December 2009

Monthly Archive

Blue Jackets at Islanders: Live Blog

Posted by on 29 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

Brrrrr it’s cold outside!!!

Here we are once again preparing to live blog from the blog box, tonight’s game featuring the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season the Islanders split two games with the CBJ’s shutting them out 4-0 at home and losing on the road 3-2.

The Blue Jackets were hurting as of late, losing nine straight until they managed a win on the road against Detroit. The win, came on the heels of the CBJ’s trading with the Washington Capitals. Columbus sent Jason Chimera to the Caps for Milan Jurcina and Chris Clark. Look for this team to come out fired up as sometimes a personnel change is just what the doctor ordered for a shake up.

An interesting note tonight, each team has the exact same record, 15-18-7 (37 pts)

Let’s see if this busy weekend of hockey is behind the Islanders, they can certainly use the home win – which should (on paper) be easier with Dwayne Roloson in net.

First Period

7:08pm Columbus controls the opening draw.
7:10pm Ex-Isle Raffi Torres narrowly escapes a big Sutton hit in his “office” just inside the Islanders blue line.
7:12pm Bad Isles turnover, Umberger dishes to a waiting Nash in the slot and Roloson makes the save.
7:15pm MacDonald makes a nice steal at the blue line and dishes off….to Jon Sim.
7:18pm You never really know what you have until it’s gone, thankfully Tim Jackman is back – we missed is grit.
7:20pm Islanders register their second shot on goal, albeit on a play that started behind Columbus’s goal line, but they got the puck to the slot. Correction, their fourth shot – they were late to update the scoreboard.
7:22pm Okposo with a big wrist shot, it was bobbled by Mason and Bailey deposits the loose puck into the net. Islanders lead 1-0
7:24pm Goal credited to Okposo assisted by Bailey and Sutton. I thought I saw Bailey push the puck over the goal line behind Mason – I could be wrong though.
7:29pm Trent Hunter shoots twice, it’s blocked twice and Nash catches him blindside as he is following through with his shot. On the way off the ice, Hunter gave Nash a nice punch from behind to let him know he was there.
7:32pm Witt active in front of Roloson tonight, he’s been clearing the crease and taking exception to late hacks on his goalie – something I like to see.
7:34pm Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe is in attendance tonight. How about that!
7:35pm Sutton gets two for interference, let’s kill this late penalty
7:37pm Great kill by the Islanders, I don’t even think they allowed a shot through on the kill.

End of the first period

I like what I see from our Islanders here tonight. They are executing the forecheck, creating pressure in both the offensive and defensive zones and have been blocking shots like crazy. They had a great kill late in the period, and as I previously mentioned I do not believe they allowed Columbus to even get one through to Roloson. The Islanders look fresh tonight, CBJ’s are on a nice little road swing and on the second half of a back to back. They are also playing a much more physical game, which – shouldn’t be a coincidence that they exit the ice after 20 minutes up 1-0.

They need to come out and build on the lead and play the same way, maybe frustrate Columbus into taking some penalties and get Tavares and Moulson some much needed points – and more importantly, confidence.

Second Period

7:57pm Islanders control the opening draw back into their own end, continue their offensive pressure on Mason early on.
8:01pm Islanders shorthanded once again, Park for holding the stick.
8:03pm Bailey just credited with the Islanders goal, as I called earlier – thank you
8:06pm Islanders have killed of both Columbus power plays so far tonight, with minimal chances allowed.
8:09pm Tavares was just leveled from behind, no call on the play although there appeared to be some thought when the referee looked at the play.
8:10pm Islanders being outshot 20-11 here at the 9 minute mark of the second period.
8:12pm Richard Park with speed into Columbus’s zone and is pulled down, another non-call.
8:16pm Tavares with a nice pass to the slot, Mason stops it and Moulson cannot get his stick on the rebound. They exit the zone and return, this time Tambellini on a breakaway but it got broken up by Vermette.

End of the second period

Another nice period by the Islanders, the shot count is not indicative of real scoring chances by Columbus, as the Islanders have been keeping the slot clear and blocking all other shooting lanes.

Roloson has been solid, as he has been – the Islanders just need to work harder for better scoring chances, as Mason appears to be giving up some juicy rebounds. On more then one occasion, an Islanders player has been right in the crease for a rebound, but has either been caught with his stick down or neutralized by a Columbus player.

For whatever reason, the Islanders have not been awarded a single power play, but they have given up two and killed both. It’s not like there have been no infractions, the officials tonight are just allowing both teams to play an open game.

The Islanders are still playing a very physical game, the line of Tambellini, Hunter and Shremp have been hitting everyone and Blake Comeau has been providing great space for Tavares and Moulson. I like what I see so far from that trio.

Let’s see what happens in the third period.

Third Period

8:45pm Islanders control the opening draw here in the third period, that’s 2/3 tonight – wow
8:46pm Islanders going to be a man up, Columbus’s Umberger called for tripping. Power Play!
8:48pm Delay of game Columbus, Islanders up TWO men for :47 seconds
8:50pm Two decent attempts, first penalty has :9 seconds remaining.
8:52pm Two more power plays by the wayside for the Islanders, no sense of urgency and no movement.
8:58pm Islanders and Columbus in what appears to be a tennis match here in the third period. Blue Jackets are peppering Roloson with shots but again, they are all lowe percentage plays with an occasional great stop thrown in for good measure.
9:01pm RJ Umberger ties the game for Columbus 1-1
9:02pm Scott Gordon elects to settle the team down and uses his timeout.
9:09pm Sutton with a BOOMING hit on Umberger and Roy takes exception and drops the gloves on Sutton – he just skated away. Power play Islanders
9:12pm Islanders get about three quarters of the way through their power play and Shremp gets called for goaltender interference to even it up.
9:16pm Islanders kill another penalty off, shots are 40-19 with 2:10 remaining
9:17pm Islanders power play, delay of game Columbus – HUGE opportunity to ice them here.

