It was a brutal week for the Islanders as the dropped all three games including two to the rival Penguins. Two of the games they dropped were by one goal. This was a major issue last year as the Islanders lost over 24 one goal games last season. If the Islanders aren't going finish games then they definitely aren't going make the playoffs.

Another issue is the carousel of goalies. I know GM Garth Snow is a former goalie but using three different goalie rotation is a little crazy. The Islanders need some consistency in net (thought none of them have played great or terrible). Personally, I've always like Nabakov but I think he could be used in a trade to bring in another forward with another team. Last year before he was claimed off waivers by the Islanders he was on his way to Detroit. I think that would be a good fit for him, and they could give a young forward. I really think the Islanders need a passer to set up their scorers because right now they just aren't putting the puck on the tape.

Also, the Islanders honored the 1992-93 Islanders. I remember that team not having big stars but a lot of heart and grit.
The Islanders lost two road games in Florida this week. However, they still look really strong including John Tavares who had 2 more points (1 goal, 1 assist) last night.

One disturbing issue for the Islanders is lack of production from their second line. Nielson, Grabner, and Okposo only have 4 points between the three of them. Okposo has yet to score a goal but has had his chances especially against the Lightning when they missed place a puck in front on the net and instead of going high over the laid out goalie Garon, he shot the puck into him.

Another issue is the shuffling of net minders. Last Saturday night Nabakov was awesome against the Rangers and the thoughts were he'd get another start against the Lightning. However, Montoya got the start and looked mediocre (previous to that game Montoya had great career stats against Tampa). I'm a believer in playing the hot hand sticking with a goalie until he has a bad game.

Next week the Islanders have two tough games against Pittsburgh who is getting healthier by the day, and have been playing tremendous hockey. Should be a good test.
Here are the fan packs I got last week:

Johns Hopkins University (NCAA), Boston University (NCAA), Eastern Illinois University (NCAA), Baltimore Orioles, Florida Everblades (ECHL), Arizona Cardinals, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (Aussie Rugby)
After a 2-0 opening night loss last Saturday the Islanders look extremely strong, and have rolled off three straight wins. Leading the way has been John Tavares who is noticeably stronger and faster. Tavares has 8 points in this last 2 games. Much of his success is contributed to the chemistry with line-mates P.A. Parenteau & Matt Moulson.

The goaltending has been exceptional with Al Montoya being a steady force the first 3 games. Evegeni Nabakov made a surprise start last night against the Rangers and showed no rust from not having played in an NHL game in over 500 days.

One factor I noticed with the Islanders is that they aren't panicking when something goes wrong. Numerous times last night the Islanders had the lead and the Rangers tied it up and it seemed as the though momentum had swung. Especially, when the game was tied and the Rangers went on a power play. The Islanders didn't panic and just played their game. Last season they would try to press and ultimately make a mistake leading to a goal the other way.

Next game is Thursday night against Tampa Bay
Drew Pelto makes the call...

Got some Fan packs yesterday and today:

Toldeo Mudhens, Toledo Walleyes, Atlanta Falcons, San Jose Sharks,Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL) Lynchburg College, University of the Redlands, Illinois College, Millikin University, Delaware Valley College

Chicago Steel (USHL), Cal. Lutheran
I'm adding a new section to my blog called "Venue Review" where I review venues and teams I've visited and review how my experience was. I hope this help other fans when they attend these games.

The Adirondack Phantoms are the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, located in Glen Falls, NY. The Phantoms moved here a few years ago after playing many season in Philadelphia.

Over the summer my daughter and son completed a summer reading program for the Phantoms which resulted in them each getting a free ticket voucher to a game. A few weeks ago the vouchers arrived and we called to redeem our vouchers. The vouchers were only good for two games Oct. 8th, and October 14th. I was away for the game on the 8th so we choose to go on the 14th.

The ticket voucher game with a letter stating to call, write or go in to the ticket office get your tickets. So I called up and the person on the other end didn't seem to have a clue about what I was talking about. Ultimately, he handed the phone to the ticket manager who was able to order them over the phone. After I hung up I had a question/concern about parking, so I called back and instead of getting, "Hello, Adirondack Phantoms." I got, "Hey Corey, what do you need?" I thought that was pretty unprofessional. Also, I was never told where my seats were going to be and since my daughter has Autism we need an end seat.

My concerns about parking were justified when I got to Glens Falls. I was told that parking was available for free in a lot near the arena. I tried three different lots and were told they all charged. So finally I decided to park on the street but was told by a parking lot attendant "you can only park on the street for 2 hours or you'll get towed." She repeated this as her lot filled up. However, the Civic Center website clearly states you can park on street for more than 2 hours for Civic Center events.After we parked my daughter had a little walk up the arena, and had to wait in line while we picked up our tickets at Will Call. One thing stood out to me at the Will Call window. No one checked for my credit card or ID, so you could steal my credit card number and call up and get tickets.

