Friday, September 25, 2009

Kyle Slowly Improving

Word came from Islanders media relations director Seth Sylvan (via Islanders Point Blank) today that Kyle has passed a series of neurological tests and has begun skating again. While he's still not participating in team drills, that is encouraging news.

Kyle was also present at the preseason game at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday (9/23) night, though he was seen in street clothes and left the building shortly after the game ended.

While it would be great if Kyle could join John Tavares for the home opener on October 3rd, it is imperative for him to take the utmost care of his head injury before returning to full contact. We have heard that a good rule of thumb for concussions is to sit out another week *after* Kyle feels ready to return to game action. A little time spent cautiously now may result in a lot less time missed down the road.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last Words on "The Hit"

Clean? Dirty? Necessary?

We've been getting a lot of good feedback on the Dion Phaneuf hit that injured (we won't say "KO'ed") Kyle this past week. We already expressed our opinion below and others polled seem to be split 50-50 on the 'clean or dirty' issue. We submit the above screencap, which is the moment just after contact, along with the opinions of two of our highly esteemed colleagues. Like with politics, people have their indomitable opinions and you can argue with them perpetually. However, the two gentleman presented below are well versed in ice hockey as both longtime players, fans, and scholars of the game. Whatever your take on the hit, you will do yourself a service by reading their postings. Intelligent opinions are always welcomed on both their sites and this one.

"Revisiting Hits to the Head" by Doug Davidson of 'Official's Outlook.' (Also included with his post are lots of additional good links).

"Okposo Carted Off on Stretcher; Isles Lead 3-2 Midway Through" (with follow-up comments) by 'Islanders Outsider' Ken Rosenblatt.

It should be noted that an Okposo and Tavares-less squad won the preseason rematch against Calgary on Saturday (9/19) night. 4-2 was the final score. Jon Sim seems to be having quite a camp, even though we can't find a verified boxscore for the game anywhere.

The Isles play another "home" game in Saskatoon on Sunday (9/20) night, this time against Edmonton. We'll have any news that emerges.

UPDATE on Kyle via Newsday's Katie Strang.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kyle Okay After Scary Preseason Incident

The good news is that Kyle Okposo is talking, moving, and has been cleared to travel after this scary open ice hit by Dion Phaneuf during Thursday's (9/18) preseason game. After being taken in an ambulance to a local hospital, KO was able to call his father and assure people he was not seriously hurt. The Islanders later announced that Okposo has been diagnosed with a mild concussion, with no timetable set for his return to action.

Since we were unsure of the extent of his injuries we did not want to post anything until an announcement was made on the situation. While we weren't the first to carry the story, we wanted to be sure that we could get as many of the facts correct before posting. We'd rather be late with news than disseminating misinformation or speculation on a serious matter like this.

Reviewing the tape many times, it appears that Phaneuf leapt into the hit, which is not allowed or appreciated, especially during a preseason tilt. Things being what they are in this league with respect to hits and the Islanders, we fully expect no action to be taken by the NHL against Phaneuf.

We wish Kyle a speedy recovery and hope he is available for the regular season opener in New York on October 3rd.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kyle and Isles in Action Tonight!

The first pre-season game has arrived! It's even being broadcast (almost live) in your area! The Isles will take on the 1981-1982 Campbell Conference champion Vancouver Canucks tonight (9/14) in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. The broadcast details can be found here via the official website.

Despite advanced notice that John Tavares will not play in the game, seeing hockey again will be a relief to this blogger. Why, you ask? It's been a rough summer in these parts, with these guys just slightly out of the playoff hunt and all...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One Month Until Hockey!

Friends, the long wait is almost over. One month from today (10/3) New York Islanders regular season hockey returns! And this year, the date is doubly special because it will be the debut of new Islander John Tavares.

Of course the excitement surrounding the arrival of the new season may be tempered by a few pestersome issues surrounding the team. In case you've forgotten, the Isles have the fate of the Lighthouse project/new arena in limbo, the health of Rick DiPietro is up in the air, and one wonders who, if anyone, will emerge as a scoring threat on the left side of the offense? These are in addition to the other uncertainties that normally surround a young and inexperienced team.

That said, we can't wait until October 3rd. We can't wait to see Kyle, Mark Streit, Josh Bailey, our new goalies, and the rest of our squad in action. Sure, the potential exists for a mauling at the hands of the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins on Opening Night. But at least it will be in front of a sold-out crowd of rabid fans in our building. Fans who are expecting big things in the coming seasons, both on and off the ice.

As a public service, we now present the official 2009-2010 New York Islanders regular season schedule. Hopefully it will be a fun and productive season for all involved; maybe even a return to NHL respectability. But let's remember this year's motto (as brought to you by Okposo Net): Baby Steps.