Friday, September 19, 2008

Islanders Illustrated, Episode IV (A New Hope?)

On the day the Islanders arrive in Moncton for training camp, we bring you the latest sampling of goings-on in Isles World...

Islanders Illustrated, Episode IV (A New Hope?)

I suppose we could play the "Who is Eric Cartman's Father?" game. Based on Episode IV of Islanders Illustrated, who is the Islanders' new hope? Is it Doug Weight? (Dramatic music.) Is it Josh Bailey? (More dramatic music.) Is it Corey Trivino? (Oh, the suspense!)

Well, truth be told, the episode didn't really make issue of that. It is, however, an easy way to segue into the topic of last night's show on MSG+. All three did in fact appear. Here are some highlights, meant to inform out-of-market readers and entice yet-to-view local ones.

Chris King had a sit-down with Doug Weight (#93 on your scoresheet, #39 in your DiPietropedoed hearts). The more I see of Weight, the more I want to see of Weight. This guy needs a big number to fit his personality. His comments about Bill Guerin's eyes and learning the ropes of the Islander-Ranger rivalry way back when were scene-stealers. What's 1940? What did Potvin do?

Next up was a look back at the prospect paintball tournament held earlier this summer. Two observations: 1) The slow-motion depiction of players diving for cover, while probably intended to comically invoke dramatic war movie scenes, struck me as a little loose in a time of actual war. 2) All of the prospects that were interviewed came across as impressively comfortable with themselves, their surroundings, and speaking on camera.

This episode's FYIslanders segment took place near the shoreline at Jones Beach (in fact, the whole episode was hosted from there by Shawna Ryan) with Steve Mears moderating discussion for Chris King and Billy Jaffe under a hot, summer sun (though with a strong, summer wind).

Mears is very good in this role; his speaking style and cadence are well suited for it. My ear is still adjusting to Steve's play-by-play, but I like the idea of a young announcer getting his start and having his voice become part of the team's history. I hope Steve turns out to be one of those guys. Of course, I'll be hearing him far less often now.

Speaking of announcers and history, it was only a little jarring when the prospects video montage that concluded Islanders Illustrated featured a clip of Joey MacDonald that was called by Jiggs McDonald. What an odd, coincidental juxtaposition of the old and the new. It did remind me that I hope we get a few more appearances by Jiggs this season.

It's also worth mentioning that Brendan Witt took the Professor baton from Kyle Okposo and gave a slightly sadistic, but informative, lesson on checking like only Brendan Witt could. He likes body checking.

The Islander Mania Moment featured Isleschick (Lisa) discussing the board's discussion of Jeff Tambellini. Ah, see, I knew I forgot one. Cue the dramatic music! Is it Jeff Tambellini?! (More dramatic music!)

Now to a few other things...

Islanders Point Blank

If Chris Botta's new Islanders Point Blank blog (site not yet active) is as promised, 24/7 coverage (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), then the Islanders community is in for a treat. Botta can do for the Islanders what Matt Cerrone has done for the Mets, but with the credibility and contacts
in place from the very start.

The particulars of the arrangement—site sponsored by the team, full control to Chris, but is this a full-time paid job?—still seem a little fuzzy right now, but I'll leave the business arrangements up to them. It certainly sounds as if this blog will be Chris's main focus, though I imagine he will take on additional writing gigs. One thing's for certain—a plethora of high quality Islanders content is forthcoming. (I still maintain that ¡Three Amigos! ruined that word.)

Puck Daddy Preview

The Islanders got the Puck Daddy treatment today, with Sean Leahy of Going Five Hole doing the honors in Wyshynski's den. I like the high school yearbook format that Greg has implemented for these season previews, which are as comprehensive as any you'll find.

Sean's treatment of the Isles contains a lot of the same pessimism that you'll see in virtually every preview. He does recognize, though, that there are reasons for optimism and thinks they'll just take time to become potent. Of course, anyone who dares to do an overly optimistic preview of the Islanders risks ridicule or, worse, being completely ignored by the blogging community forever.

I'm not going to delve deeply into analyzing this preview—it is more thorough and informative than most and you can read it for yourself. However, I will say that I thought some of the report card grades were too harsh, particularly for defense, goaltending, and management.

Also, congrats to Islanders bloggers B.D. Gallof, Dee Karl, Michael Schuerlein, and Kevin Murphy for making it into the Puck Daddy preview!

Ned Harkness

Finally, I cannot conclude without mentioning the passing today of legendary college hockey coach Ned Harkness at the age of 89, on his birthday. Harkess coached RPI to the NCAA Championship in 1954 and led Cornell to titles in 1967 and 1970. I had the privilege of seeing Coach Harkness honored by 18,000 college hockey fans and the current Cornell and BU teams last fall during the Red Hot Hockey game held at Madison Square Garden.

1 comment:

7th Woman said...

Thanks for the head's up on Puck Daddy! And yep... I'm certainly looking forward to reading CB's take on everything. We KNOW it will be entertaining for sure. see ya soon!!!