DiPietro On Shelf as Islanders Preseason Begins with Losses.

By Bill Bennett
Isles GM Mike Milbury regardless of the injury is standing behind his comments through most of the summer: “It’s a tough break for the kid, but it
doesn’t eliminate his chances of making the team. He’ll still get a look from us. If it happens for Rick right away, it happens. We all think it’s
going to happen sooner or later, but there is no urgency. It would be fun and it’s exciting. He’s a first overall pick. But if the timing isn’t
right, it’s not right.”

If Rick DiPietro is ready to play the only realistic chances he will get are against the Rangers or New Jersey in the final two preseason games in early October.

DiPietro will be sent to the IHL if he does not make the team.

The Islanders began the preseason Thursday and Friday against Philadelphia.

Both games were typical early preseason with lots of penalties called so the NHL can send the politically correct message that it never follows up on once November rolls around. The Islanders lost both games by scores of 4-2 in Trenton, and 2-1 in Philadelphia.

A few notable items that fans should like from the first two games:

Oleg Kvasha: Has been impressive. Got big minutes for an early preseason game on Thursday, and
deflected in the Isles only goal on Friday before a spearing penalty ended his night. Looked lost playing the point on the power play.

Mark Parrish: Had lots of chances and played well in Trenton.


Tim Connolly: Was the Isles best player in Trenton, had two assists.

John Vanbiesbrouck: Played very well in the loss at Trenton.

Wade Flaherty: Was the Islanders best player at Philadelphia in his return from shoulder surgery and should have the early lead for backup goaltender. But is he the answer for 20-30 games and that is if Beezer can handle 50 games or more ?

Kevin Haller: Was getting in front of every shot and had an assist on Kvasha’s goal. Played very well in both games.

Zdeno Chara: Played solid in Philadelphia.

Taylor Pyatt: Missed an open net in the opener but did have an assist on Friday.

Dimitri Upper: Was very noticeable on the ice.

Branislav Mezei: Punished every Flyer who came near the Islanders net.

Eric Cairns: Playing the enforcer role very well.


Islanders Lines in Trenton:

(25) Kolnik- (18)Connolly- (21) Czerkawski
(17) Pyatt- (12)Kvasha- (27) Parrish
(16) Torres- (38)Scatchard-(37) Nabokov
(10) Lindgren-(48)Mapletoft-(20) Mika

(7) Haller-(36) Korolev
(2) Mezei- (39) Schultz
(33) Cairns-(6) Biron

(34) Vanbiesbrouck
(35) Valiquette

Islanders Lines in Philadelphia:

(17) Pyatt- (12) Kvasha- (49) Petrovicky
(28) Krog- (42) Upper- (24) Lawrence
(16) Torres-(13) Lapointe-(25) Kolnik
(26) Toms- (44) Belanger-(8) Webb

(3) Chara- (2) Mezei
(7) Haller-(51) Myrvold
(33) Cairns-(6) Biron

(30) Flaherty
(35) Valiquette

Early Cuts: Junior players C Marco Charpentier (Baie Comeau – QMJHL), G Mike D’Alessandro (Barrie – OHL) and C Mike Rice (Brampton – OHL) returned to their junior teams.

Early Pressure:

Without a doubt Matthew Biron is under the gun after playing solid last season. He did score on Thursday, but his play has been erratic in two
very early meaningless preseason games.

The organization must handle this properly and something Mr Wang and Mr Kumar should be watching Mike Milbury very closely on.

This is a good way to lose a talented player who does not seem capable of the falloff that merited Eric Brewer’s demotion last season.

Glen Sather talked up Vladimir Malakhov to the media like he was Paul Coffey in Edmonton this week. And it was the smart thing to do.

Mike Milbury should talk up every prospect and player in the organization in the exact same manner in the upcoming weeks regardless of how they play.

Not enough exhibition games:

The Islanders already have only four exhibition games left before the opener. Most teams have eight or nine games scheduled and have not played a single game yet. This is something the team
has done for a few years now and it should be something that the organization reconsiders in the upcoming seasons. Practice is fine, but
this team needs all the game experience it can get and that includes the prospects and the veterans.

Roman Hamrlik, Kenny Jonsson, Brad Isbister and newly signed Gary Galley have not played.

Home Game:

The Islanders play their only preseason game at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday against New Jersey.

Fan Friendly:

The New Ownership has dropped all lawsuits pending from the Milstein-Gluckstern era with the buildings operator Smg. Both sides will work together to upgrade the Coliseum and the fan experience.

If the roof is still not fixed Islander umbrella night would be a great start.

Double Standard Part One:

Do not expect Isles (or Devils) coverage in the pre-season from the company that owns the cable rights and the Rangers.

Jurassic Mark and our friends from Manhattan (Without Stefan Cherneski) will be on metro guide three times in the preseason in September.

Hopefully recent changes at MSG will not lead to the same poor excuses that kept games off television the last few years.

Do not bet on a television schedule until the last minute and considering the Devils won the Stanley Cup and get treated this way is plenty of proof it never has been an Islander issue.

Double Standard Part Two:

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis calling the Islanders a laughingstock franchise must be a misprint or something?

In the last eleven years the Islanders have won more playoff series than the Flames and went to the semi-finals in 1993, beating a two-time cup
winner in seven games on the road in overtime against hall of famer Mario Lemieux.

The Islanders had John Pickett, John Spano, Howard Milstein, Steven Gluckstern and Tom Gulotta.

Want to tell us what this says about the Flames ?

Taxation Without Representation:

Tom Gulotta’s surcharge on tickets to events in Nassau County ($1.50) was targeted directly at Islander fans and the start of the hockey season
despite his foolish claim that outdoor venues will be part of it. Those outdoor venues are closed in winter.

Bill Barrett is the moderator for the Islanders Free Internet Mailing List: