If there's anything that we love talking about here at LHH, it's rosters and lines. Along the same lines, I have a love of playing sports games in which I am the general manager. I thought it was a good time to combine those two things, so I bring you "Lighthouse Hockey Saves The Islanders". We'll be playing NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 as the Islanders.
But to make this more interesting, the game has been modded to start at the 1998-1999 season. We'll be taking over an Islanders team which is captained by Trevor Linden, and whose top ten scorers included Mike Watt and Barry Richter. There's been some changes in this timeline's history though. Our front office for example:
Since this is fan made, there are some mistakes such as Wang and Kumar owning the Islanders in 98-99. Also because EHM is hard coded to start in the 06-07 season, all players birthdates had to be edited so that they are the correct age. But for all intents and purposes this is the 98-99 seasons.
This will be a community play-through of the game. The goal is to either get the Islanders to the Stanley Cup or multiple Stanley Cup/Conference finals within 7 seasons. The idea being that a popular Islanders team is much more likely to get a new Nassau Coliseum. Also just in general to be a better General Manager then Mike Milbury was. I am going to sim 2 weeks of the game twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays.
You can bookmark this thread, because I'll keep using it and updating it as we go along. We'll be voting on lines and roster changes. Speaking of which, let's take a look at our current roster, lines and our farm team.
Our Farm Team in Lowell
Anyone making under 100K in Lowell, is signed to them and we would have to sign them to use them.
So here's how voting is going to go. Post the lines and any roster changes you would like to make. The one with the most Recs is the one I'm going to use. We have at least 1 exhibition game before the season, and my next update will be on the eve of the season starting.
We also have to decide what to do with Milbury? Should we fire him? And who should we replace him with?
The most notable coaches that we can sign include Scott Gordon, Butch Goring, Dave Tippett, Todd Richards, Paul Pickard, Shawn MacKenzie, Craig MacTavish, Bryan Trottier and Ted Nolan.
The top free agents that we could sign consist of Brian Rafalski, Roman Cechmanek and Michal Mikeska.
Any questions, I'll try my best to answer. Remember Rec = Votes. I'll probably run this late on Saturday night.
Update #1 98-99 Preaseason
Well that was disappointing. We couldn't sign any of the foreign signed players due to them needing to be signed during a window which won't be available until next year. People were willing to listen to trade offers (except for Naslund, Canucks won't trade him) but none of them were accepted. The Canucks did make a counter offer to our Nylander offer which I accepted. It meant us giving up on a good 3rd line center, but Nylander is younger.
I mean I'm more then willing to give up late round draft picks in next years draft. Oh that reminds me, one more thing that will make everyone happy:
Mike Milbury has been replaced with Islanders legend Butch Goring behind the bench.
So here's how the lines shaked out for the preseason. I know Anch wanted Nylander on the wing, but he's just competent on the Wing. If I'm playing players out of position, I'd rather play fourth liners out of position considering how little they play.
I figured out of all our Left Wingers, Dawe is the one worth a gamble in the top 6. He's only two seasons removed from 98 points in 140 games including back to back 20 goal seasons. Plus he's currently 25.
I could trade Lachance for a 2nd rounder, but most of the offers we got for him were pretty marginal (including Darby Hendrickson from the Leafs). Given our defense, I still think he's pretty good.
For the pre-season we played the Senators, Canucks, Sabres, Bruins and Maple Leafs.
The Isles outshot the Senators 35-21 and went 2 for 6 on the PP in a 2-1 win. PP Goals from Palffy (Nylander and Reichel) and Linden (Jonsson and Czerwaski). Salo in net.
Shots on net were 33-18 for New York. The Isles gave up an early PP goal, then went on to score 5 straight goals including 2 PP goals (2/9 PP) to get things started. Nylander (Jonsson, Linden) Czerwaski (Dawe, Linden) Nemchinov (Chroskey, Webb) Webb (Nemchinov, Chorske) and Linden (Nylander, Jonsson) all scored. Little known goalie Eric Pfliger was in net for the Canucks instead of Garth Snow though.
