Archive for the Islanders Category

2011-2012 Islanders Season Preview

Posted in Islanders on October 5, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Captain Mark Streit and John Tavares look to lead the Islanders to their first playoff birth since the 2006-2007 Season

Hockey is back! Have to admit, it feels like the Bruins raised the Cup yesterday. You gotta love the short off-season. This is a very promising year for the New York Islanders. With all of the young yet experienced talent on this team, anything less than a playoff birth would be a disappointment. Last season, the Isles didn’t have an overrall impressive record. But if you eliminate their horrendous slide throughout November and early December, they have a pretty decent record. From January through April, they had one of the best records in the league. Now with a fresh start, I’m expecting the Islanders to continue their strong play into this season. John Tavares enters his third season with a new contract and high expectations. Since he is the leader of this team now, I’m expecting even better numbers from JT. I can’t see why Tavares can’t have a 100+ point season. Here is the 2011-2012 Islanders broken down by postion:


Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Jay Pandolfo, PA Parenteau, Marty Reasoner, Brian Rolston, Ryan Strome, John Tavares

Just a great young group of forwards. I’m expecting big things from Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. KO was hurt for most of last season, but was a huge factor at the end of the year. If he has a full healthy season, he will contribute immensely. Mark my words, Frans Nielsen is the most underrated player in the NHL. Brian Rolston was a nice pickup from the Devils. His experience is great to have since this is a group of young forwards. PA Parenteau and Blake Comeau should have respectable numbers since both of them scored 20+ goals last season. I was surprised the Islanders’ 2011 first round pick, Ryan Strome, made the team in his first season. This guy has tremendous potential, but I’ll predict that he will be back in the OHL with Niagara after his first nine games. Finally, John Tavares is the best player on this team and an MVP-like season shouldn’t be out of the question.


Mark Eaton, Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, Steve Staios, Mark Streit

This is a much improved defense from last year since young studs Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald have another year of experience under their belt. This second-line duo was a huge surprise last season and I’m looking for them to have an even better season this year. Mark Eaton suffered a season-ending injury last season, while Mike Mottau missed most the year with an eye injury. These veterans can make an impact on the third line if they stay healthy. Milan Jurcina is an absolute beast. I love this guy. Standing at 6’4”, Jurcina was a solid defenseman for the Isles last season. 17 year veteran Steve Staois is expected to start in the first line with Mark Streit this season. With the Flames last season, he only played in 39 games because of injuries but he has been a solid defenseman in years past. Finally, newly named captain Mark Streit will anchor the D. Streiter missed the entire season because of a shoulder injury, but he is back in full force this year.


Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov

For the first time in a while, the Islanders look pretty strong at goaltender. Of course, DiPietro’s health is always a factor. But the difference this year is that the Isles have depth. Al Montoya looked great last year after being acquired from the Coyotes. And finally, Evgeni Nabokov decided to get his head out of his ass and join the team after a drama-filled winter. Nabby is currently first on the Isles’ depth chart.

This should be a promising season on the Island. With all of the distractions about the new Coliseum voted down, it feels good that things can go back to normal. Now Isles fans just have to focus on the season and not the bullshit distractions of all of the politics with this franchise. We should be proud of this 2011-2012 team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Isles earn as high of a six-seed for the playoffs come February. First game is Saturday at the Coliseum against the Panthers at 8pm.

The Future of the Islanders is in Nassau’s Hands

Posted in Islanders on August 1, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

This is it folks – D-Day for Islanders Nation. If you guys haven’t been informed, tomorrow is the day Nassau County residents vote for a new arena for the New York Islanders. If the residents vote “yes,” the Isles will be well on their way for a new Coliseum in 2015. If they vote “no,” there’s a high possibility the Isles will move out of Nassau Country (and possibility New York as a whole). So if you’re a Nassau County resident and reading this, please vote “yes” to save the Islanders:

Update: Nassau County taxpayers have rejected Wang’s proposal…back to square one.

Ryan Strome Looks Good

Posted in Islanders on July 22, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

…and Nathan Lawson looks terrible.

Draft Week in New York

Posted in Islanders, Knicks on June 24, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

New York Knicks

17th Overall: Iman Shumpert – Guard, Georgia Tech

45th Overall: Josh Harrellson – Forward, Kentucky (traded from New Orleans)

Overall, I am pleased with both the Knicks’ draft picks. On Thursday night, the Knicks selected Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert. At first, I was very disappointed. I didn’t even know who the guy was. My mind was so set on the Knicks drafting Kenneth Fareid or Chris Singleton, I didn’t even consider them drafting any one else. But after looking up some stuff on Shumpert, I’m starting to get excited about this pick. It seems that the guy isn’t only a solid scorer, but he plays phenomenal defense. In this draft, all I wanted was for the Knicks to draft defensive players. I didn’t want a scorer. Just give me some guys who could rebound and play some physical basketball. In the second round, the Knicks made a great move trading with the Hornets for the draft rights of Kentucky forward Josh Harrellson. This guy can make an immediate impact in his rookie season.He bangs bodies and isn’t afraid to lay an elbow into someone. The Knicks need this kind of chipiness in order to have a strong front court. Harrellson reminds me of an Anthony Mason / Charles Oakley type player. If Josh matches Oakley and Mason’s intensity, the Knicks may have a chance to shut down some prime time players in the paint.

