Islanders

Episode 28: No Time To Let Up With Arthur Staple

Ten games, eleven points – that’s all that’s separating the New York Islanders from reaching their first playoff birth in three seasons. But, let’s not forget that they’re not supposed to even be where they are – by all accounts right?

Don’t tell that to Barry Trotz and company though, as the coach and his staff have their team playing sound defensive hockey.

Episode 28 features the return of one of my favorite guests in Arthur Staple now of The Athletic New York. We talk about a variety of topics, from the showing signs of life power play, to line combinations, coaching strength and experience down to what to expect down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Arthur and I also talk about the fantastic goaltending performances of both Thomas Greiss (the NHL’s first star this week) and Robin Lehner.

If you missed it, Arthur had a fantastic article yesterday in The Athletic talking about Mat Barzal and how he is coming into his own as a player – forgoing the personal accolades for the sake of winning. We happen to talk about some of this as well, including Barzal’s slight struggles in his sophomore season.

If that’s not enough, we go into detail on the line combinations and what the team needs to do come playoff time to make the most of their opportunity.

To keep up with tradition for Art, he gives us his self admitted horrible take on where the Islanders will finish and who they are likely to face – so I hope you guys enjoy it.

The show will be on hiatus however, for a week as I will be headed down to sunny Florida for a few days. I’ll be active on Twitter as always so please head there to join the conversation.

Follow me on Twitter: @islesblogger and @faithfulisles – but don’t forget to follow Art, too @stapeathletic

Catch up with you all next week!

Episode 27: Off The Post With Brett Cyrgalis

Episode 27, it’s kind of fitting that we are going to exit the 20’s of the podcast as we move down the stretch into the playoff hunt. It’s been an exciting year with a lot of great guests so far and that continues this episode with Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post.

Brett recently announced that he’s the full time beat writer covering the New York Islanders for the remainder of the season and I wanted to have him on to talk some hockey.

Many of you guys out there tend to hammer him from time to time, but I’m here to announce that he’s not an Islanders or Rangers fan, so you can stand down.

Brett and I talk about what Lou lamoniello and Barry Trotz bring to the Islanders as an organization, we talked about pending unrestricted free agents Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, and Anders Lee (He wrote about his contract situation today actually, give it a read).

We also talk about the sudden adversity that the Islanders face with illness and injuries and what that can mean for the team down the stretch drive to the playoffs. The Metropolitan division is so tight that anything can have a negative effect on the team, so it’s so important to take every point they can earn.

As far as injuries, we talk about Cal Clutterbuck and how there’s a need for some concern over Robin Lehner’s perceived concussion as it relates to his diagnosed anxiety and mental health issues. Obviously, as we saw with Kyle Okposo – concussions can do crazy things to mental health, and theres a real fear there for Lehner. But we’re going to take that one day at a time, just like the Islanders.

Special thanks to Brett again for coming on! Please give him a follow on Twitter @brettcyrgalis and head on over to the New York Post to read all his great Islanders coverage as well.

If you’ve been listening and enjoying the content, please head over to iTunes and give us a rate and a review? Show us the love! Please also follow me on Twitter @islesblogger and @faithfulisles.

Lastly, subscribe to the show by clicking here. If you’re not subscribing on Youtube – do that as well!

Episode 26: It’s Time To Trotz

It really IS time to Trotz.

We’ve talked a lot this season about what a coach like Barry Trotz brings to an organization, I’m sorry – to THIS organization (Still hard to wrap my head around at times), He’s the type of analytic thinker and teacher that gets his point across in ways that’s clear, as made evident by the great article from Arthur Staple yesterday on The Athletic (paywall).

But what does that mean for the New York Islanders? A lot.

The Isles have historically struggled at various junctures throughout the long NHL season, most times the let down occurs later in the year when the team begins to show signs of low stamina mentally and physically. This has all occurred even before a guy like Barry Trotz was part of the organization.

With injuries cropping up now to Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, and most importantly Robin Lehner – coupled with some less than perfect offensive and defensive play, the onus is on the head coach to correct the problems he faces.

The good news is, he’s more than capable of this. He’s shown it everywhere he’s been a coach and at every level. He can squeeze every ounce of talent and great play from players for sure. In this episode I talk a little about what exactly needs to be done and also about the strangeness of the last few games.