Once again the Isles outshot the opposition, this time 34-17. Unfortunately they were playing Dominik Hasek and managed just 2 goals, Sacco (Lawrence) and Palffy (Brewer, Linden). That was enough though to get the OT win.
The Isles put in a clunker losing 5-1 to the Bruins. Czewaski (Linden, Dawe) got the lone goal on the PP for the Isles. During a stretch of penalties in the second including back to back Dawe penalties the Bruins blew open the game with 2 PP goals and a third even strength goal.
Wade Flahtery got his first start of the preseason and played well in a 2-1 loss. But strangely enough Igor Korolev managed both goals for the Leafs. The lone Islanders goal was from Czerwaski (Dawe, Reichel). Former Islander Glen Healy started for the Leafs, but was placed on waivers not long after the game.
What's up next for us?
The Isles play 4 straight away games to start the season, facing the Coyotes, Sharks, Ducks and Stars. The rest of October is spent at home, with the sim taking us to October 19th and games against the Bruins, Predators and Penguins.
Nylander, Linden and Dawe seem to be really working out well. Palffy had a disappointing camp and has largely been missing in action so far.
The writers predict that the Isles will finish 26, with Palffy being MVP and Nylander being the biggest addition. Chara is considered one of the top ten prospects. Ziggy is considered one of the leagues top ten right wingers.
There's waivers in this game, but no one that really jumps out at being a possible upgrade other then a 36 year old Glenn Healy. Trust me, it took all of my self control to not claim him.
If you guys have any ideas for lines, feel free to put them in before. We can also set tactics for each line, but I figured that's for too in depth. But if someone's interested let me know.
Update #2 The First Two Weeks, Promise and Pain
Game 1 At Phoenix
A 3-0 loss, we were shutout by Khabibulan. Doan put up an unassisted goal in the first, and then we had no answer for Roenick/Tocchet/Tkachuk who combined on two second period goals. Salo was our best player with 34 saves on 37 shots, while our PP went 0/6
Game 2 At San Jose
A 3-2 loss, but it was close all game. A first period goal by Rouse (Damphousse) was followed 9 seconds later by a Linden (Palffy, Jonsson) goal. Ricci (Murphy, Marleau) scored in the second. A PP goal in the 3rd by Palffy (Nylander, Berard) was followed 2 minutes later by a Murphy (Damphousse, Marleau) goal for the final score. The Isles outshot the Sharks 31-25, but went 1/9 on the PP. Palffy got 3rd star and was our best player along with Linden.
Game 3 At Anaheim
Powered by Kariya (Rucchin, Marha) goal and a PP goal by Selanne (Haller, Salei) jumped the Ducks out to a 2-0 lead. Palffy (Pilon, Linden) got one back before the end of the period. Dawe got an early unassisted goal in the 2nd to tie things up. It didn't last though, as Salei (Cullen, Haller) put the Ducks up again on a PP Goal. The Isles came out flying in the second, with Nylander (Palffy) scoring a PP goal and Nylander (Palffy, Linden) scoring again to put the Isles up 4-3. The Isles couldn't hold the lead though, as Selanne (Pushor) and then Haller (Cullen, Salei) scored in the final five minutes to get the win. Salo was 25/30, while Palffy was our best rated player in the game. The PP was 1/6 while the PK was 4/6.
Game 4 At Dallas
We started Wade Flathery... In the second game of a back to back we started Wade Flathery. Dallas won 6-1. Our one goal was Reichel (Palffy, Brewer). Brewer was our best player of the night. The Isles were 1/2 on the PP and 2/3 on the PK.
Game 5 Boston
It didn't get much better a few days later with Salo in net for the home opener. Allison (Bourque, Khristich) opened scoring with a PP goal, then Baumgartner (Bourque) posted a SH goal. Thornton (McLaren, Bourque) finished off the scoring in the first. Palffy (Nylander, Chara) got it to 3-1 to start the 3rd, but Carter (Axelsson, Robitalle) made it 4-1 not long after. Palffy (Chara, Nylander) cut it close to 4-2 again, but Samsonov (Khristich, Allison) made it 5-2 not long after. The Isles were outshot 33-21, the PP was 0/4 and the PK was 5/6. Chara got 3rd Star of the night and was the best player for the team with our first perfect 10 rating.
