Welcome to the NYIslesScene!

A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Uniform Déjà Vu

Ummm so yeah...got an analogy for you...

Univ. of Maryland's new player ensemble : Islanders fish stick jersey ensemble

I love my Alma Mater as much as another Terp but COME ON NOW PEOPLE!! 

Photo by: Under Armour 

Here's the one good thing, I think if it doesn't work against our own players, the patterned design on the uniform will be a visual distraction to the opponent...so to be quite honest I don't know how it was approved in the first place. Hope our QB can filter out the visual noise of throwing to his own players. 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Please Help a Fellow Blogger and Hockey Lover!

Difficult times can bring out the best in people and this is what has happened in our Twitter community for @Hawgs38 who with her dog made it out of her house in N. Jersey but returned to a home flooded with water. Fans from all around are donating funds to help her recover so please consider donating what you can, when you've lost so much, every dollar counts.

Thanks for Dani at NHLtweetup for organizing the fundraiser. For more information please click HERE.

Thank you!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Isles Attempt to Lure Star Goalie

It's going to take a lot of catnip to convince a goalie of this caliber to play for the Islanders. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I've been asked many times over the years why I dislike Charles Wang so much. It's not about like, it's about business. Sure, with Wang's 'colorful' business history there is plenty for me not to like however for the sake of time, it's just as easy to focus on general issues. And with all that written, I am full of shit. But hey, I tried to be diplomatic.

The Islanders franchise sucks. There is little to no respect for us as a club. And with clubs out there like Columbus and Ottawa to pick on, this is tragic. I mean we are the Islanders dammit! Umm hellooooo 4 Cups in a row Islanders? The day of the Islanders riding that history train has ended and now what do we all have to stand upon? Zippo.

The only solution to attempt to repair this franchise is for Charles Wang to sell the team. He's been holding the Isles hostage long enough for his development deal however after Monday's vote, it appears this will not happen any time soon. And even if the vote was YES, a new arena would still not have happened under Wang's ownership. A new arena being built was so much greater than a public vote. The vote was a dog and pony show which backfired. So then what else does Charles Wang to have as a foundation to his field of dreams? Zippo. Well zippo in the sense of support from something/someone that counts in getting a new arena built.

The Town of Hempstead (ToH) needs to be provided with an owner they want to work with. Charles Wang will not be that person. Could ToH come out and say that? Nope. But that's the root of the power struggle and it's not going to change. Considering Wang's colorful business history, I would hope ToH would fight tooth and nail to protect their town and the people in it. To reward Wang with more power and more business on Long Island would just be plain stupid. He's had many years to make something of the Isles franchise and he hasn't come up with much except for abusing the word rebuilding, which many Isles fans were all too happy to beat to death as well.

Let's see...what else...

Blaming the old folks for the NO vote winning: Simply put, to ask Nassau Country to allow this arena to be built in this economic climate was an obnoxious of an expectation by Islander fans. It amazes me how many excuses I've seen Islander fans make for why they are not getting their way, how many others they will blame rather than looking to the head of the Isles household as the reason why. Sad but true. Listen up kiddies, part of being a good business person is being able to close a deal. Wang failed at that on many occasions, if he were a CEO he'd be fired by now but since he is the Isles owner, he gets free pass after free pass by Islander fans...thank goodness NOT ALL ISLANDER FANS! And if you think you need a new arena to be a winning team, explain Detroit. What's that? You can't? Of course you can't.

Lions and Tigers and the Islanders are going to move OH MY!: If there would be one reason to start bitch slapping certain Isles fans, this would be it. Sort of like the movie airplane, in trying to calm down the hysterical woman kind of process...why? Because nothing seems to work to deprogram the cult-like fear Charles Wang put into fans about moving the team, a lame scare tactic that wasn't lame enough not to have had some effect. Yet if you ask these fear based fans what the process is in the NHL for moving a franchise...they have no idea. And with that they appear to think Charles Wang has the sole power to move the Isles. He does not. The NHL does. More specifically, the NHL Board of Governors. DO YOUR EFFIN' HOMEWORK PEOPLE!

