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Saturday, December 29, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Devs at Isles

Just some quick notes to pass along from this morning’s morning skate at the Coliseum:


Ruslan Fedotenko, Aaron Johnson and Rick DiPietro skated this morning. Tank is a go for tonight and said his hand injury isn’t going to bother him at all. Ted Nolan announced that Rick will be a game-time decision.

This was Johnson’s first full-skate with the team since his knee injury sidelines him over a month a go. He said he felt good and that it was good to get back on the ice with the boys. He skated on his own the past few days.

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Blake Comeau is fine after taking an inadvertent stick to the eye yesterday at practice. He said his contact got knocked out of his eye, but that he’s fine.

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No surprise here, Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils. He has 38-19-4 career record versus the Islanders.

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Coming off a 2-1 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres last night, the Devils only skated five players today.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Isles at Sens

Bit of a quiet morning at the ScotiaBank Place this morning. With both teams playing last night, there was optional ice for both squads after meetings. Here’s what we learned…

The goaltending match-up tonight looks like it will be Wade Dubielewicz versus Martin Gerber. Both goalies played last night.

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Mike Comrie makes his return to Ottawa. Last spring, Comrie helped lead the Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals. Will he be booed by the Ottawa faithful? The local media doesn’t think so.

Comrie on his time with Ottawa: “I had a lot of great memories that will always be with me… There was a sense of wanting to finish some unfinished business we had last season [after reaching the Cup Finals], but I’m real happy with my choice to be on Long Island.”

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Ted Nolan was asked who would have been his emergency goalie last night if something happened to Dubie. His answer: Ruslan Fedotenko. “We had a small game with some [of the team’s] family members over the holiday break and Tank put on the pads. His glove hand was a little weak.”

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Mike Sillinger brought his son Owen on the trip because he’s playing in the Bell Cup Tournament this week. It’s one of the biggest hockey tournaments in the world and it’s held every year up in Ottawa. Owen is 10 years old and is a member of the Long Island Gulls. His team plays tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Leafs at Isles

Along with the much anticipated return of Jason Blake to the Nassau Coliseum was the return of the Toronto Media. You gotta love those guys… And there’s not a good media relations person in the NHL who wouldn’t like to have the headache that comes along with working with that many reporters if it meant that much more coverage for their team. But I digress…

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Even the New York media came out for the morning skate for a chance to catch up with Blakey. I believe Mark Herrmann is writing a separate column on his return for tomorrow’s Newsday. Jason was in good spirits this morning when we caught up. The last time I saw him smile like that was after the trade deadline has passed last February. Let’s just hope he keeps the first period hat trick in the bag tonight.

After coaching him for a season, how does Ted Nolan plan on to defending the speedster from Minnesota? “We’ll play him tight because you know he’ll be flying around the ice tonight.”

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Rick DiPietro will be the Islanders’ goaltender tonight and according to the (radio) Voice of the Islanders (Steve Mears), Andrew Raycroft will be in net for the Leafs. Razor’s last game was back on November 24 at Phoenix. He was also in net for the 8-1 Leafs victory over the Islanders back in October.

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The Coliseum really needs to look into getting better glass behind the nets. An unknown Leaf punched a nice sized hole out of a pane of glass which was in the same place as the one that Marc-Andre Bergeron broke last week.

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If fans see a much younger Sean Bergenheim look-a-like tonight in the stands, it’s his brother. Now we know was Sean looked like about 10 or so years ago.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Holiday Islanders

Here's a double dose on you X-Mas afternoon. Click on the images in view the entire pictures. (Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett)

First up... We always new Santa Claus was an Islanders fan...

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And second, how can anyone forget when all the Santa's in attendance were invited on the ice during the Dec. 23, 2003 game versus the Flyers.

Click image to view entire image

Monday, December 24, 2007

NYI: Islander Holiday Shopping

As millions of people around the world do some last minute shopping before Sparky Claus comes tonight, I found out some interesting holiday shopping tidbits from the Islanders locker room.

The players set an Islanders’ record by purchasing 150 personalized jerseys this holiday season. Another 75 player t-shirts were ordered, including 50 custom-made for Richard Park.

I myself helped a number of my fellow PR colleagues around the league secure a few Islanders sweaters including a royal blue Bossy #22 for a friend in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Caps at Isles

Not a lot went on this morning for the Islanders. With only three members of the Orange and Blue skating, a Washington Capitals coach said: “Well, this is one of the lightest morning skates you’ll ever see.”

Same lineup and line combinations for tonight’s game for the Islanders.

Marc-Andre Bergeron broke yet another pane of glass at the Coliseum. The scary thing about it is that it didn’t even look like it was off one of his hardest shots.

Rick DiPietro versus Olie Kolzig looks to be the match-up in net tonight. Olie the Goalie is 26-10-2-0 all-time versus the Islanders. He picked up a lot of the wins when the Capitals were rolling off victories against the Islanders for many years. But recently the luck has started to turn as DiPietro is 7-3-0-1 lifetime versus the Caps. Rick’s GAA against Washington? 1.99.

All children 14 and under will receive a secret holiday gift courtesy of the Islanders Children’s Foundation when they enter the Coliseum for tonight’s game.

Friday, December 21, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Isles at Penguins

Both teams were at the rink for meetings today and both had optional skates. Here’s what we learned at the morning skate for tonight’s game:

- The match-up in goal tonight should be Rick DiPietro for the Islanders and Dany Sabourin for the Penguins.

- By moving Richard Park up to the team’s top line with Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin, Ted Nolan reiterated that the best players will continue to get playing time and be rewarded for their hard work.

- With the same notion, Freddy Meyer will remain in the lineup on the blueline.

- On the team’s “so-called fourth line”, Andy Hilbert will center Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman, who will play on the left and right sides, respectively.

- Nolan doesn’t expect any extra emotion between the teams due to the Chris Simon/Jarkko Ruutu incident from last week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Sabres at Isles

With the Islanders set to square off against the Buffalo Sabres in their fourth and final meeting of the regular season, it looks like the probable match-up in goal tonight is Rick DiPietro versus Ryan Miller.

According to Ted Nolan at the morning skate, Freddy Meyer returns to the lineup tonight and will be paired Andy Sutton on the blueline. Only six defensemen will skate as Marc-Andre Bergeron and Bryan Berard are the scratches.

Ted Nolan on Meyer: “Freddy has been the ultimate team guy for us and he’s been working his tail off.”

Blake Comeau will skate on what Nolan describes as the “so-called fourth line” with Richard Park and Tim Jackman.


Ted Nolan on Comeau: “Blake has some young legs and hopefully he can provide some energy for us like Sean Bergenheim has.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Sutts Lands a Right

During this past Saturday’s game versus Pittsburgh, Islanders’ D-man Andy Sutton and Penguins vet Gary Roberts dropped the gloves during the first period. Sutton won the early rounds before Roberts finally got in a few punches late. Shown here, Sutton is about to land a right. (Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Click picture to view entire image

Click on the picture above to view the entire image.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

MORNING SKATE: Pens at Isles

The Islanders faceoff against Atlantic Division rival Pittsburgh tonight at the Coliseum. The last time the Pens were in town the Islanders won 3-2 on Al Arbour night.

Here are some notes from the morning skate…

- The entire team skated this morning after receiving a day off yesterday.

- The probable match-up in goal tonight is Rick DiPietro for the Islanders and Dany Sabourin for the Penguins. Sabourin was once a highly thought of prospect a few years ago and according to Penguins beat writer Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he outplayed Roberto Luongo in Vancouver a few games ago.

