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Let Danis Prove Himself

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“He didn’t say they were sticking with me,” Danis told the Associated Press about coach Scott Gordon after his first win the other night. “But he did say they passed on both (Dany) Sabourin and (Curtis) Sanford.”

Imagine hearing that before a game. Great vote of confidence right? Make you want to play your heart out and drink from the Stanley Cup while listening to “We are the Champions,” right?

Not exactly.

That’s what poor Yann Danis has had to deal with over the past few days. Despite giving up only 10 goals over his last five games, Danis has been ripped apart by Islanders head coach Scott Gordon, who believes he can play better.

Isles Have Roast Duck in 2-1 Win

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Isles win?

Damn skippy.

I could not believe how this this team played in the first period. Sure, they missed a few golden opportunities, but to come out with a 2-0 lead against a team like the Ducks was no simple task. Seeing Kyle Okposo light the lamp from the circle on a one-timer like that is something that I want to see more of in the future. If he can continue to make the most of opportunities like that, he may find himself around the 20-goal mark.

DP Done…Fun

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If the Islanders luck this season could be compared to that of a pop culture icon right now, I’d compare it to Will Smith in the movie “I am Legend.” Destined to walk eternity [or at least the next few seasons] with no hope of a savior. The only things Smith had during the movie to keep him in good spirits was his dog, who was loving and loyal. Once the dog died, the movie and Smith’s character were never the same, hence later fueling his death at the hands of mutants.

It feels weird comparing franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro to a loyal dog, but with him done for the rest of the season, the chord has been officially been pulled. Now, the mutants, or NHL pundits can have their field day ripping the team every chance they get.

Isles Lose Tough One Against Washington

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Well, the Islanders made it interesting, but in the end, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals pulled out a victory.

Quickly becoming the story over the past few weeks is the Islanders inability to produce offensively, which continued yesterday afternoon, as the Isles scored only once on 28 shots on goal.

“We’ve got to keep working hard,” Okposo told the Associated Press after the game. “We just have to get some breaks. We’re getting chances.”

Scoring a powerplay for the first time in nearly ten games, it’s obvious the Isles are missing Doug Weight. Not having Chris Campoli and Trent Hunter in the lineup either played a big factor in the why the team wasn’t on the ball offensively.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

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Dubie Upset with move?- “(GM) Garth (Snow) called me and I thought he was joking around. But he wasn’t,” Dubielewicz told the Associated Press after learning about his sudden move to Columbus following the Islanders’ morning skate. “I have mixed emotions a little bit. Once I signed with the Islanders, my heart was set on being here.”

You can’t help but feel bad for the kid, especially considering what he’s done for the team over the few seasons. Sure, some would say that the Islanders never put any real faith in him when they signed Joey MacDonald to a two-year contract, with the second being of the one-way variety, but I believe the fans of this team never gave up on him.

When word passed that he had been brought aboard, it gave Islanders fans a reason to smile.

Isles Skid Continues Against the Devils

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Sometimes talking or writing about a game is pointless. Sometimes one quote sums it all up so perfectly that you feel you can stop after hearing it.

“We didn’t play for two periods, and that pretty much says it all,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon told the Associated Press after the Isles 3-1 loss to the Devils. “Not many teams can afford to play like we did for two periods like we did. We’re in that category.”

Well, it appears that Gordon is beginning to understand that this team cannot get by the way they are right now. They are missing a true sniper and a real goaltender and without them, every game will end the same way: with the Islanders working hard, but in the end not having the necessary tools to induce wins.

Isles Devils Thoughts, Kansas City Rumors

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have single-handedly taken the fun out of Saturday night’s game with the New Jersey Devils.

Why you ask? They claimed Wade Dubielewicz off waivers in a depth move, while the Islanders, dealing with injuries to both Joey MacDonald and Rick DiPietro are forced to keep Yann Danis and Peter Mannino in between the pipes. Don’t be surprised either if Columbus assigned him to their AHL team either after a week or so.

Dubie Back, Possible Move to Kansas City in the Works?

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I didn’t get a chance to watch the game live last night, as I was covering the Brooklyn Aces game, but I got home a lot faster than I thought I would, thanks to my dad, who picked me up in his Cadillac, which looks more like something Adam West would drive as Batman than something seen on the roads of Brooklyn.

Aside from getting some quality time with my Pops, a rarity nowadays in my extremely hectic life, but we got a chance to talk about the team before I watched the game for myself.

Isles Ready to Give Youngsters a Shot

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After winning just 12 games this season, it appears the Islanders are pulling the plug on the season.

Last night against the Rangers, every Islanders youngster got a hearty helping of minutes and despite the fact that they lost, the effort was there. The difference was of course was Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who was uber solid after a first period where he looked to be having problems with his rebound control and overall confidence.

So with that being said, it’s obvious that as of right now, these kids lack the polish needed to win hockey games. Most of them are still growing into their bodies or getting accustomed to the NHL game. So what can we expect the rest of the season.

A lot of losses, that’s for sure, but a lot of entertainment as well.

Isles Fall to Rags After MacDonald Goes Down With Injury

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How do you go from out-shooting a team 19-7 in the first period to only registering 14 the rest of the game?

I seriously don’t know anymore.

Just when it looks like this team has control of a game and may squeak by a good team, things fall apart faster than a soggy piece of pound cake.

The better team in the first period, the Islanders bounced back after a shoddy start and were taking the body [thanks Tim Jackman] and taking shots. Regardless of the amount of talent on your team in this league, if you can skate hard in both ends and take shots on net, you’ll be succesful. That’s exactly what the Islanders did and that’s why they went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.

