Greg Logan Blog: Bates, Impressions

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2007 05:51:00 PM | | | | |
Greg Logan updated his blob around 4pm Wednesday and several items were mentioned:

Mr Logan finally wrote something about last nights game against Boston.

* Back in the spring, Bates was pushing to come back from a groin injury in the hope of playing by the end of the Islanders’ first-round playoff series in Buffalo. He pushed too hard. While the team was in Buffalo, Bates suffered a major setback after a solo workout at the Isles’ practice facility in Syosset.

“I knew it was bad,” Bates said. “I was skating by myself and feeling good. It was one of those days where I went home, and I started internally bleeding and had to get rushed to the hospital. I spent the whole day in the hospital. It was a tough thing to go through.”

* Bates still is going through problems related to the injury. The combination of undergoing surgery for a sports hernia and trying to strengthen the groin and abdomen area that is crucial to his ability to be a strong skater still is bothering him after six months of rehabilitation. He’s continuing to work out on his own at camp, but no comeback will be attempted until he is 100 percent healthy.

“Right now, no, I don’t think it’s career threatening,” said Bates, who has two years remaining on his contract. “It’s a matter of getting the proper rehab and the proper strengthening. It’s going to take some time to get back. With this type of injury, you don’t want to come back at 75 percent because you’re vulnerable to doing something [to reinjure it] if you’re compensating. You want to be sure it’s 100 percent. I wouldn’t be the happiest person if I came back and got hurt in the first week.”

* When Bates finally does return, he’s going to find a crowded situation at center. The Islanders signed free agent Josef Vasicek to center the second line and are using veteran Richard Park to center the fourth line. Prospect Frans Nielsen has added 15 pounds of muscle and is looking good in camp, and the Isles also traded for Ben Walter, who scored 67 points for Providence in the AHL last season.

Speaking of general manager Garth Snow, Bates said:

“Snowy has a job to do, and that’s to put a team out on the ice. I’m not ready to start the season. You need four lines, and that’s what he’s done. I’m not worried about it, but I’m working hard to get back. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.“It gets to you mentally. But you can’t let it bother you because it will just get worse and worse. You try to keep a positive attitude and come to the rink every day and work hard.”

* Coach Ted Nolan wasn’t too impressed with his team’s performance in the second exhibition game, a 3-1 loss to Boston that came after a long day on which the Isles flew to North Bay, Ontario for their opening 4-3 overtime loss to Atlanta and then made the long flight to St. Johns, Newfoundland to meet a Bruins team that had a veteran-dominated roster. But Nolan said free agent center Josef Vasicek followed a poor opening game with a solid effort against the Bruins, including a fight he won with Andrew Ference.

“You look for guys to step up,” Nolan said. “Vasicek, with his skill and the way he can dish the puck, certainly can do that. The one thing we’re looking for is a little bit more competitiveness. In the second game, he showed that, so, now we know there’s something to build on.”

* The reviews for two other young forwards, Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini, were not so glowing.

“Bergenehim was a little bit rusty in the first couple of games, but we’re sure he’ll get better and better as we go,” Nolan said. “Tambellini was the same thing. He played okay, but we’re looking for better than okay. Okay, to me, is not very good. He can play a lot better.”

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Feel bad for Bates, someone takes his spot two year contract or not it's going to be tough to get it back. Looks like he's going to be out for a long stretch given his comments.

Tambelli's scrimmage performance did not carry over to the two games he played and Nolan had something to say about that and Bergenehim, who should not have been on right wing in scrimmages and thrown to left wing (his natural position for games)
as I wrote before will be very interesting if he is demoted how it's handled given the past.

Center Ice worked throught pregame, anthem playing, DiPietro in net. Jaffe and Mears have the call, building eighty percent Habs fans. Let's keep that feed working tonight.

Drop the puck....