Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11-11-08 Post Game Thoughts Isles/Flyers

Originally Doug and Mike S. didn't want to go into the post game press conference. They thought they'd have other things to do with their time since it was a day game and a loss. I truly thought they could have won this one, even though their track record says day games are the ones to throw away.

But thankfully, they changed their minds and down the stairs we went to await Scott Gordon's post-game report.

Once in the hallway, I received a belated birthday gift from the cosmos, as much to my surprise, the Commissioner was heading toward us. I stopped dead in my tracks, not even wondering if I would cause a domino effect of bloggers and reporters behind me.

"Mr. Bettman?" He had a very stern look on his face, awaiting my next sentence in order to formulate his response. "Mr. Bettman, it's Dee Karl." I extended my hand, and then it happened; the smile of recognition I was hoping for.

"Dee Karl? How nice to meet you! Thank you so much for all your emails." He was genuine and sincere and I was in my glory because at least now, my Blog Box buddies would finally know that when I say I DO communicate with the commissioner, I'm not making up stories.

Once in the press room, I couldn't help but jump up and down like a little kid. Birthday my ass, I felt like I was twelve and I just met Santa Claus. Although Adam's arm and Brad's ears got the worst of my glee. Back to reality.

Of course the first question for Gordon was the power play. Once again the Islanders power play seems to remain power-less. This is a recurring theme. "When you have two five on threes and can't capitalize on them, it obviously hurts." Yes it does.

At least the penalty kill is still working. But I seem to remember this from years past as well. Penalty kill: Good. Power Play: Horrific. But according to Gordon they did play well five on five. "This is as close to a sixty minute effort as we've had." (Not exactly comforting, but true.)

As this was Josh Bailey's first NHL game, everyone was interested in what he would say about our 2008 First Rounder. Gordon said the same thing we all said, Josh looked good. He didn't seem out of place on that ice even though he's only 19. "He certainly made some good plays."

Regarding how long they plan on keeping Josh here, Gordon would only offer "If Josh can play well, we want him to play." But I can tell you, they are in no rush to send him back to his Junior team. When I mentioned to someone that it may be good for him to return to his team, I was promptly told "This is HIS team." And it certainly seems that way.

"I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous." Josh said in the locker room, "but they make me feel right at home. I was trying to compete, get come chances, unfortunately, my stick got a little high." Yes, Bailey had a seat in the penalty box a few times. But this happens. He knows that Scott will show him video of what he did wrong, and try to fix it. "When the coach shows confidence, then you have confidence as well." And the one thing that Josh Bailey has in abundance is confidence in his play.

Joey Mac must be getting tired of heading into the post game interviews after a loss that isn't his fault. But he conducts himself well with the media. He did say one thing that I hadn't heard before regarding the Flyers, "They kill (penalties) differently than other teams." I guess that's why they ended up with the short handed goal.

Doug Weight came into the room with a large welt on his cheekbone with a small gash in it. It was right under his eye, and I couldn't help but look at it wondering why there wasn't ice on it. As a veteran, Weight doesn't hesitate to speak his mind.

There was a play late in the game that seemed to infuriate those in the blog box that play hockey.

"You make a choice. We were down. He made a good play to get around me and I made a decision NOT to take a penalty." Doug said. It may not have been the right choice, but he's willing to admit it was his choice.

Doug's mood changed when asked about Josh Bailey. "He's going to be a good player. Every day he turns people's heads. He's very stoic and very calm. I thought he fit right in today."

And that he did. He certainly did "fit in."

BTW, Dina looked great in a black shirt and that awesome Islanders military cap they were giving away today, but I forgot to tell her when I saw her as I was leaving.


Dani said...

How awesome is it that Bettman knew who you were with only a moment's thought? :)

The wasted power plays are going to be the death of me. So many missed opportunities.

In other news... Pre-Game is BACK!


Anonymous said...

This is James Dad! Thank you so much taking our picture with CJ and posting it. James had a great time at his first Islander game, even though they lost! I sit in Sect.309 Row D Seats 1 and 2, so come up and say HI anytime!!!
Thanks again!!

IQ said...

i am so happy that your day was so good-and what a birthday present!

wish you had gotten a picture- but i know its forever in that lil head of yours!

somehow i saw it all unfolding differently ..something along the lines of

"uncle GARY" hugs..smooches

Anonymous said...

Too bad "Sookie" from True Blood wasn't there to hear what he really wanted to say....