The 2007-08 season has already begun and the Islanders’ schedule is about to begin. With the season opener just two days away and the home opener – an event you won’t want to miss – just three days away, Islanders head coach spoke to the media following this afternoon’s practice about a variety of topics pertaining to the team and the season. OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
We can’t talk enough about what Bill Guerin has done since he arrived; helping in the community and lending a hand whenever possible, but it’s his team leadership that Ted discussed today.
“Bill Guerin has really taken control of the team,” said Nolan. “He’s a guy who goes out of his way to meet everyone on the team. Billy doesn’t just talk to the so-called experienced guys on the team. You’ll see him sitting at meals with the young guys. He’s also really good at getting the team up before games. He’s a real motivator, and has shown his leadership throughout Training Camp.”A STUDENT OF THE GAME
Ted was asked what he feels he has learned now that he has a year with the Islanders under his belt.
“You always learn from what you did before,” said Ted. “We made some adjustments for this year. Bringing in Gerard Gallant, who has tremendous experience in the league, was a big help. We also brought in John Chabot, who is also a good character guy, to help on the coaching staff. Dan Lacroix will now be added help with us on the video side. I brought in a group of people to make me better. Plus, I know the personnel on the team better. I know what to expect from them and will use that to my advantage. I’m more familiar than last year, which will make for easier start to the season.”BALANCED FORWARD LINES
Ted talked about the forward lines and how he sees a balanced attacked for the Islanders after finding players from free agency and from last year’s squad.
“We found our first line through free agency with Guerin, Comrie and Fedotenko. They looked like a good line to put together from the get-go. In the exhibition games, they seemed to have chemistry right from the start.
We added a little more punch to our Hunter-Sillinger line by putting Sim in the mix. Hilbert is a reliable defensive guy, who will fit in well with Satan and Vasicek. Park is as versatile as anyone. He could play well on the fourth line or the first line or the third. He’ll anchor that fourth line which also has Bergenheim, who is enthusiastic and likes to play the body. We feel like we have a good mix and good chemistry with all four lines. SATAN'S POWER PLAY SPOT
From the looks of it, Nolan will put Miroslav Satan at the point with Marc-Andre Bergeron for 5-on-3 power play situations.
“Miro has looked really hungry this year,” said Ted. “He’ll get his opportunities out there on the power play and we think he’ll thrive in that situation.”
Don’t miss the Islanders’ home opener on October 6, when they battle the defending Presidents’ Trophy winner, the Buffalo Sabres. For ticket information, please call 1.800.882.ISLES.
Check out Islanders TV
for the complete interview with Ted Nolan from this afternoon.