As coaches like to say you can always control your effort win or lose.
The New York Islanders are a losing hockey team, expect things to get even far worse in December with the competitive part of the season coming to an end in terms of any playoff expectations.
A coaching change does not alter that reality.
Is Jack Capuano responsible for the holes on defense costing them most games? No.
The collective weaknesses on the roster? No.
The injuries? No.
The lack of production from Regin, Bouchard? No, because they did not come here as consistent players who produced for Ottawa/Minnesota.
The handling of the lineup, of who dresses vs who sits? Absolutely.
The obvious drop in performance of some of his top players? (Grabner, Bailey) No doubt.
Penalty killing? No.
Faceoffs? Mixed, because some of the centers who took face offs are no longer here.
Is this overall roster working hard for this coaching staff? Yes.
Does the work reflect a direction where something is being built to sustain a winning team? No.
Of course you look at the Devils collective defenders, who is out for them, but play consistent low scoring games against top teams it’s not unreasonable to ask why this defense has struggled since the season opener? The Devils lost Bryce Salvador, Anton Volchenkov, and their team with a younger defense play/win many low scoring games.
That’s how you survive eighty two games. (granted it collapsed a year ago for the Devils)
Jack Capuano should be feeling pressure on that small fact alone.
Most opposing coaches don’t even feel the need to play their top goaltender against this roster.
Who Sent Down Matt Donovan?
That could have been the coach or general manager, but going by game reaction that seems to be on Capuano, who is always rolling out Matt Carkner for mistakes above his ability, that lead to goals against without the exact same reaction from management.
Capuano was not Donovan’s coach in Bridgeport, the players that come up are no longer his past prospects.
Too bad Capuano has not seemed to notice Donovan was paired with Aaron Ness last season, and despite the 2012-13 Sound Tigers being twenty ninth in goals against, Donovan was a plus fourteen with solid offensive numbers. (Ness minus ten)
Why not just dress both together for a bunch of games when it’s obvious Carkner will keep making the same mistakes? Carkner’s not a physical player clearing the crease or can do much beyond a fight by appointment?
Capuano tried Donovan with Hickey often, with Carkner far too often.
Martinek now makes a bad read or two a game, it’s obvious why management was so reluctant to bring him back or sign in a league desperate for defenders.
Either way it’s a huge mistake sending down Donovan given the breakdowns that lead to goals behind MacDonald/Hamonic, as they constantly wear down in games with all these extra minutes.
Both are making several mistakes of their own, and looking dangerously close to getting hurt far too often.
Hamonic has concussion issues, MacDonald is always playing off blocking a shot where he’s hurting.
Capuano must feel enormous pressure extending their minutes.
Donovan’s demotion reflects very poorly on Jack Capuano, who’s going to have many more prospects coming if he remains head coach.
So What’s The Answer?
There is no real answer until Reinhart, Pulock, Donovan or the other defensive prospects in Bridgeport get at least three years of NHL experience. There was a problem here from day one defensively with Visnovsky, Strait healthy on this defense. The defenders they need now are not available in trade for any NHL franchise beyond being a rental at an enormous price.
The answer for now is who’s obviously not part of the solution which begins with Martinek/Carkner mistakes. One should be the seventh defender/spot starter, nothing else.
The other should go on waivers/become the veteran in Bridgeport.
The best current alternative would be the following:
At least you put six skating defenders together with some offensive/defensively ability who will make mistakes, but gain experience as a unit.
It worked a few years ago for a few months with an excellent second half.
I’m skeptical Visnovsky can return the same player if at all off a concussion at his age. Brian Strait will help this defense when healthy.
Absolutely time for a long look after he’s finally stayed healthy for over a month.
Some prospects does not mean all.
Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and some rookie defenders have to be managed very carefully in their first professional season.
Of course the same folks who complained about Niederreiter/Bailey being rushed will be the first demanding Strome/Lee be called up claiming the team will not give them a chance.
As for the 2013-14 New York Islanders, I wish this was a slump where it’s clear things would even out eventually because there is too much talent on this roster.
It’s not the case, not even close.
This group collectively is doing their absolute best. They have gotten a lot of unexpected production from different players already which makes the overall record even more troubling.
Still they have had chances to win/earn point(s) in most games.
The problems go far beyond coaching, or a tendency to play unproductive struggling veterans.