Also, when I entered the arena my bag wasn't checked, and there seem not to be much security.

After we got in the arena I noticed that not only was it a "Kid's reading night voucher game," but also $2 beers. Really? What kind of person plans a game where kids are being rewarded for reading and then has $2 for people to get drunk. The $2, were also being served prior to the game, and up until 7:30, so by the time everyone got there they would be pretty well liquored up.

As we entered the arena we were shown where out seats were which were on the other side of the arena. I took my daughter to the bathroom and we proceeded to our seats.

The arena has a nice lay out with a concourse level you can walk completely around and could stand at the top of and watch the game. Bathrooms are located in the four corners of the arena so you can't have to walk to far.

Finally we arrived at our seats which were awesome, and on an end so if she needed to get out we could. The ticket guy definitely came through.

However, there was no net in front on the ice to protect us from pucks, so I was constantly having to check the ice. They did mentioned over the PA that they could move your seats higher up if you were concerned about this (I think next time I will).

As the announced the starting lineups I noticed how terrible the PA announcer was. He was almost mocking the visiting teams in his voice. I thought it was pretty corny.

Finally after all the pregame festivities the game started and I was really into it. It was pretty good action!
Towards the end of the first period of my daughter asked for ice cream, so we walked to a concession stand and were told that they didn't have ice cream but Dip n' Dots (these are dry ice dots that melt like ice cream). I didn't know if my daughter would eat them. I asked if they took credit card but they said "no." However, most all of the rest of the concession stands did. So I passed on the Dip n' Dots and we walked around the arena a little bit more. Finally be daughter looked a little tired so we left.

Overall, it was fair experience. Here's some tips I'd give to people thinking about going there.
  • Make sure you find out where your seats are before you go to the arena. There is no netting on the sides of the ice and pucks will fly into the stands. If you have kids I suggest sitting as high up as possible so you aren't in the line of fire.
  • Park on the street and save yourself some money. Even though parking attendants say you can't park for more than 2 hours, read the clip from the Civic Center web site above.
  • Like most sport events, bring cash and call ahead to see what food options are offered.
  • Plan your event if you going as a family not around promos like $2 beers. Even though this coincided with the reading voucher next time I'm going to ask for another game.
Baseball history Blogger, Andrew Martin sent me this link today.

With the release of the Atlantic League schedule earlier this week, and after communicating with a GM in the Atlantic League it's apparent that the Loudoun Hounds will not be playing next season in the Atlantic League because their stadium will not be complete. Obviously, we'd like to see the Hounds next season, and I'm not sure how close the stadium would be to being finished by seasons start. I emailed the Hounds a few weeks ago and got no response.

Also, as I've noted before the Sugarland Skeeters will be entering the Atlantic League next season, which will make for some interesting travel. At first I thought it was a waste to put one team in Texas but Ducks Owner/League CEO Frank Boulton confirmed before the sec
ond game of the championship series that the Atlantic League is looking to put a four team division in Texas.
This would be a huge step in expanding the Atlantic League, and giving fans and collectors more teams to c
hoose from (also more Road Warriors). reports that Atlantic League is looking for ownership groups in the following areas. (Also, see).

Headed to Long Island for a party this weekend and had some time to waste so we stopped by Nassau Coliseum and picked up 10 pocket skeds. As I was leaving I walked by three players but couldn't identify who they were.

Since Hofstra is literally right across the street, I went over there and snagged some Men's/Women's Soccer schedules. I asked if they had any others but they didn't. Not sure if they still have many fall sports since they cut football.
I've been neglecting my posts on fan packs and fan picks because there has been so many. Now that the Atlantic League baseball season is over I have more time to devote to fan packs and fan picks.

Today was a great day for fan picks. I was in Albany, so I was able to swing by Siena College and pick 5 Fall Pocket schedules which they had set aside for me. When I contacted them about the schedules they told me the rest of their promo materials will be back from the printer later in the month.

After I went to Siena I stopped by the New York State Museum with my family. What a crazy, huge place! The NYSM is right around the corner from the Times Union Center and the home of the Albany Devils, so I stopped in and snagged 20 pocket schedules.

On our way home we drove to Troy and stopped by Bruno Stadium, the home of the Tri-City Valley Cats. The Valley Cats had put aside some stuff for me. To my surprise it was two bobbleheads (Hunter Pence & Charlie the Bat Boy) and a team famed 10th anniversary photo.

When I finally got home the mail was there and I received pocket schedules from Central State (NCAA D2), Minnesota Wild (included Koivu postcard), and Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Today, the Ducks announced their 2012 schedule. A few things stuck out to me.

- The Loudoun Hounds are not on the schedule, even though their website still has a countdown for opening day. One is left to wonder if they are going to be in the league or just need time to get their team together.

- Sugar Land Skeeters are up and running and are on the schedule. Looking forward to seeing Gary Gaetti.

- So. Maryland is now referred to as just "Maryland."
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