Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Welcome to the world of injury prone NHL hockey players ladies and gentleman. What took several months last season has now taken only a couple of weeks. With both Campoli and Sutton on the mend from "undisclosed" injuries, the Islanders reached on to the Waiver Wire for some help in the form of Thomas Pock. As far as defenseman go, Pock is a capable 6th or 7th guy but this is certainly just a band-aid on the gaping wound the Isles defense has suffered in the past week.

One can only sit and wonder whether or not the training regimen's these players are on and the stress their bodies are under during game situations is beginning to break them down earlier and earlier in their careers. Campoli is no older than I am (I'm 24) and already he has had season-ending shoulder surgery and now this "below the neck" injury as Coach Gordon so eloquently put it. Sutton on the the other hand was fairly injury free until last season got cut short by a torn hamstring. Who or what can be blamed for the rash of injuries not only on the Islanders but around the league?

Some of the blame lies with the speed of the game. In the clutch and grab era of hockey, the game progressed much slower. It's the freakiest thing when you're watching the old games and witnessing the sloth-like pace compared to the games of today. With the increased speed and size of the players, injuries are bound to occur. One situation in particular really explains the validity of the point quite well.

The prime example I speak of is the hit by Randy Jones on Patrice Bergeron. In a situation where Bergeron was left defenseless and Jones was turning to follow him, an injury was inevitable because of the speed and proximity to the boards. Unfortunately for Bergeron it ended his season with a severe concussion and the ill effects that he will have to live with the rest of his career. I will endeavor to post the video sometime this evening of the hit. But why are other injuries such as torn labrum's (hips) and knees also so prevalent?

We saw last season's Islanders squad decimated by these types of injuries. From Jon Sim, Mike Sillinger and Rick DiPietro to Mike Comrie and Brendan Witt, all of these players suffered from what the league called "lower body injuries". Is it the ice that they skate on? Is it the physical demands of the game? At this point as fans we're left guessing due to the new injury policy implemented by the GM's. As a fan of this Islanders team I can only pray that this season doesn't start on the same sour note that last season ended with (save for the win over the Rangers in a shootout in the final game).

Thoughts and Notes: With the need to fill so many holes on the current roster, it's a wonder that Garth Snow hasn't gone out and gotten more capable players for certain positions. One in particular is DiPietro's backup. With Khabibulin on waivers, is it plausible to think that Garth might go after him in a trade? It would seem that Chicago will follow Anaheim's lead, considering how they handled Schneider. Chicago will most likely not bring him back up through re-entry waivers if he clears the first time due to his large salary. If he were to come through re-entry Chicago would be obligated to pay half of this season's salary. So us Isles fans might have to just sit back an see how Joey Mac does to fill the role.

Next up on the docket, I'll be tackling the goalie situation between Joey MacDonald and Yann Danis and who should grab that backup spot.

For Questions, Comments and Bonehead Calls e-mail me @ DougD84@optonline.net.

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