Game 6 Nashville
Reichel (Dawe, Czerwaski) got the Isles on the board late in the first. An insurance goal by Linden (Nylander, Palffy) ended up being the difference as Greg Johnson got an unassisted goal to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Isles got their first win. PP was 0/4, PK was 3/3. Linden got first star (and another 10 rating) while Johnson got second and third star went to Salo for his 23/24 performance.
Game 7 Pittsburgh
The first period ended 1-0, thanks to Palffy (Nylander, Smolinski). They couldn't keep the momentum as the Penguins scored thanks to Jagr (Straka, Dollas) and Lang (Jagr, Hatcher). The Isles tied it up in the 3rd, first Dawe (Pilon, Reichel) and then went up 3-2 due to a PP goal from Linden (Dawe, Czerwaski). Unfortunately this was an Islanders game against Jagr, who proceeded to score a SH goal with 13 seconds left (assist to Hatcher). Tied after OT, the game went to a shootout with Jagr and Miller scoring to give the Penguins the win. The Islanders outshot the Pens 36-31 including 22 blocked shots by the Pens. The Isles PP was 1/8 while the PK was 4/4. Jagr was first star of the game and Hatcher was second (Jagr, Hatcher and Dollas all had perfect 10 games) while Dawe was third star.
Where we stand
The Islanders are 1-5-1, 27th out of 30 teams in the league in points (only the Bluejackets, Thrashers and Wild are worse, they are rostered by non-existent players). At 10%, the Isles PP is tied for 24th in the league, the PK is tied for 17th in the league at 85.2%. They are one of only two teams with 2 shorthanded goals against. Averaging 30 SOG a game the Isles are 5th worst in the league. With only 14 goals for the Isles are 24th in the league.
On the bright side, Ziggy Palffy's 14 points put him at 13th in points in the league. Stats wise, here's how the rest of the roster looks:
I've been running heavy on the first line, but since there's been a lot of PP time and we lean heavy on the first PP unit, that might be why their ice time is so high.
Also here's a list of our players who can play multiple positions and how they are at each position:
Bryan Berard: LD Natural, RD Competent
Eric Brewer: LD Natural, RD Competent
Zdeno Chara: LD Competent, RD Natural
Joe Sacco: LW Natural, RW Accomplished
Mike Watt: LW Competent, C Natural
Robert Reichel: C Natural, RW Competent
Bryan Smolinski: C Natural, Either Wing Competent
Sergei Nemchinov: C Natural, LW Accomplished
Jason Dawe: RW Natural, LW Accomplished
Mark Lawrence: RW Natural, LW Competent
Tom Chorske: LW Natural, RW Competent
Ken Belengar: LW Natural, RW Competent
If a position isn't listed, it's probably not a good idea to play them there.
Our current lines:
Players being shopped by their teams:
As always, I'll be taking any ideas from the crowd. Our biggest problem right now is probably our PP.
Also apologies, losing the save and life got in the way. But I swear I'm going to keep going with this one way or another.
Update #3 If We Win 3 in a row, That's a Winning Streak. It Has Happened Before.
I just have no words for how these two weeks. But let's start with the simple stuff. I updated the lines to Anch's current line offerings. We also signed our new Assistant coaches. Sudsie is our new goalie coach. I think he might be one of the best goalie coaches in the game. Freddy Sipotz (not a real person) is our Defenseman coach, he's from Milwaukee. The final coach hired was Jacob Skazyk, a relative unknown from South Africa, is the forwards coach. All three additions have been praised for their work with young players.
Game 8 Carolina
I have no words for this game. The Isles lost 3-0, despite outshooting the Canes 40-20. Arturus Irbe decided to have the game of his life, while our PP went 0/5 and PK was 1/3. Brewer was our best player of the night with a 9 rating. Somehow Glen Wesley was first star of the night with 1 goal and 2 assists.