New York Islanders

5th Overall: Ryan Strome – Center,  Niagara

Once again, this is a draft pick I wasn’t expecting. As soon as Gabriel Landeskog was drafted, I believed the Isles would select either defenseman Dougie Hamilton or center Sean Couturier. But Garth Snow pulled a surprise pick with young center Ryan Strome from the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. After reading some scouting reports and watching highlight videos, I’m officially excited about Strome heading to Long Island. This dude is a true scorer. He hasn’t even 18 years old, yet he put up 106 points this past season in the competitive OHL. Every Isles fan should be excited about this pick, especially after hearing what Strome had to say after the draft:

Strome on the Islanders

“I love the colours and I think I’ll fit in great there,” Strome said. “I couldn’t be happier right now. They’re a young team. They’ve got a ton of assets. I want to grow with the team, and I want to win a championship. I know I’m young saying that, but that’s what you want to do. You want to build from the ground up and that’s what New York’s doing, and I hope to contribute to that.”

Just an all around good week for both teams. (If you want any news about the Rangers draft pick, maybe sammywestside will write an article about that. If not, that’s unfortunate for all you Blue Shirt fans).

More Big News from Nassau

Posted in Islanders on June 21, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Wang Has Purchased the 77-Acres of Land Outside of the Coliseum

(The Sports Exchange) Moving closer to his goal of building a new arena for the New York Islanders, team owner Charles Wang has reached an agreement with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano on a deal that could give Wang control of a 77-acre parcel of county-owned land surrounding Nassau Coliseum, NEWSDAY reported, citing sources.Two members of the Hub Advisory Committee, which was tasked by Mangano to “offer options for the project,” said Wang would get the site “exclusively for a new hockey arena and surface parking and no other development.” The committee added that terms of the deal “might still change because of objections to its lack of mixed-use,” though sources said that mixed-use development may be possible in the future. In exchange for use of the land, Wang would pay a percentage of Coliseum revenue to Nassau County, as well as a minimum annual payment.

Once again, huge news for the Islanders. This shows how Wang is doing everything he can to develop this new arena. Wang and Mangano have already said they are going to build an entertainment complex that would include the new Islanders arena, a new Minor League ballpark, and many new restaurants. This is the first step to begin this process. Now with Wang owning the enormous land around the Coliseum, it will be hard to have any setbacks. Plus, this is also showing us the confidence Wang has in the project of keeping the Islanders in Uniondale. Overall, just another great day for Islanders fans. Let’s hope August 1st can make this the best Isles summer since 1983.

Congratulations to the Bruins

Posted in Islanders, Not in New York on June 16, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

What a series! This has been the best Stanley Cup Finals I have ever seen. Nothing can top this hard-nosed and well-played seven game series. Tim Thomas was masterful and rightfully deserved the Conn Smythe. Hands down, the Bruins deserved the Cup this year. Every series they played came down the wire (with the exception of that Flyers series), and they came through in the clutch every time. Through the finals in Vancouver, the B’s couldn’t figure out how to play their game…until tonight. Finally in Game Seven, they made the right adjustments and out-played the Nucks. Even though it was another disappointing season for the Islanders, this was a phenomenal hockey season.

A lot of you might think how I could have possibly pulled for the Bruins in this Stanley Cup final. Given I’m a New Yorker, many of you probably don’t understand how I could pull for a team from Boston. The truth is, I don’t hate all of Boston’s sports teams. Of course I despise the Red Sox and the Celtics. But the Patriots and the Bruins don’t bother me. Since I’m a Giants fan, why would I hate the Patriots? They aren’t even in our conference, plus the Giants rarely play them. As for the Bruins, there has never been an Isles-Bruins rivalry (maybe during the Clark Gillies-Terry O’Reilly days, but obviously I didn’t witness that). Since Rangers fans hate the Bruins, it actually gave me a reason to root for the B’s!

Don't hate on Boston just because of Massholes like this guy.

Now I know Boston fans are now going to come out and talk shit about how they “dominate” every sport. I can understand why New Yorkers would root against the Bruins since B’s fans are also Sox, Pats, and Celtics fans. But I believe that’s not the right way to be a sports fan. You should never integrate sports when it comes to their fanbases. Probably 99% of Mavericks fans are Cowboys fans. Does that mean I have to root against the Mavs? Of course not. We New Yorkers shouldn’t root against the Bruins just because of the typical Masshole fans. Don’t sink down to their level. We are better than that. It’s not classy to think that way as a sports fan. Give the Bruins the praise they deserve.

On a side note, I have a new respect for Canucks fans. With the clock winding down at the end of the third period, Vancouver fans took the time and cheered their Canucks for another fantastic season. In return, the Canucks thanked their fans for their full support by raising their sticks. Also, with a series full of trash-talking and cheap shots, Canucks fans swallowed their pride and cheered for Tim Thomas as he hoisted the Conn Smythe trophy. Just a night of true sportsmanship and a great night to be a hockey fan.

