Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: new york islanders
What are the Islanders getting from Nabokov?
Nabokov is going to play for the Islanders this season, and he’s showing off his new mask. He’s keeping with the same theme on his mask, with the swamp zombie skull head, only this time the swamp zombie is done up in Islanders colors. The question is, after most of last season off, will Nabokov be fresh, healed, and ready to play, or is he liable to find himself stale?
In their first game since Friday’s goonfest against Pittsburgh, the New York Islanders are in Buffalo today to take on a Sabres team that needs to win in order to end the day within three points of a playoff spot.
It’ll be interesting to see what condition emotionally the Islanders are in today, not far removed from back-to-back nights that featured a nice shootout win in Montreal and an unforgettable team bonding exercise against the Penguins.
The Sabres obviously won’t complain if New York’s balloon deflates and they come out flat, but it would be foolish to expect it. The Islanders, who have already beaten the Sabres twice in the past month, are a close-knit group that at last check still has a talented group of young forwards playing on a team with nothing to lose.
Buffalo’s game plan should center around shutting down John Tavares, who had a 4-point night on Friday and has tallied 3 goals, 3 assists, and 16 shots on goal in three games against the Sabres this season.
Ryan Miller will likely get his 31st consecutive start, and Patrick Kaleta is expected to return to the lineup from injury. The Sabres defeated the Islanders in their only day game played thus far this season, while New York is 3-3-0 in day games.
Sometimes it’s as simple as your best players being your best players.
The Sabres earned a big 4-2 win in Boston last night, and regardless of what the 3-stars voters had to say, this game was about Ryan Miller (38 saves) and Thomas Vanek (game-winning goal, assist) coming through when it mattered most.
On the subject of Miller, there have been rumblings in the local media that he should get a game off before the All-Star break. The talk after last night’s game was about whether or not Patrick Lalime or Jhonas Enroth should start the following night against the New York Islanders.
This is the same media that reminds us continuously that the Sabres as an organization don’t display enough desperation. Sitting a healthy Miller tonight, when the alternatives are a guy who hasn’t won a single game since Easter and a rookie struggling to be a .500 goalie in the AHL, wouldn’t exactly exemplify a sense of urgency.
from New York Islanders beat writer Katie Strang via Twitter:
Rick DiPietro did not practice with #Isles today; he is flying back to NY for eval on his groin strain
Here’s another Rick DiPietro related tweet one from New York Islanders Examiner Jon Lane:
A groin strain put Andy Pettitte out for two months. We may not see the 15-year man for some time. #isles
From the New York Islanders:
The New York Islanders announced today that they have agreed to terms on a two year contract with defenseman Mike Mottau.
Mottau, 32, spent the last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. Last season, the Quincy, MA, native scored a career high 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) and a +4 plus-minus rating in 79 games with New Jersey.
“Mike is a solid puck-moving defenseman who will bring more experience to our blueline,” said General Manager Garth Snow.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Mottau found a home, but the injury to Mark Streit obviously created an opening the Islanders needed to address.
Good for Mike and good for the Islanders.
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Sources tell TSN that the New York Islanders and veteran forward Chris Simon have agreed that time away from the team is needed to come to terms with his recent on-ice behavior and potentially, his playing future.
Islanders owner Charles Wang met Simon earlier today to discuss the direction best suited to provide Simon with the support he deserves.
Simon has been granted time away from the team to seek counselling, or any other method to help restore his career.
Updated 3:48pm ET: Confirmation from the Islanders:
Charles Wang: “The actions of Chris Simon on Saturday do not reflect what the New York Islanders stand for. They were reckless, potentially dangerous and against our team concept of grit, character and heart.
“We know Chris as a respected teammate and as a gracious man away from the playing surface and believe strongly that he has earned our continued support. The Islanders are going to provide some time for Chris away from the team and give him the counseling he needs and the compassion he deserves.”
