You know it’s a sign of something good when Steve Staios is breaking in shorthanded.
All kidding aside, New York was the better team, had the extra step, outworked the Pens, and earned their sweep of the home and home.
They have had success at home vs Pittsburgh before this season.
Not sure what to make of Bailey but a remarkable night to register five points. Of course for this blog he should play his natural position of center. The concept of him being a winger has been tried many times without success, but that’s not for today.
Congratulations to Josh Bailey.
Nielsen-Okposo played with Grabner the entire second half of last season.
Congratulations to Kyle Okposo for a new career high in goals.
That was an incredible effort by Pandolfo short-handed to get the puck to Bailey.
When a dominating team hits the wall like Pittsburgh has, they are going to lose some games, and make some mistakes trying to do more, despite this they still almost came all the way back.
The Pens short-handed play was good, despite the goal they allowed off their defense.
Montoya’s surprising me a little, he looked unplayable for a long time (even before injuries) but now he seems to have settled down which does not happen in a vacuum.
The shift Reasoner came off the bench and scored his first, like in Florida the team had a dominating shift, you could see the Isles were beating the Pens to the net.. Okposo found the quality spot, the first line did not finish but generated chances, Grabner, Niederreiter and Martin had chances.
Streit is just playing like he was told go play offense for a while now, he got caught in Pittsburgh when someone did not cover well, but he has to do it.
Isles took some big hits to clear some pucks on defense.
Overall this suggests nothing new, the Isles have been a team between five hundred and six under the entire season. This is no carryover to next season if there is one.
Now we see what happens with Bridgeport, who need Ullstrom (plus Cizikas) and what happens when Boston/Ottawa visit over the weekend.
Those teams have not hit the wall the Pens have, they will be much tougher.
For this day congratulations to the New York Islanders.
New York is five points clear of the 27th place team. Toronto is playing the kind of hockey where they may well not win another game, anything can happen.
Beating Winnipeg/Columbus or even better having success against Boston/Ottawa/New Jersey could place the Isles around the 8th or 9th team from 30th spot.
He did play briefly under Jack Capuano in Bridgeport here and no doubt worked under Capuano in summer or training camps.
The point is Capuano and Okposo were familiar with one another when he returned from his shoulder injury in January 2011.
Kyle Okposo is a young player, he’s had success and shown he has first line potential.
Jack Capuano is in a tough spot here. He’s benched Okposo, put him on the top line where a pick of his potential should thrive with Tavares, however now again is off that line for Parenteau.
Okposo’s been used with Nielsen most of the time since his return in 2011, that produced five goals, but did not get a lot of notice because of Grabner’s success on that line combined with his injury.
Seems the only thing that brought immediate improvement for a short-time was Okposo’s benching this season, and not just the two quick goals against the Flyers, but his dive to the net returned.
Of course the numbers are important, however he’s simply not generating chances, skating well, and visible in games for all the wrong reasons.
There are no easy answer here, this is not the same player before his injury.
The Milbury plan and a trade should not even be a thought.
The only acceptable plan is the staff does everything possible to get Okposo back to the player he used to be.
That’s part of what the staff is paid to do, that’s why the player got a five year contract extension.
As for Josh Bailey, many have read our 8/25/11 entry about him being mismanaged by the club.
Bailey dismissed returning to play his third forward position (RW) against Washington.
Despite scoring this blog feels players who teams use first round picks to draft, must play their natural position.
Bailey’s been different than Okposo, he’s had very visible games with a lot of unproductive wingers.
The answer is not to make Bailey a full time wing again.
The facts are the players here all praise this organization, that’s a reflection of the head coach.
Blake Comeau went both ways first crediting his work with Capuano in Bridgeport, then praising Scott Gordon, who picked Nate Thompson over him and played the communication with Capuano card.
Rolston also had some comments that seemed odd considering the minutes and role he was given on the club’s powerplay.
One reason Jack Capuano was given a contract to return in 2011-12 was familiarity with the Isles prospects.
Garth Snow made clear recently he’s very happy with his head coach.
Should he be satisfied getting nothing statistically from most of the veterans, or little aside from the natural progression Tavares has made with Parenteau?
The kind of natural progress you expect from Okposo and Bailey at this point, even without the statistics?
Or is the reality no coach was going to make some of these veterans more productive, and this collectively hurt the ability of many forwards to do better?
Reasoner/Rolston second half numbers a year ago would suggest one thing.
Parenteau, Moulson progress/improvement says that works both ways.
Little to add from twitter comments.
Steve Staios does his absolute best in a role he should never have been entrusted with.
