Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's the Curve of the Stick

That's what seems to be the difference in Blake Comeau's scoring ability. According to Scott Gordon, he's using Hunter's sticks.

The Man of the Hour, the guy with the hat trick, stood in a puddle of stuffed bean bag toys surrounded by the media. They asked him about each goal. He took them through them, one by one. Considering how often Comeau has been a healthy scratch, he can relish every second of this.

The Twitter feed confirmed the difference. As per Point Blank, in Comeau's first 151 games in the NHL he had no multi-goal games. He's had two the last two games he's played. Scott Gordon said he didn't remember the last game and smiled. He also said Hunter should hide his sticks or he wouldn't have any.

When the media abruptly left Comeau, they surrounded Dwayne Roloson. The man with the gray hair in his beard, who had just faced 44 shots and was the second star of the game, stood in the bright lights of the cameras and spoke in calm, quiet tones.

The question of the night was if this was a showcase game for the veteran goaltender. Roloson brushes it off as just part of the game. It is un-nerving, but they know it could happen and someone may need to leave tomorrow or in an hour. He accepts it and understands it. I would never be able to handle such upheaval. But then again, when it's coupled with a few million dollars, I would probably try to make it work.

Scott Gordon is always in a good mood when they win. He was in an exceptional mood tonight. More than likely not just because of the win, but because of the break from his normal routine. He made a joke about the Assistant Coaches doing something different while he was away that made the team react differently after the first period. Everyone chuckled.

But the Islanders, with the exception of Mark Streit, were a rested team with two defenseman back in the line up from injury. "As far as playing up to their speed, I thought they put up a lot of pace in the first period. I thought we were a step behind them and we didn't get the puck in and we were too slow to move it."

The Islanders were badly out shot in the first period. But Dwayne Roloson (showcase or not) kept them in the game with save after save. Gordon stuck up for Roloson when the tough stretch he had gone through had interrupted the Islanders winning streak. "Dwayne hasn't been that far off. He's had some lapses but I'm not critical of his play, we just couldn't score goals."

Maybe they should ALL use Hunter's sticks! Scott also said the difference is shooting instead of passing the puck. "He had a good shot before he changed sticks. Just getting him to understand to use his shot if he has the opportunity instead of looking for the pass. It's no different with Josh. Josh is always pass first mentality. And Garth said to them one day, the guys that make the money are the ones that score the goals. So, you might as well be one of those."

The question will be, who is paying the money. With Sean Bergenheim a healthy scratch tonight along with (two guesses) Jeff Tambellini. Maybe they are both packing. Maybe not.

Trent Hunter, who stayed out of practice yesterday, took one hell of a hit in the third period and was walking around after the game with an ice pack on his right shoulder. Hopefully, it doesn't turn into something major.

Jack Hillen played 19:10 in his first game back. Tim Jackman played 12:43 and was a +2. Mark Streit, the iron man of Switzerland, played a team leading 26:06 and was a +3.

This is how they needed to start the last stretch of 20 games. There are now 19 games left to the season. It will either end in April in disappointment or continue on a little while into the Spring. That is what Scott Allen told me I should be hoping for. He was very serious.

Tomorrow the NHL loses their minds for a few hours. I'll be at work with the computer on overload waiting to see what else Mr. Snow has up his sleeve.

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