End of the third period

Penalty carriers over into overtime, Islanders get a point which is important – can they make it two?

Overtime

9:22pm Penalty about to expire – Islanders 0/5 tonight
9:24pm Sutton pulled down in the offensive zone, no call – why would their be?
9:25pm Columbus owns the last two shots on goal here in OT.
9:26pm Hunter with two good opportunities, Sutton involved as well.

Final minute of overtime

9:28pm Bailey with a shot off the iron.

A fight to the finish, Islanders had a few more shots in the waning seconds. We are shootout bound.

I will recap that after the game, going to shoot some video on my new Flip!

Shootout

1. Tambellini – No goal
2. Huselius – No goal
3. Nielsen – No goal
4. Nash – No goal
5. Shremp – Goal
6. Tyutin – No goal

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Maple Leafs at Islanders: Live Blog

Posted by on 23 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

Ready for another live blog? I know I am on this eve of Christmas Eve!

Brrrrrrr it’s chilly out there, should make for some great hockey tonight between these rival clubs!

Islanders wearing their away white jerseys tonight, as the Leafs are wearing their third jersey tonight!

First Period

7:08pm Islanders actually WIN an opening faceoff and get out of the zone to get down low.
7:10pm A rare good defensive play, albeit a mistake by Bruno to break up a scoring chance in front of Roloson
7:11pm Jack Hillen was just victimized by a hold in the defensive zone, first Islanders power play of the game.
7:13pm Clearly the Islanders have worked on their power play, they had two good chances thus far and a post hit by an Okposo backhand through traffic. They look pretty good.
7:17pm Islanders did not convert on the man advantage – 0/1 so far tonight on the power play.
7:23pm Hillen the recipient of a fortuitous bounce and got a good shot off.
7:26pm Jon Sim is all over the offensive zone tonight, as Doug of Isles Officials Outlook points out “That black hole of offense!”
7:30pm Josh Bailey irked at a non-call to his face, slams the bench door when he got through in frustration.
7:32pm Tavares misses on a two-on-one and Kessel gets held on a breakaway the opposite way. Islanders will be down a man, Jon Sim for holding.
7:38pm Islanders kill the penalty, Sim exits the box to find himself on a breakaway and…….

he shot it into the goalie.

End of the first period.

Well, they didn’t play bad, but they didn’t play great either. Not much going, seemed like a really fast period without many stoppages. If they can generate the same and/or more pressure in then second they should be alright tonight. Penalty kill was good, let’s hope they have stemmed that tide, for the sake of the sanity of all the fans.

Second Period

Yea, I met a friend for beers that turned into a whole period of drinking…..my bad. Two goals, PP by hunter and Tavares netted one for the first time in 5 games two minutes later.

Third Period

8:50pm As I am posting my explanation of where I have been for a period, Hagman breaks Roloson’s shutout bid. Islanders 2, Toronto 1
8:56pm Okposo narrowly missed a breakaway opportunity, it was broken up – obviously, but as Ken Dick of Okposo.net explains “There was Okie’s goal”.
9:00pm Witt is off for a cross check, stupid stupid penalty. Islanders shorthanded
9:02pm Islanders with three short handed chances thanks to Okposo
9:05pm Great kill by the Isles, however they have two consecutive icings.
9:08pm Islanders power play, I can hear Dee Karl yell at him from here – Jason Blake gets two for interference.
9:13pm End of the power play, some good chances but they seemed to resort to moving the puck around a bit too much as they had been on previous unsuccessful power play chances.
9:19pm Roloson comes up HUGE on two saves here late in the third, Islanders take their timeout to settle the team down. Great call by Scott Gordon.
9:21pm One minute left, Empty net Toronto
9:22pm Empty netter, Blake Comeau with a breakaway and he was hauled down. Ruling is a goal, Islanders lead 3-1
9:24pm Toronto delay of game penalty – 12 seconds remain.

Islanders win 3-1 big, HUGE win for the Islanders tonight.

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Lightning at Islanders: Live Blog

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

Good Monday everyone!

Islanders at Tampa 2009As I prepare the live blog for the live blog tonight, I just wanted to get a few things out of the way. First and foremost – the site experienced some downtime on Saturday afternoon. My apologies if you tried to reach the site and found a blank white page instead of the usual content. I was doing some routine stuff and like all routine tasks – something broke and took me a bit to figure it out. We are good to go now though.

I also, like many of the other local Islanders fans, chose not to make Saturday nights game against the Montreal Canadiens due to the blizzard conditions. I was able to watch from home, but it appears my decision to stay home was a good one for many reasons.

Tonight is a differrent story as the Islanders face off with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa is another one of those Eastern Conference teams log-jammed in the middle of the pack, and tied with the Islanders for 33 points. Players to look out for tonight on the Lightning squad: Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos as they each have 30 points or over. Not one player for the Islanders has 30 points, the three closest players are Kyle Okposo (22), Matt Moulson (26) and John Tavares (27).