Still awaiting suspension news from the league.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Last week, the New York Islanders hosted their fathers on a road trip through Atlanta, Florida and Tampa. Team captain Bill Guerin immediately informed the fathers of their curfew—no one was to be in the team hotel until after 1 a.m.
Defenseman Andy Sutton has been in the NHL a decade, but this is the first time he and his father, Nigel, have shared something like this.
“This is a huge thing. My dad is just like a kid in a candy story. He’s just so pumped. It’s a pretty special thing,” Sutton said.
more plus other NHL talk…
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because salaries are pro-rated against the cap on a daily basis, when they reach the mid-point of the season, the Islanders will have the ability to take on players whose contracts total up to $15 million at that point because half their salaries already will have been paid. So, cap room isn’t a problem.
But since the NHL isn’t a fantasy league, the trouble is finding someone who is ready to give up a goal scorer. That’s not likely to happen much before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. At a time when the Islanders have gone 12 straight games without scoring more than two goals (not counting the shootout goal against Ottawa), that’s why they must look within for help.
from the New York Times,
Wednesday’s game was a sort of dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, veteran sports broadcasters based in New York. But today, when the Islanders face Atlanta, viewers who press the S.A.P. button on their remote controls will be able to hear Peng and Chang describe the action on Fox Sports Net.
The broadcast Wednesday, the second such dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, apparently went so well that the Islanders have decided to take the next step in telecasting games in Mandarin.
By the end of the season, the Islanders hope to have at least one of their games telecast in China.
from the AP via CBS Sportsline,
As players from both teams entered the fray, Martinek said Hollweg threatened him and then reached for his face.
“He said he is going to take my stitches out. I think that was stupid,” said Martinek, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound defenseman.
Martinek added that no damage was done, but said he had never seen a player act in such a way.
“No, no. Never, never,” he said. “I think he could show a little bit of respect, but he didn’t. I cannot respect him.”
Hollweg contended that he was merely defending Orr, a 6-3, 222-pound forward, who has five career points and 239 penalty minutes in 114 NHL games. Simon and Witt had already double-teamed Orr before Martinek got near.
from the Good, the Bad and the Duthie,
The New York Islanders are clearly Devil-Worshippers. It’s like they took Jersey’s old trap and said “This is too exciting, let’s make it more defensive!” For 40 minutes, they spent more time in their own backyard than my dog. We ran a 30-second clip during our intermission of Ottawa with the puck in its own end. You never saw more than one Islander in the frame.
And sadly it works. The Isles have now scored 2 goals or less in 10 straight games. And they have 5 wins and 11 points to show for it.
Herein lies a major problem for hockey.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators joined the New York Islanders winger for dinner Tuesday night because they apparently really do like him and not because there might have been a chance to see Comrie’s squeeze, singer/clothes designer/teen idol Hilary Duff.
“I’ve got a lot of friends in the NHL now,” joked Comrie, who made the Islanders his fifth NHL organization in seven years when he signed here as a free agent during the summer.
more on the Sens…
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Page 2 recently chatted with Sillinger about growing up in Saskatchewan, his early experiences as a pro and living the life of an NHL nomad.
Page 2: Since I’m a fellow Canadian and not far from your age, I have to start by asking you about growing up in Regina in the ‘70s. As a kid, was it all about games of shinny out on a pond or an outdoor rink somewhere, only without the constant falling down and embarrassment?
Mike Sillinger: Hockey was just something I loved to do. I can remember way back—the first team I played on was the Citations hockey club. I was 4 or 5. We had these bright orange jerseys, some real beauties. When I got older, I’d always do my homework right away after school so I could go outside and play….
from George Vecsey of the New York Times,
The woman was in the heartland of the opponent, wearing a fancy orange and blue jacket commemorating the four Stanley Cups won by the Islanders, albeit a quarter of a century ago.
“New York?” she shouted. “Is this the train to New York?”
