The Islanders Have Their Future in Bridgeport: What I Noticed

Still no hockey, huh? Sorry I have not been as active lately. Hurricane Sandy hit me pretty hard. Without Internet at home, it’s been problematic for getting out some material for you all to read.

Anyways, it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything. On Sunday, November 11th, I took my first trip out to Bridgeport to watch the Islanders affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers face-off against the Rangers Affiliate Connecticut Whale. I got to sit first row along the goal-line of the Islanders offensive zone. All-in-all, it was a great experience, and Islanders fans who made the trip went home happy.

A 4-3 win over the Whale didn’t feel quite like a win over the Rangers, but it was satisfying to watch the Islanders future battle adversity and comeback to win the game. Many of our top guys were noticeable, and the role players played their roles perfectly.

There was a lot that I took away from this game (mostly positives), so let me share what I saw out of Bridgeport on Sunday.

Mike Halmo (+): For those of you who have been reading my articles (Hockey Independent and Islanders Op-Timism) for a long time, you know how high I am on Halmo. It’s only fitting that he scored the game-winning goal (sniped a shot on a breakaway), and was buzzing around the net the entire game. He also added an assist.The kid plays hard on every shift, and its only a matter of time before we see him make NHL appearances (when the NHL comes back) for the New York Islanders.

Michael Haley (-): There’s a familiar name. Haley, replaced by Michael Halmo, scored two goals in the first period against the Sound Tigers. He came to play, and took advantage of Bridgeport’s slow start. The perfect villain for Islanders fans.

Brock Nelson (+): What a development Brock Nelson has been. Seven goals and six assists for thirteen points in 11 games, Nelson has been on fire. With the Islanders down 3-1, Nelson added a power-play tally in the second period to get the Sound Tigers back in the game. Nelson was all over the offensive zone throughout the game.When he has the puck, it’s hard to get him off of it. The Islanders might have their second-line centre before Ryan Strome makes it to the NHL.  Also, thanks for tossing me a shirt when you came out as the second-star of the game.

Allowing Former Players To Haunt Them (-): A few weeks ago I wrote an article about obnoxious trends that plague the Islanders. One of them was that the Islanders tend to get beat by players that were once their own, and usually, these players were not very talented offensively. Well, Haley scored his first two goals of the season (allowing first goals of the season were also mentioned as a trend) on Sunday, and put the Islanders into a 3-1 hole by the end of the first period.

Team Play (+): These kids battled back from 3-1. They never seemed to let up, which is the opposite to what we have seen seen our New York Islanders do. 3-1 is often a death sentence for our team on the Island. Not in Bridgeport. They score goals, and they look good doing it. The Sound Tigers never seemed to be shaken by a deficit.

Allowing First Shot Of The Game (-): Self-explanatory. The Islanders did this more than ten times last season. When Haley scored on the first shot of the game, I thought it was the 2011-12 Islanders all over again. Nice that they pushed back and won, but no team should have to be losing within 45 seconds of any game.

Matt Donovan (+): He looks like a solid offensive-defenseman to me. Calvin who? Donovan was below the hash marks to tie the game at 1 in the first period. Donovan, who has excelled offensively at every level he has played, looks ready to score points in Bridgeport as well. Donovan will be a future regular with the New York Islanders.

Jon Landry (+): My dark-horse candidate to make the Islanders roster this season. Two assists on the day, including one that sprung Halmo onto his game-winning breakaway.

Penalty-Kill (+): The Islanders had a solid penalty-kill last season. Fortunately, Bridgeport does too. The Sound Tigers killed off crucial penalties, including a 5-minute major in the middle of the second period with Bridgeport down two goals at the beginning of the second, and a penalty with under a minute to go with a one-goal lead.

The Sound Tigers played a solid game, and it pushed them to 8-3-0 on the season. I will be making a few more trips up to Bridgeport if the NHL does not return, and I recommend it to any hockey fan missing the NHL. Until next time.

Follow @ChrisTriants

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About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: www.IslandersOptimism.com E-Mail: ChristopherTriantafilis@gmail.com Twitter: @ChrisTriants

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  1. KO21 says:

    Allowing Haley to leave much worse letting him go to our arch rivals is a really punch in the gut. Thats how I feel about it.

    • ChrisTriants says:

      Personally, I really liked Haley, but it’s a non-factor at this point. He was a fan-favorite, but a lot of people like to drop the line “he can fight, AND has offensive ability.” He scored 0 points in 14 games for the team last season. Fan-favorites like him are a dime-a-dozen, and we will all latch on to the next guy who drops the gloves for the Islanders. Haley is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters I’ve seen, and I will miss seeing him in an Isles sweater, but it is what it is, and won’t make us any worse.

      • KO21 says:

        Haley was special because of what you said. “Haley is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters I’ve seen, and I will miss seeing him in an Isles sweater” So I disagree that he is a “dime a dozen”. Goons and middle weights are but not Haley, IMHO. Haley was too small to be a GOON but he had so much fight in him and that’s inspiring to the players and the fans. Remember what he did against the Penguins 2 years ago? And hes not BIG! I’m gonna miss me some “Fists of Haley” and I’m not looking forward to him as a 4th liner on the Rags beating us up.He can score an occasional goal. Hes proven that