November 30, 2010

Injury Updates and Prospect News

While the Islanders might be in the middle of a five day rest between games, Monday certainly brought about a lot of news.

We learned that defensemen Jack Hillen and Andrew MacDonald are close to returning, which is really good to hear. MacDonald was one of the Isles best defensemen this season up until the point he got hurt, which was coincidentally the last game the Islanders had won prior to Friday. MacDonald is very smooth with the puck and blocks a ton of shots, and the sooner the Islanders can get him back the better.

There was also some news of the unfortunate type too. Milan Jurcina, originally slated to miss 4-6 weeks with that hamstring injury is now out an additional 4-6 weeks. I know I might be in the minority here when I say this, but I really liked Jurcina's game. It wasn't flashy or the best, but he was providing some solid play for 18 minutes a night. In the same week that he got injured, I wrote this piece explaining what he provided and what he was doing so well. I was really looking forward to getting him back soon, and this setback hurts.

For those of you who listened to the latest podcast that we uploaded on Sunday night, you may have heard us give a shout out to Bruno Gervais at the end of the show for sticking up for P.A. Parenteau against the Devils. Gervais got into a fight with Colin White, which lasted all of one punch. As if Bruno wasn't getting enough props already, we learned yesterday that he has suffered a fractured cheekbone as a result of that punch. A lot of criticism gets thrown his way in Islanders land, but to stick up for your guy, get a broken bone in your face as a result and still play the remainder of the game, not even going to the dressing room? Kudos, my friend. That's a good example to set, and Bruno has moved up a few notches in many people's books, mine included.

Doug Weight is still day to day with the back spasms. That is the same injury that kept Rob Schremp out for most of the first month of the season. Hopefully, it doesn't last as long as that for Weight. I'm just happy that it's not his shoulder or hamstring again. If it were, one could venture a guess that his playing time would be over. Weight hadn't looked very good in the last few weeks, and one has to wonder if he was perhaps playing through the injury a bit. Hopefully the time off rejuvenates him.

Josh Bailey also suffered an injury down in Bridgeport. He strained a pectoral muscle, and it doesn't seem serious. In the couple of games he's played down there he has looked just OK. Hopefully he can get it going a bit. He really needs to for his and the Islanders sake. We talked extensively about Bailey's situation in the podcast, giving our opinions on his demotion.

Yesterday, Team Canada announced their invitations for the World Junior camp. Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Casey Cizikas will both be attending.

In the case of de Haan, this is a perfect example of why you don't rush your prospects. The World Juniors is great experience for a prospect. In the case of de Haan, he is already the captain of his team in Oshawa and was one of the top defenseman for Team Canada last year along with Travis Hamonic. Now, he has a chance to be one of the top guys once again and perhaps even get a letter. This is some good experience that Bailey really lost out on, and one of the reasons I'm upset with the way he has been developed.

For Cizikas, while he may be a long shot to make the final cut, it is certainly a success story. Cizikas has been very good in the OHL, putting the demons behind him of the gruesome accident he was involved in during a rugby game where another player died. Cizikas was not convicted, and with support from not only his family but the family of the victim too has really taken this "second chance" and ran with it. Good for him, and hopefully he can make one of the checking lines.

So that's where we are for now. There's still so much time off left that I'm sure there will be something else to talk about and dissect.


November 27, 2010

The Streak Ends

On a Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving, with a crowd of 2,000 more than they had averaged in the previous three home games, the Islanders put forth one of their better efforts in a while.

By the time all was said and done the fans, myself included, had seem something they haven't since October 16th - a win at home.

There were a number of standout performances in this game, the best obviously coming from Rick DiPietro. He made a number of key saves, especially in a hectic 3rd period to preserve the shutout. His movement was once again really good, and his reaction time super quick. This was his 3rd game in a row since the Islanders ran with Dwayne Roloson for eight straight, and it's a welcome site to see some constant play from DiPietro. One of the key things to point out here is the lack of wandering from the crease. That keeps him on his game the most, and has to happen for him to continue to be successful. Hopefully, he remains this way.

One thing I found cool was how he thanked the fans for sticking with the team after the game. Love him or hate him, you have to tip your hat to that for the amount of times he has acknowledged the fans all these years. If you watch his post game press conference, he pulls no punches talking about the teams the Islanders have had in the 10 years he's been around. Quite frankly, it's refreshing to see a player be so honest about what has been making it's way on ice for the last decade. Good for him.

Jesse Joensuu had a strong game in my eyes. He scored the first goal of the game about a minute and a half into the game, and the Islanders held the lead for the rest of the 58 and a half minutes. He was going into the corners a lot, and layed out a couple of hits. One problem I always had with him was his reluctance to use his size to make his way to the front of the net or battle for those loose pucks in the corner. When he was called up, Joensuu spoke about not having many more chances and knowing that he has to prove his value pretty quickly. This stint is going pretty well so far.

Travis Hamonic once again was one of the Isles better, if not the best defenseman on the ice. I am amazed at how well he is playing as a 20 year old who doesn't have much professional playing experience. There was one play that stood out to me when the Devils came into the zone on a rush, and Hamonic positioned himself perfectly to stop short, and push the Devil off of the puck. Hamonic picked it up and play went the other way. It was refreshing to see an Islanders defenseman so strong on his skates to make a defensive play like that. He's the type of defenseman this team will need for the future.

One guy I did not like, once again was P.A. Parenteau. He gets knocked off the puck very easily and is very soft. He just doesn't have the strength to cut it at this level, and on the power-play refuses to shoot off of the pass. Despite his recent early season success, most of which was on the power-play, he hasn't done much and has often been invisible.

While I am thrilled that they were finally able to end this losing streak, there are still some areas of concern. I know some people are probably saying "oh, give them a break" but I can't. They are still 1-11-3 in their last 15 games, all of which were in November. One can't see the forest for the trees.

The Islanders struggled once again on the power-play, and they are now 0 for their last 31 with the man advantage, which covers the span of nine games (they scored on only 1 of 6 attempts in that 9th game, against the Flyers). They scored two goals against a very poor Devils team that has had a number of problems of their own, and throughout the losing streak the few times they have managed two goals they have not fared very well.

One thing that has been consistent, aside from the goaltending, is the penalty kill. The Islanders have fared pretty will when down a man, and that continued here against the Devils as the Isles killed off a long 5-on3 in the closing minutes of the game.

