Monday, December 31, 2007

Islanders Rebound, Dublewicz, Poll Results

After a hard fought and emotional victory over the Leafs who here expected the Islanders to take that strong play into Ottawa? Anyone? Anyone? Ottawa is the class of the league this year and I feel sorry for the team that finishes 8th in the conference this season. Hopefully if the Islanders make the playoffs, they can catch 7th or above because 8th is a one way ticket home.. Again. After laying an egg in Ottawa the team got its work boots on and handed Mr. Brodeur a loss along with some fisticuffs from Comrie, Guerin and Sutton. One thing I like about this team is that from top to bottom they will not back down when challenged. For so long we were used to an emotionless top center. Its so refreshing to see our top center get involved physically. The team closes out its what you have to call successful 2007 with a road game in Carolina tonight. the Canes have slowed to a Category 3 and it would be great to see the 20th victory of the season go up as a New Year present to all of us. Wade gets the start again and how sharp he looked against the Devils is a major positive.

POLL RESULTS - Wow is all I have to say. People want Bergeron on the ice. 91% of the respondents selected the "Get him on the Ice" selection and 9% selected what he is doing now is fine selection. This Blogger has made it known how I feel. Despite his defensive lapses his pluses on the power play coupled with how the team looks on the power play lately spells MAB. Get him and his 100 MPH bomb out there.

This weeks poll will deal with whether your expectations are being met or exceeded this season.

To all thank you for reading and have a happy healthy and SAFE New Year.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Islanders Leafs do It again, Blake thoughts.

You can count on it as sure as the sun will rise. As sure as the ocean churns. As sure as Jason Blake coughing up the puck resulting in a goal against. The Islanders and Leafs put on an entertaining as anything game at the Coliseum. It could not have ended in a more poetic manner. Richard Park, who works just as hard every shift as Blake did when he was here, strips Blake of the puck puts a puck on net that is hammered home by Comrie sending the 15 thousand + in attendance into a frenzy. Such a gaffe is nothing new for Blake, but it will be magnified ten fold up n Toronto.

Jason Blake bolted for the great white north, the millions of dollars and media scrutiny that will make anyone not named Sundin wonder if it is worth it. Not all fans share my view point on Jason Blake, but from the sound of it last night, I am not alone. I heard cheers for his video, and then boos when he touched the puck. Not the kind of boos that greet Miro Satan by the insane glass banging fans up in Buffalo, but boos none the less. Largely rendered in-effective by Toronto's system of not revolving the entire offense around him being a puck hog, Blake is plodding through his toughest season goal scoring wise in 6 years. Maybe that 3 year 10 million dollar deal doesn't look so bad now. Ah.. who am I kidding right?

Blake=Park? I am very proud of Richard Park and the parallels of his career with Jason Blake are obvious. Smaller in stature he is making his mark now with a team that has afforded him the opportunity to do so. The Islanders have given Park what has to be his 1st multi year extension of his career and he is making the most of it. Park probably will never broach the 30 or 40 goal mark, but I can see him netting 20. Park is 31 years old at this point and I would not be shocked to see his offensive output increase in the next few years. The Islander have put together a nice little stretch after floundering through most of December. Next up is Ottawa. If they can get a point out of there I will take it. Maybe Ottawa will be tired after beating up on the rest of the league the last few weeks. Hey after what I saw last night I can dream right?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Enemy (Within?) Returns.

Jason Blake is back on the ice at the Coliseum tonight. This will bring about a wide spread of emotions I would imagine as this is the guy the Islanders acquired as a 4th liner 7 years ago and was afforded the opportunity through hard work to turn himself into an NHL All-Star. This is a guy the Islanders saw fit to give a 3 year extension more than a year before his current deal had expired because and I quote "This is the kind of guy we want to reward". What happened in the Islanders unceremonious allowing of Blake to walk up to Toronto where he no doubt sits wondering why he is there answering questions as to why he is has scored 5 goals in 39 games.

These next bullet points are based on my opinion, and 3rd party information I have heard regarding the subject of number 55. Keep in mind this is opinion of the PLAYER and not the PERSON who I hope lives a healthy life until he is old and grey.

1 - Blake, despite his effort and production increases over the last 6 years grew to think who he was after leading the Islanders in last year keeping to himself as it became evident he no longer had to pretend that the Island was where he wanted to stay. The secret was out. Blake had openly complained to the newspapers that he wanted a 5 year deal, or he was out. Period. Consider the timing of this quote. The Islanders has acquired "Captain Canada" to not only push for a playoff spot, but to challenge for a Cup. His addition gave the team credibility it had not had in I do not know how long. Then Blake opens his mouth and puts the spotlight back on the negative that seems to surround the team most of the time. Their top player wants out, never a good sign no matter the circumstance.

2 - Blake was never a positive force in the locker room and his team mates were happy to see him go. So many wrote that players left the Islanders. I choose to see reality and see it as a liberation of team of people that had grown complacent, non motivated but talented players, and bitter players who think they weren't getting what they were worth with the exception of Smyth. Blake in included with this group. The team made no serious effort to meet his 5 year demand instead offering 3 years. Why is this? The team had the cap room, and the player is popular and productive. So whats the problem? The problem is he had turned into a virus in the locker room over the last 2 seasons and his teammates, coach and GM wanted him out.

3 - While it is no secret I have never been a huge fan of "Blakey" and it is because he caused as many goals against as he scored. Blake would not pass the puck (which is funny because he is proving this year that he can do it.) He would hold and hold and hold and shoot wide more often than not clearing the offensive zone for the defense starting a rush the other way. Definition - Blake turned into a selfish player who cared about his stats more than the team.

I think the Islanders are a class organization who will offer Blake a video tribute tonight for a guy who played just six years for the team. Excuse me.. a VIDEO TRIBUTE? Is Yashin going to get a video tribute when he comes back? How about Peca? Should Kenny Jonsson get a video tribute? Usually players that get video tributes are players that actually contributed something positive other than personal stats and working hard for a team for 6 years. I am sure this opinion will draw the ire of some people reading it as Blake was popular here but I can make no apologies for it. I hope he gets the "Buffalo Satan" treatment and I would like to see him buzzing around the offensive zone only to get crushed by a Witt body check.


Friday, December 21, 2007

What do you want for Christmas? - Poll results.

What I want for Christmas -

1 - Forget the Wii. Forget the iPhone. Forget the GI Joe with the kung-fu grip. I want a sniper. Before you call the local office of Homeland Security, I don't mean the kind that looks through a scope and holds his breath long enough to fire a projectile through a target as small as a pea. I mean the kind of sniper that can propel hockey pucks into a net and make a red light illuminate. Earth calling Garth Snow - We need a sniper. Who it can be? I am not the GM.

2 - An end to the "win one lose two" pattern that has infected the team lately. The team has officially fallen to .500. A loss to Crosby's crew tonight and we are sub .500. Its time to sound the alarm as this season if this trend continues could wind up being what most people predicted it would be. Its time to turn it around and turn it around FAST.

3 - Kyle Okposo. We have heard all of the hype. We have seen that ridiculous goal he scored. Now its time to see what the kid has got. Forget Bridgeport get him a NY jersey.

4 - Marc-Andre Bergeron. I don't care about his defensive lapses. The power play is AWFUL without him. They need his shot and not only the shot but the THREAT of the shot to open up the lanes down low to stop the PK units from dropping into a tight box because they know Satan and Campoli's shots are like pop guns compared to MAB. Oh and what the heck happened to Berard?

