Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Regular Season Schedule

Various sources are saying 3pm ET today.

We shall see.


Stolen from Forever1940

The NHL allows teams to release their own pre-season schedules, so I have most of the Islanders', even though they haven't announced theirs.

(all times Eastern)
Wednesday September 16 at Edmonton Rexall Place 9:00 p.m.
Thursday September 17at Calgary 9:00 pm Saddledome
Saturday September 19 vs Calgary 9:00 pm Credit Union Centre/Saskatoon
Sunday September 20 vs Edmonton (at Saskatoon) Credit Union Centre 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 22 vs. Los Angeles at Sprint Center in Kansas City, 8:00 pm.

The Rangers have announced their schedule -- the Islanders are not on it.

Teams can play as many as 9 pre-season games, so there will likely be a game or two closer to home. Traditionally, the Isles' last pre-seaon game is on Sunday (which would be September 27), but if rumors that the team will open at home on Saturday, October 3rd are correct, there might be time for another game.

One thing is for certain- the Isles' home opener will not be on Friday, October 2. That night the Coliseum is booked for another home opener -- the New York Majesty.

Who are the Majesty you might ask? They play in the LFL -- the Lingerie Football League.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

On and Off Ice Comments

Another one of my friends went to the prcatice and sent these comments:


Got a last minute invite to todays closed Prospects Camp @ Iceworks and met a few fellow fans there...

We arrived too late for the 10:30 group, but made it in time to see Tavares for the first time in an Isles uniform.

- Wrecker and MadDonald had a few one on one scrimages, and Wrecker held his own in the skating department. Now, I'm not sure if it was because MacDonald is severely lacking in the skating dept, or if Wrecker has improved there - but he seemed to look a tad more graceful out there than at the end of the season. If he can improve in that area and work with Cairnsy some more on his fisticuffs - perhaps our friend Pats favorite Islander of the 21st century will be a keeper (of course adding some lead to that chin won't hurt either).

- Martin? looked pretty fluid out there for a "bigger guy".

- One of the goalies NOT drafted this year looked pretty good. Our goalies drafted in the 2nd and 3rd round this year were on the ice with the first group - so nothing to report there.

- Some kid named Tavares looked to have some pretty decent hockey talent. He might be someone to keep an eye on. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me to see him on the opening day roster.

We came prepared with things for the players to sign - sticks, jerseys, miniature Stanley Cups, etc.

Bailey was our first "victim", as he was already done with his skate for the day. Seems like a real nice kid - well spoken, very cordial, and apparently great with the fans. Hearing him speak - he doesn't act like he's got a roster spot locked up because of some sort of "entitlement", which was nice to hear. I'm looking forward to him feeding Okposo, along with Taylor Hall feeding Tavares - for many years to come! :)

Up next at the BBQ were a bunch of kids - most of whom have only a slightly better chance than Doug and I in suiting up for the Isles next season. I'm not sure if its an organizational deficiency, or the players are starting to trend back towards the smaller side - but the majority of these kids were under 5'10. Heres hoping they're all working on their college degrees to have something to fall back on!

Corey Trevino then came out for a bit - at first he was fairly unnoticed by most of the fans. Colin Wilson is gone from BU (not sure if he graduated or is just sticking with Nashville), so Trevino should see much more ice-time this season. The Isles list him @ 6'1, but they must have measured this kid with his skates on, because he's small. However, like Bailey - this kid seems to have his head on straight and was a pleasure to speak with.

Then, when things were breaking up - that Tavares guy came out and started signing things for the fans. Now this is obviously only my first "in person" impression of him - but the first wasn't one I want to remember. Getting straight to the point - he acted like a spoiled brat this afternoon to the fans who waited in some cases HOURS to get the chance to meet him. Obviously, he gets the benefit of the doubt - with all the public craziness he's endured throughout the last few weeks and months.

And while not wanting to blame the Isles for his "bratty" behavior today (shouldn't he be used to it by now, AND expect it?) - it may be deserved. This kids 18 years old, and has had HUGE expectations placed on his shoulders. While its nice to market this kid and strike while the irons hot - lets take baby steps here and NOT make this kid feel like he HAS to become the next Michael Bossy in his first season. Perhaps keeping ALL the players away from these direct "meet and greets" (to sell more tickets) after their skates should be the course of action, so they can ALL concentrate on what their really there for - and thats NOT to sell tickets!

Practice Observation from My Friend Doug

Some things I saw yesterday (we only saw the second session, so we did not see some of the players):

1. Tavares is one of those guys that doesn't seem like he's doing a whole hell of a lot- until he lets that shot go. He ripped one into the net from the inside of the right circle yesterday. The goalie didn't move until after it hit the twine. This is something we have needed since Zigmund Palffy got on a plane to Los Angeles and didn't come back. I don't really give a darn if he does NOTHING ELSE, to be honest with you.

2. I can see why Calvin de Haan was drafted in the first round. He's very smart in his own end of the ice. On every two on one that he defended, the player with the puck took the shot, which is what you want. Very good positionally, and a good passer. He'll be here soon. Probably not this year, but soon.

3. As for some of the others who stood out for positive reasons: I liked Ridderwall and DiBenedetto, and both for the same reason- they hustle. Lee has some talent as well, although he needs to get stronger. Matt Martin is a big boy; he will be a solid player in the NHL- what that means in terms of scoring, I'm not sure, but he can play. Rakhshani is quick, and very talented, but he is definitely on the smaller side, so that will be a question until we see him play against NHL players. Poulin did a very good job of keeping the puck out of his net, considering the amount of times they had three guys coming at him with one or no defensemen in front of him- I guess the Quebec League helped with training for that situation...LOL.

4. The negatives: the goalie at the other end of the ice wasn't nearly as good, IMO (Lawson?). The defenseman MacDonald doesn't look fast enough to play regularly in the NHL, to be honest with you. Most of the other defensemen need work. Kohn was decent, but he's nothing special, IMO. That said, we just have to remember at this point that these are all kids, so it will be a while before we can figure out whether or not they really will be any good.

One negative I forgot about: OK, so you have a practice session where fans are in attendance. These kids work their tails off on the ice, and they come out the side door of the building hungry, and then get mobbed for autographs. No one knows who they are, unless they ask. Some come out the side, and some come out the front to go to the bus. Nobody says anything about what the plan is, so no one knows who will show up where or when.

The good news is, this organization seems to finally have turned the corner in terms of legitimate talent, with a plan and a goal in mind, on ice. Off the ice, however, it is still an absolute disaster. All I kept thinking yesterday was this: I could have planned this better myself. Just that thought alone says it all, because "cruise director" is normally my wife's role in our family.

I mean, seriously: bring the food inside to them, so they can eat in peace. Then bring them out five or ten at a time, to sit at tables and sign autographs. I don't know, maybe have a card on the table with the player's name on it, so one might know who they are. That would have taken 30 seconds to plan, and about five minutes to set up. Yeah, I know, I just found something to bitch about, as usual, but you have to admit that was ridiculous, and it wouldn't have been hard to do the right way.