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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Computer Problems

12/8 UPDATE:  My Asus laptop is dead.  In the meantime, Im borrowing an Inspiron mini which minimally serves my purpose, but tortures my large hands during use.  Please bear with me and I promise to do my best until I can secure a new Rig.



My laptop is down and I am working to correct the problem.  Isles and NHL input will be limited for the next few days. 

Hopefully, I should be close to normal by this week.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lockout Continues And BST Fan Experience

Yesterday, “The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through December 14. The NHL also announced the cancellation of the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend scheduled for Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio. The cancellations are necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.

A total of 422 regular-season games -- 34.3 percent of the season -- were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Dec. 14.

‘The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible."

If a miracle doesn’t happen very soon, that probably leaves only a cancellation of the season as the next official announcement.  And even if it does, the bad blood is everywhere.  Although some fans probably side more or less with the League or the NHLPA, everyone is disgusted at the inability to put greed, entitlement or political  position aside in order to start the season.  Neither side wants to give in and let the other win.  I get that.  The players deserve certain conditions, while the owners should be able to protect their interests as owners.  OK.
But as a fan, I am over it.

If the season gets cancelled again, Commissioner Bettman, the NHL and the NHLPA should be ashamed of themselves.  These problems never happen, even close to this magnitude in any other sport.


In other news …

I was sad to see the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lose a back and forth battle to our rival Connecticut Whale yesterday, 7-5.  To make it worse, I went to the game with Ranger fan Terry, my longtime, but Isles turncoat friend who was born and raised on the Island.  Actually, we don’t really bust on each other, we just really like good hockey and we had a good time at the Webster Bank Arena.

BST games have always been a good time for me and my family and friends.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house, the food is good and as with most Isles fans, the Tigers fans are awesome.  I used to attend around 8-10 games per season, but changes in life have limited my appearances to few or none in recent years.

You can be sure I have been reinvigorated.  I will make it a point to get back to BST games again soon.  Here are a few images from yesterdays game.

Isles Notes:

Per Dominik &LHH Friends, “Jesse Joensuu injured his hand and is out for two months.”

On 11/19, Eric Hornick wrote, “Today is 5th anniversary of Rick DiPietro's 100th NHL win (2-1 over NYR). He has 30 NHL wins since.”

Per Randi Marshall, “Mangano will make announcement today (11/20) on Hub site. Bruce Ratner to advise on arena itself, Don Monti to build on rest of site.  Isles owner Charles Wang introduced Ratner to Mangano.”

Chris Botta remarks, “So Nassau lets Isles bolt for Ratner's Brooklyn arena and now lets NVMC property be developed by Ratner? Sure, nothing fishy there...”

B.D. Gallof adds, “Not only doers Wang own Marriot, but also owns key piece of land from Marriot to Coliseum. Still player in that area in terms of real estate.”

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date (11/23) in 2009, Dwayne Roloson set a new #Isles record for most saves in a game, with 58.”

“Oilers GM Glen Sather heard Butch Goring was trying to make a comeback in 1986, and signed him to a 25 game AHL tryout.”

Sound Tigers Notes:


Starting Lineup: Gallant-Clark-Riley, Donovan-Wishart. Anders Nilsson in net for BST, opposed by Whale's Cam Talbot.

Final scratch is Jordan Hill.

Forward lines: Niederreiter-Nelson-McDonald, Persson—Sundstrom-Ullstrom, DeFazio-Watkins-Backman, Gallant-Clark-Riley.

Defensive pairings: Donovan-Wishart, Ness-Landry, McIver-Hamonic. Nilsson in net.

Both teams blow two-goal leads, Whale score final four goals of the game to defeat Sound Tigers 7-5.


Starting Lineup: DeFazio-Sundstrom-Persson, Cantin-Hamonic. Poulin between the pipes.

Mike Halmo back in the lineup tonight, Max MacKay is out. Marc Cantin appears to be in as well.  Jordan Hill is the final BST scratch.