It was, indeed. Parallel steel rails now connect the three hockey franchises in the area.
via Watchdog at Newsday,
For their eight games on FSNY, the Islanders are up spectacularly, from 0.07 percent of area homes last season at this point to 0.32.
The Rangers are up 102 percent on MSG compared to last year.
From Erik Boland at Newsday,
The quarterback for a power play that Islanders coach Ted Nolan said lacked power in Monday’s loss to Philadelphia expects to be back on the ice tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Bryan Berard took the point position on the power play during practice yesterday and said the injured groin that has kept him sidelined six straight games felt “100 percent.”
Berard has not played since leaving the Oct. 20 game against the Devils. “Today was probably the first day I felt 100 percent,” he said. “It’s been a little longer than I would have liked but I kind of got lucky enough where with our schedule, I haven’t missed that many games.”
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to spend their $2 billion. So don’t look here for a quick yea or nay on the sweeping plan to completely redo Nassau Coliseum and develop the 77 acres around it.
What we can help with is to see the question behind the question, which is a biggie: Is Long Island the right place for a major-league sports team?
That is the $2-billion stumper we have to answer because a project such as the village proposed by Islanders owner Charles Wang and Scott Rechler is the cost of doing business in the big leagues these days.
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Captain Bill Guerin did not accompany the Islanders to Philadelphia for their game against the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers tonight at Wachovia Center. Guerin was hit in the eye by a puck in Saturday’s home win over the Devils and is suffering from a condition known as hyphema, which is bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.
When Guerin was hit by the puck, it caused a blood vessel to burst and essentially turned the eye red and made it difficult to see when he took two brief shifts at the start of the third period. The Islanders described Guerin’s condition as day-to-day while he waits for the swelling around the eye to subside and for his vision to clear.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
Timing is crucial for a big goal-scorer such as Miroslav Satan, who was just where he needed to be when he needed to be there in each of the Islanders’ past two games. His timing has been good ever since he grew up at just the right moment to be a hockey player in Slovakia.
As a boy in what was then Czechoslovakia, he never pictured himself in the National Hockey League because he barely knew there was such a thing.
“There wasn’t a lot of information before ‘89. After all the changes in Russia and Eastern Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, basically, the information stream opened up,” he said at Islanders practice Friday, the 18th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
from David Amber at ESPN,
Q: Why did you sign only a one-year deal?
A: I wanted to see how I fit in on the top line and to see if I enjoyed playing in the New York area. It’s better to see that it works for me and works for them, then we can move forward.
Q: So, how has it been so far?
A: I like it here. We have a great group of guys. We have to win games by everyone chipping in. We don’t have a $10 million player on this team. Everyone has to come and play hard every night.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
But I have a hard time accepting the fact that Arbour gets credit for the game and the win when his presence was completely ceremonial. In baseball there is a rule that limits the number of coaches who are in uniform in the dugout during the game, but I skimmed through the NHL record books and I couldn’t find a similar rule….
There was nothing wrong with having an Al Arbour night and putting him behind the bench for the 1,500th time with the Islanders. Everyone there still would have had a blast. But let’s stop fooling ourselves. In my record books, I’m crediting Ted Nolan with the win.
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning Jim?
This was not a PR stunt, but was actually suggested by Coach Nolan. Hockey honors their past greats, and it will continue to do so, with or without your record book.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
In his 40 days and nights as general man ager of the Islanders during the summer of 2006, Neil Smith ran the team’s Entry Draft, selecting Minnesota Golden Gopher right winger Kyle Okposo seventh overall, and he signed free agents Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt, Chris Simon, Andy Hilbert and Tom Poti, the first four of whom remain with the club.
For his trouble, Smith, who unaccountably never signed the three-year, $2.1M contract to which he and owner Charles Wang verbally agreed before reporting for duty, has yet to be paid a nickel by the franchise as he waits for Gary Bettman’s ruling on the grievance he brought against the Islanders more than a year ago . . . and waits . . . and waits . . . and waits.
continued plus more NHL talk…
from George Vescey at the New York Times,
A bunch of lucky Islanders are about to play for Arbour tonight in his 1,500th game with the team, after an invitation from Coach Ted Nolan.
