Getting set up here, waiting for the drop of the puck! Stay tunes throughout the game for updates and to the live tracker below!
7:14pm Lots of two way action, some good chances early for the Flyers – including a post
7:16pm Comrie just tried to center a pass through traffic – it was the same play Weight just tried. I don’t completely understand what they were trying, but it did not work either time.
7:18pm Drive from the point and MacDonald makes another stop.
7:21pm I walk away for two minutes and the Flyers make it 1-0. Yet another first period goal against
7:23pm Sutton tussles with Hartnell – Joey Mac looks hurt on the play
7:24pm Each get minor penalties – Mac looks ok.
7:25pm Upshall just got called for Hooking – Islanders power play – 4 on 3
7:27pm Guerin with a huge shot and it is all tied up. PP Goal!
7:31pm Islanders short handed here – lets hope they get a good kill.
7:36pm Carter redirects it past MacDonald – 2-1 Philly
7:38pm Okposo broke into the zone, passed off to Hunter who went very strong to the net and Biron made an amazing stop. So close.
7:43pm MacDonald forced to make a stop late in the period – under a minute remaining.
And the period is over.
Faceoffs, as Jaffe is talking about are becoming somewhat of an issue for the Islanders (and me in particular as a center). These little key battles of the game are increasingly becoming a story – because without Mike Sillinger healthy, the team isn’t winning many key draws. The other night I decided to watch Weight for the course of a game and I noticed he is very, very weak in the circle. He was something like 31% on the night – which is horrendous. The more offensive zone draws you win, the more scoring chances – especially on the man advantage. Same holds true for the power play, win a face off – fire it out of the zone.
Having so many young defensemen, the Islanders are often behind the play going back into the zone – it’s not completely the fault of the d-men however, because they aren’t back checking very hard.
They are not doing horrible tonight, but they are definitely in need of some improvement.
8:02pm Second period underway
8:08pm Fritz called for holding, Islanders short handed once again.
8:18pm Got side tracked a bit, Islanders doing a horrible job in their own end and are trying to look for the perfect pass in the offensive zone.
8:19pm Thompson with a glorious chance in front, Isles win a faceoff clean and Biron makes the stop
8:23pm Hunter gets called for roughing – should have been penalties to both players.
8:25pm MacDonald took one off the mask – again
8:26pm Flyers are now 0/3 with a man advantage
8:33pm Thompson with several great chances, Park and Bergenheim.
8:34pm Islanders pressuring Philly to the point they took two consecutive icings
8:35pm Guerin is having a great game, he had another good scoring chance.
8:37pm Bergenheim powers into the zone and forces my roller hockey buddy Aaron Asham to take a holding penalty. Isles power play
Period is over – Islanders had a few chances there on the power play, they had a nice passing play end with Nielsen hitting the side of the net. Faceoffs have improved, any coincidence that the scoring chances and shots have increased?
Isles should be able to sneak back into the game should they keep this pressure on in the third frame.
8:57pm Campoli just got clipped with his own teammates stick – FRIENDLY FIRE
8:59pm Okposo with a nifty pass in front – Flyers clear and ice the puck
9:00pm Hilbert to Park – Biron with a glove save
9:02pm Flyers ice the puck again, they need to win this face off and keep the pressure on
9:10pm Isles dodged a bullet – two on one and the puck jumped over Richards stick
9:15pm Pock with a great chance there, but the Isles are taking too many outside shots
9:16pm Biron just robbed Nielsen in front – what a save
9:19pm Hilbert scores! Tied 2-2 Hilbert controlled the puck behind the net, brought it around and missed on a pass – regained control and banked it in off a Philly defender past Biron.
9:29pm Isles continue to keep the pressure on in the offensive zone.
9:30pm This is the part of a tied game that drives me crazy, Flyers in deep and now there may be a defensive zone draw.
9:31pm Broken glass – stoppage of play. Anyone else notice the Islanders think they are playing lacrosse? They always seem to try knock the puck down with their stick when it’s clearly too high or out of reach.
Wow – the Islanders have gained a point in the standings! [/sarcasm]
It seems that the Islanders are destined to finish this game how they have been playing the last period and a half – strong. Lots of puck support, hard work along the corners, a great breakout and forecheck. This just in – Islanders will begin overtime on the power play!