- At the end of practice, Marc-Andre Bergeron was showing off his strong slap shot to the fans in attendance for the second-half tickets open house event. After the cracking a first pane of glass behind the net by accident, Bergeron had some fun with the fans and broke three more. His teammates broke two more to send the Coliseum staff scrambling to replace them.

- I don’t know if Josef Vasicek is an environmentalist or not, but trees be warned. JoVa got in a shipment of sticks this morning. That’s nearly 50 wooden sticks. Jo is the only Islander currently using wood sticks.

- Penguins' defenseman Sergei Gonchar is rumored to be out tonight and the Pens will make a roster move to get an extra skater up for the game. Forward Erik Christensen is also out for them.

Friday, December 14, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Guerin’s Goal

Last night versus the Phoenix Coyotes, Bill Guerin scored his second period goal as can be seen here by the above angle shot. (Photo credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Guerin's Goal

Click picture to view entire image

Thursday, December 13, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Falling Nets!!!

Watch out for falling nets!!! Islanders’ goaltender Rick DiPietro gets trapped underneath his net after it was pushed off its moorings on Wednesday night in Buffalo. (Photo credit: Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

Island Snapshots: Falling Nets!!!

Click image to view full picture.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ROAD NOTES: Islanders at Buffalo

Tonight the Islanders and Sabres meet for the first time since the Orange and Blue swept the season-opening home-and-home series back in October.

The Islanders will indeed stick with seven defensemen in lineup tonight according to head coach Ted Nolan. Coach told the media that D-Man Marc-Andre Bergeron will be back in the lineup tonight and by the looks of it at the morning skate, Freddy Meyer will sit. Ruslan Fedotenko is out again tonight with a shoulder injury.

On Buffalo’s side, the non-comitial Lindy Ruff wouldn’t directly say it but it seems like Ryan Miller is starting for the Sabres once again. Dmitri Kalinin and Henrik Tallinder are injured for Buffalo and it seems like forward Michael Ryan will be their healthy scratch while Daniel Paille returns to their lineup.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NHL: Attendance Up in 07-08

From the NHL:

NHL POSTS BEST-EVER NOVEMBER ATTENDANCE

NEW YORK (December 4, 2007) -- The National Hockey League posted record attendance for the month of November, attracting 3,367,547 fans to 199 games for a per-game average of 16,922. The per-game figure eclipsed the previous November high of 16,818 set during the League's successful re-launch season in 2005 and was 2.3% ahead of last season's 16,538.

Season-to-date, the total NHL attendance of 6,603,908 and per-game average of 16,890 through 391 games are 1.9% ahead of the corresponding figures from the record-setting 2006-07 campaign.


NHL NOVEMBER ATTENDANCE SINCE 1987
Year GP Avg.

2007 199 16,922
2006 202 16,538
2005 199 16,818
2003 206 16,244
2002 207 16,378
2001 200 16,490
2000 199 16,200
1999 172 15,880
1998 165 15,819
1997 176 15,951
1996 172 16,197
1995 172 15,297
1993 165 15,245
1992 155 14,789
1991 144 15,330
1990 141 15,270
1989 140 15,630
1988 142 15,142
1987 138 15,137

Thursday, November 29, 2007

OPINION: Send them to the Olympics!

A recent report out of Canada states that the NHL is considering pulling NHL player participation from the Olympics following the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

That’s a mistake.

First off, I’ve spoken to a lot players about this subject since the 2006 Olympics and they want the chance to play for their country on the international stage. And they should be able to play if they want too.

Secondly, the NHL would be stupid not to let the players go. The Olympics are always a big deal. Granted, Ice Hockey doesn’t get the mega headlines as Figure Skating at the Olympics, but it is put on the international stage. And why wouldn’t the NHL want their star players to be on the big international stage? After all, the league is planning to host regular-season games in Europe again next season. So wouldn’t this fall into line with their plan to grow the game internationally?

Now the chances of another Miracle on Ice coming along are slim, but the Olympics have a way of turning a few stories every time around into one of those feel-good attention grabbers. If it involved hockey, it would do wonders for the games – again, both internationally and here in the United States.

So what if the season gets shutdown for two weeks every four years. It gives some players a chance to heal injuries, rest and get better for the stretch run. If you think it will kill momentum, just think of the momentum there is to be gained from an incredible Olympic tourney?

Lastly, as a throw-a-way point, how many times have you caught yourself watching an Olympic sport that you never watched before. Probably just because it’s on and you’re feeling patriotic and want that American to win. Sometimes you get hooked onto the sport and when the Olympics are over, you’re watching it on ESPN Ocho. The point is the Olympics also have a way of turning people onto sports they didn’t follow before. And the last time I checked, the NHL could never have enough fans.

In 2014, the NHL should go to Olympics. It’s the smart and right thing to do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: It's Go-Time

It's "Go-Time" for Mike Comrie. This shot was taken of the Islanders star center while he was on bench right before the opening faceoff of a recent game at the Nassau Coliseum. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

CLICK PICTURE TO VIEW ENTIRE IMAGE

It's Go-Time

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TV: FSN NY HD in NYC

Islanders fans in New York City can now finally watch Islanders games that are broadcast in High Definition in...well… High Definition.

For a while, Time Warner Cable only had the MSG Network HD channel on their programming lineup. But now, FSN NY HD is available. Yup, that’s Howie, Billy, Butch and Deb in H.D. in N.Y.C.

If you ask Kerry Cornils, the Islanders customer service legend, if this complaint was in the top-10 of all time, he would said “YES!”. Complaint resolved.

For those wondering, the FSN NY HD is located on Ch. 748.

Enjoy city Islanders fans.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Big Foot Hunter

New York Islanders forward Trent Hunter walks off the ice after the pre-game in Philadelphia on Monday, November 12. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Big Foot Hunter

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TV: The Jiggs-ernaught Returns Again

You might have caught this at the end of the Rangers-Devils telecast on MSG, but if you didn’t here it is… Howie Rose will not be with the Islanders tomorrow night in Pittsburgh or Friday night in New Jersey due to a death in the family. The condolences of the entire Islanders family are with Howie, his wife Barbara, their children and the entire Rose family.

Replacing Howie in the broadcast booth will be Hall of Famer Jiggs McDonald. Jiggsy met the team in Pittsburgh this afternoon from his summer home in Florida

BABY WATCH: More news from the broadcast booth of FSN NY… Billy Jaffe and his wife Victoria are expecting their first child at anytime. Don’t be surprised if one day soon you see Butch Goring filling in as the color analyst. Butch has done a great job as an intermission analyst for FSN’s Islanders telecasts so far this season

Monday, November 12, 2007

TV: Mears on FSN, Butch on Radio

Due to family reasons, Howie Rose will be unable to join the Islanders in Philadelphia for tonight’s game versus the Flyers. Stepping in for him will be Islanders radio play-by-play announcer Steve Mears, who will be making his NHL TV debut. He will of course call the game with Billy Jaffe.

This will be Mears’ first foray into live TV, but not TV altogether. When he was with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Mears occasionally called the CHL Game of the Week for Leafs TV.

On the radio side, Chris King will slide over to play-by-play and will be joined by FSN analyst Butch Goring for tonight’s broadcast.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Marti with the Save!

He’s not Marty Brodeur, but our Marti (Radek Martinek) makes a big skate save while defending an open net against the New York Rangers last night at the Nassau Coliseum. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)


Radek Martinek with the skate save!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NEWS: Jack’s the Man

When the Islanders hit the ice for their 10:30 morning skate today at the Nassau Coliseum, Tim Jackman was the new forward in the group. It looks like he’ll replace the injured Aaron Johnson in the lineup tonight against the Rangers.

Jackman had two goals and five assist for seven points in ten games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before his recall to the big club.