They have been there since preseason.
The alarming trends just continue getting worse, and are easily being exploited whether it be special teams, speed, skill, physical play, faceoffs or five on five play.
So much for being a very good road team during the forty eight games. Now they come back to where they usually play five hundred (at best) in front of crowds of under 10,000.
Yes, if they won all four road games the attendance would still be under 10,000.
Struggling teams play the New York Islanders, and all of them find a different way to win. Here comes another one Tuesday. (who beat the Islanders already)
That trend is about to end when Los Angeles/Detroit x2 comes here with some other clubs.
Perhaps the Islanders can win some ugly games against no doubt teams using backup goaltenders?
One thing for sure some players are getting more worn-down which leads to mistakes. Hopefully it did not lead to another possible Hamonic injury, who’s been overworked with MacDonald.
If the clubs falls entirely out of contention using Ness-Donovan so be it, using the veterans on defense are never going to be the answer.
If Brock Nelson is the future next to John Tavares (once Thomas Vanek departs) as a number one draft pick, it’s where he should be used with the days of him being a scratch over.
That means even Matt Martin sits for Brock Nelson.
Again management is best served long-term to give prospects a chance.
Some prospects do not mean all prospects.
New York Islander Fan Central Update:
Time for a more professional look, some features have been retired.
The crawl will be installed only for possible future NHL drafts if entries.
The Islanders twitter was added here on a trial basis. The prospect blog has the Sound Tigers/Stockton Thunder twitter widgets.
One sidebar will have Islanders information/other New York Islander Fan Central before the historical images on both sides.
Trying to again address the IE page loading issues which has been a blogger problem with IE, and nothing to do with this website.
The generic WordPress page was created specifically for I.E users because of this. From this point forward whatever is imported there will be delayed by at least twelve hours for a better finished version of what’s presented here.
I would like nothing more than this team making my last entry look very bad.
The April 2013 New York Islanders returned for two games.
That is how Jack Capuano’s team must play win or lose.
It’s the only way they have a chance.
I absolutely see this becoming a 3-12 season ending month, the problems on defense are beyond coaching.
It took a miracle Matt Carkner wide/shot redirection for Matt Martin’s goal to reach overtime on Friday, but the skating/speed/defense was clearly visible on Friday.
The Senators played a 6-5 game against Chicago so they are far from a doormat team despite their recent struggles.
Best game of the season by a mile against Boston.
The defense that went 11-1-2 down stretch pushed the play at the opposition . First one goal game allowed since Phoenix imploded. Only the second time this season one goal against.
Far too many minutes for MacDonald/Hamonic again, but finally a five on five shot that finds the net.
(not like the one that bounded in Tuesday)
This is the Kevin Poulin who used to be seen in his callups.
Donovan was outstanding the last two games, so was Thomas Hickey, who’s pass to Nielsen on Friday in the third period was the best setup of the season.
The kind of slam-dunk goal other teams have scored since opening night against the Islanders defense.
The Islander defenders were going to the net every chance they could on Friday.
Think the absolutely world of Matt Moulson. World class player, however he does not find Tavares at five on five with an open net goal, he does not get a breakaway in overtime, nor does he score off the rush at even strength against Boston with that kind of shot.
Different players/skills, both great at what they do.
Moulson had one even strength goal opening night against Columbus, one assist with the goalie pulled against Carolina. (somehow he was not credit with a goal against the Flyers in his last Islander game)
For any chance this is how the club must continue skating, with a road-trip a defender has to be added.
Very happy for Scott Pellerin & the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Blow out 7-1 win against Friday in Worcester. Ryan Strome/Mike Halmo five point games, with the later four goals/two days.
Shootout win Saturday with forty five shots taken.. They fell behind in this game after leading entering the third period, but something perhaps to build on the last two games.
Rick DiPietro entered the third period with a 3-2 lead in San Antonio on Saturday, he faced twenty two third period shots, allowed a shorthanded goal, and lost 5-3.
39 saves/44 shots.
Images added here:
Trottier/Bossy rookie seasons
1984 Stanley Cup Finals Gillies/game two/Lafontaine game five.
Both 1981 Daily News backpages
New York sweeping Quebec to reach 3rd straight final in 1982.
List of Nassau Coliseum PA Announcers.
Links to old newspaper websites for minor pro hockey leagues.