Here is the introduction to tonight’s game in Vancouver from RDS:

And to conclude the 2010-2011 NHL season, I will leave you with this:

Shades of Billy Smith

Posted in Islanders on June 9, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

This is quickly turning into one of the greatest Stanley Cup Finals of all-time.

Kudos to MSG on Giving the Isles Some Love!

Posted in Islanders, Rangers, Shout Out of the Week on June 7, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Bravo MSG Network! Never in a million years did I think MSG would put together an hour long show about the New York Islanders. With guys like Al Trautwig, Sam Rosen, Dave Maloney, and Kenny Albert all part of the MSG staff, I’ve always assumed that the network wanted nothing to do with the Isles. Most young Rangers fans haven’t felt the intensity of the Rangers-Islanders rivalry since it’s been 17 years since the two teams met in the playoffs. But guys like Trautwig, Rosen, and Albert all bled Ranger blue during a time of the Islanders’ dynasty. Deep down they’ve had to have grown an intense hatred for Potvin, Bossy, Gillies, Trots, and all the Islander greats. For Dave Maloney, he played for the Rangers during a time when the Blue Shirts couldn’t come close to matching the Islanders greatness.

J.P Parise Completed the Upset Over the Rangers in the '75 Playoffs

But tonight, Trautwig and the MSG network swallowed their pride and actually put together a documentary for my beloved hockey club. It was magnificent. Trautwig hosted the show that had exclusive interviews with Ed Westfall, Denis Potvin, Bobby Nystrom, and Clark Gillies. For most of the show, MSG broadcasted Game One of the 1975 First Round matchup between the Rangers and Islanders. In the series, the Blue Shirts were heavily favored while the Isles were just excited to make the playoffs in only its third season as a franchise. During the game, Trautwig interviewed Gillies about his thoughts about that series. The Islanders would go on to win that game and the series 3-2 (They even showed J.P. Parise’s overtime goal in Game 3 to clinch the series at the Garden).

I also have to admit, it was fun watching Trautwig act as if he were an Islanders fan. I definitely noticed a pissed off tone in his voice when he discussed Parise’s goal. So for this week, let’s give a shout out to the MSG network for letting us know they haven’t forgotten about our Islanders.

Grabner Signs Five Year Deal with the Islanders

Posted in Islanders on May 13, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

( New York Islanders announced today that forward Michael Grabner has agreed to terms on a five-year contract. “I’m really happy knowing I’ll be staying here on Long Island, especially after Wednesday’s news of a new arena,” Grabner said. “We have a lot of young, talented players who came together last year and I am thrilled to have the chance to be a part of getting this team back to the playoffs.” Grabner, 23, led the Islanders as well as all NHL rookies during the 2010-11 regular season with 34 goals, while his 52 points ranked third amongst league rookies and fourth overall on the team. The Villach, Austria, native also led all rookies and finished second in the NHL with six shorthanded goals.  He ranked first amongst rookies and tied for second overall with seven shorthanded points. “Michael showed last season that he is an elite player in this league,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “In addition to providing speed and skill to our offense, he’s worked hard to elevate the defensive side of his game to become an all around player.”

Just more great news from Long Island. Before last season, Michael Grabner was a former first round pick looking for a way to stay in the NHL. The Vancouver Canucks had just released him (the franchise who drafted him 14th overall in the 2006 draft) at the end of the 09-10 season. Then the Florida Panthers gave him a chance during training camp, but they also waived a few weeks before the start of the season. This was when Isles’ GM Garth Snow pounced on the opportunity to bring one of the fastest skaters to the Island. Boy did Grabner make Snow look like a genius. Now Grabner is one of the top young players in the league and is a finalist for the Calder Trophy. His 34 goals was the best among rookies. With Tavares and Moulson locked up with nice contracts, this franchise looks to have a bright future. Grabner deserves this contract and Islanders’ nation couldn’t be more excited to have him here.

Great News in Uniondale

Posted in Islanders on May 11, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

(Associated Press) UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Officials on New York’s Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced plans Wednesday to replace the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with a new arena next door. The plan requires $350 million in bonding over 30 years. Voters also will be asked to approve $50 million in bonds for a minor league baseball park nearby. The proposal is the latest in a series of efforts to renovate the coliseum and 77 acres of real estate surrounding it. Islanders owner Charles Wang proposed an ambitious $3.8 billion development in 2003, but it never got off the ground. The vote is Aug. 1.

Finally it looks like the Islanders can move forward. Since Wang took over the team, there have been constant failures on and off the ice. The lighthouse project was a complete disaster and there have even been many talks about the franchise moving out of New York. But if this proposal goes through, the Islanders will have one of the nicest arenas in the league. Even though I love the Coliseum, the franchise needs a new place in order to bring in more fans. Plus with a new minor league stadium, this will be one of the nicest entertainment complexes on the east coast. Overall, just a great day for Islanders fans.