Meet the Staff: Contributor, Ben Kopelman

Ben Kopelman

A bit of a reintroduction for you TKB faithful as I have been writing for the site since early 2009…

Born and raised in NYC, I have memories of a time when the Knicks ruled the streets. Growing up in the 90s, the entire city focused on the Garden every spring.  Like no other team in town, there were no competing jerseys, no conflicting interests when the Knicks started their annual playoff run: everybody was a Knicks fan.  Coming to games with my dad are my earliest memories of being a true, NY-blooded sports fan.

Also I stabbed myself in the foot with a scissor jumping around celebrating LJ’s four-point play, so I’ve got more than just emotional scars to prove my loyalty.

As a contributor to the site over the years, nothing delights me more than sharing my opinions and hearing back from you in the comment section about how dumb / smart I am.  So new site, new team, but keep on keepin’ on with your contributions as we strive to cover everything NYK-related. 




335 comments
isles23
isles23

Liken the convos on the forward lines, good stuff. Switching to the D. I have a lil different take then most I believe. First, I like Hickey and Strait a lot more than many of you guys. I believe they have good positional play and are strong in one on one battles. The downside to both is neither are great puck movers and Strait has major issues staying healthy. Now to skip to my pairings I'd go with

DeHann-Hammer

Hickey-Reinhardt

Vis-Strait.

Carkner/Pulock or Dono as first call ups for injuries

The reason I'd put VI's on the 3rd pairing is simple, try to keep him healthy. The one other guy I have a close eye on is Pokka but I have no issues letting him start in the minors to get used to the north American game and also just the adjustment of living on the otherside of the ocean.

mrcisback
mrcisback

  My opening night top 4 lines -1st line  Lee,Tavares,Okposo- 2nd line Grabovski,Nelson,Strome-3rd line Grabner,Nielson,Kuleman-4th line Martin,Cizikas/Bailey,Clutterbuck. This is baring a trade.

dinbigd
dinbigd

I watched a brief glimpse of game & saw Okposos goal. For one I must say the game was ssssllllooowwwwwwww. w/ opposing effort at a minimum. For those getting excited about this game I would say wait for when the games count. Also I might add Okposo needs to keep his head up if that's his new move coming out the corner. Someone will lay him out. Hopefully coaching staff advised him. If not I have.

strive45
strive45

Nelson-Tavares-Okposo

Strome- Grabovski-Kulemin 

Grabner-Nielson-Bailey 

Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

dkdk
dkdk

Wow with this new site system. I posted something positive about the new owners. A single sentence, nothing remotely close to a curse or anything and it is now in "pending". And that means 2 things, it prevents me from conversing on that original comment thread. And since the pending comments hardly are looked ait, it will stay like that for days.

Don22
Don22

Is today National Backwards Day?  I think I just read some close to cordial comments from some foes here.


What have you done with our IPB??!!!   ;-)

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

It's October 1st.  The season should start TONIGHT.  Don't need any more pointless exhibition games.  Might actually be nice if the season ended before the July 4th holiday.  

dimaio34
dimaio34

Ok I like the 1st line. In fact love it. I'm not sure about strome. I think he goes down. 89 stays. 12 starts because 40 is injured. Our fourth line is going to kill peoples. The d will sort itself out. Brennan is going put a lot in on the pp. don't see Donavan on the team. Pulock maybe. Reinhart is a lock. How about the trade department. Wow wiuld I like to get Kane from the jets. Guys is a killer.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@mrcisback dont mind em at all, but two things that i am pretty certain about, at least for opening night.  grabo and kulemin will most likely be playing together, and bailey will be on one of the top 3 lines.  they need bailey to break out more than we as fans need him to break out, so he'll be given a shot to produce i think. 

jepliberty
jepliberty

@mrcisback 

mrc, I noticed no Bailey in that lineup, what have you done with him?

Don22
Don22

@dkdk Did you mention Wang by name?  I feel like at times when I have done that I got the pending thing too.  But it never changes - it stays pending. Weird


tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk whew i was hoping you got news that the wilpons were selling too. Oh well.

dkdk
dkdk

Hey don ... Hope the baby and mom are doing spectacular, not to mention big sis.

dimaio34
dimaio34

Hey don what do you think about bailey. Has he played himself off the team. I think Conacher is in and what's going with grabner. The thing is I totally think bailey is capable. But there's no way we can wait for this to get going he can't start slow and we need to get off on a good start. I think last night showed a lot about this team. Ans some of our regulars weren't there. I pumped up lets get this thing started

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

@Don22

ah, ghost and I hashed it out- in about 5 minutes.


