"He's been great in our locker room," said enforcer Chris Simon, who is close to Nolan and understands better than anyone what kind of leadership is required to play the coach's style. "Billy's play speaks for itself," Simon said. "He plays in the hard areas. He's not a perimeter player. When a guy plays the way he does and carries himself the way he does, everybody listens from young guys to older guys. That's a real good thing."
"The biggest thing to me was the chemistry and the camaraderie on the team, making sure everybody wanted to be there and wanted to be a part of the Islanders," Guerin said Saturday. "I think we have that. We've got a great group of guys. We support each other, and we're trying to make it like a family.
Asked what needed to change, Guerin answered quickly. "It's just a feeling," he said. "There's more a sense of unity this year than there was last year. There's not 17 guys on one page, two guys on one and one on another. Everybody's on the same page."
NYI Fan Central Comments:
No direct quote from anyone regarding Alexi Yashin which is unfair if Logan is going to make such a claim on a team with so many new faces.
No doubt Guerin is a huge positive in the locker room but Guerin himself said it's what you do on the ice, the rest is just words.
Simon's comments are interesting but Guerin has been almost entirely a perimeter player all season who's offensive contribution has been one game Olaf Kolzig struggled where he took a lazy shot from long distance on a five on three that squeaked through. His only goal in front of the net was against Kevin Weekes in overtime on another players hard work. To this point Yashin's season a year ago has been better on the ice than Guerin's.
Alexei Yashin's Islanders made four of the last five playoffs, only he knows how much he wanted to be captain or what he failed to do in the job behind the scenes but it's fair to say Yashin did not have anyone like a Comrie, Guerin to work with either and he's scapegoated for not be supported. He also has to be given credit for a good statistical year from Blake, Simon and especially Viktor Kozlov.
As Blake said himself when he signed in Toronto, Yashin was expected to perform miracles. Kozlov praised Yashin when he signed in Washington also.
Let's not pull punches here either, Yashin was not good with the media and that's not going to win him points with someone who's on a deadline and needs material.
Guerin's grade as captain comes down to the club's record, not how players get along off the ice.
Newsday: Greg Logan also did a second feature on Josef Vasicek who leads the NHL in shooting percentage.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog has comments from Bates about his first game and the loss against Hershey.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article in the paper.