An independent blog on the New York Islanders and the NHL by a guy from New York.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Exorcism in N.J.

After losing 1-0 to Devils yesterday, the Islanders continued to play hard today and stepped up their game. 
Their 3-2 hard fought victory against the same N.J. Devils came with a disallowed goal with 2 seconds remaining in the third period.  Zach Parise clearly directed the puck past Al Montoya with his skate while draped all over him in the crease as time was expiring.  Toronto made the right call and the Isles finally got a break.
Montoya played well, not to be overshadowed in a game where Brodeur was excellent.  Montoya continues to give his team a chance to win with each game he plays.  Overall, the team is “battling” a lot better now and has put forth a much more solid effort in recent games.

Moulson, Bailey and Grabner (SH) scored for the Isles.
This may be a turning point similar to the controversial game against the Penguins last year.  At very least, they can use the win as a building block and be proud of the way they have come together in recent days.
It could be a "devil-may-care" attitude to their critics.
 
We shall see.

Isles Notes:
Nino Niederreiter “tweeted” that he didn’t know why he was scratched again today.  I can't figure it out either, but bad move Nino.  It's against NHL rules.
John Tavares was fined $2,500.00 after hitting Zach Parise with a two handed slash in yesterday’s game just after he was shoved into the boards from behind.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers revealed their new third jersey this weekend.  It’s the same as the Isles alternate jersey, but with tiger heads on the shoulder in place of NYI logo and “Soundtigers” written across the front instead of “Islanders.”

Friday, November 25, 2011

Isles Notes from 11/25

Islanders looked better vs the Flyers, but lost 4-3 in O.T.

Vs the Devils today:

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Rolston-Bailey-Ullstrom; Martin-Pandolfo-Haley.

Defensemen: Streit-Staios; Hamonic-MacDonald; Mottau-Jurcina.

Hedberg vs. Montoya this afternoon with Islanders sporting black third jerseys for the post-holiday matinee.

Niedereitter and Reasoner, scratched.  Is Nino still hurt?  Not a good start to his season so far.

Islanders will face the Devils again tomorrow in Newark @ 1pm.



LW Blake Comeau has been claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames after Garth Snow was shopping him for a draft pick.  It appears he had no value to other teams with his uninspired play so far this year going pointless and posting a -11 rating in 16 games played.  With the Islanders, Comeau was a second round selection, #47 overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft.  He leaves Long Island with 56 and 65 for 121 points.

Rob McGowan points out that Garth Snow seems to be slowly removing players he had no hand in drafting. There aren't many left.