I am a traitor, turncoat, moron and so on for not supporting a YES vote AND I am not an Islander fan: There aren't enough curse words out there to precede 'you' so I'll just skip to the next sentence. My guess is these insults have mostly come from Islander fans who have not been on the planet longer than I have been an Islander fan. I am 43 years old, started going to Islander games when I was 5 or 6, you do the math. If it were not for my love of the Islanders and Long Island I would not have spent the last 3 years researching every step of this process I could find. What that research has been and who I have spoken to will remain a closed file. At the end of the day, I feel an almost maternal instinct to protect my team from Charles Wang. And since I grew up on and love Long Island, same goes there. I will not apologize for it, I will not back down from it, and I will not rest until Charles Wang is no longer owner of the Islanders.

Could I be wrong about Wang opening up to offers to purchase the Islanders? Sure. But here's the thing, I am determined not to be wrong. If there is an impending exit door coming for Mr. Wang, I'd fork out some moola to be the one to slam it behind him.

As my Nanny used to say...better days are coming.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Isles Have Core to Build Upon As Free Agency Looms

Let me just start by saying this: not everything in this post will be sunshine and roses.

I'll talk about the bad news first: According to multiple sources, including @HockeyBreak on Twitter, Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank, and most recently NYI Faceoff Circle, Trevor Gillies and Micheal Haley are expected back on the Island; Zenon Konopka, however, is not.

I can't even begin to explain this one, seeing as Gillies was suspended twice by the NHL for irresponsible hits, and will most likely be playing as a marked man for the rest of his career no matter what. Not to mention the man only plays two to three minutes a game, and those come when fisticuffs are needed. He's too much of a worry on the ice and in my opinion a waste of a roster spot, but the Islanders would rather keep him than hang onto a guy like Konopka, who in the course of a year has more than proven himself as an enforcer, a leader and a heart and soul player on the Island. The way he plays and sticks up for his teammates, all while battling his own knee injuries in private, are beyond commendable; also, he loves the fans and he's expressed his desire to stay in New York.

I'm not saying Gillies isn't a great guy off the ice, because according to many people I've spoken to, he is. Even a Pens fan went out of her way to say how nice he was when she met him at a signing once, while he played for another team. It's the idea that this guy has done enough damage to the Isles' image, while Konopka has done much to give people the idea that this team is a doormat no longer, that bothers me. Why should we reward a player who had admittedly built a rapport with Isles management, but who gets disciplined at the drop of a hat? And why, conversely, should we let go of a player who, no matter what he might do outside of the arena, brings his proverbial lunch pail to work every single day and is quick to defend his team to the very end? Sure, we can always get another fighter or grinding center (NYI Faceoff Circle mentions bringing up Casey Cizikas for the fourth-line center position), but Konopka brings too much to the table regarding character and leadership, especially when you consider the Islanders are a team needing direction in the form of a stable leader.

While I shake my head angrily and sadly over THAT, however, I also have a lot to talk about regarding the Isles' injury situation. It looks as though the team will be going from depleted at D to having way too many guys to deal with. Mark Eaton, Mike Mottau, Andrew MacDonald, and Mark Streit (a lot of Ms) are all coming back from injury, adding to the group of Jack Hillen, Bruno Gervais, Milan Jurcina, Travis Hamonic and Ty Wishart that was left over from this season. Radek Martinek is an impending UFA, and while he's an underrated D, something tells me he won't be re-signed, if only for roster space reasons. Juice, Eaton, Streit, A-Mac and Mottau are also signed through next season or beyond, and Jack Hillen is an RFA who should receive a qualifying offer. Gervais is the weak link here in my opinion, since he's on the brink of 27 years old and hasn't shown much in the way of development, as far as I can tell. This past season he has actually regressed from his usual 15/16-point average, scoring six points (all assists) and posting a -14 in 53 games. Compare that to Hillen (22 points, -5, 64 GP), Hamonic (26 pts, +4, 62 GP) and MacDonald (27 pts, +9, 60 GP).

While MacDonald, Hamonic and Hillen have improved and stated their cases to remain in the NHL, Gervais remains an enigma- some games, he's involved in offensive play and makes good plays on D, but other games he looks completely lost. I would be a little surprised if he were to stay on the Island for next season, seeing as we have defensemen signed and more defensemen who deserve the spots. Also, I'd expect Wishart to go down to the A for space reasons.

Now on to the forwards. The top line of Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau scored big this season. Tavares led the team in scoring with 29 goals, 67 points altogether, a significant improvement over his 54-point rookie campaign (though he was second-worst on the team in plus-minus with a -16). Moulson and Parenteau tied at second with 53 points apiece; Moulson had a second consecutive 30-goal season, ending with 31, while Parenteau posted a respectable 20 goals. Both wingers have clinched contract extensions- Moulson for three years, Parenteau for one- while Tavares is entering the final year of his entry-level contract. Expect a deal in the works for JT soon, especially since two other Isles forwards have already been signed for the long term.