The Islanders were shutout the last time these teams met earlier this month on their road trip – by a score of 4-0, for the sake of all things Islanders – let’s hope that a shutout against is not the case tonight.

As I type this, once again the Islanders are skating to the pre-game warmup to Jay-Z’s Interlude off of The Black Album, which happens to be one of this writers favorite songs.

The Islanders have simple goals and simple tasks – which, when executed enable them to dictate flow, breakouts, and forecheck. Some of which include speed through the neutral zone, short quick passes, a good breakout, puck support and their sometimes amazing forecheck. It’s up to them to stem the tide of their recent home losing streak – so let’s see which team comes out and owns the first period.

Something else to watch out for, the power play and the penalty kill – both of which have been dreadful for the Islanders. Hopefully the power play produces for them here tonight, and if not – the penalty kill keeps Tampa off the board.

First Period

7:08pm Islanders do not control the opening draw (I should really look back through my posts and tally the results) and Tampa is controlling the puck deep in the offensive zone.
7:12pm Nothing really going here, Tampa was just whistled for a handpass that started in the neutral zone and batted into the defensive zone. I call it a back court handpass….
7:13pm Stamkos dipsy doodles past the Islanders defense with a step and makes a strong move – Roloson fought him off but Stamkos beat him – although he didn’t beat the post thankfully.
7:16pm Bailey continues to be in position as a winger – getting his second shot of the period which forced Smith to cover it to stop play.
7:21pm After a very strange series of bounces, Tampa thought they scored and the play continued. It is being reviewed now – looks inconclusive from my end….
7:22pm NO GOAL, puck deemed to have never crossed the line
7:23pm Tavares with too many moves going to the net, doesn’t register a shot. He needs to make a faster decision with the puck.
7:27pm Islanders going on the power play – Neilsen was hauled down
7:30pm Even strength, I think the Islanders managed two or three shots on the power play. Okposo continues to struggle with the puck, losing control three or four times. Maybe he should change his sticks up?
7:37pm Tampa takes another penalty, Islanders are 0/1 tonight on the power play – let’s see what they have this time around.
7:39pm Hillen works the halfwall, dishes to Bailey who finds Hunter cruising the slot for an easy tip in! Islanders power play goal, they take a 1-0 lead

MacDonald took a late first period delay of game penalty, Islanders walk into the room up 1-0 thanks to a power play goal for the first time in 19 or 20 chances. They need to come out and kill the remainer of the penalty and build on their lead. I like what I have seen so far, they are making smart choices with and without the puck and are limiting Tampa’s chances.

Second Period

8:01pm Messy opening draw where both teams fought for control. The Lightning eventually ended up controlling the puck near the inside of the Islanders blue line
8:03pm Islanders could have had a breakaway, Tampa holds Comeau and we are 4 on 4 for 20 seconds
8:04pm Abbreviated Islanders power play chance. One minute left. 1/2 so far a man up.
8:06pm Smith makes a save on a relatively routine shot from the high slot and we are even strength.
8:09pm Some good pressure down low, from Hunter (his shot hit Smith in the head), MacDonald from the point (hit the glove and outside of the post) and from Sim whom tipped Gervais shot.
8:10pm Tavares just fed a streaking Moulson and Smith came up big again for Tampa.
8:11pm All it takes is on, shot that is – Stamkos just notched his 21st of the season to tie the game at 1
8:16pm Islanders odd man rush broken up by a timely stick check by Tampa. Comeau lost control of the puck and it went out of the offensive zone.
8:17pm No call on a boarding call behind the net – Okposo just got his face planted into the glass.
8:19pm Moulson deflects a Witt point shot that missed by a narrow margin. They need to get those shots on and crash the net for rebounds.
8:24pm Park beats Smith upstairs, but it sailed over the crossbar. Jon Sim comes from behind in a wrap around and they hack at the rebound under a fallen Smith.
8:26pm Roloson knocked down in front and play stops.
8:29pm Nate Thompson gives the Islanders a 2-1 lead off a beautiful pass from Okposo
8:33pm Hedman delay of game – Islanders power play
8:34pm Tavares gets called for a trip, yet he was trying to play the puck while sprawled on the ice. 4 on 4
8:37pm Penalty over, Tampa ties it with 18.6 remaining in the period. Almost made it out up a goal like the first period.

End of the second period

Third Period

8:56pm For once in I don’t know how long, Isles control the opening draw.
8:58pm Moulson bats a puck out of mid-air but it missed the net and would’ve been a high stick. Hillen just shot the puck over the glass, delay of game penalty = Tampa power play.
9:00pm Roloson makes a save on the first Tampa shot, kicks out a rebound and the score is now 3-2 Tampa
9:08pm Rare Islanders pressure in Tampa’s zone this period.
9:09pm Tampa’s passes short and crisp – Islanders passes long and not so crisp
9:10pm Fourth delay of game penalty tonight, Islanders power play
9:12pm Islanders were in the offensive zone pretty much all 2 minutes of that man advantage, but they couldn’t sneak on in.
9:16pm Sutton called for interference, tic-tac-toe-goal Tampa has a two goal lead
9:26pm Joensuu was crosschecked, PP Islanders who are like 1/6 tonight
9:30pm Nothing going on the power play and the Islanders lose by a score of 4-2

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Rangers at Islanders: Live Blog (Game 3)

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

Once again, checking in live from Section 201 at the Coliseum from the Blog Box!

