It was also a bit of poetic justice for Matt Moulson, who had an earlier goal waved off due to what the officials perceived as a kicking motion. So this Tavares kid is good huh?]]>
Prior to the start I was very curious to see how the NHL would have the stage set up, how the convention would be set up, how it would be hosted and so on and so forth. The stage, as the Daily News’s Jesse Spector pointed out, was very reminiscent of the set up they had on Double Dare or similar to a game show setup. Two podiums set up on the left and right of the stage with the team names on front and the three captains standing behind it. My initial guess would have been that the stage would have looked more like the traditional entry draft stage.
When the picks were made the draftees were brought up and handed a jersey by two very attractive young women (as I declared on twitter the girl in the blue dress was the hotter of the two). Then they were subjected to an interview with James Duthie, who was the “host” of the night. The interviews were kept light, informational, and at times humorous. There were also the lighter moments when Duthie would go talk to players who hadn’t been drafted. Example; the following interview with Marc Staal.
Holding the draft in the convention center and open for all the fans to come and enjoy was also a nice touch. The Carolina crowd did not disappoint either, they packed the house and really supported the home town guys that were there.
One of the complaints I did have was the draft commentary given by the panel of Bob McKenzie, Piere McGuire and Keith Jones was one thing I could have gone without. The commentators seemed to overanalyze the selections and teams. At some points comments almost seemed forced and seemed like they were trying to make a fun, light hearted event way more serious than it needed to be. If the fantasy draft continues next year this is one thing I would eliminate.
Overall the league managed to put on a good show for the fans and the players. While of course everything new has to be tweaked in one way or another the NHL put together something that was and can continue to be a success in the future.]]>
That was the only goal rookie net minder, Kevin Poulin, would surrender through the whole game. Poulin had one of his best performances stopping 30 of 31 shots he faced from the Crosby-less Penguins. Poulin, one of the main reasons the Isles only lost by one goal, was also forced to make several acrobatic saves through the course of the game.
So while Kevin Poulin was great for the Islanders, Marc-Andre Fleury was outstanding. Any scoring opportunity the Islanders got was put to an end by Fleury and the Islanders had several good chances including one from Blake Comeau , who was on the door step. Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced from the Islanders.
Islanders will play the Hurricanes tonight at the Coliseum. Hope to have a pregame up some time today.
Thoughts on Nabokov Suspension
Garth Snow and the Islanders finally did what needed to be done yesterday, when they finally suspended Evgeni Nabokov. The 35 year old Russian goaltender was claimed off waivers on Saturday, but decided to not report because he felt “why bother”
The Isles GM spent the next four days giving him several chances to report to the Islanders, but blew them off as well forcing Snow to make the decision to suspend him, toll his contract or put him back on waivers.
Obviously he chose the first of the three options. Snow made the right decision in suspending Nabokov and showing him that when a team (the Islanders) claims you it is your obligation to report and not act like a spoiled three year old who hasn’t gotten their way. Especially when your agent made a public statement that you would play for any team should you be claimed.
Now the Islanders have another decision ahead. Now that the Islanders organization has suspended Nabokov they now have to decide if they want to “toll” his contract. Tolling his contract essentially means that his contract would be “pushed back” until next year. Even simpler saying, he’d owe the Islanders an entire year of duty next season.
If I were Evgeni Nabokov id try and make up with the Islanders organization very quickly because at the present time they are the ones that hold the keys to Nabokov’s future and whether or not he play in the NHL.]]>
Claimed off waivers Sunday, reports indicate that goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will not report to the Isles as he wants to play on a "winning team".
I contacted Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan. I asked him if his client would join the Islanders team, and he replied:
"He has decided not to report."
ESPN Pierre LeBrun reached Nabokov through the phone Sunday afternoon during the Islanders 5-3 loss to the Sabres, which caused even the Islanders MSG announcer to bring it up.
Nabokov stated that he has "decided to stay home" and that "there was no point in the Isles picking him up".
Later in the day, Katie Strang from Newsday spoke to owner Charles Wang. Wang said that apparently the goaltender hung up on the Isles GM Garth Snow the day he was claimed, but was confused on who called him. His agent, Don, reportedly said Nabokov would call Snow back, but never did.
Strang also reported that both Garth Snow and Evgeni Nabokov made plans to speak today. So far, everything is "status quo", according to Katie.
Things even got more interesting when Peter Botte tweeted that Alexi Yashin, whose contract was bought out from the Isles a few years ago, has been in contact with Nabokov trying to motivate his former Russian teammate to play for the team.
