October 2009

Monthly Archive

Rangers at Islanders (Game 1) – Live Blog

Posted by on 28 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

Pregame

Here we are folks, one of the most exciting rivalries in pro-sports (in my opinion anyway) and it’s the first game of many this season against our cross town rival New York Rangers. Walking around the concourse here at the Coliseum – early mind you, there are already a bunch of Rangers fans present. It is sure to be MSG East tonight!

While we are on the topic, be sure to head on over to my friend Dan Akeson’s website Blueshirt Bulletin, Dan is here in attendance in the press box covering the game. Another great Rangers website you should check out is Scotty Hockey. Scott has sat with us here in the Blog Box a few times over the last few years and is always a fun read.

This game is sure to be an interesting one, the Islanders always seem to elevate their play when they play the Rangers. Tonight should prove even more interesting as the Rangers leading scorer – Marian Gaborik is out with a leg injury. Not saying the Islanders will have an easy time, rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto is white hot – with 4 goals and 8 assists in 12 games this season. Also an interesting point, Long Island born and raised Matt Gilroy is making his Coliseum debut tonight in front of an obvious home crowd – should be fun for him. Another player making his rivalry debut tonight – John Tavares, here is to hoping JT can find his way onto the scoresheet!!

There are some other BIG players the Islanders need to be mindful of – Sean Avery and Donald Brashear. It could prove to be a very physical game for the Islanders. The Rangers are a very fast, and very skilled team that will be hard to contain if they do not stick to the SYSTEM for long stretches.

Making his return tonight for the Islanders is veteran Doug Weight, whom had contracted swine flu and was in isolation from the rest of the team as a precaution (per Katie Strang of Newsday). Just goes to show you that this H1N1 flu is serious and knows no boundaries.

Islanders scratches – Rob Shremp, Blake Comeau (may play if Weight cannot), Freddy Meyer

I will update the scratches as they are announced, but so far that is what I can tell from the warmup.

First Period

Great job with The National Anthem by Livvi Frank, too bad the Rangers fans in attendance had to ruin it by yelling during it.

7:10pm Islanders lose the opening draw, and we are off.
7:11pm Matt Moulson breakaway, HE SCORESSSSS 1-0 Islanders early lead Assisted by Jack Hillen
7:14pm Islanders taking the body early in the game here, hopefully it continues
7:17pm Isles are flat out dominant in the Rangers zone early in this first period. Bailey just missed a GIMME, he just smacked his shinpad with his stick.
7:22pm Roloson with a hugggeeee save.
7:22pm I will never understand Rangers fans chanting Kansas City when the majority I talk to all say the Islanders leaving hurts them as much as it would us.
7:23pm Roloson beat between the pillows, 1-1 It was the player whom the Rangers called up to replace Gaborik.
7:24pm Isles need to step up and keep up that pressure that kept them busy in the first few minutes, that means not icing the puck.
7:27pm Josh Bailey has at least five shots on goal already this period. Doug Weight also looks pretty good tonight.
7:28pm Finally a chant everyone agrees on USA – as one of the local war veterans was shown on the scoreboard. Hooah!
7:31pm Tavares involved down low, as was Bergenheim – two players I want to see on the scoresheet tonight.
7:32pm Tavares with a great chance and it hopped off his stick at the very last second. Too bad.
7:33pm Word of advice for the boys down on the ice, point shots – they actually need to be hard and quick in order to make it all the way to the net.
7:35pm Bergenheim with some speed gets taken down in the Rangers end, Islanders first penalty – Dubinsky off for tripping
7:37pm This is a horrible power play, the Isles forwards were moving the wrong way TOWARDS the defenseman breaking out of the zone (Hillen) and they couldn’t get good momentum through the neutral zone. It’s little things like that which really make me upset.
7:43pm Sutton lays down a HUGE hit at the Islanders blueline
7:44pm A Rangers defenseman winds up in the net behind Lundqvist (Bergenheim pushed) and some shoving between Avery and an Bergy ensue in the corner. Islanders have the only penalty at the moment.
7:46pm Aaron Voros serving a too many men call and Bergenheim is for interference. 4 on 4
7:47pm Rangers hit the post in the waning seconds of the period, Dubinsky ran into Roloson and got a nice cross check in return.

Overall I am happy with the way the Isles played this period. They came out and played physical, set the tone early and it resulted in a turnover and breakaway that lead to a goal. They need to stick to their game plan, limit the Rangers scoring chances and shot – allow Rollie to see everything and they should have a similar result in the upcoming second frame tonight.

We shall see.

Second Period

8:05pm Islanders lose the opening face off again, the second period begins the way the first started.
8:07pm Tavares in some pain from a hit he absorbed, he was getting his shoulder worked on by the Islanders trainer. He has since moved down the bench so I gather all is ok.
8:09pm Avery just gave Hillen a nice elbow to the face that went unnoticed by the officials
8:10pm Roloson absorbed contact again and lost his helmet. Witt just shoved Avery who fell like he was shot and now Jackman and Boyle each get penalties – let’s assume roughing until the announcement is made.
8:11pm And the pair of roughing calls has been confirmed. Teams will play 4 aside once more
8:15pm Even strength, not much action for either team on that 4 on 4
8:18pm Islanders just caught a break as the Rangers caught Rollie making a sprawling move and somehow managed a save.
8:20pm Islanders survived some serious Rangers pressure in their own end, they couldn’t clear the puck for about 2 minutes. Once they did, they finally got out of zone Bergenheim had a good chance in front.
8:21pm Rangers going on the power play, Nate Thompson gets called for tripping
8:24pm Great kill for the Islanders, had some chances – the last shot hit Lundqvist in the mask
8:25pm Weight from behind finds a pinching Jack Hillen, great shot, better save
8:34pm Sutton just laid out Voros behind the Islanders net, made him look like a ragdoll
8:35pm Islanders power play, Avery gets called for hooking
8:35pm Right off the bat Islanders with a great scoring chance, Lundqvist makes the save
8:37pm Tavares and Okposo give and go, Tavares makes a little fake and gets stoned.
8:38pm Okposo scores off a rebound after the faceoff 2-1 assisted by Hillen and Weight

End of the Second Period

Well, there you have it. Continued pressure by the Islanders and then buckling down and resisting the flurries from the Rangers enabled the Islanders to win period two and skate off the ice with a 2-1 lead. The Islanders have done a great job at remaining out of the penalty box and capitalized on their last power play of the period.