5 - Maxim Afinogenov in some kind of pain. Ok... Maybe I dont mean this last one. Maybe.

POLL RESULTS - A reader asked me to poll about the new Islander jerseys to see what the fans thought now that we have had a chance to see them and the results are clear. 33% of the respondents selected the "They still suck" option. 66% claim to have always liked them, or have grown to like them. Not bad. This weeks poll will center on Marc Andre Bergeron and his role with the team if you want to call it that.

Merry Christmas to all.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Return of Random Thoughts

Hello Fans, sorry for the lack of articles here as work has been taking up to much of my time. I will be posting more often from now on so check back and see what the Voice has to say.

The voice Presents - Random thoughts. 5 points as it relates to the New York Islanders.

1 - Chris Simon strikes (out) again. Everyone says how great a guy he is. Everyone says how great a teammate he is. Chris Simon tried to injure another hockey player, this time using his own skate as a weapon. I think the team has handled this the best way they could. Get him away from the team because it is obvious that Simon is somewhat unstable on the ice as his certain SEVENTH suspension is coming from the NHL. I think the teams reaction has been a surprise. How many other organizations would have just cut ties with the man and tried to distance themselves from the situation. The Islanders have said they will not do this and try to get him the help he obviously needs.

2 - Winter Doldrums, the teams limps into the Holidays. This year started off so positive. everything seemed to break right, they were skating, scoring, showcased stellar goal tending, their power play was clicking, the penalty killing was stellar. All of these are out the window. DiPietro has been good, but not the level he was at in October. The most obvious problem is goal scoring as the team has not scored 4 goals in a time frame that rivals most climate changes. What is the team supposed to do about it? The answer quite simply is they need help. They have the cap room and the prospects to get a deal done, but at what price and just who could come in here and make an impact? That is a question for Mr. Snow. Making impact trades is not as simple as it once was so what transpires should be interesting.

3 - No News is No News. The Lighthouse project sits in the Town of Hempstead's office for approval. Check back with me in 17 months.. SEVENTEEN MONTHS to check on its project. Ask your local politicians what they think, If they say anything with the word "traffic" in it ask them where all these extra people who will be populating the Lighthouse will come from. Answer - They are already here.

4 - Attendance. Well, I have lost my argument that the team is performing so fans needed to show up. That being said if this team is in a playoff race again and it appears they are headed for one, attendance should rise. I say should because you just never know with this market. People around here have a lot of choices on where to spend their entertainment dollars and the Islanders are going to have to develop a consistent winner to average above 14 thousand fans nightly. Win and they will come.

5 - The style of team we have is.... Anyone? Anyone? The Phoenix game was a perfect example. It opened up in the 3rd, but the Islanders really need to make up their minds as to what kind of a game they will play. If they want to emulate the 95 Devils, then go do it and stick to it. If they are trying to emulate the '93 Canadiens, then do that and stick to it. It is like watching 2 or 3 different teams play as they seem to play a different style each period. Maybe that is a part of the plan, but it would be the first I have heard of it. It seems the Islanders are always trying to lull a team to sleep in the 1st period. The 2nd is more of a tight checking trade your scoring opportunities type with an open style of play in the 3rd, whether they have a lead or not.

I encourage comments do you agree or am I off base? Let me know!!


Friday, December 7, 2007

The Good and the Bad Part VI - Islanders Defenseman

Hello fans and welcome back to The Voice. There has been so much talk over the Islanders defense corp consisting of Marc-Andre Bergeron, Bryan Berard, Brendan Witt, Andy Sutton, Bruno Gervais, Chris Campoli, Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson. So what better way to sort out this debate by letting the Good and the Bad fight it out once again. Its a never ending battle, and this is the next chapter.

1) They are young, mobile, hungry and talented. There may not be a Paul Coffey type among the group to skate end to end, but those type of guys are few and far between.
2) Gervias and Campoli continue to improve and show they can be the core of the defense for years to come.
3) They present the right combination of grit, offensive skill, and defensive responsibility to shoulder the load of the added responsibility to protect small leads the Islanders have had to deal with all season long. The experience they are gaining through playing in tight games will serve them well in the long run.

1) Placing to much pressure on them is not a good thing, its a bad thing. Every mistake is amplified to the point that the blame gets placed on the defense when the team loses 2-1 that instead of it being the fault of the forwards for not scoring, it falls on the defense to play a flawless game.
2) Marc Andre Bergeron has taken two steps back this year and probably wont be on the team for much longer. his booming shot has been neutralized by opposing penalty killing and his frequent bad decisions have not endeared him to the coaching staff.
3) The team needs a power play quarterback. Someone who can play responsibly in the offensive zone as well as place a shot on net instead of missing the net.

There you have it, 3 for and 3 against. Feel free to voice your opinions on this matter!!


Thursday, November 29, 2007


Hello Fans and readers of the Voice. Let me first thank the people that come here to read and share thoughts on the Islanders. This has been so far a great experience for me and I look forward to continuing to bring a fans perspective to the world of reporting on the team. Poll Results - A Whopping 75% of those that voted expect the Islanders to finish 1-6th on the conference. 97% of you think the Islanders will make the playoffs. My how expectations have changed since the season began.

To last nights event I was thinking about one thing and the fans that were there were the amount of empty seats at the Coliseum last night. I'll be honest, I was embarrassed. I was angry. I shook my head numerous times at what the players must think when they see so many empty seats to see a winning team. I know the economy is in a down turn. I know the cost of living has gone up. It has effected me also, trust me. All that being said, it didn't stop people from spending record amounts of money on Black Friday. I actually heard someone last night use the excuse that it "was cold outside". Excuse me... COLD? After last weekends game with Boston, which was announced as a sell out, the crowd was announced at around 8,100 for Dallas. Last night, with the conference leading Senators in town they announced a crowd of around 9,200. WHAT HAPPENED? The attendance was up a league high 34% over the 1st 20 games. I shudder to think what these 2 games have done to that average.

Those that were there were loud. Those that were there were treated to an excellent game of hockey culminating in a thrilling shootout victory. I wonder how many fans sat at home wondering why there were so many empty seats. What is a team to do to draw fans? Do we have to traipse out one of our 80's legends every game? Do they have to start giving tickets away? There is no one out there who will say the Islanders simply do not have fans. How can the crowds fluctuate so wildly from game to game? Simply, and very quite simply, this team needs to do one thing. All of the 80's legends can come back over and over again, they can have a special night every Saturday the bottom line is this team needs to win. They have to win and win in the playoffs. There is no louder building in the NHL when the Islanders are in the playoffs. The fans are there, the fans are passionate and one nice run into the playoffs in this writer's humble opinion would be enough to send the Island into a hockey frenzy once again and expand the season ticket base. This team is winning. They are doing their part. The big question is how long will they have to prove themselves before fans start coming to the games again. This is not the same team we have seen over the last 20 years here. They play for the team, not for the name on the back. They have all bought into Ted Nolan's system whole heartedly. Now it is time for the fans to buy back into the team. There were times when I expected to see 6,000 at the games, when Travis Green was the top center. Tommy Soderstrom was the No 1 goalie. They lost games in every possible way. This is not that team. This is the new Islanders. Come out and see them and win lose or shootout loss they will work hard and entertain and that is all we can ask for as hockey fans. I am tired of hearing people say the building is what keeps people away. Its total and utter BS. Look at how many people went to Yankee and Shea stadium last season, two stadiums that rival the coliseum in their obsolete stature. Come on out and be entertained.

