Skip to main content
The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Moncton Memos - Day 3

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Photo Gallery

Photo by Rich Stieglitz
After three days of learning Scott Gordon's new "Overspeed" system, it's time to finally implement it. Tonight, at 6 pm EST, Islanders prospects will scrimmage against the University of Moncton at the Moncton Coliseum.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Jack Capuano will lead a young squad featuring 2008 second-round draft pick Travis Hamonic and former Moncton Wildcat Andrew MacDonald.
"A lot of these guys went through Rookie Camp with Scott (Gordon)," said Capuano. "We're looking to see how the players can adapt to the new system and the way they compete. It's a learning process because everyone has played different systems, but they've all been attentive. Tonight we can work on some of the things the organization wants us to do. We want to play fast and work on our system that has you playing in the offensive zone more than in the defensive zone. It's an up-style game. I think it's a great system because the defense is joining the play as well."
The Islanders will face a Moncton team that has players who are upwards of 23 or 24 years of age. The Islanders squad has a number of players who were drafted this year that are only 18. The Islanders will dress three forward lines and six defensemen.
"These are the kids that need to play," said Capuano. "They're young and they have plenty of legs and energy. They're young, excited and ready to go.

Photo by Rich Stieglitz
Notes and Quotes from Training Camp
  • Head Coach Scott Gordon is pleased with the progress the team is making in regards to learning the new system.
"Today and yesterday they were night and day better than the first day," said Gordon. "As long as they're willing to work, they will gradually start to see the benefits of what we do. If everyone is playing the same way it doesn't matter what system you play, you're going to be more effective. That's our selling point. We're trying to do it aggressively and work together to do it."
One drill emphasizing the importance of positioning in the defensive zone saw the defending side play with their sticks upside down. In 16 sets of this drill, Gordon noted that only five shots were taken on goal.
"We're worried more about positioning than playing the puck," said Gordon. "It's about getting in the right places, which will eliminate a lot of chances. They did an excellent job limiting chances and they probably would have limited the other five had they had a whole stick to play with."
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Schwarz has had some adjusting to do - like the players - with Gordon now at the helm. The two have been in constant contact as Gordon works the players hard on the ice and Schwarz works with the players off of the ice.
"When I first spoke to Scott I told him that my style of training is to complement the style of play the coach implements on the ice," said Schwarz. "Because Scott has incorporated an Overspeed system on the ice that works the players hard, I've designed a system that focuses on recovery. They're being pushed hard on the ice, so I try to pull them back a little off the ice. I have always said that the best way to work out is skating on the ice."
  • Former NCAA Division III players Kurtis McLean (Norwich) and Chris Lee (SUNY Potsdam) have reunited at Islanders Training Camp after being rivals on the ice during their college careers.
McLean, who works back at Norwich University in Vermont at summer hockey camps during the summer talked about jumping from Division III hockey to the pros.
"Besides the obvious of speed and size, the systems are different," said McLean. "There is a lot more running around in college hockey than with the pros where it's more controlled. You have a long season in the AHL and NHL, so you have to conserve your energy a little more than when you only play two games a week."
Despite playing on an Olympic-size rink while at Norwich, McLean prefers the narrower NHL-size rinks.
"I'm not a speedster, so I like the smaller rinks where I can work the corners," said McLean, who was the 2005 Division III National Player of the Year. "I've had to change my style of play a little bit from college. It's important to get the puck deep in the pros, so I dump it in a lot more than I used to."
Check out for an in-depth story about Kurtis McLean and Chris Lee.

Click here to watch IslandersTV videos from Training Camp
More from Moncton:

- Click here for Moncton Memos: Day 2
- Click here for Moncton Memos: Day 1
- Players Arrive in Moncton
- Training Camp Primer, Part 1:  Defensemen and Goalies
- Training Camp Primer, Part 2:  Forwards

- Click here for Bridgeport Sound Tigers coverage

Click here to “Ask and Islander”

View More