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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Somebody's There

Remember in my last entry when I said that the Islanders needed to wake up? Well, so far over the last 8 games, the have seemed to climb out of bed. The Islanders have won 6 of their last 8, and recorded points in 7 of those games, with the exception being the dud they had against the Rangers. These are also wins against the top teams in the NHL.  Lets take a look at the teams they beat.

  1. Anaheim Ducks: 42 points-Currently 9th in the West. Islanders beat them 3-2 behind 3 goals in 98 seconds. 
  2. After a tough shootout loss against Phoenix, the Islanders took care of business again against the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning 2-1. John Tavares got the overtime winner and sent the crowd home happy. Currently, the Lightning are 2nd in the Eastern Conference. 
  3. The only non-quality team on this list, and the only road game on this list. The Islanders took a short bus trip to New Jersey and crushed the last-place Devils by the score of 5-1. The Islanders only got 14 shots, and it was enough to catapult the Islanders out of, and send the Devils into the NHL's basement.
  4. As a blizzard swept through the eastern coast of the United States, making it nearly impossible for fans to get to the game, the game went on, and the Isles kept rolling, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves, and James Wisniewski scored his last goal an Islander. Coincidentally, he is now a member of the Canadiens. Best of luck to you James, thanks for the help. The Canadiens now are in the last playoff spot in the Eastern conference.   
  5. Though the Islanders got murdered at MSG on Monday, they made up for it in a big fashion on Wednesday. They beat the best team in the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins. It went down 2-1 in the shootout during Rick DiPietro's first game in some time. Almost as important as the win itself, the Islanders snapped Sidney Crosby's 25 game point streak. He did nothing. The people at 24/7 Pens Caps will have something to say about that, as do I.
  6. To close off 2010, the Islanders went into Detroit, and left with another 2 points, beating the top team in the Western Conference. P.A. Parenteau got the overtime winner on the powerplay during a perfectly executed play and great pass by John Tavares. A sell out crowd in Detroit was left shocked by the lowly Islanders coming into town and playing a great game. Kudos to Dwayne Roloson, who at age 41, is one of the top goalies in the NHL in the past few weeks. 
2010 is over, good thing for the Islanders. Now let's hope that the momentum from the end of 2010 carries into 2011. They have a huge west coast road trip coming up to start the new decade. Time to gain some points in the standings. 

(photo credit: espn.com)
Happy New Year!
Lets Go Islanders!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knock, Knock, Anybody Home?

I have absolutely no idea what is happening. But the Islanders have just won 2 of their last 3 games and recording at least a point in each one. And the best part about this is that they were all close games. When earlier it seemed that the Islanders could not figure out a way to win, they are figuring out ways to win now. Yes, it is only 2 wins, but they are 2 hard earned wins and 5 hard earned points. Let us take a look at these last 3 games because there may not be too many more bright spots soon.

Game 1: Ducks @ Islanders. (photos from sports.yahoo.com)

The Islanders score 3 goals in under 2 minutes, and cling to a 1 goal victory. Great goaltending by Rick DiPietro and solid defense kept the Ducks out of the net when it mattered most.
Former Islander Jason Blake is smashed by Milan Jurcina
Thanks for leaving Jason. We don't miss you. 

New York Islanders Center P.A. Parenteau, Center, Frans Nielsen (51), Of Denmark, And Defenseman James Wisniewski (20)
P.A. Parenteau Celebrates his goal.

Game 2: Coyotes @ Islanders

To see a video of this fight, click HERE.
New York Islanders' Michael Grabner (40) Shouts
Michael Grabner celebrates a goal. Yeah,
he scored while falling down. This is the first luck
I have seen the Isles get in a while. 
Gillies connects.

Although the Islanders didn't win this game, as a matter of fact, they blew the lead with 1:28 left. (See video.) They played hard for the full 60 minutes and overtime, and rookie goalie Nathan Lawson showed some promise. They may need that promise if DP can't suit up again soon. The Isles didn't lose the game, they just got unlucky in the shootout. No big deal.

Game 3: Lightning @ Islanders

The red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning just came into town today. They took an early lead, and thanks to another P.A. Parenteau goal, the Islanders tied the game late in the 2nd period. Dwayne Roloson, at age 41, had a spectacular game in net. The big finish would be when John Tavares, breaking out of his recent slide, scores the winner past Lightning goalie Dan Ellis in overtime and sends the few fans at Nassau Coliseum into a frenzy. This is the win I personally was looking for, a grind-it-out defensive game where a play in front of the net decides the game. John Tavares parked in front of the net, and didn't leave until the puck was in the net. He was like a basketball player boxing out for a rebound. The now hot Islanders cooled off the Lightning.

