A ROOKIE MEETS THE RIVALRY
October 21, 10:15 am
ANOTHER WILD NIGHT
What an unbelievable night. I don't know where to start. The momentum from last night carried over to tonight and we scored some pretty fast goals. Our fans, who were especially awesome tonight, got behind us and you guys were a huge help. We let those pesky Blueshirts get back into the game at the end of the first period, but I would like to think we played pretty solid for the last 40 minutes.
Parry was a big reason. He's been a warrior for us. There are a lot of expectations put on him because he's an alternate captain and one of our best natural scorers. He was the No. 1 star of the game and he deserved it. He's been working hard all season long and it was great to see the statsheet show the results.
I'd just like to point something out. The crowd at the Garden was great on Wednesday night. But I thought our crowd was even better. I was told it was a few hundred short of a sellout. Fooled me. The Coliseum rocked. It was loud and you could feel the energy. Thanks to all those who made it out. I guarantee that, after these two games, the rest of the Islanders-Rangers games will be sold out.
Some of us celebrated these two wins very briefly last night, but we need to look ahead. It's off to Montreal tomorrow. We'll need to work hard again at practice this morning at Islanders Iceworks. I heard Montreal is one of the best NHL cities. I can't wait.
Thursday, October 20, 11:15 am
BIG WIN, BUT WE HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN
Wow. The morning after it is still hard to believe what an amazing experience that was. Last night was intense and it was a great game. Anyone else get goose bumps during the shootout? I did. Everyone in the place was standing, including all of the players on both benches. I was a little nervous too, but I knew we would get it done.
Ricky was unreal last night. I've been a part of shootouts before, but in a rivalry like Islanders-Rangers, it was just unbelievable. Guys like Yash, Miro, Jagr in a regular season shootout? you can't ask for more excitement than that.
Let me thank all of our diehard fans who made it MSG last night. We heard you, thanks for the support. The Garden got loud last night, but I'm sure our fans will pack the Coliseum tonight and blow the roof off this place. I can't wait!
We didn't get home too late last night, but late enough. I wanted to blog last night, but with a game packed with so much energy, I fell right to sleep when I got home. I'm about to hit the ice for the morning skate. It's technically optional, but not for us young rooks. I'll be there.
I wonder if my roommate Luk will be here? He's probably sleeping in after turning in an outstanding effort last night. I heard they're putting a microphone on him for the Fox Sports Islanders broadcast tonight, so the fans watching on TV will want to check that out. Luk's got a lot to say. Hopefully some of it will actually be usable on TV!
After the morning skate I'm going to head home, grab lunch and take a nap again. I'll probably want to sleep a little extra to make up for last night, but I doubt it. This is another big game. Ricky more than did his part last night. We have to pull our weight in front of him tonight. The home-and-home is not a success for us if we don't get two points tonight.
I can't wait to hear the Coliseum roar. We need all of you there. Enjoy the game, and thanks for reading.
Wednesday, October 19, 12:10 pm
GAME DAY AT MSG
We just got off the ice from our morning skate at the Garden. This is exciting. I don't know how else to put it. We've played here before, but it was just a pre-season game. Let me say it again, it's really exciting to be playing a game that counts in this building. I'm a little nervous, I'll admit, but it might just be more anxious then anything else.
Our skate was good. Usually the home team skates at 10:30 and the visitors at 11:30, but we were able to get on the ice early because the Rangers always have their morning skates at their practice facility in Westchester. I like getting on early because the day's schedule is more like a home game. It's important to get your legs and feet back on the ice. We skate, work on position, puckhandling, the usual. Getting on the ice the day of the game is important because you want build up some confidence on the ice you'll play on later that night.
In case anyone is wondering what we did last night, Iwent out with a few of the guys and bascially just walked around town, had some dinner and stopped in some stores. I got back to the hotel and went straight to bed. Earlier then planned, around 10:00 PM. I hope you like that, Coach.
We're about to go back to the hotel where we'll have a pre-game meal. I'm in the routine of getting either chicken or steak with pasta and a Coke. Always pasta and Coke. I also like to take a nap between 2:00 and 4:00 to rest up. So far, I haven't overslept and missed a bus. My roommate Luk helps me with that one.
I'm really geared up for this one tonight. The Islanders haven't beaten the Rangers in a regular season game in a long time and we're going to do our best to change that tonight. I'll catch up with you guys tomorrow and talk about how the game went. Thanks for reading and if you're going to the game tonight, please cheer your loudest.
October 18, 1:30 pm
GETTING READY FOR THE BIG APPLE
We just finished practice and workouts at islanders Iceworks. I know it's already been said, but this is an awesome place to practice at now. We love coming here. It was an upbeat practice and all of the guys are in good spirits.
Our bus is leaving at 2:30 to take us into the city and I'm getting really excited about the Big Apple. All the guys are telling me it's a great place to play. I've been there a few times, but I haven't really walked around.
I'm going to be rooming with Luk again. A rookie can't ask for a better roommate. He's teaching me the ways of the road. We're staying at a hotel in midtwon. I've never heard of the place, but a couple of the guys tell me it's a real hotel. Me and a couple of the boys are going to take a walk around the city and take in the sights.
(Don't worry coach; we're not going to stay out late.) It might sound boring, but I need a good night's sleep before a game. I try to get into bed by 10:30, 11:00 pm the latest.
I've heard a lot of you fans out there are curious as to why I switched my number before the home opener. I've always worn No. 14 out of respect for my dad, who wore it when he played baseball growing up. He made it to the senior level as a 20-year old and won a national championship. He's a good ball player and I want to honor him when I play.
The bus is about to pull out, so I better get going. I'll check in again after the morning skate tomorrow. Thanks.
October 17, 6:00 pm
EARNING MY SPOT EVERY DAY
Hello, Islander fans. First off, I want to say thanks to all of you guys for welcoming me to Long Island and treating me so nicely. It's not an easy adjustment for a rookie, but everyone has been so kind. I really appreciate it.
I was asked to do a blog from the perspective of a rookie as I prepare for our three games against the Rangers over the next two weeks. I'll do the best I can to lend some insight. I do want to be clear from the start that me being in the lineup is not a given every night. As a rookie, and probably for a while, I will never take it for granted. It's up to me to do my best in practice and in the games to EARN a spot in the lineup. We currently have seven defensemen at the NHL level and a good dman is sitting in the press box every night. We also have several guys in Bridgeport who are ready if a change needs to be made. That's why I have to be ready for every game, for every practice.
It was back to the ice at Islanders Iceworks after a day off on Sunday and a tough loss on Saturday night. We still have a bitter taste in our mouths after the Flyers game, but now we're looking towards the Rangers. It's a pretty exciting rivalry and I can't wait to be a part of it. Even though we played them in the pre-season, this is going to be different. Back then both teams were trying to feel out the new rules. But this time it counts. It's for real.
Thanks. I'll check in again tomorrow with details on practice and the things I'm working on to prepare myself for Wednesday night's game in the Garden.