Friday, January 14, 2011

Trevor Gillies, Hockey PLAYER

I expected to see the hard hat on Trevor Gillies when we walked into the dressing room. But the mood was somber after the 6 - 4 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The more desperate team had won.

There was only one reporter speaking with Trevor by his stall so I wandered over while everyone headed in another direction. I came in mid interview, but Gillies was telling him they couldn’t start games as flat as they were. “It was a pretty bad 1st period and you just can’t have that.” The reporter said he didn’t think it was that bad because it ended 2 - 1. Trevor disagreed. “Yeah, the score. But the score didn’t indicate our play. We could have come out a lot better.” This is exactly what Jack had said. They didn’t’ have the jump they needed to counter the Sens desperation.

I asked about the goal, “Obviously the goal felt nice. Yep, it was nice to get that one. I haven’t had one yet in 40 games, so it was nice to get one.”

Now, I have to clarify, from my vantage point up high, it is sometimes difficult to really see so I rely on the video replays. When the play happened, I asked’s Brad Kurtzberg if the goal was going to stand because Trevor was in the net along with the puck. Would that be goaltender interference? The goal was under review. When I watched it on the overhead monitor (sans sound), I couldn’t tell how the puck actually went into the net. I wasn’t sure if it was a shot or just a lucky bounce.

Trevor Gillies knew. When I asked him what it bounced off, that seemed to upset him. “It didn’t bounce off anything. I shot it. It went off my stick.” Uh oh. Gillies, who usually calls me ’Ma’am’ felt slighted that I seemed to not believe he could score.

“I made a nice play. Z made a nice play.” The emotion began to build in him “You know I’m going to get goals if I go to the net. So, I know I can score. I score in practice all the time. So, it might be a shocker to you guys, but it definitely isn’t a shocker to me.”

The human side was now evident. The more Trevor thought about it, the more angry he became. He was angry at the loss but also at something else. Something far more personal and something he doesn’t usually show to the media in the locker room. Trevor is more than what he is used as. When he was first on the roster I watched as this big guy, used as an enforcer, could actually skate and play.

Thinking about my conversation with Brad, I asked Trevor if Jack said anything to him after the goal. But his answer seemed to be skirting my question. “The guys were happy I got the goal. Obviously, now it doesn’t mean a whole lot. It would have meant a lot more if we got the two points and I scored.” He took a deep breath. “I just gotta keep working hard and some more are going to go in for me. Like I told you, it doesn’t matter, I’ve told you guys a million times already, whether I play 20 seconds or I play 5 minutes, or 10 minutes, I have a role on this team and I take great pride in it. Obviously tonight we didn’t win, but I’m there for the guys no matter what. And that’s all that matters to me.”

He left the room. No more questions. A few minutes later there was a loud crash in the hallway. At the time, I didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until I got home and read Katie Strang’s tweets that I found out it was Gillies taking his frustration out on a hallway garbage can.

Jack backed up Trevor’s claim in his post game report. “He scores in practice all the time.” So it is the truth. So then my question to Jack, and perhaps one that Trevor wanted to ask as well: Why not play Gillies more than his usual 3 minutes per game?

If the score is as lopsided as last night, was there a reason to keep the big guy off the ice in the third? Typically Trevor Gillies gets to be nothing but spectator and fan for both the second and third period of every game. He is released at some point in the first period, sets a tone, and then is relegated to the bench. But why last night?

Why not reward the man who works hard on and off the ice with a little more ice time? Why not give him a regular shift or two to actually -- you know -- PLAY HOCKEY.

You will never find anyone who thinks that Trevor Gillies isn’t the perfect team mate. You won’t find a fan that has met this handsome, mountain of a man, who doesn’t think Gillies is the nicest guy in the sport. So why not, every now and then, LET THE MAN PLAY THE GAME?


Lou said...

Yeah - let the guy play. Let's experiment a little. What do we have to lose?

Anonymous said...

Let Gillies play! He could not have played any worse than the rest of Islanders last night. Fans love him and would like to see him play more.

Rusty James said...

The challenge with letting Gillie play more often is that because of his work ethic and love for the game, and the fact that he's getting better at his craft, he would outshine at least half of his team mates!!! Then what does the coach do with this new found gem? It kind of reminds of the Tie Domi situation in Toronto. The tough guy turns into a goal scorer and of all of sudden you have a regular line mate. The difference of course, Gillie is much stronger, tougher, a much better skater and a lot smarter with the puck then Domi could have ever been!!! It's a no brainer to most of us. Go T.G. Go

Anonymous said...

trevor gillies, is one of the most underrated players in hockey. Not only is he one of the toughest in the game, but he can skate like the wind, has great vision on the ice and his work ethic is like no other.. I have grown up with this "mountain" of a man and he has inspired his home town friends to dream the big dream like he has. I agree with the comment above that says he would outshine his teammates, and that would be diffcult for most of them to handle especially since they probably all make more money then him also. Id like to see anyone other than konopka try to do what he does on a daily basis. TREVOR GILLIES IS A SUPERSTAR