Can the Islanders make it three wins against their cross town rivals – The New York Rangers? Let’s hope so!

Coming off a great road win last night, the Islanders come back home looking to extend their lead over the Rangers in the standings. Especially since the rest of the Atlantic Division is as bunched up as it is. If they can manage to muster the same effort as they showed last night at the Garden, they should do just fine – providing we have more scoring. I don’t expect the Rangers to just roll over tonight, especially since Tortorella scratched two veteran players today after their lackluster effort last night.

More after the puck drop!

First Period

7:08pm Islanders lose the opening draw (surprise) and they are off. Rangers deep in the Isles zone.
7:09pm Jon Sim takes up his position, his “office” if you will in front of Lundqvist, I expect him to be there all night again.
7:10pm After some great pressure in the Rangers zone, the Islanders draw a penalty – Staal for a high stick. POWER PLAY!
7:13pm Islanders generated almost 10 shots on that failed power play, but they just about scored on one of them.
7:14pm Andy Sutton just LEVELED Gaborik at the Isles blue line
7:15pm Another power play coming up, recent call up Sanguinetti for a hold
7:16pm Islanders forced to take a penalty after a bad turnover – Tavares for a high stick. He tried as hard as he could to breakup the breakaway and his stick rode up Callahan’s
7:21pm Even up, Park with a great defensive play during the waning seconds of the Rangers power play
7:25pm Islanders take the puck to King Henry, they play the whistle and a scrum ensues. The man in the middle…. John Tavares – whom had to escape a headlock to get away.
7:28pm Rangers going back on the power play, Streit gets the gate for holding.
7:29pm Broken play, Rangers second (resitered) shot on goal and the puck sneaks past Roloson and the Rangers go ahead 1-0
7:31pm Islanders were just given a gift wrapped power play – Rangers bench minor WAYYYYYY too many men.
7:35pm Islanders are now 0/3 on the power play, inexcusable for the amount of shots generated
7:38pm Rangers now own a 2 goal lead on 4 shots – quite frankly this game should be the other way around.
7:40pm Islanders have taken yet another penalty, Sutton two for tripping.
7:40pm Final minute of the first

Well, for the first half of the period it appeared the Islanders were doing all the things they managed to do last night – save for two goals that got through Roloson. The penalties that have been called so far, you cannot really call undisciplined, they are penalties that seem to happen when a team is trying too hard. It’s been rather even too, each team being awarded three power plays. With a shot differential as large as what we have here tonight, the score should not be 2-0 in favor of the opposition. The game is not out of hand just yet, but if they do not do anything to step the tide or turn things around, it’s good night Gracie.

Which Islanders team will come out for the second period? We shall soon see.

Second Period

Only one period in the books and there are some serious fan fights already….

7:59pm Rangers control the second period opening draw, much like the first.
8:00pm 27 seconds into the period and the Rangers own a 3-0 lead (power play goal) on 5 shots. Five.
8:03pm After some nice work along the wall, Shremp was pulled down and the Islanders find themselves on their fourth power play.
8:04pm I hope I am not alone in saying – enough of the odd man rushes on the man advantage, for your opposition!
8:06pm Even up, Hillen rang one off the post in the last few seconds of the power play. Some good shots but Lundqvist is strong tonight.
8:08pm Roloson just saved by his iron – Christensen rang one off the post as well.
8:09pm Islanders finally leave the neutral zone with speed after a great transition and are whistled off sides. May have also been called for a bench minor on the play….
8:11pm Rangers are going on their fourth power play, they are 2/3 tonight – so obviously this bench minor is one that Scott Gordon would like to have back.
8:12pm Oh no he did not, Nate Thompson chases down a lose puck that Lundqvist came out to play – and tripped over – Thompson missed a wide open net. WIDE OPEN
8:13pm Rangers just took a penalty, 18 seconds remain on the Islanders penalty – four on four then a power play for the Isles
8:15pm Islanders on the board after a blast from the point by MacDonald! Still four on four – Assists go to Streit and Neilsen
8:18pm Islanders are now 0/4 on the power play
8:28pm Game has slowed down here late in the second, lot’s of stops and starts.
8:29pm Coincidental penalties called on Staal and Comeau each for slashing – four on four for two minutes. The last Islanders goal came on four on four.
8:31pm Moulson just missed on a nice backhand move, he shoveled it over the crossbar though.
8:34pm Even up. Shremp sets Hunter up with a beautiful pass – he needs to fire that off the pass and not stop it though.
8:35pm Final minute of the second, Islanders fire a shot off a rush and Lundqvist makes a rare glove save

Well that period wasn’t MUCH better, but the Islanders need to continue to make the Rangers take penalties because they cannot seem to generate pressure five on five. Their lone goal has come off of a four on four, with plenty of their other pressure coming with a man advantage.

Goaltending is the key to this game, and the third period – test Lundvist and test him often.