What the Islanders could do if the goalie doesn't report
The Islanders hold the cards in this one. Nabokov is now property of the Islanders as he's even listed on their roster.
1) They could either toll his contract, which means the goaltender can not play anywhere in the NHL but the Islanders until he finishes out his contract (one season). He would not become a free agent on July 1st.
2) They could also try to trade him, but he'd have to clear waivers first
3) They could suspend him, which seems likely if he doesn't report.
The Islanders GM Garth Snow has yet to state what he wants to do with Nabokov, but an action will certainly be taken if he doesn't report.--
Poulin, who gave up five goals to the Devils yesterday, is 1-1-1 and has a save percentage of .915%. However don’t let the steady numbers allow you to think Poulin should still be on Long Island. In no way am I saying he is not a good goaltender, but he is still young and needs time to develop. Instead of having Poulin sit on the bench and back up Rick Dipietro the Islanders should have sent down Poulin and either had Lawson continue to back up DP or call up Mikko Koskinen to back him up. Thus allowing Poulin to get the majority of starts in Bridgeport and continue to develop and improve in an environment that would be less chaotic than the Nassau Coliseum.
-The rumor mill has been churning the last 24 hours implicating that Matt Moulson could be traded. For Islander fans that would be a tough pill to swallow if in fact the 30 goal scorer was delt to another team; early indications seem to be pointing to Boston.
Moulson has on several occasions said he wanted to remain an Islander, but he has left the negotiations to his agent to deal with. TSN’s Bob McKenzi tweeted that both Snow and his agent had talked but no real negotiations had begun.
For the Islanders trading away their only 30 goal scorer and one of the most likeable guys on the team would be a huge mistake…….if they do not get an adequate return. If Garth Snow was to trade Moulson the only way he would be able to still hold any credence with the fan base would be if he got a very talented experienced player in return. If the Islanders take anything less (just draft picks) then the trade would be simply and utterly unacceptable and the fan base that has had to endure so much this season alone will call for Snow’s head.]]>
The first period started off like many others for the Islanders, allowing their opponent to score in the early moments of the game. Vladimir Zharkov back handed one past a sprawled out Kevin Poulin to give the Devils the early advantage. Less than a minute after the goal Jack Hillen would go to the box for hooking setting up the Devils for a two minute power play. The Devils would take full advantage of the power play just 13 seconds into the power play. Ilya Kovalchuck blasted a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Kevin Poulin stick side and gave the Devils the two goal advantage. Zenon Konopka and Matt Martin both dropped the gloves during the first period, but other than that the rest of the first was a lackluster and sloppy.
The Second period did start off well for the Islanders either. Six minutes in New Jersey’s Mattias Tedenby undressed the Islanders defensemen and scored on an impressive play to give the Devils a three goal lead. Four minutes later the Islanders finally responded when Blake Comeau chipped the puck up the board, squeezed past a Devils defenseman and fed PA Parenteau in front of the net to bring the Isles within two. Less than a minute later Michael Grabner beat Brodeur to bring the Islanders back within one of the Devils.
However that would be the closest the Islanders would come to tying the game. At 16:59 of the second period Rod Pelley beat Kevin Poulin and a minute later Dainius Zubrus scored to put the Devils ahead 5-2.
Then with 1:29 left in the second period controversy ensued at Nassau Coliseum. As Michael Grabner drove to the net Mark Fayne shoved Grabner into Devil’s goalie Martin Brodeur. Brodeur fell to the ice while play was still going and PA Parenteau put the puck into the back of the net to cut the Devils lead to two, or so they thought. While the play was originally ruled a goal a fuming Brodeur charged to the officials to make his case for goaltender interference and subsequently the officials gathered to rethink the call. Eventually the goal was overturned and the point was taken off the board. The Islanders’ broadcast reported that trail Referee Bill McCreary was the official who spotted incidental contact on Grabner and overruled the referee closest to the play.
Several other calls were missed by the officiating crew including one or two high sticks that enraged Islanders fans, who were already fuming over the no goal call.
The Islanders could not regain momentum after the PA Parenteau goal was waived off. The Islanders fell to the Devils by the final score of 5-2.
-Kevin Poulin stopped 22 of 27 shots and had a save percentage of .815%. Brodeur stopped 27 of 29 shots and had a save percentage .931%.
-Islanders defensemen Milan Jurcina left the game in the first period with an upper body injury.
-Announced attendance was 13,119.]]>