Wednesday, April 19, 11:30 AM
Hey guys, I just got into Bridgeport and the weather is just as nice up here as it is on Long Island. We're going to have one practice as a team before we head out to Wilkes-Barre tomorrow. Hopefully we'll gel as team fast because we don't have anytime to waste.
I really enjoyed my time on the Island this season. It was a great time and an awesome learning experience. I really appreciate all the help everyone in the organization gave me.
I hope we talk again next year or maybe even in the summer during rookie camp. Wish us luck in the playoffs and I hope to see you in Bridgeport next week.
Thanks for reading and have a great summer,
Monday, April 17, 10:45 PM
That was a tough way to close out the road portion of our schedule. I wish we would have gotten one more win for Snowy. Maybe he'll go again tomorrow night and we can try one more time. The only reason why it's a big deal is because he's so important to the locker room and everyone appreciates what he does for the team.
Here's a funny story¦ On the way to the arena tonight, the bus drove past a girl wearing a Chris Campoli Erie Otters jersey. Well, we're not sure if it was a Campy jersey, but we gave him a hard time about it anyway. I guess she's a big OHL fan!
With the late start time and a long drive over the airport we're about to embark on, I think coach is giving us the morning off if we want it. I'm not sure if I'll take it. I'm staying at the Long Island Marriott, so it's not a far walk in the morning. I'll see how I feel.
I'm sorry I can't write more, but I don't think they're going to hold the bus for me!
Talk to your tomorrow,
Sunday, April 16, 9:00 AM
That was another crazy game last night. It was such an exciting shootout. Whenever Robert Nilsson takes that route to the net, you know what he's going to do. I've seen him do it in Bridgeport and that's his trademark. Such a sweet goal.
I want to congratulate Jeremy Colliton on his first NHL goal, Ryan Caldwell on making his NHL debut and Rick DiPietro on getting his 30th win of the season.
JC's goal was an awesome play and he deserved it. It was great to be on the ice with him for it. For Ryan Caldwell, playing in your first NHL game can be nerve racking. But he played a great 15:28 with me. It was real nice playing with him on an NHL rink.
Rick was huge for us last night. Shootouts are so hard, especially on the goalie, but Rick was strong once again. Lets see if he can get 32 wins!
Coach gave us the morning off before we head out to Pittsburgh, so I'm going to relax before heading over to the airport.
Happy Easter and Passover!
Saturday, April 15, 12:45 PM
Hey guys! Sorry I didn't write yesterday, but I'm back now and I have a lot to chit-chat about.
I've got a few friends on the Penguins, so it's been nice to see some of them. We'll be seeing a lot more of them in the next week or two as the WB/Scranton Penguins are playing Bridgeport in the playoffs and both teams are sending some of their young guys down to play.
Last night I went out to eat with Marc-Andre Fleury. We both grew up in Quebec and are the same age. We became friends when our Pee-Wee teams played in the playoffs. Those were some great games. I'll always remember those. We stayed friends after Pee-Wee and get together in the summer to skate around and play. We have to stay sharp!
Anyway, last night we went to PK Changs for dinner. We ordered the lettuce wraps, which are one of my favorite dishes, but everything is outstanding there. I don't know if this is a scoop or not, but Marc-Andre told me that he'll be playing with WB/Scranton in the playoffs. I didn't think he would because they have an outstanding goalie, Dany Sabourin, who was named the AHL's best goalie. That'll be interesting.
I also know Sidney Crosby. I've only played with Sidney once or twice. I remember we were on the same all-star team two years ago in junior hockey back in 2004. He was 16 then and you could tell then that he was the real deal. He just saw things differently and did special things that you wouldn't expect a 16-year-old to do.
In case you guys don't know, it's jersey off the back night today. I just found about it and it's such a cool idea. I can't wait to meet some fans on the ice later on. Make sure you come down to the game tonight because anyone can be a winner.
Before I go, here's my top-five list of my all-time favorite movies¦ Please forgive me for the last, but I love it:
2) Remember the Titians
3) Wedding crashers
4) All of the Rocky movies
5) Supper Troopers
Thanks for reading,
Thursday, April 13, 10:30 PM
Hey guys. Well, that was a tough loss for sure. With Snowy in net, we really wanted this one bad. He means so much to this team and he played well tonight. Ricky's played so well this season that Snowy hasn't had too many opportunities to start. Hopefully, we'll have another chance to get Snowy one more win before the season is out.
It was great to see Matt Koalska up here with us. I've been playing with him for two seasons now and I can tell you that he's a great guy and a great teammate. We've had some bad luck with injuries and losing Mike York for the last three games is tough. But Matt will do fine.
It was also great to hear that Bridgeport is in the playoffs. It's been tough for them the last few weeks because of all of the recalls. I think we played with ten rookies in the lineup tonight. Everyone in B-Port was a little nervous about the playoffs and I think Bags (head coach Dave Baseggio) was pulling his hair out. Binghamton, the team that was chasing us, kept on winning and B-Port kept losing guys to the Islanders. But they're in and I can't wait to get a taste of playoff hockey.
