January 2009

Monthly Archive

Sillinger Done for Season

Posted by on 27 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General, Injuries

Mike SillingerWell this is unfortunate, yet not completely unexpected news.

Center Mike Sillinger, who played in only seven games this season will not be returning to the Islanders for the remainder of the season following a second hip surgery completed today. Sillinger had two goals in his seven games and never really looked completely healed and/or comfortable once back with the team after a brief AHL conditioning assignment. Sillinger is in the final year of his three year contract, should he decide to return for 2009/2010 – there is no guarantee that the man we call Silli will don an Islanders crest.

Best of luck in the future Mike, thanks for the memories.

Here is the official release:

The New York Islanders have announced that center Mike Sillinger is out for the remainder of the 2008-09 season after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in New York on January 26th. It is the second surgery Sillinger has had on his hip in the last year. Sillinger also missed the final 29 games of the 2007-08 season and first 24 games of this season recovering from microfracture hip surgery.

Sillinger played in seven games with the Islanders this season, scoring two goals. Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings with the 11th overall pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, the 37-year-old center has appeared in 18 NHL seasons for a record 12 different teams. Sillinger has played in 1,049 career NHL games, scoring 240 goals and 308 assists for 548 points. In 141 games with the Islanders, Sillinger has tallied 42 goals and 45 assists for 87 points – the highest total for any team in his career.

What You May Have Missed This Week

Posted by on 23 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General, News, Post Game

This has been a busy week all around, for both the Islanders and myself personally. Work has been insanely busy, I worked last weekend and I am set to work again tomorrow – I love the overtime, it just keeps me from doing some of the other things I like to do (the extra money certainly helps with the OTHER stuff). On the nights that I might actually have a few minutes to get a post up – I have had hockey games myself – 4 goals and 1 assist in two games (maybe I can convince Garth to give me an ATO contract – heh).

Where should we even start? First and foremost the Islanders have halted their losing streak and finally mustered up enough solid play to get their first win of the 2009 calendar year. This happened on Wednesday, if you happened to watch the game – once the Ducks of Anaheim came onto the ice it was like watching the old Nintendo title “Ice Hockey”. Instead of the tall guy, the short guy and the fat guy – Anaheim is made up of tall and fat guys when the Isles only have the shorties on their side. It turned out far better than many expected, with Kyle Okposo blasting a shot past Giguere on the power play early in the game and then a beautiful feed form Nielsen to McLean on another blast that beat Giguere minutes later would give them a 2-0 lead. The second goal, McLean’s first NHL goal and point would chase Giguere from the net and cause him to throw a temper tantrum on the way to the bench, in front of the bench, walking onto the bench, slamming the door to the bench and finally commencing once he sat down. The look of horror and fear on those around him while he tossed things and broke his stick was absolutely priceless. It made this Islanders fan forget, even for the slightest moment that the Islanders are in the middle of a very bad season.

Although the Islanders would forget they were playing a powerhouse in Anaheim, they still managed to hold tight despite only getting around 5 shots on goal through the remaining two periods. Yann Danis apparently responded well to the public lashing from head coach Scott Gordon, or it could have been the fact that the Islanders passed up on claiming Danny Sabourin on waivers that day – a goaltender who had shutout the Islanders during two previous match ups. Whatever the case, Danis made save, after save and helped the Islanders reach victory. Good for you Yann! Another bright spot, Kyle Okposo continues to make his presence felt, it is safe to say that whatever ailments he had during he early part of the year are fully healed and he is beaming with confidence – scoring in back to back games for the first time of his career should certainly help even more.

For some information on who Curtis McLean is and what his path to the NHL was – be sure to check out the latest article on NYI.com

Getting my opinion on the first win of the season should please at least one commenter on my site – you are welcome Sean.

Meet me at the Lighthouse?

With news that the Islanders had inked a deal that would bring them to Kansas City for an exhibition game with the LA Kings – it certainly lit a fire under the butts of those in the Town of Hempstead government. Now, nobody knows if this was Charles Wang’s plan or not – but it sure did work. In the past several days there have been articles a plenty in both Newsday and around the web regarding a possible move to KC and the importance of a new arena and the Lighthouse approval. Fans have taken to the streets and shown their displeasure at the team’s possible future move to a new and empty arena elsewhere.

