9/30/08

A Few Tough Questions for New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/30/2008 02:22:00 PM
A short while back I wrote about trends regarding this year's Islander team during preseason and at the time felt as long as they are competitive in games which they have been there are no problems that cannot be fixed.

I'm finding a disconcerting trend that goes beyond this.

This year's camp and preseason has introduced a new element or two into that mix that is a cause for concern with it's injuries that are at a point where our new coach plays preseason games in survival mode in the hope no one else gets injured.

Meanwhile other clubs are getting ready now to ice it's final opening night lineup and fine tune the roster which puts Scott Gordon at a disadvantage heading into the opener.

We have a starting goaltender who from all accounts has not faced any live shots in practice since March yet who was targeted a few days ago to play the final preseason games?

Reportedly we have about ten players or more on the current injured list or banged up to a degree with the new coach complaining about the players from last year not used to this training routine at high speed to withstand these drills and has never seen this many injuries which has to inhibit the job he is trying to do.

This is a rookie head coach with enough working against him already.

It should also be noted Scott Gordon said the first weekend he did not want to practice special teams until more of the core players returned when in fact his core is reducing so if this is being practiced it will not be his first string players.

I also have to write I think it's a bit of a reach to put this on Ted Nolan's training last year because the club only brought in a few players while giving the returning prospects a longer look.

Over the course of a career most players will work with over ten head coaches and countless assistants, players get injured in games which applies to Campoli and maybe a few others. If Andy Sutton is injured it's not because of Ted Nolan or Scott Gordon, it's because that's his history.

Bottom line this group has to get a little chemistry going and a core group healthy and working together daily. It's not going to happen if they patch things together just in time for the opener.

Teams doing that usually get their heads handed to them and look disorganized come opening night and a step behind.

And no, they cannot rush anyone who is not ready.

Tomorrow's only preseason home game will be about survival, not showcasing the best possible lineup.

That is not good and a major question, one that forces Scott Gordon to make sure his remaining core stay healthy by not playing some of them.





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