The 6-4, 210 pound winger will wear No. 28 for the Orange and Blue tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

NEWS: Bergy Out, Walter In

As Ted Nolan told the media earlier today after the morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum, Sean Bergenheim is out with a shoulder injury and is day-to-day. Replacing him on the roster is Ben Walter, who was acquired just prior to training camp from Boston.

Walter is in a four-way tie for the team lead in scoring in Bridgeport (AHL) with seven points (four goals, three assists). He leads the Sound Tigers with four goals.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Silli, the Early Years

I tried searching for a photo of Mike Sillinger when he played for his first team, the Detroit Red Wings. But a quick search in the NHL's photo database and Google didn't turn up anything. So here's a photo of Silli when he was with his second team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He looks pretty young back then in 1995.

Mike Sillinger

BLOG: My Thoughts on Silli

Granted, I haven’t been around hockey too long, but this is my sixth season with the Islanders already. And I can say for certain that Mike Sillinger is one of, if not THE, best guys I’ve worked with so far in my short career.

I stressed the words “worked with” because Silli is the type of guy who will simply work with you. Fans hear stories of how some players don’t get along with their teammates, team employees and/or media – but that’s the exact opposite of Mike Sillinger and what he represents.

For one, he’s never turned down an interview request for me. And for a media relations person like me, he can’t do any wrong in that case! But if something is bothering him or if he sees something is bothering one of his teammates, he’ll simply (and politely) walk over to you to discuss the issues at hand to make the situation better for everyone involved. Team. Staff. Media. Everyone.

And he’s a fun guy to be around, too. He’ll keep the mood light even in tough situations. He’ll always step up to the plate after a bad loss. Sometimes I think that Greg Logan only talks to Silli after a stinker. That’s not the case. But the point is, Silli never backs down when the tough gets going. I’ve never seen him represent the team in anyway other then positive.

Mike is playing in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. It’s only his 92nd as an Islander, but he’s already made a lasting impact on the Island and on me. He’s shown me how true professionals act on and off the ice. And I kind of wish he played all 1,000 games in the Orange and Blue.

Monday, October 29, 2007

ITV REVIEW: 2 Man Advantage

I’ll admit it. When I first met the crew from the 2 Man Advantage I told Islanders TV’s head honcho Josh Bernstein that I wasn’t a fan of the idea. Well Josh, I’m sorry. You were right, I was wrong and I think you struck gold with this one.

The crew of the 2 Man Advantage consists of four hockey/Islanders fans. They go around with their video cameras and (sometimes with a specific plan) shoot what comes to them. What makes it good is that they make it entertaining.

Example: The 2 Man Advantage made a seven minute show from the Islanders’ home opener versus Buffalo back on October 6. From the pre-gamming in the Coliseum’s parking lot to the post-game car jam in the parking lot to post-game celebration at the LI Marriot (where they actually spent real quality time with Entourage’s Kevin Connolly), they covered all the bases. But what made it good is that they didn’t stick a ‘mic into a fan’s face and asked them questions. They not only interacted with the fans, they partied with them.

Bottom line… It was seven minutes of great TV which words pretty much can’t describe because I still don’t completely get what they did/do. But I know I liked it. And no where else can Islanders fans find this stuff about their own team.

I thought their shows were going to be just OK at best. But you can tell how much hard work the 2 Man Advantage puts into their craft. And we thank them for caring about and help promoting the Orange and Blue. Again, I was wrong and you should definitely check them out on Islanders TV.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

NYI: Practice @ Iceworks Canceled

Just to let everyone know incase anyone was planning on coming down, the Islanders’ practice at Iceworks in Syosset tomorrow has been canceled. The team is now practicing at the Nassau Coliseum, which is closed to the public due to security concerns. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, October 22, 2007

MEDIA WATCH: Found on the Net - Monday

Over at theglobeandmail.com, blogger James Mirtle compiled a list of NHL attendances by comparing how teams are drawing this year compared to last year. Out of the 30 teams, the Islanders ranked second in the NHL drawing 3,035 more fans on average then last season. Only St. Louis was better. It should be noted that eight teams were at or over capacity last season and did not change this year. New Jersey also has not had a home game yet this season. Click here to read.

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USAToday.com’s AJ Perez sat down with Islanders defensemen Bryan Berard when the team was in the Washington last week. Click here to view Checking in with…, which is a Q&A style article.

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Also on USAToday.com, Kevin Allen wrote a list of NHL General Managers who did the best job of diagnosing their problems and fixing them for this season. He put Islanders GM Garth Snow at the very top of his list. Click here to read it in his blog.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Bruno & Campy=Firefighters

You might have seen Island Snapshots in the first three editions of Islanders Illustrated. Well, now I’m bringing by photo-eye to my blog.

In honor of Firefighters Appreciation Night, here are two photos from when Islanders defensemen Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais went to a local East Meadow Firehouse.

Enjoy!

Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli

Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NEWS: The Long Island 495ers

I was at Islanders Iceworks today for practice and I noticed an interesting flyer. It was for tryouts regarding Long Island’s newest hockey team: the Long Island 495ers. (click here for thier website)

No... Not NHL, AHL, ECHL or even major junior ice hockey. Rather, professional inline roller hockey.

The 495ers will play in the PIHA or Professional Inline Hockey Association. According to their website, the “PIHA features close to forty professional teams and close over thirty minor teams throughout the United States. A regular season consists of sixteen home games and sixteen away games.”

The 495ers will play out of Skate Safe America in Old Bethpage, NY.

Very catchy name. I like it. Can’t wait to see the jerseys.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NYI: Neil Everett is an Islanders Fan

ESPN and SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett came to the Islanders/Rangers game last week at the Coliseum to take in an awesome game and participate in Islanders Mean Business Night. Neil must have been swept off his feet by the Orange and Blue… Well, check out this video to see what I’m talking about.



He’s Neil Everett and he’s an Islander.

Monday, October 15, 2007

NYI-NYR Match-Up Earns Top Rating

I know this is a little late to the game, but for those who didn't see this yet it's pretty good stuff.

RANGERS-ISLANDERS GAME EARNS VERSUS ITS TOP N.Y.-AREA NHL RATING

Versus received a 1.8 HH rating in the N.Y. market for its telecast of the Rangers-Islanders game on Wednesday night, making it the best N.Y. market rating ever for an NHL telecast on the network. The game was also up 157% from the same matchup last season on March 5 (Versus).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

MEDIA WATCH: Mike and Mike

I found these two stories on the old internet today. The first one is a good story written about Mike Dunham and his transition into being a goaltending coach. Click here to read.

The other is a funny read from north of the border about TSN.ca reporter James Duthie’s take on Mike Comrie and his friend Hilary Duff. Click here to read.

Enjoy your football today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NEWS: Scatch Trying Out with the Bad Guys

While looking at Newsday’s coverage from last night’s game, I saw this blog posted by Steve Zipay (NY Rangers beat writer for Newsday). I’m sure it’ll turn a few stomachs in Islanders country.

I could be wrong, but I think a lot of Islanders fan really liked Dave Scatchard when he wore the Orange and Blue. I never got an opportunity to get to know him, but he seemed like a good guy, too.

If he signs with the Blueshirts, I’m sure he’ll be in the Rangers’ lineup for an Islanders-Rangers tilt at some point this season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

IN-GAME: Hank Moves for Ice Girls

For those of you not at the game, Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist actually moved out from the crease when the Islanders Ice Girl went to clean the ice. A linesman went over to make sure the peace was kept.

Doesn’t look like there will be a Squeegee Gate II tonight... But stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2007

NEWS: FREDDY MEYER TO PHOENIX

Defenseman Freddy Meyer has been claimed off waivers by the Phoenix Coyotes. As reported earlier by media outlets, Meyer was placed of waivers on Saturday.