I'm not taking anything away from the team. A win is a win, and this one was huge for them. I am hopeful that a number of these problems just stem from the losses mounting, and that they will fix themselves now that the biggest monkey is off their backs. But these are things to be mindful of. We can't let this win make us forget everything that is still wrong, because it won't. The players know that, and most likely would tell you the same.

The team now has points in three straight games, and is only eight points out of a playoff spot. They now prepare for a home and home with the Rangers on Thursday and Friday.


November 25, 2010

Isles Fall to Blue Jackets in OT; Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite their best efforts to win it twice in OT, the Islanders gave up a goal on a break the other way and lost 4-3.

Just some quick thoughts about this one so I don't take up too much time, on Thanksgiving no less!

Travis Hamonic looked really good. He deserved every second of the 20 minutes he got, and was the Islanders best defenseman on the ice all night. That says a lot when you compare his age and experience to all of the other guys. Sure, there are a lot of people injured and I was skeptical about having him come up this soon, but he certainly proved me wrong. Hopefully he can keep up this play since Mika Mottau will be out for 4-6 weeks. Even when Andrew MacDonald comes back, if Hamonic is playing well then he should stick around for a bit.

Trent Hunter had his best game of the year, as Howie Rose felt the need to tell us many times. He seemed to be involved in the play more than I can remember for quite some time. Unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury in the 3rd period and did not return. The Islanders are only saying he has a lower body injury, but will be evaluated more after the holiday.

Rick DiPietro looked fine again to me, and the goals that he gave up were due to some unfortunate break downs. His reaction time was excellent once again. I hope that we're seeing the play of someone who is turning the corner and not a goalie who is just fresh after having not played for 18 days prior to Sunday.

Michael Grabner played well, and got his 5th goal of the season. He still has some more work to do as far as his game goes, but it is coming along. I would really like to see him start to get more power-play time because I think he can help us there. Lets face it, the power-play hasn't lit up much of anything in the past eight games. Shaking it up would not hurt.

This game was one of the toughest ones to take throughout the 14 game losing streak. The game was literally in the Islanders hands. The players were very frustrated after, as you can see from Grabner's tweet last night. It was an encouraging effort.

The Isles get the Devils next in a Friday matinee.

Petr Prucha on Waivers: The Coyotes announced that they have put Petr Prucha on waivers. The Islanders have been interested in him in the past, and Brian Compton of wonders if the Isles would have any interest.

I think there is a better chance they would pick him up than I thought there was for Patrick O'Sullivan. having said that, I don't think the Isles will pick him up. I don't think it's really a move they need to make. They need a known entity in there, not another project.

I am still working on that little Bailey piece I mentioned yesterday with my thoughts on him being sent down. Look for that in the next couple of days.

I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!


November 24, 2010

Hamonic to Debut; Bailey a "Passenger?"

6:35 PM - Apparently, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

The Islanders made a surprising move today as they sent Josh Bailey down to Bridgeport. More on thoughts surrounding that in a separate post.

The Islanders take on the Blue Jackets at 7. In an unsurprising move, Rick DiPietro gets the start. I figured he would based on the way he played in Sunday's OT loss to Atlanta.

Very curious to see what the line combinations look like. If yesterday was any indication, you can expect to see Rob Schremp centering the 2nd line.

Be sure to check back for any thoughts as well as that post on Bailey.

8:25 AM - As expected, the Islanders called up defenseman Travis Hamonic on an emergency basis to take the place of the injured Mike Mottau.

Mottau was cleared to fly and was released from the hospital. He will be looked at by team doctors back here in New York.

Hamonic gets his chance now, albeit a little earlier than we expected, and probably hoped for. He is only 19 games into his pro career.

I liked what I saw from Hamonic's games in the preseason. However, I mentioned multiple times that he needed a little seasoning. He isn't there yet, but at this point beggars can't be choosers. The injury situation between both the Islanders and the Sound Tigers left Hamonic as one of the only available options. We'll see how long his stay lasts. Since Andrew MacDonald has been skating with the team a little lately, one can assume that he might be close to returning. If Mottau is out for a while, I would imaging Hamonic is just taking a spot for the short term until MacDonald is ready to go.

In the meantime, I'll be very interested to see how much ice time Hamonic will get. Does Jack Capuano, who spoke very highly of him, give him important minutes? Or does he get around 10 minutes a night? Only Capuano knows the answers to these questions. If it were me, I would have to see how it goes. Plan to roll the defensive units fairly equally to star, and if you see something you like, or a pairing that's working, then roll with it a little more. If Hamonic was one of those guys, then so be it. The experience would be great, and if he really plays that well for a 20 year old then it'll be one of the few bright spots we have seen all season.

Josh Bailey practiced on the fourth line with Zenon Konopka and Matt Martin, a move that was somewhat of a surprise. Capuano made it sound like he was trying to send a message to Bailey, and hasn't ruled out scratching him for the game against the Blue Jackets. As Katie Strang reports (subscription required) last season Bailey went on a bit of a tear after being scratched.

I know many people are concerned about the play of Bailey lately, and I am too. I don't think he's feeling the effects of that hip pointer injury still. Throughout the slump, he has had some good efforts and some bad efforts.

One thing that needs to really be pointed out is how much Bailey has been moved around. Since being rushed up to the NHL for the 2008-09 season, Bailey has constantly had his position and line mates switched. Some of that is due to injuries, but one thing that has not been constant over the last couple of weeks is Bailey's place in the line-up.

This goes back to one of the knocks on Gordon. Meanwhile, Capuano played Bailey for only 17 minutes the other day while P.A. Parenteau got almost 20.

I know it's a bit of a difficult situation since Rob Schremp apparently can't or won't play anywhere but at center. But the Islanders need to find a place for Bailey, and let him stick it out in that position, with the same line mates for more than two or three games. As the losses mount, that may be a tough idea for the coaching staff to swallow. But we've reached a point where guys need to be put into areas that better suit them. This team is not better off with Parenteau getting more minutes than Bailey.

If there is one guy who I would point out as being a "passenger," to steal the phrase Capuano used after the Florida game, it would be Blake Comeau. He is a far cry from the player we saw at the end of last season and the beginning of this season. He has had the fortune to play on lines with some of the better players, and is still alarmingly unnoticeable out there. He's not hitting as much and not as good on the forecheck.

If Bailey ends up being the first guy who has a message sent to him, Comeau should be next.

More to come later.

For those who haven't already, be sure to check out the latest podcasts and subscribe here.


