Isles Buzz



Podcast by Isles Buzz


  • Islanders Award Winners: Denis Potvin, Norris Trophy, 1979

    28/11/2023 Duration: 01h17min

    So far in this series, we’ve seen Denis Potvin win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie after helping transform a hapless team into something resembling a professional one. We’ve seen him rocket up the charts of the league’s best defensemen, capturing his first Norris Trophy at just 22-years-old. We’ve seen him win a second Norris after pissing off the entire hockey world, learning to open up emotionally, and climbing back to the mountaintop after a inconsistent follow-up season. Today we finally reach his final Norris Trophy year, in which the Islanders win their first regular season championship and Potvin has, to this day, the best single season a defensemen has ever had for this franchise. Potvin’s 101 points on 31 goals and 70 assists in 1978-89 was by all accounts a spectacular campaign, highlighted by hat tricks, long point streaks, torrid periods of dominance and one hit that would result in an unfortunate injury and even more unfortunate chant that has gone on for far too long. With Potvin lead

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 264 - A New Phase

    27/11/2023 Duration: 01h28min

    Mike and Dan recap (and differ) on the Islanders last week, which saw them pick up five of six points, play a game with just four defensemen and acquire a player they advocated for years ago. Wins against the Flyers and Senators weren't perfect, but were huge nonetheless, especially considering the losses of Adam Pelech (now on long term injured reserve) and Sebastian Aho. Getting a point on a back-to-back also against Philadelphia, mainly courtesy of Ilya Sorokin, was also enormous and kept them in the playoff mix. But their tendency to play poorly in third periods continues. Perhaps new waiver pick up Mike Reilly, who we wanted the Islanders to sign three years ago after his playoff series with the Bruins against the Isles, can help on the backend. In the second half, we look forward to a much tougher week, celebrate Cal Clutterbuck's 1,000th game and dive into a double blowhard edition of Master Leaf Theatre. Subscribe to our Patreon! Plans start as low as $2 a month and patrons get ad-free episodes of the

  • Weird Islanders: The Podcast! - Episode 37 - Mike Comrie (with guest Ethan from Gotham Sports Network)

    22/11/2023 Duration: 01h03min

    Joined by Gotham Sports Network founder and Giants podcaster Ethan, Mike and Dan remember Mike Comrie, who brought a lot of skill and a very famous significant other to a downtrodden Islanders club. After 30-goal seasons in Edmonton and Phoenix and a run to the Stanley Cup final with Ottawa, Comrie signed with a mercenary Islanders team looking for all the skill it could find. The forward added just that in his first season, but an injury-plagued second year spelled the end of his time on Long Island. More importantly, Comrie's fiancée at the time was Disney Channel star Hilary Duff, who brought a strange and undeserved amount of celebrity to a team and an arena devoid of glitz or glamour. Mike, Dan and Ethan talk about how odd it was seeing a super famous actress/singer/crush at random empty Islanders games and how that short episode presaged the public's current obsession with the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce relationship. Yes, the episode is "about" Mike Comrie but trust us, it's really about Hilary Duff. Tha

  • Islanders Award Winners: Denis Potvin, Norris Trophy, 1978

    21/11/2023 Duration: 51min

    By winning the Calder Trophy in 1974 and the Norris in 1976, Denis Potvin had already established himself as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. That was the good news. The bad news was that his mouth and idiosyncratic disposition separated him from many of his peers and even his own teammates. An inflammatory series of diaries written during the 1976 Canada Cup tournament made many in and out of the game think of him as a petulant grouch or an outright villain. But by beginning his journey as a businessman, taking a more team-oriented approach to hockey and opening himself up emotionally to his teammates, Potvin - still just 24-years-old - was able to unburden himself from pressure and expectations. In a season in which the Islanders started out sloppy and ended up with their first division championship, Potvin was a rock of consistency. After watching his brother Jean get traded away from Long Island, Denis went on a second half scoring rampage, blowing past his defensive competition to reclaim the Norri

