Moncton's motto reads: Resurgo
, which I can assure you that it is not a Harry Potter spell. It is latin for I rise again
. And in 'Hub City', who hasn’t had a NHL game in over 30 years, NHL hockey is rising again - as it did when Ted Nolan
, current coach of the Islanders, took the Moncton Wildcats to the brink in the 2006 Memorial Cup versus their nemesis, the nefarious Lord, errr, I mean, coach Patrick Roy and his Quebec Remparts. Roy, a rookie coach that year, took home the cup, but since then, Nolan took home a much-desired head-coaching job.
Ted and his Islanders team 'came home' these past few weeks to run their camp and take part in a few exhibitions. With it, he has run new lines with a lot of new personnel. So far, cogs like Josef Vasicek
and Jon Sim
have already shown glimpse of what they can bring to the table. Just last night Jon Sim, in full view of his friends and family (anywhere from 50 to 80, rumor has it), notched two goals, capitalizing on Montreal’s rookieish lineup inability to clear the puck. New captain Bill Guerin
, along with his new first line of Mike Comrie
and Ruslan Fedotenko
, kept up their high level of play in camp by notching an additional goal.
Despite Cristobal Huet in goal for Montreal…who let in all 3, Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek roving on D, and Alex Kovalev on the first line, Montreal was mostly comprised of rookies and those trying to make the club. However, it does show that the 1st line that Nolan comprised and penciled in has been turning lead to ink - solidifying their expectations that this line can and will produce. Add to these the many leadership qualities exuding from Bill Guerin, on the ice and off, and you have all indications that despite the fact that most hockey pundits and team previews pick the Islanders to be dead last or near that this coming season - they expect and aim to be very much in the playoff mix.
'Petrificus Totalus' they say?
Fact is, despite the output losses of offensive goals from this season to last (Poti, Asham, Yashin, and Blake gone) - the Isles brought in more defensive rounded players who pack lunchboxes and look to play 60 minutes. Just look at those Ted Nolan and Garth Snow invited to camp or signed. Watch Andy Sutton
, who clears the crease with bad intentions and a furious anger. Heres a guy who would bodycheck that rookie Harry Potter into fine paste.
Watch Kip Brennan
, former LA King, Ducks and Thrashers player, who has floated from AHL team as of late. 6 ft 4 in., and 220 pounds of hungry, desperate and urgent play to make this club has careened off of opposing players, and even his own teammates in the Lobster Cup exhibition. Here is a man laying it all out on the ice, as Zdeno Chara discovered during a Boston scrimmage, as his tall-frame was chopped down by Kip’s meaty fists. *EDIT: Evidently, upon further review of that fight, Chara's own off-balance let Brennan capitilize and throw him down. Much thanks to Ken Hooper from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
who corrected my overeager writing and innate desire to use the term: 'meaty fists'.
Ken found this link of fight from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIHhEUHDcRM
Maybe Brennan will serve more as a Bridgeport call-up, but then just look at who else is around. Drew Fata
. Gordie Dwyer
. All these players that Nolan and Snow have invited to tryout or brought into the AHL level are physical, gritty, players with an edge. And if not, they are those like Bryan Berard
, hungry to show what he can do. And, therein lies the truth of any success. They will need to be hungry, playing hard, sharp, aggressive and physical hockey. And that attribute can be the great equalizer to any argument those naysayers who miss the offensive output of those enigmas who fled to Russia, or those who brought his chip on his shoulder to a team with many chips on their shoulder. We need a team who wants to play, fights it out for the win, and is hungry.
Long Island is starting to breathe in hockey again. Not that you would know this reading the empty abyss that serves as sport pages from most NY newspapers. Only Newsday seems to be quite aware of it. Last year, with Newsday leading the way, and internet sites like here, NYI’s official site, and many others following right behind…fans began to show big numbers showing everyone that hockey is alive, with a heart beating strong.
should be on every Isle players and fans lips this coming season. For despite changes, hockey needs to rise again on LI. The battle has only just begun. Fans expect nothing less than this team to give its all, success or failure, it should be quite a show. Especially when NYR's Dorkus Maximo
, Sean Avery, declares that the Rangers will win the cup.
Pack up your wands and shine up your hockey sticks.
B.D. Gallof is the Islanders Team Blogger for Hockeybuzz, besides one of those chosen for the Islander's BlogBox bloggers. See his previous work here:
Some Greatest Hits
Appetite for Dysfucntion: Kevin Lowe
The Myth of Smyth: Isles Strike Out
Versus Themselves: My Rip on Versus
Cherry Pie: Hockey Fighting
Fear and Loathing in Long Island (Playoffs)
Email me: [email]bdgall[email protected]