November 22, 2010

Mike Mottau Update; Would the Islanders Claim O'Sullivan?

The Islanders received some discouraging news regarding the status of defenseman Mike Mottau as he remains overnight in an Atlanta hospital. After taking a puck off of his right eye in Sunday's game against the Thrashers, the swelling apparently has not got down.

This could be a huge blow to the Islanders defense if he has to miss significant time. Mottau was one of the more reliable Islanders defensemen this season in my eyes, although he like many of the others had fallen on hard times lately. The Islanders really don't have anyone else in the system as of this moment to be able to come in and fill the void for those minutes. Both Dustin Kohn and Mark Katic are injured in Bridgeport, while Anton Klementyev and Travis Hamonic are both very raw. Hamonic is further along however, and is one of the Islanders top defensive prospects, and a very highly regarded young blueliner across the league.

If Mottau is going to miss time, and at this point I'm assuming he would, it may not be terrible to give Hamonic a shot. It can certainly be better than what some others are providing lately, and if it's a significant injury it gives Hamonic some time to adjust. If the Islanders only need someone to fill in briefly, then Klementyev is the way to go so that Hamonic can continue to log top minutes in Bridgeport.

Obviously, and more importantly, we wish Mottau and his family the best in this time. Sometimes, things are bigger than hockey. This is one of them. The thing to be very careful with here is the eyesite. That is priority number one.

Meanwhile, I have had a few people ask me if I felt that the Islanders would claim Carolina's Patrick O'Sullivan off waivers. I say no dice.

My reasoning is actually quite simple. O'Sullivan provides more of the same as some of the other players here, and some of that is what's causing problems now. The last thing this team needs is a 3rd waiver claim playing for them, let alone one with a slew of attitude issues.

With the Islanders already carrying Rob Schremp and Michael Grabner, they won't make the claim unless they dump one of those two. Schremp was in and out of the line-up under Scott Gordon since coming back from injury, while Grabner has four goals on the season in some limited time of his own. Jack Capuano said the other day that part of his goal of making the system a bit easier was that he wants players to go out and do what they do best, and sort of not have to worry as much about the constant forechecking aspect.

Grabner and Schremp are two guys that can succeed if they are given the freedom to do so. Capuano likes both, and the Islanders will give them time to get it down. Schremp still has some work to do, but Grabner has been playing fairly well his last couple of games.

With trade winds swirling around and scouts watching the Islanders closely, you're more likely to see something from that end than another waiver claim.

Be sure to listen to our latest podcast here.


November 21, 2010

Byfuglien Extends Isles Streak to 13; New Podcast Posted

Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime on a wide open shot from the slot in overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 2-1 victory, and hand the Islanders their franchise record 13th loss in a row.

The Islanders effort was a bit better in this game than it was against the Florida Panthers, however the defense was still a bit shaky. Losing Mike Mottau, who took a shot off of his right eye in the 1st period didn't help that cause. Lets hope that he is OK and doesn't miss a beat because we are down to really our final options on defense in Dustin Kohn and the very raw options in Travis Hamonic and Anton Klementyev.

Rick DiPietro got the start, getting into his first game action in 18 days and was the Islanders best player on the ice tonight. He stopped 33 of the 35 shots that were thrown his way. His movements were really good, and he seemed to be able to make some really nice saves, especially through traffic.

Michael Grabner had a fairly good game tonight, using his speed to create some chances. He scored the lone Islanders goal by poking at the puck after a shot.

A breakdown by John Tavares led to the winning goal. He was battling with Byfuglien when the two went out of the zone. Tavares stumbled, and then failed to get back into the play with any kind of urgency. The defensemen who were on the ice both seemed to move away from the goal, allowing Byfuglien to walk into the slot area uncontested and take a really powerful wrist shot.

Tavares has made some bad defensive plays during the losing streak, and this one was among the worst. The other that sticks out in my mind was the Chris Pronger goal against Philadelphia a few weeks back, when both he and Blake Comeau were standing in the same area.

After the game, an obviously annoyed DiPietro spoke to reporters. One thing that was very interesting was that he talked about going to war with the guys on this team, and how there wasn't anyone he'd like to do that with more. It sounded to me like a player who is very well aware of the amount of scouts that are following them. When you have lost 13 games in a row, fired a coach and called up the best options from the AHL, your next step will have to be doing some house cleaning. I think we are getting close to that point.

If this past week was any indication, then we are in for another busy one.

NEW PODCAST AVAILABLE: Our latest podcast is now uploaded and ready for download. As always, you are encouraged to subscribe to the podcast. It was quite the week, as many of you know, and we run through everything except for detailed thoughts on the Scott Gordon firing, which we already did on Monday. Enjoy.

*Update: During the podcast, just as I did here in this post, we mentioned possibly calling up Dustin Kohn to replace Mike Mottau. I completely had a brain cramp and forgot that Kohn is injured over in Bridgeport. We apologize for the error.*


Eaton: "We Cost Someone Their Job"

The Islanders dressing room was scarce after a tough 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, and the few players that were there were very solemn. One individual who seemed to be taking it real hard was defenseman Mark Eaton.

When I asked him about the effort, Eaton was pretty much speechless. That is understandable given the current situation. After you lose 12 games in a row, there is only so much more you can say.

Eaton is a very quiet individual, who usually would let his actions do the talking. Many folks from the Pittsburgh Penguins still think of him very highly. General Manager Ray Shero called Eaton a "quiet leader" after learning about him signing with the Islanders.

Eaton spent four seasons with the Penguins, winning a Stanley Cup in 2008-09. The cup win seemed unlikely at one point during that season. With the Penguins struggling, the team fired head coach Michel Therrien on February 15th and replaced him with Dan Bylsma, their AHL coach from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Although this is obviously a team that is on the opposite end of the spectrum than the Penguins, that team also had a number of young players on it and went through a prolonged slump of their own.

Regardless, I had asked Eaton if any of that experience has come in handy after the Islanders fired Scott Gordon, with this young team. "It's come up, but we have to know it's not necessarily the coach. It's the guys in here."

That has basically been somewhat of a company line since Gordon was fired, with Doug Weight echoing those same sentiments early last week. Matt Moulson called out some of his teammates during his post game press conference after the Panthers game.

Eaton added, "We need to look ourselves in the mirror and know that we're not doing the job."

"We cost a guy his job. We need to let that motivate us."