Third Period

8:54pm In each period tonight, the Rangers have controlled the opening draw.
8:57pm Ouch, delay of game penalty on Meyer – Rangers back on the power play
8:59pm Odd man rush for the Islanders shorthanded, Penalties given to Witt, Neilsen, Comeau, Del Zotto and Roszival all for roughing. Somehow the Rangers wind up with a two man advantage, while they were already on the power play. Horrible calls, horrrrrible.
9:03pm And like that, the Rangers take a 4-1 lead and remain on the power play.
9:05pm Even strength, the Rangers are now 3/6 on the power play tonight.
9:07pm Rangers now own a 5-1 lead after a nice power move to the front of the net by Anisimov
9:11pm Islanders power play, not that they will score – Lisin in the box four minutes for high sticking
9:19pm Even strength goal too little too late, but Franz Neilsen gets on the board, assisted by Sutton and Comeau
9:26pm Josh Bailey chased down a lose puck and almost earned a breakaway, save for the little over skating the puck bit. Final minute of the third.

That’s all she wrote Rangers 5 – Islanders 2

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Panthers at Islanders: Live Blog

Posted by on 14 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

Good evening everyone, happy happy Monday!

Checking in live from the top of Section 201 at the Coliseum from the Blog Box where we will once again be live blogging the game.

Tonight’s game features the Florida Panthers who are tied in points (31) with the Islanders, but have one more loss which would give the Islanders a tie breaker should the season end tonight.

This is another important contest for the Islanders, as the Eastern Conference is log jammed with team struggling for wins and points. The Islanders are nestled right in the thick of things, currently sitting in 9th place but can finish the night off in 8th with a win.

Your Islanders scratches, Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Andrew MacDonald. Andy Sutton and Jack Hillen are both back in action for the Isles tonight.

For a preview of the game, as always head on over to the Islanders website.

First Period

7:09pm Islanders win the opening draw, Florida pushes it into the Isles zone and they generate some pressure low and move goal line out.
7:11pm Islanders had the puck in the Panthers zone for a clip, generated a shot and then the Panthers took it back down to Roloson. Brendan Witt made a bad play behind the net and gave it right to their point man which forced Roloson to make a stop. One of the many reasons that Witt is -19.
7:15pm Not much going either way here, the Islanders still only have one shot registered, yet somehow the Panthers have managed 4.
7:17pm Big Andy Sutton just made his presence felt early, lining up a Florida player for a big hit, although whomever it was sidestepped most of it.
7:21pm Brendan Witt continues his atrocious play in his own zone, giving up the puck twice and getting bailed out by a hand pass.
7:24pm Islanders missing the net just about every time they get into the zone. We are discussing Okposo’s overuse of his one stickhandling deke and how he should just SHOOT the puck. Right?
7:28pm Sutton just showed Rostislav Olesz how to throw the body in the NHL – he put him down hard at center ice.
7:32pm Islanders finally coming alive here with sustained pressure deep in the Panthers zone. Shots now 6-5 Panthers.
7:33pm As I say that Mark Streit turns the puck over at the blueline and gifts a breakaway to Michal Repik and the Cats take a 1-0 lead.
7:39pm Islanders are trying way too hard, they are utilizing stretch passes in their breakout, which isn’t working in their favor.
7:40pm Stretch passes = no skating and no speed.

And that is the end of the period, thank god.

The Panthers completely owned the Islanders in that period, they out skated, out hustled, out shot, out scored and just out worked the Islanders. The Isles were using stretch passes to try to jump out past the Panthers in the neutral zone and once in their zone were shooting from low percentage areas. Like always, if the Islanders play THEIR style of game they can beat anyone and that holds true tonight also. Hopefully Scott Gordon gives them all an earful and we see them come out with some jump for the second frame.

Second Period

8:00pm Second period starts like the first, with the Panthers winning the opening draw. They promptly iced the puck and the draw is deep in the offensive zone.
8:03pm Okposo dishes to Witt two times in the offensive zone, which in and of itself is offensive – I digress, he did his job and what Gordon wants by putting it on the net and leaving a big juicy rebound for Nielsen.
8:06pm On a seemingly innocent shot, Horton squeezed one past Roloson. Panthers lead 2-0
8:08pm Maybe Jesse Joensuu will talk to me tonight about his goals and his goal – as he scored off a nice pass from Hunter and Shremp.
8:11pm With that assist, Shremp now has points in three straight games. Can the end of the Jeff Tambellini era be nigh?
8:15pm A rarity tonight, the Islanders have iced the puck. Josh Bailey gave chase, but came up a step or two short.
8:21pm I am loving this Hunter, Shremp, Joensuu line. They are working hard and making the little things happen in the oh-zone.
8:22pm Panthers are going to be down a man, possibly for four minutes. Let’s see. Nope, Allen two for a crosscheck. Islanders power play.
8:24pm Streit’s second turnover of the game and his second gift breakaway – this time shorthanded. 3-1 Panthers.
8:32pm So far the only bright spot is the play of Trent Hunter, Rob Shremp and Jesse Joensuu.
8:33pm Shremp emphatically calling for the puck in the slot, oozing confidence takes a slapshot that gets deflected out of play. I am growing into a big Shremp fan with his solid play as of late.

And that is the end of the second period.

In some ways this period was a vast improvement, in others much, much worse. All of a sudden the Islanders have been victimized with turnovers and the Panthers have capitalized twice. Rob Shremp and Jesse Joensuu continue to impress though, so it numbs the pain of the rest of the teams bad play. Let’s see what happens in the third period.