Those forwards are Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo. Grabner shocked everyone with his 34-goal, 52-point rookie campaign (and got a Calder Trophy nomination to boot), while Okposo came back from injury halfway through the season to post 20 points. Both forwards are a part of the "youth movement" Garth Snow is banking so heavily upon for the team's success. Grabner is speedy and has hands to match, while Okposo is gritty, hardworking and has also matured into a leader on the ice. In fact, the same week the KO deal was done, former captain Doug Weight announced his retirement, making me wonder if Okposo would be getting a nod for the C. I still think with a guy like Mark Streit around, the chance of him getting it now is slightly diminished; however, Streit is here for only another two years, giving Okposo (who will be 25 by then) time to grow into the captaincy.

We also have one Frans Nielsen to think about. The guy is a playmaker, not a finisher, but he also posted 13 goals and 44 points in 2010-11 and worked wonders playing alongside Grabner. Moreover, he works beautifully on both sides of the puck and seven of his 13 goals came shorthanded. Yes, seven shorties. And he's the best shootout/penalty shot specialist in the league with something like a 57% accuracy percentage. Yes, really. Don't quote me on the exact stat, but it's in there somewhere. Long story short, he's still young (27), he's in the final year of his contract as well this coming season, and he came at a heck of a bargain ($525,000 a year). If the Isles are smart, they won't let go of this guy.

And of course, let us not forget about the goalies. The Islanders recently signed Anders Nilsson to an entry-level contract, and Al Montoya is signed through next year. Also, Kevin Poulin (remember him?) is coming back from his season-ending knee injury and should make a case for the Island again this year. We also have Mikko Koskinen to consider, as well as that other goalie whom we grabbed off waivers. With Rick DiPietro a constant question mark, the Isles should allow room for him (I suppose- they will anyway), but consider Poulin and start Montoya. Nilsson should see some time in exhibition, of course, to see where he stands before the start of the season. It seems a lot like we went from having no goalies to having a surplus of them, so the Isles have to figure out where everything goes.

Overall, I think we have reason to be happy for next season's start. With a full, healthy roster, who knows what might happen? :) Next post I'll talk about Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau- two questions for the Isles. At least, as far as I see it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank You Tampa Ba(b)y!!!

A new team was added to my permanent NHL sh*t list this season:

1: Flyers
2: Penguins 

One of the most disgraceful moments in NHL history represented in the photo above. Wonder if they are laughing now?



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Letting Go of the Past

Today marked a day of spring cleaning for me, seeing as it's been my first day of doing absolutely nothing outside of home all week. As I went through my piles of books and bags of stuff, I happened upon my old notebooks full of Islanders game notes. Most of them were messy, some were extremely short, but all of them were full of my excitement and disappointment over a given game. The names, I realized, have changed a hell of a lot as well- I've been keeping notes since my second year as an Isles fan. Arron Asham, Chris Simon, Josef Vasicek and Bill Guerin- those names, along with many others, have been seen on plenty of other teams by now. And it was a bittersweet feeling I experienced when I decided that these books would have to go bye-bye.

Let's face it: none of us likes letting go of the past. The Islanders have had a great many awful seasons since their Cup days, yet they hold onto them like they were yesterday- not unlike me with these notebooks.

However, the best thing about letting go is being able to move forward. And I look forward to getting Gamecenter Live next season, and sitting down every night to watch Matt Moulson, John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Al Montoya, among others, play to win. We have a bright future complete with two 30-goal scorers, a 60-point scorer, the best shootout specialist in the league-and soon a PP quarterback and a young goaltender coming back from injury with a vengeance. Despite the team's rank in the standings, the Islanders have posted a fantastic record since February, and that cannot be discounted.

So, while I have loved former players just as much as the new guys on the roster, I let go of the past and look forward, as the Islanders must do now.

Game on!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Isles Keep Truckin' Despite Standings

One of the things that bugs me the most as a hockey fan is how some people base their entire thought process on the league standings. Don't get me wrong, in many ways they are indicatieve of how a team is faring, but they do not tell the entire story.