This episode also talks about the inability to score on the power play, at even strength at times and the penalty kill. It goes into the defensive woes, goaltending and how struggling right now with the tightness of the Metropolitan Division is probably the worst time to struggle.

I also spend some time talking about the return of John Tavares and the Maple Leafs – especially the reaction by Isles fans, Leafs fans, the media and the City of Toronto. Amazing stuff.

This episode is a short one, but I plan on recording again this weekend – so stay tuned.

If you’ve been listening and enjoying the content, please head over to iTunes and give us a rate and a review? Show us the love! Please also follow me on Twitter @islesblogger and @faithfulisles.

Lastly, subscribe to the show by clicking here. If you’re not subscribing on Youtube – do that as well!

Episode 25: Staying The Course

A good pilot always stays on course, so I guess one can also say that about a general manager.

I know there’s a lot of you out there who are likely going to disagree with a lot of what I have to say this episode, but please give me a chance – hear me out.

This week has been a tough week. I’ve just gotten over being sick and obviously with then “ups” and downs of the trade deadline, it was an exhausting day trying to piece it all together. But it’s still fun in a sense, especially because I can vent here on the Podcast and on Twitter (which is kind of my favorite, next to here).

The Isles were in on Matt Duchene. But opted to not persue. He and everyone else went to Columbus.

The Isles were in on Mark Stone. But nope, did not persue. He went out to Vegas and got an 8 year extension to go along with it,

It was an exciting day, elsewhere – with 32 players moving today before the 3pm trade deadline. But the theme here was NO MOVES for the New York Islanders. And I’m OK with that. Here’s some of my tweets today to back this up:

I go into this in pretty good detail in the episode. I understand both sides – the need to make a move here down the stretch and also standing pat like Lou Lamoriello decided to do.

He owed this to the 23 guys in the locker room, and that could be a huge confidence boost moving forward.

Let me know what you think either on twitter or in the comments. I’ll be updating this post tomorrow with some more thoughts.

Don’t forget to use your 10% code for Yes Men Outfitters – click here to have it automatically added when you add something to your cart.

Episode 24: Jillian Fisher Talks Isles

I’m often horrible when it comes to learning about new trends and talented people. I guess it’s part ignorance and part of my life where my free time doesn’t involve being online 24/7 (Yeah, who am I kidding….). But have you heard about Jillian Fisher? Have you heard the Islanders are first in the Metro?

Allow me to explain! But here’s one of her videos first!

Jillian is an extremely popular video blogger on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. She’s got this amazing sense of humor and the ability to nail down the little nuances and tics of individual fanbases due in part to her background in Anthropology. She goes into this a little bit and it’s pretty interesting, I mean I never really knew that the field extended into personalities like it does. You’ll see as you listen.

Throughout the episode Jill and I bounce back and forth between what she does in her videos, her background and career and even how she goes about with all her costume changes and editing. Naturally, we also talk about the New York Islanders and how a large chunk of the fanbase hammered her for some of the things she said, the same way we got Sean McIndoe and some other folks who cover hockey.

We also talk about the little ways she nails the Islanders fan base as a whole and how she figured us all out. Jill and I also go down many different forked paths in this little adventure, and eventually talk all Isles with what Uncle Lou will do and how one of the little statements in her videos is so true that it’s what we all say daily. I’ll let you listen for yourself.

Please follow her on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. This was probably one of the most fun episodes to date with one of the absolute funniest people I’ve met in a long time – thanks again Jillian!

You never know, I could just wind up with a cameo in a future video! As long as the Islanders are first in the Metro, that is!

Episode 23: Talking Isles Art and Hockey With Sean Connors

Back to back Islanders wins over the weekend, coupled with back to back episode releases by The Isles Faithful Podcast. What could be better? Not much I’d say – I mean maybe first place in the Conference, but the Isles are in first place in the Metropolitan Division, just in case you weren’t aware.

Episode 22 we had our what’s becoming a regular guest in JPinVA come on to talk some hockey – check it out if you missed it. This episode, we have Sean Connors stop by and talk about his amazing HAND DRAWN Islanders artwork. Sean and I speak about the history behind his artwork, how the MSG commercial came to be and some of the work he’s done in the past with some great stories added in.