This team came out and should have been down four goals in the first period, even if they won 2-0 it was a terrible response to Sunday’s game.
How they won the previous game in Washington is how they needed to play Monday, the scoreboard never reflected the disparity in skating most of that game.
Flyers come limping home after having a very tough trip to the west coast where they should be tired, it will make no difference if the Isles continue to struggle in games.
Will we see the Islander team that went into Philadelphia and earned a 5-2 win with excellent skating or the game where they looked shorthanded for sixty five minutes and Nabokov stole a shootout?
What’s also is clear very soon, someone’s going to have to start a game besides Nabokov.
Our new twitter box has it’s first update on that front.
Islanders website: Report goaltender Anders Nilsson has been signed to a three year entry level contract.
See twitter for link: Nilsson received a max contract, the highest awarded since lockout ended for a third round pick, and will be in North America next season per his agent.
That puts Nilsson, Koskinen and Poulin in Bridgeport with Montoya, Nabokov and DiPietro in New York. A lot of surgery/injury among current Islander goaltender ranks, but a signing that had to be done this summer or rights of a high draft pick would have been lost.
ITV: Released Doug Weight’s complete press conference.
XM: Had an interview with Kyle Okposo on his new contract, Doug Weight and other items.
Will be toning down blog entries or posting them via twitter. NYIFC is supposed to be more of a blog that’s an extension of it’s twitter page. It has been a very busy stretch so more has been written here lately.
Setting the agenda:
NYIFC is a hockey blog, not a political blog. Entries have been written on the politics behind this, so from here on we’re not going that deep into the political end of things, the recent/past archives have plenty on the Coliseum issue.
The order can suddenly change depending on sudden signings, trades or organizational changes. Bridgeport needs a head coach. RFA/UFA have to be signed or qualified and prospects have to be signed.
Seems every day something is happening, it was not this active during games.
1. The Memorial Cup and Casey Cizikas has to be signed by 5/31. St Michaels Majors plays semi-finals Friday night against Kootenay.
Toronto Sun: Terry Koshan had his usual issues with the Islanders, but Casey Cizikas comments on signing with the club on Wednesday.
2. 5/31 is the next Nassau County legislature chance to vote for a referendum vote happening in August, after last week who knows if that will be delayed again?
Instead of waiting on twitter updates/articles from this blog/wherever go to NassauCounty.ny.iqm2.com and simply watch meeting/hearing/vote live for yourselves.
3. After that no doubt more financial articles and spin in Cablevision’s newspaper and a ton of rhetoric both ways. You know where this blog stands on these items, Mangano/politics/ect.
4. Draft updates/possible signings or qualifying offers to RFA or UFA. NYIFC has opened it’s draft sections here and at the prospect blog.
As for UFA The Province: Zenon Konopka’s comments on Trevor Gillies, and other subjects.
It’s great the Islanders locked up Grabner, Okposo and likely will do so with their other RFA. The backloaded contracts speak a great deal to Charles Wang’s time as owner whether a Coliseum referendum passes and receives approvals or not.
Charles Wang may not be around to pay those players for a lot of reasons, he will be seventy two come final year of those deals.
It also has to be written who is going to buy this team from him if he becomes in effect, the next Smg with a lot of the property/hotel revenue going to him? It’s obvious around the NHL simply owning the building and getting all event revenue is not enough to make owning a team self-sustaining, even when it’s new.
When details come out from credible media (source free) with direct quotes regarding financing there will be more to read, not before.
My initial reaction was taken aback when Doug Weight was assigned assistant coach/assistant to the gm. I wanted a reaction from Jack Capuano, who is now the full time head coach who has Scott Gordon’s staff. Sometimes a general manager/coach relationship goes south which could be a problem for someone in that mix if Weight is in the middle which his role clearly suggests.
Doug Weight is as visible and respected a figure as there is in hockey. If there was an issue he would be outspoken so I do not foresee a problem here. Weight will not pull punches.
Previous assistant’s to Garth Snow seemed very peripheral or not much detail was brought out or confirmed by articles vs what was advertised. If Weight will be behind the bench for every game we will see. Weight’s efforts regarding pp at end of last season failed as someone behind the bench with a lot of injuries in a limited body of work.
If a job is available elsewhere for Scott Gordon, he should be let out of his contract immediately. If one is available here, and he wants it, he should be retained.
Put no stock on players invited to draft party who are UFA, some can be retained, others let go.
The silence is deafening out of Atlanta and very sad for their fans. If ASG can own and pay for the Hawks, they can pay for and operate the Thrashers, it’s not the NHL’s call until they have a sale to approve or reject.
