* That means Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Andy Hilbert, all of whom came to training camp ahead of Comeau on the depth chart, shouldn’t look back because Comeau might be gaining on them. All four forwards are scheduled to play in the Islanders’ exhibition game against Montreal tonight at Bell Centre.
* On Wednesday in Moncton, Nolan gave Comeau a shot to play on a line with veterans Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter in the Isles’ 3-1 win over the Canadiens. The coach liked what he saw.
“We want the 20 best players,” Nolan said. “Sometimes, people think you have to get the best skill players. No, we’re looking for the right players. Comeau is making a good fight for it right now. I just like his hockey ability and his hockey sense.”
“You look at Andy Hilbert last year, and I don’t think he had a point for 25 games. We just want people who have some intelligence and compete.”.
* Nolan has praised Hilbert for his work ethic and for the way he played hurt in the playoffs, but Hilbert could be dropped to the fourth line. Veteran Jonathan Sim is penciled in with Sillinger and Hunter, while Tambellini and Bergenheim tentatively are listed with the second and fourth lines, respectively. However, it’s clear Nolan always has been partial to Comeau.
“I think he’s got a bit of confidence in me,” Comeau said. “He’s put me out there in situations where I’m killing penalties and playing four-on-four. I think he wants to give me an opportunity in preseason to see the kind of player I am and see what I can do. I like to play the power forward style and play physical. If I do end up making the team, it’s going to be because I am playing gritty and working hard.”
* For now, Comeau is trying not to get too excited about his prospects or read anything into the opportunity he’s being given.
“You start thinking a whole lot,” Comeau said, “and your game usually goes downhill. I’m trying not to think about it.”
NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's getting interesting, things change quickly. Still Hilbert just signed a two year deal, Bergenheim has a one way contract and Tambellini was praised last weekend.
Nolan said wait for the last three or four games to get an idea of what's going to happen. Islanders have six more pre-season games.
Greg Logan brings up other items in his blog for those interested.