John Tortorella has to be less than pleased with the play of Sean Avery tonight, as his penalty lead to the go ahead goal by the Islanders.

Game plan for the third, same as the previous two – the Islanders now smell blood, and it’s time to finish the job in 60, not 63 or 65.

Third Period

Roloson leads the Islanders down the runway and onto the ice – let’s go boys

8:58pm True to form, the Islanders lose the opening faceoff of the third period – and they also take a penalty. Tim Jackman called for tripping.
9:00pm Okposo intercepts a pass at the Islanders blueline and almost goes down for a chance, however – he got double teamed and taken down.
9:01pm Great penalty kill by the Isles, that was HUGE
9:02pm There has been a lot of talk the last few games about the Islanders goaltenders not stealing games for victories – tonight needs to be one of those grand-theft-victory nights.
9:04pm Isles doing a great job of keeping the Rangers shots to the outside, I can deal with low percentage shots all night as long as they are on the good side of those plays.
9:10pm 13 minutes and 50 seconds remain – Islanders need an insurance goal or seven here…
9:13pm Islanders have to watch those backdoor passing plays – thankfully Roloson was in position
9:21pm Flurry in front of Roloson and he lost his stick, he literally held onto Chris Drury in front
9:23pm Islanders timeout after an icing call
9:24pm Tavares scorrreeeessss 3-1 Islanders Assisted by Tambellini
9:29pm Islanders down a man, Martinek for a trip
9:32pm My god there are fights all over the place in the stands here tonight, a few really bad ones.

FINAL MINUTE IN REGULATION

9:33pm Avery missed a wide open net. Timeout Rangers. I imagine Lundy will vacate his crease
9:35pm Time for one more draw here, but it’s about over.

More after the game!

ISLANDERS WIN!!!

Live Tracker

Montreal Part Deux – Almost Got It

Posted by on 27 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: General, Post Game

I don’t know if everyone else saw the game last night, but it was – how do you say, more of the same. Or was it?

If you wish to read my ridiculously bleak and furious tone during the game, head on over to my Twitter Feed to read my list of troublesome habits and areas of improvement the Islanders need in order to actually compete this season. I took part in a healthy debate with many of the other furious Isles fans last night too – which is always fun.

Instead of listing what went wrong first, let’s list the things that actually went O.K. for the Islanders:

  • The Islanders power play managed two points last night. In previous games, the Islanders were not afforded many chances with the man advantage, so it was nice to see it spring alive last night.
  • Jeff Tambellini decided he was a player, scoring his second and third goals of the season in the same game last night – both on the power play.
  • They enjoyed solid goaltending from Martin Biron, whom undoubtedly wanted a better showing from his previous attempt in Montreal last week.
  • The fourth line continues to have scoring chances.
  • The first line continues to have scoring chances.
  • Franz Nielsen is storming back into action and is a game away from breaking out.
  • The Islanders came from behind two seperate times to force overtime, a big difference when a team is struggling and needs to take as many positives as they can.
  • The Isles centers have been on point so far, last night was not an exception.
  • The Islanders penalty kill is also doing well.

Unfortunately, I have a laundry list of things the Islanders did not do well last night:

  • The Islanders were often caught out of position and were flat footed in their pursuit.
  • They chased Montreal around all night long and at times resembled a pee-wee hockey team.
  • There were numerous times where I spotted HORRIBLE line changes. Blake Comeau gave up skating back on defense and that’s what lead to the odd man rush in overtime that lead to the winning goal. You don’t leave a play when you are one of the only players capable of getting back.
  • The fourth line needs to finish their scoring chances.
  • The first line, especially Tavares, needs to finish their scoring chances.
  • The defense really needs to control whatever rebounds their goalies give up. I mean how many times are you going to blame bad bounces for goals.
  • Kyle Okposo gets his face shoved into the glass and Matt Moulson is the only player to stick up for him? Where was the physical response to him requiring stitches?
  • HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE PASSING
  • Way too many odd man rushes

I am sure you get the idea at this point.

My honest opinion of what is ailing the Islanders late in games, isn’t fatigue and the blame cannot be places solely on the coaching staff either – look no further at the makeup of this team. Young players without much NHL experience. Sure, there are veteran players strewn about the team, but this is the type of game you will have with a cast of kids and AHL players. That’s what a rebuild is, and this is what happens to a team rebuilding.

When Pittsburgh and Washington drafted Crosby and Ovechkin respectively, they did not just wake up one day and decide to light the league on fire – it took time, effort and most importantly – patience. The Islanders are not a player or two from being competitive, they need serious upgrades on offense and defense in order to have an even (keyword) spread of talent across four lines.

But that’s just this bloggers opinion, so take it how you will.

  • Capitals at Islanders – Live Blog

    Posted by on 24 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

    Pregame

    I am trying something a little different today, I am setting up the live blog BEFORE I get to the game so I can go into a bit more detail with my pregame thoughts.