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 263 - Alone in the Dark

    20/11/2023 Duration: 01h33min

    Mike and Dan try to make sense of the Islanders' bizarre road trip through Western Canada and discuss a possible change behind the bench. In eventful losses to the Oilers, Canucks and Kraken and a shootout win in Calgary, the Islanders followed similar scripts: play okay, take a lead, then disintegrate in the third period with careless penalties and all around unstructured play. While gaining four out of eight points is better than none, this team's established "insanely psychotic" way of playing isn't going to help them win many games. And many of the problems fall on head coach Lane Lambert, who may be out of time and out of a job by the time you hear this. We also discuss the upcoming Thanksgiving week schedule and a column from The Twilight Zone (aka Larry Brooks's column in the New York Post). Not a lot makes sense right now. Subscribe to our Patreon! Plans start as low as $2 a month and patrons get ad-free episodes of the shows, bonus podcasts, written posts, discounts and much more. Visit our friends:

  • Islanders Award Winners: Billy Smith, Conn Smythe Trophy, 1983

    14/11/2023 Duration: 50min

    Attention: This episode immediately follows the Billy Smith/Roland Melanson Jennings Trophy episode posted last week. If you have not yet, please stop this episode and listen to that one. For much of the 1982-83 regular season, the Islanders did not look like three-time defending Stanley Cup champions, let alone a team that could win the Cup again. They were old and occasionally leaky, and sometimes they seemed downright disinterested. But once the playoffs started, the “real” Islanders showed up again, led by the man they called “The Money Goalie.” Billy Smith didn’t take losing lightly. And he didn’t like being the weak link or the feeling of letting his friends down. After a series against a pesky playoff-debuting Washington team that required the aid of creasemate Roland Melanson to win, Smith became a man on a mission. He battled and scrambled and pushed and parried his way through series victories against the Rangers and Bruins before eventually dismantling the cocky, high-flying Edmonton Oilers and ang

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 262 - We Saw It Coming

    13/11/2023 Duration: 01h22min

    Mike and Dan lament a fruitless, frustrating week for the Islanders that left fans, coaches and players pissed off in equal measure. In losses to the Wild, Bruins and Capitals, the Islanders didn't play that poorly and had chances to win. But blown third periods, costly mistakes and ineffective play from key players left them with a four game losing streak and a road trip to Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest looming. Fans want coach Lane Lambert fired, which irrigated fiery forward Casey Cizikas and left everyone feeling that the circus was back in town. It's a tough spot with a lot of questions and few answers. In the second half, we look at what could be a truly disastrous trip and get to another (non-Toronto) edition of Master Leaf Theatre. Also, Mike tells us about running into several members of the Capitals at the Garden City Hotel and making them feel properly “welcomed” to Long Island. Subscribe to our Patreon! Plans start as low as $2 a month and patrons get ad-free episodes of the shows, bonu

  • Weird Islanders: The Podcast! - Episode 36 - Taylor Beck, Christopher Gibson and the "Big" Trade that Wasn't (with guest Arthur Staple)

    10/11/2023 Duration: 01h04min

    Joined by their friend Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Mike and Dan remember a rare NHL five-for-one trade that didn't really work out for either the Islanders or Maple Leafs. Just before training camp 2015, the Islanders sent winger Michael Grabner, an impending free agent coming off a couple of down years, to Toronto for five prospects: forwards Taylor Beck and Carter Verhaeghe, defenders Matt Finn and Tom Nilsson and goalie Christopher Gibson. In a very buttoned-up sport, trading one player for almost an entire starting lineup should be notable. But in this case, the results were mixed at best. Staple, who covered the Islanders at the time and is back on the beat now, tells us about Gibson's intelligence and intermittent excellence, Beck's missed potential, Grabner's short stay with the Leafs (and why he gave Staple the cold shoulder for a while), and how everyone missed on Verhaeghe before his recent breakout seasons. Time to look back on what seemed like a wild trade that just got sucked into the ether. T

