Sunday, January 27, 2008

ALL-STAR EMAIL Q & A: Stan Fischler

A hot topic on Islanders message boards this season is the perceived negative treatment Stan Fischler and Al Trautwig give the Islanders at times, specifically Rick DiPietro. I went straight to the Maven for some answers.

Stan, some of us in Islanders Country think you and Al Trautwig tend to be tougher on The Rick than you are on The King. Your reaction?

That's a fascinating question which inspires a smile on my face, and for good reason. Just the other day, I phoned Steve Walkom, boss of the referees. I mentioned to him that John Dellapina of the Daily News suggested in his blog that the refs have been tougher on the Rangers than other teams. Of course, Walkom dismissed it out of hand.

What we all share in hockey is a hypersensitivity about who is rooting for whom and who's getting the short end of a composite stick. I love Rick DiPietro as a person and a goalie. So if it seems as if I'm tougher on him than Henny, it must be that I'm thinking of the song, "You Always Hurt The One You Love -- The One You Shouldn't Hurt At All." It's really a function of the fact that I project Ricky to be the NHL's best goalie in a year or two and I get impatient when I see him allow goals I believe he should stop. Actually, if you check my blog and have listened to the last few Hockey Night Live shows, I've been tough on Henny as well. Marty Brodeur would probably tell you the same thing about me and him. Bottom line: I always figure those who are the best can handle criticism.

Do you and Al talk during commercial breaks and come up with ways to tick off Islanders fans so you get more email?

Our aim is to treat all three teams equally. Thus, when we get more email from one sector and less from others, such as Long Island, we try to encourage more from the lesser group. Al and I don't sit around thinking of ways to nudge more letters from Islanders fans, but a little twitting here and there is roughly equivalent to Ted Nolan urging more hockey out of one of his slumping players.

Assuming you have Rick No. 1, who are the No. 2 and No. 3 most valuable Islanders on this year's team?

Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger.

Your five favorite Islanders of all time.

1. Denis Potvin; 2. Bob Bourne; 3. Bill Smith; 4. Clark Gillies; 5. Bryan Trottier

Is Brent enjoying himself back in the NHL and in New Jersey? As much as he's with a rival, we still care a lot about him around here.

Although his always-intense look might make you think otherwise, Brent is having the time of his life as a head coach in the Bigs. The only time it is otherwise is when the buzzer sounds right after the Islanders have beaten his Devils -- yet again!!!

Where do the Islanders, Rangers and Devils finish in the East this season?

My preseason prediction was Rangers first, Devils seven, Islanders eight. Today, I have Rangers six, Devils seven, Islanders eight. This is based on the fact that I expect the talent-filled Blueshirts to wake up after the All Star Game. That's contingent on Henny re-finding his excellence in goal and Renney figuring out the formula so that we don't hear the "lack of chemistry" rationale in March. I'm cautious about the Devils because of their scoring problems -- the win in Philly was an aberration -- and how Brodeur handles the overwork-load in the stretch. I worry about the Isles without Chris Campoli, but I have consummate faith in Ted Nolan and one of my favorite all-time goalies, Ricky D., although I'd like to see more of Dubie, who is underplayed.

I know you enjoy your gig on the Devils, but don't you wish you were at the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike more often?

Hey, I grew up at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. I did the first Islanders telecast with Spencer Ross in March 1975. My two kids grew up there. I love the joint. I relish every moment that I'm there and I will relish any time I'm back there. But as my grandmother, Etel Friedman, used to say (this is translated), "You can't have your backside at three weddings at one time." Hopefully, you'll see me out there soon.

1 comment:

7th Woman said...

You ask all the right questions CB, and get some of the most candid, sincere answers. He's right about Campoli. With all his true feelings about the Islanders being brought to light...I still want our own pre-game show back!!