Why? I'll tell you. Currently, the Islanders are last in their division, 14th in the conference, and 27th in the entire league (hey, we jumped a bit!). They have 68 points and are eleven points out of a playoff spot. While they come out even (5-5) in the last ten games, they have managed to get a point in four of their last five losses, the only regulation loss coming against the Rangers (and in many of those games, sad to say, they were in a position to win- but such is the case with a young team).

In the process, they have had two players reach 30 goals apiece (Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner) and their top line of Moulson, John Tavares and PA Parenteau is currently in the top three spots for points scoring among the team; Tavares leads the Islanders with 60 points even, his highest total to date. Blake Comeau also reached a career-high 20 goals, and Frans Nielsen has reached a career-high in points with 41. In goal, Al Montoya holds a solid .920 save percentage and a 7-3-5 record in 15 games played, after basically falling under the radar within the NHL's farm system. Crazy how that happens, right?

We cannot overlook the effect that head coach Jack Capuano has had on this team. After taking over Scott Gordon's position mid-season, the former Bridgeport bench-minder has gotten players to believe in themselves and each other, and even through brawls and suspensions the team has come out on top and has been enjoying the benefits of the system. David Strehle reports that since the 1-8-2 start under Capuano, the Isles have turned around and posted up 24 wins, 15 regulation losses and 6 overtime/shootout losses, making it a pretty WIN situation. Surely, the front office will lock up Capuano for next season at the very least.

Also, any opponent will tell you that barring the occasional head-up-rear sloppiness these young ones tend to display, the Islanders consistently come out onto the ice determined to win. There's a reason both Bruce Boudreau and John Tortarella, among others, have praised the Isles' forechecking ability and resilience at different times during the past two years. This is not your regular band of scrubs, no matter what the standings suggest. With a good streak to close out the season, John Tavares could join the 30-goal club, and Moulson has already proved to critics that last season was not a fluke. As for Grabner... well, there have been whispers about the Calder Trophy, for which he is still eligible. And while Montoya had a slow start, he's been giving Islanders fans a lot to smile about with his solid play and laid-back, earnest demeanor during interviews. With Rick DiPietro back in the mix, it's hard to say what might happen next, but all I know is that I'm happy with what the boys are doing on the ice. Something tells me the "country club atmosphere" has left for good, and in its place is a close-knit locker room and a determination to succeed in the coming years.

So even if the Isles don't make the playoffs this year (and they likely won't), with key players like Mark Streit coming back into the lineup from injury, and a young goalie named Kevin Poulin who certainly has what it takes to challenge DP or Al for a nod in net, I'd say we have plenty to cheer for next season.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

There Comes a Time for Change... and This Is It

Well, this is about as good as I could get it to be after doing six takes. xD I have a lovely new $9.99 webcam from OfficeMax that I was just DYING to use, so here I am showing you my lovely face (and very messy hair, might I add). I hope you all can here me and that I'm not rambling TOO much... haha. :)

In all honesty, though, there has to be a change to the NHL's system, before very bad things happen...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Isles Anomaly, Junk Mail and Gifts for DiPietro

A post that is long overdue. Actually I started it last month but never finished it, sounds like ADD to me....right Angie? Anyway, it's not often that I see hockey being represented in general, with the marketing of sports products. Baseball, football, basketball, heck even soccer, all seem to have presence in stores (although one really can't bounce a puck) but this past Christmas season at the Union Square Holiday Market not only did I find a hockey ornament but dum dum dummmm an Islanders ornament! 

What are the chances of that? Uh, slim to none. Beyond its mere existence is the 'prestigious honor' of being sandwiched between a Yankees and Giants ornament, although the Giants guy looks like he's doing some kind of yoga pose and well the Yankees guy seems to be having an attachment issue with the ball. I say 'prestigious' because compared to those two teams, one would expect to have to whisper to the sales person who would then lead you down a long hallway into a dark cobwebbed room for Isles merchandise in NYC. And yes I cropped out the Rangers ornament. 

As fate, or my strong dislike for the Flyers karma would have it, I arrived home after leaving the market only to find this postcard in the mail! 
Guess I was on the naughty list this year and received the NHL version of coal. Seems when you buy tickets to see the Isles play the Flyers in Philly, you are somehow added to the list. 

Lucky me. 

Yes I could have used the paper shredder but knowing that tearing paper is a good sublimation of anger/aggression...VOILA!! 