I welcome everyone to voice their opinions on this matter.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Good and the Bad Part V - Offensive Offense?

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone. The Islanders have been mostly treading water lately with a 4-4-1 record in their past nine. The next two games will be no picnic in league Juggernaut Ottawa and Round 4 against our neighbors from the West. This weeks Good and the Bad will talk about the Islanders offense, or lack thereof.

1) Offense does not win playoff series, defense and goal tending do and that is what the teams focus should be.
2) The team has been scoring just enough to win games and are in every game. Its just a matter of getting the guys we have to produce a little bit more, and the Islanders will be fine.
3) Even if the team were to acquire another scoring forward, is it going to be enough of a talent to warrant trading some prospects and a high value draft pick to get him?

1) At the end of the day, scoring wins games and the team does not have enough.
2) They are putting to much pressure on DiPietro and the defense to play perfect games which is fine against lesser teams, but to compete with the powers of the league the Islanders need a game breaker.
3) The added pressure on the defense and goal tending will be a cumulative effect as the season goes along, and that will spell doom when the grind of the season starts to wear on them.

Let me know what your opinions are on this subject. We will know more about what the Islanders are about after the Ottawa game. If they go up there and get blown away it does not bode well as another beating from a quality team would have to eat at a teams confidence.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Hello fans. OK now that I have done my commercial for the Lighthouse project lets get back to hockey. This weeks poll results are in my mind an upset, as the 1993 Shocking upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins is well, a shocking upset. Garnering 29% of the vote is in my mind the biggest upset in NHL history the 1993 upset of the Penguins. With 23% of the vote is the Islanders defeat of the Oilers to win their 4th cup. Then with 17% is Nystrom's goal to secure the 1st Cup in another moment that I will never forget. This weeks poll will be on the early season success that the Islanders have enjoyed. Will it continue? Will they level off? Voice your opinions here!!

Lets Go Islanders!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lighthouse Project in the Headlines!!

After news articles all over Newsday today about the Lighthouse project this blogger is starting to think that Newsday is getting its ideas for posts off of the Voice!! Seriously though, Charles Wang and Scot Rechler yesterday formally filed their application and plans for the vast sweeping Lighthouse Project to develop the 77 acres surrounding the dilapidated Nassau Coliseum and its rotting infrastructure. In a Newsday Poll, currently 89% of the people who voted support the project and this Nassau County resident is 100% behind the project. Long Island needs something. It needs a center. It need s place where people can go and enjoy a concert, and make a night of it and not have to get into your car and drive somewhere else to cap the night off. It needs a place where you can go see a hockey game and not have to wonder what the visiting team thinks of the outdated arena they are playing in, especially seeing the jewels of arenas that are around the league. Long Island needs, in case anyone was asking, a place for tourists to come and not remark about how they need to go to the city to have a "night out". We need affordable housing on Long Island. We need jobs on Long Island, we need tax revenue on Long Island. Long Island needs something that makes us feel we are getting our monies worth for paying the highest per capita taxes in the entire United States of America. We NEED this project to go forward not just for the Coliseum, but for the benefit of LONG ISLAND and all of its residents. The benefits are endless. The criticism is unfounded. Don't just read flashy headlines, read about the project and not just the Coliseum portion, which represents 15% of the total project.

Kate Murray, who is the Town of Hempstead supervisor will have a lot of say on whether this project moves forward, has already complained of possible traffic woes. This is the same person who apparently thinks that the Roosevelt Field mall is an easy place to get in and out, with our without a car. Are we really going to let her decided for us? Then there is Minority Leader Legis. Peter Schmitt (R) of Massapequa. You can bet he will be sick of hearing from me by the time this project is rejected or approved. Other than your local Legislators you can contact, you can start with the organizations that say they represent the people of Long Island like the Smart Growth Organization Vision of Long Island Executive Director Eric Alexander. I am sure he will say all he needs to say to get his name in the headlines. The bottom line is when a project like this is in the approval status politicians and lobbyists are going to use it to the bone to get themselves in the good graces of the public eye. What we have to do not as Islander fans, but as Long Island residents let these and your local legislature know that if they stand in the way of this project then they will lose the votes of the people who support it. I don't choose to stand and wait to see what happens I plan to let our politicians, lobbyists and anyone else know exactly how much we need this project done so we can have something we can be proud of on Long Island other than having the highest taxes, gas prices, electric bills, home prices to "boast" about. Instead we can have Wang and Rechler's vision of future suburbia be OUR vision suburbia because thorugh and through it is a great vision and an oasis needed in the center of a County where its residents are losing faith in thier ability to stay and live here.

Thanks for Reading and Support the Lighthouse project by contacting your local legislature, lobbyist, Town of Hempstead and Nassau County officials.

Check out this video and tell me this would not make you proud to be a Long Islander -


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Good and the Bad Part IV - 1 Year Contracts

Hello again fans. This is Part IV of the Voice's ongoing debate on what is good and what is no so good about a particular subject on the New York Islanders. I will present 3 points supporting and 3 points dissenting a particular statement about the team and why. I invite all of you to "voice" your own opinions on what you agree and disagree with.

This weeks subject are the 1 year contracts now being played out by Mike Comrie, Trent Hunter, Ruslan Fedotenko, Bryan Berard and Sean Bergenhiem. The Islanders after buying out Alexei Yashin's remaining contract at a cost of 17 million dollars, signed 4 free agent players to 1 year deals, 3 from outside the organization. Lets get right to the bad -

1) It shows an unwillingness on the part of players to make a long time commitment to Long Island as a hockey destination. The constant complaints about the state of the facilities, the previous problems with ownership and the lack of competitiveness of the team itself are some of the reasons why.
2) It creates all of the same problems we had this past off season - that despite the state of the teams won loss record at this point the team could lose a good portion of its roster to free agency once again. If they don't sign them to extensions, they risk losing them to richer teams again.
3) It in the future will tempt players who want to use the team to get their careers on track instead of wanting to be a part of building a stronger franchise for Long Island.

1) Retains cost flexibility in case of injury or non performance. We all saw what happens with long term contracts coupled with complacency and injury (Peca & Yashin)
2) Makes these players more attractive to other teams looking to bolster their lineups in the event of a catastrophic drop in team performance.
3) Motivates the players to perform at their highest levels to earn a multi year deal and have the satisfaction of earning it from the team that they helped build into a playoff contender.

Please offer your thoughts on these Good and Bad points and feel free to add your own to the mix. Thanks for reading as the Voice moves towards 1000 hits. Thank You!!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

BLOG BOX REPORT - NYI 3, PIT 2 Al Arbour gets No.740

I have been thinking about what to write about seeing "Radar" behind the bench at Nassau Coliseum last night and I have come up with this. Memories. Plain and simple memories are what came to the forefront of my mind. Memories of Arbour drinking from Lord Stanley's cup. Memories of Arbour holding the cup up high and drinking much deserved champagne after a cup victory. Hearing about how Arbour held a little practice session with himself and a rookie named Denis Potvin for missing a team bus. Arbour wringing every bit of performance he could out of the players he coached. Make no mistake people, coaching in hockey is not like managing in baseball. A coach can and does effect the outcome of games, seasons, and playoff series. Arbour you can make a case was as important to the amazing run the Islanders had than anyone else. That is why his brand spanking new "1500" banner now hangs from the rafters of the Coliseum. Lets get into the behind the scenes happenings shall we?