Hmm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Accountability

You cannot have commitment without accountability.
Islander stat god, Eric Hornick reveals the Isles' shutout loss in Pittsburgh dropped their all-time record to .500.  They have two wins in their last 14 games and have been shut out 5 times with a 5-10-3 record, being outscored 61-35 so far this season.  Chris Botta has sighted a source that confirms: Garth Snow has full authority to make any changes (coach, roster) he deems necessary to save NYI season.  Who would you replace Coach Capuano with?  If a Bruce Boudreau becomes available, do you consider a change?  I don’t feel it’s a coaching problem.
I mentioned a while back that the Islanders had a fragile psyche that needed to be bolstered by creating a winning culture.  Winning cultures breed confidence, are usually resilient and know what it takes to dig deep down in the face of adversity and somehow find a way to win.  These teams respect everyone, but fear none and expect to win every time they take the ice.  They play a system and are programed to work hard and act to maximize effectiveness.
Your New York Islanders tend to lose focus and become outplayed by harder working teams.  Negative traits that seemed to disappear in the second half of last year’s apparent rebound.  Well, that was last year and this is now.  Some have said they need to find an identity.  Mark Streit was chosen to lead the group of promising young players and best-that-we-could-get veterans assembled by Garth Snow in yet another summer of failed acquisitions.  It seems that once the August 1st referendum failed and the new arena was denied again, the gloom began creeping back into the picture.  2015 will see the team play out their lease and have selected a new place to represent barring a miracle for Long Island.
The Tavares, Parenteau, Streit, Moulson, Nielsen and Grabner’s have been good.  They have been consistent with effort and are not the problem.  What will be a problem is when these hard working players get disgusted and start to feel like their time on Long Island is a bad dream.  These are supposed to be core players and have been selected to lead the Islanders into the future.  They need to feel more in control and trust in management.  They need to win.
I think the unexpected underachieving members of the line-up are the main issue here. 
It is no secret that Bailey, Comeau and Okposo haven’t done much of anything.  While Okposo’s effort is there, he hasn’t been able to make an impact on a team that was supposed to at least threaten for a bottom playoff spot.  I feel he may come around with the rest of the team, but when is the question.  Seeing him in a trade scenario would be a surprise, but at this point, moves need to be made.  On Bailey and Comeau, the perspective trade picture is glum.  Bailey has 1 and 2 for 3 pts and a -6 rating in 18 games played.  Comeau has nothing to show in 15 games, except a -11 rating.  The only hope for a trade is to find another GM with a troubled player in need of a scenery change who would be willing to come to the Islanders in hopes of a turn around.  Not looking good.
Rolston and Pandolfo have looked good at times and have shown they are still here to compete, but they are here because the top choices needed to get the Isles to the next level weren’t available.  The top tier players stay away from Long Island due to the rumors of the facility and playing there.  Numerous examples of negative press given to Charles Wang, Garth Snow and the organization, despite the good things that have been accomplished, have done damage that can only be undone by winning.  Despite any team shortcomings, those chosen to wear the crest need to focus and at least play for each other.  They need to concentrate on playing as a team and doing what needs to be done.  Each member of the team needs to take accountability for themselves and their line or pairing.  They need to do the small things and win the battles that dictate a game.  They need to be unpleasant to play against for their opponents.
Mark Eaton is out with a sprained MCL which will keep him out of the line-up for 6 weeks, Islanders have recalled Micheal Haley.  This will work as benefit to the team play and the fan's morale.  As mentioned before, Haley brings energy and a team unity to the game play.  He will surely invigorate the Islanders and his addition should be a positive step in the right direction.  Let’s hope he is able to stay around.  I still feel Gillies presence is absolutely necessary to a resurgent Isles team.  Hopefully, he will be given another opportunity soon. 
Ullstrom and Niederreiter are good additions to the team.  They need to develop and prove they can contribute at this level.  Players at Bridgeport like Wallace, DiBenedetto, Rakhshani and Cizikas should be given a look by the Islanders before the season is lost if trades continue to be difficult to complete.
The goaltender for the New York Islanders should be Montoya.  He has good numbers at 2-2-1 with a 2.43 gaa and .926 sv% for such a precarious game schedule.  He has developed his game and should be given serious consideration as a starter.  DiPietro should be there to push Montoya and prove he can continue to improve.  With a 3.35 gaa and ,849 sv%, he needs to find his game and show that he can do it consistantly.  Nabokov should be moved, and moved as soon as he can be.  His injuries will make it even more of a challenge for Snow, but the right situation may just have to be the best one available.
If this season is supposed to be about commitment, then lets hold the players accountable.  On the 40th anniversary of Islander’s hockey, I challenge the ownership and management to really take the next step and do what needs to be done to win, even if it deviates from the plan.  The rebuild has had moments of looking good and I had a great time watching the prospects gathered in the Blue and White game this summer.  The ultimate goal is a return to prominence and to reward the loyal and diehard fans; Fans that have stuck with the team for the past 20 years during the worst of times.  Everyone wants to be successful and I for one appreciate all the sacrifices made from ownership on down, but really only one thing matters to the fans.

Stop the talk and show us you have a consistent winner in the New York Islanders.

Isles Notes:
Today’s lines: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Comeau-Reasoner-Pandolfo; Martin-Bailey-Niederreiter, Ullstrom.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Honoring the great "18" and Isles Notes for 11/19



Tonight, The Islanders will hope to build on a win vs the Montreal Canadiens when they play the Boston Bruins.  They will also induct Eddie Westfall into the Islanders Hall of Fame.


Eddie Westfall was chosen by the Islanders in the 1972 expansion draft and was named their first Captain, a post he held until 1977. Westfall scored the first goal in franchise history vs. the Atlanta Flames on October 7th, 1972.  As an Islander, Westfall scored 105 and 181 for 286 points during the 72-73 thru 78-79 seasons.  In 5 playoff appearances including the famed semi-final appearance, from 74-75 thru 78-79, Westfall scored with 9 and 20 for 29 points.

