman Aaron Johnson made his Islanders debut tonight – at forward. He has played the position before in Columbus and they wanted to reward him with some ice time tonight. Unfortunately the Isles took a few penalties and the 4th line was only regulated to a few short shifts – Johnson did manage to take a penalty though.

When you get the chance, I took part in some friendly alternative perspective on a Capitals blog – Japers` Rink. Head on over there to check out the friendly banter – which may not be so friendly now that the Islanders defeated the Capitals.

NHL to Test Thermablades

Posted by on 16 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: General

I don’t know how I find this stuff sometimes, there always seems to be something interesting around the league that can be found on various sites across the net. This time right on the hometown Newsday website, they picked up an AP story on heated ice skate blades called Thermablades.

After reading the Newsday story, I decided to do a little more digging.

Basically, these blades use a battery and a microprocessor to heat the blades to a temperature above freezing that in turn decreases friction on the blade – which will allow for better on ice control. The league is looking for a small group to test the product before allowing it for widespread use – mind you it would also need to be approved by the player’s union.

Are you a tech junky like me and need to know exactly what Thermablade is? Per the Thermablade website:

Thermablade performance-enhancing skate blades are a patented new skate technology that’s revolutionizing the game of hockey. Thermablade skate blades are heated to significantly reduce the friction of the blade gliding on the ice. You get a quicker start and skate faster, and every stride feels like you’re skating on fresh ice.

Thermablade skate blades help players at all levels of the game to become better skaters. The major benefits of Thermablade technology include:

  • Faster acceleration, especially in your first 3 strides
  • Tighter turns
  • And increased control.

Thermablade also helps you conserve energy. With Thermablade, starting resistance is reduced up to 75% and gliding resistance is cut by up to 55%. There’s also a significant decrease in energy-robbing vibration. What it all means is that, on Thermablade skate blades, you have more energy late in the game, when it often counts most.

The key components that set a Thermablade apart from an ordinary skate blade are a battery and electronics integrated into the heel of the blade holder. These connect to a resistor which heats the blade to 5°C. A full charge lasts a minimum of 75 minutes of on-ice time, and recharging the batteries takes just 2 hours.

Where the heck was this when I was in High School? I really love when technology makes it into sports – first we get equipment and jerseys that wick moisture and now blades that stay above freezing – GENIUS! Personally, I feel that Thermablade will have just as big of an impact on the sport as aluminum and composite stick shafts. I would love to test a set of these out on my Graf’s…. (hint hint nudge nudge).

Linky Love – Islesblogger Style

Posted by on 15 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: General

Being it's a slow day in Islanders Country – I figured I would share a bit of Linky Love today. You may be asking "What in the world is Linky Love?" as well as "Mike, I didn't think your website was so outgoing!". To those in the blogging community – you already know the idea, but for those not in the know here is a brief explanation from Blogossary's website:

Linky love is linking, usually unsolicited, to a site you enjoy, admire, or find useful.

That being said, I am sure you know what's coming. I just wanted to acknowledge all the websites who have been kind enough to pick up my posts or simply comment on my site. So now I present to you without further interruption "The List" (So anti climactic eh?).

James Mirtle, a sports desk staffer for The Globe and Mail in Toronto, has blog that is in my top ten daily sites visited. He has commented on the NYI Blog Box several times and even gave some kudos my way in his post. Check out that post, and then the rest of his site: http://mirtle.blogspot.com/2007/10/blogs-in-box.html

New York Hockey Talk is a great radio show on the AM dial that features all of the local NHL hockey teams. Its host – Rob Kowal recently had fellow Blog Boxer Dee Karl (7thWoman) on the show where they discussed the Islanders and the Blog Box in pretty good detail. Check out that segment from October 14th: http://www.nyhockeytalk.com/

The Guins Blog, a blog on the Pittsburgh Penguins also commented on the blog box – and wouldn't ya know it, referenced my take on the whole deal. Sometimes the far reach of the internet never ceases to amaze me.