This is the kind of homespun event that only hockey could produce, turning the Nassau Coliseum into a town rink somewhere in the true north strong and free.
Arbour signed a one-game contract yesterday in the cramped team quarters under the Coliseum.
He insisted that this was mostly a ceremonial duty, but Nolan said that Arbour was going to do more coaching tonight than he expected. Is there a bonus for winning for the 740th time with this team?
“Trust me,” General Manager Garth Snow said.
“I’ve heard that before,” Arbour said, deadpan.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
It’s too trite to say “Give the Devils their due,” but kudos to owner Jeff Vanderbeek and the team that probably ranks last among New York-area franchises in Q rating. They’re finally first at something. With their home opener last night, they became the first in this generation to build a new house.
Last night was an occasion, the kind that makes you feel, “If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.”
It also made you think, if you happen to be from someplace, say, east of New York City, “How come we can’t pull off something like this?” As a member of the Islanders organization said the other day, “I’m jealous.”
From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Says Buffalo goalie Jocelyn Thibault, who played with Simon in Quebec, Colorado and Chicago, “Unbelievable guy [who’s] always been recognized as a straight shooter.” Says Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who knows Simon from Calgary, “He loves you, he kicks ass for you. Awesome. Best teammate I played with.” Says Toronto winger Jason Blake, who played on a line with Simon last season in New York, “Good teammate because he cared so much.”
Thus the case of one of the NHL’s most physical players raises some metaphysical questions: If Simon is so good, why does he do so many bad things? And if he does so many bad things, can he possibly be good?
via the NY Islanders,
Islanders defenseman Bryan Berard will be sidelined approximately 2-4 weeks with a groin injury suffered during the team’s 4-3 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Coming off two straight wins in which they generated nine goals, the Islanders would like nothing better than to keep the ball rolling to build on their 5-3-0 start. But it’s as if the NHL has scheduled a fall recess for them with only one game in the final 11 days of October and just four games in a 20-day span through Nov. 9.
Privately, several Islanders have complained about how tough it is to maintain not only game conditioning but also a game mentality with such long breaks between games. For instance, they got off to a slow start in Washington on Thursday after a four-day layoff before adjusting to the speed of the game. [...]
“We’re playing well,” goaltender Rick DiPietro said. “It’s kind of a weird schedule. We played six games in nine nights at the beginning, and now we play three in [16 nights]. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect us.
KK friend Roman at eNHL.cz just contacted me and he believes Guerin set a record last night, scoring a hat trick for six different teams.
Even though Roman’s site is in Czech, you can get a clear picture of some of the stats he produced.
*here is the complete 2 Man Advantage selection on YouTube
From the CP via TSN,
It’s almost as if a ship full of NHL castoffs washed ashore and decided to dock in Long Island.
Just take a look at some of the players the New York Islanders have on their roster: Mike Comrie and Josef Vasicek are each now playing for a third team in less than a year; veteran Bill Guerin is skating on his fourth since the lockout ended; and then there’s Jon Sim, who is wearing his eighth different NHL jersey since 2002.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
His eye never will be the same. It always will look somewhat closed, a reminder of having accidentally been hit by the stick of Marian Hossa on March 11, 2000. He had looked done then, less than a week after his 23rd birthday. His mom, Pam, said at the time, “Just say a prayer for my kid.”
Berard never will be the big star he seemed destined to be when he was picked first overall in 1995 by Ottawa, which dealt him to the Islanders. But he is just fine, testimony to drawing straight with crooked lines. His odyssey says that you can get there if you just hang in there.