Game 9 Buffalo
I was bamboozled by this game. I truly was. I'm not going to post in game ratings too much, cause I think this is more fun without referring to them. But this is in his prime Hasek that the Islanders were up against, look at these ratings!
And yet the Islanders chased him after 31 minutes, during which he allowed 4 goals on 14 shots. Czerwaski (Dawe, Berard) opened scoring. Dawe (Smolinski), Palffy (Lachance, Linden) made it 3-0 at the end of the first. Patrick (Grosek, Satan) cut it to 3-1 to open the 2nd, but that's as close as it got. Nylander (Palffy, Linden) chased Hasek. Berard (Smolinski, Salo) added one against Dwayne Roloson. Nylander (Palffy, Linden) and Dawe (Linden, Berard) scored to make it 7-1. Buffalo added two more, but it was too little too late. Shots were 35-19 for the Isles, Top Stars were Linden (4 Assists) Dawe (2 Goals, 1 Assists) and Berard (1 Goal, 2 Assists) all three were perfect 10s for the night. Scott Lachance was also a perfect ten for the night. The PP was 0/4, PK 0/0.
Game 10 Florida
Dawe (Czerwaski, Lachance) scored at about 10 minutes. Then a minute later Linden (Berard, Jonsson) put in a PP goal for the insurance goal. Nylander (Palffy, Linden) added another goal in the second to bring us the 3-1 final score. Isles had 35 shots to 16, PP was 1/5, PK was 1/1. Top Stars of the night were Linden, Salo (both having perfect 10s) and Jonsson.
Game 11 Chicago
This game started so well. Palffy (Nylander, Jonsson) opened the scoring 40 seconds into the game. Moreau (White, Ling) answered back 2 minutes later. But thanks to Palffy (Nylander, Linden) the Isles closed the first in the lead. Olczyk (Clearly, Chelios) tied things halfway through the second. Amonte (Daze, Zmolek) gave Chicago their first lead. But it was an unassisted Chelios goal on what was a dump in from outside the offensive zone that opened the flood gates, as Chicago scored 3 goals in a 2 minute span. Salo had one of his worst outings 22/28, while Linden and Nylander were our best players with 9 ratings. PP was 0/4, PK 0/0.
Game 12 At New Jersey
I made the decision to start Flaherty, figured it wouldn't be bad to give Salo a rest after that start. Flaherty then gave up 3 goals on 13 shots after the first and got the hook. Salo went 15/15 for the rest of the game, but down 3-0 to the Devils we could only get 1 second period goal by Palffy (Linden, Jonsson). Salo was our best player of the night with a 9 rating. PP was 0/6, PK 2/2.
Where We Are Now
The Islanders are in last in the Eastern Conference, 4 points behind Ottawa. The PP is sputtering along at 7.8%, ahead of only the Blue Jackets, Thrashers and Sabres. The PK is at 81.8% and is 25th in the league. Our offense is averaging 2.25 Goals a game, for 24th in the league. They are allowing 3.5 Goals though for 27th in the league. The team is 8th in the league in shots on goal (31.17) but their shooting percentage is 7.18, which is 28th in the league. The defense is doing alright and only allowing 28 shots a game which is 14th in the league and our best stat so far.
Ziggy's 17 points is tied for 8th in the league. Linden is tied for 36th and Nylander 41st in points. Salo's Save Percentage is 49th in the league. Linden was also named Offensive Player of the Week on 10/23.
We have some morale problems, but that might be because I have some of the bottom pairings on limited ice time. Currently these players have low morale: Lawrence, Pilon, Czerwaski, Webb, Dawe. The following have very low morale: Reichel, Nemchinov, Sacco.
I don't think there's a lot to do to fix morale, other then winning. I could change around ice times. Here's how they are now. First Line 90 Seconds, Second Line 40 Seconds, Third Line 30 Seconds, Fourth Line 20 Seconds.
Update #4 Inconsistency Maybe?