Neil Best has a great article today in Newsday involving the Islanders lucrative Cablevision TV deal that runs until the year 2031.

Mark Herrmann had a great article in Newsday recently as well, if you don’t already visit his new blog In The Crease regularly – you should check that out as well.

Mike Gasparino, one of my fellow Blog Boxers – says the cable deal is indeed great, he just wants every game in high definition.

Chris Botta conducts an excellent interview with Kevin Gorman from the Town of Hempstead regarding the Lighthouse Project that is a must read. He also posted some new information and concerns today that is also worth the read.

Kate Murray is THE problem

I have a little birdie inside the Town of Hempstead that will remain nameless – but this individual keyed me into some interesting points the last time we sat down together.

It is already widely known that Kate Murray will be running for Nassau County Executive during the next election. It is said at that time she will likely give up her position as Town of Hempstead supervisor in order to run as an incumbent. This is where things get interesting, apparently Murray feels running for County Exec will be a win-win situation. Win or lose it doesn’t really matter for her as she will likely be appointed to a judgeship should she not win the election – judgeship is something she has wanted for quite some time I am told.

Ask yourselves this question – if Nassau County has already appointed the Lighthouse Commission as the contractor and approved all of their plans why is the Town of Hempstead supervisor holding things up? It is my BELIEF that Kate Murray likely does not want to be involved in such a large project and decision before she steps down as TOH supervisor and should she win County Executive – she would be dealing with it on a new level, something started by the previous administration.

So Islanders fans and Town of Hempstead residents (and non residents too) – PRESSURE Kate Murray’s office with phone calls and emails if you want to get this thing going. Voice your displeasure with the political non-sense and red tape so we can get this project started and keep the Islanders here on Long Island where they belong.

DiPietro Officially Shutdown Remainder of Season

Posted by on 20 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Injuries, News

Breaking news here, the Islanders just called a press conference regarding the status of goaltender Rick DiPietro. He has now been shutdown until next season – hopefully giving him ample time to recover and reach 100% by the start of 09/10. Here is the press release:

The New York Islanders have announced that goaltender Rick DiPietro will miss the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Team doctors have referred to the decision as precautionary due to swelling in the knee that DiPietro had arthroscopic knee surgery on to repair a meniscus injury on October 31st. DiPietro is expected to resume skating this summer in preparation for the 2009-10 season.

“After extensive consultation we feel this decision is in the best interest for Rick and the team,” said Garth Snow, New York Islanders General Manager. “This will allow Rick ample time to make a full recovery for next year.”

Added DiPietro: “This has been one of the most frustrating situations I have ever had to deal with, but this is the right decision for me and the team.” “I am confident this will allow me to make a complete recovery, be ready in plenty of time for next season and compete to my highest ability for many years to come. I’d like to thank Islanders fans for their patience and I look forward to playing in front of them next season.”

DiPietro, an NHL All-Star starter last season, has played in five games this season and has a record of 1-3-0 with a 3.52 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Drafted by the Islanders with the first overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, DiPietro has played in 273 NHL games and has a record of 117-112-8-24 with a 2.79 goals against average and a .905 save percentage

Live Blog: Devils at Islanders

Posted by on 17 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

Wow, I cannot remember the last time that I was coming at you all live from the Coliseum, it has to be at least a month or more. In any case, I am here, freezing – from the top of Section 201 plugging away on my laptop.

As you may have previously heard, the Islanders had to make a mad scramble this afternoon in order to find a replacement to their NEW replacement netminder as the Blue Jackets claimed Dubielewicz off waivers (grrrrrr). Peter Mannino made the mad dash home from Binghamton where the Sound Tigers were set to play this evening, in order to serve as back up to Danis. What a guy!

