Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

The Shadow from Above
I hadn't seen any mention of it anywhere, so I was all set to discuss Tuesday night's appearance at the Coliseum by Chris Simon. The Versus production crew caught Simon on camera having an involved conversation with Charles Wang high above the Coliseum ice. However, with Dee Karl now having published a sparkling essay on this latest development, I will defer to the impressions of my esteemed Blog Box colleague. Dee has elegantly captured all of the complexities surrounding the status of Simon and, quite appropriately I think, refrained from passing judgment.

What's best for the players? What's best for Wang and the organization? What's best for the NHL? What's best for Chris Simon? What's best for the fans? It is not easy to render a final verdict on Simon with all of these questions playing a significant role in creating the solution. Ultimately, as Dee's post posits, it is not our problem to solve. But understanding the difficulty of the situation is certainly something we can take on. One thing is certain: Simon's presence with the owner the other night is clearly suggests that the team was completely sincere in expressing its loyalty to Chris Simon the person. Of this, I had no doubt.

A Picture Is Worth More Than Two Points
It's amazing how easy it is for us, as Islanders fans, to take the smallest action by the media as a sign of disrespect. For example: The lead picture in today's Daily News article on last night's impressive 3-1 win over the Devils shows Rick DiPietro reaching back in vain to keep Travis Zajac's third-period shot from crossing the goal line. Yes, it is an exciting, telling action shot taken from the camera mounted inside in the net. But why, in a game in which the Islanders went to 5-0 on the season against the Devils and DiPietro was lauded universally for his outstanding play, does the lead photograph show him flopped on his back in his only low moment? The article does feature a smaller picture that shows the Islanders celebrating their victory. Shouldn't the lead photo be representative of the game? Where is the shot of DiPietro making one of a dozen outstanding saves? Maybe his reflexes are too quick to be captured on film. Anyway, these things just make me wonder sometimes.

Radio Tease
Here's another slight head-scratcher, but there are reasonable explanations for it. It was reported today that Long Island radio station WLIR is switching to an all sports-talk format. My immediate reaction was to think, "Hey, there's an opportunity to get some serious Islanders talk on the radio." Imagine the Islanders being the hometown team on a smaller version of WFAN. Of course, that thought lasted all of five seconds. It turns out that WLIR will simply be carrying the signal from 1050 ESPN Radio, which, by the way, is the radio broadcast home of the Rangers. So that accomplishes basically nothing for Islanders fans unless 1050 comes to the unlikely conclusion that its stronger presence in Suffolk calls for increased coverage of the Isles. Don't bet on it.

Overall, I'm not down on 1050 the way a lot of people are (despite some hosts that I can't listen to for more than two minutes). I like it as an alternative to WFAN, and I think the competition, as lopsided as it continues to be, is a favorable development for the listener. On the surface, the agreement between 1050 and WLIR makes good business sense for both parties, and may even benefit listeners who struggle to get a clear signal from 1050. So, I'm not going to kill them for trying this. It just seems like a missed opportunity.

Whereas I once thought it created some weird dynamics on the team, I now couldn't be more relieved that Garth Snow increased the defensive depth chart to nine.

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