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

Wednesday, 08.10.2005 / 12:00 AM / 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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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