Saturday, January 26, 2008

ALL-STAR EMAIL Q & A: Ray Ferraro

For a few weeks in the magical Spring of 1993, Ray Ferraro performed as magnificently in clutch situations as anyone ever has in an Islanders sweater. Yes, that's saying a lot, but he was that good.

Like so many of his teammates from '92-93, Ray is still very much in the game. He is an analyst for Sportsnet in Western Canada and is never short of opinions. He has been critical of the Islanders at times, but I know he still feels a deep connection to this franchise.

What is your analysis from afar of the 2007-08 New York Islanders?

I've seen them live 3 times, and I thought they were an energetic, hard working group. DiPietro was fantastic in Colorado and Vancouver, and my opinion is that he needs to be like that until some of the younger guys can grow into more prominent roles.

15 years later, how special is it to recall what you and your teammates on Long Island accomplished?

Without a doubt, it was the best time of my career. I look back and always think, if Hogie or Turg scores on an overtime breakaway in Game 2 and 3, we probably would have played for the Cup.

In the Caps series in the first round, even in games we lost, I couldn't grab a pretzel without coming back and my colleague telling me you just scored again. You were a very good player, but what the heck was going on with you in the Spring of 93?

That was kinda surreal. The puck bounced for me (especially in the 4-goal game in Game 5), but I had great energy. Maybe it had a lot to do with the fact I missed 3 months with a broken leg prior to the playoffs. Also, my line with Flats and Bennie was as good as any line I have played on.

How’s Robert Nilsson doing?

He is growing for sure. He has fantastic skill, but it remains to be seen if he will develop the consistency to score on a regular basis. At his size, he has to be a top-6 forward to be an NHL regular.

Although Ryan decided to stay West as a UFA, can you understand the Islanders’ side of the Smyth trade?

Absolutely. With a lot of younger prospects, the team could afford to be aggressive with some assets. There certainly was risk to it, but it was one that Garth was comfortable with.

Which teams make it to the Western Conference Final?

As of now, I believe it will be Anaheim and Detroit. Everything is so close. A key injury or a hot player at the right time could alter this.


Anonymous said...

Chris great coverage, very insightful. kudos, keep up the GREAT work !!!

7th Woman said...

Ray Ferraro is the reason I'm an Islander fan. To see him say it was the best time of his career just brings back so many great memories of watching him on the ice, while sitting at the glass way back when. He's turned into quite a commentator too. I guess there's nothing this man CAN'T do.