The loan of Ryan Strome to Bridgeport is still the topic du jour among Islanders fans today, in case you couldn't tell from comments in five of the six articles immediately preceding this one on this site.
However we feel about the move, the reality is that Strome is a Sound Tiger as of now and the next thing on his mind is Bridgeport's home game against Springfield tonight and getting his shooting stroke back.
After his first AHL morning skate in quite some time, Strome spoke with Connecticut Post writer Michael Fornabaio and said all the right things for a guy who just got thrown for a major loop:
"I think it's just going to be confidence with the puck," Strome after the morning skate as Bridgeport prepared for Saturday night's home game against Springfield. "When I'm playing my best, I'm confident, making plays. This is a good chance to do that.
"It's a little bit of a kick in the pants. It certainly (stinks)." All he can do about it? "Be a professional," Strome said. "That's what I'm going to do."
Coach Brent Thompson plans to keep Strome on the wing, where the Islanders have been playing him regularly. He was used as a center the last time he was an AHL regular. In another change, Strome will wear No. 81 for the Sound Tigers with Justin Florek wearing Strome's usual 18.
As always, Strome seems to be taking his cues from stoic Islanders captain and housemate John Tavares, who is always looking for the next hill to climb. In this case, Strome's hill is on the other side of the Throggs Neck Bridge.
"It's just another obstacle," Strome said. "There seem to be a couple of hurdles for me to get over in my career, and this is another. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to prove myself."