Brutal, unforgiving sport. Get well soon.
**Update: The big question of the day was answered early. Aaron Ness has been recalled from Bridgeport on an emergency basis.
Ness impressed the Islanders in training camp last fall and has continued to do so throughout the season in Bridgeport, so it will be a deserved big moment for the 21-year-old if he makes his debut tomorrow night against in Philadelphia. [Original morning links post continues below.]
If you're one of our international visitors, you might not realize how big of a deal Super Bowl Sunday has become in the United States.
It's hard to get people to party hard on a Sunday night with work the next day, but this annual commercial fest -- with about 15 minutes of actual game action squeezed in at the end -- can do it, drawing in even the few who care little for the NFL.
Having little emotional investment in the outcome other than a mild disdain for Boston fans and the Patriots, last night I left one party during the third quarter for some shopping errands and was welcomed by streets and stores emptier than Christmas Day. When I got to the next party, I'd dropped about $100 on various sundry ... and missed about seven minutes of elapsed game time.
So cheers to you Giants fans among us. Somebody in New York has to win one for mankind, and that game was far more exciting than the commercials which were hyped as much as some guy's foot and another guy's arm for the past two weeks. Back to Islanders and NHL news below:
Links and Topics Not Discussed at Super Bowl Parties
Travis Hamonic will have a giant nose. Those are the breaks when the puck smashes it. Two weeks is the prognosis for Hamonic's broken nose, which probably consumes at least six or seven games of the 31 remaining and takes them to a week before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
Back to Saturday: The Islanders lost the game (well, lost the victory and then fell in the shootout) after Hamonic's departure Saturday night, but Mark's recap and several others pointed out it was not a giant effort for the Isles even in acquiring the lead, even before Hamonic's injury. Dylan Reese (one of the culprits) agreed that not even Gigantor, er Hamonic, could've prevented what happened:
"To be honest, we were in trouble even before we lost Hammer," said Dylan Reese, who was back in the lineup to replace Milan Jurcina, out with a lacerated elbow. "But losing Hammer was definitely a blow."
Jurcina himself is the Lenny-esque gentle giant, which could be useful against the roughhousing Flyers -- they had an ugly, petulant weekend -- so the condition of that elbow likely dictates whether there is an emergency callup from Bridgeport for Tuesday. Calvin de Haan is still injured an Ty Wishart isn't quite the answer if it's physicality you desire. [UPDATE: As added at the top, Aaron Ness gets the call.]
The Islanders and the NHL in 10-Game Chunks: The latest in Torgo's on-going FanPost series has the figures after the Islanders' fifth set of 10-game segments.
WFAN on Brooklyn: Thursday: Don't believe the hype. Friday: Wait, I mean maybe believe the hype. This is fun! Parsing through it all: It was clear back in the summer that the Brooklyn arena people are interested in the Isles as a tenant, as they publicly said as much and their interest in at least preseason hockey was established. With the building opening in the fall and three years left on the Coliseum lease, now is the time (with the County stumbling as usual, and other would-be Hub developers angling to jump in) for them to plant the seed. But for Charles Wang, now is not the time to tip any hand.
On the topic of arenas: Interesting dealings uncovered in Seattle -- for basketball more than hockey.
CHL Weirdness: Suspending Nail Yakupov for missing the Prospects Game. Makes the CHL sound as admirable as the NCAA, honestly.
The Flyers will be angry Tuesday because they lost twice this weekend and did dumb things like this in the process [Ronaldo slew foot, Kovalchuk intervenes, Schenn challenges and gets punked by Kovy].
I found this piece on GM-ing (and Pierre Gauthier, who has made multiple panic moves) to be good food for thought:
That plan is the principle, the model, the conceptual force behind the organization, and the GM should treat his plan the way the sages treat the Tao: he should freaking follow it, hell or high water, good season or bad. He should be a slave to the plan- no, wait, more than that, he should be an impersonal expression of the plan.
Give me a general manager with his eyes firmly set on next season, and the season after that, and the season beyond. Give me a general manager who plans carefully, researches thoroughly, and decides deliberately. Give me a GM who is passive during the season, trading only when he finds an opportunity he already wanted thrown up by the desperation of others. Give me a GM who does most of his work in the summertime and seldom provides fodder for a TSN panel debate.
That piece was titled "In Praise of Doing Nothing," though of course the main point isn't to do nothing -- it's to not overreact to short-term variables and do something just to do something (as Gauthier did three times this season).
Tune in a little later for Chris discussing the Isles goaltending picture going forward.