Let’s do this boys!
9:39pm Nice puck movement, Hunter providing a screen and Biron makes a save.
9:41pm Weight to Guerin and he couldn’t finish.
9:44pm Isles force the Flyers offsides, looking good
9:45pm Isles go down a man, as Nielsen got called for hooking, Flyers take a timeout
9:47pm Of course, the Flyers score and it’s game over.
Well, it would’ve been nice to see them get to the shootout – but what can ya do. Two things in overtime that stick out: Hunter hitting the side of an open net, and Thompson not being able to clear in overtime. Had any of those two things gone the other way, game over Islanders – or at least 10 minutes of a shootout.
There is always Saturday, not much more I could say tonight – talk to you from the West Coast on Saturday.
I once read a post about someone who frequents blogs saying they didn’t want to hear about what was going on in that bloggers life should they happen to take a short break from the action. They would prefer the blogger just come back and not make a big deal of being busy, blog when you can. Part of me wants to ignore being busy and just pick up where I left off, the other – well I feel you are all friends and should know that my job often gets in the way.
When it’s not work, it’s related to work – my neighbors always seem to have problems with their air conditioning or heat – so I get roped into having a beer while I fix the problem. Not really a big deal, but they don’t know I have a pre-game post to type out!
Before I get started – I just wanted everyone to know that I will not be around from November 1st until late in the evening on the 8th. Unfortunately, I will be missing several home games and a pair of away games I beleive. Why you ask?
My other blogging hobby brings me to fabulous Las Vegas once a year for the “Superbowl” of all automotive trade shows. I will be there covering the show and hopefully making lots of contacts for our new venture – Motorz TV. Normally, we would just go to cover the show for our pair of blogs Truckblog and Muscle Car Blog – but this year it should be interesting given how popular out video pod casts have become. I will have my laptop, an internet connection and my Slingbox, so it isn’t like I will be without Islanders hockey completely. I just cannot guarantee that I will be able to blog in any detail. One positive, I can totally watch the games in the Sports Book too if I so choose!
In discussing the trip with my cohorts in the Blog Box, BD Gallof whipped up a quick photoshop (something he is known for) based on my trip:
Imagine what the Islanders were thinking today being in Philly the day after their baseball team wins the World Series. The town has to be abuzz and the excitement overwhelming to those fans. I can’t imagine that it won’t carry over tonight into the Flyers game – how could it not, it’s even made it to the Flyers home page!
The Islanders are coming into tonight’s game with a record that doesn’t feature many positives. Philly is just starting to heat up – having one their last three contests in a row. The Broad Street Bullies are still very much living up to their name, brusing their way to victory more often than not. Maybe it’s no coincidence then that Isles forward Jeff Tambellini was scratched in favor of enforcer Mitch Fritz. However, that isn’t even the biggest story of the night – defenseman Andy Sutton returns to the lineup from hand surgery – he should help with his size back in front of the net down low for MacDonald. He is also a veteran presence – which is huge with Witt and Martinek down.
The Islanders are coming off one of their more complete games this season. Much like they did against the Hurricanes last weekend – they were able to control the puck as well as long stretches of the game when they stayed at even strength. When they were on the power play, they had some great chances and were oh so close to capitalizing on them. The Islanders need to stick to their game tonight, skate like they did for 40 minutes on Monday and stay the heck out of the penalty box tonight. If they work hard they will be rewarded.
Philly is missing some key players also – Briere up front and FOUR defensemen (sound familiar?) in Hatcher, Parent, Jones and Powe. The Flyers list Briere with having a torn muscle (out 3-4 weeks) and the rest as “out indefinitely” or “day-to-day” – sound familiar?
Game is about to start – move on over to the LIVE BLOG!
Well I just went through a nightmare trying to upload those pics, but now I am live blogging!
Late start here Drury gave the Rangers a lead – and the Isles have had two power plays. Yann Dennis is backing up MacDonald and Brett Skinner is dressed for FMIV.
7:23pm Islanders penalty – jury is out on the call, we all thought it was clean
7:26pm Rangers with good puck movement, their fans hate when they don’t shoot as much as we hate when the Isles dont
7:27pm MacDonald with a great point blank stop!