  • Islanders Award Winners: Billy Smith and Roland Melanson, Jennings Trophy, 1983

    07/11/2023 Duration: 01h01min

    Before 1982, the Vezina Trophy was a team award, going to the NHL goaltending tandem that gave up the least goals against during the season. When the criteria was changed to voting by the league’s general managers, the first winner was 31-year-old Billy Smith, who finally reached the pinnacle of his career after a decade in the league. A year later, Smith and his creasemate, 22-year-old Rollie “The Goalie” Melanson, turned in a masterful duet, consistently bailing the three-time champs out of trouble during a tumultuous season to take home the Islanders’ first Jennings Trophy. Regardless of who was hot and who was cold, Smith and Melanson each gave the Islanders a goalie they could rely on. While the defending Stanley Cup champs battled fatigue, injuries, complacency, and challenges from all comers, the two goalies emerged as the team’s true strength. And when it became clear they had a shot to reward their goalies with the Jennings late in the season, the trophy gave their teammates the motivation they neede

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 261 - A Confusing Time to Be Optimistic

    06/11/2023 Duration: 01h27min

    Mike and Dan recap a week in which the Islander picked up a lot of points while blowing leads and generally not playing their best. In games against Detroit and Carolina, the Islanders had multi-goal leads and had things under control... until they didn't, losing both in overtime in very frustrating ways and throwing away valuable points. In Washington, a heroic effort from goalie Semyon Varlamov masked what had been a lackluster game controlled mostly by the Capitals. While picking up points is good, playing inconsistently, blowing leads and tasking defensemen with playing massive minutes to hide the deficiencies of others is not. In the second half, they look at a potentially difficult week ahead, the early evolution of forward Simon Holmstrom and another existential crisis up north. Subscribe to our Patreon! Plans start as low as $2 a month and patrons get ad-free episodes of the shows, bonus podcasts, written posts, discounts and much more. Visit our friends: Vintage Ice Hockey for t-shirts, hoodies and

  • Islanders Award Winners: Mike Bossy, Calder Trophy, 1978 (Part 2)

    31/10/2023 Duration: 59min

    Part Two of our look at Mike Bossy’s sensational rookie season begins at a low point, a fight-filled game in Detroit that Bossy later said embarrassed him. He thought he had put all of his old junior fears to rest once he joined the NHL and a line with Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies. But a stumble at The Olympia was a wake up call. Over the next several months, Bossy resumed his scoring pace and eventually matched - then obliterated - Rick Martin’s record for goals in a season scored by a rookie. The Islanders won their division for the first time and looked to be a serious contender heading into the playoffs. But Roger Nielsen, Tiger Williams and the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs had other ideas... The decision to make this a two-part episode was a late one, but I think it makes sense. There’s so much to unpack from Bossy’s first season in the NHL, even almost 50 years later, that doing it in one episode would have meant either cutting content, or making the narrative too dense to fully comprehend. This

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 260 - Still on the Rails

    30/10/2023 Duration: 01h25min

    Mike and Dan discuss the Islanders' 2-1-0 week that banked them four big points and kept them in the thick of the Metro Division. In games against the Avalanche and Senators, the Islanders played sloppy and undisciplined, resulting in a loss to one of the best teams in the NHL and a win against a young team with a bunch of distractions. They saw blown leads, costly turnovers, one terrible injury and a slew of careless penalties that made us wonder what anyone (other than Ilya Sorokin, who was brilliant in both) was thinking. Thankfully, they cleaned many of the problems up and had a quality game in Columbus that ended in a 2-0 shutout for a resurgent Semyon Varlamov, and left us in a better mood to end the weekend. In the second half, we look forward to three upcoming games against beatable opponents that give the Islanders a chance to make some real strides early in the season. The finish by looking at the Bo-for-Beau trade a few months later, and at ESPN's Frozen Frenzy, a good idea marred by the ESPNness o

  • Weird Islanders: The Podcast! - Episode 35 - Alexander Semak (with guest Greg Wyshynski)

