HOCKEY RETURNS TO THE COLISEUM
By Jason Lockhart
The Islanders look to repeat their performance from Monday night's come-from-behind win over the Rangers at Madison Square as they faceoff again against the Blueshirts, this time at the Coliseum, tonight at 7:30 pm. Third period goals by Jason Blake (2), Chris Simon and Arron Asham gave the Islanders their first exhibition victory by the score of 5-2, raising their preseason record to 1-2.
The Islanders had three days of practice following Monday's game. Ted Nolan discussed some of the things they worked on.
œOne good thing about practice time, is you get to review the system you want to play,said Nolan. œThere are a few important zones you need to take care of, especially the defensive zone, but also the neutral and offensive zones. Instead of overloading, we broke down each zone each day. We worked specifically in the neutral zone to make sure there aren't any turnovers. Our system will have the players attacking the puck in all three zones.
œThe players seem to be enjoying it so far. They've been working hard, but also having fun. To really enjoy it, you have to work hard and if you win, than you'll have more fun. We still have some work to do to fine tune everything, but we're getting there.
Chris Campoli echoed his coach's sentiments about the practices.
He's making us work hard, but he's also brought the fun back into the game, said Campoli. It's going to be even more fun if we start winning early.
Nolan went on to discuss what he expects from tonight's game stating, œWe still need to increase our work ethic. We still have a long way to go to get there. Now, the players also know where they need to be on the ice, and we want to see how they react to certain positioning. We'll see how they execute tonight and tomorrow as well. The season is not built in one week, so we'll continue to work on things now and through the playoffs.
Steve Mears will make his Islanders radio debut along with long-time Islanders color analyst Chris King on Bloomberg 1130 AM. Pre-game starts at 7:00 pm followed by the post-game running until 30 minutes after the final whistle.