The Islanders don't have much time to try and find some of that motivation, with a 5 PM game today against the Atlanta Thrashers. In some ways, that could be good and bad. It's always been said that it's good to immediately get into the next game after a bad showing the previous night. But, when you haven't won in almost a month, then more of the feelings are going to be that of helplessness.

Now Eaton, and some of the other veterans on this team need to try and find ways not not only bring the best out in themselves, but instill some confidence back into the younger players.

More to come later, including a new podcast after the game today.


November 20, 2010

Nothing Good About This Dozen

The Islanders dropped their 12th straight game tonight losing to the Florida Panthers 4-1 in front of a crowd that was sparse, but impatient at times.

Jack Capuano opted to start the game with the line of Jesse Joensuu, Matt Martin and Zenon Konopka. For the entire shift, the puck was in the Islanders zone and Dwayne Roloson had to stand on his head early. It took only 49 seconds into the game for the first of what would be several rounds of boos to come out.

The Islanders did get on the board first however with a goal coming from Matt Moulson, who jumped on a Florida turnover in the slot and roofed a shot past Tomas Vokoun in the first period. That would be the only goal the Islanders would see, despite many opportunities to strike again.

The Panthers put up four unanswered goals in the 2nd period, and a crowd that was already disgusted in watching their team begin to collapse began to voice their displeasure once again. Mark Santorelli scored two goals for the Panthers.

The Islanders threw 40 shots at Vokoun, but he stood tall and stopped 39 of them. The Islanders had a total of four power-plays, including a 5-on-3 for 1:45 that they were unable to cash in on. Matt Martin told us during the post game that he felt that was the turning point in the game and created a mental lapse on the Islanders part as they watched Florida answer back with two quick goals.

By the time media was allowed in, there were only a couple of players in the dressing room, many understandably not willing to talk. There comes a point where you can only say so much after 12 losses.

Mark Eaton echoed this sentiment. "I don't know what to say anymore. The big concern right now is winning games and we didn't do that."

Capuano was visibly upset with the effort, but he acknowledged that it was only his first two games. His main point tonight was that the Islanders were very lazy with their shift changes and that caused the Panthers to sustain some offensive pressure and storm back. "We made 5 or 6 mental lapses in the 2nd period. We have to win the change game. We stayed out too long and they capitalized."

The Islanders get their next chance to try and win a game tomorrow, as they go back on the road to face the Atlanta Thrashers for a rare Sunday afternoon game. The puck drops at 5 PM.

I think any Islanders fan has to come away very displeased from this effort. Towards the latter part of this losing streak, the Islanders could at least hang their hat on the fact that they were trying hard. That in no way was the case tonight. They were very weak on the puck, and kept having mis-handles at key points. The Islanders lack of speed was exposed numerous times. The Islanders are running out of time to figure things out. While it is still early in the season, the general rule is that when you get to this point in the season you have to assess what is good and what is bad. To be honest, there isn't that much good there right now.

One item of note was that Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney was in attendance for the second straight game, joined this time by scouts from the San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars. Something to keep an eye on as we approach the 20 game mark of the season.


November 19, 2010

Islanders Drop 11th Straight, Botta Thoughts

The Islanders could not rally for their new head coach Jack Capuano and fell to the Lightning 4-2 Wednesday night at the Coliseum, their first game back from that rather brutal road trip.

As a matter of fact, there were some bad habits that continued to rear their ugly heads once again. In fairness, however, I believe that Capuano did mention that for the time being many things would be heavily run by assistants Scott Allen and Dean Chynoweth.

One thing that bothered me was that the Islanders still seemed a bit reluctant to get the puck towards the net with some urgency. I understand trying to look for that perfect shot, and that will be human nature more often than not, but sometimes you need to just go with your gut and throw it that way.

The Lightning got 19 shots through on Dwayne Roloson in the 1st period, the final one of the frame coming from Steve Stamkos with 0.3 seconds left to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. Giving up a fairly high amount of shots is something that has been going on a little too much lately, and that is a result of some of the better shot blockers being out.

Matt Moulson scored the Islanders first goal, doing what he does best driving towards the net. With less than a minute left, John Tavares made the score 3-2 but Tampa would answer with an empty netter after a pretty poor sequence of the Islanders battling for the puck deep in the zone. There didn't seem to be much of an effort to protect the empty net situation.

Jack Capuano seemed content with his debut as coach, and admitted he saw some good and bad things. When pressed as to what he can do to improve some things, he gave some pretty vague answers. I expected that from a guy not used to an NHL head coaching gig, and would think it should improve over time.

The Isles next game will be Saturday against the Florida Panthers at the Coliseum. The Islanders haven't had much luck against them in recent years, but definitely have the ability to break out of this very long losing streak. The have to show a much better effort than they did against Tampa, though. Capuano has two off days to work on things. I will be in the press box for the game on Saturday.

BOTTA NEWS: Since I made the mention about Chris Botta shutting down Islanders Point Blank the other day, I figured that I would update you guys here, although anyone who has a pulse doesn't need to be told what happened.

Obviously, he made the right choice, given the circumstances, to lay low for two days while things hit the airwaves/newspapers/whatever else you can think of.

I will not go too in depth with my feelings on the subject at this time but I will say that this controversy was the last one the Isles needed right now. Chris is a writer for many different outlets, and has brought so much to the NHL in general with some great features on AOL Fanhouse. The public outcry is exactly what I expected would happen when word broke out late on Monday. There were steps that could have been taken between Botta and the Islanders, and it doesn't appear that any of them took place. Aside from the article in Newsday, the Islanders haven't been avaliable for comment for many of the other news outlets that have placed a call.

Being a friend of the show, we give Botta our support and hope that something can be resolved.

That's all I have on this subject for now, but one would expect us to go a little more in depth in the podcast I'm sure. We have gotten a number of comments and e-mails asking for reactions, and perhaps we can address some of those on the show as well. As always, you are more than welcome to express your thoughts or concerns either in the comments section or via e-mail. For those of you who have recently contacted other media sources or folks through e-mails, you can continue to share those with us as well. We see that some of you have, and since some of these subjects are very close to the heart of the fans we will spend some time with it on Sunday.

More to come later.


November 17, 2010

Game One A.G.; Additional Thoughts on Firing

Before I get into discussing new head coach Jack Capuano, there are a couple of additional thoughts I want to put out there that I have on the Scott Gordon firing.