7:29pm Isles are 0/2 and the Rangers 0/1 on the power play
7:32pm MacDonald with a nice save off a tip in close to the net.
7:33pm Bad hand pass call, Doug says “bad call by a really good official”
7:42pm Final minute
7:43pm Rangers have blocked almost every single shot this period it seems, everything is from WAYYYY outside
7:43pm That was good luck – Okposo SCORES!!!
Wow, as soon as I said that the Islanders couldn’t get shots through Kyle Okposo knocks home a rebound to tie the game late in the period. Overall, due to crazy internet connections here I had a heck of a time posting images – I couldn’t even get them into my gallery. I will post higher resolutions either tonight or tomorrow after work.
I thought the Rangers completely outplayed the Isles – no question. They were walking into the zone, setting up and shooting with reckless abandon. If the Islanders want to win, they need to keep pressure on and do the small things that make them successful against quicker, more skilled teams. The game is tied, it’s a whole new
ball hockey game!
Everyone is back on the ice, I am multitasking doing a live blog on Hockeybuzz with B.D and his brother Scott.
8:02pm And we are under way
8:05pm Feels like a tennis match with all the back forth play.
8:06pm Deflection in front of the Rangers cage, it wound up almost in the 300’s
8:08pm Chris Drury is likely loving his visor – just stopped a puck
8:08pm With words of “refs letting things go huh”, the Hillen gets called for hooking
8:10pm Big MacDonald stop and a clear
8:11pm 5-on-3 for the Rangers – Renney calls a time out
8:12pm Nice stop down low in front by the Mac
8:13pm Puck goes out of play, draw is outside. That is huge
8:13pm Islanders kill off the Hillen penalty. 1:13 remain in Park’s
8:15pm Penalty is – over
8:18pm Some rough stuff behind Lundqvist – no penalties apparently
8:21pm Great defensive play in the Isles end, leads to a great scoring chance – now we have a power play
8:24pm Streit with a cannon, flew out of the zone
8:25pm Okposo with a great play, just missed. He got taken down in front hardcore
8:27pm Even up, great power play for the Isles 0/3
8:28pm Hilbert was all alone in on Lundy, oh the humanity – Thompson and Voros throw down
8:29pm Thompson the clear cut victor – Doug and I saw Voros hit HIMSELF in the face
8:34pm Mac comes up huge – Again! Chants of JOEY, JOEY!
8:34pm Almost like magic, I eat my words. Rebound – Rangers score 2-1
8:40pm Final Minute
That period was better, but Joey Mac proved fallible as a rebound was able to be snuck past for the lead. It’s all even so far – save for the score. I felt that Okposo had the best game of his career tonight, he was all over. Tambellini also looks better tonight than he has in any game during the past season and a half. They really kept the pressure on the Rangers – it should be just as exciting of a third period.
The Isles come out to boos from the Rangers and to Twisted Sister’s “We’re not gonna take it”! Talk about a statement.
8:58pm And back to action!
9:00pm Delayed penalty! Islanders to the power play!
9:01pm Guerin just evened it up – hooking says Doug (and everyone else)
9:02pm This would be the third consecutive game that THE CAPTAIN takes a dumb penalty…..
9:06pm Isles kill, Bergy takes a slash – Isles power play. Bah, they gave Bergy one too
9:08pm MacDonald just got his helmet taken off….ouch. And he’s OK. Maybe it’s an upper body injury.
9:10pm 3-1 Rangers – Seems Botta’s 5-2 prediction is coming true, again
9:16pm MacDonald with an interesting behind the head glove save off of a strange redirection.
9:20pm High stick by the Islanders – could be a double minor
9:21pm Bergy 4 minute high stick, Weight 2 for high sticking
9:22pm Power play goal Rangers – missed call lead to it as there was a hold along the far side boards. 4-1 Rangers
9:29pm Guerin sticking up for one of his boys – there was a possible hit from behind
9:30pm Big fight behind us in the box – some old man just threw down – interesting.
