Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting Defensive

When he did his First Star interview with Deb on Saturday night, Richard Park made an interesting declaration. The subject of the Islanders' defensive system came up - understandably, after split 2-1 games with the Bruins and a run of games where the Islanders have not scored more than two goals. Park seemed to take offense, not at Deb or the question, but over the possibility the Islanders were getting a reputation as a close-to-the-vest, trapping team.

"We are not a defense-only team," Park said, rather adamantly for what is usually a pretty casual post-victory interview on the Coliseum ice. "We are a team that knows how to play good defense."

I don't think Richard was being, uh, defensive. I believe he wanted to set the record straight. Ted Nolan's disdain for a suffocating trap system is well-known and I'm not aware of his new assistants John Chabot and Gerard Gallant even thinking of trying to change Ted's mind.

From my vantage point, the Islanders are doing everything they can to push the play. Their offense has not clicked as well as it did the first few weeks of the season, but I don't think you can say they are sitting back.

A home game on Wednesday against the high-flying Senators (likely with a returning Daniel Alfredsson), followed by Battle Royale IV with the Rangers in the Garden 24 hours later is the latest test.

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