Friday, August 22, 2008

Recap: Islanders Illustrated, Episode 3

The third episode of Islanders Illustrated made its debut on MSG+ last night. For those of you who missed it, here's a recap, the length of which would make the folks at Television Without Pity proud. Now I just have to work on the snark.

The lead story was the hiring of Scott Gordon as head coach of the Islanders. The segment included a rundown of his coaching history with video and photos from his previous coaching stops, clips from the introductory press conference, and a sitdown with Chris King.

One video showed footage of Gordon during a practice. The coach was down on his knees in the goal crease, seemingly explaining something to the goalie about playing angles or, perhaps, directing rebounds away from the front of the net. Regardless, it was interesting to note the former goalie putting his playing experience into action in that manner as a coach.

To King, Gordon described himself as a bit of a player's coach, but one who also knows there are times when it's necessary to send a message. Gordon said that his coaching style is not influenced by any one person in particular. He also mentioned that he's willing to consider doing things to help his team that he's seen coaches in other sports do.

Gordon had an anecdote about his one experience as a player at Nassau Coliseum. He was on the bench when a puck was shot over the boards in his direction. In trying to avoid the puck, he banged heads with the trainer, and still got hit with the puck. So if Gordon is never seen around the Coliseum without a catching glove, you'll know why.

Islanders Illustrated put up a graphic showing that the 2007-08 Providence Bruins ranked first in the AHL in average shots against per game. That's the kind of statistic that both the team and its fans hope will translate into a lighter workload for Rick DiPietro this season.

Stan Fischler appeared briefly and mentioned that the coaches who interviewed with Stanley Cups on their resumes may have egos that are too large for this position. Let's hope Gordon deservedly develops one of those egos. I am looking forward to seeing him become more comfortable speaking on camera. With Islanders TV around, I imagine that will happen rather quickly.

Next up was a mic'd-up segment with Josh Bailey from the Prospects Camp, including several interactions between fellow No. 1 picks and linemates Bailey and Kyle Okposo. Bailey obviously latched onto one of Okposo's nicknames quickly, as shouts of "Okie" could be heard on the ice. The two seemed to be enjoying playing together. But things could get confusing if Adrian Aucoin ever ends up back here.

Bailey will be the cover boy of the premiere issue of Islanders Illustrated magazine. The more you see of him, the more you doubt that he'll be quietly going back to Windsor.

The crew from The 2 Man Advantage made another appearance on this episode. This time, Scotty and Nemmy hooked up for a sitdown with Chris Campoli at Newbridge Park. The boys fully threw themselves into the roles of kids, conducting the interview on the playground's sand shovels and swings. I used to love those sand shovels. Campoli accidentally gave himself a shortsload of sand in an attempt to fling the stuff across the sandbox and bury Scotty.

When asked to predict his output for the upcoming season, Campoli offered 12 goals and 28 assists. He also agreed that Bruno Gervais's new contract funds should be put to good use.

C.J. Papa interviewed Andy Hilbert about his experience playing for Gordon at Providence. The forward anticipates the team having strong systems that they should stick to and noted that Gordon prepares for opponents very well. Hilbert is excited to get things underway this season.

Professor Okposo had a shooting lesson for the kids in which he provided the definition of a shot on goal and demonstrated the backhander, wrist shot, and slap shot. The bit was filmed (filtered) in the style of old educational films, which is probably lost on the kids at which it was aimed. Schools probably don't even have film projectors anymore. I'm trying to picture a tech-savvy 24-year-old teacher having to thread a film.

In the Islander Mania Moment, BP provided results from a poll on the hiring of Gordon. 85% of those who responded supported Garth Snow's choice of Gordon. That's some approval rating.

The show concluded with a look back at the Islanders' run to the 1993 Eastern Conference Final. A montage of the greatest moments from the series victories over the Capitals and Penguins was a great reminder of what a fun team that was to watch. It's hard to imagine a star of Mario Lemieux's magnitude being picked on so in this era of the NHL.

The next episode of Islanders Illustrated airs on September 18th. It will feature an interview with Doug Weight, as well as coverage of the paintball adventure during Prospects Camp. If you missed this episode and would still like to see it, check the schedule of reruns for dates and times.

Notes: I added an Islanders trivia widget to the sidebar. So far it doesn't seem to be functioning properly in Firefox. I'm waiting for some feedback from the creator and hopefully we can get it figured out.


Dominik said...

Nice, thanks for the review -- very helpful to long-distance folks!

Can't wait to see what impression Bailey leaves during the big camp.

Adam said...

Just wanted to let you know, you linked to the wrong two man advantage website. This is the link to the guys who do the videos seen on Isles Illustrated among other Islander interview videos.

Islanders Outsider said...

Thank you, Adam. Shouldn't have tried to do that one from memory. Heck, I even have their business card.

7th Woman said...

I think Baily is going to give kyle run for his money being the NEW face of the franchise. And he'll be fine at camp.

Josh and crew do a great job on these, don't they?