Toni and I agree to disagree on the owner, and appear to have moved on.


we all tried to figure out Bailey and Strome..


It was a very "Bull Durham" like cyber round table.


Then shamwow came in, trolled the discussion, and that was all to be written.

dkdk
dkdk

For the better part of the last 7 years ours traditionally ends around the Thanksgiving holiday! Lol

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@dimaio34 ive recently read that kane is very happy with the progress the jets have been making and the talent thats surrounding him now.  dont think hes being shopped anymore like he was over the summer. 

mrcisback
mrcisback

@slapshot18_rs @mrcisback   Slapshot  remember a lot of these lines are interchangeable depending on who's playing better. Nothing is written in stone. I still think a trade might happen.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@mrcisback 

I mean't no Bailey on the first 3 lines, you have him as an extra on the 4th line, too many Dewars, and water.

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

I @ all- I think it's a glitch.

I wrote " no worries" to both @ghost and @toni- and got pending message..

Can't get any less offensive then "no worries"..

jepliberty
jepliberty

@tonelli27 

If that was true, you would miss about a weeks worth of work, hungover, right Vic? lol

dimaio34
dimaio34

Hey tonelli looks good for 89. And 12 might have to play the game of his life this week. Who do you see off the roster opening night?

dkdk
dkdk

I don't know if could take both!

Don22
Don22

@dkdk Thanks DK.  All are doing good.  Facing the challenges that I think every dad here has gone through, but hanging in there.  Looking forward to having the Isles to watch late at night on my DVR when I take over the late shift feedings.  LOL

Don22
Don22

@dimaio34 Hey Dimaio (I keep wanting to call you Rob - LOL).   I don't think anyone here questions Bailey's ability. It's more of, will he ever put it together.  I am rooting for him, but even I am starting to have my doubts.  Sooner or later you have to cut bait, but I just don't know if they could ever find someone willing to take on his contract.  Releasing him outright I think is not an option.  That rarely happens in hockey.  


As for Conacher, I like his grit and determination.  Someone here did say this and I agree - he can;t be on the 1st line being an agitator.  That just puts KO and JT in a bad position.  However, I don't think he will end up there so it shouldn't be a problem.  I just hope he can cash the checks his mouth writes.  Grabner?  Who knows.  I love his speed, but personally I wouldn't be that broken up if he was traded.  If he goes somewhere else and finds it - so be it.  To me, it;s time to give someone else a chance.


Looking forward to the season too.  Since I am up late at night, my DVR will be set and ready to go!

tag1
tag1

@dkdk Didn't you get the memo dk, no negativity allowed on here.

dkdk
dkdk

A no check church roller hockey league?

shlo
shlo

@slapshot18_rs @dimaio34 The Jets will ask for half of team for him. Not happening. Athletes say all the right things most of the time, they do not necessarily mean it. I think he was smart not to burn all the bridges. As good as he is ,I have a strange feeling about him dressing room wise. Too much drama.

since72
since72

@mrcisback If de Hann and Vis are injured already, I would expect Snow to add a vet D somehow.

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk woody johnson is no day at the beach either. The jets are 20 million under the cap in the nfl where owners make a boat load of money from TV and such. Think woody wanted that big palace on the west side of Manhattan, he got spurned by Bloomberg and dumped the jets in met life stadium to be underlings of the giants. He could have had something in queens but it was too low brow for him. Its a shame the jets belong in queens/long island.

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

@tag1

"you couldn't ignore me if your tried"..


If the Isles won the Stanley Cup with Wang as owner, you wouldn't  be be happy.


Because your hatred for him runs deeper then your love of the Franchise.

dkdk
dkdk

Since I have entered the world of selective reading I didn't get the memo. However I can sense the euphoria of being a bubble team in the weakest conference in a decade is what we have aspired to.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@shlo yeah i agree - im a big fan of kane's play, but im not trading multiple high end prospects for him, when our real weakness is on the blue line. 

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@since72 @mrcisback i agree. anyone know the date the cap teams have to be under by? id expect it to be very soon


three of the cap teams will get their # just barely under the cap as the season starts because of LTIR players, but these teams will still be looking to make a move for some financial flexibility.  but they wont be forced to move anyone.

dkdk
dkdk

Yeah Vic .... Woody's whole MO was the Manhattan stadium. Where else have we seen land come before team?

tonelli27
tonelli27

@rm desipte what i post i will never ever not root for the team. Ever.

tag1
tag1

@dkdk Don't mention that either that the East is much weaker than the West, every hockey analyst will tell you that but around here saying that equals putting the Isles down.