Forward lines: Niederreiter-Nelson-McDonald, DeFazio-Sundstrom-Persson, Ullstrom-Watkins-Halmo, Gallant-Backman-Riley

Defensive pairings: Ness-Landry, Donovan-Wishart, Cantin-Hamonic. Poulin in net, opposed by former Sound Tiger Scott Munroe.

Final:  Nino extendshis  point streak to nine games, but Phantoms net three PPG and defeat Sound Tigers 5-1.

NHL Notes:

Per Aaron Ward, “Source,NHLPA proposal took NHL structure,50/50,no guarantee.Only difference,took $211M (make whole) to $393M over 4 yrs.This $393M works advantage gained if player retires early. Penalizes team going forward based on benefit obtained.  No need for term limits or variation.”

Per Bob McKenzie, “So, to review, NHLPA is prepared to go to 50-50 immediately, but wants $393M over four years as part of so-called "Make Whole." 

Per Chris Botta, “Player text on NHL meeting: "More wasted time. Our choice is either give up everything to the league or watch them cancel the season."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tiger Power

In just 14 games to start the AHL season, former Isles first rounders, Nino Niederreiter is 3rd in AHL scoring and has exploded with 9 and 8 for 17 pts while Brock Nelson has added 7 and 7 for 14 pts for Bridgeport.  This is fantastic news for Islanders fans.  If Nino meets the lofty expectations set for him by management and he recovers his scoring touch in the American league, he will have a real shot to make an impact on Long Island.  Nelson’s development continues to impress, and his success at this level bodes well for everyone in Islander country.  He is yet another real asset for a rebuilding Isles offensive unit.

Casey Cizikas, Matt Watkins, Travis Hamonic and workshorse, Jon Landry had an 8 pt start to the season.  Guys like Jon Landry continue to impress fans and have shown what you can accomplish by making the most of an opportunity.  Brandon DeFazio, Johan Sundstrom and Colin McDonald have 7 pts while David Ullstrom has 6 continuing where he left off after last season's stellar performance.

Of the 16 other players on the roster, 11 have tallied at least one point.

In just 4 games played, Kirill Kabanov was making an impact before his injury and should resume his high energy play when he returns to the line up.

Bridgeport is also a team that can stand up for each other with guys like Gallant, Riley, McIver, McDonald and DeFazio.  Travis Hamonic continues to lead by example with his fists a well as his stick and Casey Cizikas is showing his true form.  Still others fight each and every shift and deliver results.

In Net, regular contributors have made an impact as well.

Kevin Poulin is 6-3 with a 2.99 gaa and a .905 Sv%. 

Anders Nilsson is 4-0 with a 1.75 gaa and a .935 Sv%, good enough for 5th best in the league among goaltenders.

This season the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are 10-4, good enough for 2nd in the North East division and have played a solid team game with contributions throughout the line up.  The top prospects have delivered and those expected to make an impact have also done well.

The development of the younger guys with Coach Pellerin and his Staff have been the only bright spot during this dreaded NHL lock out .  The draft picks are showing their value and the team is starting to really play well again this season. 

There is something to look forward to during this hockey blackout Isles fans. 

The future.

Isles Notes:

Who will return to play first?  Rick DiPietro or the Locked Out NHL?

Sound Tigers Notes:

11/18  Colin McDonald returns to the lineup today after missing last two games due to suspension.  BST scratch Hill.

Today's forward lines: Niederreiter-Nelson-McDonald, Persson-Sundstrom-Backman, DeFazio-Watkins-MacKay, Gallant-Ullstrom-Riley.

Sound Tigers starters - DeFazio-Watkins-MacKay, McIver-Hamonic. Nilsson in net.

Final score: Sound Tigers 6, Prov. Bruins 2. Ullstrom w/ 3 pts (2g/1a), Niederreiter w/ 2 pts (1g/1a), 12 different Sound Tigers record pt in win.

11/17  Sound Tigers starters - Niederreiter-Nelson-DeFazio, Hamonic-Hill. Anders Nilsson in net. Game underway vs. Monarchs.

D Jason Clark scratched for BST.

Isles Head coach Jack Capuano is on the BST bench tonight alongside Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin & asst. coach Eric Boguniecki.

