1:00 P.M. - GORDON'S SARCASM
When coach Gordon was asked what the team needs to work on to win tonight, he simply answered "Scoring." But after asking for elaboration, Gordon detailed the first 10 minutes of play in the Islanders most recent games in Ottawa, Carolina and Philadelphia.
"The first 10 minutes against Ottawa, I don’t know if we even let up a shot," Gordon said. "Granted we had a five minute power play, but that’s a step in the right direction not to give up one (goal) in your first shift or in the first five minutes. You enhance your chances of being able to get the first (goal) if you keep it out of your own net, so I’m being sarcastic, but I think a lot of the times when we do get the first goal, we’ve usually been better defensively and haven’t given up the chances."
"That hasn’t been the case against Philadelphia," Gordon continued. "In the first five minutes they dominated us. In the game against Carolina, we played well for probably about 12 minutes of that first period and didn’t give anything up as far as chances or that many shots, then we had the goal that resulted from the turnover behind the net and now they’ve got the first goal again. So I think just being sharper defensively allows you more time to get that first goal."
12:45 P.M. - EARNING TWO POINTS
Tough guy Zenon Konopka said that the Islanders will do anything they have to in order to earn two points. Although he said tonight's game is about redeeming themselves after last Saturday's loss, the center said a win will be most felt when looking at the Conference standings.
"We get a win tonight and go on to the road and look at the standings, we’re all right," Konopka said. "So at the end of the night tonight if we have our blocked shots, fights, hits, score, whatever we need to do to come out of here with two points we’re going to have to do tonight."
But showing Philadelphia a little bit of the "New York attitude" is key.
"We’re excited to play the Flyers in front of our fans," Konopka said. "The Philly fans are passionate. They’re not very welcoming. So we’re glad to be back in New York and let Philadelphia taste some of the New Yorker attitude."
12:30 P.M. - DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
During the Islanders morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum, coach Gordon changed up the Islanders defensive pairings. He split James Wisniewski and Mike Mottau as well as Mark Eaton
and Radek Martinek, hoping to try something new.
The pairings were:
Eaton - Wisniewski
Mottau - Martinek
Hillen - Gervais
Whether the new pairings stick for tonight's game hasn't been decided. Inside the locker room Eaton said he hadn't talked to coach and was unsure if he would be paired with Wisniewski in tonight's matchup.
In the coaches room, the perspective was a little different.
"We’ve talked about it," coach Gordon said. "We’ve lost six games. The makeup of our D is different without Andy MacDonald and Milan (Jurcina) in the lineup, two bigger bodies. Now we’re a little on the small side."
12:00 P.M. - STARTING GOALTENDER
Dwayne Roloson was the first Islanders goaltender off the ice at today's morning skate. In his morning press conference, head coach Scott Gordon confirmed that Roloson would be getting the start between the pipes when the Isles faceoff against the Flyers tonight at the Nassau Coliseum.
"Obviously that’s not a game that you could bounce back from, but I just thought mentally it might be an opportunity to come back with Roli and not have to have that memory of (last Saturday's) game in Ricky’s mind," Gordon said.