I have just returned from the NVMC as a reporter of sorts for the first time. Let me first say the experience was memorable. First arriving and parking in the Media Lot, then walking through the media gate to retrive my Media Credentials. Hey!! thats got my name on it along with the name of the Blog you are reading. Then I get to the blog box, which is not a box, but a table with chairs behind section 201 which is an outstanding place to watch a game. I watch an outstanding hockey game. I wont get into the meat of the game itself because im sure you all saw it. A 2-1 Victory later and we are ushered downstairs past security and into the media interview room, past Marc-Andre Bergeron in full uniform and the Islanders locker room. We wait... and in walks Bruno Gervais. Let me tell you this, he is one of the most personable athletes you will ever meet. He takes the time to ask us all our names and shake our hands before answering every question posed to him. He answers questions about his playing time with 7 defenseman saying that he doesnt think about the minutes he plays just jumping over the boards when the coach says his name. He says the penalty kill is something they have worked on over training camp. A couple of questions later I get my chance:
My questions - FCT's question #1 Is clogging passing lanes and not giving the skilled players on teams like the Rangers something you have been working on in camp? He answers immediatley that yes they have to clog passing lanes and keep skilled players to the outside. The game has changed and you cannot grab and hold players anymore. Defenseman have to know the passing lanes and keep themselves between players and the net, as well as not give them room to handle the puck.
FCT's Question 2 - How has this team managed to gel so quickly with so many new players brought in in the off season? His answer is that the players the team brought in are all great guys, and great team guys. He says he wakes up every day excited to come to the rink for practice and play games because of the atmosphere around the team these days. He says the locker room is a great place to be because of it and he is excited to be a part of it.
Then.. after Bruno has to go to catch a plane to go to Toronto for tomorrow's game, in walks the coach. He goes to the podium we all see on TV after games. All of the professional reporters have to ask thier questions first, but Nolan waits for the Bloggers to ask questions also and I had a reporter steal the question I was going to ask and being a little star struck couldnt think of a question to ask him before it was time for him to go. I'll be sure and have a few more questions for him next time. All in all it was great to hear Coach Nolan answer questions in person and next time I will get another chance to ask away.
One thing I would like to do is to try and ask Nolan questions from the fans. What are some questions you would ask the coach? If I can I will work them in and post all responses here. The cherry on top? Almost walking into Bryan Trottier on the way out of the locker room area.
I look forward to getting to know the fellow blog boxers better and trying to be the Voice of the Islander Fans.