As per the norm around here, we go into his Islanders fandom and what he’d like to see happen down the stretch, during the fast approaching trade deadline and of course, free agency come July.

But that’s not all, we also talk about how the team is currently finding success and their amazing lead on the Penguins, Blue Jackets and building lead on Trotz’s former team – the Washington Capitals as well. Truly amazing stuff.

If you haven’t seen Sean’s work, head on over to his Instagram account where he doesn’t nearly have enough followers (the same can go for his Twitter account too) and show him some love. His works are also available for purchase and you can even request specific players – it doesn’t come without a cost however due to the work involved. I know I plan on buying one in the near future – it’ll look great in the “Podcast Studio”!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Sign up for the Newsletter too – you’ll be notified ahead of time on upcoming guests and receive email updates when new Episodes are live!

Episode 22: Breaking It All Down

I have really dropped the ball this week, and for that I apologize. The nine day break aside, this last week I intended to record a few times, but I was exhausted – but enough of that.

The podcast is BACK folks, and it’s back in a big way. We recorded TODAY, we will be recording TOMORROW and again Tuesday and Wednesday next week. It’s going to be a test of my time magement skills for sure – but it’s exciting and worth it. You guys and your support are worth it as well!

Episode 22 features the great opinions by @JPinVA and we talk about everything that’s transpired over the last four games. (Hey did you know the Isles are in first place of the Metro?). JP and I also go into the power play, goaltending, defense – Hickey and Ladd close to returning and more.

We talk about Dal Colle, we talk about Barzal and some of the prospects down in Bridgeport. We also go into some talk about coaching again and how these Islanders are really doing all of the right things compared to last season and seasons before that. It’s really exciting, and it’s hard to control emotions.

I joked around on Twitter yesterday, even – how I am not really sure how to deal with all the positives around the team right now, it’s a pretty confusing sensation if we’re being honest.

I also had stumbled across this masterpiece yesterday as well – you should follow my advice and watch it!

I also have some HUGE podcast news!

Jillian Fisher who is an extremely popular and funny YouTuber is going to be on the show next week. You probably guessed that with the reference early in this episode. Check out her Twitter, Website and YouTube channel. Seriously do it right now.

I also have Twitter user SeanCon coming on – he’s the guy featured on the MSG Commercials drawing the awesome works on Islanders players. But, that’s not even all of it – I also have Mark Parrish coming back next week to talk about where the team is at this point. It’s an exciting time for sure.

JP and I also talk about the rapid approach of the trade deadline and what could happen with that and the eventual decisions with free agency as well. Give a listen and let me know what you think!

If you haven’t already -please sign up for The Isles Faithful Newsletter. It will be chock full of interesting tidbits and insider podcast information that I will use to give you a heads up on guests and plans before I talk about them anywhere else. We will not spam you, so don’t worry there!

Episode 21: Top Of The Metro!

The New York Islanders sit atop the Metropolitan Division as they start their 9 day all-star and league mandated bye-week break. Think about this for a minute. They sit ATOP (read First Place) in the Metro.

Did you think for a second when the season started that the Islanders would be where they are with everything that happened? I know I didn’t.

Personally, I thought at best, the Isles would maybe sneak into a wild card spot – but yet, here they are holding their own and playing truly inspired hockey for head coach Barry Trotz. I know I am loving this, and I bet the team and everyone around them are as well.

I also have to sneak in here that The Isles Faithful Podcast is now on Youtube! I have a few plans for this with some live video mini-podcasts and behind the scenes things – but for now all of our content is available there as well. Check out the Channel Here and please like and subscribe!

Take this awesome clip of Kevin Weekes on NHL Network’s Power Rankings as an example:

Just look around the league – theres been plenty of news stories from media outlets near and far praising what’s happening on Long Island (and Brooklyn).

https://www.nhl.com/video/nhl-tonight-islanders-changes/t-277350912/c-65151303?tcid=tw_video_content_id

It all centers around Barry Trotz, too – a sure fire lock at this point for the NHL’s Jack Adams coach of the year award.

But it doesn’t just end there! The Isles are SECOND in the Eastern Conference, 13 points back of Tampa, three ahead of Washington, four ahead of Columbus, four of Boston and five of Pittsburgh. Blown away by all of this, I talked about on Twitter and in this episode that I am not really sure how to feel by all of this.

