Monday, October 13, 2008

Press Room Recap 10-13-08

Yep. That was all that was left for the evening. Where are the cocktails?

Let's call this: "It wasn't Joey's fault." And I agree, it probably wasn't. Everyone was to blame for this afternoon's loss. However, please remember that for years now I have said the Islanders (whomever is on the ice at the time) never seem to do well at afternoon games. I don't know why. They just don't.

Press room 6 was extraordinarily crowded today. CJ Papa was even there for just a few minutes. Now that he is on his new MSG Plus gig, we won't be seeing him as much around the Coliseum.

We waited and waited for Scott Gordon to come in. He must have been giving the team hell in the locker room. Everyone pressed toward the podium and Greg Logan began the inquisition, um, questioning.

Anyone want to venture a guess what the first question was? "Hey! Scotty, was there a point in time you may have thought about pulling your goalie?" The answer was either truly what he believes or one that is very well rehearsed.

"I'm not a believer in pulling the goaltender I want them to find a way to battle. Ask any goalie who has played for me. It's HIS battle. You can't let up. Coaches let a team off the hook by pulling the goal tender. We weren't in sync -- at all." Gordon was very thoughtful with every sentence.

Of course what everyone wanted to know was "Is Ricky well enough to play?" That answer, of course, was not forthcoming. Gordon went into technical detail that he is so good at, so I just sort of glazed over. I woke up when someone asked him about his "system."

"System? We weren't even CLOSE!"

With Push Play doing their after game concert and the overhead fan blowing (as usual) we were basically reading lips there.

"We're just going to throw this one away."

But then I remember something that Potvin said on XM last year. "Every point lost in October is worth 3 in March." I know this is only the 3rd game of the season. We're not going to panic. But with Martinek the most recent injury, with Witt being thrown to the ice like a toy and with Ricky on the bench with a baseball hat on.... you can't help but have just a twinge of insecurity.

To my complete surprise, Joey MacDonald was the first one led into the locker room for the interviews. He didn't seem the least bit rattled by the media attention.

"He (Gordon) has a lot of confidence in me to battle through it -- it's huge. Pucks were bouncing off sticks right to them. I just kept trying to stop the next puck and go from there. I kept concentrating and kept battling."

And even though it was his third game in four nights, he said he felt fine.

"I'm not even going to think about it. Tomorrow is another day, I'll keep working."

Bill Guerin walked into the room and stood in front of his stall. You could see there was more he wanted to say, but didn't

"We weren't in position, didn't skate. We didn't executive. WE didn't get pucks in their end when we had to. We're going to have to be sharper than that. We're not going to pack it in just yet. Lesson learned -- hopefully."

"It's not like Joey struggled. We didn't make it easy on him." No, Bill. You didn't. But then again, with a considerably shorter bench... well... Okay, still no excuses. Guerin is an honest man. This was his very eloquent way of saying "That sucked."

Thompson came into the room and everyone moved to the corner. He spoke even more softly than Gordon at first. He said that he had been having words with Mair but was taken off guard. And then Witt and Bergenheim were all at it too and suddenly, it was raining hockey gear. "These guys stand up for each other."

This seems to be the new "system" at play. I heard that sentiment the last time I was at a game. Something about it didn't matter how long you had been on the team, they all stand up for one another. It's that 3 Musketeers credo, but like times 7.

Having already been coached by Gordon he said he's sure he will use this experience and there will be plenty of video to watch. Thompson also concurred "It had nothing to do with Joey at all."
Teamwork. That's what it's all about. Unfortunately, it's also about getting pucks in the other guy's net.

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