I would love to give you guys a bunch of insight or keys to the game if you will, the most I can muster at the moment is do not get blown out and stay the heck out of the penalty box. The team has been playing ok as of late, at least they are playing with heart and doing whatever they can to remain close. Some may be playing for future jobs, others are playing for the sake of experience and still others are proving they still deserve to play in the league. Thankfully tonight they are playing another area rival in the Devils and usually match up fairly well against this club. An interesting note is this will be the first time the teams face with veteran and ex-Ranger Brendan Shanahan. Shanny is one of the best veterans in the league, I know I am happy he finally found a hope after being hustled out of a job in NY and with the team that originally drafted him to boot! (It appears that Shanahan is not even dressed tonight…..)

Once we find out our scratches, I will be back to fill you in.

Sean Bergenheim, Rick DiPietro (duh) and Freddy Meyer IV

Devils Blogs

Devils Daily

First Period

Islanders are out before the puck drop in their amazing retro thirds as always on a Saturday home game.

Starting lineup:
Danis

Martinek and Witt

Sim, Thompson, Jackman

Bill Guerin being honored with an on ice ceremony for his 400th goal scored up in Toronto on December 26th.

Also, Doug Weight with his 1000th point scored, 3rd Islander to hit 1000 and 8th US born player in the NHL.

Congratulations to both Guerin and Weight

Puck is dropped!

7:16pm An interesting side story, will we see retribution for Mottau’s hit on Nielsen?

7:19pm The Islanders have iced the up, not too much going momentum wise for either team just yet.

7:20pm Devils iced the puck, and then take a penalty. Islanders have an upcoming power play. Madden for high sticking

7:23pm The “young gun” unit is currently out and having trouble getting anything through on Clemmensen. Devils come back into the zone and off a broken play with Danis out of position score short handed. Hooray

Danis is a whopping .500 as that was the Devils second shot on goal.

7:28pm Another Devils I mean Islanders power play, Zubrus for hooking

7:30pm Another shorthanded opportunity, and Danis flat out robbed Zajac with a doozy of a glove save.

7:33pm Devils clearly smell blood as Okposo and Comrie have been repeatedly victimized of turnovers. Islanders are 0/2 on the PP

7:35pm Guerin just completely leveled Salvador in the Devils end, I am talking head over heels.

7:36pm And another turnover leads to another Devils scoring chance. Get it together boys. Islanders are officially charged with 6 giveaways

During a tv timeout here, a nice video tribute to Guerin from players not only on his team, but from past teams offering words of praise and congratulations. Really cool.

7:45pm Elias just put Witt on his butt, he didn’t seem to like that and straight away sought out revenge. Islanders got deep on the ensuing play and had a decent scoring chance. They were called for an offsides on a bad keep.

And the period ends with New Jersey up a goal, out shooting the Islanders, out chancing the Islanders, out hustling the Islanders and just out playing them completely. I am sure Gordon is lashing into them as we speak, because it looks like everyone forgot what they are supposed to be doing. Maybe Columbus picked up their hockey sense off waivers today as well, it sure seems that way.

Second Period

And the Isles take a boarding penalty 12 seconds into the period, Nate Thompson.

8:08pm Devils take less than a minute to make it 2-0 and have now scored both short handed and with a man advantage. Clear advantage here: all Devils.

8:10pm For those that may not have the ability to guess who scored. Zach Parise – thanks again Mike Milbury, the gift that keeps on giving.

8:13pm Salvador thumped again, this time by the penalty box and by Jon Sim. As I type, the Devils pot goal number three. Maybe it’s time for me to go get something to eat?

The stands are alive, but only with the chants of Devils fans. Goal is by Clarkson

8:17pm Devils have iced the puck. Streit rushed in to get it, my only fear about that is he is our best player as of late and I almost cringed.

8:18pm Jackman and Salvador exchange glances and proceed to pummel each other near the Devils blue line. Jackman had some nice punches land, but Salvador wrestled him to the ground. I give it to Jacko by decision. Ken Rosenblatt agrees, Ken Dick looks on unimpressed as always (I know Ken, there is no A. Beer her in the box or B. Good looking girls)

8:23pm Comrie with a pretty feed to Comeau and he put up top, Clemmensen pushes it out of play.

8:25pm Islanders are allowing Danis to see just about everything fired at him from the outside for the first time all game. He has made a few good stops through traffic in the last several minutes.

