Thursday, Oct. 4: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Providence Bruins
7:05 p.m., New England Sports Center, Marlborough, MA
Friday, Oct. 5: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Manchester Monarchs
6 p.m., Sullivan Arena, Manchester, NH
(Streaming live on NewYorkIslanders.com)
|Matt Donovan led Sound Tigers defensemen in 2011-12 with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) (Photo credit: New York Islanders) |
The defending Northeast Division Champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers (41-26-3-6, 91 points in 2011-12) begin their preseason schedule Thursday on the road against the Providence Bruins, and play again the next night at the Manchester Monarchs. The Bruins finished the 2011-12 campaign fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 35-34-3-4 record (77 points), while the Monarchs went 39-32-2-3 (83 points), and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.
What they’re saying:
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin has had less than a week to get to know his new team. He has a handful of practices next week to evaluate his team prior to the season opener on Oct. 12, but will be taking an extra hard look at his players during the preseason games.
“I’m just looking for consistency,” Pellerin said. “I think as a coach that’s all you can ask for. We’ve gone through all our systems, everything that we need to do. The guys’ attention to detail and work ethic and conditioning is there. I just want to see them play. I want them to have fun and play to their max. I want them to play the best hockey that they can play because I’m going to have some real tough decisions.”
Pellerin added that even though this week’s contests won’t go down in the standings, he wants his team to get off on the right foot.
“We want to win,” Pellerin said. “We want to set a standard and it started the first day of Training Camp. We’ve been pushing that standard every day.”
Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan knows what the players will be trying to accomplish come 7:05 Thursday.
“We’re just trying to get back into game form,” Donovan said. “None of us have played a game since last season. I think it’s just about getting ready as a team and getting in the flow of things as a team and learning about guys and seeing which guys can play where. I think everyone’s going to play a lot and show the coaches what they have.”
Donovan said that even though the players have been getting acquainted with one another during the first few practices, nothing compares to building chemistry with teammates during real games.
“They’ll probably switch it up in the exhibition games and put us with different guys so we can learn about everyone else on the team,” Donovan said. “I think in the end that will make us a better, closer team and we can learn about each other.”
Watch Friday’s live stream
Fans can watch Friday’s game at Manchester live on NewYorkIslanders.com starting at 6 p.m.