9:33pm Blah blah, some penalties to Voros and Guerin. Chants of you cant beat us – we’ll see.
offenseman defenseman Streit – from Weight. Hey that rhymes
9:36pm Okposo dangled, Mac to the bench. Game over….good night Gracie
Just got done downstairs at the Islanders business club event, where they unveiled the new 3rd jersey to debut at home next Saturday November 1st. As promised, I got out of work early to get downstairs and scoop some photos that we have spoken about since early July!
Mind you these are only a few of the pictures I took – there will be more uploaded when I get home!!
Here they are:
I figured, since the Islanders do not want to disclose any injuries – it would be fitting to get an “Undisclosed Injury Report” out there.
If you haven’t already heard, the Islanders would not confirm last night that DiPietro suffered any specific injury during the first period against Carolina. Lies, deceit, fibs – whatever you want to call it, the only bits of information trickling down from upper management through head coach Scott Gordon, captain Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro himself were clearly part of a mass conspiracy. What we were able to figure out is that there was “something” ailing DP.
Greg Logan was furious during the interviews, absolutely furious. You can see for yourself in his latest blog entry – it was almost a full five-hours after the final buzzer of the game when Logan posted in his blog. Normally, you just don’t see an opinion as critical and harsh come from any beat writer – but as a blogger (part of the non-mainstream) it’s good Greg has a place he can go to air his concerns and frustrations. For me – you already know how I feel about this foolish injury policy the Islanders are practicing.
It just shouldn’t come down to being fed false information about injuries – especially when the Islanders are likely near the top of the list regarding man-games lost to injury, much like they were last season.
Here is a current list of the “injured” players currently out, recovering or “scratches” for the New York Islanders.
Perhaps one of the most curious injuries – 2008 1st round draft pick Josh Bailey has been missing in action since the pre-season. Having only played in two exhibition games – the young center was supposed to play in nine NHL contests before being sent back down to juniors. A monkey wrench got thrown into the mix however, as somewhere along the line Josh was injured. It was never really disclosed what exactly was ailing him – but he was just about to be cleared to return when the “injury” was tweaked during practice. Josh has been a scratch for all of the Islanders games to this point.
Best guess, Bailey has some sort of groin, abdominal or hamstring injury.
Estimated time of return: Per news reports – 2-4 weeks
Rick DiPietro is the bionic man, he has had two hip surgeries and one knee surgery in two seasons. We call it the 1-2-2 deal. DiPietro missed almost all of the preseason matches and only played in one exhibition game before riding the pine as back-up for Joey MacDonald. DiPietro was finally allowed to play – came in and got shellacked in his first start. He claimed he felt great and that the wait was well worth it. In every game since, DiPietro looked ok – but not anything like his pre-all star performance last season. DiPietro has let in weak goal after weak goal, and when he has been sharp the defense let him down. In the loss to Carolina on Saturday – DiPietro threw the puck up the middle – a basic fundamental mistake, which lead to a turnover and ultimately a goal against. Gordon made everyone’s head spin by bringing out Joey Macdonald in the second period – leading to speculation that DiPietro was re-injured.
The rumors and personal thoughts among the media were rampant and questions began to fly from every direction during Gordon’s press conference. Gordon laughed about the precarious situation he found himself in and claimed DiPietro was day-to-day, right in the line of fire. Bill Guerin played dumb, giving a sarcastic answer and claiming he knew nothing of an injury, then with a laugh saying “You know how it goes”. When it came to DiPietro facing the media, he said the questions were becoming a bit of a distraction and that he couldn’t talk about any specifics. It was like a soap opera, a badly written soap opera.
Chris Botta claimed this morning on his blog that Yann Dennis was recalled on an emergency basis to back up MacDonald – but then Greg Logan couldn’t get clear cut confirmation that Dennis would even dress on Monday. In the same blog entry, Logan claims that DiPietro is going to the doctor tomorrow – interesting development for one of those mild “undisclosed injuries” – eh?
Best guess: DiPietro tweaked his knee, it was red and it looked like there was some swelling. He came into the room sans ice-pack however – further deepening the mystery.
Estimated time of return: listed as day to day
Andy Sutton was all set to return from season ending hamstring surgery and played in a few exhibition games – that was until he suffered a “hand injury”. Sutton underwent hand surgery, at the time the injury was announced – his return was around 6 weeks. Sutton was just cleared to take part in full contact practices and has been practicing with the team daily.