Shutout win for Anders Nilsson, 4-0 vs.Manchester!

Tigers go 2-1 over the weekend.  (3-1 L vs. WBS Friday.)

Per BST, “Niederreiter’s two points extended his point-scoring streak to eight consecutive games. Nilsson made 29 saves to earn the victory and improved to 4-0-0 this season. The Sound Tigers have scored a power play goal in six straight games, and have scored on 13 of their last 41 power play opportunities. The teams combined for five fights; Brett Gallant recorded 12 penalty minutes and upped his PIM total to 71, which currently leads the AHL.”

NHL Notes:

Per Darren Millard, “4 days into moratorium NHL & PA did speak today by phone daly/steve fehr. There r tentative plans to meet in person on Mon nite.”

Per FrankSeravalli, “Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.”  He adds, “Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL's owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they'll get now is a small win in revenue split - coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit … A source familiar with Snider's thinking characterized it as: "If this is the deal we are going to get, what's the point of dragging this out?"

Friday, November 16, 2012


So with the New York Knicks off to a 6-0 start and Brooklyn’s newly acquired Nets making noise at 5-2, the NBA couldn’t hope for a much better scenario in the New York market.  Except maybe the NHL’s infighting to bring about a ridiculously long lock out.  It is wild to even conceive of yet another scenario that endangers an NHL season.  Again.

With all the fan fare of your New York Islanders officially announcing their move to Brooklyn, any momentum that could have been harnessed by the Franchise and the League itself, is quickly being overshadowed by the uncertainty of the NHL’s position with the NHLPA.

Can the NHL realistically survive a cancelled season?  Would the NHLPA actually destroy itself, and send its players to other pro leagues across the world? How much more money is the NHL willing to lose?  Is there really a small group of prominent owners calling the shots and keeping this thing on life support?

Despite all of the success of the previous season and the new surge in fans to the NHL built by the Winter Classic and upgraded game, marketed on the back of their featured star-players is seriously in jeopardy.  The NHL has done a lot of damage to their fan base.  Just check out the buzz on Facebook and Twitter.  Dee Karl’s poll shows 69% of (745) fans are not wearing NHL merchandise to show their disapproval of the lock out. 

When you have a passionate fan base, you need to realize that their passion can turn them into an angry mob if they are left to feel abandoned by the league or very players they come they come to cheer for.

Sad situation.

Isles Notes:

Isles Sandy fundraiser a tremendous success.  

Isles reach out to American Red Cross for Sandy relief.   

Per Craig Button, NY Islanders' 2nd round pick in 2009, big goalie Mikko Koskinen playing for Kalpa.

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1986, Isles Mike Bossy scored his 545th NHL career goal, becoming no. 6 on the all-time scoring list.”

“On this date in 1993, Billy Smith, Steve Shutt, Guy Lapointe and Edgar Laprade were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

Sound Tigers Notes:

Per BST, “Brock Nelson enters tonight's game with a five-game goal scoring streak, Nino Niedereiter with a five-game point streak.”

“Poulin this season: 6-2-0, 2.98 GAA, .905 SV%.”

“Rookie forward Max MacKay will make his pro debut for BST tonight.”    

“With Cizikas and McDonald out tonight, Matt Watkins wears the assistant captain "A" with Wishart and Hamonic.”

Forwards - Niederreiter-Nelson-DeFazio, Persson-Sundstrom-Backman, Halmo-Watkins-Riley, Gallant-Clark-MacKay.

Defensive pairings - McIver-Hamonic, Ness-Landry, Donovan-Wishart. Kevin Poulin starts, Anders Nilsson backs up vs. WBS.

WBS 3-1 over BST.

Per BST, “Colin McDonald, suspended two games by AHL for hit on Niemi on Sunday.”

NHL Notes:

Per Chris Botta, “Source: if there isn't a deal in place in next 7days, NHL will cancel games thru Dec. 15. Next cancellation could be the season.”

Per Katie Strang, “Can confirm what Aaron Ward first reported, that Gary Bettman suggested to NHLPA's Don Fehr that two sides take 2-week moratorium."  Fehr told Bettman he'd like to talk to his membership about it. NHLPA plans on responding.