3 games. 2 wins. 5 points. That's all is in the standings. But in reality, it is a huge victory for Jack Capuano, who can possibly have 3 great goaltenders, if they are all healthy. The young team is starting to gel. Hopefully it keeps on happening, because I am liking what I am seeing for once. 

Happy Holidays!

Lets Go Islanders!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Faces of Frustration

I am not going to say any words of my own. Only a quote from announcer Howie Rose that pretty much sums up the last 20 games. He said this after the Atlanta Thrashers took a 5-3 lead in tonight's game. "The frustration level could not appear to have been capable of going any higher over the last couple of games. Somehow, it has just gone right through the roof." Now I leave you with some images of frustration. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I don't feel like typing millions of words. So, here are the faces of frustration.
John Tavares John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders leaves the ice after losing against the Atlanta Thrashers on December 11, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Thrashers defeated the Isles 5-4.
New York Islanders Goalie Rick DiPietro (39) Reacts To Atlanta Thrashers' Alexander Burmistrov's Goal That Put The
New York Islanders Goalie Dwayne Roloson Takes

(Yes, that is me.)

There you go. The faces of frustration. It can't get too much worse. Lets see  what happens.

Lets Go Islanders!  

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Effort was Good. The Scoreboard was Not.

  Rob Schremp #44 (C) Of The New York Islanders Celebrates Zenon Konopka #28 Of The New York Islanders Scores

photo credit:

Now the tide turns. This is the turning point. The end of a streak. Two great comebacks in one game. An unfortunate loss. Cass it whatever you want, but the Islanders season is about to change. 

After a supreme goaltending effort by Rick DiPietro last Friday against the Devils to end the long losing streak, the Islanders played arguably their best game of the season last night against the Rangers at the Coliseum. Yes, they did lose the game, but look at the positives. 5 different Islanders scored goals, including Zenon Konopka (above, right) who scored his first goal as an Islander. 11 different Islanders had at least 1 point. The Islanders also showed that when they are down, they are not out. Coming back from a deficit of 2-0 early in the game, the Islanders scored 3 goals, including one during the last minute of the first period to give them some momentum going into the second period. After the Islanders scored their third goal, former Islander and current Ranger, Marty Biron was pulled from the game. The Rangers would soon take over the game, or so it would seem. Down 5-3 in the 3rd period, the Islanders got 2 more goals on lucky bounces, the second of which only went about 6 inches behind the goal line and behind Henrik Lundqvist. This sent the Islander fans into a frenzy at the Coliseum. Even though the Islanders got many positives in this game, there are plenty of negatives to make a list. Let's make a list:
  • 2 Ranger goals were stupid goals, because they deflected off or Islander players and went in behind Rick DiPietro. 
  • Speaking of Rick DiPietro, his save percentage in the game was only .769. That will not win games. Not at any level, not anywhere, not ever. 
  • Since DiPietro played so badly in the first game, veteran Dwayne Roloson will get the start in the second game of the home-at-home. 
Let's hope something different happens tonight. The tide is changing. 

Lets Go Islanders!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Over

New York Islanders Goalie Rick DiPietro (39) Raises
Photo Credit: www.sports.yahoo.com

Howie Rose could not have put it more perfectly when, after the Islanders victory, he said, "Everyone around the New York Islanders can take one long cleansing breath." Right after I heard that, I did just what he said, and I felt a little better, and I hope you did to. The knowledge that this streak of futility would not end up in the record books really made me feel good. Nobody wants to be a fan of 'That' team that sets a record nobody wants.

After 14 straight defeats, we can now look forward to the rest of the season, and what better way to start a new chapter of the season than a home at home against the Rangers.

Lets Go Islanders!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It Can't Get Much Worse

I am just baffled. Words can't describe my disappointment towards the Islanders right now. So, instead of words, I will show you how I dressed to attend the Islanders vs Panthers game last Saturday.

Yeah, I wore a bag. If you are wondering, it says:
      11 Games          
       Wins: 0            
       Coaches: 2            

Everyone that saw me had to comment on the bag. The security guard did extra checks on me. People were laughing. Everyone stopped in their tracks to read it. Sparky, the mascot, attacked me.  A guy told me Happy Halloween. Even one of the Islanders Ice Girls asked me why I was wearing a bag. Every time someone asked me why I wore a bag, I simply said, "Read the bag." That got most people to quiet down.  The bag got so much attention, a few people even asked to take pictures of me.