Third Period

8:54pm Well, the Islanders lost the opening draw and the Panthers march in and score a seemingly easy tick-tac-toe fourth goal taking the Islanders completely out of the game for the duration. Not a way to come out strong guys.
8:56pm And….now it’s 5-1 a mere 42 seconds later.
8:57pm Martin Biron now in net for the Islanders
9:05pm Comeau and Sim with penalties on the same play – 6-1 Panthers and the Isles are still down a man.
9:06pm I am debating not even going downstairs tonight.
9:15pm Islanders power play – YAY
9:18pm Isles did nothing on the power play, maybe one shot – now they are shorthanded – Hunter for hooking

Heading down stairs to see the fireworks. Final score 7-1

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Garth Snow VS The KHL

Posted by on 14 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: General, News

Petrov Last weekend Islanders General Manager Garth Snow reportedly refused to allow defensive prospect Anton Klementyev to attend training camp for the Russian national team at the request of the KHL. This was done to protest the previous denial by the KHL to allow prospect Kirill Petrov from attending Islanders camp in years past as well as his recent demotion.

Citing Petrov’s three year contract and the lack of a transfer agreement, Snow was using Anton Klementyev as bait in an attempt to get Petrov out of his contract and under Islanders development NOW as opposed to when his contract is over. Petrov was recently taken out of the elite league and placed in a lower division, creating concern over the forwards development.

According to Newsday’s Katie Strang’s Twitter feed today, Anton Klementyev was granted permission to attend his homeland’s camp and in return the KHL may allow Petrov out of his contract.

This was a very bold and strong maneuver by Snow, who selected the highly ranked Petrov in the third round in 2008. Petrov had slipped to the third round due to concerns over the lack of a transfer agreement with the KHL. Petrov has maintained his desire to play in the NHL ever since.

Petrov has been an intriguing prospect to me for quite some time now and had the size and skill the Islanders need at forward. if he can come over and play in Bridgeport now – he may be NHL ready by next season if his skills shine as much as I hope they do.

Garth Snow may be setting a new precedent in terms of how to deal with the KHL, despite the lack of a transfer agreement should this work. I guess that MBA really comes in handy!

Bruins at Islanders: Live Blog

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

Here we are folks, home game number 12 as the Islanders complete their warmup skate to the sound of Jay-Z – which I am gladly singing here in the Blog Box. It appears, for at least the moment – that I am all alone here in the Box, but hopefully that will change as we get closer to game time.

Once the music stops, I will start doing my live steam of pregame thoughts. Ok, I waited for an opporunity where it wasn’t crazy loud to do the live blog and it never came. Constant announcements and music.

New Islanders goal song, Brohymn by Pennywise as it was just announced here at the Coliseum!

First Period

7:10pm Islanders control the opening draw – they are deep in the Bruins zone.
7:14pm Islanders benefit from a Boston too many men penalty, first Islanders power play.
7:15pm Shremp scores his first assisted by Moulson and Okposo
7:18pm Pretty sure that was Shremp’s first NHL goal, he celebrated like it was. It featured a low down fist pump on one knee, a jump into Streit’s arms and a swarm of bodies in the Bruins zone.
7:21pm Another note, Tavares doesn’t HAVE to score now. But he will…that’s what he does.
7:24pm Sim with a HUGE hit on Chara, it was a site to see. Play goes down the other end and Roloson keeps the score 1-0 Islanders
7:26pm Second Islanders power play coming up – 2 minutes for hooking to Wideman
7:29pm So on this power play, the Isles have gone off sides and then iced the puck. Not good.
7:31pm Teams are even up, Islanders 1 for 2 on the power play tonight
7:33pm After hitting the Iron the shift before, Boston breaks into the zone and the Islanders literally watch as they tie the game 1-1
7:41pm After icing the puck and going off sides numerous times, the Bruins appear to have scored and it’s under review. It looked like a high stick from my angle.

End of the first period

Kyle Okposo had a chance at the end of the period, but shanked his shot – he went to the bench and once there – broke his stick over his leg in frustration. Can’t say I blame him, although that was $200 down the drain there.

Islanders looked ok in the first few minutes of the period, but allowed the Bruins a chance to get back in the game and they did so promptly. Keep up the forecheck and the pressure and make Boston take some more penalties. However, that said – their last 6 or 7 goals scored have ALL come on the man advantage so it would be nice to see some even strength tallies. Let’s see if they can manage that in the second period.

Second Period

8:01pm Islanders come out to their new goal song, again – Brohymn by Pennywise
8:02pm Bruins win the opening draw in this frame, but the Islanders gain control and sneak a shot in on Thomas
8:03pm Draw deep in the Islanders zone, pushed wide by the Bruins and the Islanders break out and wheel down low.
8:06pm Bruins just beat out an icing call in the Islanders zone (duh) for the second time tonight.
8:07pm Thomas tested often tonight, comes up big time after time though.
8:08pm Comeau hauled down, no call and moves the puck to the point. Thomas makes the stop and smothers it.
8:16pm I had to step away for a minute for an interview of sorts, but as soon as I got back the Bruins scored on a pretty passing play.
8:20pm Jon Sim just got called for interference. Islanders on the penalty kill
8:23pm Sim gets out of the box and Chara completely flipped the stick out of his hands and about 15 feet off the ice after the play.
8:25pm Jack Hillen did not return after blocking a shot and limping off the ice in the first. Now we have way too many d-men hurt.
8:26pm Moulson makes it 2-2 assisted by Tavares and Okposo

End of the second period

Much better effort towards the end of the second, Islanders allowed Boston to get on top – but they finished the period strong and got the equalizer. Score is tied, shots are tied – it’s a pretty even game which should make the third that much more interesting.

