After a tough game against the Oilers last night in Edmonton the Islanders headed over to Calgary to take on the Flames tonight. Several story lines are entwined with tonights game including the return of fan favorite Theo Fleury after his 6 year absence from the game. Fleury even told the Calgary Herald “I would love to get hit — that would be great.”The game will be streamed live on the Calgary Flames website, you can check it out here as i will embed the feed right to the site for your viewing pleasure.
Notable events from last night include an impressive performance by Nate Lawson,two groin strains to Sean Bergenheim and Doug Weight which hopefully minor injuries, and Calvin de Haan scored his first goal in preseason. Here's what de Haan told ITV after yesterdays loss,
de Haan, who had a rough few minutes eased into the game showing many why he deserved to be taken at 12 in the draft.
On a night that was suppose to be all about John Tavares it was Bruno Gervais, Nathan Lawson, and Calvin de Haan who stole the show. From the drop of the puck these three players had their "A" game ready for a long night.
The Islanders opened up strong in the early first, consistently keeping the puck in the offensive zonefor a good part of the early first period putting pressure on Oilers starting goalie Jeff Deslauriers. 4:30 into the first Nate Thompson and Byran Young Dropped the gloves in retaliation for a hit on Freddy Mayer Thompson didn't necessarilytake to kindly of. As the period progressed the Oilers seemed to pick up the slack moving the puck the other way into the Isles zone. Play shifted back the other way and at 6:39 Bruno Gervais fired a wrister from the point to give the islanders a 1-0 lead. From some angles looked as if Tavares, who was situated in front of the net had redirected the shot in but the goal was given to Gervais. no comments
All eyes tonight will be on John Tavares as he suits up for his first NHL preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers up in Canada. Tavares, who missed Monday's game due to a bout with the flue is now feeling well enough to get ice time in what will be his first time wearing the Islanders orange and blue in a real game situation. Tavares has had a succesful and impresive camp so far, from being taken under Doug Weights wing to impressing many with his skill and maturity. A side note for tonights game, TSN is reporting that Dwayne Roloson is expected to start against his former club, although he isnt listed in the lineup given to Newsday's Katie Strang.
It didnt take long for the injury bug to rear it's ugly head as Frans Nielsen is returning to New York to have his knee examined. The unknown injury occured at an uknown time, on an uknown date (you remember how upfront the Isles are about injurys).
Finally, here is the lineup for tonights game. Note the players that many of us wanna see including johnny boy, Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Joel "THE WRECKER" Rechlicz, Calvin de Haan, and Big Foot aka Mikko Koskinen. Hockeybuzz's Dee Karl should have an esier time recognizing the players tonight. And Here is the lineup accroding to Newsday:
Forwards: Doug Weight, John Tavares, Sean Bergenheim, Joel Rechlicz, Casey Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Nate Thompson, Tyler Haskins, Robin Figren, Richard Park, Jon Sim, Jesse Joensuu.
Defensemen: Andy Sutton, Dustin Kohn, Calvin de Haan, Bruno Gervais, Freddy Meyer, Travis Hamonic
Goalies: Nathan Lawson, Mikko Koskinen
It's finally here Isles fans, The Islanders will take the ice for the first time in over 5 months and start the 2009-2010 season. we've been waiting for this since the dismal 08-09 season ended on Easter day with an embarrassingloss to the Bruins. This year starts with the same expectations as last year, finishing in the basement for another season. Fans and pundents are already salavating over the thought of picking Taylor Hall in the 2010 draft. I would hope the season doesn't come down to that AGAIN!
But there is one optomist on the team, Richard Park. Park spoke to Islanders Point Blank's Chris Botta and told Botta and the rest of Islanders Country "I’ll give you this: when April comes around, I expect us to be in position to compete in the playoffs." Park, who is a well respected vet has an extremely optimistic outlook for this season and should be taken very seriously. Its nice to see someone not counting the isles out before they even hit the ice.
What else.........oh ya everyone at training camp is impressed by John Tavares's hand shake. The young star has made a splash at training camp and has been taken under the wing of of Veteran and captain candidate Doug Weight. Reports from Katie Strang, the only New York reporter covering the Islanders and video from the Islanders website provide footage of Weight showing Tavares the ropes and giving him tips throughout camp.
Although Johnny boy is not gunna be playing, along with several other big name players, but hey it's Islanders hockey and right now i couldnt have asked for a better birthday present than the return of Islanders hockey. So break out the Jerseys and get ready for a late night cause it's almost hockey time.no comments
So Dany Heatley finally got his wish on Saturday, September 12th. Heatley and a 5th round pick head to San Jose while Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a 2nd round pick are moving to Ottawa.
But after all the speculation and rumors and demands, I look at this trade and my first thoughts are: "So what?"
This is a trade that will help Ottawa, yes; they got rid of the unhappy Heatley, and receive a 2nd round pick to nab a young prospect. But Cheechoo has not been too great an offensive force since winning the Rocket Richard trophy in 2006, and Michalek doesn't combine with Cheechoo greatly enough to equal a tandem sizeable to fill the gap left by Heatley. It was obvious that there were little options out there for Ottawa to get full return for what they'd lose in Heatley, and while they receive a decent duo in return, it's likely not enough to change this team for the better and get them back in the playoffs.
And look at San Jose, they lose celebrity news Cheechoo and Michalek, and just a few weeks ago also traded away Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to Vancouver. Yes they get Heatley, but they're remodeling this team a little late.
Don't get me wrong, the combo of Heatley getting passes from Joe Thornton is a scary though. Thornton is a great set up man and now has an excellent finisher in Heatley. And yes, Heatley has had a successful playoff run with the Senators when they went to the Finals in 2007. But one man's experience and goal scoring ability isn't going to be enough to turn an entire team's postseason failure around just like that. While I wouldn't be surprised if the "professional" prognosticators start picking the Sharks to represent the Western Conference in this year's Stanley Cup Finals, I personally do not see it happening.
Ottawa has gotten rid of an unhappy Heatley, which will help locker room morale, but what they received in return was not enough to fill his void, they're not any closer to the playoffs without him then they were with him. And San Jose gives up two players for one, granted a very good one, but depth has taken a small blow. San Jose is marginally improved at best, and for a team that hasn't gotten past the second round of the playoffs since the lookout, they needed more than just a marginal improvement to be considered a true threat.
The Heatley trade demand, nixed Edmonton trade, and now the San Jose deal have dominated the offseason trade news while a Phil Kessel trade has been under the radar. But in the end, a rumored deal to send Kessel to Toronto may end up making a bigger impact on those teams than the Heatley trade will on the Sharks and Sens, despite making much more noise since June.no comments