It occurred to me today, in the technology and sporting cave I live in, that several of you are already drunk, and several of that several of you are in a bar watching a college sport that is quite foreign to me. (I'm not in an NCAA pool, the smell of spring training grass no longer tickles my fancy, and I can't even remember who won the last Super Bowl, much less the four prior. Going all in and hockey involves choices.)
So lest you get too distracted by a game with strategic fouls and an endless supply of timeouts, let me humbly remind you, dear Islanders fan, that there is some other NCAA action going on this weekend, beginning now: Conference ice hockey tournaments.
The Islanders have quite a few dogs in the fight.
From the College Hockey Inc., where they've helpfully listed every NHL prospect in action this weekend, here are the Islanders involved:
Matt Donovan (Denver) TV Friday, 3 p.m.
Jason Gregoire (North Dakota) TV Friday, 8 p.m.
Brock Nelson (North Dakota) TV Friday, 8 p.m.
Brian Day (Colgate)
Blake Kessel (New Hampshire)
Anders Lee (Notre Dame) Friday, 4:30 p.m. [speaking of which, great Point Blank interview with his coach, Jeff Jackson]
The Islanders will have top-notch talent on display this weekend in four different conferences. Blake Kessel, brother of Phil, is one of the best defensemen at New Hampshire and should play a key role for the Wildcats as they compete in the Hockey East.
In the WCHA, the Islanders have teammates Jason Gregoire and Brock Nelson (North Dakota) as well as Matt Donovan (Denver). Gregoire has had an outstanding junior year for the Sioux, scoring 24 goals and adding 17 assists. Nelson has also had an impressive freshman campaign, centering the third line and posting scoring totals of 7-12-19 while Donovan leads all Denver defensemen in scoring with 28 points.
Colgate senior Brian Day will do battle in the ECAC Tournament in Atlantic City and is another Isles prospect that has had a successful campaign, scoring 10 goals and assisting on 14 others.
Last but definitely not least, who could forget freshman Anders Lee of Notre Dame in the CCHA, who has had a breakout freshman season for the Irish, scoring 41 points.
I thought about sussing out which channels you can catch each game, but it's complicated depending on your system. So check the TV schedule provided here. If you don't watch college hockey much, you may have channels on your cable/satellite provider you never realized. Some of the channels that show Greatest Badminton Championships also will surprise you with a hockey game. (Better yet, even if it's a replay, you may not know it.)
So keep that in mind this weekend. It might be something to do while you're waiting for someone set up another free throw. Perhaps a diversion during the next timeout.
Not Only but Also
Several recent FanPosts and FanShots, so check the right margin of the homepage for discussions there, including observations on the season and a look at the top four defensemen available in the 2011 draft.