Friday, February 20, 2009

Traded: Comrie and Campoli

News just in via our good friend Mike at Center Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli have been shipped to Ottawa in exchange for Dean McAmmond and a first round pick in this June's draft.

The draft pick had belonged to San Jose previously, so it's not Ottawa's top 1st rounder, which right now projects to be a 4 or 5 slot pick. Instead, we're talking about a selection in the mid- to late-20's.

McAmmond, the Alberta native, is 35 years of age and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Losing, Lighthouse, and Language

After a temporary detour on Monday, the Islanders resumed their steady march toward John Tavares or Victor Hedman with a pair of midweek losses. The good feelings and confidence that had been built up by Monday's stirring shootout win over Pittsburgh were discarded in short order.

First it was a 3-1 misfire on Wednesday (2/18) at the hands of the Rangers; a game in which they outplayed their rivals for stretches yet managed to net only one goal. Tied at 1-1 in the second period, Yann Danis flubbed a Scott Gomez power play shot. The puck trickled behind Danis and crossed the red line to swing the momentum firmly into the Rangers' corner. A late empty netter gave the Blueshirts the victory they desperately craved; for the Isles it was just another loss in a season full of them.

The Isles followed that up the next night with a 6-2 stinker at home against Carolina. It was only close early, when a Mark Streit (who else?) power play goal drew the Isles even at one goal apiece. A barrage of goals overwhelmed Joey MacDonald; it was 5-1 before long, and a lot of the fans headed towards the exits long before the full 60 minutes had been played. Of note, however, was coach Scott Gordon's praise of hard-working Kyle, who seemed to be one of the few Islanders prepared to play on consecutive nights.

This is getting to be a theme, and we take a bit of pride in knowing that the namesake of this blog comes ready to play EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. We hope others follow his example. Enough lecturing, though.

Prior to the game, it was learned that there has been a small budge on the progress of the Lighthouse project, the $4 billion proposed development of shops, retail space, condominiums, a hotel, and oh yeah, a new Coliseum for the team. There is going to be a public meeting regarding the project at Hempstead Town Hall. The Islanders are urging those interested to show up at said meeting on Tuesday, February 24th at 10:30 AM.

While this author has never taken a position for or against said project, I urge you to attend, ask questions, gather information, speak to willing officials, and most importantly, think for yourself. If you are a resident of Hempstead or Nassau County, you, more than anyone else, will be affected by this project. It's important to know as much as you can about it and form your own opinions.

For those unsure of where Hempstead Town Hall is, the address is 1 Washington Street, just a few minutes away from the Coliseum. We've linked to a Google Map marking the loaction here.

Lastly, tonight again showed us what a positive force sports can be for breaking down barriers. In the locker room after the game, we noticed some gentlemen on hand who were covering Charles Wang's Lighthouse International tournament. It brings kids together from China, Finland, Japan, and Long Island in a friendly and competitive manner. We know from first-hand experience that these types of interactions foster goodwill and often lead to lifelong friendships for kids at that age. It also provided yours truly with a chance to try out some very, very, very basic Japanese phrases with the locker room visitors. While ice hockey is still considered a minor sport in Japan, it is popular on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, and we hope its popularity grows throughout that island nation.

What we do know is that whether it's baseball, soccer, ice hockey, or any other athletic event, everybody 'speaks' sports, and it's a great way to make new friends and have a good time doing it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best Goal of His Career -- Video Added

While "best" lists are often subjective, we're pretty confident that Kyle Okposo scored the best goal of his NHL career Wednesday night (2/11) in New Jersey. It was certainly one of his prettiest, and clearly involved his best individual effort.

In the 2nd period, the Islanders found themselves on the power play courtesy of a Bobby Holik infraction. While holding the puck inside the blue line Kyle powered along the left side boards, darted around Devils defender Bryce Salvador, shot the puck into netminder Kevin Weekes' logo, corralled the rebound and put the puck in the net for a handsome goal. The goal exhibited both the power and the finesse of the highly-touted Islander prospect. It gave the Islanders the lead, but more importantly showcased what we Islanders fans hope we'll be seeing for many years to come.

(**Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see video of the goal. Apologies for the poor quality).

While the Isles eventually dropped the game 4-2, it was simply an outstanding individual effort that elicited praise from both the Islanders' and Devils' announcers.

In a related note, our friend Ken Rosenblatt of Islanders Outsider beleives that Kyle should make a push for the Calder Trophy. Always eloquent, please read his post here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

No, We're Not Dead

Hey gang!

Sorry for going a while without an update to the page. We've been a bit out of the hockey loop lately and the post-winning streak euphoria has worn off. It feels a bit like Thanksgiving night in these parts, minus the Detroit Lions on the tube.

Anyway, our friends at the Islanders alerted us to some really fun, fan-friendly charity and auction events they're putting on this month. So even if your Rangers and/or Devils-fan friends/coworkers/spouses have got you feeling like a loser about rooting for the Isles, you can still be a winner this season!

Our good pal Dee (Islanders 7th Woman) kind of beat us to the punch with a post detailing the events; please give her the web hits and check that out here. The team will be offering some cool events and prizes, such as the skate, and we might actually want to bid on that ourselves.

As for the Isles, we got to talking with Dee about the Isles' next opponent, the Los Angeles Kings. We told her the last time we saw the Kings live they were likely wearing the purple sweaters! For us, the West Coast teams are fun to watch because they historically infrequently made a stop at Nassau Coliseum. We realize that is changing these days, but seeing teams like the Kings is still a special treat.

What we're saying is that despite having only 37 points this season, come to the NVMC on Tuesday (2/10) to see a rare visitor, and of course to enjoy "The Youth" (TM). We'll be there!