On a personal note, Freddy was great to deal with and we wish him the best of luck in Phoenix.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NEWS: Tambellini Up

The Islanders have recalled forward Jeff Tambellini on an emergency basis from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. He practiced with the Islanders today at Islanders Iceworks and skated with Josef Vasicek and Miroslav Satan.

Tambellini played in Bridgeport’s season opener last night and recorded an assist in a 3-2 victory against Hartford.

NYI: Pick ‘N’ Win

On Friday morning, the Islanders launched a new online game. It’s a Pick ‘N’ Win game and if you’re not familiar with it, click here to find out.

Anyway, t’s been a huge success so far!

As of 3:15 PM on Sunday afternoon, over 15,000 picks were made. There are almost 8,000 fans signed up. And on the first day, we nearly 30,000 page views – that’s more then the Montreal Canadiens had.

If you haven’t played yet, click here to check it out!

Friday, October 5, 2007

NHL: Ted to Wear Pink

Neat initiative the NHL is doing this season. October is Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) Month and not only will you see every player in the NHL where a sticker on their helmets for HFC, you’ll see Ted wear pink.

Every team will host a HFC night and on that night, every head coach (including Ted Nolan) in the NHL will wear commemorative pink Hockey Fights Cancer ties. The pink ties will be on-sale at shop.nhl.com with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Hockey Fights Cancer.

For more details, click here.


Good job by the folks at the NHL.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

NYI: Recording of Nolan on WFAN

Ted Nolan was on WFAN this morning with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. Click here to listen to it.

As always, Teddy was awesome. Big thanks to Joe and Evan along with thier producer Ray Martel for having him on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

BST: Sound Tigers Set Roster

Earlier this evening, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers set their roster. To see who made the AHL, click here.

Not that I’m biased or anything, but this looks like a very strong team on paper. Definitely will be fun to watch

And yes, Chris Botta’s Olivier Labelle made the team.

FOLLOW-UP: That’s Why!

I know this is a hockey blog, but that Rockies-Padres game was unreal. It was a one-game playoff, win and you’re in and both teams left everything on the field. It was just awesome to watch. Great TV and a great sports moment.

THAT’S one change hockey needs to make. Forget about bigger nets!

Monday, October 1, 2007

OPINION: Tiebreakers in Hockey

Ok, it’s October 1st and this about playoffs.

I’m watching the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies in a one-game playoff tiebreaker game. The teams finished with the same record and there aren’t any tie-breakers in baseball aside form a one-game playoff (or play-in game, if you will).

For whatever reason in baseball, head-to-head records are thrown out the window. If head-to-head records mattered, Colorado would have advanced. I think.

So my question to you is: Would this work in the NHL? Throw out the tiebreakers of wins, head-to-head records and how you faired in your divisions and conference. If two teams finish with the same amount of points for the last playoff spot, should the NHL go with a one-game playoff?

There are good reasons on both sides of the argument, so what do you think?

If you want to discuss, logon to IslanderMania to (politely) debate.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NYI: A First for Everything

There really is a first for everything. Literally moments ago I was watching the warm-ups and as all the players were getting off the ice I notice Andy Sutton was standing on the Islanders bench.

No he wasn’t hanging out or soaking in the pre-season atmosphere here at the TD Banknorth Garden. He was signing autographs for kids by the bench. I counted at least a dozen signatures jotted down. And it all happened minutes before the start of the game.

Ok, I know what you’re going to say. It’s only pre-season. But still, it’s the Isles final tune-up for the regular season and built up as a pretty important game.

I asked assistant equipment manager Richard “Shakey” Krouse if he has every seen that before – pre-season or otherwise – and he said he couldn’t remember.

So, I guess that just shows you what type of guy Andy Sutton is.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

NYI: Bergy is a Hit

For over a year now, everybody has said “Sean Bergenheim is a ‘Ted Nolan type player.’” What everybody meant by that is this: Bergy plays hard, hits everything in sight, is “gritty” and just wants to help his team win.

Two periods are complete here in Bridgeport and we definitely have seen that so far tonight.

There was one shift in the second where he and Devils defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski battled hard for 45 seconds. Bergy must have finished at least three or four hard checks to Vishnevski. He took some hits too on that shift, but kept pedaling and kept playing with the same demeanor.

The former first rounder also has some scoring ability with his grit, not to mention an ability and willingness to play defense. Only time will tell if he will round to be the complete player we all hope he will turn out to be, but it certainly will be fun watching.

I’m Corey Witt and I’m a Sean Bergenheim fan.

Friday, September 28, 2007

MEDIA: Bourne/Hart Piece Online

Two days ago I told you about a piece that MSG, NY was airing on Islanders prospects Justin Bourne and Jordan Hart. (As you probably know already, they are the sons of Islanders greats Bob and Gerry). It was recorded when both players went to training camp with the Islanders in Moncton earlier this month.

Anyway, if you missed it Wednesday night, click here to watch it online courtesy of MSG.com’s Game On! Blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BLOG: Jiggs' Magic Number is Still 4

As a Mets fan, it hurts me to write this...

Last year for a handful of games, Islanders fans got a special treat when Hall of Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald came out of retirement to fill-in for Howie Rose with the New York Mets in the MLB Playoffs. And for a long time, it looked like that was going to happen again this season. Or so we thought.

As another Orange and Blue team from New York is on the edge of one of baseballs biggest collapses of all-time, we Islanders need to support them. Even if you’re a Yankee fan, you want the Mets to win just so Jiggs to have another turn as an Islanders broadcaster.

Hopefully this becomes an annual thing with Jiggsy coming back. But right now, Jiggs and the Mets need your support to get in the playoffs.

And if case you don’t know, the Mets only have a one game lead in the NL East and their “magic number” is four. Meaning they need to win four games or get four losses by Philly or any combination of that adding up to four to make the playoffs. Both the Mets and Philly have four games remaining.

So… Lets Go Mets!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LINE-UPS: Isles at Devils + Notes

I’m sitting in one of the best seats in the house here at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA for tonight’s game. The press box is center ice facing the benches and the view is perfect.

In case you missed it on NYI.com, tonight’s game will not be broadcasted live on Islanders TV due to bandwidth limitations at the arena. You’ll be able to catch it tomorrow with Steve Mears and Chris King calling the game.

Prospect Ben Walter makes his return to the Tsongas Arena tonight. He played here for three years with UMass -Lowlel from 2002-03 to 2004-05.

One note I want to pass along before I give you the lines for today’s game. I want to give credit to Lowell’s PA announcer Kevin Dunn seeked me out for name pronunciations for the Islanders. Most of the time, the home PA announcer will just go with their own interpretation. So tonight, fans will know its Bruno ZHUR-Vey and not Bruno Jarv-iss… Unfortunately, he didn’t ask about the coaches names. Oh well.

Line-ups
Islanders:
Goaltenders

34 Wade Dubielewicz
35 Joey MacDonald

Defensemen
4 Bryan Berard - 8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli - 24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer - 2 Aaron Johnson

Forwards
16 Jon Sim - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
15 Jeff Tambellini - 29 Ben Walter - 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim - 51 Frans Nielsen - 28 Tim Jackman
54 Gordie Dwyer - 10 Richard Park - 27 Darryl Bootland

Devils:
Goaltenders
30 Martin Brodeur
1 Frank Doyle

Defensemen
6 Andy Green – 28 Karel Rachunek
2 Vitaly Vishnevski – 32 Mike Mottau
42 Mathew Corrente – 29 Johnny Oduya

Forwards
52 Nicklas Bergfors – 14 Brian Gionta – 16 Danius Zubrus
9 Zach Parise – 19 Travis Zajac – 48 David Clarkson
11 John Maden – 49 Rod Pelley – 22 Arron Asham
18 Sergei Brylin – 47 Barry Tallackson – 17 Mike Rupp

MEDIA: MSG, NY to Air Bourne/Hart Piece

Just got word that MSG, NY will air an Islanders piece tonight featuring Bob and Justin Bourne along with Gerry and Jordan Hart from training camp. It was produced by Kevin Meininger and should be a good watch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NYI: Where are the Goal Judges?