    Tonight’s game is a huge deal for the Islanders. You may be asking yourself the question why, however. Firstly, the Islanders are home on a Saturday, which usually draws a larger crowd – factor in that fact with a visit by the red hot Washington Capitals and uberkind Alexander Ovechkin and you have a bigger draw then normal.

    The Islanders got their first win earlier in the week and now have a record of 1-4-3 for a total of five points, I can tell you for sure that every Islanders fan is eager for this team to step up and show exactly what they can do when they are running on all cylinders. The Capitals are a great team offensively and defensively, but they will catch a break as Alexander number 2 (Semin for those not getting my poor attempt at humor) is out tonight with an injury. The Islanders shouldn’t take this lightly however, with plenty of other firepower available in their lineup.

    The Ups and Downs

    The list of players moving up and down seems to grow day by day and game by game.

    Rob Shremp and Freddy Meyer appear to be your healthy scratches for tonight, with Jon Sim and Bruno Gervais taking their spots. Doug Weight, who did not travel with the team to Montreal this week, appears to be a game time decision as he battles an illness. Your goaltender of the evening is Dwayne Roloson – whom compared his first Islanders win last week to a kid attending his first major league sporting event.

    The lines have been re-shuffled around, with Okposo being reunited with his previous linemates of Tavares and Moulson.

    Jon Sim takes Shremp’s place on the second line – being paired with Nielsen and Bergenheim. On line number three, Josh Bailey centers Blake Comeau and Jeff Tambellini. Your fourth line stays the same, Park, Thompson and Jackman who combined for a few points in their win earlier in the week.

    What do the Islanders need to do?

    They need to keep their forecheck aggressive, they need to keep the Capitals from making their quick passes and limit their breakout. They need to play physical too, every time the Islanders play physical they give their opponents trouble. It forces turnovers, it makes the other team make long risky passes and keeps them frustrated. Looking to the game in Montreal on Thursday, they must limit their penalties against – not allow control of the puck in their end of the ice for long stretches. Keep it simple, keep it smart and they should be fine.

    About to head out to the Coliseum, check back for updates throughout the game.

    First Period

    I really cannot stand when people yell and say stupid stuff while The National Anthem is being sung. It’s even worse when it’s a 4th Grader, show some class and respect.

    7:10pm And the puck has been dropped.
    7:10pm Islanders are dressed in their awesome vintage blue third jersey’s tonight
    7:11pm Islanders get the first shot on goal, a great scoring chance by number 21 Kyle Okposo
    7:12pm Roloson miscued the puck behind the net and gave the Capitals a decent scoring chance
    7:15pm Tambellini just had a great chance that I have to admit, forced a great save
    7:18pm Gary Harding of The View From Section 317 points out that Ovechkin is already being double shifted.
    7:22pm Islanders thought they may have scored, it’s under review. Hard to see who swiped at it from where we are in 201

    NO GOAL

    7:26pm Islanders are down a man, Comeau off for tripping
    7:28pm Islanders have a nice kill going, Bergenheim just had a shorhanded opportunity but went way outside with it (wayyyy wide)
    7:29pm Nielsen to Martinek and he scores! Shorthanded – 1-0 Islanders
    7:34pm Islanders killed off the rest of Comeau’s penalty and are now controlling the flow of the game. The Capitals have gone offsides now about six times.
    7:36pm Islanders just had Theodore down and out of the play and couldn’t tee it up into the yawning net
    7:38pm Yet another offsides for the Capitals – the Islanders are keeping the Caps from gaining their zone, they seem to be out of sync
    7:39pm Roloson just came up HUGE with a save on Steckel

    Just about the end of the period, will be back in a few. May have a photo of Charles Wang shortly

    Second Period

    Sorry about no post period comments, I took a few photos of Charles Wang and TOH Candidate for Supevisor Kristen McElroy

    8:02pm Islanders started out the period on a power play, but it fizzled.
    8:03pm Islanders will be down a man – Roloson for tripping, Sim is serving
    8:07pm Great piece of killing right there by the Islanders. Not sure the Capitals even registered a shot
    8:09pm Josh Bailey just passed to Sim and set him up to get whalloped – he side stepped the hit but Bailey has to be smarter about his passing.
    8:18pm Just grabbed food sorry! Sutton gets the gate for hooking, Islanders have really stepped up their physical play. Ovechkin got NAILED near the penalty boxes
    8:21pm Thompson just thumped Greene pretty good and got a nasty response as he was down. He’s ok, but the Islanders are down two men for :18 seconds.
    8:23pm Isles killed off the rest of Sutton’s penalty, and are doing a great job with Thompson’s now. Keeping everything to the outside and allowing Rollie a great chance to stop it all
    8:28pm Capitals are starting to dictate the play and are keeping the Islanders hemmed in deep in their own zone. Defensively they are keeping the Islanders out of their zone too, but it could be due to all the penalties.
    8:29pm Bergenheim to Tavares and he cant finish, but there was a penalty on the play! Islanders power play – on Ovechkin for hooking
    8:30pm Islanders just iced the puck, why is Jon Sim out on the power play?
    8:32pm Tavares just made a sick between the legs pass to Okposo in front, but they couldn’t tee it up
    8:33pm Moulson loves going to the net, so much so he wound up inside it.

    End of the Second Period

    A little dust-up here after the whistle, doesn’t look like any penalties were assessed though.

    Keys to the period:

    Staying out of the box, maintaining pressure, strong defense and creating the same types of scoring chances as they have been. I like the way the Islanders look with and without the puck, they have been sound positionally and not really been chasing as we saw in Montreal. If they do in the third as they have for the last 40 minutes, they can win this game.