I made sure I was early to avoid missing any of Arbour's walk to the bench. Glancing at the media notes its a thrill to see "Head Coach - Al Arbour". The crowd tonight is especially pumped. Chants of "Ar-Bour" are heard throughout the arena which is great to hear because it has been 14 years since Al was behind the bench. Announced as a sell out crowd saves me from having to bash the Islanders fan base. Tribute video later, and the red carpet is rolled out here he comes the man himself. Crowd erupts and Al looks genuinely touched. Arbour has his note pad and pen and keeps in his left inside jacket pocket as he always did. Ceremonial puck drop and here comes... SCOTTY BOWMAN? Arbour is especially happy to see Bowman and the fans show Bowman the respect he deserves as the two greatest coaches in the history of hockey shake hands at the bench. Following Bowman out is BILL TORREY. Ceremonial puck drop is complete and the national anthem is sung, and were ready for the puck to drop. I usually do not get into the happenings of the game but I will now because of the way the game unfolds and how fitting the outcome was.

Al Arbour coached the Islanders to three of the most amazing playoff series victories against the Pittsburgh Penguins. We have all heard about the seven game series won when down 3 games to none. We have heard about coming back after being down 3-1 with 6 minutes to play and storming back to win not only the game but the series, propelled by Arbours goalie change that gave the top Power Play unit time to rest. But the one that I will remember perhaps just as if not more fondly than the others is quite honestly the biggest upset in NHL history. The Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93 were by so far and away the best team in hockey everyone, and I do mean everyone had them written in as the 1993 Stanley Cup Champions and who could blame them? They finished the season with 119 points. 367 goals for. A record setting 17 game winning streak AND oh yeah, they were the two time defending Cup Champion. They had Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Larry Murphy, Tom Barrasso, Rick Tochett, Kevin Stevens, Martin Straka among others. Their coach? Some guy named SCOTTY BOWMAN. Don't forget that Pierre Turgeon, the best offensive player on the Islanders as the time was out because of that infamous Dale Hunter cheap shot. It was a slam dunk right? There was no chance the Islanders could win one game in this series let a long the series itself. Well don't tell Al Arbour that. He challenged his players not to be intimidated. He willed that team to a remarkable 7 game overtime victory! Listen ...err read to how this happened. The Islanders were up 3-1 in game number 7 - A remarkable feat being everyone and his mother has the Islanders getting swept. Pittsburgh, was not about to let their championship run go without a fight, scored two late goals to tie the game and send it to overtime. It was Arbour that got his Islanders to hold their heads up and realize that they still had just as much of a chance to win the game as the Penguins did and not to let what just transpired get the best of them. So what happens? History does NOT reverse itself and give the Penguins the win, David Volek, who spent a LOT of time in the vaunted Arbour dog house scores the winning goal and sends the Islanders to the Semi Finals. You can talk about Glenn Healy standing on his head, you can talk about Volek's heroics, you can talk about all of that but what the one guy that deserved the most credit for the victory was Al Arbour.

So.. After all of that history of huge playoff success against the Penguins, the Islanders choose the Penguins as their opponent for number 1500. They fall behind 2-0. The Islanders could really just fold up to the pressure of trying to win one for Arbour, but guess what. 3 Un answered goals, one with 2:41 left in the 3rd gives Arbour his 740th win. Say it isn't so, one more come from behind win against a favored Penguin team. Chants of "Arbour" are replaced with chants of "740" The players congratulate Arbour despite the fact that he gives all credit as he always does to the players. They bring out the entire Arbour family. They bring out the Islander Alumni including all the names you know and a very nice surprise in Pat LaFontaine. They lower the "739" banner, and raise the new "1500" banner. In a very nice touch, the picture you see at the top of the screen shows the current Islanders, the former Islanders and the Arbour family posing for a Kodak moment that Islander fans are sure not to forget any time soon.

After that, this blogger still has a job to do. Walking to the back this time is a surreal experience. Theres Bossy, Trottier, I exchange hellos with Gillies who is always a class act. I turn the wrong way and walk almost directly into Mrs. Arbour, before I can congratulate her some guy cuts in front of me. That guy? SCOTTY BOWMAN~! Theres LaFontaine, Gerry Hart. We go into the coach interview room that is buzzing more than normal as reporters are crowding around the podium. I am flanked by Gillies and Jean Potvin, who is standing on a chair so he can see the guy he respects so much speak. Arbour of course deflects any and all praise for the win to Nolan and the Players. He thanks the fans for staying so long after the game and said he was truly touched by the show of affection after so long. He says that he wasn't sure that anyone would remember him and was touched by his reception by the fans and the respect the players showed him. Gillies and Potvin have smiles on their faces the whole time Arbour speaks. He says he doesn't miss coaching and enjoys what he is doing now the most, nothing. He gets many chuckles from the room as his wit is as sharp as ever. He goes on to say that he likes the current team because they work very hard shift after shift, and when you play like that you will have a chance to win every game you play despite the lack of superstars on the team. Al did say that for 5 minutes in the 2nd period the team played poorly (My words not his). He thanks the fans and the organization one more time and make his way to what I hope was a fun and well deserved after party.

Coach Nolan is up next and he looks happy as a clam. Nolan goes on to talk about the events that led up to Arbour coaching the game. He talks a little more about the game and how the team doesn't give up. He said that DiPietro got hit in the eye with Crosby's stick, but that was refuted later by Chris Botta saying the he got hit around the eye. As it stands he is day to day with a facial contusion. Miro Satan says that the players were thrilled to get the win for Arbour as the magnitude of his presence was not lost on any of them. The players all seemed to have a deep respect for the man as they all repeatedly and rightfully refereed to him as a legend.

You can say whatever you want about the Islanders franchise. You can say this was a publicity stunt. You can say it was a ploy to get people in the stands. You can say whatever you want, but the fact of the matter is that this organization, and I mean the one owned by Charles Wang knows how to treat the teams rich history and the people who are responsible for it. Previous owners have and the alumni have been quoted as saying that they have felt used and mistreated. They never involved the alumni's families in any of the festivities. They wouldn't cover hotel rooms and travel expenses for the families. Now all of that bad feeling is gone. I have heard the Alumni comment positively on the changes in how the organization treats them. The ceremonies under Charles Wang's watch have been dignified, appropriate, and never overblown. Charles Wang understand the history of the team and has brought back Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy to the good graces of the Islander name. Last nights ceremonies were quite simply the perfect way for the fans and the Islander organization to give Al Arbour one great big thank you for the memories.

Please share your fondest memories of Al Arbour.


Friday, November 2, 2007


The impostors that kidnapped the Islanders at the last game last month against Carolina seemed to have been exorcised, hopefully for good. Solid D, taking advantage of the other teams mistakes, solid goal tending, and a bit of an assist from the goal posts and the Islanders have a 4-0 shutout victory. Oh.. and poor Andy Hilbert, he is the definition of Snake Bit and at this point can't even seem to be able to shoot the puck in the Atlantic Ocean. Hopefully one will bounce in off someones leg as he is overdue to have one bounce his way.

