12:45 pm – “It’s going to be Rick and Roli,” was the key quote from Scott Gordon, but he didn’t necessarily mean in that order. The coach has spoken with Martin Biron, who despite being out of the rotation will continue to smile while awaiting a trade.
I asked Gordon if Rick DiPietro was starting a game this week. He said, “Yes.” I then told the coach I defined “this week” as the home games this Tuesday (Detroit) and Saturday (Buffalo). Gordon countered that he viewed the week to include next Monday’s home MLK day matinee against the Devils and Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
So there. Isn’t this fun? It’s only hockey. Look for DiPietro to start one of these next two home games.
“We’ve gotta get Ricky going,” said Gordon, “but we’ve got to be smart about it.”
The Sean Bergenheim/roster limit story is even more fun.
To be sure, the Energizer Finn is healthy enough to play. Both the player and his coach were honest enough to confirm as much. Bergenheim, classy to his core, did not want to say anything else other than he had no complaints and would wait for his chance to play when the team makes a roster decision.
Asked about Brendan Witt’s doctor appointment (see below), Gordon didn’t seize the opportunity to build a case for the defenseman going on Injured Reserve. Bless his can’t-tell-a-lie heart, Gordon revealed that Witt was simply struggling with some calf tightness and his injury was not siginificant.
The Islanders surely know they can’t carry this 23+1 mini-scam much longer. You know it’s gotten crazy when even the media is hesitant to report anything that might get the team in trouble.
The Islanders will finally, mercifully, make their roster move by the game against the Red Wings.
11:35 am, Iceworks – More to come in the afternoon. After a one-hour practice, Scott Gordon has them working on the shootout. For now, here’s the lineup:
Bailey – Tavares – Okposo
Moulson – Nielsen – Hunter
Sim – Schremp – Comeau
Weight – Park – Thompson
Streit – MacDonald
Sutton – Hillen
Meyer – Gervais
Brendan Witt had a doctor’s appointment for an evaluation on his leg. Maybe the team will get an Injured Reserve permission slip from the doc, too.