Once Sutton returns, he will replace the size that Witt presented back there – but what about his intensity? Reports from some of the other players are that Sutton is dying to get back out the ice. His conditioning hasn’t been better and his skating ability has improved since last season. It remains to be seen being we have not seen much of him since last season – but a guy like him returning from injury when other key guys are down is certainly a plus.
Estimated time of return: within a week.
Mike Sillinger is another player who underwent surgery during the off season. Sillinger did not take well to the surgery and needed some injections to jump start the healing process. He has been skating since the summer, but did not take part in camp from what I could gather. He has been skating and working with the Islanders coaches and could return sometime within the next month. Out of all the injuries – the Islanders have been most upfront about this one.
Estimated time of return: 2-4 weeks or about a month
Chalk another up on the undisclosed injury list. Defenseman Freddy Meyer IV was injured at some point during Saturday’s game against Carolina. Meyer had a fair game, scoring and assisting on Bergenheim’s short handed tally – although he also had a bad give away that lead to Staal scoring effortlessly.
Defenseman Brett Skinner has been called up on an emergency basis to fill in for Meyer should the need arise. Greg Logan said that Meyer is also going to see the Doctor on Monday.
Estimated time of return: listed as day to day
AKA “Glass Man” – Radek Martinek went down in only the second game of this season. I had joked at the time he got hurt we should have started a Martinek injury pool amongst the Blog Box – but I really hate when Marty goes down with injury. Martinek is a solid d-man when healthy, it’s just a shame the poor guy can’t ever play a complete season. Hopefully now that he got an injury out of the way early – he can come back healthy and remain that way for the rest of the season.
Martinek suffered what is believed to be a separated shoulder, but the team wouldn’t say much other than “an upper body injury”. To those of us who saw the play – it did not look good and he was clearly in pain. A positive however, I saw him in the locker room on Thursday and he wasn’t in a sling that was visible to me – so maybe he isn’t as bad as speculated.
Estimated time of return: Per news reports – 4 to 6 weeks
Brendan Witt is the guy you associate with playing through pain, he is a man’s man and is THE shutdown guy for the Islanders. Witt injured one of his knees last season and seemed to be fully recovered – that was until he took a knee-on-knee collision against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Witt limped off the ice and appeared to be in agony and could not put much weight on the knee. He was listed as questionable for the game yesterday against Carolina and the same for the game against the Rangers tomorrow.
If Witt loses any length of time it will be detrimental to the Islanders defense – especially with Martinek already injured and now a potential injury to Meyer. The Islanders were also mum on this injury – claiming Witt sustained “a lower body injury”.
I happened to see Brendan walking around yesterday in the locker room – he looked to be favoring one leg over the other, so not really sure what is going on with him.
Estimated time of return: listed as day-to-day
Seven players currently down because of injuries. Here we are 7 games into the 2008/2009 NHL season and the Islanders already have enough injuries to last them an entire season. Thankfully Chris Campoli made his return, otherwise it would be eight.
When this many injuries happen, you have to start looking into why. Last season – it seemed freaky that all the injuries happened, especially to hips. This year, it cannot be chalked up to coincidence – it has to point to conditioning. Maybe that’s why the Islanders are deflecting so much away from their injured players, they are hiding something much more serious.
Simply amazing though, looking through all the “injuries” and how they are explained though – isn’t it?
Just wrapped up all the interviews in room six and the locker room, it was announced that DiPietro was pulled because he suffered “an undisclosed injury”. Numerous attempts to pry details from Gordon and DiPietro himself proved unsuccessful by everyone in the media.
The best of the explanations came from DiPietro himself, he said “I’ll be honest with you,to start the whole thing off, I would rather not talk about it. To have the most respect, it’s become a bit of a distraction and it’s team policy not to talk about it.” Looking at DiPietro as he walked away – he seems as if a prior injury was aggravated.
Scott Gordon handled things differently a little earlier in saying he was pulled over an injury as opposed to poor play. He skated around the issue, but did mention that team policy prevented him discussing specifics.