Ct Post backup blogger site.
No one wants to write about it, however it cannot be hidden any more than the thousands of empty seats when this franchise is listed at the official home team.
This is simply not a good hockey team overall who’s goals allowed is at the bottom of whatever this division is called, and struggle badly at five on five.
It’s beyond Jack Capuano/or any head coaches ability, although he’s doing Nelson/Donovan no favors.
It’s likely to only get much worse as the special teams start to even out.
The New York Islanders cannot hide from their defensive or five on five issues, it’s a team allowing over three goals a game, they cannot even play a low scoring contest no matter how well Navokov plays. When the Islanders score the other team usually comes right back down the ice, exploits this teams defense/five on five coverage, and scores a very easy goal of it’s own.
It’s happened too many times now to write it’s coincidence.
Travis Hamonic played over thirty minutes in Pittsburgh, MacDonald close to twenty eight minutes, they will wear down quickly or get hurt being used this way.
The recent injury to Brian Strait, means there is no defensive depth left (even after signing Martinek) no place in the stands to hide Matt Carkner, who has not helped Matt Donovan’s game (who’s making his own huge mistakes) no five on five goals from a defender all season, even with them trying to step up and create chances.
They were struggling with Visnovsky/Strait in the lineup.
There is no help coming from Bridgeport. Joe Finley is injured, that club is struggling badly under Scott Pellerin’s coaching once again. Bridgeport had four first period power plays on Saturday, but only five shots. (two by Calvin deHaan)
Mike Halmo was listed on the top defensive pairing.
Then Bridgeport gave up twenty two second period shots (five goals) in the second straight game Anders Nilsson had to be pulled. (Nilsson let up a weak first goal/beyond that everything was scored from quality area)
Most of the NHL teams struggling badly below the New York Islanders in the standings can play some low scoring games, this team cannot.
Nabokov stole the game in Pittsburgh, the Islanders were vastly outplayed. (it was a miracle an open net shot hit Carkner)
When Nielsen/Okposo/Bailey revert to career offensive trends (they have done fantastic) there is nothing to supplant that offense. Tavares has been struggling, a slow group of forwards do not give him the space he needs to take his shot in transition, Capuano already tried Grabner next to him.
Tavares has his one powerplay goal five on three (from an outside shot) against Phoenix, that’s it.
What’s Cal Clutterbuck going to do? Fight? Throw a hit, they have that in Matt Martin, while Brock Nelson sits on the sidelines. Clutterbuck’s not a player who eats minutes, and produces at best an even shift.
Colin McDonald’s pays for it too whenever Boulton dresses.
These are issues now dating even back to preseason.
These problems are not going away the cracks are only going to get bigger.
Nothing much to write about Rick DiPietro’s tryout. Too bad agent Ian Pulver could not do better in North America for him. He’s going to get little/no opportunity to replace injured Carolina goaltenders under contract when they return so expect his PTO to end quickly like most.
Carolina signed another goalie to a PTO the day before DiPietro for it’s AHL team.
Either way I wish him luck. The only joke Larry (the clown) Brooks is Rick DiPietro will be paid less than Brad Richards has already been paid in the last two years (forty two million) as Brooks waives his Ranger/Richard’s pom poms, and endorsed his sixty million dollar contract, then called for his buyout last summer.
Forty two million to be a converted left winger
With a frontloaded contract in which Richards makes most of his money in the early years of a nine-year, $60 million deal to keep his cap hit down for the Rangers, the 33-year-old center has made approximately $36.9 million, including signing bonuses, through his first two seasons. That number would have been $42 million if it weren’t for the NHL lockout.
DiPietro not counting pay lost during lockout was paid 31.5 million for his contract to date.
DiPietro never had to be benched for a playoff game when healthy or hidden like Richards along with a roster of AHL/NHL Rangers.
DiPietro was an All-Star starter, an Olympic starter, who carried this team to two playoff spots, and almost a third in 2007-08. Jay Greenberg in the Post called his fifty five save performance at Msg the best goaltending he’s seen in forty years of hockey coverage.
For five years RDP kept trying to recover from a minor surgery in 2008 that went bad. Dan Blackburn tried coming back with two blockers, Al Montoya has his NHL career saved by the Islanders.