And now onto the Isles...what can be said that every other Isles blogger hasn't already said and at this point repeated. Not much. Lots of changes going on, injuries galore and overall I see a team trying to make the best of it while 'livin' the dream'. The Lighthouse project rumor mill continues and has recently surpassed the Iphone coming to Verizon rumor mill that was shut down a few weeks ago. My prediction still stands - that a new arena will only be built when a new Islanders owner comes along. Maybe one of these days I'll have enough time to get into details about that prediction but for now it's a ongoing game of chicken between the Town of Hempstead and Charles Wang.

One consistency we've seen this season albeit not a great one, is the peek-a-boo drama of Rick DiPietro. In response to his on again-off again love affair with playing in the NHL I'd like to offer these pseudo-blog gifts which might contribute to his ability to show up on the ice consistently...

This first is a lovely invention that might help him stay in or around or near his net.

If the standard issue isn't acceptable to Mr. DP, perhaps one that is more user friendly would do:

And last but not least a gift for overall protection...bubble wrap. Perhaps this might fit nicely under his pads and such to provide some cushioning to his boo boos and prevent new ones. 

Ahh the things I could have done to this blog post if only I knew Photoshop. 

Nobokov gives the middle finger to the Isles, Moulson signs for 3 years...tune in tomorrow for the next episode of...As The Isles Turn.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rick DiPietro Getting Ready for Tonight's Game

Rumor was he almost missed being in net tonight due to not being able to find his inhaler.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Look at the Isles...

So, I've been incredibly lax and MIA in blogging this season, and I hope you forgive me. I've pieced together most of my Isles info from The Hockey News, Twitter, the NYI website and some very blurry feeds on channelsurfing.net. I tell you, being an Isles fan in Buffalo is not the greatest. *sigh*

Anyway, I just took a look at the Isles' player stats, so I figured I'd make some observations. Here goes.

  • John Tavares is the leader of the pack, with 13 goals and 14 assists for a grand total of 27 points. Not bad, considering around this time last year he was mired in a slump that pretty much killed all chances of him getting a Calder nod. I think if he can keep on pace and fix his awful plus-minus (currently a team-low -15), he'll get up to 30 goals or more.
  • Matt Moulson has a team-best 14 goals, as well as 7 assists. Great pace for another 30-goal season, if he can keep his hot streak up! I don't think there's any doubt about this guy anymore- he's gritty, he's smart, and he works well especially with Tavares and PA Parenteau.
  • Speaking of Parenteau, he's kind of tapered off since his hot start, but he still taps in a good goal every now and then, and last game I saw him in (on a line with MM and JT) he was excellent, making great plays that turned into either scoring chances or goals. Seems like he has good chemistry with those two, which is good to see.
  • Josh Bailey started off on top of the stats chart, but now has 10 points total (6 G, 4 A). However, since coming back from his time in Bridgeport, he's been a lot more confident on ice. He had a three-point night against the Devils and has since been fairly quiet, so it's up to him to start charging to the net more and getting those pucks in.
  • Rob Schremp has equaled his goal total (7) from last season in the beginning of January, so it's safe to say he's developing well and anything after this point will be considered an improvement. He's got wicked hands- time to put them to use.
  • Milan Jurcina, who's just received a contract extension with the Isles for one more year, has the best +/- on the team- a 1. Not extremely impressive, but at least there's some good news. If he can stay healthy and become an anchor for the blueline in Mark Streit's absence, it'll be even better.
  • Two semi-disappointments: Doug Weight and Rick DiPietro. Both have struggled with injury, so it's understandable that they haven't had the best numbers; however, both also play key roles in the Isles' system- Doug as captain, Rick as the main man in net now that Dwayne Roloson has (sadly) departed for Tampa Bay. Doug has doubled his goal total from last year, but with only nine points, and now out with a back injury, you have to wonder if he might be done completely. And Rick, now battling an adductor muscle strain (hip) and a question mark for tonight's game in Edmonton, has a 3.45 GAA and .889 save percentage. Not wonderful numbers if you expect him to shoulder the load now. Kevin Poulin has been recalled from BPT on an emergency basis, so if Rick can't go, expect him and Nathan Lawson to see a bit of ice time.
  • Lawson, meanwhile, has been solid in relief. In a 5-2 win in Calgary, after DiPietro bowed out, he made 28 saves and allowed one goal to hang on. While some say Poulin is better, I personally don't see anything wrong with either of them- even though, granted, Calgary have had their own issues on the ice lately.

That's pretty much all I've got. Isles play the Oilers tonight- puck drop at 9 p.m. I hope to catch this one online, but if not... hellooooo, nhl.com highlights.