“I don’t take things for granted now,” he said. “I did have the game taken away from me for about a year and a half with the eye and almost [the same] with the back. I just love to play.”
from Eric McErlain at the NHL Fanhouse,
But if you had taken a trip to the “Blog Box” on Long Island on Saturday night, you would have seen something quite different: A group of fans segregated from the rest of the press who were only allowed guided access to Islanders players and no access to the visiting locker room at all. Most galling of all, many of the box bloggers trooped down to the Islanders locker room wearing Islanders jerseys….
All throughout the SI.com piece, you’ll see claims about how this “experiment”—one that comes complete with a couple of academics from a university in Pennsylvania who ought to be ashamed of themselves—is some sort of incredible innovation in sports media.
That’s actually the last thing that this deserves to be called. Instead, we ought to call it for what it is—a glorified fan club. That this farce is sponsored by Eklund, the least credible voice in sports blogging today, only makes the joke complete.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because Meyer is in the final season of a deal that pays him $540,000, it’s possible he might be claimed by another team in need of defensive depth. The cost and term of Meyer’s deal would make him a bargain investment.
Once Meyer clears or is claimed off the Islanders’ roster, there’s a good chance free-agent defenseman Bryan Berard would be signed. It’s uncertain how quickly he would find his way into the lineup. The Isles scored on three of four power-play opportunities in their season-opening win Friday night in Buffalo.
from the New York Times,
“We’ve been a close-knit bunch in a couple of weeks,” Guerin said Wednesday. “That means we’re going to play well on the ice.”
The Islanders’ top line, centered by Mike Comrie with Ruslan Fedotenko at left wing and the 37-year-old Guerin at right wing, was acquired through free agency. Half of the defensive corps was not with the team a year ago.
“I know a lot of faces have changed,” Guerin said. “I don’t think the attitude has.”
from the Star-Ledger,
“I know of some places where not everyone gets treated the same,” Asham said, referring to the Islanders, whom the Devils defeated, 2-1, last night at the Arena at Harbor Yard to finish the preseason with a 4-2 record.
And which player or players might have gotten preferential treatment?
“(Alexei) Yashin maybe,” Asham said.
Even though there were clearly some issues, and Asham even had a fight with goalie Rick DiPietro during one practice, he did not leave the Islanders with a lot of bitterness. He felt it was time to go and the Islanders weren’t devastated that he left.
from Scott Morrison of CBC Sports,
Where is the common sense?
Simon shouldn’t have been anywhere near the ice against the Rangers for all the obvious reasons. And especially since the Rangers decided to dress Ryan Hollweg, the player Simon chopped down his with his stick back on March 8 to earn the supreme wrath of the league.
Can you say retribution?
But there they were together on the ice Monday night in Long Island and the mayhem was, well, as predictable and it was entirely avoidable. Hollweg and Simon sparred and jabbed with each other.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
To Rick DiPietro, it was simply a matter of “the intensity being ratcheted up against the Rangers, no matter where or when we play them.”
To Al Montoya, it was simply a matter of, “basically not really having a choice, but sticking up for my teammates even though I’d rather have been in the [game] to showcase my talents.”
Check out the goalie fight…
From the moment he walked into the dressing room at the North Bay Memorial Gardens on Sept. 17, Ken ‘Jiggs’ McDonald felt like he was right at home.
The Georgian Bay area resident, NHL broadcaster and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee made the trip north to do a little pre-planning.
“It gets the juices going and makes you wish they would get the puck dropped for real and I could get back to the booth,” said McDonald, while watching the Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers battle it out in front of 4,100 fans.
On July 1, Mike Sillinger was as disappointed as anyone in the Islanders’ organization to learn that his friend Ryan Smyth had signed with Colorado rather than accept a slightly better offer from the Isles. As one of Smyth’s partners in a British Columbia real estate development and as alternate captain, Sillinger had pushed for “Captain Canada” to become “Captain Islander.”
“Even with me, he kept everything inside,” Sillinger said. “He kept his private stuff private between him and his family and his agent. I had no idea he was going to sign with Colorado. When he did sign, he told me the Islanders were one of his teams to the very end….”
continued with more Islander talk…