Third Period

8:52pm Third period under way!
8:55pm Shremp handcuffed on a pass and got creamed at the Bruins blueline. Boston going on a power play here. Bruno Gervais for tripping.
8:57pm Great kill for the first minute and a half here, some good defensive plays by Comeau and Park
8:58pm Roloson just came up HUGE. Makes up for the puck he whiffed at glove side on Boston’s first goal. Even strength.
9:04pm Meyer just took a really stupid interference penalty. What were you thinking?
9:07pm His team rallies together to kill Meyer’s penalty, great work by Park and Thompson with Witt helping clear the puck as well.
9:08pm In other news, I did NOT win tonight’s 50-50 raffle – boooo
9:11pm Rolloson continue to be solid for the Islanders, the Bruins are relentlessly screening him and he’s managing to get his body on the puck somehow. They need to CLEAR OUT THE FRONT!
9:21pm Islanders being out shot by a wide margin and not really generating any of their own pressure. Big hit by Comeau, maybe that will get them going.
9:23pm Boston went offsides, 12.7 seconds left in the third

Overtime

Islanders find themselves in familiar territory here tonight, going into overtime for what seems like the 20th time this season. They earned that point here, let’s see if they can steal the extra point in the extra frame.

Tavares wit an amazing feed to Nielsen and he scoressssssssss on a breakaway 3-2 Islanders winnnnn

Live Tracker

Bruins at Islanders: Pregame Thoughts

Posted by on 12 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Call Ups, Gameday, General

Just wanted to spend a few minutes ahead of tonight’s tilt with the Boston Bruins to get some thoughts down about what’s in store for the team and what has happened the last few games.

If you caught my USTREAM video thoughts, my biggest concerns for the team are Scoring, Toughness and Defense. Not that they are in any particular order, but toughness is a big issue for me.

Mark Streit For one, the one on one battles for the puck just never seem to go well for the team. It’s not that all the forwards are small-ish or cannot get the job done, it’s just that every other team seems to be larger and stronger. Chalk it up to a young team in a rebuild I guess. Fortunately for the Islanders, they have Jesse Joensuu at their beck and call down in Bridgeport. I loved what I saw out of Joensuu last season during his time with the Islanders because I felt he was a true power forward that the Islanders have sorely missed (not a knock on Okposo mind you).

When I saw Joensuu play down in Bridgeport’s win last weekend at Harbor Yard, I knew it would only be a matter of time before we saw him again. Joensuu had three points on the night (1 goal and 2 assists) and just seemed to be involved in every single play. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who noticed these positives about his game, because he was recalled earlier this week by the Islanders and will be on a line with Shremp and Comeau per reports from practice.

Last week, Chris Botta pointed out on his blog some reports about Josh Bailey and how the Islanders appeared to be “turning him into a third-liner”. For reasons that seem to be genuine, Bailey has been moved to left wing next to Thompson and Park. Scott Gordon claims this is to help Bailey round out his game and ensure he can win battles along the wall, hopefully it is something temporary and doesn’t do too much damage to the young players confidence.

The Islanders have lost the last few games, but have shown the same glimpses that the team understands what they are supposed to do to succeed. Their forecheck has been outstanding at times and teams go through fits establishing opposing pressure at times – that is until there are defensive lapses. The Islanders defensive corps are thin, and makes you really value injured players like Radek Martinek and Andy Sutton for what they add to the team. It also drives home the point that if any moves are made here after the Holiday’s – it MUST be a defenseman. Scoring will also help, but unless the Islanders are willing to sacrifice some of their youth or prospects – the return won’t be a game changer. Either way, there are glaring holes in the roster right now, especially when your last first round pick, taken first overall – has your last five goals scored.

I will be heading out to the Coliseum shortly, when I arrive and set up I will be doing a LIVE USTREAM broadcast which should be fun! Be sure to check back around game time for the links and embedded video!

Islesblogger Now on USTREAM!

Posted by on 10 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: General, News, Site Announcements

In an attempt to give my blog a new element and “voice”, I have finally started a video stream. I have been meaning to do something like this for a long time, but like everything else I never got around to it.

As an iPhone user, applications such as USTREAM allow me to stream video LIVE or upload content while on the go – so I felt this was a great solution and opportunity for me.

My first video is off center, you can only see part of my face – but the content I felt was worth a listen. I am sure it will get better once I figure out how to hold my phone and record myself.

You can check out my USTREAM page here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/islesblogger

And here is the video:

Bridgeport Live Blog

Posted by on 05 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

6:40:35 PM Going to be semi live blogging the Bridgeport game tonight. Each tweet SHOULD be a timestamped entry! #isles

6:49:08 PM: I just got the 1st Video! badge on #12seconds! – http://12seconds.tv/channel/islesblogger

7:49:09 PM: Some DiPietro video of warmups #isles #DPinBP http://tiny12.tv/ZZPTX

7:58:24 PM: We’re just a few minutes away from the puck drop! #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

7:59:29 PM: We have a resurfacing of the “Born in Bridgeport” video – your headliner DiPietro. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:08:18 PM: And they’re off http://twitpic.com/sbhcp #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:11:18 PM: DiPietro just made his first actual Dave in 11 months! Crowd applauds. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:12:57 PM: Sean Bentivoglio scoressss 1-0 Tigers #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:13:50 PM: Correction Martin from Haskins and Bentivoglio #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:14:33 PM: Sound Tigers power play! #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:18:25 PM: Just a quick note, timestamp is off an hour on my liveblog – I’ll fix it later!