I am a big fan of Eddie Westfall and what he means to the New York Islanders.  After his playing career, Westfall nicknamed “18”, was teamed up with legendary Isles play by play man, Jiggs McDonald from the end of his playing career thru 1998 as a color commentator for the former Sports Channel Network.  They have been a part of some of the greatest and most historic calls in Islander team history.  The tandem will come together again to call the second period of tonight’s game.


Isles Notes:

Arthur Staple reports G Al Montoya day-to-day with a strained hamstring in loss vs. Colorado Avalanche.  Islanders recall G Anders Nilsson (5-2-0, 2.86 w/BPT) to back up DiPietro as Evgeni Nabokov (groin) to IR for 2-4 weeks.

Eric Hornick reports the Islanders have scored 20 goals in their 5 wins (4.0) and 15 goals in their other 11 (0-8-3) 1.36 gpg.

New York Islanders report that F, Rhett Rakhshani has been activated off IR and returned to the Sound Tigers.

Per Brian Compton, G Steve Valiquette is backing up Kevin Poulin tonight for AHL Bridgeport.
                                                        
F, Kyle Okposo will be scratched again for the third straight game.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Tantrum and the Third Jersey Officially Revealed, FHZ 4

The Ownership is a Joke.  DP’s contract is a joke.  Garth Snow is a joke.  We can’t wait until the Islanders are sold and get taken in a different direction.

What direction, Quebec?

Oh, and the new third jersey officially announced at the Winter Wonderland expo is a joke as well, right?  That’s what we should do as fans.  Focus on every perceived negative that we can and cry about it.


No.

We know what is going on with the Isles.  The team has gotten into their annual regular season slump despite big hype and grand promises of the playoffs.  Did you really think they would stay in the top 3 or 4 all season?  They could do a lot of things differently, but the fact is, whether you see it as good or bad, Charles Wang is the Owner.  He is also the only reason the team is still on Long Island and may be the only reason they manage to remain in New York in the near future.  His GM is Garth Snow, and according to people smarter than me, that is the way it will stay.  The rebuild has garnered some great young talent, some of which may take more development, some that may not ever be what was expected, but a great collection of promising draft picks none the less. 

That leads me to the over blown free agent, we suck ranting we hear every year.  TOP FREE AGENTS WON’T PLAY HERE BECAUSE OF THE FACILITY.  This is not the fault of ownership.  To those of you who say everything is the fault of ownership, just stop reading KoC.  I am hardly Brian Compton anyway.  Work still needs to be done and obstacles overcome.  Oh, and Zach Parise will resign with the Devils so you can stop crying about that as well.  First round, 6th overall pick, Scott Scissons ring a bell.  It happens, we took Robert Nilsson.  14 other teams chose a different player as well.

Are you still there?  Ok, good.  I am grateful for all my readers, but I am growing tired of the same floods of negativity every time a hater bandwagon rolls on by.

So the Islanders revealed some new apparel and the third jerseys that will be worn at a select number of games this season at a charity fund raiser tonight.  I have never been a fan of numbers on the front, but the colors work.  Most third jersey concepts deviate from classic designs unless the intended nature of the jersey is a throwback for the team.  I am a proponent for a fan vote on the top 5 or 6 third jersey designs to find a winner, but the goal song fan vote was screwed up by the islanders when they sampled the chorus of Maiden’s Heaven Can Wait instead of the chanting proposed for the contest at around 3:38 into the song, but I digress and sound just as petty as those guys.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Just don’t buy the jersey if you don’t like it and hope that a move or two can be made soon to help scoring up front.  I am sure the coaching staff is scrambling to right the ship as well, so let’s not fall into a pattern of disappointment just yet.  I know that it can be exhausting, but let’s give them more time this season.  It is by far the most promise we have had in a while.


Earlier article and mention on third jersey:




Isles Notes:

Lines at practice today: Moulson-Tavares-Grabner; Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau; Comeau-Reasoner-Okposo, Niederreiter; Martin-Bailey-Pandolfo

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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Islanders without Heart and Soul

The Islanders have played terrible hockey since they started the season 3-1 and have never figured how to get things back on track.  They seem to have forgotten how to win.  At KoC, I have noted a few reasons why I feel they are losing and have said the current roster can at least play a more competitive and complete game than they have shown recently.  I need to repeat myself.

