In Sunday's prospect update Mark went into the young Islanders defense prospects and their progress at Bridgeport so far. Yesterday those kids -- the whole team, really -- were victimized by the Upstate Mountain Range/Very Specific Chair Style/Vacation Spot Phantoms.
I confess to an almost sadistic interest in seeing talents like Aaron Ness, Calvin De Haan and Matt Donovan receive pro baptism by AHL fire.
With very rare and extraordinary exceptions, the AHL is where you learn and make healthy mistakes away from the accusatory glare of NHL fans' scapewagon. I'm good with that and welcome that. As Sound Tigers beat reporter Michael Fornabaio put it yesterday:
There’s been a lot of talk about the learning curve, the young defense, limiting turnovers, all that. Sometimes it has gone all right; sometimes it doesn’t work. It all comes back to another thing [coach Brent] Thompson has talked a lot about, consistency. It’s still to come.
They're there to learn, and many of the lessons are still to come. It's not really productive to worry about how the prospects do in their early days in the AHL; it's more important how they do when they get regular reps at the NHL. The former leads to the latter.
Before we get to the rest of the links, this is unofficial but reasonably puts Bridgeport among the lower spenders in the AHL.
Mid-Day Update: Blake Comeau Sits, and that's between Him and Capuano
From ESPN's Katie Strang: Jack Capuano doesn't want to talk about why Blake Comeau is scratched. Be it goalies or scratches, he doesn't want to discuss it.
Links, News and Notes
- Despite a successful 3-1 opening home stand, let it not be forgotten it's just four games, two of which were dependent on a Man Named Tavares. [Newsday]
- And while we're talking about fast starts and small samples, let's remember Phil Kessel is doing okay, too. (Both scored hat tricks against their local rivals, but ... difference is the Rangers are an NHL team.)
- But yeah, Tavares: John Tavares might be pretty good after all | ProHockeyTalk
- Awww, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins too.
- With practice resuming today, I would assume some "how does it feel to be scratched again?" talk will come out regarding Blake Comeau.
- Tavares is grand [NYT Slapshot] ... but are they too top-heavy now?
- Neat story: Trying to get to know Kirill Kabanov, finding a cool person.
- Is one Evgeni Nabokov start too soon to start the "goalie trade" rumor mill? Scouts in attendance Saturday weren't exactly teams that need goalies.
- Captain Obvious: Tavares paying big dividends for Islanders - NHL.com - The Hot List
Fight time: Bridgeport's Brett Gallant accepts your challenge. And yeah, Benn Olson does, too. And not Isles-related, but Eric Gudbranson delivers a few uppercut pieces of advice to Steve Downie.
- Be honest: In all those years watching Stu "the Grim Reaper" Grimson administer and receive punches to the head, did you ever imagine he would be so eloquent? Cheers to him for attacking the Don Cherry/Ron McLean/HNIC issue for getting to the real issues with laser precision, which is what should be expected of an attorney (who, after all, deals chiefly in words and their precise meaning).
- More on all that: Hockey Violence, the "Code" and Don Cherry’s Brilliantly Deceptive Apology " Hockey in Society
- And here: Violence in Hockey: Accepting the Gray Area | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com
- The KHL wants to go to Italy. Yeah, that'll work.
Tavares On-Ice Post-Game
In case you didn't see it, from MSG. Thought the part about confidence with the lead (versus "the last couple of years") was interesting:
I would stop going on and on about Tavares' last two games, but ... well they don't play again until Thursday and frankly the last two games were pretty cool.