Dominik, who runs Islanders Frontier over on MVN, has referenced my site a few times (He also comments regularly on my site). For those who may not know about his site – he is based in St. Louis and is surprisingly, a huge Islanders fan. Here are some of his most recent entries linking back to my site:

http://mvn.com/nhl-islanders/2007/10/04/captain-fancy-yashin-smyth-guerin/

http://mvn.com/nhl-islanders/2007/10/10/report-jon-sim-out-for-season/

http://mvn.com/nhl-islanders/2007/10/13/chris-simon-returns-tonight-in-philly/

http://mvn.com/nhl-islanders/2007/10/14/flyers-drop-isles-to-500-sim-out-for-season/

It really is a blast seeing the stuff I post here get referenced across the internet. All the sites listed (except for NY Hockey Talk) generate traffic my way, so I wanted to do the same for them. NYHT is just a great site and radio program and I felt generous enough to show them the “love”.

The other Blog Box participants have almost all linked back to me here – so please check out each of their sites listed in the Blog Roll located in the right column.

I think I'm all out of love for the night, time to recharge the batteries!

Sim Out For Season

Posted by on 14 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: News

For the past week, news on the status of Islanders forward Jon Sim has been sketchy. I knew for sure he was injured in the home opener against Buffalo for two reasons, for one in the post game Press Conference the Isles VP of media relations Chris Botta addressed the room as a whole and said “Just so everyone knows, Jon Sim sprained his knee and will be re-evaluated sometime during the week”. While this may have been a shock to some, I saw the play on which Sim got caught in a rut and fell awkwardly – as a hockey player, I know that cant ever be a good thing.

There was speculation during the week by a normally reliable source on Hockeybuzz – Andy Strickland, who claimed Sim would likely miss the year. At that point Sim had yet to even get a second opinion. The rumor was shot down through an article by Greg Logan the next afternoon and even on the Islanders telecast from Toronto by FSN broadcaster Howie Rose if you happened to catch it.

Today however, the mystery is no more – as Greg Logan confirmed in a story on Sim today that he will miss the entire season with blown anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. With a recovery time of up to 9 weeks, not including therapy – Greg states that we likely won’t see him until training camp next year.

With players like Bates almost completely healed and Simon now eligible to play again, there are no shortages of players – but many in Islanders country were anticipating what Sim could bring to the team. He is a gritty player who wasn’t afraid to grind in the corners, he had playmaking ability, he was vocal, and he had some offensive upside. In my view – he was a more offensive version of Asham, so in a way it could potentially be a big loss to the team.

One thing is for certain, it appears the organization has started to take injuries more seriously and allow players to heal. Between Yashin’s knee and DiPietro’s concussions last year – this is an extremely important sign.

Isles Fall 3-1 to Philly

Posted by on 13 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Gameday

The only positives about tonight is we did not get blown out and there weren't glaring defensive breakdowns. Something that was a concern of mine from the start of the year is the lack of goal scoring – they really need to wake up.

Penalties – STOP TAKING PENALTIES. I understand if you take a penalty to break up a scoring chance, but I have had enough of the lazy hooking and holding calls – they will call them every time and you guys know that.

Overall, it was definately a better effort then the Toronto game, but there is still obviously work to be done.

Islesblogger Gallery Goes Live!

Posted by on 12 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Site Announcements

Whenever I feel there are not enough hours in a day, I seem to stretch whatever free time I have and do something creative. What did I do tonight? I started my gallery finally, but being the person I am – I wasn’t satisfied having it open in a new page and look completely different than the site. No, I had to tear apart the gallery code and stick it in a static page so it looks like the rest of the site. The one downside, the pictures cannot be displayed in full scale – but you can always view the gallery in a new window for that.

Keep in mind I am still tweaking things with the gallery because I like everything to be as close to perfect as possible, so if you come across an issue – let me know.Here is the link: http://www.islesblogger.com/wpg2

You can also access it through the button in the navbar at the top of the page. I did not upload every shot I took from every night; I just wanted to get started for now. I will add more as time goes on.

Let me know what you think!

Update! 11/29/07 Now that I am using WordPress, I embedded the gallery code here and it works much better.

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