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Islanders News: 10 games in, time for rest...and reading.

Some reviews after 10 games, some Bobby Nystrom thoughts, and a reading diversion.

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New York Islanders Training Camp
Trying to get some rest here.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Not a lot of Islanders-specific reading as the Isles took a rest day after returning from their three-in-four tour of Montreal and the upper Midwest.

So I’ll pose an off-topic question: Do you have reading material you depend on to help you fall asleep? A journal, magazine, book or just doom-scrolling headlines on your blinding phone?

For me, the dependable sleep-inducing book on my bedside table is “Orality and Literacy,” by Walter J. Ong, originally published in 1982. It’s dry as dirt, something assigned in undergrad or grad classes and debated in academic circles...BUT: within the minutia of some very academic topics is a thread of fascinating theories on the differences between oral and literate cultures, and the storytelling and — this is the fun part — the social effects that writing, print and electronic technology have on how we act and commune as humans.

As the sleeve nicely sums it:

“Literacy transforms consciousness, producing patterns of thought which to literates seem perfectly commonplace and ‘natural’ but which are possible only when the mind has devised and internalized the technology of writing.”

Who are we today, consuming information via written words from newspapers websites phones and conveying information to one another via books letters email texts and emojis, and writing words about hockey teams, vs. the pre-literatcy predecessors within our cultures and within the few remaining oral cultures inhabiting the earth today? To localize it, pretend you had to tell the story of the Islanders and the dynasty and the Coliseum without your or anyone ever having access to a written word: All oral storytelling, retelling, reliving. “Tonelli to Nystrom” wasn’t something on a broadcast or available on video or pictures but something passed down from generation to generation, in epics told and retold.

Like I said, it’s dry. And it’s dated, coming out before the internet and modern instant technologies changed our brains again. (Its theories may even be largely refuted now, I don’t know, there are probably a bunch of PhDs fighting about it as we speak, but there’s a 30th anniversary edition that tries to contextualize it.) Anyway, if you’re the type who ever ponders what it means to be human, then mulling the difference between who you “are” in a literate culture vs. how your brain would’ve operated in an oral culture can be...well, an illuminating thought exercise anyway.

Or like I said, perfect tonic for insomnia.

Now to help you stay awake, a new episode of Islanders Anxiety will be up shortly.

Islanders News

  • The Islanders’ 13-game road trip is nearing its conclusion. [Newsday]
  • These are 10 thoughts on the Isles through 10 games... [Athletic]
  • these are thoughts about the Isles after 10 games. [Post]
  • Bobby Nystrom on being passed by Josh Bailey: “I didn’t even know I was 10th on that list.” [NYI Hockey Now | Full interview/podcast on Hockey Night NY Twitch]
  • Scouting ahead: The Devils have special teams issues, and trouble getting scoring from half of their lines. [All About The Jersey]


Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers, of all teams, hanging on by an Igor to end the Panthers’ points streak, and the Capitals downing the Sabres as Ovechkin tied Brett Hull.

  • Still no timeline, and indeed “many steps” left for Carey Price’s return to action. [NHL | TSN]
  • More love for Darryl Sutter for the Flames’ fiery (sorry) hot (sorry) start, particularly from his former player and current assistant GM Craig Conroy: “That’s one thing about Darryl, he squeezes every ounce out of whatever you can give out of you, and wants a little bit more.” [Sportsnet]
  • The mother of the high school student sexually assaulted by the former Blackhawks video coach gave an interview, and called for Gary Bettman to find a new job. [TSN]
  • 5’8” offseason acquisition Conor Garland is making it work wherever the Canucks play him. [Sportsnet]
  • The Rangers are leaving a lot to be desired for Gerard Gallant. [AM NY]
  • Jack Eichel says he’ll be better than ever when he debuts for the Knights. [NHL]
  • The Senators canceled practice and have a couple more players in Covid protocol. [TSN]