First of all, congratulations are due to Mike Sillinger. Playing in the NHL by itself is a tremendous accomplishment. Playing well enough to last 1000 games is something that should be honored and the Islanders did a fine job with it last night. The attendance I will say was disappointing. An announced crowd liberally announced at 11,008 was all the fans could muster despite the team offering a 40% off promotion. I have said it before, empty seats bug me. Hopefully on Saturday the place will be packed rightfully so as that game has an awful lot going for it. Anything short of the capacity of 16,234 would be a disappointment as Al Arbour will be behind the bench one more time. Oh, and there is that Penguin team has a couple of pretty good players on it... Some kids named Crosby and Malkin have made some sort of a splash. Ill have to keep an eye on them Saturday, see if they have anything to bring to the game.

Locker Room Report - After being shuttled down past the security hopefully getting a glimpse of Al Arbour who was in the building, waiting in the interview room and this time Coach Nolan was up first. Looking a heck of a lot more comfortable than he did last year.. err..month err week, at the last press conference he speaks positively about what the Islanders had to do to try and recover from the beating they took last week. They tried to put DiPietro in as many game situations as they could, scrimmages with lots of traffic in front, clogging the middle and shots through traffic to get him the work he was missing through the teams inactivity. He also said the Islanders are looking forward to getting past this hiccup and getting back into a schedule that resembles the NHL and not the NFL (My words not his). Nolan speaks fondly of Sillinger and the hard works it takes not only to make it to this level but to stay here as long as he has. Nolan also speaks about Arbour and what a joy and an honor it will be for him to stand next to the Hall of Famer behind the bench.

After Nolan was shuffled off to the Locker Room on the Blogger hot seat was Josef Vasicek. I'm a tall guy but this guy is big. When asked he speaks about the lapse in the schedule and the fact that the team had 6 games in 9 days, and then 2 games in 11 days saying it is tough to start the season with such a flurry of action to sit and wait to play for so long when all you want to do is play games, especially after a game like the Carolina game which probably had to be tough for him as it is his former team. I ask Josef about any special drills or practices the team went through and he says that Nolan tried to put them through as many real game situations that he could, using a 5 minute 4 on 4 structure simulating overtime to keep them skating. He says that helped but there is nothing like real game activity. I asked him about Saturdays game against the Penguins and anything they do to watch guys like Crosby. He says with a guy like that you always have to be aware when he is on the ice and try to contain him as best you can because he is a guy that every time he is on the ice he can make an impact, so you try and minimize his opportunities. He also speaks fondly of Arbour looking forward to having him on the bench for the game Saturday night.

The Team and its coach seems really pleased they are passed this stretch of the schedule because despite what they said to the contrary this blogger's opinion is is bothered the hell out of them as a team. So its back to business and a somewhat normal schedule. The Islanders stand at 6-4 and well beyond what anyone with a NHL column or show thought they would be.

We will see (hopefully) a FULL HOUSE on Saturday and welcome back for a night a huge part of the Islanders history as Al Arbour returns to the bench for his 1,500th game as coach. Hopefully that 739 banner that is hanging from the rafters will become outdated.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Devils Opened a new arena - The Lighthouse Project

Its True. The Prudential Center, already dubbed "The Rock" has been opened. Its an absolute jewel of an arena. The Devils and their fans should be very proud of what they are a part of in Newark. They are part of a cities resurgence. Its a victory for small market teams everywhere. Except the Islanders. The Islanders have their plan, approved and backed by the County of Nassau. That shocking revelation aside, the plan sits in the red tape and bureaucracy of the Town of Hempstead. The plans are sitting there (hopefully) being analyzed for rezoning and town approval. So whats the problem? The problem is that they are projecting 18-24 months for the process to be completed. That's ONE AND A HALF YEARS. 547.5 Days. 78 Weeks before a shovel ever hits the ground. Before you ask the question why should this project get put at the front of the Town's business, let me answer it. Nassau County and the Long Island economy have many problems. We have had these problems for years since the Gulotta administrations gross mishandling of our tax dollars. I won't get into that because that's another story. This project would be an absolute BOOM to the local economy. Jobs, housing, businesses, office space, a minor league baseball stadium, hotels, tourist attractions and oh yeah, the redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum are some of the benefits this project encompasses. This project should be at the forefront of all Town, County, Long Island, District, and NY State business. Not on the back burner, but at the forefront. NY City is building not one but TWO brand spanking new what will turn out to be state of the art gorgeous new baseball stadiums. New Jersey built the Devils a gorgeous new arena and are moving forward with their plans for a brand new football stadium. The fact that this project is caught in limbo because of town bureaucracy is simply inexcusable. We have all seen the criticism, its Charles Wang's vanity project, hes only using the Islanders to get the project he wants done. Yeah... that's probably true. There is no denying that Charles Wang has an ego the sized of Nassau County. The plain truth is he has done wonders for the economy of the Island and its only pro sports team. This project would generate major tax revenue for a county that so needs to ease the burden on its tax payers. The area around the Coliseum is an absolute mess. the building is a joke compared to the facilities populating the NHL these days. Has anyone seen any of the other arenas in the NHL? Some of them are simply spectacular. Visiting players joke about the state of the building. We have our own management saying the facilities are inadequate.

Nassau County needs this project. We need it badly and 2-4 more years of red tape is all that stands in the way of a residential and commercial oasis in the middle of it all. Its time we all not as Hockey fans, but as Long Islanders show the politicians we N E E D this project to go forward as soon as possible to make not only the Coliseum a place people want to go, but to make Nassau County and Long Island a place people want to stay and live, not abandon for other areas of the country where instead of red tape, you have progress.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

BLOG BOX REPORT - CAR 8, NYI 3 10/27/07

They were back tonight. Those guys with Islander jerseys on that we saw in Toronto a few weeks back. I know that wasn't the same group of guys we saw sweep Buffalo, beat the Rangers and Devils. I know that wasn't Radek Martinek and Andy Sutton out there tonight, but two impostors that found their jerseys and have Sutton and Martinek tied up somewhere. It was ugly. Ugly with a capitol U. Bowling Shoe ugly. The kind of ugly where you almost have to laugh and scratch your head.

In the locker room I was up for a new experience. This was the 1st time I would be back there not only after a loss, but after the Islanders were taken out back to the wood shed. First up on the hot seat was DiPietro. Say what you want about this guy, but losing REALLY gets to him. He looked P.O. ed and rightfully so. 6 goals and most not his fault. Asked about the odd schedule Rick says basically he is not going to make any excuses and they were ready to play. They have to get back on the ice as soon as possible to work and stay sharp. The thing I think fans love about this guy is that he wears his heart on his sleeve and bleeds orange and blue, he LOVES to win and HATES to lose. So much for that contract making him complacent. Next up was Mike Sillinger and he stresses that its just one game and they can reverse all of the bad feelings with a strong game next month (my words not his) against Tampa. Next up was the captain Bill Guerin. Guerin, always a class act gives credit to the Canes for the game saying they took advantage of every mistake they made.

In the coaches interview, Coach Nolan makes it a point that they cannot complain about the schedule. Its the schedule and they have to play it and its their job to keep the fire burning through the lengthy stoppages in play. Despite what the players and coach Nolan say publicly about the schedule, it seems to this humble blog boxer that they are bothered by the how the schedule turned out for them this year. I don't think they would ever use it as an excuse and that is how it should be dealt with but I bet people close to them have heard earfuls about it. I would be willing to bet money you would not see the High and Mighty Red Wings, Rangers, Penguins, Maple Leafs and Canadiens have to deal with such a fop ah. Such is life for the small market team.