8:32pm Islanders showing some life here late in the second.

Another TV time out and another video with players around the league praising Weight for his 1000th point. Congrats to you Weight.

8:37pm Danis continues to keep the Islanders behind by three when it should clearly be more.

Thankfully the Islanders have escaped 40 minutes of hockey down 3 and not 13 the way they keep taking long stretches off. Hockey is such a fickle beast sometimes, or at least Islanders hockey is anyway. I understand that there really isn’t much to play for, but show some pride and give it your all every game regardless of the circumstances. I won’t ever know what they feel because I am not a professional athlete, but I am an athlete and a hockey player – I know what it feels like to lose, and I do not like it in the least.

Hopefully we work some third period magic in the final twenty minutes.

Third Period

Here we go all set for period numero three, the final twenty and hopefully, it will involve some good hockey. Here is a tip, if you have to think too long when shooting, don’t shoot.

9:00pm Devils come out hitting everything that’s moving, and some that isn’t moving.

9:03pm Park with a nice feed from Guerin splits the defenders and goes in almost solo on Clemmensen, he tried to go five hold but it was pushed aside. Best scoring chance of the whole game for the Isles.

9:05pm Witt just took a stick up high and continues to literally leave it ALL out on the ice.

9:07pm Islanders have iced the puck, too bad I am not keeping track of that tonight because it feels like about the tenth time.

9:09pm Long stretch passes trying to get into the Devils zone through their neutral zone….um, crap are leading to these icings. They just to another.

9:18pm Islanders score, finally. I didn’t want Clemmensen to get a shutout again. 3-1 NJ

Comeau from Martinek and Comrie

9:30pm Some energy here since the last goal, decent pressure deep that caused some turnovers and quality scoring chances from prime areas. Will there be third period magic tonight?

8:32pm Under two minutes, Danis creeping out waiting for the Isles to get control. And hes off….

8:33pm Isles iced the puck, 46.4 ticks of the clock remain and timeout Islanders

8:35pm Danis back off, 21 seconds and Clemmensen covers up

17.3 remaining

And thats the game, 3-1 Final score.

More later, heading downstairs.

Live Tracker

Goalie, Where Art Thou?

Posted by on 17 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, News, Waivers

You may have notice all of the Dubie talk around Islanders country the last few days. It was a feel good story for at least a little while.

Seems that the Blue Jackets out there in Columbus wanted to change all that when they claimed recently signed netminder Wade Dubielewicz off waivers. Everyone and their mother rightly assumed that their wouldn’t be a problem with Dubie clearing waivers. Nope, that all changed in a flash – Flash Gordon style.

Greg Logan, Chris Botta, Newsday, all of the rest of the media and blogs are all reporting pretty much incorrect news in tonight’s game notes. It’s a bit crazy to read through.

Word on the street is that Peter Mannino is once again serving as backup to Danis, that is if he was able to make it back to the Coliseum in time (he was in Binghamton).

Such is life in the day of an Islanders management employee, beat writer, blogger and most importantly fan.

E tu Columbus, e tu?

This entire situation begs the question, when a team is in dead last in the league, in desperate need of goaltending help due to an already crazy amount of injuries, is it neccessary to stake a waiver claim when there was a better, equally affordable goaltender in Curtis Sanford available days if not hours prior?

One just has to shake their head at this situation, grin off the pain and soldier on.

I guess a new “Dubie on board” sign is in order, eh?

Dubie on Board!

Posted by on 15 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General

Dubie on board

Wade Dubielewicz In what is likely the most telling move the Islanders have made or announced since the whole DiPietro injury status mystery, the Islanders and Dubielewicz’s have agreed on a one year $500,000 dollar contract which is prorated paying Dubie that amount for the rest of this season. It’s only a matter of time now before the Islanders officially announce that DP is done for the rest of this season. Dubie will not be ready to play until this Saturday at home, so in the meantime Peter Mannino has been recalled from Bridgeport in his place.

