Thursday, January 24, 2008

Isles seeing stars

*With their latest loss in Boston, the Isles (24-20-6) have now lost eight of their past 12 games.

*The team might have hit its lowest point of the season in that loss to Boston. Granted, the score wasn’t all that bad (4-1), but the effort was virtually nonexistent. Even worse, Ted Nolan could be seen having a grand time behind the bench. The game was a series of missed assignments (and open nets), blind passes, half-assed skating, and weak checks. It was clear that the Isles had already started their break.

*The powerplay has dropped to 24th in the league with a 16.2% conversion rate, a far cry from the 27% they had early in the season.


Mike Sillinger (13-12=25,-9) has three goals in his last two games and six in his last eight.

Miroslav Satan (11-16=27,-1)… "Hot" might be a stretch when you consider the two open nets he missed in Boston Thursday night. Regardless, Satan had points in four straight contests (1-3=4,+3) before his latest lackadaisical effort.

Richard Park (9-12=21,+2) has been good for a goal every other game over his last six. He is one Islander who gives a respectable effort every game.


Rick DiPietro (19-16,2 SO,2.54 GAA,.913 S%) can’t be blamed for the Isles’ latest slump, but he has allowed twelve goals on the last 87 shots he has faced (.862 S%) over the last three games. DP could use the ego-boost that his first All Star Game will undoubtedly provide him.

Mike Comrie (14-22=36,-12) has just one assist in his last six games and has scored points in just two of his last eleven. Comrie seems to have lost interest. Proof? His decision Thursday not to beat out an icing call, which was easily avoidable.

Bill Guerin (18-10=28,-6) is pointless in three after a four-game points scoring streak (3-2=5,+1).

Josef Vasicek (11-8=19,+1) has just three points and a -4 rating over his last 16 games. And to think, Vasicek led the Isles in goals earlier this season.

Ruslan Fedotenko (8-14=22,-7) has one assist and a –2 rating in his last six games. Fedotenko just doesn’t have the jump he had early in the season. He could be fighting an injury.

M.A. Bergeron (8-9=17,-7) is pointless with a –3 rating over his last six games. Which begs the question, why isn’t Bryan Berard playing?

Projected lines:



Scratches: Berard, Johnson

PP1: Gervais-Bergeron-Satan-Comrie-Guerin
PP2: Sutton-Meyer-Fedotenko-Sillinger-Hunter

On the mend:
*D Chris Campoli (shoulder surgery) is out for the season.
*F Chris Simon was suspended an NHL-record 30 games for his latest despicable act, a stomping of Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu. Simon is eligible to return February 21 against Tampa Bay.
*F Shawn Bates (hip) played just two games before succumbing to another injury. There’s no timetable for his return.
*F Jon Sim (knee) is out for the season.

Upcoming schedule:
Tue. 1/29 vs. Ottawa
Thu. 1/31 vs. Los Angeles
Sat. 2/2 @ Montreal
Tue. 2/5 vs. Anaheim
Thu. 2/7 @ Pittsburgh

Direct questions and comments to

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Western woes

*After winning five of six to close out 2007, the Isles have dropped three straight, and will face three straight tough opponents on the road—Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. Currently sitting tied for eighth in the conference, the Isles are only five points behind the Atlantic-leading Devils.

*The scoring woes have returned. After managing just one goal against Jose Theodore and the Avalanche, the Isles were shutout by Mathieu Garon and the Oilers. Next up, Roberto Luongo’s Canucks.

*Kyle Okposo was signed to his first pro contract and was assigned to Bridgeport following the World Junior Championship, where Okposo and the Americans had a strong run before bowing out to Canada and Russia. Don’t be surprised to see the 2006 first rounder with the big club in the coming weeks.

*This may very well have nothing to do with fantasy hockey, but the Isles' fourth line of Jackman-Hilbert-Comeau has done a great job since the first day they were put together. Comeau has been impressive on both ends, Jackman provides some much needed grit (and even recently sniped the top corner), and Hilbert is playing like he belongs there, because he does. For the first time this season, he doesn't appear nervous with the puck.

*The powerplay has dropped to 19th in the league with a 17% conversion rate.


Mike Comrie (13-20=33,-11) is pointless in his last two games, but was the Isles’ best player in the 4-0 loss to Edmonton. Fresh off a run of four goals and four assists in five games., Comrie leads the team in points and assists.

Bill Guerin (14-8=22,-5) leads the team with 14 goals thanks in large part to his recent six-goals-in-six-games outburst.

Richard Park (6-12=18,+3) has fit in well on the top line with Comrie and Guerin. He has a goal and seven assists in his last eight games.

M.A. Bergeron (6-8=14,-4) seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch despite his ongoing defensive struggles. MAB had four goals in four games to close out December, but has since gone pointless in three.


Rick DiPietro (16-13,2 SO,2.50 GAA,.911 S%) sandwiched an outstanding effort in Colorado with two stinkers. No worries here—one of those games was his first following a knee sprain and in the other, he had little help and could only be blamed for one of four goals. You can be sure DP will be up for the goaltenders’ duel in Vancouver Tuesday night.

Miroslav Satan (10-13=23,-4) has just one assist and a –5 rating over the course of his last seven games. Ted Nolan rewarded Satan with a spot on the bench for much of the third period against Edmonton.

Josef Vasicek (10-7=17,-1) has gone ten games without a goal after leading the team in that department not too long ago. Vasicek rode the bench for the length of the third period in Edmonton.

Ruslan Fedotenko (7-11=18,-7)… Who would have thought Fedotenko would ever end up in Ted Nolan’s dog house? Fedotenko was another who sat the third period in that debacle in Edmonton. He has one measly goal in his last 22 games. He also only has five assists in that span.

Projected lines (these may very well be history):

Sutton- Meyer

PP1: Campoli-Bergeron-Satan-Comrie-Guerin
PP2: Sutton-Gervais-Fedotenko-Sillinger-Hunter

On the mend:
*D Radek Martinek (bruised leg) is day-to-day and is expected to return before the end of the road trip.
*F/D Aaron Johnson (knee) has resumed skating.
*F Chris Simon (suspension) is out indefinitely pending an NHL hearing. Don’t be surprised if Simon’s given the boot for the season.
*F Shawn Bates (hip) played just two games before succumbing to another injury. There’s no timetable for his return.
*F Jon Sim (knee) is out for the season.

Upcoming schedule:
Tue. 1/8 @ Vancouver
Fri. 1/11 @ Calgary
Sun. 1/13 @ Ottawa
Tue. 1/15 vs. Montreal
Wed. 1/16 @ New Jersey

Direct questions and comments to