A little disappointed it's been so quiet in Sound Tiger land in terms
of Ct Post coverage, something must be up for CHRIS ELSBERRY to be
the only person covering the last two games with nothing for the end
of the Sound Tigers season from the players beyond one article.
Blake Comeau article from the Kelowna paper claimed Tigers
exit-meetings with Milbury are Tuesday so maybe we get something on
Either way hard to really be that down on the Sound Tigers even
thought they had the series 2-0, 3-2 and lost. They played a team
that was almost forty points ahead of them in the standings and did
everything but win the series with a lot of players meshed together
for only a few days. Only downside was the Islanders top prospects
did not really step-up in this series and score some big goals when
they needed it most. This was more about Koalska, Marjamaki Collins
doing the heavy lifting in terms of scoring and it needed to be about
Nilsson-Bergenheim-Colliton-Tambellini, game seven it was Papineau
who stepped up. To me biggest problem was the loss of Jeff Hamilton,
they needed his pp production, they also played six games without
Alan Rourke and could not bring back Bouchard or Wyatt Smith.
Dubielewicz was outstanding and really was overworked over the seven
games, so was the defense. Grebeshkov is a little overzealous at
times on the point but clearly he has some talent, I do think
Caldwell is going to take a big step forward next season and I hope
manamgement brings him back now that he is a free agent.
300 plus-man games lost, countless callups, how they rebounded from a
terrible start to make the playoffs is a great story and a very good
season in the end.
All we can do now is look ahead for the Sound Tigers, I'm not sure a
new gm does not bring in his own AHL gm/coach, I'm also not sure Dave
Baseggio does not take the job if offered it at Yale. My guess is
Comeau (hopefully Frans Nielsen if signed) and some other prospects
are in Bridgeport next season, hopefully Dubie's time in Bridgeport
is over, his play earned him a job with the Islanders.
Regading the Islanders no news I guess is good news, I'm in no rush to
see them name anyone gm and rather see them take their time and get
it right. Lot's of qualified people to become the next gm. I perfer
Tambellini out of all the people who have never been a gm before but
if someone like Craig Patrick with his outstanding record and two
championships wants the job it's a no-brainer, he's well-respected
and players who maybe did not want to come here and work for Milbury
will for Patrick.
Only people on my list of who I would not want are Neil Smith and
In terms of the coach I do feel whoever the gm is should pick his
coach, If that choice is Brad Shaw I have no problem with it, if not
I have no problem with that. I really would like to see an
experienced winning coach behind this bench for a change, I would
love to see Marc Crawford behind the Isles bench or even a veteran
who will bring media attention like Pat Burns, Pat Quinn or maybe if
Ken Hitchcock is fired who would be my first choice.
Off the ice...
I'm confident Charles Wang will stick with this franchise for if
things do not work out with Nassau County will move the club to
Suffolk when the lease runs out or maybe even Brooklyn, as he said he
will go where the club is shown the most support. I do not think the
political machine will ever agree on anything to be built on that
land because their special interest are more important than the team,
as long as nothing is built they still have a chance to get what they
want. Also Smg is not going away without a huge fight.
Clearly Wang's an owner who loves owning this team and badly wants to
win a Stanley Cup. If he wanted Milbury to stay as gm he would still
be gm, as he said the day all this happened, everyone who knows me
knows I do not go thru life placating people, I absolutely do believe
Milbury will have nothing to do with hockey operations and my guess
is sooner rather than later he will seek out jobs elsewhere because
that's what he likely wants to do more than any side work for Wang.
On the ice....
Alexei Yashin should not be bought out this summer nor do I think it
will happen. Centers who produce seventy points willing to come here
to play with really no other first line talent than Satan on roster
that will have a lot of kids are not going to be easy to attract in
free agency, this team badly needs people who can score, to go from
fifth overall in scoring to the bottom five in scoring means you add,
not subtract to what Yashin does and you do it by signing
unrestricted free agents while the young players work their way in.
I never would have brought back Bates for three years, they cannot
depend on him to score and the fourth line should be for the younger
players. Bates has to take the role LaPointe did or it's not going to
work, also on a team with smaller forwards he's not the right fit for
I would resign Bouchard and basically let the same defenders come
back next season with maybe Grebeshkov-Gervais in Bridgeport, only
defender I move is Martinek because they need a solid # 2 defender to
pair with Zhitnik.
In goal, it's DiPietro's job from here in and he earned it down the
stretch, personally that two years from Snow means he goes on waivers
and be a backup in Bridgeport if that's the role they want for him if
he does clear waivers. I'm not sure if Dubie is unrestricted but if
he is there is a better than fair chance he could move on. If he is
resigned the minute Dubielewicz in camp proves he should be the
backup, and Snow goes on waivers to be mentor, AHL goalie/guru/ect to
come up for spot starts.
My thoughts on the playoffs:
Not much to say, OLN has done a very good job with the coverage and
it's programming. Devils played a team in a free fall that collapsed,
I'm surprised the law of avg's did not catch up with both teams but
that's more about how bad one teams collapse was. Detroit did what it
usually does in the first round. (Peca advances)
Not many teams I want to win the cup:
Interesting top four seeds won in the East.
New Jersey-As many cups as Isles? No.
Philadelphia-Be lucky if they win game six, goaltending will not last.
Ottawa-Likely to get to finals, but who knows, problems went beyond
Yashin but already tired of Spezzz. Chara. Redden.
Carolina-Would like to see Laviolette win a cup.
Anaheim-For Hang? Absolutely.
Calgary-Saw them two years ago, not again.
Edmonton-Never, cannot stand the Oilers and do not want a sixth cup.
Colorado-Works for me.
San Jose-That's a fun team to watch, I would not mind seeing them win.