In the end, it was going to happen. Like we both said in our podcast, in professional sports you don't go through prolonged losing streaks, this one the 3rd of it's kind under Gordon, and survive very often. I accept the fact that something had to be done here, and that you just can't change all of the players within a few days.

There were a multitude of bad things under Gordon. For example, the inability to not win a single game on the road in New Jersey, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh since 2008 is just plain awful. There are no excuses for that. At times, fans found themselves questioning the line combinations Gordon would put out and even though they were willing to see how they would work, before you could even finish the thought there were different combinations out there, especially on the penalty kill.

Gordon came under fire a couple of times for not being able to adapt and change his system when a circumstance called for it. Did it cost the Islanders some games? Yes, it did. We all saw the blown 3rd period leads the previous couple of seasons.

Then there were the media related issues. Perhaps digging his own grave, after what would be his final game against the Kings Gordon had no other explanations other than quite simply: "We weren't prepared to play." Not the best thing one could say during a 10 game losing streak. Also, no one can forget his little "bouts" with Rob Carlin or other members of the media in the case of the James Wisniewski incident.

At the same time, there are a number of things that go in Gordon's favor, items that might have been overlooked in this decision. The most obvious has been brought up many times and beaten to death, which is the player personnel. That goes beyond all of the injured players this season, as I and many others have stated multiple times.

One also has to take into account the time lost from hindrances, such as the failed trip to China. Not to mention how late Gordon was hired in the summer of 2008, leaving less time to get to know the players and have them properly train to prepare for the new system. Many players were going down with groin injuries at the beginning of the 2008-09 season.

The only thing I can say for myself is that Gordon was brought on while the Islanders have preached patience to the fan base as we watched young players and a young and upcoming coach grow together. That is how this was supposed to work. Now, it is back to square one when it comes to finding a coach for this still young and inexperienced team. What kind of a coach will it be? We'll save that for another post. I've come up with some names I want to put out for discussion, so that would be a better time to go into that.

At any rate, the news (for the time being) will return back onto the ice tonight as the Isles take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Capuano's debut.

I know many people have questioned Capuano, and how successful he can be. Stranger things have happened, but I'm willing to give him the chance. While interim's usually tend to be assistant coaches, last season the St. Louis Blues named Peoria Rivermen coach Davis Payne their interim, a title that has since been changed and he is now the full-time bench boss there. I know some people question the fact that Capuano played only six NHL games, but Payne only played 22 himself and seems to have done a decent job with the Blues. So there is some recent precedence, and Capuano has had some good moments down in Bridgeport.

However, he has also had some not-so-good ones, such as right now. The Sound Tigers have been mirroring the Isles of late, without a 10 game losing streak. They got off to a 6-9 start, and have shown a great deal of scoring problems. They were able to snap out of that funk when Jon Sim was sent back down, but it hasn't translated into momentum changing wins.

Those of you looking for a change in the system, don't expect anything huge. Make no mistake about it - the systems are the same idea, with maybe some very slight differences. Capuano spoke of simplifying things, and that seems to have gone over well with the guys in practice. If it translates into a win tonight or not is another story. But it should be interesting to watch.

BOTTA ON THE MILK CARTON: Beloved Islanders blogger Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank, and a guest on NYI FYI, announced yesterday at 4 PM that his blog is being shutdown indefinitely "for reasons beyond his control." It has sent some waves through the blogosphere as many people are left confused and wondering what is going on there. He has not made any Tweets since that announcement, either.

At any rate, whatever is going on we certainly hope that things turn out OK for Chris, especially if it's a family situation. Chris is a good one when it comes to Islanders information, and has always been very gracious when we have contacted him. Whatever the problem is right now, good luck as you take care of it Mr. Botta.

More to come later.


November 15, 2010

New Podcast Posted on Scott Gordon

As promised, Sean and I recorded a podcast for your listening pleasure and posted it up at the podcast site.

You'll notice that we both have some differing opinions. For those of you who have been following along for some time now, you know that I liked Gordon while Sean wasn't his biggest fan. We both discuss the situation from our points of view, and ironically we can both draw the same conclusion when it comes to who is ultimately to blame for it all, and it is not necessarily Gordon.

Sean's biggest issue was the timing of the firing. He didn't want Gordon to remain past the season, but wanted to see him finish out the year. I didn't agree with Gordon leaving in the first place seeing as he was quite simply not given ample resources to get the job done. There comes a point in time where folks begin to get upset and start to question the validity of statements and actions from others, namely those who run an organization.

Regardless of all of that, Gordon is gone, a move that pretty much needed to happen. Coaches don't last too often when a 10 game losing streak occurs under their watch, and regardless of if it was their fault or not, sports is a very "what have you done for me lately" business. In the last 10 games the Islanders have lost, lost and lost some more, while the same can generally be said for the majority of the teams under Charles Wang's watch.

I can say that I know a lot of fans are upset by the firing, and are at the point of growing impatient with Wang, not knowing what is going on with the future of the franchise despite encouraging words telling people that they won't be in the dark as much anymore. But, it is what it is for now so we'll leave that topic alone.

As far as the podcast goes, it is a bit on the longer side, coming in at about 55 minutes. We did not intend for it to be a full length show, but we wanted to be able to address this situation alone. We do not cover any other topics aside from this.

Since the podcast has some very differing opinions in it some you may not agree with, we encourage you to either leave comments here or on the Facebook page, share your thoughts with us on Twitter or even shoot us an e-mail. A lot of people have opinions on this, so don't feel afraid to share yours.

Within the coming days, we'll start to hear more about possible candidates for the job. I have thought of some others not mentioned in the podcast that I will include in another post touching upon some of those guys. There is some more on this issue that I would like to put out there, but in a much more rational and thought out way. I simply cannot bring myself to write it in any sort of legible manner, particularly at this time at night after a very trying and emotional day. Seems like those thoughts could be a good way to transition into discussing the new candidates.


Scott Gordon Fired, Capuano Named Interim

The Islanders made a move that was both surprising and unsurprising at the same time when the announced today the firing of Scott Gordon.

About a week ago, Garth Snow went on record saying that they had not had any discussions about firing the coach of the team, who at that time had lost six in a row. I said in the previous entry that when the streak hit 10 games, Gordon was in dangerous territory.

Jack Capuano comes in after being head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the previous four seasons, going 133-100-8-14 games in the process. It is unclear how long he will be the interim for.