Well, thanks for reading again. I'll catch up with you after practice tomorrow. Have a great night.
Wednesday, April 12, 3:30 pm
What a big win last night! Those are the types of games that are great to play in. There was a lot of energy in the building and it was great to come home with the victory. Did you see Ricky's save in the first period with his back? How did he do that? The bus ride home last night was very easy because we were all pumped after the victory against the Rangers. Joel Bouchard and Arron Asham came down to support us. It's great to see them around the rink even when they're not playing. But I'll get into more about Bouch in a little bit.
Even though I'm up with the Islanders now, I still keep in touch with everyone in Bridgeport. It looks like they'll be in the playoffs and that'll be exciting. I'm telling you, you're going to want to come down to at least one of our games to see Ryan Caldwell's playoff beard. It'll be worth it, trust me. A bunch of us are going back to Bridgeport for the playoffs, which would be awesome.
Now, getting back to Joel Bouchard. What a great teammate. He's been a mentor, role model, big brother, everything to me this season. In fact, he's helped out all of the young guys in Bridgeport and here on the Island. And not just the defensemen, but everyone. Bouch is someone who everyone looks up to for advice. He's been through a lot mentally and physically in his career, so you know what he's saying has a lot of meaning behind it.
But Bouch is also just a cool person. It seems like he knows everyone in Montreal. He also does a ton of charitable work off the ice, because that's just the type of guy he is. He's always trying to help out whenever he can. I know I've become a better player on and off the ice because of him.
Before I go, here's a list of my favorite bands not named George Strait.
1) Guns & Roses
2) Rolling Stones
3) Bon Jovi
5) 50 Cent
Thanks again for reading. I'll catch up with you guys tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 11, 1:00 pm
We're here in beautiful New York City getting ready for our game tonight against the Rangers. I just got back from our morning skate. It was a good skate and we had some fun. We did this one drill where we would make a pass from the goal line and the recipient would take a slapper from the blue line. There were two teams and whoever got the puck into the net first won. I was with Jeremy Colliton. I won't name any names, but I think the other team paid off Coach Shaw, who was the judge. We definitely should have won!
Anyway, I need some new sticks. I only have two Eastons left. Hopefully I'll be able to get through the game tonight. The Easton guy came by today to drop off Allan Rourke's sticks, but forgot mine. Life of a rookie, I guess. He said I'll have them by Friday for our game against the Leafs. I'll be fine.
After the skate, I walked back from MSG with Jeff Tambellini and Jeremy. It's a such a gorgeous day outside. It's going to be hard to take a nap knowing how nice the weather is.
I'm about to head over to our pre-meal/lunch. Usually we get chicken, pasta and rice. And usually it's very good, too, here at the NHL. I'm sure my boy Ryan Caldwell would appreciate that.
After lunch I'll head back up to my room for a nap. I might listen to some music, maybe some George Strait. For those who don't know, he's a country singer. Jeremy calls him a "real cowboy." He's a pretty good singer. Jeremy gave me one his CDs and I've been listening to it for the past couple of days. It's a long CD, about 25 songs, and I'm only half-way through.
Well, I'm going to grab lunch and rest up for the game. It's always fun to play in a building like MSG. Hope to see you there.
Monday, April 9, 3:00 pm
Hello everyone! It's my turn to take a shot at this blog for the rest of the Islanders season and I'm excited. If you don't know already, I love to chat, so this should be real easy for me.
Well, we're just about to head into the New York City for our game tomorrow evening against the Rangers. We're coming off a great win on Saturday in front of the home fans, but it's like they say, you can't look at the past when the future is in front of you. Just like how you can't dwell on losses, you can't hang on to wins for too long, either. We have a big game ahead of us against the Rangers that we want to win for ourselves and for you.
It looks like I'll be paired with Allan Rourke again on the blueline. Saturday night was the first time Rourky and I were paired together. In Bridgeport, I usually play with Cole Jarrett and he with Harlen Pratt. But I think we played well together. He's been around longer then I've been, so I can learn some things for him. We like to talk out on the ice, so communication shouldn't be a problem.
The team will be staying at our usual hotel in the City, a few blocks away from Times Square. I'm going to take Chris Campoli out for dinner tonight. He's helped me out a lot over the season, so I want to pay him back. He's a great guy on and off the ice and I'm glad we're going to play together for a long time to come.
Bergy practiced hard today and it looks like he'll be ready to go tomorrow night. It was a scary hit and pretty dirty, too. It was just a bruise and he's lucky because it looked worse at first. Trust me, I've had a knee injury and they're not fun. But Bergy is tough and he'll play. He's been great this year and it would have been a big loss for the rest of this season and when we get back to the Sound Tigers.
The bus is about to pull away, so I have to run. I'll leave you with my top-five favorite places to hang out on Long Island.
1) Jones Beach
2) Long Beach
4) Roosevelt Field Mall
5) Oyster Bay
Thanks for reading. I'll check back tomorrow afternoon.