    Third Period

    8:53pm Islanders put pressure on right out of the gate, I think Streit caught the post – Theodore was scrambling and lost his mask in the fray
    8:54pm Ovechkin powers and spins off the boards and Roloson makes a nice stop
    8:56pm Bergenheim made a great play to pick the puck off and make a quick pass for a shot. Islanders got the rebound and pushed back to Witt – whom got his shot through the sprawled out pointman
    8:59pm Tambellini scores on a deflection from Comeau’s shot 2-0 Islanders
    9:04pm Capitals just scored on a shot by Greene 2-1
    9:08pm Laich just got robbed by Roloson, what a save
    9:11pm Nice blocked shot leads to a breakout and a scoring chance. Theodore came way out of his crease to cut down the angle on Bergeheim
    9:12pm Okposo and Moulson in front with a great chance, couldn’t squeeze it through
    9:16pm Nielsen just put the body on Ovechkin at center ice and knocked him off the puck – and down
    9:20pm You let Ovechkin get free and not take the body on him (ANDY SUTTON) and it leads to a goal – 2-2 Aucoin from Ovechkin and Schultz

    Like clockwork, the third period collapse has shown up in full force folks.

    9:27pm I am starting to wonder what the Islanders need to do to get a power play this game – if that wasn’t a hold I have no idea what was.
    9:31pm Bad shift changes, horrible defensive coverage – what the heck is going on

    For the fifth time in nine games, we are headed to overtime. Unacceptable.

    Overtime

    And it’s over. Caps win 3-2

    Live Tracker

    Hurricanes at Islanders – Live Blog

    Posted by on 21 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

    Good evening everyone, just checking in from the top of Section 201 from the Coliseum preparing to live blog from the Blog Box!

    It’s been a few days since the last game and there have been a few changes:

    Joel Rechlicz continues to play the role of yo-yo, bouncing up and down between Bridgeport and the Islanders. It’s unfortunate, because Rechlicz played great last year and earned the opportunity to show what he can do, I guess the coaching staff is either unimpressed or constantly second guesses their decisions to carry an enforcer because he has played a total of about four minutes in his games “played”.

    Franz Nielsen is back in action, after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after suffering an injury during the preseason. Unfortunately, Weight may not be dressing tonight because he is battling a virus – he could very well be a surprise though.

    Some major line juggling has been done for the first time this season, following some comments from GM Garth Snow last week on the importance of secondary scoring. Okposo has been moved off the top line and moved down to the second and will play with Nielsen. Doug Weight was supposed to move up to play with Tavares and Moulson, but that is obviously up in the air tonight.

    Jeff Tambellini is also going to be dressing this evening, he has been a healthy scratch for the last handful of games. I guess this means that Rob Shremp is going to be sitting in the press box tonight.

    Roloson is your goaltender for the evening.

    More after the puck drops

    First Period

    7:08pm Puck dropped, Islanders win the draw
    7:10pm Good to see #51 back on the nice, let’s make it happen Franzie
    7:11pm Surprise, Weight is back – which I kinda knew being the only healthy scratches were Gervais and Shremp
    7:12pm Nielsen gets thrown out of the draw, Okposo wins it – Bergenheim throws it in front of the Isles net right to a Carolina forward. Roloson forced to make a save – C’mon Bergy.
    7:17pm Tim Jackman shooting specialist? Good ole Jacko has both of the Islanders shots on goal.
    7:20pm Congratulationa Ray Whitney for your 1000th NHL game!

    Islanders playing a much more physical style of game and it is leading to Carolina turnovers…..

    7:22pm Right after a Tavares to Weight chance, a quick line change turns into an Islanders goal. It looks like Moulson – so much for secondary scoring, even though he had other linemates due to a change.

    7:24pm First Islanders power play, Yelle for holding
    7:26pm Power play over, had some good chances.

    Moulson confirmed as the goal scorer, unassisted – that may change.

    7:30pm Witt and Walker throw down, decision – Walker. Witt had gotten a few good punches in though.
    7:33pm Sutton laid down the BOOM in the Islanders end, good to see.
    7:34pm Roloson makes a stop, his rebound control is great tonight.
    7:34pm As I say that Roloson makes a HUGE stop through traffic, how he managed to track that puck I won’t ever figure out. That’s why I am NOT a goalie.
    7:37pm Sharp angle shot finds the iron behind Rolson, that was a close one – cannot allow the Canes those type of scoring chances down low.
    7:43pm Islanders will be down a man, Streit called for a very WEAK tripping call.

    End of the First Period

    We know what has happened after the last few first periods the Islanders have played. We have seen how dominant they can be – yet they come out in the second period and get off their game somehow and allow the visiting team to take away momentum. The Islanders MUST, without question – continue to do everything the same way they have been doing things. Great forecheck, physical play, passing, skating and of course – net presence.

    It’s not really that hard to come out and repeat what you just did for twenty minutes, let’s see if the Islanders are up to that task.

    It begins with killing off the remainder of the penalty to Streit.

    Second Period

    8:03pm Islanders kill of the rest of the penalty with ease.
    8:07pm Hopefully they stop this right now, but Comeau gets the gate for interference. Kill this one off and be done with the penalties.
    8:10pm After a great kill, the waning seconds of the penalty kill prove fatal – Carolina scores and we are tied at 1-1
    8:14pm Not sure if anyone can see at home – the Islanders are once again flat as a pancake coming out int he second period.
    8:21pm Talk about secondary scoring! Tim Jackman just buried a rebound in front of the net! Islanders lead 2-1
    8:23pm Two minutes later and MORE secondary scoring!! 3-1 Isles (Now under review)
    8:24pm While we wait, Sutton tipped a Jack Hillen shot from the point. They are checking to see if it was too high, being he is eight feet tall. And it’s good!
    8:29pm Blake Comeau wheeling and dealing along the wall, made a nice pass for a point shot and the puck hit at least three sticks along the way. Deflections are not being friendly to Cam Ward tonight, apparently the Islanders had some scouting reports…
    8:34pm Another shot finds the iron behind Roloson, sometimes that is just the way it goes.

