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Chris Campoli update

On the morning after he was crushed into the end boards by Boston forward Michael Ryder, top-six Islanders defenseman Chris Campoli was not in attendance at the team’s training camp in Moncton, New Brunswick. According to coach Scott Gordon, Campoli returned to New York “for further evaluation.”

For a player coming off shoulder surgery as Campoli is doing, those words had an ominous ring. The defense is considered the Islanders’ strength, but they were so decimated by injuries on the back end last season that they had to use 13 defensemen before the season was over.

“It’s not the same injury,” Gordon said. “So, that’s good.”

After about a minute on the ice, Campoli got up looking a little woozy, but he left under his own power. Following the Isles’ 2-1 overtime win, he asked who won, and Gordon joked that he must have received a concussion if he didn’t know the answer to that question. But the new coach learned quickly that head injuries are a touchy subject around the Islanders.

“I swear to God it’s not a concussion,” Gordon said this morning. “I was joking last night.”

Seventh defenseman Bruno Gervais, who will play against Philadelphia Thursday night in London, Ontario, is the most experienced candidate to replace Campoli if he’s not back in time for the Oct. 10 season opener at New Jersey. Gordon listed Jack Hillen, Chris Lee, Brett Skinner and Joe Callahan as other defensemen who could contend for a roster spot.

“Among those four guys, I think there’s a real good competition there, and we have some options,” Gordon said. “If Chris is out for a week or two, we’re in good shape.”

A video review of Ryder’s hit on Campoli and the open-ice shot by Boston’s Johnny Boychuk that left Kurtis McLean with a nasty bruise across the bridge of his nose convinced Gordon both hits were clean although Boychuk’s forearm rode up into McLean’s face.

Gordon also expressed pleasure with how well the Islanders executed his high-tempo system first time out of the box. They outshot the Bruins, 38-19, and the defense did a good job of joining the rush and generating quality shots. Even Brendan Witt, who has 23 goals in 12 NHL seasons, jumped into the play once and drilled a shot that handcuffed Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and almost bounced in off his glove.

“Yeah, he joined at the right time,” Gordon said of Witt. “It wasn’t reckless; it was calculated. There was good coverage by the forward, and had Witt not joined, it’s a two-on-two, and we don’t get the shot.”

After coaching his first NHL exhibition, Gordon came away even more excited about how his system might translate with a higher level of skill. “It’s funny,” Gordon said. “In Providence, we did the same thing, but it’s a little bit harder because we couldn’t make the plays these guys can make. So, that makes it better to know that, if we’re in the right spots, instead of that puck being a foot left or right of where our stick is, it’s on the tape and it’s a shot versus having to get possession and maybe having to beat a guy.

“I always knew the skill was better, but we’ve got some guys who can make some plays, and that’s an exciting thing to know. I’m hopeful that’s going to take the way we play as a team to another level.”

Comments (24)

"..convinced Gordon both hits were clean although Boychuk’s forearm rode up into McLean’s face".

Maybe so, maybe the hits were clean...I can't comment as I did not see the plays.
But one thing gnawing at me about that comment by Gordon is......what coach (especially a ROOKIE coach) is gonna complain or whine about possible cheap shots in the very first exhibition game of the season?

I defer to Logan's initial comments about the hits as posted on the previous blog.
".... catching him in the chops and leaving him on the ice at the Islanders’ blue line."
and...
".... rammed Campoli into the boards"

Fact is? It don't matter if these hits were clean.
The fact that there were no comparable hits made on the Bruins after these shots reinforces the message made earlier about the potential Ice Capades that we are faced with this year.
"The Islander's Will Not Fight".

THAT IS NOT THE BANNER I WANT HUNG OVER THE ISLANDER'S SEASON.

Put away the figure skates and strap on some hockey skates boys.
Or keep those insurance premiums current.

Just my opinion.

Totally unacceptable response from the coach. These are EXHIBITION games where you don't care about being shorthanded because you had to get an "eye for an eye". It's hard to comment on a game I didn't see but it doesn't sound like any of the Isles challenged the Bruins involved in these hits. If this team doesn't address their lack of toughness soon Gordon won't have any players left to play his system.

you guys need to chill bout this enforcer crap why dont you sit back and see what happens you guys cant change a thing they dont listen to you

Rick ... none of us saw the game .... but all of us saw last season and watched as the Islanders' injuries mounted up quicker than the trade deficit ... a lot of the reasons for those injuries was due to lack of team toughness ... maybe we are having a knee jerk reaction ... but I feel it's better to nip it in the bud before we repeat a horrible trend. We rely on Logan ... and trust his observations .... and his observations left me with the impression that the Bruins decided to take the physical tempo up a few notches ... and the Islanders never responded ... that is just the impression I was left with.
----------------
505 ... back to something you mentioned in the previous thread ... the shooting % issue ... heck ... that is something you and a few of us mentioned briefly last season .. but it was really the least of our worries .... I think you're right ... it should be addressed ... right now ... I don't care if it's game one of exibition .. now is the time to work on it ... not when it's too late ... this isn't just an anomoly ... it was a problem last season .. and doesn't appear fixed ... sometimes even NHL players need to get back to the fundamentals and work on things like their shot ... maybe some Shooter Tutors are the order of the day.