Don22
Don22

@dkdk I don't understand why you can't let people be excited for their team?  Every fan gets excited for their team before the start of the season.  So what?  Of course, when the season starts reality kicks a lot of fans in the teeth, but I have no problem with fans - even Isles fans showing some optimism.  

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk oh i don't know??? HEMPSTEAD/UNIONDALE. . or there abouts? really a blue blood like woody wants nothing to do with schlubs from astoria or east meadow or middle village.

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

@tonelli27 We disagree on the owner, we agree on wanting the team to win.


They win the Cup with Wang, you can wretch- I will buy you a beer to wash away the taste.. :)


Dek game at 8- gotta go. have a good night. Enjoyed not slinging arrows- hope theres more in the future.

tonelli27
tonelli27

@tag1 the east has 5 legit playoff teams barring major injuries. Boston, montreal, rangers, TB, Pittsburgh. The final 3 spots are wide open.

dkdk
dkdk

Don .... I made a fact based joke. As I said numerous times in the most recent weeks I am expecting a playoff trip this year. But after 8 years that should be expected. And so should chances at division titles and deep playoff runs, not just bubbles.

tonelli27
tonelli27

@don22 excitement may be an overstretch. There is anticipation of a team that has improved in some areas but still lacks in others. I'm a mets fan like dk, we know to be careful about "excitement" excitement comes when we see the team get past November without falling on its butt. Excitement is when we see the young guys finally mesh with jt and kyle. Excitement is when we see if rheinhart can become another darien hatcher. Excitement is when we finally win a playoff series. Anticipation yes, excitement hopefully. .Cheers.

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

@Don22 Hey don- had a nice HOCKEY based chat today with a bunch of folks.

including @ghost and @toni-

a nice change of pace.


You have to be a fan of the team, to get excited for the team. That doesn't apply to tag, and I am starting to wonder about dkdk.



tag1
tag1

@tonelli27 and how many of those teams would make the playoffs in the West Vic?

Don22
Don22

@dkdk See my previous reply to you and Vic.  I didn't mean to come off as a d**k.  Blaming it on my sleep deprivation.  LOL

Don22
Don22

@tonelli27 @dkdk - I hear ya.  I am a Jets fan and have become so numb over the years that I don't even get excited - or should I say - I don't get expectations. 


Personally, I get excited every year, regardless of improvements that are (or aren't made).  I do my best not to let sports get me too down 


For sure there are some here that bring their enthusiasm to a different level, but that's what being a fan means - literally.  


Hope my earlier post didn't seem antagonistic.  I reread it too late to edit it.  

dkdk
dkdk

Vic ... Thanks for explaining for me

nyi83
nyi83

@tag1 @tonelli27 Those teams are not in the west so who cares? Only 1 team comes out of the west every year. Let them kill each other.

tonelli27
tonelli27

@tag only boston and maybe the rags/habs. Maybe.

dkdk
dkdk

No sweat don .... I didn't take it that way anyway. Get some sleep though! Lol. Glad that the family is doing well.

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk right dk cause the mets under fred and jeff are full of "excitement""

dkdk
dkdk

But the Mets have just one mascot, mr met .... The isles have sparky and Bailey

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk sparky is better even strength than bailey. Good positional player sparky, bailey well........

dkdk
dkdk

I have seen sparky rough up some rag fans too and mush hats on kids. Totally would knock joshie off the puck ... Lol

Joking .... I guess I need to explain that now

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk the ice girls would flatten josh. Ever see the thighs on some of them. They got legs as thick as tom seavers.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@tonelli27 Rumor has it Sparky is supposed to start on the first line with Tavares and Okposo in the next game. He's looked real good in the pre season so far.

dkdk
dkdk

MrC .... Everyone else has had a shot except him (and Strome) why not give him a go?

dkdk
dkdk

Chris ....he is already on the payroll just give him a second title .... Sort of like weight.

chrisredux
chrisredux

@mrcisback @chrisredux yea teflon wangpuke...

tonelli27
tonelli27

@dkdk sparky was seen at the citi field food court, i mean ballpark, chowing down on a chicken avocado wrap.

dkdk
dkdk

At least we brought Malkin into the fold today! Imagine what he and JT will do together?