MIKE & 'THE DOG': BIG YEAR NEEDED FROM YASH

Wednesday, 08.10.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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MIKE & \'THE DOG\': BIG YEAR NEEDED FROM YASH

Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo was on his own this afternoon -- the more even-keeled and sometimes moderator Mike Francesa in on vacation -- but the puppy was on his best behavior during a 20-minute interview this afternoon with Mike Milbury.

The only time "Dog" sounded like he needed to scratch was when he pressed Milbury with his theory that Islanders star center Alexei Yashin must take his game to another level. Milbury disagreed with him on some points -- for instance, Yashin had a strong 2001 series against Toronto, contrary to Chris' opinion -- but he acknowledged Yashin's time has most definitely come.

"It's a new cast of characters for him," Milbury said on WFAN. "I didn't completely subscribe to the theory that we needed to place a star alongside Alexei, but the fact is (Miroslav) Satan is a terrific player. Alexei is definitely our go-to guy. He's got to kick it up a notch.

"Alexei said to me, 'I just want to know that you and the coaches have confidence in me.' I told him that we did, but that we're also going to stay on him all year if things pop up that concern us. He's comfortable with that." Finally, to Russo, the GM said, "I'll agree with you on this: he has to have a big year, or we're in trouble."

Among other subjects, Milbury said he was very pro-shootout because the NHL owes a lot to the fans and the fans want a winner and a loser. He added that he was even in favor of making the nets larger. Milbury admitted to mixed feelings about Wayne Gretzky's move behind the bench because, "It's a very bloody business, and I like my icons to be forever on a pedestal." However, Milbury added that if any legend could pull it off it would be Gretzky because he's been doing it his whole life.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 6 2 4 3 6
J. Bailey 6 2 3 2 5
N. Leddy 6 0 5 1 5
R. Strome 6 2 1 1 3
K. Okposo 6 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 6 2 1 2 3
B. Nelson 5 2 0 1 2
N. Kulemin 6 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
J. Boychuk 6 0 2 1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 3 1 .926 2.34
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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