As some of you already know, the NHL has moved the goal judges away from the boards this season. There are many reasons why and each team has their own, too.

And let’s be honest… It’s sort of an archaic thing as this point. In the olden days, the goal judges were the referee’s backup for goals. They could make the difference in a game. Now, video replay has been around for years and despite whether or not it works all the time, the goal judges don’t have a say anymore. Even when they turn the light on by accident, play continues.

The position hasn’t been eliminated altogether, but the goal judges aren’t up behind the glass anymore. In each arena they’ll be in a different place. At the Coliseum and in Montreal and Carolina for an example, the goal judges will sit in a section located behind the each net. All goal judges now have a remote which will control the red light behind the glass.

So hockey purists, don’t worry, you won’t lose the red light.

Some teams like the Philadelphia Flyers are installing more seats. Some teams might not remove the goal judges from their traditional position. It’s up to each team.

But for the goal judges, their position is now about holding up the tradition that is the red light.

Monday, September 24, 2007

GAME: Post-Game Thoughts

Wow, what a game. It certainly doesn’t get any better than this for a pre-season tilt. It had everything a fan can ask for.

What heart the Islanders showed tonight. In a fight-filled game, everyone had each others back and it showed in the comeback victory.

Here’s my favorite quote from the post-game scrums… It was Rick DiPietro talking about his fight.

“If I see someone jump one of my teammates, I’m going to stand up for them. We’re one team and we have each others backs.”

Ted Nolan echoed that too and you could really see this Islanders team stand together and fight the battles. Not just with the gloves off, but on the penalty kill, on the power play and when the dirty work needed to get done.

I gotta think that this will be a common theme this season, which should make it great.

NYI: 10 New Things You’ll See Tonight at the Coli

We finally have hockey back at the Nassau Coliseum tonight as the Islanders faceoff against the Rangers.

Here are ten new things that you’ll see when you get to the Coliseum tonight.

1) DP’s new pads – Ricky re-designed the goalie pads he’s worn for the last season and half.

2) Team Apparel – From hats to shirts to pucks, you’ll find all new NYI apparel from the 2007-08 season.

3) All White Dashers – What now? The NHL has a new rule that all dasher board signage must have a white background. Everything will look a bit crisper on the boards now.

4) New Halo Graphics – The NYI Game Ops. crew designed the graphics for penalties and whistles.

5) New Jersey’s – The Islanders will wear blue tonight and it’ll give most fans the first opportunity to see them in game action.

6) Picnic Zone – One of the older smoking areas has been transformed into a picnic zone of sorts. Along with the open air and an additional bathroom, fans can buy food and drink before and during the game.

7) Bossy and Potvin – Those two legends have new banners hanging in the rafters. Nothing change, they’re just new. The old ones were getting yellow and they couldn’t be cleaned anymore.

8) TV’s on the Concourse – In one of many upgrades on the concourse, new flat screen TV’s have been installed all throughout the concourse.

9) Signage – Along with the signage, new gate and concession signage has been added to show you where to go. Again, all in Islanders décor.

10) Paint Job – The Coliseum finally painted the concourse Blue, Orange and White. The walls are still tight, but they look a whole not nicer.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

ITV Review: The Nates Show

Every once in a while I’m going to start to point out why some of Islanders TV’s “more unique” programs are worth checking out.

The first show you should watch is The Nates Show.

Most fans don’t know who Naoto “Nates” Goto is. He’s the Islanders Assistant Athletic Trainer and one of the nicest guys on the team. A native of Japan, Nates is being touted as this year’s “Shakey” in the Islanders TV world.

Here’s why you should check it out: Because not everything in hockey is pucks and goals. There are a lot of pieces to a hockey team and people like Nates are just as important as any other and Islanders TV shows you the other side of the team in some fun programming. The first three episodes of The Nates Show are up so check them out and along with future episodes.

Trust me, you’ll fall in love with Nates just as you did Shakey.

Friday, September 21, 2007

MEDIA: MM to TSN

Former Islanders GM Mike Milbury is adding a third TV gig to his 2007-08 resume as he has agreed to be studio analyst for TSN (ESPN’s Canadian cousin). As Islanders fans know, Mike was never one to mince word and it’s really great for hockey with MM back on a national stage. Fans will really enjoy his opinions and banter.

From TSN’s press release: [[[Milbury will appear weekly during the marquee NHL on TSN: Wednesday Night Hockey throughout the regular season and frequently during the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Milbury makes his TSN debut on September 28 during the NHL on TSN Fantasy Draft Special. ]]]

I enjoyed my time working for Mike. He kept everyone on his toes and if you ever went to dinner with him, you certainly were entertained by some great stories.

Now we just need TSN in the States… Not to mention NHL Tonight on ESPN!

CAMP: Thanks Moncton!

Moncton, NB – Training camp is winding down and I don’t think you can find an Islander who wouldn’t say it was a great success in Moncton.

Thanks to everyone up in Moncton for a great ten days. We look forward to seeing you again.

From the media side, I would especially like to thank Larry Haley for all of his help and hospitality with us New York media types.

LINE-UPS: Islanders at Montreal

Moncton, NB – There’s the list of players who will dress in Montreal tonight for the second pre-season tilt versus the Canadiens. Tonight’s game is at the Bell Centre.

Goaltenders: 34 - Wade Dubielewicz, 33 - Mike Morrison

Forwards: 11 - Andy Hilbert, 12 - Chris Simon, 15 - Jeff Tambellini, 16 - Jon Sim, 20 - Sean Bergenheim, 27 - Darryl Bootland, 29 - Ben Walter, 54 - Gordie Dwyer, 63 - Josef Vasicek, 67 - Sean Bentivoglio, 57 - Blake Comeau, 72 - Jeremy Colliton

Defenseman: 2 - Aaron Johnson, 8 - Bruno Gervais, 14 - Chris Campoli, 24 - Radek Martinek, 47 - Marc-Andre Bergeron, 63 - Jamie Fraser

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MEDIA: Logie’s Coverage

Moncton, NB – With all the talk of blogs today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Greg Logan, his coverage in Newsday and his Newsday.com blog.

Greg provides excellent coverage on multiple levels for the Islanders on a daily basis.

If it wasn’t for the success of his blog, the NYI Blog Box idea might never have come up. Did you know Neil Best reported on Newsday.com that the Islanders Blog gets the most hits on the website.

Greg travels by himself to cover the Islanders and is away from his family just as long as the team is, if not a little longer sometimes.

From all NYI fans out there, thanks Greg for the coverage.


OK, enough of all of this "thanking" for now...

MEDIA: NHL.com’s NYI Coverage

Moncton, NB – I don’t know how I forgot to mention it… I mean, I went out to eat with him a bunch of times, yet it skipped right over my head.

NHL.com’s Evan Grossman came to training camp with the Islanders and provided awesome coverage. Daily blog updates and stories that I’m hoping made my colleagues around the league jealous.

Check it out.

Thanks Evan and I’m sure we’ll see you next season.

NYI: NYI Blog Box is Up!

The NYI Blog Box is finally up. Click here to check it out.

Thanks to everyone who applied. And don’t worry, they’ll be more.