The team definitely needs some toughness. Sim should help, but they need Hunter to get soem edge. He leads teh team in hits and I can't remember one that was more effective than getting shoved by your mother-in-law.
Bergie has a little thigh in his hits, but he hasn't perfected the art yet. Tambellini is just fun to watch because it's 50-50 whether HE'S gonna get hurt when he throws his body around...
I'm not sure this team needs more than an occasional visit from Fritz or Sugden... but they do need some bone crushers from somebody other than Sutton and witt.
Maybe they should unleash THE BAD FREDDY...

The Shooting Percentage Issue.
We all know the Isles were the lowest scoring team in the league last year with 189 goals.

Would it surprise anyone to know that the Isles were TENTH in the league with shots on goal with 2435?

Would it sadden anyone to know that they were LAST in the league in shooting percentage with a paltry 7.8%?

The league average was 9.2%

Isle shooting percentage stats were lowlighted by:
Trent Hunter registering a paltry 5.4% (despite being the second leading shot hog with 222 SOG--2nd to Guerin).
Bergenheim with a 6.5%
"I CAN hit the ocean" Hilbert with 6.3%
Tambellini with a 2.3%

On a positive note...KO was 2nd to Sillinger with a 13.3%
On a negative note....percentage leader Silly is probably GONE!
As are the 3rd and 4th guys on the list-- Tank and Vasicek.

There's a scoring issue folks....I don't care how powerful or quick you are on your skates....if you can't put the cat in that hat or the rod in the water or the train in the station, you ain't gonna win many games.

Stop the Ice Capade Madness!!

To be completely honest, you guys need to chill the hell out. "Totally unacceptable response from a coach," are you kidding me? It's an exhibition game, one game in that doesnt count at all, and you are all already critiquing him. I would love to see one of you step in and do a better job, have something better to say, or develop a better system. Jesus christ man, nothing pleases you guys at all. If we found a way to win the Cup in a few years, you would all have something negative to say. How about you let some time pass, Gordon is a lot more knowledgable about this sport than the four or five of you combined. Just shut up and let it all unfold. We already know what to expect this season, so how about watching for growth instead of trying to find ways to critique a new coach

Aw c'mon Toof, lighten up.

We're all better coaches and GM's than anyone the Isles have.

Shoot, I can even skate with double runners.
It's our God Given Right to bitch this early in the season.
Especially when the Rookies are 3-0 and the big boys are 1-0 thus far in preseason.

We WANT a completely undefeated season.
What's wrong with that?

I could care less about wins and losses in exhibition games what I care about is this team getting a reputation, as being a "soft" team that can be intimidated, that carries into the regular season. It sounds like two players were hurt in that game because the Isles were knocked around and apparently didn't respond and the coach sounded happy after the game that I have a little problem with.

They couldn't put the stuffing in the turkey....They couldn't even put the turkey in the oven!

Assuming Bailey has a legitimate shot of making the team and Comrie remains at right wing, what lines will Okposo and Hunter be on? With Guerin on the first line one of these guys falls to the fourth line. I guess that would be a nice problem to have and would possibly leave Hilbert as the odd man out. What do you all think?

McLean put a big hit on Wideman that was borderline bording... i don't know if this came before or after the hit put on him, so please before we start blasting the coach, the players or the GM for not having an enforcer on this team... you have to have seen the game first to understand the context of it all....

Funny that there wasn't any video of the Campoli hit... probably because it's really not that big of a deal... except that our Mr. Logan is trying to make something out of nothing.

Afterall, this is hockey. Players throw checks, players get hurt... sometimes the hits are borderline.

DOC

Doc:

Glad you mentioned the McLean hit. My understanding is that his hit on Wideman (it can be watched at the islanders website) preceeded the one he received. It appears that the Bruins were just protecting Wideman and many of the comments about needing an enforcer to proctect on hits like the one McLean took are out of context since McLean initiated the situation. Can't speak to the Campoli hit since I haven't seen any footage of it.

The Boston hockey guys reported the hits th same way as Logan. They used the same words..."Crushing" "Shattering" .. Good job Logan. Some will simply never get it!

We are not all here b"tching about an enforcer just b/c of that last game...We are going by many many years of watching and playing hockey as a whole, along with what we saw on the ice from this team last year.

Bottom line the team could REALLY use a goon! This is not being a Monday QB, we asked for King George the second FA started.

