|Ted Nolan |
What was originally scheduled to be an off-day on Wednesday, turned into the hardest workout of the season for the Islanders. A frustrated Ted Nolan put his team through a grueling practice at Islanders Iceworks that included 30 minutes of laps and sprints. By the end of the skate, most of the players were hanging over the boards trying to catch their breath.
"I was embarrassed," said Nolan, referring to the team's effort against Toronto on Tuesday night. "And they should be too. The way we played last night was inexcusable. Today was just a taste if we're going to perform the way we performed last night. If they want to waste our time, we'll waste their time skating. We'll skate everyday. At pre-game skates we'll skate for an hour. I don't care. We have to send a strong message to them that non-competitive performances are not acceptable."
Nolan did turn to some positives, including the performances of the young players on the team.
"The young guys like Jeremy Colliton
have improved from when I saw them last year," said Nolan. "Some of the young kids we've had right here, like Blake Comeau, are getting better and better. Sean Bergenheim is another kid getting better all the time. So that's a bright thing to see for the future."
The young players will be tested over the next two weeks, playing against all four Atlantic Division foes, including a home-and-home with the rival Rangers to close out the season.
"It's going to be a great time to evaluate and a great time to inform them of what heated rivalries are all about," said Nolan. "The Rangers back-to-back at the end is always a great experience for any player. They'll get to play New Jersey and see what that's all about. They're going to be thrown right into battle and we'll see how they perform."
The Islanders return to action on Friday evening with a 7 pm game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark.Catch Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe on MSG Plus 2 or listen to Steve Mears and Chris King on Bloomberg 1130.A CELEBRITY EVENING
Superstar model and philanthropist Christie Brinkley and Entourage star Kevin Connolly have been to numerous Islanders games over the years, but for the first time on Tuesday night, the two attended the same game. Following the Islanders-Maple Leafs contest, the two posed outside of the Islanders' locker room.A LOOK BACK AT KYLE'S DEBUT
NHL.com's Brian Compton recaps Kyle Okposo
's NHL debut in his latest column.