A quick one from here, with the Sound Tigers on the road in Hartford against the newly christened Whale (side note to Bettman - move the Thrashers here)
Since our last report, while some observers advocated Poulin's return to the minors, various injuries and his solid play in the NHL not only have kept him up top, but he continues to impress and learn. He will be hard to remove from the Islanders at any time soon as long as he stays healthy, fingers crossed.
On the other keepers - Joel Martin, someone we recently hoped would get some time, has done just that, and handled himself extremely well, to the point that he has not only just signed a two-way contract, but he may be on his way up to the Islanders as I write this, with the team needing temporary backup support.
This makes sense, as the alternative would be for the team to sign another keeper, something they don't really need to do, and it would be easier to find a temporary backup for Koskinen, who can handle the load at Bridgeport - regardless of what Strang & Botta say, Koskinen has been fine here, and he was largely again tonight.
The team just doesn't have enough firepower - tonight they came out strong, DiBenedetto was a spark from the first moment he hit the ice. He is Bridgeport's main offensive weapon, and would really like to see him get some time on the Island.
Not sure there is another solid prospect here among the forwards, but they played with intensity which was good to see, though am starting to think Ullstrom's idea of what it means to play hockey is to skate around in circles. Joensuu isn't doing enough - what else is new. They just don't have enough scoring.
The defensemen are solid at this level - any of tonight's 6 starters could be a 6th NHL defenseman if required. None of them are Denis Potvin, but who is at this level?
Good to see O'Neill healthy - he was a solid contributor once again.
Trying to figure out why the Islanders called up Wishart only to not play him - you have to figure they want to take a closer look at the kid's personality, see if he fit in with the top club's players, who have become quite close knit. Maybe they are trying to get a read on whether this kid is a prospect or what. Kind of makes sense I suppose.
Message to the Forwards - and its not rocket science - put the puck in the net, or at least create scoring chances - the team has been playing better lately - it seems as if they lose every game by one goal, and they have been closer in shots on goal lately as well, a good sign.
There are prospects here worth observing.