PRACTICE: Iceworks, 11.19.09: Witt ReturnsTambellini…Lines…Kill Filatov…How to get respect

Chris Botta on Twitter

12:30 pm – Brendan Witt will re-join the Islanders in Minnesota. He has not skated in a few days, so Andrew MacDonald will remain on the roster and could play in place of Witt against the Wild on Friday.


On behalf of the Country, I asked Scott Gordon what Jeff Tambellini needs to do to get back in the lineup. “He has to make sure that when he gets back in the lineup that he doesn’t give me any reasons to take him out,” said Gordon. “When you’re not scoring, you have to do the little things. He got a little off his game.” For now, Gordon is happy with the crew of forwards bringing home victories and points every night. No reason to change a thing.



11:35 am – Before the Islanders leave this afternoon for Minnesota, Scott Gordon is getting a lot of teaching and fine-tuning in. After all, this is the team’s first complete practice with the full roster since last Tuesday, November 10.


In honor of the newest New York Knick…Practice?!!! Over-rated.


The lineup:


Bergenheim – Nielsen – Okposo

Mouslon – Tavares – Park

Sim – Bailey – Hunter

Comeau – Thompson – Jackman

(Schremp, Tambellini)


Sutton – Hillen

Streit – Gervais

Meyer – MacDonald







Darling Nikita: Somehow, many residents of Islanders Country are filled with glee and boasting about the tribulations of Nikita Filatov, who has chosen to go home and play in Russia for a million dollars rather than reside in the Columbus press box, Ken Hitchcock’s doghouse or Syracuse. Somehow, Filatov is cast as an underachieving brat. Somehow, Josh Bailey getting 25 points last season and being a fine young man translates into a brilliant move by the Islanders for passing on Filatov.


There are several holes that can be easily punched in that argument. When you consider the Islanders got extra draft picks to pass on Filatov and Luke Schenn, it’s a fun discussion that could continue for a decade. But I would suggest that some of the natives take it down a notch with the I-told-you-sos.


Do you think Bailey would be on the 20-man roster of the Columbus Blue Jackets this season?




Fight the Powers: There are still a lot of Islanders fans who don’t seem to understand their own power. While this blog receives an insane amount of page views, while this blog’s readers inspired a major company like AOL to keep it alive, it’s time for Islanders fans to throw their weight around.


Over the last week of the Islanders’ month-long rise, I’ve received over a hundred emails complaining about a perceived lack of respect toward the franchise in the hockey media. Some are ticked the Islanders’ don’t rank higher in NHL power ratings. Some can’t believe John Tavares was recently snubbed on some TV panel. Some think it’s a joke the Islanders aren’t getting more coverage. Some are seething that Pierre Lebrun doesn’t have Kyle Okposo on his projected roster for Team USA.


I have a few reactions:


1. The Islanders are two games over .500 in a league in which somewhere between 21 and 25 teams will finish above .500, so it’s a little early for the Rodney Dangerfield stuff

2. Okposo needs to be on Brian Burke’s list, not Pierre’s

3. Whoop-de-damn-do


But most of all, instead of writing me or Katie or any of the Islanders’ bloggers out there, take your case to the media outlets that tick you off.


Want the Islanders covered? Write the sports editor.


Some ex-player mailing it in as a broadcaster doesn’t know about Tavares? Write the network website.


Everyone is reachable these days. Just yesterday, I realized I’d misplaced an agent’s phone number. I started to reach out to everyone I know in the business for help. Then I went to Google and typed in the friggin’ guy’s name. Bam! His direct office line was in the first link.


I kid about not caring. Of course I do. But if you want to make an impact, take your beef straight to the source. You might be surprised at the outcome.




From the PB Press Box Throne: For the second consecutive day, the Islanders have run an ad in Newsday that says they play home next Thursday. The Thanksgiving games, of course, are on Wednesday at 7:00 pm vs. Philadelphia and on Friday, Nov. 27, a 2:00 pm matinee against Pittsburgh. One theory: they included the goof on purpose to generate calls to the office. If that’s the case, I bow in awe for the genius.


Live Chats Friday and Saturday: Win or lose, they’ve been fun and increasingly more populated. The only challenge for me has been keeping up. See you then.


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