    End of the Second Period

    Well, THAT was completely different – eh?

    The Islanders may have started out the period flat and uninspired, but they coninuted to be a physical force and got back on board with the successful game plan they executed in the first period. We saw bodies on front of Ward and shots from the point, we saw the fourth line grind it out below Carolina’s goal line and goal off a rebound by Jackman and a deflection by Sutton in a span of two minutes. The Isles lead 3-1 and the shot count is Isles 20 – Canes 25.

    Like I said earlier, stick to the plan as it is clearly working, send bodies to the net, crash the net hard, dig for rebounds and earn those gritty and dirty goals (something the Islanders have not done in a really long time). One last key, stay out of the penalty box – we cannot allow Carolina to score any more power play goals.

    It’s quite simple really, right?

    Third Period

    8:55pm And the third period is under way.
    8:56pm One of my keys to the period has been broken, Streit gets a penalty for holding.
    8:57pm Islanders finally clear after a scary two minutes in the zone. Even strength
    9:03pm Mark Streit just sprawled out going backwards full speed to take away ANY shot or pass from Carolina, great play.
    9:07pm TAVARES DOWN, TAVARES DOWN

    Sutton steps up and wrecks the offending player.

    And he looks shaken up, but ok. Thank god.

    9:10pm TOO many men for Carolina. Islanders power play – even strength for :17 seconds. Islanders have owned their penalty kill so far.
    9:13pm Tavares out for a shift and looked determined to score, his play was broken up though.
    9:19pm Carolina catches the Isles sleeping and feed a cross ice pass for a virtual empty netter.
    9:20pm And as I type that, the Canes storm back and tie it up 3-3 – the crowd is absolutely livid, and rightfully so.
    9:21pm Tambellini draws another penalty, Islanders back on the power play – THEY NEED TO SCORE.
    9:27pm They did NOTHING on that power play, NOTHING
    9:29pm Final :30 seconds…..gotta make them count to avoid overtime.

    End of the Third Period

    Overtime

    This should make for another interesting interview session downstairs tonight, the Islanders fourth trip into the extra frame this season.

    9:33pm Okposo to Streit – ohhhh what a stop by Ward.

    Final minute of overtime, I will recap the shootout after the game.

    Shootout

    Up first for the Islanders was Jeff Tambellini. Tamby came in and dropped his shoulder to roof the puck over Cam Ward’s glove to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

    Sergei Samsonov went in on Dwayne Roloson and he made an easy stop. Samsonov came in a little too slow and didn’t get Rollie moving at all.

    Next for the Islanders was Franz Nielsen – a shootout specialist last season. Nielsen came in and moved side to side and beat Ward backhand to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.

    Next for the Canes was Jussi Jokinen, who came way wide and cut back to the middle and beat Roloson to bring the Canes back to within a goal and force another frame of the shootout.

    Coach Scott Gordon sent out Number 91 and with the potential winning goal on his stick, Tavares scated in on Ward and made his moves. Tavares spoke about making sure “he really sold his moves to Ward” during his post game scrum – well he wound up beating him up high off the post. With that final goal Tavares secured (finally) the Islanders first and likely most important win of the season. The Islanders record now at this point is 1-3-3 for a total of 5 points.

    Hopefully the Islanders can get some more wins now that they have broken the ice. One thing I never really thought of, perhaps wins come in bunches much like goals for streaky goal scorers. I bet that logic is flawed though, it’s up to the team now to prove us all wrong.

    Live Tracker

    Sharks at Islanders – Live Blog

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

    About to drop the puck here at the Coliseum, getting my live blog set up and ready to go – more as it happens!

    First Period

    7:09pm And we’re off – Islanders ice the puck. Out of the gate with a…. putter.
    7:10pm Sharks are setting the tone early, they had puck possession.
    7:12pm Well, Sharks had a marvelous scoring chance there….
    7:13pm Islanders just registered their first shot on goal, a nice little passing play that was stopped.
    7:16pm Biron just waived at a floater and almost inadvertently smacked it behind him. Scary first few minutes here tonight.
    7:17pm Bergenheim is all over the ice tonight playing the role of agitator, he had a scoring opportunity twice because all he did was crash the net.
    7:20pm Tavares to Okposo and they just couldn’t finish. Beautiful setup – cross ice feed that got the goalie moving.
    7:23pm Doug Weight just showed everyone WHY he is still in the league. A series of stick handling moves that completely undressed his man, but couldn’t get a good shot off.
    7:30pm Sharks are really playing a physical game tonight. Kyle Okposo was completely leveled in the offensive zone, Jack Hillen has been thrown around behind the Islanders net – and Brendan Witt was hit from behind pretty hard playing the puck in the corner.
    7:33pm Islanders awarded a penalty, Interference 2 minutes
    7:33pm Tavares to Okposo he scoresssssssss 1-0 Islanders Secondary assist to Weight
    7:36pm Tavares gets his first penalty, sticking up for Witt 2 minutes for cross checking, and Sharks get 2 for a rough.
    7:39pm Excellent four on four shift – Weight with a great chance as well as Streit
    7:40pm Bergenheim was just given a lay-up and he couldn’t finish. I think I heard 7thwoman yell from the usually quiet press box.

