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by Chris Botta / New York Islanders

DP possible for Saturday, Comeau fitting in, The Times on Okposo and more

Blake Comeau
Some News and Notes in and around Islanders Country tonight...
DP a Maybe: Ted Nolan made it clear tonight that Rick DiPietro will return to the lineup only when team doctors determine the star goaltender is completely ready. "Ricky's too important to this franchise," Nolan told this evening. "You know he's dying to get in there, especially against a rival like the Devils and a great goalie like Martin Brodeur, but we're going to do what's right long-term for the team and for Rick." Expect to see DiPIetro take the Saturday morning skate and then an all-hands-on-deck decision on whether he can start against the Devils.
Comeau-pening Eyes: Yeah, that's an awful play on words, but young Blake's play has been anything but. The prospect has been superb taking a semi-regular shift on the fourth line with Andy Hilbert and Tim Jackman. "That kid has something about him," said veteran center Mike Sillinger. "If he didn't look so young, you'd think Blake's been around a while. He's very poised with the puck and always seems to be in the right place. Those are the hardest things for a kid to learn. He's going to have a good career."
Times Hockey Blog on Okposo: A few weeks ago the New York Times debuted a new hockey blog, Slap Shot. The Times has about five writers on the case, including good man/journalist Dave Caldwell, who used to cover the Islanders superbly when the Times covered the Islanders regularly. Anyway, today the blog included an entry from former Long Islander and current Arizonian Lew Serviss on the Islanders' signing of Kyle Okposo. Lew also links the cool goal Kyle scored last season. Maybe if the Times sees so many Islanders fans logging on to the Slap Shot blog, they'll spend more time in Uniondale.
No New Year's Eve with Dad: We received the news from the Carolina Hurricanes tonight that Chad Larose has been activated from Injured Reserve and Brandon Nolan has been returned to Albany of the AHL. This means in all likelihood there won't be a Nolan family reunion when the Islanders play in Carolina on New Year's Eve. The 24-year old made his family proud with an assist, a plus-1 and more than seven minutes of average icetime in two games with the Hurricanes.
Freddy Meyer
The Fantastic IVth: How about that Freddy Meyer? The guy goes from the Islanders to Phoenix to San Antonio and back to the Island - becoming a first-time father along the way. Then he waits out his time as the eighth dman on the depth chart not by sulking, but by giving his all at every practice and morning skate. Ted Nolan notices, gives Freddy a shot and the still-young defenseman has played exceptionally well. Don't you think that sends a message to the rest of the team? "One thing about Freddy Meyer," said Nolan, "is that he brings the attitude to the rink we're looking for. He continues to work on his game and has played well. You make room on your team for players like him."
Torrid Tambellini: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost at home tonight, 4-2, to the Providence Bruins, but Jeff Tambellini is still on fire. Tambellini had both Bridgeport goals and now has 17 goals in 28 games in the AHL this season. Sound Tigers coach Jack Capuano had this to say this morning about the 23-year old Tambellini: "I have a lot of admiration for that kid. He's been up and down with the Islanders and us, but he always comes back to the Sound Tigers with a positive outlook. He's a great player and an even better teammate."
No Sympathy: For those Devils, who won in a shootout tonight in Newark, 2-1 over Buffalo. Martin Brodeur looked like his legendary self with a brilliant pokecheck on Ales Kotalik and acrobatic save on Tim Connolly in the shootout. It may be back-to-backs for the Devils on Saturday, but you know they'll be fired up in search of their first win over the Islanders (3-0) this season.
TV Alert: If you can't make it to Saturday's game, make sure to tune into the Islanders' version of the broadcast on FSN instead of the other guys. Nothing against the wondrous Doc Emrick or our beloved Chico Resch at all, but Howie Rose, Billy Jaffe and Deb Kaufman are ours and nobody does it better. Same goes for the men in the truck: producer Kevin Meininger, director Larry Roth and their associates, Charlie Cuchiara and Steve Daily.
Saturday Tickets Going Fast, Score Them Now!: Last we heard, only select seats remain for Saturday's Islanders-Devils showdown at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Do not wait until Saturday night to get them or you will be disappointed. Click here now or call Ticketmaster at 631.888.9000.

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