Bill Daly’s comment about Seattle were unexpected for a deputy commissioner who is usually guarded with his statements.
Tsn.ca: Absolutely hit a home run adding former referee, Kerry Fraser. His work is fresh, ground-breaking and comes from a hockey viewpoint few can relate to. I loved his story about Al Arbour and every entry is very good where we learn things.
No, that site does not have hockey centric rss and badly needs a redesign.
Tsn.ca: On the other side of that coin is Scott Cullen, who refused to acknowledge the Islanders 600+ man games lost to injury when we discussed them, but defended the Blues, John Davidson for not spending and cited injury several times when going through players.
All I ever ask is the playing field be level for all teams in viewpoints. If Scott Cullen wants to do thirty team reviews and he writes the Islanders season was over by the time Andrew MacDonald got hurt, of course I’m going to point out the club was 4-1-2, in first place when he got hurt in October.
If that bothers him to where he is defensive about it, that says something about his viewpoint not being informed, fair or objective.
Islanders website: Report Kyle Okposo has been signed to a five year contract extension, with comments from General Manager Garth Snow.
Will be interesting to see if Okposo’s deal is backloaded as Grabner’s was. Either way another in a long-ling of classy/quiet negotiations from this general manager.
Do not read a great deal into the players invited to the draft party (announced on teams website) who are unrestricted free agents.
The long spring continues Thursday with Doug Weight’s 11am press conference.
Casey Cizikas/St Michaels Major have their finals rematch Wednesday night at Memorial Cup with his signing deadline 5/31.
NHL.com: Reports the Islanders announced Tuesday that forward Kyle Okposo’s ailing right shoulder will require surgery that will keep him out indefinitely. Defenseman Mike Mottau was signed to a two-year contract, with general manager Garth Snow’s comments.
Islanders website: Announced lineups traveling to Saskatoon/Philadelphia subject to change.
Don’t know what’s going on but feels like 08-09 all over again with 582 man games lost. To lose Streit, now Okposo long-term frankly are two of the biggest losses this roster can absorb.
Unless there is a trade coming or more pending injuries on the backline it’s very curious Mottau got a two year deal, which may not be a one-way contract.
Mottau was a seventy game player for New Jersey last year, he’s obviously not any kind of fit to replace Mark Streit’s offense.
Okposo out opens the door for Niederreiter’s stay being extended, it may open the door for another winger in Bridgeport or necessitate a lateral move for a veteran off another team now. As written yesterday the players brought in on tryouts are to fill out rosters to ice minimum eight veterans for split squad games so for Ortmeyer, McAmmond, Legace ect it will likely end by Sunday.
So far Weight, Nielsen, Poulin, Lawson, Streit, Okposo, Figren and likely others are out, have lingering injuries/soreness/illness.
The loss of Okposo is huge, but the Islanders had to deal with some extended scoring slumps from Okposo last season when he was healthy, this is a chance for someone else to step in. After Moulson a year ago, anyone can step up.
Garth Snow has his hands full, but again this calls for a patient approach to find the right fits which could come from within, and a test of his management. Matt Martin, Jesse Joensuu, others have an opportunity now. Other teams have plenty of alternatives which they would be happy to unload, but for the next few days that does not seem the way to go.
I’m not sure a two year contract to a defender who can struggle at times is a patient approach. Mottau brings a physical game this backline lacks in Eaton vs Sutton, but I see this as the prelude to some kind of trade/transaction.
NHL.com: Brian Compton has an interview with Josh Bailey, where he discusses the 2010 team, previews, the injuries that have plagued the club and what he believes is the Islanders development plan, and opportunity for players.
Mr Compton also reported on the informal practice.
Until camp officially opens next week, management cannot work with players. I’m not sure of the exact date prospects can work with management but New York rookies will play at Boston on 9/15-9/16.
Outstanding work by Mr Compton here again after his excellent interview with Doug Weight.
Josh Bailey impresses me every time he speaks, even more than his play which is only getting better. He seems to understand what the team is trying to do, easy to see why character players like this are targeted by organizations and drafted earlier.
Josh Bailey more than anyone here outside of John Tavares, understands what it will take for Nino Niederreiter to earn a contract with the club and remain here, his insights into that were excellent.
As a fan on the outside, I wonder where he fits in the Islander plans as a left wing, or at the position they drafted him at center? With Schremp, Nielsen, Tavares down the middle, seems his natural position at this time is closed to him.