    And that’s the end of the period.

    Despite the Islanders slow start and the physical mismatch, the Isles have managed to come out ahead of the Sharks due to a power play goal. If they want to stay ahead, they need to do the little things that they have been doing good so far; puck pursuit, forecheck, and passing. If they can stay out of the box, which really has not been much of a problem this year – I think the second period will be a good one.

    Second Period

    8:00pm And we have dropped the puck for the second frame.
    8:01pm Moulson and Tavares are both looking up at the roof because they missed a wide open net.

    Islanders power play.

    8:03pm Islanders had two shots on the power play. Islanders first goal has been changed to Moulson, assisted by Okposo and Tavares.
    8:07pm Four on four, Martinek two for interference and Sharks two for diving…
    8:09pm Okposo just sizzled a wrist shot that was gloved rather nicely. Islanders now lead 22-9 in shots.
    8:11pm And the Islanders will be down a man, another defensive zone interference penalty – this time on Witt.
    8:14pm Sharks just evened things up on the power play. 1-1
    8:18pm Scott Gordon sends out a line of Jon Sim, Tim Jackman and Richard Park in an attempt to set the tone. Jackman looked like he was looking to dance, with anyone.
    8:26pm Islanders are very, very sloppy here all of a sudden. Maybe the team runs on Windows 98 and they need a reboot?
    8:30pm And the Sharks just took the lead 2-1 on a shot that should’ve been stopped. Just to give everyone an idea of how bad the Isles are this frame – the shot count is Isles 24 Sharks 20….
    8:33pm Islanders power play, Sharks delay of game
    8:34pm Doug Weight with a wrist shot that found some part of the iron. He looked glaringly at the net in disbelief.
    8:35pm At the end of the period, there was a delayed holding penalty on Hillen. I don’t buy that one.

    So after two periods, the Islanders have been two completely different teams, yet the Sharks have also shown how different they can play. They became aggressive on their forecheck and backcheck and the result was two unanswered goals. One coming on the power play and the other at even strength. The Islanders need to get back to what they did successfully earlier in the game. I wonder if playing in Buffalo and flying home last night is having some sort of effect on them here tonight. Whatever the case, these Islanders need to do SOMETHING to earn their first win of the season.

    Third Period

    8:53pm And with the penalty against the Islanders carrying over into the third – the Sharks were able to set up early and go ahead two goals for a 3-1 lead.
    8:56pm Freddy Meyer IV with a nice step up hit to break up a play.
    8:59pm Islanders pressuring and had a good scoring chance that was saved, naturally. It’s what the better goaltenders do.
    9:01pm Biron makes a save?

    Yankees were just shown on the scoreboard – Jeter hit a solo shot to put the Yanks ahead 2-0 WOOOOOOO Go Yankees Go

    9:06pm Bergeheim getting some face time with the Sharks, do it Bergy – lift your team.
    9:07pm Witt hit Tavares with a shot, thank god it was only Witter.
    9:11pm Comeau with a huge hit in front of the benches, that is what this team needs to do. As soon as they play physical they force the Sharks to make long, quick passes. Force some turnovers by taking the body.
    9:15pm What can you even say at this point? Sharks just scored, again. 4-1

    Ok folks, with five minutes left I don’t believe this Islanders team will score four goals – so I am tempted to wrap up the live blog in preparation to run downstairs. Why, I don’t know – it’s going to be downright miserable and depressing.

    Ugh, Jackman with a late fight – should have happened in the second period Jack-o. The Sens fans in attendance have thrown their Heatley garb on the ice….that’s the best part of this game so far.

    Live Tracker

    Charles Wang’s Official Statement

    Posted by on 15 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project

    Just got a press relelase from the Lighthouse folks. I think this settles things down a few hundred decibles, no?

    This statement was issued by Charles B. Wang, Principal of Lighthouse Development Group and Owner of the New York Islanders, at 11:30 a.m. today.

    “Yesterday’s report on the Lighthouse project which appeared in the Long Island Press is untrue. There are no plans to abandon this project which is so vital to the future of Nassau County and Long Island as a whole.

    As far as the status of the Lighthouse project, we have submitted to The Town of Hempstead and Supervisor Kate Murray all the studies and required documents. A lease has been negotiated. Supervisor Murray and the Town Board need to make a decision on the zoning.

    Long Island stands in this defining moment waiting for an answer. Yes or no.

    Moving forward, we will not discuss any meetings in the media. Any reports of meetings should be considered untrue.

    My heart is still on Long Island. I love Long Island. This is where the Islanders belong. Let’s play hockey.”>/blockquote>

    Lighthouse Silence: Think of The Children

    Posted by on 15 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project, News

    Stories like this one always seem to tug at the strings connected to your heart.

    Maybe that’s the point.

    As a fan base we have an emotional connection and investment to the teams we root for. In good or bad times our support or even disgust, is shown by our reactions. That is what makes this situation so interesting.

    If you have not already heard by now, I am talking about a story posted on a small Long Island newspapers website last night, claiming the plug has been pulled on the Lighthouse Project. The story can be found here.

    Now, I would like to offer a word of caution before I go on any further – in the history of the media how many times has a small local free newspaper beat out any of the larger, widely circulated or corporate media outlets with REAL sources. Likely not too many times. Not saying that the Long Island Press is totally inept or incapable of getting a lead on a story, just keep that in mind going forward.

    This story was posted on the same day when Newsday gives prime real estate to a POSITIVE story on the Lighthouse – in fact it was a front page story and featured a poll claiming most of Long Island was in favor of the project.

    Let’s play devils advocate here.