Per Kevin Gibson, “Draft after lockout in 2005 was weighted for teams that missed playoffs 3 straight seasons, no 1st overall last 4drafts - PIT, CBJ, BUF, NYR.”

Jason Kay points out, “According to Capgeek, there are 42 NHLers on contracts of 7 years or longer. That's 1.4 guys per team. Or 94% of guys with shorter terms.”

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tribute To Vets And Isles Notes

It’s November 11th.

For the first time in 1918, the signing of the Armistice meant the end of hostilities in WWI between the Allied nations and Germany.

Armistice Day was first commemorated in 1919, and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 by Congress.  It was a day meant to thank our Veterans for their service to the United States.

So let me start by asking you to please take time today to say thank you to all Veterans who have sacrificed so much to allow us to remain free and safe at home.

Thank You to my Grandfather, Father, Relatives, Friends and everyone who has answered the call.

Isles Notes:

Per Kevin Schultz, “JesseJoensuu is 7th in scoring in the Finnish Elite League (11-10-21 in 17 games),” putting Joensuu 2nd in the Finnish Elite League with 11 goals in 17 games for Assat (Christian Arnold).

Schutltz adds, “Joensuu is doing this on the league's fourth worst team, BTW. (of 14 teams)”

Per Katie Strang on 11/9, “ Josh Bailey confirms via text he is leaving today to play overseas in Germany during lockout.”

Sound Tigers Notes:


Sound Tigers starters - Persson-Cizikas-DeFazio, Ness-Landry. Anders Nilsson in net.

Sound Tigers scratches - de Haan, Cantin, MacKay, Ullstrom, Hill, Clark, Kabanov.

Sound Tigers WIN!! Three unanswered goals, capped by Halmo's breakaway game-winner! BST beat Whale by the score of 4-3.

Casey Cizikas left today's game with an undisclosed injury in the first period and did not return.

Former BST, Micheal Haley scored twice in the contest.


Forward lines: Niederreiter-Nelson-McDonald, Persson-Cizikas-DeFazio, Halmo-Sundstrom-Backman, Gallant-Watkins-Riley.

Defensive pairings: Ness-Landry, Donovan-Hill, McIver-Hamonic. Looked like Marc Cantin was the final scratch, but took warm-ups.

Marc Cantin indeed is the final scratch, along with Wishart, de Haan, MacKay, Ullstrom, Clark and Kabanov.

Sound Tigers starters: Persson-Cizikas-DeFazio, Donovan-Hill. Anders Nilsson starts in goal, making his 2012-13 debut.

Sound Tigers defeat the Monarchs 5-2. Anders Nilsson with 32 saves, five different Sound Tigers score, Hamonic the GWG.


Sound Tigers starters - DeFazio-Cizikas-Persson, Cantin-Hamonic. Kevin Poulin starts in net.

Sound Tigers scratches - Wishart, McIver, de Haan, MacKay, Ullstrom, Clark and Kabanov.

Sound Tigers defeat Admirals 4-2.

NHL Notes:

On the 57th day of lockout, Katie Strang reported today that according to Fehr, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during meeting that "we're past the point of give-and-take."  She added, “Given NHL's stance on contracting issues, Fehr said he doesn't currently "see a path to an agreement.”

That means a longer lock out with no real solution in sight.  As talks continue, there is always hope, but this thing is getting old to fans.

Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Matts Sundin will all be inducted into the HHOF on Monday.

Random thought from 11/9 on Twitter:

“NBA is missing out on NHLs cancelled Winter Classic. Should host outdoor, playground feel game in warm place w throwback unis & R W B ball.”


Monday, November 5, 2012

DiPietro Injured In Germany

Islanders Goaltender, Rick DiPietro injured his groin while playing for SC Riessersee per a German website.
It was reported that DiPietro didn’t dress for a few games including a game he was scheduled to start late last week.  Per Brett Cyrgalis, DiPietro had this to say, “I'm great and really enjoying Garmisch! ... I'm feeling good and looking forward to the next game."