If you weren’t selected, feel free to start your own blog anyway. Once you get it set up and running, re-submit your application with the link and we’ll take a close look at it.

Thanks again!

NEWS: Snowy to be inducted into Maine HoF

Moncton, NB – Found this little nugget on the web thanks to our friends at IslanderMania…

Islanders GM Garth Snow will be inducted into the University of Maine’s Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 14 as part of the school’s homecoming celebration. (Click here to view link)

From the press release on the website:
[[[ Garth Snow ('92) is one of the greatest goaltenders in college hockey history. He led the Black Bears with an undefeated season in 1992-93 on their way to their first national championship. He owned nine school records at the time of graduation and represented the United States in the 1994 Olympics. On top of that, he became the general manager of the New York Islanders franchise in 2006. ]]]

Congratulations Garth!

LINE-UPS: NYI Rookies vs. U of Moncton

Moncton, NB – On Thursday night, the Islanders Rookies will take the University of Moncton at the Moncton Coliseum. Here’s the lineup, subject to change. Expect Ouellet, a former first round draft pick of the Capitals, to get the start in net.

Goaltenders: Mike Mole, Maxime Ouellet

Defensemen: Drew Fata, Jamie Fraser, Martin Frechette, Jordan Hart, Dustin Kohn, Simon Lacroix

Forwards: Sean Bentivoglio, Justin Bourne, Derek Damon, Robin Figren, Chris Gaudet, Maxime Gratchev, Tyler Haskins, Tomas Marcinko, Masi Marjamaki, Jason Pitton, Steve Regier, Trevor Smith

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

GAME: What I Learned From Tonight’s Game

Moncton, NB – Here are some things I learned from tonight’s 3-1 win over Montreal…

1) With increased ice time, Jon Sim will be the best bargain in the NHL.
2) I don’t care what TSN SportsCentre says, our new jerseys are great and certainly not the ugliest in the NHL… Can anyone say Vancouver?
3) The great people of Moncton haven’t realized that Andrew MacDonald and Chris Gaudet were only away from the city for a few days before camp, not the decade they seem to make it out be. But the boys appreciate the “homecoming” attention nevertheless.
4) The Islanders have never seen as special of a player off the ice as Bill Guerin. With the fans or media, he’s a standup guy.
5) Andy Sutton can hit. H.I.T. Can’t wait to see what he brings in the regular season.
6) There’s plenty of heart, grit and character on this team, which will go a long, long way throughout the entire organization.
7) That Ruslan Fedotenko-Mike Comrie-Bill Guerin line might be something worth keeping together for a while.
8) Rick looked sharp in net.
9) Ted loves to coach. And loves to coach in Moncton.
10) Islanders TV continues to set the bar even higher. What a great night for them. Live telecast with Steve Mears and Billy Jaffe from Moncton. They also answered questions from IslandMania and Islanders Country. Great job by Josh Bernstein and his crew as usual.

GAME: Gaudet & MacDonald Ready for Tonight

Moncton, NB – Chris Gaudet and Andrew MacDonald return to the Moncton Coliseum tonight. Both played on the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL for the last two seasons. Tonight’s lineup is veteran heavy, but this will be a very special game for the two rookies. Both were coached by Ted Nolan in 2005-06.

MacDonald played in an exhibition game in Moncton last season, but he knew he was going to be sent back to juniors following camp. So it had a different feel to it for him.

Tonight will be different and I can’t wait to hear the standing-room only crowd go nuts when their names are announced.

And who knows, maybe Teddy will start both of them.

LINE-UPS: Isles/Montreal at Moncton - UPDATES

Updated: 2:45 PM - Blake Comeau will replace Jeremy Colliton in the lineup. Nothing to read into here and I wouldn't be surpsied if JC played in Montreal on Friday.

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Moncton, NB – Here’s Wednesday night’s for the Islanders versus Montreal. The game will be held at the Moncton Coliseum. Game time is 7:00 Atlantic Time, 6:00 Eastern. The Islanders are 0-1-1 so far in the pre-season, while the Canadiens are 1-1-0.

Goaltenders: Rick DiPietro, Wade Dubielewicz

Forwards: Blake Comeau, Mike Comrie, Gordie Dwyer, Ruslan Fedotenko, Chris Gaudet, Bill Guerin, Tim Jackman, Trent Hunter, Richard Park, Miroslav Satan, Mike Sillinger, Jon Sim

Defensemen: Bryan Berard, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Bruno Gervais, Andrew MacDonald, Andy Sutton, Brendan Witt


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Just wanted to take a minute to clarify something... Chris Botta posted a neat little note on his blog about one of his colleagues getting rejected in North Bay, ON in grand fashion. I read it, figured out who it was rather quickly and almost fell off my chair laughing. I also wanted to point out that it wasn’t me! Nevertheless, a great, great story!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MEDIA: Congrats, Stan!

Moncton, NB – Just got a nice e-mail from the NHL. Long-time hockey broadcaster Stan Fischler has been named one of four recipients of the 2007 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Also receiving the award is: Brian Leetch, Cammi Granato and longtime communications executive and historian John Halligan. The recipients will be honored at the 2007 Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon on November 7th in New York.

The fact that Stan isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame is a shame and hopefully that will change soon. I guess this is a start.

Congratulations, Stan!

CAMP: Power Play Gets Started

Moncton, NB – So, what’s going on in Moncton while the team plays in North Bay and St. John’s? Well, practice. (Say it in your best Allan Iverson voice)

The remaining players are broken up into two squads: veterans and rookies.

Today, the veterans practiced the power play, which was being run by assistant coach Gerard Gallant. I don’t want to give any secrets away and I believe Greg Logan will go more in depth on this subject in Newsday in the next few days. But what I can say is that as Greg and I watched from the stands, we both noticed big changes.

It was only one group, but there’s a lot of movement and quarks to it. And, it was fun to watch.

We’ll keep an eye on it, but we’re starting to see units and lines shape up. Must be hockey season.

MEDIA: News 12 in Moncton

Moncton, NB – Our good friends Jamie Stuart and Andrew Rappaport from News 12 Long Island once again traveled up north for Islanders training camp. They are airing daily reports from Moncton, which begin at 5:00 PM. So if you can, check out.

LINE-UPS: Roster for St. John’s

Moncton, NB – Here is Tuesday's roster for the pre-season game which will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland against the Boston Bruins. This is the team’s second of three pre-season games in three nights. The third will be held Wednesday night in Moncton.

Goaltenders: Joey MacDonald, Mike Morrison

Forwards: Sean Bergenheim. Darryl Bootland, Kip Brennan, Gordie Dwyer, Andy Hilbert, Trent Hunter, Olivier Labelle, Frans Nielsen, Chris Simon, Jeff Tambellini, Josef Vasicek, Ben Walter

Defensemen: Chris Campoli, Drew Fata, Aaron Johnson, Radek Martinek, Freddy Meyer, Matthew Spiller

Monday, September 17, 2007

GAME REPORT: NYI Rookies 1, U of NB 3

Moncton, NB – The Islanders Rookies fell to the University of New Brunswick Red Devils 3-1 Monday night at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre. Martin Frechette scored the Islanders’ lone goal, which was also the first of the night. Tyler Haskins recorded the assist.

For the defending CIS (Canadian Interuniveristy Sport) champions, Robert Pearce, Kyle Baily and Joshua Hepditch each scored. Hepditch also recorded an assist.

Mike Mole played the entire game in goal for the Islanders and stopped 29 of 32 shots. For the Red Devils, Michael Ouzas and Derek Yeomans split the game facing a total of 34 shots.

The stand out player for the Islanders was Jamie Fraser. The smooth-skating defenseman, who played for Bridgeport last season, was the best player on the ice for either team. Justin Bourne also continued his strong camp by staying in the play on every shift.

