Islander Practice Report 9/17:

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2007 04:43:00 PM | | | | | Confirmed line changes at practice that were reported in Newsday earlier with comments from Ted Nolan. Bates was cleared to play but will practice for another week. Nolan claims he will use six defenders against Washington.


" We put Bergenheim with those guys and it seemed to instill something in that line," said Nolan."

"It's another subtle change," said Nolan. "Guerin and Sillinger are similar-type players. We're hoping by putting guys together, who are similar, it will work."

"Hilbert is more defensive and Sillinger is very defensive oriented," said Nolan, "but Guerin is that way too. They're power forwards. If you get those three guys going with Sillinger jamming the net, Guerin shooting the puck and Hilbert doing his thing, they could be a good shut-down line for us."

"Berard looked better in the last game than the one he scored the goal in, so he looks like he's coming," said Nolan. "Bergeron has to fight, be patient and wait for the opportunity to get back in the lineup. Campoli and Gervais keep looking better and better. Martinek is just starting to get his game going. Witt and Sutton are both starting to come. The one change is going to be the power play guy and that's between Berard and Bergeron."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
These things are going to change a lot over a season so I do not want to read too much into changes that could be reversed again in a matter second in a game. It is worth noting it seems Nolan is revisiting his strategy of a year ago but putting the two scoring veterans in Sillinger and Guerin together on a line except this time they are going on what appears to be a shut down line when both Sillinger and Guerin must score some goals.

A little guessing on my part but the way the club played defense against Philadelphia, Bergeron stays on the bench and the same combinations are used. Also
for now it looks like Bootland plays on the fourth line until Bates is ready to return.

Updated 6pm:
Newsday: John Jeansonne has another blog update.