Good luck.

Sound Tigers Notes:

Per BST, “Player Transaction: The Sound Tigers have returned goaltender Kenny Reiter to the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL..”

Bridgeport beat Hershey 3-2 on Saturday, and fell to WBS, 5-2 on Sunday.

NHL Notes:

The Winter Classic has been cancelled.

Per Kevin Gibson, “Every NHL team has at least 2 players playing in Europe now. $488+million in 2012-13 NHL salaries are across the pond.”

Per Chris Botta, “Doubt anyone thought this NHL thing would get settled in next 2-3 days. Hope is still for a Dec. 1 start with a 64-72 game sked..”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bridging The Gap

I have not been able to stop thinking about the NHL Lockout and how I have missed so much hockey.   It really sucks to invest yourself as a fan and be left wanting, when it sounds like a few Millionaires are keeping the dispute from being settled.  It is another black eye for the sport and another giggle on the NHL from the rest of the sports world.

Then, coming out of this weekend, I knew that a serious hurricane was due to arrive early Monday evening and last through Tuesday night.  It would be another serious interruption to normalcy.  I read about high winds and flood dangers in low-lying areas.  Living an hour north of the city on the side of a mountain, we didn’t think we would get hit that badly, but we made some preparations for the storm.

I had thought of my cousins in Hicksville and friends across Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey, and hoped they would be OK.  As in all disasters, I kept the rescue personnel and local authorities in my thoughts.  Knowing that there is always a chance for bad things to happen to good people, I still hoped for the best.

The storm caused some damage to our house and the home of my parents.  It also brought about the loss of power across the northeast and frustrations of not knowing about work or when friends and relatives would be settled again.  But I was grateful.  I knew things could have been a lot worse and that much more horrible things have happened to others who weathered the same storm.  Terrible things often bring life into perspective, and make you thankful for what you really have and help define what is important.  My cousins are OK, and many of my friends are dealing with some challenges that they can overcome.  Others, doing their best to fight through their situation.

I am so sorry for everyone who suffered loss during hurricane Sandy across the northeast.  Lets hope with the coming days that some closure can be had and with each day, another step can be made towards recovery.  Come together with family and friends to cope with adversity and celebrate what you have and what memories cannot be taken away.

Today, I read that the New York Islanders AHL affiliate, Bridgeport SoundTigers are reaching out to the fans and people in their community to try and do something to celebrate what can be celebrated.  Coming together.

The SoundTigers are home this weekend and are making an effort to give back to their community in the wake of hurricane Sandy.  Saturday’s game @ 7p.m. vs. Hershey and Sundays game at 3p.m. vs. Wiles-Barre/Scranton will be free of charge to attend after picking up tickets from the box office. 

It’s a good way for people to come together and share the thrill of sport and fellowship while enjoying a temporary distraction from what has been a difficult time for residents and fans.  I wish I didn’t have other commitments this weekend, because I think it will be a really nice time, not to mention a classy move from the Organization.

The Bridgeport SoundTigers are poised to make some noise in the AHL this season.  Come and help them raise the level.

** If you already had tickets for either game, the BST will allow an exchange for another home game later in the season.**

Sound Tigers Notes:

BST lines today: Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald, Ullstrom-Sundstrom-Persson, DeFazio-Nelson-Watkins, Gallant-Backman-Riley.

Halmo-Clark-MacKay...Defensive pairings...Ness-Landry, Hamonic-McIver, Wishart-Donovan, Cantin-Hill.

All three goalies (Poulin, Nilsson, and Reiter) taking part in today's practice.

Isles Notes:

Per NHLhistorygirl, On this date in 1932, Isles Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour was born in Sudbury, ON.”

“Chico Resch, credited with the first fully painted mask, says an art student asked to paint it. He was hesitant to agrree, but finally did.”

“When Isles DiPietro went to the Olympics, he had a Team USA logo and an Italian flag added to his mask.”

NHL Notes:

Per Katie Strang, “Told recent conversation between S. Fehr and Daly was "substantive," Enough to save WC? Highly doubtful but better than radio silence.”