I'm not starting off this season by attacking those that don't see what I see. Fine ... if you don't think we need an enforcer ... that is your opinion ... Myself and a few others like 505, Steady, Isles27 feel ... based on recent HISTORY ... not ONE exhibition game that the Isles lack toughness... I'm not ganging up on Gordon ... I think he's done a fine job prepping the team thus far. This is the big leagues though .... and the fact as Spinner9 pointed out that the Bruins might have responded to McLean's hit on Wideman just underlines the need for an enforcer ... Ya see ... the B's did the right thing ... McLean laid a 'borderline" boarding hit on Wideman ... and the B's made sure he paid the price .... that is hockey ... and the correct response from the Bruins.

Did the Isles counter that response.... Hey ... I wasn't there ... but since nothing was mentioned of any incidents afterwards .. I have to assume there was no response from the Isles.... within the rules or outside of them.

If I was Johnson and Johnson or Zee medical supplies ... I'd request to lease space outside the Isles locker room to setup a kiosk to sell First Aid supplies.

Those that have followed this team know that a huge reason for the Isles' late season collapse was injuries ... some accidental ... some from a composite of hits and abuse through out the season that just wore some players down.

It's completely true....Many people don't want to see an enforcer "waste space" by playing 4 minutes a game. To me, either you need to make that sacrifice against physical teams, or you need to search for guys like Laraque et al who can drop the gloves but still have some skill. In the new NHL that's the real Holy Grail - we need someone who can drop the gloves and show enough skill to take a regular shift.....Until then, all the enforcers in camp need to be given a look so other teams don't push us around.

Ah Steve Webb we miss you.

For now, i don't think an enforcer will be used unless it will be in the regular season, or we just run out of players before preseason is over. Nick made a great point. Everyone, including the enforcers, are being looked at. If the enforcers can't skate like Webb, then they won't be given the chance to hit like Webb.

Spinner9: To answer your question about Okposo and Hunter, i read somewhere that Geurin is still not cleared to play any games. So for now, Okposo will be on the first line with Weight and Sim, while Hunter is on the third line with Neilson and Tambs. That's why Comrie is playing right wing during the preseason and Bailey is the center.

Once Geurin get's clearance to play, then Okposo moves down with Comre and Comeau. Bailey, depending on his play would propably be sent to juniors after his nine games.

Assuming most of you follow football enough to know who Jay Cutler is (Denver Broncos 2006 ist rd draft pick), could Bailey be the Jay Cutler of the 2008 NHL Draft?

In other words, Jay-C (as they like to call Cutler out here) was not the flashiest quarterback in the 2006 NFL Draft, nor necessarily the one projected to be the best of the group (a la Vince Young or Matt Leinart).

But, in Cutler, the Broncos saw such a skilled, poised, intelligent, football-savvy leader that they actually TRADED DOWN to get him.

And guess what - Cutler is one of the top 3 QBs in football right now, Vince Young is about to quit, and Matt Leinart can't move Kurt freakin' Warner out of the starting QB's job yet!

I am hoping this formula pans out for the Isles. Look at the guys available at pick #5 and taken ahead of Bailey after the Isles ultimately traded down, guys Isles fans were clamoring for like Filatov who was touted as the best offensive player still available after Stamkos.

Maybe, just maybe, the Isles saw something the way the Broncos did and were able to land a great pick to help (note I said help) lead this team out of the abyss...all the while racking up more draft picks instead of giving them up the way the Broncos did!

Here's to hoping we can all sit back sooner than later - I'll even give Bailey the same 3 years as Cutler has gotten - and ultimately thank the Bobbles in control of the 2008 draft for the Isles!

Those of you who don't think this team needs to toughen up do you want to see Comrie dropping the gloves again this season?

To me, this whole arguement is nothing more than a distraction of the real problem here. The need to outscore the opposition. OK, great the Isles carry a goon all season and waste a roster spot on a limited role player. It's not like anyone will miss the last Islander forward to dress for the game, so no big deal. When the Isles lose a game 6-1 and your goon wins his fight will you be satisfied? Does it make you feel better? What happens if he gets the crap beat out of him? Do you go home depressed?

Many of you miss the point that toughness is not the same thing as fisticuffs. Players can make opposing players who take liberties pay by hard hits, hip checks, sneaky butt ends, high elbows and any other number of ways to get even when the ref isn't looking.

Payback is not always measured by fighting. There are lots of ways to let the other team know your not going to take what they dish out.

In any case, if the Isles carry a goon, I don't really see how that
answers the real problem, which is scoring. But for the one spot
on the roster, it's probably best to have someone available who can handle himself. He probably would only dress for half the games anyway. Most of you are going to be dissappointed when having a goon sit on the bench changes nothing on the scoreboard.....Sir William


And by putting a team on the ice without players like Asham and Colton Orr who can play physical, drop the gloves if they have to, and not embarrass themselves out there you force players who should be concentrating on scoring and playing a more finesse game into roles they shouldn't be filling. I don't think anyone on here expects this team to be a contender this season but we also don't want our team skating away with their tails between their legs when they are physically challenged in a game.

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