I wore the bag for one simple reason. I can't stand the way the Islanders are playing. I am not going to talk about the stats, those can be found somewhere else. The Islanders are becoming have become the laughing stock of the NHL, and some one needs to do something. Yes, Scott Gordon has been fired and replaced by Jack Capuano. But what did that really do? Short term, just more losses have happened. Hopefully some wins will be coming soon, because I am sick of the losing. Hopefully you are too. How do you think this will end up playing out?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lets Go Islanders!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It Finally Happened

Alright, now I am forced to talk about this. With the recent firing of Scott Gordon, the Islanders are left in the hands of a former Isles assistant coach and former head coach of the Isles AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Who is this mystery man who just had an NHL franchise dropped on his shoulders?

Jack Capuano

"Who is Jack Capuano? I have never heard of him before." This is the first thing that went through my mind after I heard about the coaching change at school. After some crafty texting and looking at my iPod touch, I found out exactly who the Islanders had hired. Here are some facts about the new man in charge of the New York Islanders.

  • His youth matches the Islanders. At 44, he is younger than Scott Gordon, and one of the youngest coaches in Islanders history. 
  • Capuano has a history of playing hockey. He was drafted in the 5th round, 88th overall, in the 1984 NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. His NHL career was not too long, only 6 games. He played with the Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Boston Bruins. Capuano's short NHL career would not register any points, but he would gain experience. 
  • After his playing career, he turned to coaching. From 1997-1999, he was the head coach of a minor league team in the East Coast Hockey League. After he left the bench, he was the General Manager of the team until the team folded in 2005. 
  • The Islanders hired Capuano to be an assistant coach for the 2005-2006 season, right after the NHL lockout in 2004-2005. That season, the Islanders only got 78 points and finished 12th in the Eastern Conference.
  • The next season, Capuano was an assistant for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL affiliate. After that season, Capuano was named head coach of the Sound Tigers and remained as the head coach there until he was given the Islanders head coaching job. He had an impressive record as the Sound Tigers head coach, 133-100-8-14 in 3 seasons as head coach. 
  • Capuano has coached 10 of the Islanders current players, which may be key since he won't have to get to know all of the players from scratch. This experience with the players will definitely help him with the team. 
Jack Capuano brings a fresh start to the Islanders, and they really need it. 10 straight losses makes no one happy, except for the Islanders opponents. All of these facts say something about the person, but will it help the Islanders win games? 

Only time will tell. 

Lets Go Islanders!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Good Old Days

I really don't want to talk about the Islanders recent struggles. So instead, I will show you a video of one of the better times in Islanders history.

Although the Isles didn't win that series, the Coliseum was rocking and the Islanders had a great team. Will they get back to that form? Only time will tell.

Lets Go Islanders!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nino Niederreiter sent back to juniors. Was it the right move?

If you have not heard, the Islanders sent their first round draft pick from the draft, Nino Niederreiter, back to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.  Did the Islanders make the right decision?

Why keep him?:

  • New York Islanders Right Wing Nino Niederreiter, Top, Of Switzerland, Elebrates His Goal With Michael Grabner, Of
  • In his short 9 game in the NHL, Niederreiter showed that he could compete with the best in the NHL. He scored his first goal against the Capitals on a perfectly executed play by the Islanders. Niederreiter was waiting in the slot when Doug Weight gave him a pass, and he shot it right past Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth.
  • The line combination of Niederreiter, recently acquired Michael Grabner, and veteran Captain Doug Weight has been producing for the Islanders. Those 3 have a combined 5 goals and 8 assists so far in the early season.
  • El NiƱo has not been afraid to play physical so far this season, registering 16 hits. 
  • The Islanders have been in the rebuilding process recently, and what better way is there to have a guy develop and gain experience than playing against the best players in the NHL? 
Why send him back to Juniors?:
  • Nino has not been putting the puck on net that much. Getting only 12 shots on net during the first 9 games. 
  • The Islanders surprised many people, starting 4-1-2 with 10 points. They are trying to contend for a playoff spot now, and not wait for the future. 
  • Rob Schremp  is due to come back to the team in the coming weeks and the Islanders may need to keep a roster slot available to him now, rather than keep Niederreiter in the NHL for the whole year and start his 3 year  entry level contract, which can now start next season. 
  • While in juniors in Portland, Niederreiter can be a big leader for his team, and gain some valuable lessons, which he will hopefully bring back to Long Island next season. 

Do you think the Islanders made the right call? Answer this week's poll question and let me hear what you think about this decision. 

Lets Go Islanders!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Welcome to My New Blog

Hello. For those of you that don't know me. I'm Aaron. I will be blogging about the New York Islanders hockey. Game recaps, opinions, whatever you want. I blogged about the Islanders last season, but due to technical issues, I can't update that blog anymore. You can see that blog HERE. I have been a fan of the Islanders my whole life, and I will update you on my past with the Islanders whenever time allows. Feel free to answer the poll on the top of this page. Also, don't hesitate to  comment. I would like to hear your opinions. Lets Go Islanders!