Hard to see why the Islanders risked RDP getting hurt by playing eighteen games in Bridgeport if their plan was a full buyout because if he got hurt he could not be bought out, insurance would have had to settle a career ending injury.
His comments upon being sent down did not land him a suspension by the club, followed by a buyout.
Can an owner have a better personal relationship with someone than Sather, Isiah Tomas, and Steve Mills?
The only jokes should be reserved for Brooks, and the NY Post brutal coverage.
You need a joke, I got one. Funny how the same media that ripped the Islanders daily/hourly for not disclosing injures in 2008-2009 put their heads in the sand, and defends it now when another local team refuses to disclose injuries to their players?
Guess those checks to newspapers for Knicks ad space are too important too risk so double-standards it shall be.
Greg Logan going to update his policy from Oct 2008.
I watched Islanders pregame today. Stan Fischler/Peter Ruttgaizer discussed meddling owners, but not their employer?
Kind of like ignoring Islanders playing at Barclay’s Center, Ruttgaizer attended the preseason game.
Mr Ruttgaizer joined twitter this month.
Matt Donovan, & Nino Niederreiter were named to the starting lineup by the fans for the 2013 AHL All-Star Game in Providence on 1/27-1/28.
Both players thanked the fans on their twitter feeds Saturday.
Bridgeport off losing a third period 1-0 lead on Friday, has another game in Norfolk on Saturday before the break.
“The New York Islanders are excited about the opportunity to host a game in Barrie, one of Canada’s true hockey communities,” New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “With several of our players such as John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin having been a part of the OHL, we know how passionate fans are about hockey.”
For those scoring at home:
Edmonton Oilers, September 27th, Regina SK.
Ottawa Senators, September 30th, Barrie.
New Jersey Devils Oct 2nd, Brooklyn.
What’s of note is the Isles are hosting the game in Barrie, with the Isles controlling the arena in Bridgeport, plus the usual Coliseum game, it could mean a longer preseason.
If there is a season.
Obviously by now folks know Matt Donovan was recalled, he will debut vs Devils.
New York’s weekend dropped them back into the lottery. Toronto/Anaheim controls the ROW as the first tie-breaker. Isles control the tie-breaker vs Minnesota.
Any wins/points could change the entire mix.
NYIFC twitter feed fired back at an article on Pat Lafontaine, where this blogger believes it comes from and pulled no punches in the comment section.
This blog was one of the few to be critical of the Isles for not using it’s website to rally support for Jason Blake when he announced he had Leukemia.
Management was praised by Jason Blake for their support in his first year when he left the club long ago.
This blog was critical last summer when former coach Steve Stirling was hospitalized during the AHL finals, and it was ignored by the Islanders/teams peripheral media.
In the past we have seen the clubs website chronicle the finals exploits of Brent Sopel and Aaron Asham. Let’s be clear the Isles not inserting an image of Pat Lafontaine on the teams 40th anniversary website calendar is not a big deal but perhaps a bit petty?
Omitting his efforts with Steve Webb’s earlier this year in an article is not appropriate because NHL.com did include Lafontaine and Webb together, and has featured Lafontaine/Webb/Royals.
To the other side of that, the teams skinny (game recap) has consistently detailed Lafontine’s career accomplishments vs games played or records during the 2012 season.
Having written this there are two sides to a story, selective reporting/questionable standards either way should never be ignored.
Pat Lafontaine was honored by the team in Nov 2003 with a night after he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame. To the best of our knowledge, Lafontaine declined to have his number retired.
Lafontaine was announced at the Coliseum on Al Arbour, night and was on the ice. He is pictured with Sidney Crosby on another occasion at a different game.
Before the Metro Ice Challenge fiasco, the Islanders and Rangers agreed to donate to Lafontaine’s charity based on head to head game results.
In short, everything is placed on the table for transparency here, otherwise why bother?
The Oklahoman: Reports New York Islanders scout Ken Morrow, a defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, was at the Cox Center for Friday night’s playoff game between the Barons and Hamilton Bulldogs and had following on Matt Donovan….
“We think he’ll be pushing for an NHL job next year,” Morrow said. “I saw him at our rookie camp last summer, and he certainly stood out there. I think we all felt that he was ready to make the jump to play professionally.”
Espn.com: Had a few words from Garth Snow on Friday regarding the status of goaltender Evgeny Nabokov, and possibly filing paperwork to toll the contract.
