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Ottawa Senators, January 23, 2001

LongIsland.com

Champ: Claude Lapointe - recorded his 100th career goal tonight to knot the game up at 2; he has been dedicated to the franchise upon his arrival and I truly respect his loyalty. ...

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Champ:

Claude Lapointe - recorded his 100th career goal tonight to knot the game up at 2; he has been dedicated to the franchise upon his arrival and I truly respect his loyalty.

Chump: Zdeno Chara

- The big "Zero" Chara got under my skin again. He took one stupid penalty that cost us dearly and seemed to be passing the puck more to the Senators than to his own teammates; did anyone notice that when he was NOT on the ice the Isles played solid defensively?

Except for a lapse at the conclusion of the second stanza when the Senators took a 3-2 lead, the Islanders played an all around solid game tonight. They had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the game but could never put the tying goal behind Patrick Lalime. I was extremely happy with the effort and the Isles should hold their heads up high after this game.

Let The People Decide

Hey readers! Do me a favor and answer our poll. Tom (one of our experts) and myself had a little debate tonight concerning Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. Who is the better player? Let us know in our poll. Feel free to e-mail us your thoughts.

Call The Fall?

While I am a huge Islander fan, I am also a fan of the sport of hockey. If there is a game on television, Islanders or not, you can bet that my eyes will be glued to the set. Time and again I see players falling on the puck, even using their hands to cover it up to get a stoppage in play. Can anyone explain to me why the referee called a penalty on Eric Cairns tonight for doing the same exact thing? The Islanders were battling hard at that point in the game down by a goal, and the man in stripes has the audacity to call that penalty? Now, if referees called it consistently on a nightly basis, I would not have a problem with it. But when it is never called in similar situations during different games, I have a huge problem with it. Where the heck is the consistency in the calls?

Jason "The Roadrunner" Blake

Beep, Beep! There he goes! When the Isles acquired Jason Blake from the Kings a few weeks ago, I had no idea the kind of impact he would have on the team. After watching him tonight and seeing the way he uses his speed to change the face of the game I am really impressed. On one particular play tonight, I believe Magnus Arvedson caught Blake from behind and stole the puck. After losing the biscuit, Blake slammed on the brakes, got those legs churning, caught up to Arvedson, and stole the puck back like it was taking candy from a baby. He uses his speed effectively in the neutral zone often turning defenses back on their heels gaining the offensive zone with relative ease. That is the kind of effort the Islanders need from every player on a nightly basis and Blake's play can only help to inspire this club.

Slap Me In The Face...OUCH!

Let me see...NO Islanders on the All-Star team? Nothing like saying your team stinks and none of your players are worthy of the All-Star game huh? If you are going to put Lemieux on the team why not add Connolly to the roster? Now, I understand that Lemieux has only played in 12 games, and scoring 23 points in those games is absolutely amazing. But Connolly has worked his butt off for 47 games tallying 25 points in that span. Surely, the NHL could have found a roster spot for Timmy, no?

In Milbury's Defense

I feel like I am constantly defending Mr. Milbury and I was thinking of asking for some kind of salary to represent him in court. In his defense, I would like to go over some of the trades and acquisitions he has made. You be the judge as to whether or not he is to blame for the Islanders woes.

Case 1:


Brad Isbister for Robert Reichel

- are you kidding me? This was an absolute steal! Milbury sends an unhappy Reichel to Phoenix for a young gun in Isbister. Reichel plays out the season with Phoenix and refuses to play for them the next season. Isbister comes to the island and becomes a leading point producer and fan favorite.

Advantage:

Islanders

Case 2:


Mariusz Czerkawski for Dan Lacouture

- Dan who? Enough said.

Advantage:

Islanders

Case 3:


Mark Parrish/Oleg Kvasha for Roberto Luongo/Olli Jokinen

- as far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on this trade. After watching Luongo net the shutout the other night against Dallas, my stomach started to turn. However, with Parrish scoring his 15th goal tonight my worries were calmed a bit. Now, it comes down to Kvasha and Jokinen. If you go strictly by the stats, Kvasha has 7 goals, 6 assists and Jokinen has 4 goals, 5 assists. Slight edge to Kvasha.

Advantage:

Even at this point

Case 4:


Drafts Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt

- If you didn't get a chance to read the article on Kevin Haller's Booster Club Visit in the current issue of GameTime, I think you should take the time to read it. Considering Haller has been a player in the NHL since the 1989 season and has played against some of the best talent in the world, I give some merit to his opinions. When asked about Tim Connolly, Haller stated that "he has the best hands of any player I've played with, and people have to realize he's only 19 and is going to get a lot better." Concerning Pyatt he said, "Taylor is going to learn to score and be a force in the league." If that isn't a ringing endorsement for these two youngsters, I don't know what is. And guess what? Milbury drafted these two.

Overall, I support a majority of the moves Milbury has made. He has added some talented players to this roster over the years and is not afraid to take the necessary chances in order to improve the franchise.

Now, you can definitely argue that Milbury has made some blunders. He didn't have much faith in Bertuzzi and traded him away. This season Bertuzzi has 17 goals and 19 assists for a total of 36 points. I think Mike might take him back. And what about J.P. Dumont? Milbury didn't feel he would materialize into a solid NHL player and traded him for Dimitri Nabokov. Now, as a member of the Buffalo Sabres Dumont has a total of 35 points and is tied for first on the Sabres with 15 goals; whoops, can we have him back too? Others may also feel that Milbury made a huge mistake selecting DiPietro at #1 overall. He traded both his starting goaltenders from last season and put a lot of faith in this kid. However, at this point, DiPietro is an unproven commodity and we won't know for at least a few years if he is the real deal. We can come back to this one in a few years. Trading Wade Redden for Bryan Berard may be considered a mistake by some. Redden has turned into a young, solid defenseman for the Senators and Milbury never really gave Berard the chance to develop, eventually trading him to Toronto.

Ice Chips

:

(tid bits you may have missed)

Happy Birthday goes out to J.P. a dedicated Islander fan and big supporter of Zdeno Chara. I was glad to read on newyorkislanders.com that the article in the New York Post concerning Vanbiesbrouck's desire to be traded from the Islanders was totally false. How good is NHL 2001 on the Playstation 2? WOW! If you have been lucky enough to play this game you know what I am talking about. If you have some time before the next Islanders game, grab a bite to eat in the Blue Line Grill downstairs; the food is very tasty.

Until next time..."Mike Must Stay!"

- Mike