The difference in the game was team chemistry. Most of the Red Devils have played with each other for a few seasons, while the Islanders Rookies only first skated as a 20-man unit.

LINE-UPS: Rookie Game vs. U of N.B.

Moncton, NB -- Here’s the roster for tonight’s rookie game versus the University of New Brunswick. Basically this is a game for a lot of the younger guys in camp play against a local University team. Tonight’s game is at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre where we have practiced for the entire week. ** CORECTION ** There’s another rookie game against the University of Moncton and that will be played at the Moncton Coliseum on THURSDAY NIGHT.**

Forwards: Sean Bentivoglio, Justin Bourne, Marc Cavosie, Jeremy Colliton, Derek Damon, Robin Figren, Chris Gaudet, Maxime Gratchev, Tyler Haskins, Tomas Marcinko, Masi Marjamaki, Jason Pitton, Steve Regier, Trevor Smith

Defensemen: Jamie Fraser, Martin Frechette, Jordan Hart, Mark Katic, Simon Lacroix, Andrew MacDonald

Goaltenders: Mike Mole, Maxime Ouellet

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LINE-UPS: Rosters for North Bay

Moncton, NB – As promised, here are the rosters (subject to change) for the Islanders firstpre-season game in North Bay.

Sept. 17 vs. Atlanta at North Bay, ON

Forwards: Sean Bergenheim, Kip Brennan, Blake Comeau, Tim Jackman, Olivier Labelle, Frans Nielsen, Richard Park, Jon Sim, Chris Simon, Jeff Tambellini, Josef Vasicek, Ben Walter

Defensemen: Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais, Aaron Johnson, Dustin Kohn, Freddy Meyer, Matthew Spiller

Goaltenders: Joey MacDonald, Mike Morrison

CAMP: A Moncton Rock Star

Moncton, NB – We saw this a little last season when we were here. And we definitely see it up in Buffalo every time we’re there. It’s Ted Nolan and his rock star status. Teddy not only changed the culture of his Moncton Wildcats team back in 2005-06, but put Moncton back on the map. The people of Moncton certainly haven’t forgotten Ted.

Two years ago, he mingled with the locals and went all over the place to get people to support the Wildcats and it showed with a huge boost in attendance in the 2005-06 season.

But what we have seen so far this week is that the Nolan-effect that’s being felt all over Long Island is still resonating here in Moncton. Not a time goes by when Teddy walks down the street where he doesn’t stop for a picture or for a quick chat.

The folks up here in Moncton love Teddy and the feeling is mutual.

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Tonight is also the Wildcats home opener and former Islanders assistant coach Danny Flynn is behind the bench. Before the game, Nolan will drop the ceremonial puck. Should be another fun night in Moncton.


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Also, check back late tonight for the rosters for the first pre-season game.

CAMP: Not Just for Practicing

Moncton, NB – Training camp isn’t just for practices and scrimmages. It’s an opportunity to get the players to do an onslaught of interviews for our FSN NY, Islanders TV and Game Operations crews, or as I like to call them F.I.G..

All the veterans and some rookies take 45 to 60 minutes of their time to do the three-stop circuit. Why is it so important? FSN NY gets a lot of the interviews done for their one-hour pre-season preview show in addition to some spots for in-season vignettes. Islanders TV is planning some big stuff for this season and a lot of it comes from these interviews. And every time you see a player on the scoreboard during a game for trivia or announcements? Well, that gets done here too.

All of these interviews are done when the guys are at the rink and it’s all done in a short amount of time. Yeah the guys rib the staff for doing these interviews, but it’s worth it in the end, even for the players. They just don’t want to admit it yet.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

CAMP: A Moncton State of Mind

Moncton, NB – For the non-Canadians – and I’m talking from an American standpoint – it definitely takes some getting used to being up here in Moncton. For me, I don’t have my own bed and pillows and I’m away from my newly engaged to fiancée on Long Island. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a great experience to be up here. And I'm glad we're here.

Moncton is a big town and the locals say it’s the biggest in New Brunswick. It’s certainly not Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa. My New York-style driving definitely doesn’t fit in and I still can’t get used to a blinking green arrow after a few days. And I don’t think I’ll ever get used to not getting served ice with my soda at fast-food joints. Moncton is certainly different then life on Long Island.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in Canadian cities. From the major cities listed above, to Vancouver and Halifax, St. John’s, N.S. and Yarmouth. But Moncton is a town unlike I have ever been too before. The locals give off a big-town persona. Hey, they have a QMJHL team here, an arena and a skating facility that would put any in New York to shame. The streets are clean and the people are friendly. Plenty of restaurants and local watering holes.

If Moncton was on Long Island, it might be a stop in between Melville and Huntington on Route 110. But it’s the differences from everything I know about living on Long Island all my life that gets me to appreciate what seems like a less-complicated Moncton life style.

Moncton is perfect where it is and how it is. And the Islanders are happy to be here.

Thanks, Moncton.

CAMP: A Webb of Influence

Moncton, NB – Mark Katic spent some time today getting advice from a former Islander. And as part of the Islanders Alumni crew up here in Moncton and as part of the team’s player development team, Steve Webb spent some time dishing out advise as if they were hits in the 2002 playoff series versus Toronto. And the prospect Katic was all ears.

It’s easy to forget that Webb had to fight, figuratively, to make it to the NHL. From junior hockey to the ECHL to the AHL and finally to the NHL, Webb needed to persevere. It’s experiences from his trip around the hockey-sphere that Webb is handing out his biggest hits.

“I’m not going to give them advise on how to score goals, but I can tell some of our young prospects and rookies what it takes to make it to the NHL so they have a better idea of what to expect,” Webb said a few days ago.

Katic said Webb told him to take time during training camp to talk to the veteran defensemen and ask them what it takes to play in the NHL. To ask them, what’s best for a young defenseman to do in the gym and what to be prepared for. Stuff like that.

It’s that which Steve Webb might be making his biggest hit as an Islander.

Friday, September 14, 2007

CAMP: The Bourne Special

Moncton, NB -- Justin Bourne would have been the MVP of almost any other scrimmage, but his goaltending Wade Dubielewicz shutout the opposition for 45 minutes. A goal and an assist is impressive, especially for a training camp invite, as Justin fights for a roster spot.

But what’s more special about it is that he did it in front of his dad, NYI Hall of famer Bob, who is with the Islanders as part of the alumni entourage here in Moncton. When Justin scored, dad Bob jumped out of his seat and quietly yelled: “That’s my son!”

“My parents came up to Alaska to watch me play, but of course this is more special,” Justin told me at the hotel lobby. “A lot of my parents’ lives were on Long Island with my dad wearing this logo. And now I’m wearing it, so it must be really special for him to see me play here.”

Hopefully Justin keeps performing, making Bob jump out of his seat more.

Seeing his former Islander father watching his son score with the Orange and Blue is also something very special.

CAMP: Dunny, the Coach

Moncton, NB -- Training camp just isn’t a time for players to adjust to the team, but for coaches to adjust as well. The Islanders have three new coaches on their staff this season in Garrard Gallant, John Chabot and Mike Dunham and each are making transitions.

But for Dunny, the adjustment is two fold. He’s getting used to not only not playing, but coaching for the first time as well.

“I definitely didn’t miss the physicals and the fitness tests,” the former goaltender told me on Thursday morning.

And today, you could see that he was making the transition from player to coach with great strides. Dunny was a pleasure to work with last season and it seems like the same will hold true as a coach. And as he said: “Hey, don’t worry… I’m on your side now.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NYI: Must be Training Camp

Well, it finally and official arrived. Islanders Training Camp is upon us. Players have taken their physicals, filled out their paper work and taken their head shots. All that’s left is hockey.

