September 29, 2007

Islanders Lose to Rangers 5-2

After all of the anticipation for the 2nd and final meeting of the preseason between the Islanders and Rangers, things didn't go quite as expected.

No, there were still fights. But some key players were missing from both sides. The Rangers had their entire lineup in with the exception of Jaromir Jagr and super pest Sean Avery. Earlier in the week, Avery had hinted at the idea of taking a run at some of the Islanders after what happened at the Coliseum last Monday. Even Andy Sutton spoke out on Avery, saying he should just focus on playing hockey. But it seemed everyone who was involved in the scrums last week from the Islander's side did not dress for the game. No Simon. No Sutton. No DiPietro.

Many of the players for the Islanders in the game will be starting the year in Bridgeport. With 3 games in 3 days, it seems the Isles didn't want to take a chance on having players get injured in a meaningless preseason game, especially with guys threatening to run others.

Brendan Shanahan scored twice, once on starter Joey MacDonald, the other on Mike Morrison. Also scoring for the Rangers were Scott Gomez and Martin Straka. Petr Prucha iced the game with an empty netter. The Isles tallies came from Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter.

In all honesty, there wasn't any Islander who really stood out in the game. Bergenheim showed some good speed and scored a nice 5-hole goal on Lundqvist. Darryl Bootland had a pair of fights, and will become a fan favorite down in Bridgeport, maybe even on the Island for a few stints. As for the defense, the only regulars who played were Bruno Gervais, Chris Campoli and Marc-Andre Bergeron. All 3 were OK, but they are definitely still learning. It is going to be interesting to see who gets that last spot on defense.

The Islanders play the Devils tonight at 7 PM at the home of the Sound Tigers, the Arena at Harbor Yards. The game will be shown on Islanders TV through NHL center ice. I would imagine most of the regulars will be playing tonight as the game is the 2nd to last preseason game. The Isles will play their final game tomorrow against the Bruins.

On a sad note, coach Ted Nolan lost his brother recently and did not make the trip to the Garden for last nights game. He will also miss tonight's game. His status has not been revealed for tomorrow yet. Our prayers go out to you, Ted.

September 27, 2007

It's Been a While

Sorry for not updating the site in a while, but things have been going crazy lately. Until Sean finds some time, most of the posts you are going to see will be from me. Anyways, let's just touch on a few things:

ISLES TRAINING CAMP: Now, I'm sure most of you followed the Isles through training camp. Camp was again held up in Moncton, and the citizens up there were very thankful to see the Isles again. They had a welcoming parade for the team and the mayor even treated them to dinner. Going up to camp is a perfect way for the team to bond with each other, and what better place than Ted Nolans old stomping grounds to do so. It's nice to see the Isles have picked up some fans there along the way too.

Mike Comrie has been very impressive so far in camp. In every scrimmage and preseason game he has played in, Comrie has wowed everyone. In 2 separate scrimmages he scored hat tricks, and this past Monday against the Rangers at Coliseum, Comrie had 2 goals and 2 assists, one of the goals coming in OT to win the game. The combination of Guerin-Comrie-Fedotenko seems to be shaping up very nicely. I had my doubts and while those aren't the biggest of names, it is certainly a first line and I have a feeling will be very good come October 5.

Another player who has impressed me is Josef Vasicek. I voiced my opinion against signing him and thus far have been proved wrong. He uses his size well, keeps his legs moving and has the ability to be a god playmaker. He is also very capable of scoring a goal here and there. he keeps up what he has shown in camp, and many fans will be saying "Viktor who?" by seasons end.

As for the defense, it does appear that Bryan Berard will be making the squad, which leaves 4 others for the last spot. Things are still up for grabs and it appears Bruno Gervais is slightly in the lead. Campoli has a one way, 3 year deal and will be tough for the Isles to pass through waivers. The other fighting for spots are Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson.

The Isles have played 6 preseason games so far, and have a record of 2-2-2. They take on the Rangers again tomorrow night at the Garden. Based on the last game, tempers will most likely flare and Sean Avery has hinted that he might make a run at some of the Isles, including goalie Rick DiPietro. If Avery expects to do anything, he better expect to drop the gloves as well because he won't get away easily with it. How he will do in any fight is still a mystery, as he usually just likes to talk tough. We shall see though.

DUNHAM OFFICIAL: On the first day of camp, Mike Dunham was officially introduced as the new goaltending coach. Good move because both DiPietro and Dubie talked to him many times last year in pressure situations such as the shootouts, so they really respect Dunham's word. If he is that much of a calming influence, then there should be no issues.

NEW RADIO SHOW COMING: As I said back when we started this site, Sean and I will both be doing an Isles radio show. It is scheduled to start on October 7th at 10 PM. I will have more info about it after I finish going through the training for it, but we're really excited to get it going.

That's all we have to say for now. Be sure to check out tomorrow's game on MSG at 7 PM. It should be an interesting one. Tonight at 7, FSN will have the Islanders Preview show that they have each year, which usually gives a good recap of the new additions and how things look so far in the preseason.

We'll post a recap of tomorrow nights game right here, so be sure to start checking back again now that we have come out of hiding!


EDIT: I noticed I left out the Bruins-Isles trade that went down just before training camp. The Isles Shipped Petteri Nokelainen to the Bruins for prospect Ben Walter and a 5th round draft pick in 2009. While many feel that Petteri would have been the perfect mold of a Ted Nolan type player, the committee felt otherwise. Walter had 67 points in 73 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and is just 2 years older than Petteri. It will take another year or two before we can really tell if this an upgrade, downgrade or a lateral move. Either way, the Isles acquired someone with a good skill set that we hope can translate into a good NHL career here on Long Island.

September 6, 2007

Dunham in as Islanders Goaltending Coach?

According to Corey Witt's new Islanders blog, former Islander backup goalie Mike Dunham might be named the new goaltending coach for the team. Dunham recently retired from the Isles and still lives on long Island, according to Witt.

I'm not sure what happened to Gilles Lefebvre, but last season DiPietro seemed to play very well under him. I think this will be another move that needs some time to get used to, but in reality it probably is no big deal. The fact of the matter is though that it will be the 3rd goaltending coach in as many seasons for the team. I just hope Rick doesn't fall somewhere down the line each season working with a new coach. Something tells me though that Dunham might be here for much longer than one season.

This is not official yet, but it is expected to be announced in the near future.