It was a close vote this week. 32% of you thought that ejection from the building is enough punishment for brawling in the stands. 23% thought they should be arrested and 23% thought that ejection of the guilt party was in order. 15 % said "LET EM FIGHT" which I hope was an attempt at humor. Next weeks poll will be about which face of the Jekyll and Hyde Islanders team is the true face. See you Next month when the Islanders take on Mr. St. Louis and the Lightning.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Random Thoughts this Week.

Hello Fans. I present you with 5 Random thoughts on the season so far.

#1 - This week is nearly empty hockey Islander wise due to a quirk in the NHL scheduling. for the 1st time in a long time, the Islander have one game this week. Just reinforces the notion that the Islanders are overlooked by the powers that be in the NHL. This void will have to be filled with games on back to back nights in different cities more than once, like when the Islanders has to fly out of NVMC and did or did not show up in Toronto the next night.

#2 - Its VERY Early in the hockey season. Having said that I can say I am looking forward to journalist after journalist (Can you hear me Adam Proteau?) Printing their long and well thought out apologies to Charles Wang, Garth Snow, Ted Nolan, the Islander fans, The Islander players, and maybe a few of the peanut vendors at the Coliseum. The Team has continued its strong play now with a record of 5-3, and only played poorly in one out of 8 games, the aforementioned rear end of a two night two city back to back after a hard fought Ranger game. Hopefully the Islanders can continue to make fools out of Hockey writers and serve them up a huge plate of craw to eat come this April. If the Islanders are fortunate enough to make the playoffs this year then I look forward to reading about how Adam Proteau is going to lobby the NHL to change the name of the Jack Adams trophy to the Ted Nolan trophy as he suggested.

#3 - Empty Seats bug me. They always have and they always do. I know the ticket prices are to high. I know the team hasn't been very good. I know they have made bonehead moves that would make Don Maloney blush. All this being said, there is no excuse for the place not to be sold out on Saturday nights and for all Ranger and Pittsburgh games. That's all I have to say about that. I will predict that if this team continues to do what it has been doing then allow me to channel James Earl Jones - "People will come Ray... people will most definitely come!!"

#4 - Are you worried about Wade? At some point Dublewicz is going to get some more work. Should we be expecting another back of the neck sunburn? I can answer this one. This guy stood tall (no pun intended) last season and won game sunder the most pressure he had ever faced at the time. He will be fine, at least I think he will.

#5 - Is there any person who watched the Islanders 5-2 victory over the Caps that actually thought they were going to uphold the Fedotenko goal? Its like knowing the other guy has a flush against your straight. You lose every time.

Let me hear some of your "Random Thoughts" or what you think of mine!! See you at NVMC on Saturday.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Five MORE things that Bug me. Poll Results

Hello Fans. First this weeks poll results. Fans apparently think Bryan Berard will play a lot of games this year with 62 % of the voters thinking Berard will play 50-69 games and only 3% thinking he will play less than 50 games. This weeks poll centers around what you think should be done with people who fight in the stands. It has been a slow hockey week and visitors seem to enjoy the "Things That Bug Me" column so why not chime in with some more items that basically stick in my craw.

1) Channel 14? Why in the name of all that is holy is Cablevision using a channel that is on its analog band as its over run channel. Why do the Devils ALWAYS get preferential treatment on FSNY? These are questions I would love to pose to the good people at Cablevision, but their history when it comes to the Islanders is spotty. They have not aired games in the past, had an extended war with the Yankees and Mets over their networks, and continue to absolutely crap all over the Islanders every chance they get. Could this be because the Rangers and MSG are property of Cablevision? I'll leave that for all of the conspiracy enthusiasts out there.

2) White Out - What happened to the proposed tinting of the ice surface?

3) Buffalo Fans - What is with the banging on the glass? Why do they continue to boo Satan? All I know is they better not lay out the red carpet for Drury and Briere. That would be hypocrisy at its highest.

4) I can't hate Jason Blake anymore. People may or may not believe this, but I have not been a fan of Jason Blake over the years. Over time, he seemed to grow spoiled, entitled and arrogant with his role with the team. He hogged the puck, he was greedy. Then he opens his mouth in the middle of a playoff chase demanding a contract. THEN he signs with the hated Leafs. Then he disses the Islanders and their fans by making a comment about playing in front of a full house for a change. I'm all ready to show him what I think of him when the Leafs come to town. Then the bomb shell hits. Leukemia? The bottom line is this guy has a family and I wish him all of the best. I still do not want to see a teary "Thank You Jason" video, but a best wishes video or a stay healthy video would be great.

5) Fights in the stands. They are irresponsible, silly, serve no purpose, dangerous to people around them, and anyone caught fighting in the stands should be charged with misdemeanor assault, en citing a riot, and endangering people around them. What if God forbid an errant punch finds a kid? Or a woman? Or two or 3 of these cement heads rolls around and takes someone down with them? I witnessed a fight in the section above the blog box and an older lady wound up on the bottom of two fist swinging fans, one of whom happened to be her son. Who started it? That sounds like a discussion better left for the elementary school Principal's office. Yell, root, chant but KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELVES!!


Monday, October 15, 2007

5 Things that Bug Me.

I always thought it may be fun to address some of the things that annoy, irritate, disgust, and basically just stick in your craw as a hockey fan. So here they are in all of their glory. I will update this from time to time with more things that bug me, as I am sure more will pop up. Hey its a long season. So here it goes.

1) Islanders Offense. We had to figure that at some point this season someone some where would start complaining about the lack of offense this team has. Those concerns started around July 1, 2007. Something must have happened that day but I can't remember what. The last 4games the Islanders have scored 1 whole 5 on 5 goal. That is a problem and it bugs me.

2) Mats Sundin. I don't have a problem with the man personally but that smile that I see every time the Leafs score a goal.. THAT bugs me.

3) Fans of other teams (Hello Islander and Ranger fans.. Met and Yankee fans) that comb other teams message boards looking for a grade school argument with all the intelligence of a dog sniffing his own rear end. If you have something to contribute to a discussion then great by all means post away.

4) Goalie issues - Can we please find some equipment in actual human sizes? Can we please eliminate the asinine trapezoid?

5) Reebok Edge Jerseys. I like the Islander design, let me 1st say that. What I don't like is a league with so many problems taking the perspective from where it should be (finding new viewers, marketing its superstars) and placing it on the back of a ridiculously over hyped and unnecessary uniform system.

That's my five. What are some of the things that are bugging you? Please post your thoughts.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

BLOG BOX REPORT - NYI 2, NYR 1 10/10/07

I have just returned from the NVMC as a reporter of sorts for the first time. Let me first say the experience was memorable. First arriving and parking in the Media Lot, then walking through the media gate to retrive my Media Credentials. Hey!! thats got my name on it along with the name of the Blog you are reading. Then I get to the blog box, which is not a box, but a table with chairs behind section 201 which is an outstanding place to watch a game. I watch an outstanding hockey game. I wont get into the meat of the game itself because im sure you all saw it. A 2-1 Victory later and we are ushered downstairs past security and into the media interview room, past Marc-Andre Bergeron in full uniform and the Islanders locker room. We wait... and in walks Bruno Gervais. Let me tell you this, he is one of the most personable athletes you will ever meet. He takes the time to ask us all our names and shake our hands before answering every question posed to him. He answers questions about his playing time with 7 defenseman saying that he doesnt think about the minutes he plays just jumping over the boards when the coach says his name. He says the penalty kill is something they have worked on over training camp. A couple of questions later I get my chance:

My questions - FCT's question #1 Is clogging passing lanes and not giving the skilled players on teams like the Rangers something you have been working on in camp? He answers immediatley that yes they have to clog passing lanes and keep skilled players to the outside. The game has changed and you cannot grab and hold players anymore. Defenseman have to know the passing lanes and keep themselves between players and the net, as well as not give them room to handle the puck.