8:24:45 PM: Mouldin makes it 2-0 from the goal line behind the net! From Joensuu and Wotton #isles #soundtigers #BPinDP

8:32:04 PM: DiPietro looks relatively solid here so far in the first! #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:34:10 PM: Joensuu with a awesome power move to the front makes it 3-0! From Wotton and Mouldin #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:36:02 PM: Tigers are going to be down a man, Mark Flood for interference #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:37:13 PM: Four on four, Springfield gets two for holding the stick #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:39:36 PM: Final Minute of the first, Tigers on a short powerplay #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:42:27 PM: Another Tigers powerplay, it will carry into the second. Not much work for DP – he has seen three shots #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

8:52:36 PM: DiPietro done for the night, as expected. Scott Munroe starting the third period #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:00:44 PM: Second period underway here at Harbor Yard #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:03:43 PM: Dipietro was just beat on a blast from the top off theright circle. Fourth Springfeld shot #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:04:17 PM: Tigers net another quick one 5-3 DiBeneddetto unassisted #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:08:19 PM: Tigers down a man, Trevor Smith off for a high stick #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:08:19 PM: Tigers down a man, Trevor Smith off for a high stick #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:12:01 PM: Well Springfield has come alive here, scoring their second of the period on their 7th shot overall. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:14:33 PM: Tigers score again 6-3 Flood from Bentivoglio and Westhgarth #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:15:13 PM: As I’m Tweeting we almost got creamed with a puck over the glass!! It BARELY missed a little kid! #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:15:36 PM: DiPietro just came WAYYY out to the blueline to get the puck and pass to his forwards. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:19:54 PM: So om using a plugin that puts tweets into a blog post as a liveblog. Yea they are all out of sequence. Not good. #pluginfail

9:22:52 PM: Springfield just tied the game on a shot from behind the goal line. DP had second guessed coming out to play the puck. #isles #DPinBP

9:23:56 PM: Morency and Mickerson throw down, some BIG rights from the shorter Morency – he gets my decision #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:25:51 PM: Tigers on the board yet again! 7-3 Dibennedetto’s second of the game from Joensuu #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:29:18 PM: Sound Tigers were on a powerplay but Gillies just got called for a charge. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:30:22 PM: Just a thought, Gillies gets a charge – coincidence that Master Card is a Sound Tigers Sponsor? #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:32:33 PM: DP gets help from the iron and finds the puck and smothers it. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:33:49 PM: So the Springfield player just left under his own power. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:36:01 PM: Scott Munroe solid here in the third, he’s stopped everything (well no much) thy has come his way. #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

9:38:40 PM: Sound Tigers win 7-3! Great game, great time at Harbor Yard! Mouldin 3rd star Joensuu second star and first DiBenedetto #isles #DPinBP

9:52:36 PM: DiPietro done for the night, as expected. Scott Munroe starting the third period #isles #soundtigers #DPinBP

Rick DiPietro’s Return!

Posted by on 05 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Gameday, Injuries, News, Sound Tigers

Just posted a little something over at the Bleacher Report about Rick DiPietro’s return to the AHL tonight as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers take on the Springfield Falcons. I will be at the game tonight, trying to live blog and tweet DP’s progress during the game, so be sure to check it out.

Here is the post over at the Bleacher Report:

Cue the pomp and circumstance folks, there is an All-Star goaltender making his triumphant return to hockey and it starts tonight for Rick DiPietro.

DiPietro has missed all but five games in the 2008-2009 season and all of the current season due to numerous hip and knee injuries. His landmark contract aside, many feel DiPietro was rushed back into playing too quickly after a series of unrelated injuries and was unsurprisingly re-injured. Islanders management has really stepped up the protection of their franchise goaltender and given him ample time to heal and get the rehabilitation he needs to stay healthy. Tonight’s game for DiPietro will not be in Tampa Bay against the Lightning, where the Islanders are set to play—instead it will be in Bridgeport, Connecticut for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League as they face the Springfield Falcons.

DiPietro’s last appearance for Bridgeport came under similar conditions on a conditioning stint in 2003-2004 where he played two games and suffered two losses.

For those worried that throwing him into a game situation after missing 11 months of hockey is too much too soon, rest assured—he will play at most a half of game tonight and depending on how he has responded to practices and the game, will likely play out several road games for the Sound Tigers.

Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio also reports that DiPietro will not wear the number 39 as he has for his NHL career, instead will wear the number 29 as he did throughout his playing time on the Sound Tigers.

Rick DiPietro’s eventual return to the New York Islanders also gives them some trade options, Martin Biron has not play exceptionally well this season, but is on a one year contract and 40 year old Dwayne Roloson has been rock solid for the Islanders and is in the first year of a two year contract. With DiPietro’s tainted injury history, it may prove to be a tough decision for Islanders GM Garth Snow. It’s certainly a good position to be in though, having three NHL goaltenders who are all capable of stealing games.

I will be up in Bridgeport tonight to watch Rick DiPietro’s return to hockey, so I should have some great follow up material tomorrow.

It’s going to be an exciting night, for sure!