ORANGE VS. BLUE RECAP
Orange wins entire night, 5-4.
Saturday, 07.10.2010 / 11:05 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
The Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage and Skills Competition might have ended in a 5-4 victory for the Orange Team, but at the end of the night that didn’t really matter. Both teams enjoyed themselves.
“I think we won,” said Robin Figren of the Blue Team. “We had the mindset that we won, but if we didn’t it was still a win for us.”
Figren was the last player to take a shot in skills competition and even though he scored, it wasn’t enough to take the W for Team Blue. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers forward enjoyed himself regardless. “It was lots and lots of fun,” Figren said.
“This is what you wait for during the summer and especially to get a skills competition in here, it was awesome. I think the main reason that we are here is to get to know each other and have fun,” Figren said.
Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon shared the same mentality, stressing that the week of Mini Camp wasn’t about proving they belong, but about enjoying themselves and learning from their experiences.
“This whole week isn’t about coming to make the Islanders. It’s about building team unity and camaraderie so when they come to camp they know the coaches, they know the training staff, they know the players,” Gordon said.
“It’s an opportunity for them to learn to be a pro both on and off the ice. In the weight room, how we do things as coaches here, and just give them a feel for everything so that when the time comes for them to turn pro they have a better understanding of what it takes.”
While players like John Tavares, the Islanders first overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, have gained valuable experience from Mini Camps in the past, none of them have been able to play on the Islanders home ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“I think it’s great that they play where we play and get to experience what it’s like here at the Coliseum on the day of a game,” Tavares said. “So I think it’s great for everyone. I know everyone enjoyed themselves.”
Kirill Kabanov, the Islanders 2010 third-round draft pick, was one of the prospects who enjoyed his experience. “I am always going to have fun when I am playing hockey,” Kabanov said. “It is not only a job, but it’s a fun game… I really like Islanders fans. They are like crazy. It’s really cool. I like Long Island a lot.”
It’s a good think Kabanov likes Long Island because Islanders fans really like their hockey. “It was great to see that many people have such an interest in hockey in the middle of July,” said Isles Head Coach Scott Gordon about the 5,027 fans that showed up to watch the Scrimmage & Skills competition.
“I think it was a good ending the way the shoot out was done and I think everybody went home happy,” Gordon said.
Notes: Forward Kirill Petrov did not play after experiencing shoulder soreness. He will be evaluated Monday. Anton Klementyev did not play after experienceing soreness in his hamstring.