Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Witt Waiver-Wired

Katie Strang reports that veteran defenseman Brendan Witt as been activated from the injured reserve list and will be placed on waivers at noon today. If not claimed by another team, Witt will report to Bridgeport.

This is certainly a case where you have to be impressed at Garth Snow's willingness to make a very tough call. While it was obvious that Witt was no longer serving the team adequately in his role, it would have been very easy for Snow to give him several more opportunities to work things out on the ice. You don't decide to waive a player of Witt's character, experience, and performance record like you're deciding which pair of shorts to leave home when you're packing for vacation and your suitcase is full.

Snow is paid to make difficult decisions in order to put the Islanders in the best position to win. Having Witt in the top six was not in the team's best interest. Nor was letting him accumulate dust in the press box. Perhaps Witt will show enough in his time at the Bridge to convince another team to take a chance on him as we get closer to the trade deadline.

While the Islanders can move on without Witt in the lineup, there is no doubt he will be missed around the Coliseum. Of course, as we've seen with other players, being waived and sent down doesn't necessarily mean the end of the line.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Milestones for the Moulsons

Fresh on the heels of older brother Matt Moulson recording his 20th goal of the season for the Islanders, Cornell freshman Chris Moulson on Saturday scored his first career NCAA goal as the Big Red defeated Clarkson 5-3.

The younger Moulson had only tasted the lineup once this season before being called upon by coach Mike Schafer for both games this past weekend. On Friday night Cornell defeated St. Lawrence 2-1. The 4-point weekend on the road puts Cornell all alone at the top of the ECAC standings and solidifies its top-ten ranking in the NCAA.

Moulson's goal on Saturday night gave Cornell a 3-1 lead early in the second period. After the game, he told The Cornell Daily Sun that speaking with his older, NHL-experienced brother had provided him with some focus for breaking through:

“I talked to my brother before the game and he just said to shoot more pucks and be around the net more,” Moulson explained. “The one thing he always tells me is to do the extra things. Everyone on the team is going to work hard, but you have to be the guy who does the extra things and works hard when everyone else is taking a break. He always told me to remain positive, you’ll get your chance, and you’ll be great.”

If that doesn't sound like the Matt Moulson Islanders fans have come to know this season, I don't know what does.

The Daily Sun reported Chris's goal thusly:
Just 3:32 later, Cornell was once again able to capitalize on a rebound opportunity. Junior defenseman Mike Devin wristed a shot on net from the slot, but Karpowich went down in butterfly position to deflect the shot away. Chris Moulson then picked up the rebound, skated to his right, and flicked a backhand over a sprawling Karpowich and into the back of the net. In giving his team a 3-1 lead, Moulson scored his first ever NCAA goal in just his third career game.

“I can’t even really remember what happened,” Moulson said. “It was a shot from the point … the puck was just sitting there and the next thing I knew I was on my stomach and the puck was in the net. I was trying to get up to celebrate but [Nick] D’Agostino was holding me back.”

If you recall, the elder Moulson had this to say about his brother just a couple of months ago:

"I try to talk almost every day to him. He's working hard. Hopefully he'll get a chance and I think he's probably a better player than me, so, hopefully he just needs a chance and he'll get in there and do well."

Congratulations to both Matt and Chris on reaching these gratifying career milestones.