One thing is for certain, this is not a good sign. No word if Yann Dennis will be called up from Bridgeport to serve as backup – but if past history has shown us anything, Rick DiPietro will serve as backup, come hell or high water.
Just getting settled in here at the Blog Box!
Your scratches for the Islanders – Witt, Bailey and Park
No word on Park’s replacement yet. Ok, Park is now on the ice – error perhaps?
About to drop the puck here in the first period, Hilbert, Thompson and Sim with Campoli and Hillen as your starters.
7:10pm Nice pressure here down low, tipped puck in front and sound positionally.
7:11pm Hunter put it in front, nobody home.
7:12pm Carolina tried a move from behind the net, sort of a broken back door.
7:13pm And a bad neutral zone turn over gives the Hurricanes an early 1-0 lead.
7:15pm Canes come back with double the pressure and may have gotten another goal, under review
7:16pm NO GOAL
7:18pm Gervais with a one-touch pass to Comrie, brings it in and got a nice shot – Ward made the stop
7:23pm DP with a glove save through traffic – Freddy Meyer felt he should start the UFC a few hours early and took down his man in front. And Carolina just made it 2-0
7:25pm Islanders power play
7:27pm Nothing going – Isles are now 0/1 on the man advantage
7:32pm DP decides to cover the puck, and he hears the “cheers” or is it jeers? for making a “save”
7:36pm Thompson with a shot, got deflected over the net.
7:37pm Islanders power play
7:39pm Just missed a wide open net – I am talking WIDE OPEN
7:41pm Final Minute
What a period, but just not for the Islanders. Lot’s of ineptitude and bad, bad positioning allows Carolina to walk into their room after one period with a two goal lead. DiPietro needs to stop trying to handle the puck all alone – he put it right up the middle and onto the oppositions stick for the first goal of the game. They also need to be smarter about their shot selections – too many are coming from the outside or bad angles. They need to battle and get bodies in front for screens and deflections. The power play also needs to start generating chances, as they are not going to get many even strength the way they are playing. Hopefully they can pull it together and come out strong for the start of the second period.
This team needs help, and help from someone not currently in the organization.
The boys in blue have come out onto the ice, hopefully recharged and ready to score – at least a goal in this second period.
This just in, DiPietro sitting on the bench – MacDonald is your second period goaltender……
8:05pm Meyer scoresssss! Assist goes to Hilbert – 2-1
8:08pm Thompson and Gleason goe at it – not much of a fight though, about even. Blog Box opinion gives it to Gleason by decision.
8:10pm Nice passing and a great shot but Ward with a glove save.
8:13pm Good pressure down low, a series of passes and shots – two of which Isles sticks tipped
8:15pm MacDonald now has 50% of the saves DiPietro made in the first
8:17pm Bad giveaway leads to a 3rd Canes goal 3-1 Carolina
8:22pm Islanders power play
8:25pm A pile in front and the Isles come out on top – with another power play
8:28pm As Ken from Okposo Net – A for effort on this power play – best one of the night pressure wise
8:31pm Guerin just got held up, ANOTHER Islanders power play. I can feel a goal coming, lots of momentum in the Islanders favor
8:33pm Spoke too soon, Guerin was just called for roughing
And that’s the period.
Better effort, although Meyer coughed up the puck which lead to Staal scoring a seemingly effortless goal. The power play looked great late in the period, generating shots and keeping pressure on Carolina down low. They just couldn’t get one past Ward.
If anything, they need to keep up the intensity and then kill the minute plus of the Carolina power play. Should prove to be an “interesting” third period – will we see Sim or Thompson come out with fists flying?
And here they come – let’s hope we can cut this lead back to within a goal early in the period!
8:52pm MacDonald with a nice blocker save – Penalty is over
8:55pm Tambellini was clotheslined Isles go back on the power play
8:58pm Islanders penalty, Streit for high sticking
9:01pm Bergy short handed goal! 3-2 What a nice play and pass from Meyer
9:02pm Even up, great kill! Another great play almost tied it
9:03pm And Carolina comes back and gets their 4th
9:04pm Comrie taken down south of the Canes goal line – Islanders power play. Fans chanting in section 329 due to a fan fight
9:08pm Weight just leveled Sutter – hes down, and all hell just broke loose.