“If we were to entertain something like that it would be after the playoffs. The phase we’re in right now is that we just finished up our exit meetings and we have to go through scouts meeting and look at any avenue to make the team better.”
If Garth Snow files paperwork to toll the contract (after the NHL season concludes) and it now allows the Islanders to trade Nabokov without him needing to clear NHL waivers again (as he had to last season for Snow to trade him) this comes off like a very good move.
Hard to say where the club goes with this and pointless to file before he completes the World Championships healthy. If Poulin, DiPietro or Montoya come into camp injured/ineffective or sustain an injury they may well need Nabokov, who may want to be part of this team if an opportunity to start is provided.
What we need most here is more clarification of rules. Bottom line if the team files it appears Nabokov owes the team a year of service at salary he was claimed on waivers.
Some important Coliseum news on Thursday, too much innuendo surrounding Gary Bettman’s nothing new statement on Islanders Friday, but obviously things have to start happening soon. Bettman’s job is to push for a new/renovated arena and support a member of the Board of Governors.
The important news was in the NY Times (going pay subscription again) on 4/21 that I felt was a mistake so I did not post it here.
NY Times: Wrote about the Coliseum site with Kate Murray’s comments.
For the Coliseum site, Hempstead will in the next few months be unveiling its alternative: a pared-down mixed-use zoning plan. It proposes 500 units of moderately priced and “work force” residences, said Kate Murray, the town supervisor, as well as hotels no taller than 10 stories, bicycle lanes, pedestrian walkways and the option to build convention facilities, shops, offices and entertainment sites, as well as refurbish the Coliseum. The new zone has 5.4 million square feet of development, versus as much as 13.5 million square feet in the Wang proposal.
That was “way too large for this 77-acre parcel,” Ms. Murray said.
I know, you saw this act last summer, but process now says TOH has to push through the same zoning you saw in that project last summer.
What folks forget here is TOH/Kate Murray’s scaled-down development has to go through the exact same approval process as the Wang/Rechler proposal even if everyone’s sees both proposals as futile.
TOH can take as long as possible (within guidelines) to push through their project(which is why eleven months just for re-zoning) but they cannot end process. The TOH must go through the motions, they must take their development project to completion with TOH approval and then force an official no from Wang/Rechler to vacate the current MOU regardless if we have their on the record comments via Mangano it’s not viable for them.
This is all the end game for TOH/Murray to officially be the ones to tell the public they turned down our proposal, it’s all about blame game. They are not going to vote down Wang-Rechler Lighthouse and be ones to take blame, they are going to force Wang-Rechler to formally reject their project.
All designed to go through motions and run out clock.
And it may well come down to Mangano blaming taxpayers, you turned down our referendum to finance a new Coliseum, nothing more I can do.
As for James Dolan’s Newsday their end game is to run down the team, keep things negative from the former intern turned beatwriter (when will Grabner be signed/will Islanders be relocated poll?) drive away fans without the same level of coverage for any positive news or features via former Ranger beatwriters when it’s time for additional coverage.
You think Newsday wants to hype Tavares, Moulson, Grabner or these kids? Token coverage at best/kind of like Msg+2.
It’s not in their best interest on or off the ice.
Dolan’s writers do what they are told or Chief Editor Debbie (website design) Krenek or Hank Winnicki (sports editor) will find someone to replace them as quickly as John Mancini was replaced here or as fast as Wallace Matthews quit. Many are long-time Ranger fans (Neil Best) and had plenty of enthusiasm running down Islanders before Cablevision purchased Newsday.
To be fair Ms Krenek held this position formerly at Daily News.
It’s like the Dolan/Cablevision/Msg television coverage, keep the club hidden on stations like Msg+2 that produce lowest ratings, keep them off television as much as possible, hurt the brand because it’s Msg competition and then simply write the team is not very popular with the public to justify these decisions and produce the ratings numbers via Msg media after the damage has been done.
Meanwhile spam their own teams 24/7 on both channels and during Islander games as this years latest twist.
No special programming, no preseason games on television/ITV/no Islanders in studio full time on Dolan’s hockey show. No Msg telecast which Devils receive because they signed their agreement more recently and demanded better coverage as part of resigning.
Not believing this? Even the Red Bull had issues with Msg’s branding of their product when they resigned their television agreement recently NY Post.
