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.


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.


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


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.


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.”


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.”


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…


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.”


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.


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.


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.

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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)

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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


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

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Thursday, December 13, 2007


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!!!

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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:


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.

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