    Is it so hard to beleive that the Town of Hempstead seeded this “breaking news” lead to the Long Island Press to in order to deflate the positive nature of yesterday’s Newsday article? It wouldn’t be the first time that the town resorted to these tactics. Does anyone remember their failed attempt at a website and a mailer they paid for with your tax dollars? Both of those ideas were met with much opposition and were hastily scrapped. The Lighthouse is a political football, make no mistake about that.

    In the same breath, I am fairly certain in the time immediately following the Islanders’ home opener and Charles Wang’s press release regarding a meeting between he and Supevisor Kate Murray, the Lighthouse Development Group was under a media blackout. There was a period of about a week where we did not see or hear much about anything Lighthouse related.

    It is no secret that Charles Wang is a smart, albeit shrewd businessman – I find it hard to digest that this situation is merely a coincidence.

    Allegedy, all instances of the Lighthouse Project were removed from the dasher boards at the Coliseum as some noticed on Monday and personally I noticed the lack of the Lighthouse booth at Gate 13. I really didn’t think much of it at the time, but could this be premeditated on Charles’ part? I don’t know.

    There is one thing that I am completely sure of – our emotions are being used to the fullest advantage by both parties. Much as they would be during a bitter divorce battle focusing on the couples children, those poor starving children in UNICEF commercials or similar children’s cancer charities seeking donations from kind hearted viewers. If you want to get the attention or even the full support of as many people you can – you focus on the children, or in this case the fans.

    Emotions are a strong and dangerous weapon, in some cases the use of emotion is an unfair tactic because you are taking advantage of something that shouldn’t be played with. However, if you want to make a bold statement, who wouldn’t use this tactic? The silence of the Lighthouse officials up to this point is deafening – I hope Charles would be better than to play this game.

    We may never know how this story came to be or even why, but please for the sake of the children (the fans) – be mindful of our emotions, those scars run deep and are carried with us for the rest of our lives.

    Edit: The silence has been broken!!

    Check out Newsday’s latest:

    Wang: Lighthouse Still On

    Kings Visit Long Island – Live Blog

    Posted by on 12 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

    It’s been a while since I have live blogged, and I even told the Islanders in our meeting last week that it wasn’t quite my thing – but here I am anyway typing away.

    Game is underway, naturally I had a problem connecting to the wireless.

    First Period

    2:11pm Islanders just had a good scoring chance in front, didn’t see who shot it though.
    2:14pm Park just took a hard shot on goal, Sim was there for the rebound and the puck wound up back to Martinek who missed the net.
    2:15pm Witt with a nice defensive block as he sprawled himself out – Ken Dick chimes in with “Look at Witt play defense!”
    2:18pm Joel Rechlicz squares off with the Kings’ Raitis Ivanans – they jawed all the way to the box so look for some more fireworks from those two later.

    A quick note of observation on the Islanders defense – they seem to run around the zone a lot and chase the puck. They have had a problem today with the breakout and seem to be below their own goal line when in the defensive zone. They need to set the tone and make the Kings pay for touching the puck while in front of their own crease.

    2:30pm During a stoppage of play, Biron is on the scoreboard talking about his new mask design and what goes on when talking about the new designs with the artists. He says his Islanders mask is by far his most favorite design.
    2:33pm Islanders need to resync here, they have gone offsides two plays in a row – enough making that last move at the blueline.
    2:44pm Islanders almost snuck one in there as Moulson was hanging out in the crease area. They can certainly use a dirty goal right about now.

    Final minute of the First Period

    Shots: Islanders 11 Kings 4

    Not a bad period overall by either team, although it seemed towards the final few minutes the Islanders were deep in the Kings zone for a lengthy span. As I said earlier, when the Kings gain the Islanders zone they control the puck well and get in behind the Islanders defense. The Islanders seem to chase, chase and chase some more – so the key to keeping them off the board is solid defense and allowing Biron every oppportunity to see the puck.

    We shall see which team shows up in the second period.

    Second Period

    Second period is underway!

    Trying to Tweet and Liveblog at the same time is kinda hard – my hands are cramping up because it’s chilly in here

    3:04pm Biron forced to hold onto the puck and stops play. Kings are putting on some good pressure in the Islanders zone.
    3:05pm Scoreboard just went crazy and went out – as the Islanders had their best scoring chance of the period.
    3:09pm Tavares makes a move going into the zone, it was a small pass – but it was a tad late going into the zone and handcuffed Jackman (no jokes there).
    3:11pm Alexander Frolov was just dangling in front of Biron and put on a clinic for the Islanders. He had a few chances to put the puck in, but the Isles managed to get out of trouble.
    3:13pm I am a Shremp believer!! He seems to be everywhere and involved in everything. He was the trailer on the play and just smacked the puck out of the air and hit the post. Great hands!

    BUBBA GUMB SHREMP CO.

    3:16PM Islanders just took a penalty – first penalty of the game actually, other than the fight. Bergenheim called for slashing.
    3:19pm Islanders just got the benefit of a hooking call – first Isles power play
    3:22pm Even strength, Islanders only had one real good chance and it was on the stick of Tavares
    3:23pm Islanders penalty: Comeau for a hook
    3:27pm And the Kings make the Isles pay – Kopitar score on the power play.
    3:29pm Islanders power play, which will carry over if they dont score with 14.7 remaining.

    End of the Second Period

    After a well played period, penalties as always may be the deciding factor of today’s game. The Islanders allowed a power play goal against, and have yet to capitalize on their own chances. When they come back out for the start of the third period they have over a minute and a half of power play time. The Isles need to come out and set the tone and hopefully get the equalizer. It’s not over until it’s over.

    Third Period

    3:48pm Islanders having all sorts of trouble on what’s left of their power play.