FCT's Question 2 - How has this team managed to gel so quickly with so many new players brought in in the off season? His answer is that the players the team brought in are all great guys, and great team guys. He says he wakes up every day excited to come to the rink for practice and play games because of the atmosphere around the team these days. He says the locker room is a great place to be because of it and he is excited to be a part of it.

Then.. after Bruno has to go to catch a plane to go to Toronto for tomorrow's game, in walks the coach. He goes to the podium we all see on TV after games. All of the professional reporters have to ask thier questions first, but Nolan waits for the Bloggers to ask questions also and I had a reporter steal the question I was going to ask and being a little star struck couldnt think of a question to ask him before it was time for him to go. I'll be sure and have a few more questions for him next time. All in all it was great to hear Coach Nolan answer questions in person and next time I will get another chance to ask away.

One thing I would like to do is to try and ask Nolan questions from the fans. What are some questions you would ask the coach? If I can I will work them in and post all responses here. The cherry on top? Almost walking into Bryan Trottier on the way out of the locker room area.

I look forward to getting to know the fellow blog boxers better and trying to be the Voice of the Islander Fans.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Hello fans, The Islanders are 2-1 with 3 good efforts so far and Bryan Berard is finally under contract. That should help the one thing that did not click in the Caps game and that is the power play giving them a true point man play maker to man the point with Bergeron. Ill be in the Blog Box tomorrow for the Ranger game and I hope to see a MAJORITY of Islander fans in attendance and hopefully we can drown out the Ranger faithful who are in attendance. 3 games and 3 sell outs? Lets keep it up and show the rest of the NHL that the Islanders have some of the best and loudest fans in the NHL.

This Weeks Poll results - A vast majority are expecting this version of the Islanders to make the playoffs, and other expect much more. Only 3 people out of 48 who voted said the team would finish out of playoff contention. Most (43%) expect a finish of 7th or 8th. with another 21% expecting 5-6th. Here's to hoping we are all right. This weeks poll is How many games will Berard play this year?

Lets Go Islanders.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Is this a mirage?

My fellow Islander fans!! I have just returned from a rocking NVMC. I sat there in section 214 watching this team. They have that familiar crest on we all know, the NY with the stick over an orange image of the unique suburb we all live in known as Long Island. Something is not right though... they play together, they hit, the don't stop skating, they don't take a shift off, they don't back down when challenged, they stick up for each other, the top center plays with an edge, there is no selfish goal scorer hogging the puck... Oh and that top line they put together has 16 points in two games all against a very good team in the Buffalo Sabres. Sixteen Points in two games. If this team plays this way night in and night out they will be in every game and if DiPietro continues to improve they will win a good amount of them and Garth Snow and Ted Nolan will win awards for what they have done here. Granted this is all very early but the only thing we have to judge this team on are the two games they have played and this judge likes what he sees.

Let me know what you think? Is this what we can expect all season or is this a mirage?


Friday, October 5, 2007

Its Here...

This can be the best time of the year for a sports fan. Its the one time of the year where the Boys of Summer, the Grid Iron and the sheets of ice start to get cut. We can finally stop speculating, guessing and predicting. We can finally see what this Islander team has to show us. Will they fall on their face? Will they exceed expectations? Will they simply challenge for a playoff spot? The 82 game answer is coming fans, and the 1st chapter of that answer will be written TONIGHT. I will be in NVMC Tomorrow for the home opener and I hope to see 16,234 fellow fans there to cheer this team on. We need to pack the old barn for the home opener and show these guys just how loud we can be. For the 1st time in long time it feels like a new beginning hopefully this can be the start of something special.

I will be leaving a commentary of my thoughts on the 1st 2 games. I hope to hear from many fans on their thoughts here.


Monday, October 1, 2007

The Good and the Bad Part III - New Islanders Part II

This sounds like another sequel to Friday the 13th the Final Chapter Part II. I have had a pretty good response to Parts I and II of the Good and the bad so here it goes for Part III.

Confused? Ok then Lets move on.. There are a lot of new faces on the Islanders for this season. We have covered the free agent signings of Fedotenko, Comrie, Guerin, Sutton and Sim. Lets switch our attention to another group of new Islanders who could contribute greatly to the team's success or failure this season. They are - Sean Bergenheim, Jeff Tambellini, Bryan Berard, and Josef Vasicek.

1) To much is being heaped on these players shoulders. We can't expect Bergenheim and Tambellini, who as rookies have to prove they can even make in in the NHL to begin with, much less contribute to a teams success. Berard is talented but injury prone and has been labeled with the "s" word. Vasicek is big, but there is a reason Carolina let him go.

2) With such a large turnaround in player personnel, it could be months before the team gels, if they gel at all. By then the playoffs will be out of reach.

3) Past the 1st line, this team is just not going to score enough goals. These 4 will only help a little; suiting them up is akin to putting a band aid on a gun shot wound.


1) Berard can still move the puck as he is still only 30. When he was healthy the last 3 seasons, as he appears to be now he produces points and will improve the power play, which is GREATLY needed. If this team wants to win games, the power play is going to have to be top 7 or 8 in the NHL.

2) Teams cannot succeed without injections of youth. That being said, that youth has to be talented which Vasicek, Bergenheim and Tambellini certainly are. Vasicek wants to prove the Canes wrong for letting him go, and Tambellini and Bergenheim are hungry to prove that they belong and can contribute to a winner.

3) The player personnel turnaround was necessary to change the culture of this team. Snow and company changed the mindset that they cannot succeed in the playoffs and that making 8th place is good enough and stopped the notion that no free agents will sign on the Island. The players that have gone will take their long standing attitudes and locker room problems with them and in their place is a younger, leaner team that will challenge their opponents on a nightly basis, and be a blast to watch this year.

Let me know what points you do or do not agree with. All opinions are welcome!! I will see you guys at the Coliseum on Saturday. Com on by Section 214 and say hello!


Friday, September 21, 2007

If I were Commisioner, I would.....

Hello hockey fans. Let me first say I am a hockey fan. I love the game and its history. I know that most people reading can sense the "but" coming so I'll get right to the point. The NHL has many issues. Serious issues. Where to begin...

Viewers. The NHL has the lowest viewer ship of any of the 4 major sports. The league has also resorted to having its flagship station be a network who's main feature before hockey was Bass Fishing. The league needs to do something about how the game is presented on television. It translates horribly. One thing they can start with is have standardized television coverage for all 30 of its franchises. Why can't for example the Islanders for FSNY use the same video feed when they are in Montreal that the Canadiens present to their fans? Why does it have to look as if they are shooting the game from the International Space Station? Standardized coverage is a must if this league wants to be taken seriously.

White Out? - What happened with the experimentation of using a colored ice surface? Last season they tested light blue in Buffalo for the pre-season last season. After good reviews of the test nothing has been done or said since. The casual viewer will not take looking at a screen of all white all of the time. It can be draining on the eyes and a little more color could be a good thing. With all of the hair brained schemes the NHL has come up with, you'd think they would try something that could make the game more palatable to exactly what it needs - NEW FANS.