They seem to lack a soul.  To find a competitive fire that any NHL team needs in order to dig down and compete at a high level.  I feel that a trade is necessary at this point, but that is easier said than done.  Waiting to make another brilliant pick up off the waiver wire is reliant upon a salary dump or troubled player that would be a perfect fit being made available for nothing.  Don’t bet on it.

I have sung the praises of players like Trevor Gillies and Michael Haley before.  I have asked for them to be called up and play on Long Island where they belong.  Gillies will never get sunburn from lighting the lamp on a regular basis and Haley has had problems with sitting in the box, but they are both all-stars at one thing.  Bringing heart and soul to the New York Islanders.

Gillies is both feared by and dangerous to the opposition.  His heart is infectious.  He has long been recognized as a great team guy.  Haley is skilled with his fists and dangerous around the net.  He plays a high energy game and makes his presence known when he plays his game.  Why would two guys sent down to Bridgeport because they were expendable to management make any difference to the Islanders in their current situation?

The Islanders lack soul.  The islanders have to show more heart.

Coach Capuano is not happy with the efforts of some players on his team.  He had this to say to Islanders.nhl.com:
 
“There’s no excuse,” Capuano said. “We have to finish our checks. We have to be more physical. We have to get pucks in deep.”

“We have to find the will to win,” Capuano said. “We can talk a good game. The players can talk a good game, but we have to find a will to compete every night. At some point, if it doesn’t, then our lineups going to have to change and other guys are going to have to get an opportunity. But right now, you have to dig deep and find a way to win a hockey game.”

He also alluded to specific players acting as “passengers,” and that they shouldn’t expect to be a part of the lineup because of who they are.

The skilled guys aren’t getting it done.  The New York Islanders have recalled forward Nino Niederreiter from his conditioning stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  He will make his debut vs. the New York Rangers tomorrow night.  This is a shot in the arm to a listless team that hasn’t been able to play a complete game for quite some time, but I doubt young Nino will be the current answer.  The fact is that the Islanders tend to play with more energy and win games with Gillies in the lineup.  Haley has figured into Bridgeport’s recent success and could bring some life to the Isles as well as he has done in the past.

Gillies and Haley will remain in Bridgeport for the game against the Rangers.  That will probably not change for a while as the Isles management works with the coaching staff to correct what negative factors are affecting the team.  The Islanders need to start winning and winning now.

You cannot win without heart ...


or soul ... 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Isles Notes From 11/9

Rumors of Evgeni Nabokov being moved in the next couple of days are everywhere.  The stumbling block will be his NMC negotiated when he originally signed with Detroit.  It has been speculated he may have already refused trades to weaker teams (CBJ) that were interested.  Chris Botta is mentioning the Mapleleafs as a possibility, B.D. Gallof says no.  Arthur Staple says no trade is in the works, Isles are trying to send Mikko Koskinen to Europe (Finland).
Fact is that Nabokov has played pretty well, so I say move him to the team he will play for that offers the best deal, but don’t give him away for nothing.  Snow has proven he doesn’t rush. 
Let’s hope someone needs a goaltender with "proven upside" badly.


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Long Island, We Have A Problem."


Your New York Islanders have fallen to last place in the east with a 4-6-2 record, with only Columbus having fewer points than them in the entire NHL.  They have been outscored 25-35 and despite a big win vs. the Washington Capitals recently, their play has been more of the same since the skid started.  Barely a winning record at home and winless on the road thus far, the Islanders are making the faithful worry that this will just be another losing season after a good summer and a lot of promise was expected, or at least hoped for.  No one will say we landed the big free agent, but we added utility players that could plug holes until the Bridgeport talent was ready.


While it is far from lost, points given away this early always come back to bite you later in the season.  It was the 14 game skid last season that blew the Islanders hopes for a playoff spot as their season expired last year.  It was too big a hole to climb out of from events too early in the season.  The Isles are tied for least amount of games played, so there could be some games at hand to be made up there, but an ugly trend is happening all over again.  They lack consistency in a big way.
The special teams which were a strength early on have fallen off a bit.  The PP has fallen from 6th position to the bottom half at 16.7%, 17th position and the once solid PK is at 82%, 16th best in the league.