9:14pm Roughing on Canes, Weight is on the ice – should be interesting.
9:15pm Power play goal Streit!!! 4-3 Carolina
9:19pm Next shot ties the Islanders home record of 54, Islanders will be down a man here – Bergenheim for high sticking
9:22pm Shots on goal at home record, just tied by Weight
9:26pm Record broken, current total 57
9:29pm 1:01 remaining, Islanders at the blue line – Carolina takes a time out
9:31pm .07 Seconds and we have a penalty shot to tie the game!
9:32pm Weight is the shooter
9:33pm Ward stops – the Islanders 60th shot on goal
Game over, final 4-3
Lots of excitement, would have been AWESOME had Weight scored – but what can you do. Heading downstairs, got to run.
Before I get ready to head to the Coliseum, I wanted to write a bit about the first matchup of Peter Laviolette and Scott Gordon.
Both men coached in the Bruins organization, both men know and respect each other. One was head coach of the Islanders and the other is the current head coach. Both men came into the league straight off AHL Coach of the year honors, one has had time to play his sytems and been rewarded greatly. The other, is biding his time before he proves he can perform at the NHL level.
Tonight proves to be an interesting night, a bit of past and present all coming together almost in artistic form. The Islanders have more to prove – hopefully the optional morning skate has the legs refreshed enough to prove to their home fans that they can be successful and win with Scott Gordon’s system.
I will be live blogging tonight, should be fun as I have not done it from the Coliseum in quite some time!
See you in a few!
You may have noticed that I did not post any thoughts on the clunker the Islanders put up on Thursday. I will go into things a bit today, I have had enough time to decompress and really analyze where I wanted to take the discussion.
The sky is not falling, the bottom has not fallen out and there is no need to start a Tavares watch! These three common message board themes are a ridiculous line of thinking. It’s to the point where I visit message boards less and less because it’s the same rhetoric repeated over and over. Look, the team is not playing great – but we are only 6 games into the season – SIX! Six games is not an adequate cross section to determine the overall season outcome.
Things take time, they do. You cannot throw together a team with a new coach and EXPECT instant success – sure we can all hope, but I hope I run into $10-million dollars today.
Islanders fans have been calling for a rebuild for a long time, this is part of the process. Players like Okposo, Tambellini, Gervais, Campoli, Hillen, Pock and Nielsen are not going to be overnight successes. For the most part this is the first REAL chance any of them have had under any head coach the Isles have had. Everyone needs to learn the system, stick to the system and have it be second nature to play the system in order for it to be successful.
I saw glimpses of positive things during the Dallas game, that’s even without the rose colored glasses. Bill Guerin went to the front of the net – AND scored. Mark Streit scored a pretty back door goal on the power play. Jon Sim – well he FINALLY scored, maybe that monkey is off his back. The veterans called a team meeting – something that needed to be done. That shows me that this team cares – losing is not acceptable and neither is tanking regardless of any amount of first round draft picks. I also noticed the forecheck becoming increasingly effective. Less dump and chasing and more puck control along the boards is giving them offensive zone control often enough that they should be looking at more scoring chances.
With the positives, there are also negatives.
Brendan Witt lost to injury, although everyone around the organization is quiet about it. I saw him on the receiving end of a nasty knee-on-knee collision and knew it wouldn’t be good. He was grimacing and had a problem putting weight on it. In his place – Jack Hillen, although Andy Sutton is about a week away from returning. Witt was chased down on the way to room Six by Greg Logan – although Witt wasn’t very chatty.
Bad defensive breakdowns lead to too many virtual empty goals.
Penalties – they need to stay out of the penalty box at all costs.
Power Play, 5 shots and 5 posts on one power play…..close – but no cigar.
Positioning without the puck, I am fairly certain the reason why Gordon had no voice during his press conference was because he was giving his team a stern talking to about this subject. The Islanders were HORRIBLE without the puck. Bad positioning causes bad turnovers, bad defensive support and almost zero chance of a pass landing on the tape. Last but not least – you will have plenty of trouble with a breakout if you can’t find an open man.