Skating starts tomorrow at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre in Moncton, NB with the players broken up into three groups aptly named Team Bossy, Team Gillies and Team Trottier.

Let the hitting begin!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ISLANDERMANIA: Victory Song?

If you logon to the Islanders new fan message board IslanderMania, you’ll see a topic and a poll asking fans if the Islanders need a victory song. Similarly to the NY Mets “Takin’ Care of Business”.

Well, the Islanders do have a victory song that played at the Coliseum after each victory. It’s a variation of “Rock ‘N Roll – Part 2” (also the Islanders goal song). But how many fans recognize that?

So the question remains… Do the Islanders need a new victory song? And if so, what should it be? Logon to IslanderMania to decide.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

NYI: A Great Day at the Coli

It was a beautiful morning and it was great to see so many Islanders fans back at the Coliseum. Bruno, Dubie and Richard Park were awesome with the Orange and Blue supporters and you can really see each patron become a huge fan of each guy as they moved up and down the line talking to each and every one of them.

Looks like Islanders TV got some good stuff with Bruno, which should be very funny. So you’ll want to look out for that in the next few days.

Weirdest story of the day: A San Jose Sharks fan from Philadelphia drove up I-95 to purchase tickets to the Sharks/Islanders game on February 18th. Only problem was that only first-half tickets went on sale today. Fret not, the NYI ticket staff took his information so he won’t have to make the drive back up when second-half tickets actually do go on sale.

Thanks to all the fans who came down.

Friday, September 7, 2007

NYI: New Jerseys/Saturday Morning

Just as a no-duh FYI, the Islanders will indeed wear their new jerseys for all pre-season games. They've been numbered and washed and are ready to go. The Islanders locker room is filled with the new threads right now. Two were made up for for each of the 60 players (one white, one blue) coming to camp (more on that next week).

Here's a little joke I heard, but I'll warn you, it's bad. The Vancouver Canucks new jersey says "Vancouver" above the logo on the front. Will the Devils' new jerseys say "New Jersey" on them, too? Sorry for that one folks.

Back to business... You won't want to miss tomorrow morning's single-game ticket on sale event. Come down, buy a few tickets, have some fun and get some autographs. At least one or two more players not on the original list are set to join the party at the Coliseum.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

NEWS: New Goalie Coach on Horizon

Here’s what we do know for sure: The Islanders will have a new goaltending coach this season and that he will travel with the team to training camp.

We also know that former Islanders goaltender Mike Dunham is now retired as a player and that he’s on Long Island. And it wouldn’t surprise us if he is the man for the job.

Dunny was very instrumental in a few early season victories for the Islanders last season. He’s also a very smart hockey guy and has a great relationship with Ricky and Dubie. He knows the sport and knows the position. Dunny’s also one heck-of-a nice guy.

Nothing official yet, but expect it soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NEWS: So Long, Pierre

So Pierre Turgeon has decided to hang up the skates after a 19 year NHL career. Turgeon spent four seasons with the Islanders from 1991-92 to 1994-95 before his infamous trade to Montreal.

Here’s a look at his Orange and Blue career:

Though only on the Island for four years, Turgeon made an impact here. He ranks 14th on the Islanders all-time scoring with 148 goals, 145 assists for 343 points in 255 games.

[ [ [ That’s a 1.3451 points per game average… Islanders Hall of Fame worthy? ] ] ]

In 1992-93, Turgeon scored 58 goals with 77 assists for 132 points. His 58 goals is the sixth most by an Islander and his 132 points is the third best season of any Islander ever. He won the Lady Byng that season, too.

[ [ [ Only Mike Bossy scored more goals in a season… six times… Bossy once scored 147 points in 1981-82, the most of an Islander ever… Bryan Trottier scored 134 points in 1978-79. ] ] ]

Pierre also won the Mike Bossy Award as the best draft prospect in 1987.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

FANS: IslanderMania Is Now Up

As Chris Botta alluded to in his blog earlier in the day, IslanderMania is now the official message board of the New York Islanders.

It's funny in a way, because fans have always wanted an official message board and the Islanders always wanted to have one. We feel our partnership with the good folks at IslandersMania will only benefit Islanders fans around the Internet.


Part of any good message board is moderation. That's not to be confused with censorship. Moderation keeps off the people who only write with foul or abusive language. At IslandersMania, you'll see that their team of moderators are top notch.

We at the Islanders feel extremely comfortable with our new message board. From the people who run it to the people you use it to express their passion for the Orange and Blue (both positive and negative).

Thank you to Lisa and everyone else at IslanderMania for making this a reality.

Click here to share you Islanders opinions on IslanderMania.

BLOG: Let's Start Blogging!

Welcome to the NYI Media Blog written by Corey Witt. I’m the Islanders media relations coordinator and as you can tell this is my blog. If last season was about changing the culture for the Islanders, this season is about blogging.
From the new NYI Blog Box to my blog, to Chris Botta’s NYI Point Blank blog to the We’re All Islanders blog on the main page, I don’t think too much is going to missed when it comes to Islanders Hockey this season.

Each Islanders-sponsored blog will offer you a little something different and we’re sure one will wet your appetite. We know Islanders fans want more written about their favorite team and that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

We also want to thank everyone who applied to the Blog Box. We decided to only start with about a dozen or so, but don’t worry, we’re not done yet. We’re constantly reviewing the applications, so you can still hear from us. Just hold tight!

BLOG: What You'll Find Here

In a nutshell, the NYI Media Blog will be a source for some game-day breaking news, quotes that don’t make it into the papers or on our website, news articles from the deep reaches of the internet, some opinion and some general hockey banter. And I’m sure there’s going to be some random stuff too!

Check back daily (or more!) for updates. As training camp gets underway and the season gets into full swing, the news will start flying.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 3, 2007

READ: Why Howie Rose is Great

You might remember me writing something on NYI.com earlier in the summer about why Howie Rose is one of the best announcers in all of sports.

Back in May during a Mets game at Shea Stadium, David Wright hit a very long home run to left-center field. Without missing a beat, Rose called it: "David Wright almost hit the first home run in the history of Citi Field!" It was a home run hit so far, it landed in the construction zone of the Mets' new ballpark. And Rose explained it perfectly.

This afternoon, when introducing Pedro Martinez and his return to the mound after missing the entire season due to an injury, Rose said: "Pedro Martinez, working on 341 days of rest, gets set to face the Reds..." Just as if it was Pedro's regular day in the rotation.

Just a reminder that as Islanders fans (and Mets fans, too) we are spoiled by Howie's witty remarks and great broadcasting skills. In our book, Howie's the most under-rated announcer in all of sports this side of Steve Mears.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

OPINION: Predictions and Upsets

I just got done watching Appalachian State (a Division 1-AA school) upset Michigan who was ranked fifth in the nation. It was the first time a Division 1-AA school defeated a ranked D1-A school. I'm listening to announcers on ESPN saying it is the biggest upset in college football history. It's the first week of the season. And I'm getting to my point.

Michigan's ranking was based on pre-season predictions. It was based on who the so-called experts thought had the best players which would make up the best team.

And the fact that Michigan lost to a team full of D-II players which D-1 schools didn't want just proves that experts can't tell which teams are going to be better than others and which teams will make the playoffs.

The Hockey News picked the Islanders to finish 14th in the East this season. Last year, they picked the Islanders to finish 29th or 30th in the NHL. Well, the Islanders made the playoff last season and 14 other teams didn’t. And the so-called fifth best college football team in America lost to a school who apparently aren’t good enough or big enough to be in the same league as their Blue and Maize opponents.

So much for pre-season predications.