12:25 pm, MSG - Rick DiPietro was here, took the full skate and was the first to leave the ice. All the signs would seem to point to him starting tonight against the Rangers, but this season you could never be sure of that. I would not call Vegas. Dan Martin of the Post asked Scott Gordon, but the coach declined to name his starting goaltender.
As reported exclusively last night by the readers of Point Blank, Yann Danis and Jeremy Colliton were sent to Bridgeport (AHL) yesterday.
Sean Bergenheim may finally pay the price for all those minor penalties. When the morning skate got into the let's-futz-around mode, it was Bergenheim who joined Jon Sim for some extra work in one end of the rink with assistant coach John Chabot.
Yes, Mitch Fritz Fan Club Presidents, this would indicate the Big Guy is in tonight's lineup for your New York islanders.
Doug Weight, two points shy of 1,000 for his NHL career, is back in. Would be a pretty neat place for Doug to get the milestone, I'm sure. So would the New Year's Eve matinee at home against Florida.
One man's guesstimate at Gordon's lines to start:
Tambellini - Weight - Guerin
Comeau - Comrie - Okposo
Park - Bailey - Hunter
Fritz - Sillinger - Jackman
Geez, it's like Comeau's a regular now! (I really shouldn't jinx the kid).
Lots of teaching at today's skate. Gordon had an extended one-on-one with Bruno Gervais that appeared to focus on defensive posture in the neutral zone. Dan Lacroix spent some bonus time with (perhaps future linemates) Blake Comeau, Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo - or it could have been simply the trio of kids doing the respectful thing and staying on the ice late after practice.
After the skate, the coaches hosted a video session with Comeau, Bailey, Okposo, Mike Comrie and a few others. With three points in the last two games - an impressive win over Toronto and wonderful comeback in Buffalo - the mood today was noticeably lighter while still focused.
Gordon on Jeff Tambellini's successful stint in Bridgeport: "He doesn't seem to be panicking as much with the puck. He got game conditioning and plenty of icetime. He's definitely more relaxed."
Something you might not know. While the Islanders are no doubt excited to be featured on VERSUS a lot lately and partake in the league's generous television contract with the cable network, the team loses money off its local cable deal for every game MSG does not broadcast.
sleep 5Eric Mangini was fired today. Tonight there's a game between the two New York hockey rivals. One team is 9 games over .500. The other is 10 games under .500. One of the hockey head coaches is very much on the hot seat, and it's not the one who's 10 games under .500. And to be clear, I'm perfectly fine with that.
As reported here a few times, Gordon's going to be around these parts for a while.