My Islanders Account

NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Keep On Bussin'

Sound Tigers come together on longest trip of season

Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 4:52 PM ET / News
By Jamie Palatini
X
Share with your Friends


Keep On Bussin\'

For teams in the American Hockey League, long bus rides up and down the coast come with the territory.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are centrally located in the Eastern Conference, geographically speaking, which means the team rarely has road trips longer than a few days. However, a quirk in the schedule this week saw the team embark on a six-day, 1300-plus mile (round trip) road trip Monday, including a game in Portland, ME on Tuesday and back-to-back contests in Norfolk, VA on Friday and Saturday.

Although they’re away from the comforts of home for a week, the players look at the trip as an opportunity to come together as a team.

“A longer road trip like this definitely brings the guys together,” assistant captain Jon Landry said. “Little things like having meals together, whether its two guys, 10 guys or the whole team – there are a lot of opportunities to hang out and just get to know everyone that much better.”

Defenseman Aaron Ness feels the extended road trip could reverse the fortunes of a Sound Tigers team that has struggled on the ice recently.

“For us, I think this trip was great timing,” Ness said. “We had that rough stretch the past few weeks, so to kind of get away from it, just spend some time together as a team and spend quality time with each other is really going to help us.”

The long bus ride to Norfolk following the team’s game in Portland on Tuesday meant plenty of down time for the players. The bus departed the Cumberland County Civic Center at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and pulled into Norfolk at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“There’s always a lot happening on the bus during these long trips,” Ness said. “Some of the guys watch the movie and some will watch their own shows. You’ve got card games, you’ve got guys that just sleep. I can’t really sleep on the bus, so I was mainly watching shows and listening to music.”

You develop a comfort and confidence within one another, and I think it’s a huge part of building chemistry on the ice. - Brock Nelson

Center Brock Nelson used the time to catch up on a television show.

“I was watching a lot of the new show “Homeland” on the ride down to Norfolk – I highly recommend it,” said Brock Nelson, who is no stranger to long road trips. “At North Dakota, we’d bus to Michigan Tech and that was over 10 hours. We’ve all done the long bus rides so it’s nothing new for us.”

After a pit stop for breakfast along the Delmarva peninsula, the team arrived in Norfolk on Wednesday to relax and recuperate in preparation for a two-game set against the Admirals on Friday and Saturday. Nelson even spent time with his linemates, Colin McDonald and Nino Niederreiter, walking around town Wednesday afternoon and taking in the scenes in downtown Norfolk.

“Mac and Nino and I got to walk around a bit, go to the mall and just spend some time together off the ice,” Nelson said. “It’s fun to be on the road with the guys and getting to know them really well off the ice as people, learning their habits and traits, carries onto the ice. You develop a comfort and confidence within one another, and I think it’s a huge part of building chemistry on the ice.”

Prior to games, many of the Sound Tigers participate in a game of two-touch, where a circle of players attempt to keep a soccer ball in the air (without using their hands) while only being allowed to touch the ball twice in a row. Thursday’s game was unique, as the entire team participated prior to practice.

“That was really a lot of fun,” said Ness, who is a regular two-touch participant prior to games. “We actually got everyone to play, even the Swedes that never play. It was great to see the entire team participate in the game.”

Blair Riley also noted this week’s trip as a good opportunity to hang out with teammates he might not normally get to see.

“It’s nice because you also get to spend some time with guys you don’t necessarily get to see as much since they’ve got their families and wives at home,” Riley said. “We get two full days down here. Guys can do some Christmas shopping, go to the movies and just spend time together.”

Whether the team’s time together will result in two wins on the ice this weekend remains to be seen, but it certainly has helped bring the players closer off the ice.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
Transportation
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks
NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use