Scott Gordon and the New York Islanders: Playing for Pride...and Next Season
The newest promotion last night on the Jumbotron was something to the effect of each prominent Islanders player who had spent time on the Sound Tigers saying something like "I was born in Bridgeport."
It made a statement. The call ups you see now can very well be the Islander stars of tomorrow. Providing "tomorrow" ever comes.
Scott Gordon spent at least 90 seconds of the four-minute post game interview smiling at some of the questions that were asked. Winning always makes him smile. Even if it does mean possibly changing the Islanders' rank in the draft lottery.
Scott Gordon spends so much time teaching and coaching that he doesn't have time for stat watching. "Until you told me we were a game over 500, I didn't know." He told C.J. Papa with a broad smile. "It's important we do well in the second half." (Which is now down to a number of games you can count on one hand.)
He had some nice things to say about Jesse Joensuu: "He used his speed, he was physical. His positioning was good all night. Obviously he's a guy we are excited about for the future. I was really happy with Jesse. I thought he played well."
Gordon has been working with Josh...a lot: "It's identifying, showing him on video and in practice that once you move the puck there's someplace to go. That's the biggest thing. In juniors he's probably so accustomed to slowing the play down, timing his options and standing still.
"When you're at a standstill, it's easy to get locked in. Now when he moves the puck, he's moving his spots and whether it's to be part of a fore check on an unsuccessful pass or to be part of a tag on a successful pass, it leads to opportunities offered to him."
Notice something here—Scott Gordon remembers every play from every game. I know I've said it before, but I will say it again. From a tactical standpoint, this man just amazes me. Granted, he may lose me completely from time to time with his technical explanations. When that happens, I just focus on what he's wearing. I don't think we've ever had a GQ model coach before. Have we?
I was snapped back into the post game by the next question regarding the five Bridgeport call-ups. The answer was simple. He knew not to completely devastate Jack's team when they are playing today at 1 pm and are headed for the postseason at a time when the Islanders are heading for the golf course.
He admitted that calling Mitch Fritz up was because Tampa had come down hard last time on Jackman. Fritz was just a little added protection along with Rechlichz.
In the end, Joel beat Fritz on the stat sheet in every column. More shifts, more ice time, more penalty minutes and more love from the crowd. (Although Fritz did take a face off and won helping to bring the Islanders face off percentage to a whopping 59 percent.)
Not to leave out his veteran players, Gordon said "I thought Marty and Witter were solid. I don't know what the final total was for scoring chances on their top line, but those guys did a great job."
They did such a great job that the Islanders walked away with three goals and free chili for their fans from Wendy's. Everyone please remember to ask for it today. And don't look at the lottery standings. Gordon doesn't.
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