Goal scoring has been a problem throughout the early season with only the first line pulling its weight.  Altering lines seemed to help a little recently, but contributions from the bottom three needs to improve, and fast.  Goal scoring is still a concern for a team who showed an ability to score throughout their roster last season.  The defense had been doing a good job early on but has been declining in the way of team play to me as I watch the games unfold.  This occurred particularly in the transitional play when attempting to start a rush into neutral ice and clear the defensive zone.  In the game against the Bruins, the Isles seemed to almost try and make passes through their own goal slot and thread passes through multiple opponents when they should have made the passes to low risk places and in much safer ways.
Team passing in general seems to be off.  At times, the whole team seems to be lost on the ice and their passes are either too hard or too soft, which lead to give aways and surrender puck possession.  This results in pressure on the Islanders instead of the pressure from defensive transition designed to affect their opponent.

The goaltending has been subject to a bad goal here and there, but has performed reasonably well.  Having a three goalie rotation is probably not the best solution for anyone.  Depth is good, but inactivity can cool off a trending or streaking goaltender in a big way.  In my opinion, Montoya is the one who should be the unofficial starter by what he showed last year.  DiPietro showed a strong preseason and should have the ability to unseat Montoya if he can stay healthy.  DP was and is in the long range plans until he decides to retire, like it or not.  The organization has a lot invested in him and if he can bounce back, he is a big time asset. 
With a deep pool in the minors that includes Poulin, Nilsson and Koskinen, the team can afford to make a trade in goal.  Thus far, I see Nabokov as the weak link and the logical choice for a trade if the deal is there.  If perceived value can’t be had, the team needs to decide how much it is worth to keep him here and what it will mean to team chemistry.  I think a trade needs to be made, but will his market value get the second round pick Garth Snow is asking for if teams see him play so erratically and feel he has a nagging injury? Probably not.
If the team is supposed to make the playoffs, in the eyes of management, how stable and safe is the coaching staff?  Jack Capuano had galvanized the team last year and they responded well to his system.  So far this year, the Islanders are too unstable to give me the confidence this isn’t just another slide that may result in another highly anticipated draft, but what is the reason?  I like Coach Capuano and I hope the team responds this time, but if the losing continues, how much more time can pass before the Coach gets fired?  Who would replace him?
Looking at the situation, the facts are the facts.  With the current roster, can the Isles find consistency?  I say yes, but must work as any closed system, within their limitations. All things mentioned previously need to improve. Special teams, scoring, passing, defense and goaltending needs to stabilize.  Can the elements only work well independently and apart from each other or can they sync up within the current team build?  This is more coaching than players and again, yes, I think it can.  The team needs to refocus on the small things and not worry about how great or poorly they played.  Aim for small goals as a team and a player and work on doing them regularly.  Win a face off, make a sweet pass, complete a great defensive clear.  Do this and all the rest will fall into place.
Never discount what Trevor Gillies brings to the lineup.  I know he won’t score goals but his value as a team mate has been evident with the Islanders since joining the team.  The Islanders simply win more with him in the lineup than out.  Is it because of his presence on the ice or his fist pounding from the bench?  Not sure, but keep him in mind for team chemistry factor “X.”
This doesn’t mean the team can’t or won’t make changes.  I think a trade is necessary and I am still picking on Josh Bailey.  Find a team with a similar young and talented player who is having similar issues or needs a change.  Maybe Kyle Turris in Phoenix is an option.  Maybe trade him for another high pick and bring up someone from the system.  Justin DiBenedetto, Casey Cizikas and the red hot Tim Wallace are all good options to possibly spark the team from within.  Maybe even give Ryan Strome a look while Nino Niederrieiter is down for conditioning in Bridgeport.
Whatever we need to do, just do it soon.


**Forgive my lack of updates.  My family has dealt with some health issues lately.  This has cut into my daily routine, so I haven’t had any real time to read anything on line in the way of puck news lately.  My only “fix” has been being able to catch pieces of games on TV as they happen before going to sleep early.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Anders Lee Dominates CCHA, FHZ 102!


Anders Lee has been named CCHA Player of the Month for October.

The 6'3", 218 pound Lee was the Islanders sixth round selection, 152nd overall in the 2009 NHL entry draft.  Lee has contributed greatly in the success of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  Per Islanders.nhl.com, the Irish are off to a strong start at 5-2 where he has tallied at least one goal in each of the seven games this season. Lee leads both the conference and the nation with 10 and 3 for 13 points, career highs for Lee.