    27/10/2023 Duration: 01h11min

    Mike and Dan kick off another season celebrating short-time Isles with ESPN's Greg Wyshynski discussing Alexander Semak, a notable Devil and forgotten Islander. From his inclusion as part of the Devils' wave of Russian imports to his career high 37-goal season, Semak was an important player in that team's evolution from pretty good to Cup contender. But he was traded to Tampa Bay just before New Jersey won its first championship, then was traded again to a fisherman-clad Islanders team in abject disarray and going nowhere. Despite a GM firing, a skeptical, temperamental coach and a woefully deficient lineup that piled up losses, Semak somehow had a decent season of 20 goals. Then just as quickly as he arrived, he was gone, with a snarky soundbite from his coach an another (bonus) ex-Devil in his place. Greg tells us how Semak helped the Devils during a formative time, and how fans lost track of him as they tasted Cup glory without him. The three then dissect Semak's lone Islanders season including his varied

  • Islanders Award Winners: Mike Bossy, Calder Trophy, 1978 (Part 1)

    24/10/2023 Duration: 42min

    Mike Bossy’s rookie season in the NHL has been the stuff of legend since it happened. But breaking league records and bringing fans out of their seats as a young phenom hid what was really going on in Bossy’s mind. While projecting preternatural confidence, the winger worried about going to the minors, being attacked by goons roaming the ice and of generally not meeting his own hype. Using Bossy’s own quotes from his 1987 book, Boss, we can dive deep into what he was feeling and thinking during his time in junior, when he was deciding whether to sign with the Islanders or the WHA’s Quebec Nordiques and during his first days on Long Island. Early in his first camp, Bossy was placed on a line with skilled center Bryan Trottier and burly left winger Clark Gillies, and immediately found his footing among the pros. But that didn’t stop the old junior fears from coming true. This is Part One of a supersized two-part episode. In Part Two, we’ll examine the rest of Bossy’s rookie season, his friendship with Trottier,

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 259 - Good, Bad and Resilient

    23/10/2023 Duration: 01h35min

    NOTE (THAT WE FORGOT TO MENTION): Weird Islanders: The Podcast! returns for its third season this Friday! We’ve recorded some bangers already so it’s going to be a great slate of episodes featuring some real blasts from the past (and a lotta goalies for some reason). Mike and Dan recap the Islanders first full week of the season, one that saw some great performances and some bewildering ones. After dominating the Arizona Coyotes to a deceptive 1-0 win, the Islanders showed a lot of fight against the speedy New Jersey Devils (before a Jack Hughes overtime goal went and ruined everything). A night later in Buffalo, the Islanders were no-shows against a Sabres team they had beaten just a week earlier. While skaters playing on a back-to-back might have had an excuse, the fresh players inserted into the lineup were all but invisible, raising serious questions about how they will fit in going forward. In the second half, they look ahead to the Islanders upcoming schedule against a recent champion, a young darling a

  • Islanders Award Winners: Mark Fitzpatrick, Masterton Trophy, 1992

    17/10/2023 Duration: 01h26min

    Mark Fitzpatrick came to the Islanders as a highly-touted goalie prospect and quicky established himself as a fiery NHL-caliber netminder. But right before the 1990-91 season, the 21-year-old found himself in a Los Angeles hospital with swollen hands and arms, and feet the size of footballs. Even when doctors were able to name his ailment as a rare blood disease called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome or EMS, Fitzpatrick’s frightening and frustrating ordeal to reclaim his playing career was just beginning. After treatments and stops and starts on the ice, Fitzpatrick was able to play 30 games for an Islanders team with slim playoff hopes in 1992. He became the Islanders’ second ever recipient of the Masterton Trophy for dedication to hockey, but more importantly, became a beacon of hope to others suffering from EMS all across the world. While Fitzpatrick was battling for his life and career, the Islanders of this time were an absolute trainwreck. Their scorers couldn’t score, their defense wasn’t consistent, the