Yann Danis who played a very solid game against the Rangers on Tuesday will face Boston tonight at the Coliseum. News on the status of MacDonald points to a recovery time frame of 2-4 weeks, with Greg Logan saying to expect more of the 4 week side of the time table.

This should certainly fan some flames, as many feel the whole DiPietro situation was mishandled from the start. It’s best that should DiPietro need a third surgery on his knee – he needs all the time to recover he needs as we want him to be better than 100% for the 2009/2010 season. You do not play Russian roulette with your “franchise” goaltender.

As far as coverage on tonight’s game – I will likely be a game time decision. I am still under the weather, despite a trip to the doctor.

It’s a shame too, as I would love to hear about the latest regarding the scheduled exhibition game next September in Kansas City first hand, including all of the turmoil and speculation behind that announcement.

Update 4:34pm

The Islanders have made an official announcement on Dubielewicz by way of a press release:

The New York Islanders have agreed to terms with goaltender Wade Dubielewicz on a one-way NHL contract for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Dubielewicz must first secure his formal release from Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia where he began the season and clear NHL waivers before being eligible to play for the Islanders.

Dubielewicz has played in four NHL seasons – all with the Islanders – totaling a 16-13-1-1 record with a 2.55 goals against average and .920 save percentage. He played in 21 games with Kazan this season and finished with a record of 11-8-3 with a 2.77 goals against average.

In five seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers – the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate – Dubielewicz had a record of 59-53-8 with 13 shutouts, a 2.48 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. In 2003-04, he was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL Second All-Star Team, won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award for the AHL’s Top Rookie and shared the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Trophy for fewest goals against in the AHL with Dieter Kochan.

Dubielewicz made a lasting impression with the Islanders in the final week of the 2006-07 season. He led the team to four consecutive wins, including two in a shootout, to propel the Islanders to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Dubielewicz was 4-0-0 in that final week, with a 1.93 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage, earning him First Star of the Week honors from the NHL.

Dubielewicz attended the University of Denver where he had a standout colligate career. He earned WCHA All-Academic Accolades in 2000-01, was a Hobey Baker finalist in his junior year of 2001-02, won the WCHA’s Goaltending Title twice in 2000-01 and 2001-02 and was Named to the All-WCHA First All-Star Team once in 2001-02 and the All-WCHA Second All-Star Team twice in 2000-01 and 2002-03.

MacDonald Injured, Dunham Emergency Backup, Dubie On The Way?

Posted by on 13 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Injuries, News, Roster Moves, Rumors

Wade DubilewiczWhat a crazy night tonight, first it starts with a little news from Greg Logan about DiPietro seeking a second (or is it a third?) opinion on his swelling surgery repaired knee. The discussion shifted about the now real possibility of shutting DiPietro down the remainder of this season. Shortly after that, news hits the wire (once again, Greg Logan) about ex-Islanders Wade Dubielewicz in possible talks with the Islanders about a return, now having been bought out of his Russian KHL contract. If you are still with me it get’s even better….

Mike DunhamAround the five minute mark of the first period against the Rangers tonight, MacDonald somehow injured his groin and could no longer continue. In his place Yann Danis jumps into the game. Now the curious case of who will serve as backup to the backup in case something should happen to Danis. Howie and Billy joked when the camera went to the skybox where both Dunham and Garth were sitting that either would be more than capable. Seems someone in management was listening, because Dunham disappeared and would be named emergency backup – you know, just in case.

It appears as if the Islanders will be giving many fans their wish if DiPietro is indeed shut down. In a pregame interview with Billy Jaffe, Garth Snow admitted concerns over DiPietro and insists that his best interests and safety are in mind with any decision. He also admitted that there may have been errors made in their decisions with DP in years past.

Shut him down and allow him to FULLY recover for next season, this way we don’t have a repeat – or should I say THREE-PEAT?

Islanders and Thrashers Swap Minor Leaguers

Posted by on 13 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General, News, Roster Moves, Trades

Just got word of a small trade involving the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Islanders have traded AHL Defenseman Brett Skinner to the Thrashers in exchange for right winger Junior Lassard.

