PRACTICE, 10.19.09, ICEWORKSTavares and Okposo broken up, for now

CB for FanHouse on Sharks’ defeat of Rangers

3:40 pm – Saying, “We have to find some secondary scoring,” Scott Gordon has broken up the talented young duo of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

 

A big part of the change also has to do with the expected return of Frans Nielsen. The head coach liked the way Nielsen and Okposo played together last season.

 

“You wrestle with breaking up what’s not broken,” said Gordon, referring to the impressive play of Tavares and Okposo. But his team is winless and scored just one goal last Monday against LA and Saturday against San Jose.

 

Besides Matt Moulson’s claim on a roster spot and with only Trent Hunter sidelined by injury, Gordon said, “What we have right now is what I thought we had at the beginning.”

 

Here’s your likely line combinations for Wednesday at home against Carolina:

 

Moulson – Tavares – Weight

Bergenheim – Nielsen – Okposo

Tambellini – Bailey – Comeau

Thompson – Park – Jackman

 

Rob Schremp and Jon Sim are on the outside looking in, for now. Asked about Schremp, the coach said many aspects of his game have surprised him in a positive way and said he met today with the waiver pickup. “I told him we need more from him.”

 

*

 

1:55 pm - Islanders appear to be wrapping up the formal part of practice. Scott Gordon leading a team talk along the boards at center ice. A little longer than the typical one.

 

Charles Wang and Garth Snow are watching practice.

 

The lone media member here is Mark Herrmann of Newsday. Mark regularly updates Katie Strang’s blog when she is out. Follow Mark on Twitter at http://twitter.com/markpherrmann

 

As reported by Mark, Rick DiPietro practiced with the full squad for about 15 minutes.