"I told Sim between periods I love players who compete," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We have a bunch of guys who compete hard. One of the key reasons we got Guerin was because of his hard work and leadership. He got the guys ready for the game and then stepped it up on the ice. I also thought Ricky was sharp. Training camp is all about him getting him ready for the start of the season."
* Another Islander who showed his physical play was Andy Sutton. The 6-6 defenseman threw his weight around all game with his thunderous checks and his strong play in front of the net.
"Sutton was getting nasty in front of the net," said Nolan. "If guys want to go there, they'll have to pay for it."
* Thoughts from Ken Morrow:
"I like what I've seen so far from Sutton. His physical play can change the whole momentum of a shift."
"With the lineup we have, this is the type of period you would hope for. It looks like the Comrie line is one that is going to stay together for a while. I'm always interested in seeing how the defense are, and so far, so good."
39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz
4 Bryan Berard - 25 Andy Sutton
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron - 32 Brendan Witt
43 Andrew MacDonald - 8 Bruno Gervais
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
16 Jon Sim - 10 Richard Park - 81 Miroslav Satan
7 Trent Hunter - 18 Mike Sillinger - 57 Blake Comeau
54 Gordie Dwyer - 65 Chris Gaudet - 28 Tim Jackman
Sound Tigers beatwriter Michael Fornabaio updated his blog after the Islanders game against Montreal.
New York Islander Fan Central Comments:
ITV worked perfect, team had some jump, drew a few pp's and mostly set up Berard and Bergeron from the point. Islanders outworked the Habs in the corners but the Habs had the better skill chances but few tough saves for DiPietro, who's outlet passes set up some chances.
Isles two goals were from hard work in front. Jon Sim came out from behind the net very quickly jamming at the puck until it went in for the 1-0 goal.
More good work by that line with Sillinger for the 2-0 where the Habs fumbled the puck, Isles centered in front and Sim scored again on a bit of a redirection.
3-0 goal Guerin took a toe-drag wrist shot from above the circle that Gordie Dwyer driving to the net that distracted Huet as it hit his glove and went in. Garth Murray jumped Dwyer immediately and the fought with few punches, Dwyer got the take down.
Late Fedotenko had a nice skill rush at the net. Overall good period for the Islanders where they won more battles for pucks and had the better grit.
Sutton threw one bit hit on a Hab player who paid the price to clear the puck shorthanded. Combos were pretty mixed but early Hunter-Sillinger-Satan/Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin w/Bergeron-Berard on the back line. Bergeron got his shot early on a few chances. Nolan used Berard on a pk.
Montreal picked up the pace and had better chances but choppy play. Islanders looked very defensive and did not create much notable. Dubie in for third period.
DiPietro makes nineteen saves.
Montreal had some long shifts in the Islander end of the ice. Garth Murray started a fight that seemed to get the Habs going. Montreal backed in the defense and scored a goal on Dubie on a great shot early to make it 3-1. Dubie had to be good as the Islanders took four third period penalties and produced very little outside of one Trent Hunter chance where he was robbed by the Canadians second goal Denis on his backhand. Guerin looked like Hunter diving to block a third period chance. A few calls were weaker calls, especially on Blake Comeau who was called for a hold that was not even close. Dwyer took an offensive zone penalty toward the end, Islanders took another in the final second, Habs did not pull the goalie but scored after the final buzzer.
Islanders did not generate much after the first but where they did impress was in the passing lanes and clearing the puck, few breakdowns overall. Sutton threw another big third period hit.
Islanders television had a perfect feed the entire game. All the questions from low grade fans board made it seem like the old Sound Tigers web casts.