Lastly, taking a bench minor while on the power play. That just cannot happen, especially on a two man advantage.
I can tell that the team is coming around, but I just hope that injuries do not destroy whatever forward momentum the team has accomplished – however small it may be.
Being an iPhone owner, it can be a tad stressful when viewing a regular webpage that is graphic intense with the built in Safari browser. Any iPhone owner can tell you that all it takes is too much processing power and *POOF* a blank black screen.
I decided that because I have been trying my hardest to keep up with replying to recent comments, that it would be best to optimize the site for the iPhone/iTouch environment. A quick check of my stats and I found that there are several readers browsing my site with iPhone’s as well!
From this point on, anyone who views Islesblogger will be served the optimized content automatically. It’s easy to read, loads fast and still features the same great content you are used to. The only difference is that the main color of the site is white – which I was tempted to change, but it’s so easy to read I decided to leave it be.
If anyone has any suggestions, or finds a problem – please let me know as soon as you can!
So many things to write about, so little time – seems that is always the case during hockey season.
So what is in store tonight? Chris Campoli is set to return from an
Upper Body, Arm, shoulder injury tonight – just in time to face the Dallas Stars. What’s great about this is Campoli has been practicing with Mark Streit and the pair will likely be together at the points on the power play. Should be nice having two guys back there who are known to move the puck – we can sure use some more points on the power play. The Islanders are currently 25th in the league 11.1% – if you crave some more stats head on over to Islanders 360 for a complete breakdown of this season and last year.
A new look for Campoli? Greg Logan had a little snippet of information in his blog today regarding Campoli’s switch from a helmet without a visor to wearing a visor:
For the first time in his NHL career, Campoli plans to wear a visor. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” he said. “I practiced with it this week, and it was good. I’m going to try and make the transition.”
Take this from someone with experience with and without a visor – it takes a few practices in order to get used to the way a visor warps the vision. Hopefully Campy is used to everything by tonight and doesn’t whiff on the puck like most do first starting out with one. However, another little gem of info – I never got hurt when I played without a visor, but the second game I used a half visor I broke my nose and needed seven stitches in my mouth from a high stick. Granted, it could have been much worse without – but it was still ironic. Good luck Chris!
Continuing with the good news, Rick DiPietro will be starting in goal tonight for the first time this year in front of the home crowd. Everyone agrees that The Rick played well in the 2-0 loss to the Panthers last Saturday – let’s hope he comes out extra sharp tonight against Dallas. Unfortunately, Dallas is coming off a nasty 5-0 shutout loss to the Devils and will come out equally pumped to round out their road trip with a win. If they do win, DiPietro and Campoli can do their jumping shoulder bump deal – so long as both of them promise not to re-injure themselves.
Keep an eye out for the ever present pest Sean Avery tonight, apparently he has wreaked havoc on both Lundvist and Brodeur the past several games. If you cannot watch or listen to the game, stay tuned right here for the Live Tracker all game long!
News has hit the wire that former Islanders forward Mark Parrish has been signed to a tryout contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Parrish will play 25 games with Bridgeport and could then be tendered offers from rival clubs – but it is a safe bet that he could land a spot with the New York Islanders.
Earlier this summer the Minnesota Wild bought out the remaining three-years of his contract (estimated worth around $9-million). I had mixed feelings when the buyout occurred, but apparently his offensive ability trailed off the last several years and no longer fit in with the Wild’s plans. Glad to see Parry is getting a chance to get his foot back in the door – although I wish he never left.
Should he be brought up to the Islanders at some point (after 25 games?) – he will retake his old office in front of opposing goaltenders and help on the power play. What about the youth movement? Well, Parrish isn’t exactly a senior citizen at 31-years old, but Mark Parrish isn’t the same player he was. However, if the Islanders can pick him up without losing a single prospect, player or pick – AND have a chance at dictating his salary, why wouldn’t you do it?
The Islanders lack goal scoring, plain and simple. They also need that front of the net presence that Parrish was known for in his time here. He won’t score 30 or 40 goals, but anything he pitches in is that much extra compared to what was there.
This is a low risk move and hard to fault.
It also adds a known player to your back pocket, once the trade deadline comes – he can be offered a contract when some of the veterans are moved.