Anders Lee was impressive to read about since being drafted by your New York Islanders.  Per Chris Botta, he (Lee) was not sure if he would pursue a career in Football or Hockey.  In 2008, then assistant GM, Ryan Jankowski asked him if he would commit to hockey during that year’s draft.  While unsure then, he committed to hockey after the Islanders drafted him the following year.  He has been an exciting prospect to watch in the Islanders system.  He was even better to watch in the Blue and White scrimmage this year at the Coliseum.  In my article covering the game found here:


I said, “Isles '09 draftpick, Anders Lee was just as dynamic as he was in the Frozen Four national tournament.”  I am watching his progress and looking forward to seeing him in the sacred blue and orange in the near future.



Isles Notes:
The Islanders will be home to face the new look Winnipeg Jets tomorrow at 7pm.

And don’t forget:
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monkey Free

When Travis Harmonic tried to clear the defensive zone and glanced the puck off the glass, neither he, the fans nor the Islanders’ coaching staff would have guessed they would have been called for a penalty.  Especially in overtime.
One would figure that when the linesman positioned under the play in question signaled for a face-off, that there would not be a gathering of officials to confer and rule that the puck never touched the glass, and therefore assessed a penalty.  Especially in overtime.  Bad call aside, the Islanders need to get rid of the monkey on their back in a big way.


The resulting man down 4 on 3 situation ended in San Jose scoring the winning goal.  Despite playing well in a tight physical game with a top team in the NHL, the Islanders lost, again.  They have fallen to a 3-4-2 record, enough for last place in the Atlantic division and 14th in the conference.  With a great special-teams performance thus far and a defense that has performed well, the Islanders are still in a familiar rut.  With three goaltenders who have all played well enough to win, they have still fallen after a quick start which had them near the top of the pack in many statistical categories.
But right now, despite all these things and playing hard, they are falling into another consecutive winless streak reminiscent of the one that lasted 14 games last season.  The roster has evolved into one of the better up and coming teams of young talent any GM would be proud to have.  It has been infused with quality veterans, some who have won the ultimate prize more than once.  The team is led by a coaching staff that has gotten results from its group of players on a pretty consistent basis. 
So what could it be?  The old 5 on 5 adage still applies.  They need scoring from more than just the top line.  It is obvious that the rest of the forwards on the ice need to step up and take accountability for the losing streak.  It’s hard to call out the defense when they have been so good in limiting the opponents offensive output, but maybe they could work with the goaltenders to improve offensive breakouts from their own zone.  Turning defensive success into more offense could do wonders for the Isles with their speed and ability to score goals.  Last year, the Islanders had 5 twenty goal scorers with a balanced attack. 
This year, only Tavares, Moulson, Nielsen and Grabner have more than 1 goal.  Streit, Parenteau, MacDonald and Martin have scored 1 goal.  Aside from the first line, only Streit has more than a few assists at 7.  Other contributors top off at 3 (Okposo) and 2 (Rolston), then 5 others at 1 assist.  These totals were gathered in the 9 games played by the Islanders to date.
Changing the 2nd-4th lines could be done, up to a point.  With Neiderreiter in the line-up, the offense may improve, but that is a lot to ask of such a young prospect.  Strome is still a ways off from regular minutes on the Island.  I still think the answer is in the form of a trade or waiver pick-up for a prime offensive talent to give the offense a dual-fisted attack.  Teams in need of salary relief may be ready to move assets for cap room.  It would force opponents to not just overload the coverage on the Tavares line and force them to respect more of the line-up.  In turn, I think the rest of the forwards would have more of an opportunity to break out and catch fire offensively. 
I think Garth Snow has shown he has a good eye for players in need of a scenery change or more attractive opportunity to showcase their talents in New York.  If the team is ready to give up on him, a Josh Bailey could be packaged with some of the many impressive minor league prospects and may bring in a good player to add to the depth of the Islanders roster.  If the right player is available, it may be worth giving up some of the young Sound Tigers.

What's the next move?


The New York Islanders have sent forwards Trevor Gillies and Nino Niederreiter to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Gillies, who has cleared waivers for the second time this season, is most likely being sent down to make an eventual roster spot for Niederreiter, who has been rehabbing a groin injury for conditioning.  Niederreiter will remain in Bridgeport for a maximum of two weeks.  Despite being reassigned, both Gillies and Niederreiter practiced with the Islanders today.
Lines at practice today were Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau; Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo; Comeau-Bailey-Rolston, Niederreiter; Pandolfo-Reasoner-Martin,Gillies.