Last night's win was the kind of game that makes a fan giddy and stokes the belief that his or her team may really have something to be excited about. The power play put a big goal on the board thanks to the free agent who was brought in for that specific purpose; the PK kept a clean sheet, killing off six man-down (or two) situations; the young franchise goalie was outstanding; and the team that historically has trouble protecting leads closed out a 2-1 win in regulation against its biggest rival despite a 6-on-4 disadvantage to end the game.
I wanted to try something a little different for the post-game portion of the evening. Instead of taking stills during our player interview, I tried grabbing some low-quality video clips. Unfortunately, my camera kept cutting the clips short, so I have mostly questions with truncated answers. However, in the name of giving you a peak at what it's like in the press room, here's a brief clip of Bruno Gervais answering my question about managing ice time with seven defensemen in the lineup:
In case you're not sure what he was getting at, Gervais said that he really doesn't feel extra pressure with a seventh d-man available. He just waits for his name to be called, jumps over the boards, and goes at it as best he can.
The Blog Box had a great experience talking to Bruno. Hockey players have long had the reputation of being down to earth and more cooperative with the media than most athletes. Bruno Gervais epitomizes the good-guy label. He started by introducing himself to each of the bloggers and shaking their hands. He then answered every question thoughtfully, insightfully and with a sense of humor. If you're looking for a guy on this roster to throw your support behind, you probably can't do better than Gervais. I haven't really had a favorite Islander since Kenny Jonsson left, but I can see Bruno filling that void. He also had the following things to say:
- On playing against a superstar like Jagr: the team always has to be aware of him, but maintains focus on its own game.
- On playing back-to-back games: the Isles' strength and conditioning coach, Chris Schwarz, keeps the players in phenomenal condition.
- On the team's atmosphere: the team is close and always has fun together whether in the locker room or at a team event.
- On reading the blogs: coming from the hockey hotbed that is Montreal, he learned early on to focus on his game and what's going on inside the locker room instead of what's going on in the press.
I was in the car for most of the game in Toronto tonight. As I listened on the radio, my mind traveled back to when the Islanders signed Dubie to his one-way contract and annointed him the backup goalie. I had two thoughts at the time: 1) He really deserves this shot. 2) Despite his heroics in the last week of the season, I question how effective he can be at the NHL level playing as sporadically as he will. Playing backup to a stalwart like Rick DiPietro wouldn't be easy for anyone. Maybe tonight was just a really bad night.