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!!