Per the Islanders release:

Junior Lassard

The New York Islanders have acquired right wing Junior Lessard from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Brett Skinner. Lessard will report directly to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

Lessard (leh-SAHR) has played in 41 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this season, recording six goals and five assists for 11 points. The 28-year-old Quebec native has played in 27 career NHL games with Dallas and Tampa Bay, scoring three goals and adding one assist for four points during parts of three seasons. Lessard has also played in 298 career AHL games, recording 86 goals and 92 assists for 178 points in five seasons.

Lessard went to college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as Top United States Collegiate Player in 2004. Lessard played 45 games in that season, scoring 32 goals with 31 assists for 63 points. He was also honored as WCHA Player of the Year and was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team, NCAA West First All-American Team and NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. The Stars signed Lessard as an undrafted free agent out of college on April 15, 2004.

M.I.A. – Missing Coverage

Posted by on 13 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, General

If you have been hanging around here at Islesblogger the past few weeks, you may have been asking yourself – “Where is the daily content?”. Truth be told, the west coast swing was tough to keep up with due to the time difference, not to mention the free falling nature of our beloved Islanders.

Don’t get me wrong, I watched the games and saw the important parts (Weight’s 1000th, Bailey’s first NHL goal, Smith’s first NHL goal, an Okposo point streak, Tambellini scoring – twice) – I just couldn’t muster the energy to keep the site updated.

I am back though, I needed a small break from the action and I wasn’t alone. Tom Liodice of The Tiger Track went through something similar so we will both be back in full gear.

Like many of you I read Newsday every morning with a cup of coffee. I enjoy reading and always have. What really annoys me is the Islanderd coverage in Newsday, despite a recent increase as of late (Hey Cablevision did buy the paper recently). On a night the two local teams are set to face off, neither team has an article in todays edition. The NHL once again gets brushed aside for Basketball and the ineptitude of the Giants this past weekend.

What a way to start the day.

Streit OFFICIALLY Named an All Star!

Posted by on 08 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General, News

Mark StreitIt was leaked last night in several places, but Islanders defenseman and points leader Mark Streit will make his first career appearance in this years all star game as speculated.

The best part, it takes place in his old arena and in front of his old fans in Montreal! This is bitter sweet for a player that many credited his previous success to a product of a powerful Habs power play. Go figure, Montreal used Streit sparingly on the power play and often times as a spare forward. He wasn’t resigned in the offseason when he reached UFA status because they felt as if he would never be a well rounded defenseman. All Islanders fans can say is THANK YOU MONTREAL!

Per the Islanders press release:

Uniondale, NY, January 8, 2009 — New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit has been selected to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, January 25 in Montreal at the Bell Centre. Signed as a free agent on July 1, 2008, Streit is tied for first among NHL defensemen in scoring with 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) and leads all NHL defensemen in powerplay scoring with 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists).

“This is an unbelievable honor and I’m truly excited to represent the Islanders in the All-Star Game,” said Streit, who was presented with an Eastern Conference All-Star Jersey at the Islanders’ morning skate in Calgary. “It’s going to be a great experience to go back to Montreal and it will be a lot of fun.”
Among NHL defensemen, Streit also ranks tied for fifth in goals with eight, second in assists with 24, tied for second in powerplay goals with seven, tied for first in shorthanded goals with one and seventh in shooting percentage at 10.5 percent.

Streit is the first Swiss player ever to be named to the NHL All-Star Game. In 246 career NHL games, Streit has recorded 33 goals and 108 assists for 141 points. Streit also has eight years of experience playing in the Swiss league, where he scored a total of 57 goals and 139 assists for 196 points in 363 games.
After being selected by Montreal in the ninth round (262nd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Streit played for the Canadiens for three seasons (2005-06 – 2007-08) before joining the Islanders as a free agent last summer. Streit is signed by the Islanders through the 2012-13 season.

The roster additions to the NHL All-Star Game were selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, after consultation with League General Managers.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event on Saturday, January 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, January 25, on CBC and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the United States. NHL Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice, located on XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the “Best of XM” programming package. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.

Congrats Mark, well deserved!