It was not only about money for Red Bull management, they wanted exposure for their team.
Why? The revenue the Dolan’s can save on the Islanders vacated television contract combined with expanding his own teams brands (along with AHL team) back into Nassau County is worth hundreds of millions.
Cablevision/Dolan bought into Hartford and even recently insulted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by naming their team Ct which is where the Islanders AHL team plays.
Msg may well spend 25 million to purchase the LA Forum here.
Is Nassau or TOH going to reject Cablevision renovating Coliseum to keep revenue for County/TOH if all these plans fail? Will Charles Wang, who owns hotel on that property regardless of what happens to the Islanders if he does not have a functional Coliseum on that site for future events?
I’m sorry, you have read this all here before here, however this is all one big endgame. Our fans may get the token editorials supporting the Islanders remaining at the Coliseum from Newsday, but continued poor media can kill a franchise. The kind the Dolan’s teams never see in James Dolan’s newspaper.
No team anywhere in North American sports has a media worse than the New York Islanders. It could be 1980-83 on the ice and the coverage and negative spin would be same, this goes beyond game results or the age of Nassau Coliseum or attendance at hockey games.
You believe the Canadian media does their own reporting on New York Islanders? They pick up blurbs from Dolan’s paper and by the time they are done it’s translated into another version with even more misinformation. Not even the Florida Panthers receive 1/10th of the mountain of negative coverage the New York Islanders receive.
Newsday will never fight for this team or show the enthusiasm for them they way the Pittsburgh media fought for Penguins, they will not even put up the fight the Arizona Republic does for the Coyotes.
Cablevision/Msg/Newsday has a vested interest in what they are doing, and it’s not in the New York Islanders best interest.
My Thanks as always to all the folks with their kind support at NYIFC, here, and at twitter & in e-mails.
This concludes the 2010-11 season, one that frankly was a tale of two teams but overall has to be considered a huge failure, despite individual success/improvement from many players.
Does this year’s failute go on former head coach Scott Gordon or current interim coach Jack Capuano?
Absolutely not. Scott Gordon did not like how his team was playing at 4-1-2, he saw the signs and knew his team. Jack Capuano turned this around but when this team struggled for a while he was threatening to take ice time.
All my years writing I have never seen this organization run out of contracted NHL/AHL defenders and go through six goaltenders.
No doubt there were some good signs from this team in the second half and despite the struggles at the end there are very tangible reasons to be optimistic about next year.
Having written this the bitter reality is a year ago there was some of the same reason for optimism when the Islanders had an eighteen point improvement with the gm on record as saying everyone must be better.
Sure when you again lose same 586 man games to injury (four more than in 08-09) combined with Bridgeport losing so many players due to injury they were fourth in AHL history in players used you have serious problems.
The players brought in were durable, Eaton is generally a healthy player, same for Mottau, but here they did not stay healthy.
As I wrote a while back the blame has to go on the general manager, not for the injuries but for some of the construction flaws that led to problems when some of the players were healthy.
The Islanders season fell off track in October/November when Hunter, Weight, and some of the players on the side-lines now were still healthy, it fell off track when Comeau did not produce as he did at the end of 09-10, when Nielsen could not score at even strength for most of this season and when they could not score at five on five or on the powerplay. If failed when Sim could not produce as he did a year ago.
It failed with the players from Bridgeport not giving them enough early when called upon and that includes a season where Andy Hilbert signed and never played.
It failed in a ton of one goal/open net losses and a pp that completely fell apart after the early hot start. It failed miserably at five on five like few teams in club history.
Sorry, but some of that has to go on the general manager, he knew Weight is not a scorer, he saw the struggles of Hunter, sometimes you have to create an opening as was done with Bergenheim and Tambellini.
Josh Bailey had more than his share of slumps but at his age you cannot expect production and it was made harder again moving him for far too much of this season before Schremp was finally placed on waivers. Bailey went to Bridgeport, did very well, and was recalled to again by placed on a wing initially.
Comeau early was moved around also.
We can look back at the final fifty five games and sure have tons of optimism, it’s impossible not to with remarkable breakthrough by Michael Grabner, another excellent season from Matt Moulson, Tavares, the emergence of Hamonic, more great signs from Andrew MacDonald playing as a first line combination and outworking veterans as well as the final numbers by PA Parenteau and Blake Comeau.
