Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"STEVE WEBB" clap clap

Back in the 2001-02 season, we Islander fans were finally spared some misery and given a fantastic treat. While the first round playoff match-up against the Leafs was an instant classic, we were given an opportunity to be a part of someones 15 minutes of fame. We were treated to the most exciting player to wear an Islander Jersey since Ziggy Palffy. While he barely ever found himself on the scoresheet, he was undoubtedly an impact player in each game he played and quickly became a leader of the classic 7 game series.
Steve Webb will forever be remembered for his aggressive style, hard hits, and his ability to bring everyone in the Coliseum to their feet. During the playoffs, Webby became a star and proved to the Leafs that the Isles wouldn't be pushed around. After our Captain was taken out, Webby made sure that didn't go unpunished. He hunted down the Maple Leaf crest as if it were a bullseye. Against the boards, at center ice no Leaf was safe. From Robert Reichel to Gary Roberts, each Leaf felt the wrath of Webb.
And if you point your ear towards the Coliseum, you can still hear Darcy Tucker's bell ringing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

'72-73 Vintage Jersey

Before the beginning of the 2007-08 season, the NHL decided to make a league wide change in Uniforms. The league partnered with Rbk Hockey to design a new system and the teams were all given a variety of templates to choose from. Because of the league wide change, 3rd Jerseys, alternates, special occasions were banned for 1 season. Well, they're back and the Isles are one of 17 teams that will wear a 3rd Jersey again. It has been widely speculated that the Isles would return to the beginning and don the same Uni's that Eddie Westfall wore. Howard Berger of has made it somewhat official. He claims that he has been given a glimpse of all the Jerseys and has described them for all interested parties.

While the decision seems to be the right one, it's also very telling of a new beginning for the franchise, starting from scratch with hopes of something great.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Search is on!

Garth Snow has already met with 2 candidates for the head coaching position with a third on the way. After Paul Maurice and Bob Hartley, we will have John Tortorella come in for an interview on Sunday. While fan reaction has been spread across any of these choices, my thoughts are that a guy like Torts would fit the bill perfectly. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy that took a bunch of kids and molded them into Stanley Cup Champions. Some say that he might be too tough on the kids and that he's not the type of coach, or person, that would fit into "the plan." If that's the case, why did he take the interview. He knows what's going on with the Isles and knows that there's a plan for the future. Here's to hoping he likes what Snow has to say and vice-versa.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

10 Reasons to be excited about the '08-09 campaign

What could I possibly look forward to next season. We have no scoring, the Power Play was horrible, we fired Ted Nolan, and we're fielding the Varsity SoundTigers as an NHL team. The season's over and training camp hasn't even started yet.
While some of this may be true, we still have a lot to look forward to.
So go get yourself a glass of Orange Kool-aid and see what I mean.

10. Career Years -
The OrganIzation is going with youth and we are bound to see stat's for guys like K.O., Comeau, and Bergy jump. But someone like Mike Comrie, one year deal, will be looking for a contract, either to stay or go and should put up his best #'s to date.

9. New Isles 3rd Jersey - While no info has been released about the design of the jersey, there's been rumblings that it will be a vintage style royal blue jersey. It should be a nice change from the Orange sleeved jerseys they wear now.

8. Seat Availability - I think it's safe to say that there will be an abundance of available seats this upcoming year. With the exception of the 3 Rags games, there should be no problem getting into the Coliseum to see a game.

Western Conference games - The NHL has reverted, somewhat, to the old scheduling and we will be able to see every team play the Isles this year. As a hockey fan, it's always nice to see the Flames, Oilers, Ducks, etc. play.

6. Isles Defense - While the Offense leaves a lot to be desired, the Isles D-men are arguably one of the most solid groups in the league. Although there is no Dion Phaneuf in the bunch, we do have skating ability in Martinek, toughness in Witt & Sutton, scoring and passing in Streit, all around potential in Campoli, steadiness in Gervais & Meyer, and a tiny bit of depth in Hillen. Let's just hope they stay healthy.

5. More Goals
- That's right, there is absolutely no way in hell we score fewer goals than last years horrible tally of 189. No way.

4. New Coach - While the new coach hasn't been named yet, we will be looking at someone that, more likely than not, will be here for a while. Someone that knows how to handle both the young players and the Vets is key. This next coach will be instrumental in the development and future of this franchise.

3. Make or break seasons - Several Isles are getting an opportunity this year. Guys like Tambellini, Gervais, Nielson, & Comeau are players the team will be looking at to fill several voids. This is their make or break seasons and it should be fun watching to see who can handle the pressure.

2. D-P - We all know Ricky's a good goalie. He's an #1 overall pick, first goalie ever selected that high, an All-Star, our Franchise Player. He's progressed nicely over the past several years and will be relied upon heavily this year. If he stay's healthy, this year we call Ricky an Elite goalie and Vezina nominee.

1. The Future of the OrganIzation - For good or ill, the future of the Isles starts this season. Once the coach is hired and final cuts are made we will see in what direction we are going. It's obvious the youth movement has begun and Snowy's following his "plan". Let's hope there was method to all this summers madness.

Start of a new Era!

Since the end of the '07-08 campaign, we've all been eagerly anticipating this off-season. What's Snowy gonna do? Will Wang open up the checkbook? Will we get Filitov? Well the majority of those questions have been answered and as Islander fans, it's time we took a seat to look over the past couple of weeks. Some will reflect with disgust, others with a glimmer of hope. This is the start of a new era in Islander Country, and I hope you're ready. The youth movement is on it's way and anyone not on board with this, well, see ya later. Ted Nolan, that means you.