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 258 - Apologies To That Gentleman

    16/10/2023 Duration: 01h13min

    Mike and Dan recap the Islanders opening night win over Buffalo and the loss of Ross Johnston, and debut a new bit, "Master Leaf Theatre." The victory over the Sabres, the Islanders' first win in an at-home opener in almost 30 years, had some great performances and some spotty ones, but as far as season opening games go, was very satisfying. Bo Horvat didn't get on the scoresheet, but his game and acclimation to Long Island over the summer bodes well for the future. In the second half, the hosts discuss the loss of Ross Johnston on waivers to the Anaheim Ducks and how he was an Islanders Legend in his way. Then they formalize a new and occasionally recurring segment called, "Master Leaf Theatre," in which they perform dramatic readings of reports/fan fic from the Leafs Land. "Master Leaf Theatre" might not always be about Toronto in the future but its spirit certainly runs through it. Other topics include Buffalo watcher melting down (again) about a loss to the Islanders, "culture changes" and a "tidy piece o

  • Islanders Award Winners: Al Arbour, Jack Adams Trophy, 1979

    10/10/2023 Duration: 01h07min

    Season Two of Islanders Awards Winners is finally here. It’s taken far too long to get to this point, but I’m proud of how these episodes turned out and I’m excited to finally release them to the world. Thank you all in advance for listening. The story of Al Arbour’s one NHL Coach of the Year season begins and ends with devastating losses. In between was a franchise-record winning streak, several of the best individual seasons in team history, and the often ruthless pursuit of perfection. Arbour was a complex man - a hockey innovator who wore “dark suits and white shirts and ties that look like they were given as Christmas presents” and a father figure who pushed his players relentlessly, sometimes to the point of exasperation. But his drive was to win the Stanley Cup under any circumstance. And any stumble, no matter how minor, was unacceptable. Arbour was not afraid to butt heads with his best and most loyal players and they all understood it was all done in service of making them the best the could be. Arb

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 257 - My Favorite Thing and My Least Favorite Thing

    09/10/2023 Duration: 01h46min

    Mike and Dan begin their eighth season of Islanders coverage by looking at the preseason and ahead to changes in the team's media coverage, and making oddly specific predictions. While Mat Barzal looked like a man on a mission during the exhibition season, his teammates mainly went through the motions. Most importantly, no one was hurt and Kyle Palmieri did eventually return from his still-undisclosed injury. Contrary to popular belief, there were some new faces in camp. Although most of them ended up in Bridgeport this past weekend, they could still play a part in the upcoming season. In the second half, the hosts examine the home/season opener against Buffalo on Oct. 14 and the many storylines that can be ignited with either a win or a loss. They discuss the terrifying opening month and spending yet another season on the margins. They also cover a shift in the Islanders' media coverage at The Athletic and the wrong guy at the wrong time who as since moved on. Finally, we get to some very specific prediction

  • Islanders Anxiety - Episode 256 - My Mind is Clean

    19/09/2023 Duration: 01h23min

    Mike and Dan recap some notable events of the last week including some Islanders press junkets, rookie camp and Josh Bailey's goodbye and PTO with Ottawa. We start with Lou Lamoriello's preseason press conference where he gave updates on Alex Romanov, Zach Parise and the coaching staff, as well as reminding everyone how schedules work. Rookie camp got underway with a few guys, such as 2022 pick and recent ELC-signer Isaiah George, turning heads. But it was Josh Bailey, the forever Islander, stealing some of the spotlight by penning a goodbye letter to Long Island in The Players' Tribune, then signing a try-out with the Ottawa Senators, leading to all kinds of mixed emotions. Finally, they discuss the Mike Babcock fiasco in Columbus, some kind words for Islanders fans from an unlikely source and Mike's brother's upcoming wedding. Compared to the rest of the Islanders' summer, it's been a lot to take in. Subscribe to our Patreon! Plans start as low as $2 a month and patrons get ad-free episodes of the shows, bo

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