As I've stated a couple of times in this space already, I am of the opinion that this is simply not the right move. I won't disagree that losing 10 games is unacceptable, no matter how you look at, but when I look at the roster and the amount of injuries piled on top of that I can't stand behind this move.

Sean and I are getting together to record a podcast on this and our thoughts this evening. I will post more on this subject after we get that out of the way.


November 14, 2010

Isles Drop 10th Straight

It seems as though every time the Islanders take baby steps forward during the losing streak, they have a game like last night where they take steps back.

The Islanders lost to the Kings 5-1, in a game that didn't get out of hand as early as many feared that it would from the looks of it.

Five minutes into the game, Anze Kopitar was looking for a hat trick and Scott Gordon found himself burning a timeout. The Islanders scrambled around a lot due to only having five defensemen available last night. Usually, since defensemen are always blocking shots and getting banged up, teams will bring an extra one for the road trips. The Islanders did not. Why they didn't I'm not sure. That would be a question to ask them. It is perplexing though.

The Islanders were out shot 34-19, and were outplayed in virtually every aspect of the game - except for face-offs, for those of you who are looking for the silver lining.

Dwayne Roloson did not play poorly, and made some nice saves. Each of the Islanders defensemen, many already playing some minutes they aren't used to, got over 20 minutes of ice time, and you could see the exhaustion set in by the 3rd period.

It's a shame that the result came out this way considering the good efforts the team had in Anaheim and San Jose. I felt going in that the Islanders would have a better shot at winning this one than I originally thought given that. But some players going back to old habits, coupled with not bringing along an extra defenseman ruined that.

The Islanders have the next few days off, and finally return home for a string of 10 of the next 14. Perhaps being at home on a more consistent basis could be what the team needs, although for many of the home games sprinkled in this long road trip, they still weren't able to score despite some good performances against Montreal and Philadelphia. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the first opponent in the home stand.

After the 4th game of the season against the Avalanche, the Islanders played 10 of 12 on the road. They went 2-9-1 during that stretch, and were outscored 42-19.

The scoring issues are something that's been beaten to death by this point, and it's hard to ignore that the Islanders haven't done much offensively when it comes to 5-on-5 play. But it is a cause of concern for me.

My fear was that if the losing skid hit 10 games, then more eyes would turn to Gordon. Despite the recent words from Garth Snow, I had in my mind that I would officially put Gordon on the hot seat after 10 games. My fear is that the Isles are getting closer to letting the talented coach go. I truly hope my feelings are wrong, but the Islanders are going to have to do something sooner or later and given the finances of the team, they won't bring in any outside help when it comes to player personnel. They will most likely be content awaiting the return of Kyle Okposo within the next month or two. So for me, it all points to firing the coach.

More to come later.


November 13, 2010

Isles go with 13 Forwards against Kings

The Islanders will be playing tonight's game with five defensemen and 13 forwards as Jack Hillen has become ill, as reported by Chris Botta and Katie Strang.

Earlier, it was reported that Rob Schremp would be back in the line-up but it was unclear for who. With us now learning that Jon Sim is serving as the extra forward, we know he was the odd man out.

The Islanders have lost nine in a row now, despite picking up their first point in three weeks on Thursday against the Sharks in a shootout loss.

Dwayne Roloson stood on his head for that game, saving 37 of 38 shots. Because of his recent performance he will get his 5th start in a row, which is much deserved.

The Islanders already have some defensemen playing more minutes than they are accustomed to, so now the job gets enough tougher with only five defensemen going against a very strong Kings team that boasts some great weapons up front. Should be interesting to see how they handle that.

Regardless, the offense HAS to get going. The Islanders weren't as good offensively against the Sharks as they were in the game against the Ducks. As strong as the Kings netminders have looked this season, you have to take that chance of throwing more pucks at the net. The Islanders can't hesitate to shoot, which is still an issue. The power-play needs to move around a little more. That's one thing I don't like with P.A. Parenteau there. While I appreciate the fact that he has put up a lot of points with the man advantage, he seems to be very reluctant to shoot and holds the puck for too long on the half wall. Then he gets pressured and has to make a fast, and sometimes incorrect decision. I had hoped that Schremp's return would solve some of that, but it really didn't. Now he gets his shot back in the line-up, and hopefully he has adjusted himself a little bit.

If the streak gets to 10 games, then we will be in danger territory. Not that they weren't there already, but I had quietly thought to myself that Scott Gordon's time would be ticking away if it ever got to this point. Hopefully, it does not. We'll see what tonight brings.


November 11, 2010

Will 9th Time be the Charm?

The Islanders will be facing the Sharks shortly as they try to stop their losing streak from entering into historic territory. With players such as Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, Devin Setoguchi...we can go on all's going to be really tough.

The Islanders had a decent effort against the Ducks, but fell short losing 1-0. That is as tough as they come, considering the Islanders only gave up 14 shots. The team was a bit tighter than they had been, and they just need that to carry over into these other games. Meanwhile, the offense has gone absolutely silent as evidenced by the Islanders going 0-for-6 on the power play against the Ducks.

P.A. Parenteau was back in the line-up last night, while Rob Schremp was a healthy scratch. Apparently, the same deal will apply for tonight. Dwayne Roloson gets his 4th straight start in a row, and he simply deserves it right now. If he plays like he has the past couple of games, then the Islanders are in this game. The offense really needs to get in gear.

The Isles need to come out forechecking hard. Perhaps Matt Martin can try to make an early statement by knocking down one of the big guns, which is something he definitely hasn't shied away from. This is a game where the defense needs to step up and be solid. Any lapses or breakdowns and the Sharks will eat it up, no pun intended.

What the Isles do have going for them is that either Sharks goaltender is beatable. I'm not the biggest fan of Antero Nittymaki or Antti Niemi, so we'll see if that's a match-up that can swing in the Islanders favor. Based upon the performance of back-up Curtis McElhinney, they can't take anything for granted.


November 10, 2010

Thoughts on Scott Gordon, Game vs. Ducks and Other Items

3:54: Roloson is in net tonight.

3:13 PM: I realize that it has been a few days since the last post, and I apologize for that. Sean is on his vacation, and I had to take care of a couple of matters before being able to sit down and write some thoughts down.

I'll start with the recent talk of Scott Gordon and his status as Islanders coach. I made a mention after the Ottawa game that Darren Dreger made an interesting comment about how much longer losses could mount before something would have to happen. Obviously, when a team is struggling one assumes that the coach would be the one to go. I'm not convinced that the Islanders would dump Gordon in-season when he is already in the last year of his contract. However, nothing is impossible, and if they did dump him it would be nothing short of a HUGE mistake.

