October 18, 2007

New Podcast Posted and Some More Line Shuffling

Looking to spark some more offense out of the team, head coach Ted Nolan decided to switch up some of the lines at Wednesdays practice. Bill Guerin was moved to the line with Andy Hilbert and Mike Sillinger, while Trent Hunter was moved to the line with Mike Comrie and Ruslan Fedotenko on it. The Islanders first line did a great job the first couple of games, however they have cooled off since then. Time will tell if the new lines will work, but it does come as a bit of a surprise this early in the season, especially since the Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin line looked great in preseason and the beginning of the regular season together. Hunter and Sillinger have been relatively quiet in terms of offence, so Nolan hopes the changes benefit both of them as well as the others.

Also spotted at practice was Shawn Bates. He is very close to returning, but has been cleared to play. On the teams website, Nolan said he will put Bates through rigorous practices over the next week and if he hold up well there he will return. Hopefully Bates can come in and chip in the way he once was able to before his groin issues.

Marc-Andre Bergeron appears to be the odd man out once again going into Thursday's game with Washington. Nolan said that he has to work his way back into the lineup, and Bergeron understands that. I know he is a small guy and I don't expect him to constantly hit people off the puck, but as a defenseman he should be able to poke check the puck off an opposing players stick or at the very least be able to control the puck very well on offence. Both of those aspects have been tough for Bergeron, but I do feel that he could turn it around. We'll see though.

As Sean and I said, it is interesting to think what could happen if Bergeron is unable to make the lineup again. With the recent appearance of Jeff Tambellini, one that didn't last very long, you have to wonder if there is something going on with Jeff. I know the Isles respect him and feel he is one of their top prospects, but he has been unable to stick even after Jon Sim went down with injury. If a deal came up where both Tambellini and Bergeron could be packaged, I would imagine Snow would look into it. It's no secret the team needs help offensively, not to mention a really good top pairing defenseman, but I think they can get by on what they have right now as far as defense goes. If Bergeron has a hard time making the lineup, I think this might be something worth watching more closely as time goes on because if the team continues to score goals, something could go down. Snow has already proven that he's not afraid to pull the trigger to fix his team, and that wouldn't be any different this early in the season.

Our podcast from this past Sunday is up at http://www.nyifyi.mypodcast.com/. It was our first live show and it went very well. We tried to do as much analyzing of the games that were in the past week and picked apart some specific things we noticed. Unfortunately, no one called in but hopefully as time goes by people will. For now, enjoy it and don't forget that we will have recaps of the games this week right here.


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