Rob Schremp was rightfully qualified and demonstrated he has NHL ability. Scott Gordon made it clear early last season, Schremp either plays center or he does not have a spot here. Frans Nielsen is not moving to a wing, Gordon did not change Tavares position last year.
I would suggest this as the article you read today if you can only pick one.
NHL.com: John Kreiser also has a late feature on Kyle Okposo with his comments.
Ottawa Citizen: Don Campbell has Calvin deHaan’s, comments upon signing his first professional contract that will be announced on Wednesday, and what’s ahead going into 2010-11.
Ottawa Citizen had the first comments and not Newsday? This is a first rounder, selected 12th overall in the draft.
deHaan received a maximum contract allowed under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, with a base salary of $900,000 a season and bonuses of up to $600,000 per season, meaning the contract could be worth $4.5 million.
USA Wins Exhibition:
Kyle Okposo per twitter page, had two goals in Tuesday’s 3-1 exhibition game win against France, and was named first star of game. John Tavares, had an assist, and a penalty in Canada’s 4-1 win against host Germany.
Islanders Authorized: Reports Bridgeport Captain, Mark Wotton has been resigned to a one-year AHL contract for 2010-11.
Good news for Wotton, perhaps not good news for Brendan Witt in terms of staying in Bridgeport?
IIHF.com: Reported Sweden defeated team USA 4-2 in the Bronze medal game at the World Championships.
Kyle Okposo did not score or register a point but had two shots through the second period. Former Islander Mattias Weinhandl assisted on all three goals for Sweden.
IIHF.com: Reports Russia defeated Canada 2-1 to win the Gold medal.
This officially ends all blog entries at NYIFC. Nothing I can add that was not written on 4/17. Most likely in the upcoming weeks this blog will be set to private along with prospects blog.
USA Hockey.com: Has the preview for Sunday’s Bronze medal game against Sweden with Kyle Okposo’s comments.
Universal sports will have the game live and likely the television network will have a tape delay version along with the championship game.
Islanders/Sound Tigers websites & Point Blank/Mr Botta & Ct Post Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog all report Kyle Okposo will play the opening two games for Bridgeport Friday and Saturday at the Coliseum against WBS Pens before likely departing for the World Championships.
Mr Fornabaio’s report had details on today’s practice.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Some players like Craig Anderson Florida turned down team USA’s invitation to participate which winger David Booth also may do here. Scott Gordon is expected to leave Sunday to be on head coach Ron Wilson’s staff for team USA and with Bridgeport already having enough injuries (Comeau-McLean-Colliton) on their clear day list they have enough latitude so Kyle Okposo or other players can play for Bridgeport at this time.
Having written that if Jeremy Colliton (or Kurtis McLean for example) did return they would have to play which is the significance of the clear-day list.
Point Blank/Mr Botta: Had an excellent interview with Hall of Fame Islander general manager Bill Torrey on the draft he selected Denis Potvin and the top players in this years class.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
In my estimation the greatest New York sports executive in history for his class, grace and character combined with ability. The chemistry he had with Al Arbour is unmatched anywhere in professional sports.
Having written that Bill Torrey made the wrong call on Dave Chyzowski (and a few other top picks) but he went by the consensus draft board which is what you have to do regardless how it played out.
This is why I would have no problem if Snow drafted John Tavares or Victor Hedman and they did turn out to be a draft bust.
My point is be conventional.
ECHL.com: Announced today Islander prospect Rob Hennigar was named the CCM ECHL Rookie of the Month for March lead the league with 17 assists and 23 points in 13 games to help Utah qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Newsday for now has not had an Islander blog update on Okposo which could bring more fans to Friday-Saturday games as they advertise on the Isles website but Jim Baumbach here has his latest reason to write the Islanders are a joke on his own behalf while the Cablevision owned team does not even give Steve Zipay any information at all here when they suffer an injury.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Call me cynical but I do not respect coverage double-standards. If the paper covers both teams exactly the same there is no problem here and if Mr Baumbach wrote the Rangers were a joke for announcing nothing on Drury I would respect that standard.
Lets see Jim Baumbach call out his employers teams for doing far less than Charles Wang or Garth Snow who has been far more accessible to Greg Logan and Newsday staff than James Dolan or Glen Sather has been to Newsday for years.
Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had player reaction on what they think the team needs in the draft as Trent Hunter, Mark Streit & Brendan Witt comments on that and the clubs needs. Head coach Scott Gordon also comments on the injuries and the lack of scoring while general manager Garth Snow was quoted on those subjects as he talked about what his priority is as general manager.
Mr Logan said he will have more from the general manager after tonight’s lottery in a 9pm press conference among several items included in this entry.