Islanders Look to Survive Shark Attack

Posted by on 03 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General

How could anyone resist opportunities to twist around a title for an easy play on words? I know I cannot pass up those opportunities.

Well, last night the Islanders took on the Coyotes and played good enough not to get blown out. The game was chock full of interesting things, the continued progression and scoring of the “kids”, a pair of milestones, and Rick DiPietro’s comeback from a comeback from a comeback after injury. DP would go on to allow a goal under two minutes into the opening frame, although it would be neutralized a few minutes later by Bergenheim but the ‘Yotes would get the go ahead goal late in the first.

Penalties continue to be an issue – even though they did not allow a power play goal, Campoli took an offensive zone penalty while on a man advantage to even things up at four apiece. Phoenix would turn around and score on a delayed penalty on the four on four and the Islanders would be trailing the remainder of the game.

Doug WeightMost importantly, the Islanders continue to pressure late in games while trailing – specifically scoring goals with their netminder pulled. We saw this twice last week in Buffalo which forced overtime and once again last night. In a season mired with disappointments and injury – in the very least it offers a bit of excitement for fans watching. I know it’s exciting for me anyways.

Down to the “uber positives” – Doug Weight would notch his 1000th NHL point assisting on Richard Park’s goal. Weight would be honored by an announcement and a standing ovation on the road for his feat – fittingly enough it was in a building against a team coached by Wayne Gretzky. It was a classy night and I am sure a very memorable night for both Weight and his Family. Weight became only the 8th American born player and 73rd in the NHL to reach 1000 points, although he didn’t stop there as he would also notch his 1001th point assisting once again on a Richard Park goal later in the game.

Earlier in the period, rookie centerman Josh Bailey would score off a beautiful play by Bill Guerin. Tambellini found Guerin streaking into the zone who would dump it cross corner. Tamby would pick up the puck and rim it back around towards Guerin who then found Bailey heading hard to the net. Bailey wouldn’t miss on the shot which would go top shelf – ending a 25 game goal scoring drought and marking his first NHL goal. Congratulations to both Josh Bailey and Doug Weight – it was fitting in a way that it would play out in the same game. Let’s hope for good karma and maybe even an omen.

Shark Fishing

As they just stated on the pregame – the Sharks have not lost at home in an astounding 29 (18-0-2 this season) games and also own the leagues best record at 28-4-5 for a total of 61 pts. There is clearly a mountain in front of them, although the Sharks have proved beatable at least once or twice this season.

If the Islanders wish to hook a Shark this evening (almost tomorrow morning here in New York) they need to build on their game last night. Strong forecheck, crisp passes, quick shifts, non stop skating, smart positional hockey, almost ZERO penalties against, great defense and backcheck by the forwards and finally – solid goaltending. Looking at that list you must be thinking there is no way in hell that the Islanders can pull this off – but they can certainly beat any team on a good night, we just have to hope that tonight is one of those nights.

A story to watch – our youth is beginning to come around (all points in last five games):

Sean Bergenheim: 3-0-3
Kyle Okposo: 2-5-7 (5 Game point streak)
Josh Bailey: 1-2-3
Blake Comeau: 1-4-5
*Mike Comrie: 4-1-5

Hopefully with players like Nielsen set to return and Trevor Smith playing for the injured Sillinger/Thompson the whole lot of younger players continue to grow and shine with the Islanders.

Game is about to start – let’s hope for the best.

Joey MacDonald is your starting goalie, DP as backup.

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Possibly The Greatest Islanders Commercial Ever

Posted by on 03 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: General, News

I had a post last week explaining how Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey were becoming the new “Faces of the Franchise” with their Hockey Equipment spot on Islanders TV. Well, this commercial is even better.

One of the newest sponsors for the Islanders happens to be a company called Spongetech. This commercial features three current Islanders – Doug Weight, Bill Guerin and Josh Bailey. It’s hard to explain the concept fully with words, so you will just have to watch it for yourself!

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I think the commercial is a piece of marketing genius and shows just how creative Josh Bernstein and company are becoming behind the scenes for the Islanders.

Put simply, I literally laughed out loud and know exactly what I am going to be asking Bailey next time I see him.

You thoughts?