    Ken Dick says: “That was easily the worst power play of the season right there, they couldn’t even manage a shot” – my reply, “Ken, we are yet to even have many this season” – Ken “This is true.”

    3:54pm Kings go up 2-0 on a blast by Drew Doughty
    3:56pm 3rd Kings power play – Moulson caught for high sticking, 2 minutes thankfully
    4:02pm Even strength, which is not really saying anything for the Islanders here in the 3rd
    4:05pm Islanders have 10 giveaways in this game – could be one of the many reasons they are behind by a pair.
    4:06pm Okposo draws a penalty going HARD to the net. It’s power play time. Scuderi 2 for tripping
    4:09pm Big fat goose egg on the power play
    4:11pm Kings have iced the puck two times in a row here, capitalize on that please.
    4:16pm And there is a “Let’s go Yankees” chant coming from Loudville
    4:18pm MOULSON SCORES!!!! 2-1 Under two minutes remaining! From Okposo and Streit
    4:19pm Icing, back in the Kings zone
    4:20pm Empty net
    4:21pm Kings clear misses the net (barely) another icing, another deep faceoff.

    TIMEOUT ISLANDERS

    Kings clear and that’s a wrap

    Kings over Islanders 2-1

    Notes and quotes from downstairs by tonight.

    Live Tracker

    The old tried and true live tracker for those unable to either attend or watch the game from their office!

    Finding The “Energy”

    Posted by on 12 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, General

    After three games, the Islanders are still looking for their first win of the season. It’s not that the team hasn’t played well, they have actually been scary good at times – but yet still suffer from either a lack of energy or experience late in games.

    The team has spoken through the media about how gaining one point in each game, especially in two shootouts and one overtime in Ottawa just isn’t enough. They MUST play better, they MUST play for 60 minutes, not 55 or any other combination of minutes and/or seconds.

    Some point to Scott Gordon’s systems, some point to Gordon himself – while others seem to point out a flawed defensive corps that SHOULD have been upgraded slightly during the offseason. Whatever the case, the Islanders have to play with the team they have, so the only real way around dealing with their shortcomings is by addressing what has gone wrong in each game.

    Let’s look back at the three teams the Islanders have played since they opened the 2009/10 season:

    The defending Stanley Cup Champions – Pittsburgh Penguins

    The Islanders were out gunned all around, despite the Pens losing some key players during free agency, they are still potent and dangerous on the attack and defensively. The Islanders put forth a solid effort but the Pens would come back from behind and force overtime and a shootout. It was a game where we saw John Tavares play solid minutes and score his first NHL points right out of the gate.

    Going on the road for the first time this season, the Islanders made their first trip up to Canada to take on the Ottawa Senators. The first period was scoreless with neither team really gaining momentum over the other. The Islanders fell behind 2-0 but would score late in the second period on an absolutely SICK toe-drag deke by Okposo and would get the equalizer on the power-play to force overtime. Unfortunately, the Sens would score 32 seconds in to deflate the hopes of the Islanders to gain the extra point.

    Friday in Boston, the Islanders took on the Bruins and completely outplayed them in every regard for the first two and a half periods. Unfortunately, the flood gates would open due to a defensive break down and then a couple of bad bounces. The Bruins would eventually get a third unanswered goal to force overtime and then a shootout. The shootout win for the Bruins completely made those watching the game forget about the great play of the team earlier in the game – as well as another two points by Tavares.

    This afternoon against a very HOT LA Kings (3-1-0) the Islanders (0-0-3) need to stick to what they have been doing right the last few games – puck possession, good passing, keeping their legs moving and of course a solid forecheck. Defensively, there are some lapses that they need to work on, puck support and clearing out the front of the crease as some odd deflections have wound up deciding the Islanders fate as of late.

    Check out the preview on the Islanders website for more info on the Kings and who the Islanders need to watch out for this afternoon.

    I will be at the game and sitting in the blog box doing a live blog, so be sure to check back after 2pm today for updates!

    The View From The Top

    Posted by on 06 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: General, Mobile

    I meant to post this last night after the start of the season blog box meeting, but I had a few phone calls that interrupted the upload of the post.

    Here is a picture from the very top of the Coliseum — from one very special Suite!

    Movin’ On Up!

    Posted by on 05 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: General, Site Announcements

    As many of you know, the last few weeks and even going back into September have been kind of crazy for me. There was a crazy period of work, my two-week trip to Europe and then last week I pretty much was car shopping all week until I picked it up this weekend.

    Then we had the home opener, which I didn’t really get the chance to write about – bummer.

    However, I have some exciting news regarding the ability to reach a larger audience. Last week I received an email from someone over at The Bleacher Report asking me if I would be interested in becoming the Featured Islanders Columnist over there. Curious, I inquired a little bit about what was expected and for more details. I was surprised to find out that the stories I write there will not only be on the Islanders and NHL section of that website, but because I am a featured columnist – they would be shown on NHL.com, the NHL’s newsletter, B/R’s newsletter, and some of B/R’s partner websites (CBSSports.com, SI.com and FoxSports.com).

    Rest assured, I plan on doing some live blogs here and keeping the place updated more now that the season is upon us – Islesblogger isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! I will also continue to contribute to Lighthouse Hockey whenever Dom asks (speaking of Dom, I met him and his wife this past weekend at the home opener – great people!).

    This is just another one of those opportunities for me to get my name out there and see where it takes me. I’ve been slipping lately, so maybe this will force me to write a bit more – being they would like three opinion pieces a week.

    So, without further ado – I present to you my first Islanders article at The Bleacher Report in well over a year: Islanders Future Rest in The Hands of Their Youth