Some good news for the team. We signed Luongo, Rafalski and Checmanek. None of that becomes official though until next season. Luongo could probably use a year in the AHL, and we could platoon Salo and Checmanek for maximum euro goalie insanity. Let's jump right into the insanity! (minor changes to lines, using anch's updated lines but didn't swap Somlinski/Reichel)
Game #13 Atlanta
So when one of the absolute worst teams in the league comes to the barn, it gives the PP a kick. The Islanders went 5/8 on the PP and got 54 Shots on net. Brewer (Linden) scored the first goal in the second period (and only non PP goal). The rest of the goals were Dawe (Nylander, Brewer) Berard (Reichel) Dawe (Smolinski, Brewer) Palffy (Berard, Reichel) Reichel (Chara, Palffy). This was also Salo's first shutout. Brewer, Reichel, Palffy were your stars of the night and had perfect 10s (along with Salo and Chara).
Game #14 Tampa Bay
You know what else helps? When you play Corey Schwab and he lets in 3 goals on the first three shots. Smolinski (Czerwaski, Dawe) Reichel (Lachance, Shorthanded) and Nylander (Palffy, Linden) scored to chase Schwab. Ranford didn't do much better, giving up goals to Reichel (Watt, Lawrence) and Nylander (Linden, Chara) in the second period. The PP went 0/3, the PK 5/6. Reichel, Linden, Chara were your stars of the night (all had perfect 10s, along with Salo).
Game #15 At Philly
So close to that winning streak, and yet so far. Lindros (Leclair, Brind'Amour) opened scoring for the Flyers on the PP. Palffy (Reichel, Smolinski) scored with less then 30 seconds to tie things up. Dawe (Jonsson, Brewer) scored on the PP to open the second. Lindros (Desjardinis) evened it up on a shorthanded goal. Palffy (Lachance) scored again to give the Isles the lead at the end of two. Unfortunately the Legion of Doom finished things off with a 3 goal third. Smolinski had a perfect ten night, but Salo was awful (17/22). Islanders were 1/6 on the PP and 1/3 on the PK.
Quick Note, Czerwaski was injured during practice and replaced by Chorske for the next few games.
Game #16 At Boston
Smolinski (Chorske, Jonsson) opened the scoring but the Bruins finished the first up 2-1. The Bruins scored to open the second, but Palffy (Linden, Nylander) scored twice (Linden) to finish the second tied. Unfortunately Samsonov went off with 2 straight goals in the third, followed by two more Bruins goals to finish the game. Player of the night for the Isles was Palffy (9 rating). Salo had another poor outing going 32/39. the PP was 0/1 and PK 4/4
Game #17 At Los Angeles
For a surprise, Sacco (Webb, Pilon) opened the scoring. Unfortunately that was the only goal of the night, and the Kings scored a goal in each period for the 3-1 final. The PP went 0/4, the PK 3/4. Player of the night was Salo (28/31 9 rating).
Game #18 At Tampa Bay
Things went so well last time. Czerwaski is back in the lineup for this game. Palffy (Linden, Nyalnder) scored first, but it was Rob Zamunder's night to shine as his two goals were the difference in the game. The PP went 0/4 while the PK was 4/4. Palffy, Linden and Salo were the "best" players on the ice for the night (8 ratings). Corey Schwab was 3rd star of the night stopping 22/23.
Where We Are Now?
Well the signings were good news. It should definitely solidify the goaltending situation. In fairness Salo is the second best average rating on the team, but he ping pongs back and forth between standing on his head and stopping nothing. Flahtery gets the next start because it's a back to back, and I'm already afraid.
Palffy has 15 goals, which means he has more goals then all but Nylander and Linden have points.
At the very least we might want to do something with Lawrence. Chorske could be an upgrade, but he'd also be playing somewhat out of position. Plus we would have to replace Lawrence on the PK, but that shouldn't be as big of a problem. The best player I could sign that's a grinding winger is Kevin Sawyer. He might even be good as a 4th line piece if we want to remove any of those guys.
The big problem just seems to be consistency. When the forwards and Salo are having a good day, nothing can stop them. But if either of them are having a off day, it just kills the team.