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!