Rule Changes. Some work, others don't. How much longer will we as fans have to deal with the asinine goalie trapezoid? The league actually believes that this results in more offense. Goaltenders that are capable of playing the puck should be allowed to do so without this ridiculous restriction. Most goaltenders are adept at playing the puck up the boards and as we as Islander fans have seen hitting a forward for a breakaway or breakout pass to set in motion exactly what the league wants... more offense. Speaking of goaltenders, how much longer is the league going to allow net minders to wear equipment and jerseys that are sometimes 5 times larger than they should wear? In some cases its almost as if a team can place a mannequin in net and as long as the equipment is big enough they will have a .900 save percentage.

Interference. Sooner or later, referees and players are going to have to learn what is interference and what is not. The only problem is its almost like holding at the line of scrimmage in football. It is strictly up the referee's discretion what not to and what to call. This may be a problem that does not have a solution but 18 power plays a game is not the answer.

Video review. Any fan of Islanders hockey who watched last season came away with feelings that ranged from disgust to paranoia. To many times it seemed the Islanders fate was tied to a questionable late video review that SEEMED to go against us. To me the solution is simple. You may or may not remember the "Foxtracks" glowing puck that the Fox network used during their coverage of the NHL. Why cant the NHL Place a sensor in the puck and sensors in the goal that will tell you that the puck has crossed the line? I know the goal judges are going to hate this one but so many times due to the over sized goaltender equipment, sprawling bodies, skates, helmets, sticks among other things obscuring the view of the puck it becomes impossible at time to tell if the puck has crossed the line. How many times is a puck underneath a goalie over the line that we may not see? We have the technology, we can build it.

Jerseys make you play better? I can only imagine how much time and money was spent on these new Reebok Edge jerseys and uniforms. I would rather imagine my favorite sport improving through fixing what is actually wrong with the game, instead of tinkering with the jerseys. NHL jerseys have always had appeal and no more fans are going to buy it because it repels water. This is a microcosm as to what is wrong with the NHL. Its like having a house with a crumbling foundation, and spending all of your time working on the roof. Imagine how many goals Bossy would have scored with THIS jersey? Its just silly.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!! Do you have any rule changes you would like to see implemented? If you were commissioner what would you do?


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Good and the Bad - Part 2 - New Islander Jerseys

Hello Hockey fans and welcome to the Voice of the Islander Fans Blog Site, a proud part of the Inaugural Islanders Blog Box. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and reading all of yours and I would like to thank the New York Islanders for giving the fans this unprecedented forum to share our thoughts. Please catch Part 1 of "The Good and The Bad" discussing the new additions as well as the subtractions from the Islanders roster by clicking or by copy and pasting this link -

Here Goes for Part 2 which we will discuss the most recent uniform change the Islander have made as mandated by the NHL with its partnership with Reebok for its Edge uniform system.

The Good -
1 - The Overall design of the jersey has the best of both worlds in the classic logo that hangs on the Stanley Cup banners in the Coliseum and a nice new color scheme replacing the old horizontal line stripes. Young fans are more likely to wear jerseys and making them more appealing to young fans is paramount.
2 - The Number on the front is a great addition and will greatly help the sales and popularity of the new jerseys as it did for Buffalo a season ago. After all Buffalo does not have a trade mark on the concept.
3 - There is no fisherman logo any where in sight and that we can take as a Good any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Also, they did not buckle to the trend of adding black to the uniform.

The Bad -
1 - They should have not done the block style colors and made it similar to the classic jerseys. Why change a classic? They look more like pajamas than hockey uniforms!!
2 - The number on the front is just a copycat of what the Sabres did and can be considered a blatant rip off of a novel idea.
3 - The NHL as a league should be more concerned with improving the viewer ship of the NHL and marketing the new crop of superstars it has instead of wasting time with the Reebok Edge Uniforms. All of the money that has been spent and all of the time that has been wasted on what is at the end of the day a gimmick would have been better served to refine rule changes, work with players to stop the endless interference calls and something to make the game more appealing to the television viewer.

I share some of the opinions above but not all. I am very interested to see what the fans have to say on this subject as I'm sure it will be a hot topic of discussion. As we all know us Islander fans are very touchy when it comes to changing our beloved orange and blue uniform. Let me know what points you agree or disagree with and why. Please, no flaming we are all entitles to our opinions and I welcome all opinions on this blog.

Lets Go Islanders!!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Good and the Bad - Part 1 - New Islanders

This is going to be a recurring theme on this Blog, The Good and the Bad, where we will explore a subject with the top 3 reasons something in the Islanders Universe is either going really good, or really bad. I would like everyone to "voice" their opinion here and let me know which side of the wall you fall on the "Good" or the "Bad" While I share SOME of the opinions below, I by no means agree with ALL of the opinions below, so please no flaming if you disagree with one or all of the points below or in the replies.

The Good and Bad Part 1 - Bill Guerin, Jon Sim, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Comrie, and Andy Sutton have signed free agent contracts to play for our New York Islanders replacing Alexei Yashin, Ryan Smyth, Jason Blake, Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov.

The Good -
1 - The Veterans coming in have the kind of grit, determination, skill and moxie that the media and Islander fans alike have come to call "Nolan type Players". The departure of Blake, Yashin, Poti, & Kozlov was necessary to change the makeup of this team to a team that will never take a night off and squander valuable points at any point of the upcoming season making a playoff spot a forgone conclusion. Tom Poti was so soft in the defensive zone he canceled out his offensive point production by not using his size around the net. Jason Blake while talented was not worth a 5 year contract at his age and sometimes his decisions about what to do with the puck can be considered highly questionable. He will never score close to 40 goals again and his comments before the trading deadline cost him a load of respect with the fans and management.
2 - Andy Sutton will provide the nasty crease clearing presence that plagued the Islanders so much last season when they could not move other players from the front of the net or from invading DiPietro's crease seemingly at will.
3 - The incoming players not only bring worlds of experience, they bring successful playoff experience including Stanley Cup Championships where they featured for their respective teams and were great contributors to their teams success. All of the outgoing players (Save Smyth, but that was one year out of 13) have all had limited to no playoff success.

The Bad -
1 - Replacing Kozlov, Yashin, Blake, and Smyth will be near impossible. The 4 combined for over 100 goals last season. Poti Logged oodles of minutes and despite his defensive short comings provided a sure handed defenseman that will be difficult to replace. The Guerin Smyth argument boils down to who you think is a better player, leader and scorer and you can make a case that Smyth is better in all 3 categories. Yashin & Kozlov despite their reputations contributed greatly to the offense of this team and the Islanders still have a ways to go to replace much less surpass last years offense.
2 - Jason Blake was the heart & Soul of this team and he cannot be replaced.
3 - Top tier free agents like Forsberg, Drury, Gomez, & Smyth are impossible to lure (or keep) to Long Island because of the state of the Coliseum and the impression that the Islanders do not draw as well as other big market teams in the NHL. The players that have signed with the Islanders are all 2nd tier free agents that no one else really wanted badly.

So there it is. I'm sure you agree or disagree with some or all of the points above, feel free to "voice" your opinion and lets discuss!!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Hello to all of the Islander fans reading this. I have been selected to be involved with the Islanders Blog Box and I look forward to sharing all of my thoughts on the New York Islanders with other fans via the internet. My First Post will be on the newest Islanders and I will have it up within the next day. LETS GO ISLANDERS and ill see you at the Coliseum!!