First Half Report Card- Veteran Forwards

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Doug Weight- You hear that? No? Well, either I’m going crazy or I hear Father Time turning back the clock on Weight, who is having his best season in over three years. However, it appears that injuries have begun to take it’s toll on the future Hall of Famer, who will miss the next two to four weeks with a lower leg injury. Nevertheless, you can’t take away how effective he’s been when he’s been in the lineup.

Grade A

Richard Park- The more I see Park, the more he reminds me of Jason Blake. People continue to count him out every chance they get and in spite of that, he continues to get better. On pace for the best season of his career, Park is an example to the league and his teammates; work hard on every shift and you’ll get rewarded. It’s too bad the majority of the team hasn’t recognized that yet.

Grade A+

First Half Report Card: Young Forwards

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Sean Bergenheim: Spunky and gritty, Bergenheim has tons of potential and perhaps has more polish than every other youngster int the lineup. However, like every other young player on the team, he lacks the consistency needed to truly be a factor. On pace for another dozen goal season, Bergenheim isn’t exactly a first round flop, but is looking more like a Mike Ricci-type player than Mike Bossy every day.

Grade C+

First Half Report Card: Defensemen

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Brendan Witt- Not comfortable in the Islanders system, Witt has played his worst hockey since his first dozen or so games with the team in 2006, when he wasn’t skating and was instead taking shortcuts that were hurting his team. -25 for the season, it’s obvious a change of scenery might do him good, but knowing the ability he does have and his willingness to give up his body for his team every night, the Islanders will try to get him back to where he was last season. Every team in this league needs a Brendan Witt-type player, the question remains however if Brendan Witt needs or wants to be a part of the New York Islanders.

Grade- D

Radek Martinek- When healthy, Martinek is one of the best shutdown defensemen in all of hockey. Playing in only 11 games this season however, Martinek hasn’t been able to do much of anything.

Streit About Time

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This may not be huge news to the rest of the league, but Mark Streit being named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team is amazing news if you’re an Islander fan.

Aside from Doug Weight [who if healthy, may have edged out Streit and appeared in the game himself] Streit has been the only consistent offensive threat this team has. Among defensemen, he’s in the top ten in every offensive category and even leads the league with 32 points.

If this guy was on any other team, he’d have the league and it’s fans drooling. In Montreal last season, he had the rest of the league in awe on the powerplay, but overall, he was looked at as a niche player. However, to put up the points he did while playing mainly on special teams was an extremely impressive feat.

Isles Get Burned in Calgary

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This team’s recent Western road trip has made it abundantly clear that this season is over.

A few years ago, a good Western swing was the kind of thing that got fans in Islander country excited. The message boards would chat it up about who the team could get down the stretch to help during the playoff run and who should get traded. Even though many of us knew the team didn’t have much of a shot to get past the first round, it was always fun to see how the team stacked up against the good teams in the West, just in case the Islanders pulled off something magical later in the season.

Make no mistake about it though, this season’s Western road trip has proven this team has no shot at doing much more than causing the team and it’s fans a whole lot of aggravation.

NHL’s Newest Blunder

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The tired old cliché “There’s something in the water,” couldn’t ring truer here.

A month or so ago Islanders defenseman Thomas Pock received a five-game suspension for delivering an elbow shiver to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Shannon. Why it wasn’t the cleanest play in the world, it was more of a hard elbow “leaning” than a straightforward elbow delivered with malicious intent to injure. Seriously, what I used to do to Karl Malone when I played NBA Jam in arcades throughout Brooklyn during the late-’90s would have been far worse if it wasn’t virtual.

Over the weeks that followed,that incident, we’ve a couple of other elbows thrown with much better precision and accuracy, to only land shorter suspensions.

Streit for Norris

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Islanders defenseman Mark Streit currently leads all NHL defensemen with 32 points. That’s more than Nick Lidstrom, Dan Boyle, Scott Niedermayer, Dion Phaneuf and Tomas Kaberle, five of the top offensive defensemen in the league. On top of that, he’s only a -4 on a team that has been a total disaster defensively and has been a force on a powerplay that was one of the worst in the league last season.

Did you just hear that? I thought I just heard the entire Montreal Canadiens organization slap itself in the face. I don’t know, maybe I’m hearing things.

Oilers get Three Unanswered Tallies in 3-2 Isles Loss

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This season has been a bit of anomaly for me. I’ve seen games end in scores and in ways I never thought possible before. My grandmother told me when I was young that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and if that really is the case, then I feel like an omnipotent hockey fan at this point.

Simply put, I’ve seen it all this season with this team.

All Star Voting a Cruel Joke

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Nothing against Carey Price, who is having an amazing season for the Canadiens, but Mike Komisarek, who has only played 21 games this season, Alexei Kovalev, who is not having anywhere close to an All-Star season and Andrei Markov [don't get me wrong about Markov, he's a good player, having a good year] are not All-Star game starters.

When I first found out the news, I thought it was a joke.

Sadly, I’d do anything to make sure it was.

The way technology is right now, people that have the spare time, can push players into All-Star games that don’t necessarily deserve to be there. I mean C’mon, former Islander Dave McLlwain has his own fan site for Christ sake.

Isles Fall to Sharks as Crash Continues

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I want someone to find out what the Islanders +/- is with two minutes left in the third period this season. I guarantee it’s pretty damn impressive. Considering the fact that the last time I checked the team was -24 in the third period, the way this team plays with a few minutes left is simply insane.

In the end though, it wasn’t enough, as San Jose is just too damn good a team.

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