When Ted Nolan left and various candidates were mentioned, I was a big proponent of bringing in John Tortorella or Paul Maurice. I knew of Gordon as a dark horse candidate, a guy who was being eyed with so many teams turning to younger coaches such as Cory Clouston. When the Islanders announced him as coach, I was pretty content and was excited to see what he could provide to the rebuilding team.

After a little bit I wasn't his biggest fan, I'll admit that. Those of you who have been followers from the beginning may remember that. I had to take a step back and realize that this was a young NHL coach who had his own learning to do when it came to system adjustments.

If rumors are true, then the Islanders need to take a step back themselves and realize what is going on here. Gordon is left with a very inexperienced, cheap roster that has a ton of injuries on it with Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit missing significant time. I don't like using items like that as excuses, and it wouldn't be if some of the players were more developed or the team could spend money. It's just the reality of the situation now.

As far as Gordon losing the team, I don't believe that at all. Players are just not giving it their all. You can see it, notably from Blake Comeau. A few games ago I made the mention that he was at the very least still fore checking hard. That's not even the case now. Comeau has had inconsistency issues at all levels, with many different coaches. I'm not going to buy the idea that Gordon has lost him. I will say though, that tuning out the coach is a very plausible idea when he's in a contract year. It rarely happens in sports, but the Islanders elected to do it this way. It's very dangerous territory.
I don't blame any single person for the seven game losing streak, but when I analyze the situation I can't help but continue to glace in Charles Wang's direction. Since media day, when allegedly we were going to get more updates than in the past, we have heard nothing about the future of the team. I understand the cost cutting due to this, but the fact that there doesn't seem to be any contact with anyone is disconcerning. There comes a point in time where one says "alright, enough is enough already, let's start thinking about it more and stop being stubborn." I supported the project, although admitted it was slightly too big to get approved fully. I'm at the point now where I blame everyone in that fiasco. I can only hope that through all of the silence that he is actually going to meetings behind closed doors.

At any rate, Katie Strang couldn't get a solid answer from Garth Snow on Gordon's status as he cited a team policy that explains how they don't talk publicly about the coaching staff, but he and the coach were happy with the improvement the past two games. Fair enough.

I hope Strang's source that says that Gordon's job is not in danger is correct. It would be a grave error on the part of the Islanders.

Quick Hits from Last Week: I wanted to make an extensive post or even a podcast to go over some things just like we normally would when Sean is here, but like I said I was unable to be able to do much for that. Perhaps this weekend could be a little bit better. Although we are both on the record with our predictions in the last podcast, I want to re-iterrate my stance and say I still feel the Islanders win in Anaheim tonight. The games against the Kings and Sharks are going to be tough, but if the Islanders can get back on their game they can match up with both of them. They did last season.

We were both off on our predictions last week as I thought they would go 2-1 while sean was feeling 1-2. He doen't have them winning any of the games this week. We'll see.

When it comes to a Sin Bin pick for the week, there are a number of guys to choose from. My instinct was to go with Rick DiPietro because he let the games get away from him and kept coming out of the net and gave up some bad goals because of that. But Comeau sure gave him a run for his money, and it's a toss-up. I'm going Comeau.

Isles vs. Ducks: The Islanders are in Anaheim tonight to face the Ducks. Anaheim is coming off a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose last night, while the Islanders last played Saturday night. Zenon Konopka made the trip after haing his injured foot looked at. He blocked a shot late in the game against the Flyers to injure it. As a precaution, the Isles re-called Jon Sim from Bridgeport.

The Ducks had a poor start to the season, but have won their last four games. Their defense is still suspect, however, just as much as the Isles defense is. I would expect a high scoring game.

Ryan Getzlaf injured his ankle last night, and there has been no word yet on if he'll play or not. He was supposedly going to test it out some time today.

No word yet on who's in or out for the Islanders. If the team announces it in the next little while, I'll have it here. If not, then you'll have to rely on Katie Strang or Chris Botta.

Here's hoping we have a win to analyze tomorrow.


November 5, 2010

Isles Drop 6th in a Row to Sens

The Islanders dropped their 6th in a row last night as they fell by a score of 4-1 to a very hot Ottawa Senators team. Jason Spezza had a goal and three assists as he led his team to victory.

The Isles lone goal came on the powerplay from Matt Moulson in the 3rd period. While the overall effort was better than the previous two games, there was still fairly disappointing aspects of the game.

The biggest thing that upset me was the team didn't appear to become "alive" until Moulson scored that goal. Early on, the Islanders got a five-minute major powerplay after Zack Smith's boarding call on Trevor Gillies. The Islanders failed to show much of anything during that powerplay. That is not good when you are going at it for five minutes, no matter how you slice it. It made it very easy for Ottawa to kill off.

Dwayne Roloson certainly had his share of gaffes in net as well as the David Hale and Spezza goals were weak and need to be stopped. You could see from the reaction of Roloson that he would agree. The first goal, which came from Sergei Gonchar was on a nice play, but both Bruno Gervais and Josh Bailey blew the assignments there. Both players seemed to have drifted over towards the right of Roloson leaving that area of the ice wide open. This is a breakdown that seems to be happening more often than not, and I see an awful lot of scrambling on the part of the Islanders to try and get back into position constantly.

Some people are relating this to the system that they team is playing, and there are some rumblings starting to surface about the status of the team. The rumblings actually started based on a Tweet from TSN's Darren Dreger:

How many more can the Isles lose before things turn sour? Not many.

This caught my eye because it got me thinking about Scott Gordon and if his job might actually be in trouble. It is no secret that this is the last year of Gordon's contract and that he and the team had some high expectations for this season. I won't get too into details now, but firing him would be the wrong move. We really don't know what we have in some of the young guys here, and the rest of the team has been sub par for various reasons. I'm planning to write more about this subject later, but for the time being I just wanted to throw it out there.

The Isles now turn their attention to the Philadelphia Flyers once again as they look to avenge the 6-1 drubbing that was handed to them last Saturday. Should be an interesting one. If they lose again and the skid hits seven, then you can be sure the rumblings will begin to enter the insane range.


November 4, 2010

Isles in Ottawa to Try and Stop the Skid

The bleeding continues.

The Islanders dropped their 5th straight game, losing to the Hurricanes 7-2. The Isles have been outscored 13-3 in their last two games. You don't need any analysis on that, as it is self explanatory.