This week’s episode I have Rob Taub (@RTaub_) stop by again to talk about everything thats transpired since Episode 20. Also, we talk about the Isles strong play, what they can improve and what certain players are doing or are not doing. We go into the power play (or lack thereof) and even talk about this awesome goaltending duo (Lehner #1 in the league, Greiss #7).

Rob and I also talk about the trade deadline, one that for the first time in a long time could potentially see the Islanders add significant players down the stretch. You never know.

It’s entirely too much to go into here – you’ll have to listen up.

All I know is that this season has been fantastic to this point, the way they are playing is the best I have seen them play in a long time, it’s structured and they’re having fun! Scoring is balanced and the ceiling seems to get higher and higher. Is it sustainable? That’s the most important question right now, but we should enjoy the season and whatever happens.

Episode 20: Are We Right? With Down Goes Brown

Episode 20, we are out of the teens now – it’s the big time!

Episode 19 got The Isles Faithful Podcast past the 5000 downloads range (and it’s still climbing!) so thank you all for the continued support and always great questions! It’s been a wild ride so far and 2019 is shaping up to be even better as we move through January here.

The Islanders split their back to back games over the weekend with a loss to the Rangers on Saturday and a statement win on Sunday over the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning! The Islanders exploded for three goals in under four minutes, Matt Martin had two primary assists, Casey Cizikas extended his season best goal total in the process, Cal Clutterbuck also chipped in – making the fourth line the “fourst” line? I don’t know what they are – but I do know that @yesmenoutfitter created a new shirt for the Best Fourth Line in Hockey! Check it out! (Use the code FAITHFUL10 at checkout for 10% off thought the rest of this season!).

The power play on Saturday was a complete disaster. The came out of nowhere on Sunday on their only power play and looked professional and clean – scoring their first goal being a man up. It was Brock Nelson coming to the rescue and riding his strong play into the new year. Josh Bailey would cap off the day with an empty net goal, as well.

Joining me this week, is someone I have been a fan of for a long time – he goes by the name Down Goes Brown, but Sean McIndoe is a long time blogger, Twitter chirper (@downgoesbrown) and now full-time writer over at The Athletic. He joined the amazing crew over there during the offseason and has been pumping out great article after great article.

Last week, he put out a piece titled “Are Islanders fans right in thinking their team’s not getting enough credit?” that you should go and read, if you already haven’t. In it, he approaches things in a unique way that presents fans with a line of questions (and explanations) from multiple angles. Overall, it’s a pretty positive piece in a time where coverage outside of the regular writers, is not there. Fans had been giving him a hard time for never including him in his Power Rankings, and this story was a result of some of his research into wether the Islanders are deserving or not.

Sean answers the bell here, he wore his hockey gear and I fired a few shots at him to see if he meant what he said. Turns out, he does – and it’s worth a listen.

Although, he does do the typical Canadian thing – he’s way too nice and apologized for things I don’t really think deserved apologizing over.

He’s a hard guy not to like, that Down Goes Brown guy.

Episode 19: Just One Shot With JPinVA

Hello and welcome Episode 19! This week I am joined by a co-host from Twitter @JPinVA – JP and I have gone back and forth with some spirited Islanders discussions over the last few months and it’s been some good talk. I wanted to have him on for several episodes now and we finally found a time that worked for both of us.

We discuss the winning streak the Islanders ended with a loss last week against Carolina, the struggle they had against St Louis and the Rangers, despite stealing wins in regulation and the play of the kids Ho-Sang, Toews and Dal Colle. We also go into some talk on what to do with Eberle, Lehner, Nelson and some other pending UFA’s and it Lou will do anything with trades down the stretch to the trade deadline. As the title suggests as well, we also reference the one shot/one goal from the game against the Rangers on Thursday and what it will take to play their best tomorrow against Tampa.

We also take some off your Twitter questions, speak in detail about what can help the power play, how Barry Trotz has transformed players like Barzal, Nelson and the defense in general into something we’ve not seen in ages. I also hint at an upcoming guest, and congratulate the Isles Meetup guys for the creation of their own website NYIMeetups.com – head on over there to check it out!

We will be back with Episode 20 either Monday or Tuesday! Stay tuned!