Plus minus is a stat sometimes misleading, look at Eaton’s plus minus when healthy, when the team was in free-fall he almost never had a minus game.
Okposo had a very rough season after he returned and deserves a pass. We have no idea what a year off does for Streit, who is far from a kid. Hunter is signed and there are a lot of right wings between Parenteau, Okposo, Joensuu, Niederreiter and Rakhshani.
Rick DiPietro did not prove he can play with any regularity in terms of starting and earlier despite some strong games the rust showed in others. What he did was a start but next year he must return to full time status and not allow soft goals or his contract does become a mistake if relegated to a backup. I have to throw out his play in small set of games since returning from Johnson fight because it was a small body of work.
Al Montoya outplayed DiPietro, but there is Kevin Poulin and for now Evgeny Nabokov to go with Koskinen, perhaps Nilsson or even Nate Lawson if re-signed.
Bottom line we have to see what happens next, who is qualified and resigned out of the teams many RFA/UFA. Is Jack Capuano the likely new head coach and if so what does he do as the boss from day one with many of the players who got hurt failing under Scott Gordon?
Garth Snow for his part cannot be shy about pulling the trigger to trade players and improve his team.
Until then all fans can do is speculate.
What can be said about 2010-11 is overall it was a very rough year, all this optimism means nothing unless a year from now this team is in a playoff spot with a realistic chance of bringing the Stanley Cup home to New York.
The media coverage was a disgrace on virtually every professional level, it would have been if the team went undefeated.
Matt Donovan’s first professional goal: combined with Mikko Koskinen’s 46 saves sends Bridgeport into the summer 4-3 winners with Pat Bingham’s interim status as coach needing to be addressed.
Frans Nielsen was awarded Bob Nystrom award Saturday night…Congratulations.
NYIFC Twitter Game Review of Carolina 4, New York 2 high marks to Hillen and Wishart for even being able to play in this one.
Matt Donovan had his first professional point in Bridgeport’s 4-3 win which also featured another point from Aaron Ness on a team packed with ATO’s but included Rhett Rakhshani’s 21st goal.
Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason has Michael Grabner for the Calder and felt Frans Nielsen had a terrific year for the Islanders.
Edmonton Journal: Jim Matheson provides Islander captain Doug Weight (former Oiler) more space than local papers and a complete interview with more very tough details on his current and future health, and perhaps is more interested in management than coaching.
“I was getting some deadness in my left leg just before the bones were healed and they found a nerve coming out the L3 and L4 vertebra that was being pinched. My left leg atrophied, about eight centimetres. The nerve has slowly come back but the nerve still has to straighten in the next three to four months so I can avoid surgery”
Denver Post:: Reports Islander draft pick, Matt Donovan has decided to leave school and signed an entry level contract with the Islanders.
“We wish Matt continued success in professional hockey,” DU head coach George Gwozdecky said in a statement. “Matt was a very dynamic defenseman who helped us win a lot of games in two seasons.”
Garth Snow keeps locking up his prospects leaving school, his biggest and most likely toughest signings that must be made this summer will be Casey Cizikas, out with a serious hand injury here and goaltender Anders Nilsson, along with other college players graduating.
I don’t belive Snow is done yet, the ATO’s are going to be flying just for Bridgeport to finish the season. As for the Islanders if the injuries continue anyone signed could be called into service for a game or two including Calvin deHaan.
Some twitter issues today, Rick DiPietro vs Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise will not be in Devils lineup.
Eagle Tribune: Reports Chris Barton signed an amateur tryout contract with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers Wednesday morning and could be in the lineup for tonight’s game in Portland.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Matt Donovan will not play tonight for Bridgeport but Matt Campanale, from the Philly area via the University of New Hampshire, and forward Chris Barton will along with the all the ATO’s Bridgeport has in lineup.
Islanders website: Report Rhett Rakhshani has been named to the 2010-11 AHL All-Rookie Team.
I really see this as the breakthrough forward coming to New York in the near future even ahead of Kirill Petrov or Kabanov. Everywhere he has played he has progressed quickly, he’s setting Bridgeport rookie records on a team that has frankly been a disaster with injuries and so much turnover. At age twenty three he should get a great shot in camp, but with Niederreiter, Hunter, Okposo and Parenteau as the right wings he’s facing a lot of competition ahead of him.