It is really unfortunate to see the turn that this one took considering how the Isles started out. They seemed to be getting the better chances in the first few minutes of the game, with one of the stronger players being Michael Grabner. When he was out, I spoke about the Islanders missing his speed and creativity. That much was apparent if you saw his play early on. It might seem very simple, but if you saw the beginning, you saw two good Islanders chances on Cam Ward, both created by Grabner's ability to use his speed to elude defenders and come around from behind the net and get the puck towards the slot area.

Aside from that, the rest of the game left a lot to be desired. Rick DiPietro's game was not good as he gave up way too many soft goals. The first goal of the game was a real killer as DiPietro wandered out behind the net, only to lose the puck and have it end up in the slot area for Joe Corvo to easily put it in. That seemed to give the team a whole "not again" attitude.

For those of you who listened to our latest podcast, Sean and I had a little back-and-forth disagreement about the psyche of a young team. I downplayed the idea that when you have a such a young team, the memories of recent performances, including the past couple of seasons, still rears it's ugly head at times. I have to admit that I may have been a little off because it certainly seems that it is playing a factor of some kind. Butch Goring even mentioned something along those lines during last night's telecast.

The Islanders take on a very hot Ottawa Senators team tonight that has won four of it's past five games. Brian Elliot gets the nod as he looks to continue his streak of hot play. The Islanders are countering with Dwayne Roloson, as Scott Gordon announced a couple of days ago. Even if he didn't, I think it would have been a safe bet given the performances in the last two games.

One would hope that the Islanders figure out how to right the ship, because while the injuries have killed them right now, especially on the blueline, there is no excuse for being completely manhandled for two games in a row. Something seems to be a bit off, and guys aren't going as hard as they were, especially on the forecheck. That has to change. If the Isles play the way that they are supposed to, and they can do it, then I think they match up well with the Senators.

Obviously, they have to watch out for the big guns of Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, both of whom have recently returned from injuries. Sergei Gonchar started out really slow, but seems to be coming around as late to contribute to the Sens streak.

Sooner or later, the Islanders are going to need some production again out of John Tavares, Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey. I think out of all three, Bailey has been the most consistent when it comes to the forecheck and play away from the puck, but he has been far from perfect.

The team definitely seems to have a different feel to it in games where Roloson starts. If that happens again tonight, and the Islanders snap out of their funk, then one has to wonder how Gordon works the goaltending rotation for the future. But we'll worry about that bridge when, and if, we come to it.


November 2, 2010

Briere gets Three Games; Jurcina Out; Sim Waived

9:30 PM: The Islanders announced this afternoon that Sim cleared waivers and was on his way to Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers have had all sorts of problems scoring goals this season, and he will surely help. Good veteran presence with Andy Hilbert still injured as well.

8:45 AM: The Islanders had some news come through on what ended up being a very busy Monday for the team. It started with the announcement that Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere had a hearing with the NHL Monday morning to discuss his actions stemming from the game Saturday night.

Those of you who logged on Monday morning saw my prediction of one game for Briere. What I forgot to do was take into account that fact that he fell under the NHL's rule of being a "repeat offender" (18 months). I figured he would get one game for sure, possibly two. I know some people are upset about only three games, but it wasn't going to be anything more than that. Frans Nielsen wasn't hurt on the play.

Coincidentally, the 3rd and final game of the suspension covers the rematch between the Isles and Flyers on Saturday, November 6th. Whether or not the NHL intended for that to happen remains to be seen. In my opinion, I think that it did play somewhat of a factor.

Now, moving on to items that more pretain to the Islanders, Jon Sim was placed on waivers with the intention of sending him down to the minors with Rob Schremp set to return. In our last podcast, Sean felt that he was going to be the odd man out, while I felt he was going to stick around more and perhaps Trevor Gillies would be up and down. I'm a little surprised only because Sim was getting a lot of PK time, something that neither the returning Schremp or Gilles does. Michael Grabner is going to be returning as well, and although not the strongest defensively, was being used on the PK just prior to getting his injury. Perhaps Gordon sees something more that can be worked with there or from someone else, and will get them a chance to play some PK minutes.

Grabner returning gives the Islanders one of their better skaters back, and you can see at times how the lack of speed has affected the team. Schremp has improved his skating in the offseason, and will be a welcome addition back to the team. They could really use some of what he provides. As far as five-on-five play is concerned, it's still up in the air how either player will help the Islanders there. Schremp has always been an excellent power-play producer. We'll now get to see if any of the improvements he has made can help at even strength.

Unfortunately, the defense is a slightly different story on the injury front. Milan Jurcina has now gone down with a hamstring injury that will keep him out of the lineup for two-to-four weeks. That isn't terrible, and definitely doable. As I had written just last week, Jurcina wasn't really getting more than 19 minutes a game, and his spot on the 3rd pairing is something I think Jack Hillen or Bruno Gervais can fill in adequately for now. The Islanders are going to miss his size and shot blocking though, and have lost two of their better guys in the latter department between Jurcina and Andrew MacDonald. Mark Eaton does block a lot of shots too, but unfortunately he seems to block them in the wrong direction lately. We'll hope he can fix some of those problems sooner rather than later as he will now be called on to be solid for the next few weeks.

We should find out today if Sim clears waivers (he should). Of course, we'll try to have any updates for you guys as the off-day moves along.


November 1, 2010

Briere to Have Hearing; New Podcast Posted!

As a result of his cheap shot cross-check that I alluded to in the game recap from the Flyers game, Daniel Briere has a hearing this morning with the NHL. Briere got a five-minute major and a 10 minute misconduct for his cross-check to the head of Frans Nielsen, and generally penalties of that nature that are handed out in the last five minutes of a game are reviewed. Players will usually get suspensions for those acts as well, so one can assume that Briere will get one game for his actions, as he should. We'll see what we get for a final ruling and be sure to update you guys with what we hear.

In the meantime, we posted our latest podcast yesterday, for those of you who don't already know. The week was rather uneventful, with only Nino Niederreiter to talk about aside from the games, but we go through a nice breakdown, and give our thoughts on the play of some particular players. Some good stuff throughout, so be sure to give a listen.

This was the last podcast before Sean goes away for the next two weeks, and I haven't completely figured out if we'll have something in audio form or not for you guys over that time. I'm still working on figuring some things out, and will be sure to update you when I know.

More to come. Enjoy!