Showing posts with label Comeau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comeau. Show all posts

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Islanders ring in the New Year with hope

The 10-game losing streak that began December was like a cinder block lashed to the Islanders' collective foot, dragging them to the bottom of the NHL standings and taking the fans' spirit with them.

And although Rick DiPietro continues to provide his best impression of a china vase, the Islanders have showed some spunk recently, closing out 2008 with five points in their final four games, the latest an entertaining 4-2 victory New Year's Eve against the Florida Panthers.

I've said all along that as an Islanders fan with zero expectations, all I wanted to see this season were signs of progress. But the many injuries coupled with the growing pains of learning Scott Gordon's new system have made it difficult to determine whether the team was moving in the right direction.

But things have finally started to look up. DiPietro's return in a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs turned out to be just a cameo appearance, but it made clear that his presence means the world to this team. Joey MacDonald has done an admirable job filling in for so long, but he's not at DiPietro's level.

In fact, had D.P. been healthy enough to face the Rangers, you could see the Islanders taking that game, as MacDonald's proclivity for allowing big rebounds and the annoying soft goal reared its ugly head.

And give Mike Comrie credit for coming back to the lineup and providing the offense the team has sorely lacked. Sure, he could be showcasing himself for a seemingly inevitable trade off this sorry Island, but since he's been paired with Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau, that line has looked terrific and finally gives the team a semblance of a scoring threat. And his two goals against the Sabres helped salvage a point in the road in what was the second game in as many nights, another positive sign.

It was nice to read that Doug Weight doesn't want to leave, and he has been a great addition to the team. With a one-year contract, a veteran like Weight is prime trade material, but with so many young players not ready to be leaders, having guys like Weight and Bill Guerin are necessary to show them the way and provide direction, even when the playoffs are a long shot.

Trevor Smith is the latest newbie to suit up in the blue and orange, and here's hoping his goal-scoring ability made the trip with him from Bridgeport, something that hasn't happened with Jeff Tambellini.

And wouldn't you like to see more goals like the one Sean Bergenheim scored against Florida? Highlight-reel plays like that have been extremely rare in these parts, and maybe that's the kind of play that Bergy can build on as we enter 2009.

The new year begins with a western road trip, and DiPietro was on the plane, so presumably he'll play. Maybe one of his New Year's resolutions will be to stay in the lineup.

If he does, it gives the Islanders a decent chance to make 2009 interesting, if not successful. But at least there's some hope.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reality bites

It's a good thing the holidays are upon us, because between decorating the house and going to parties and shopping and managing long lists for Santa, there's little time to spend fretting over the state of the Islanders.

Four losses in a row -- with a game Thursday night in Pittsburgh looming -- is bad enough, but the Isles have been mediocre to putrid for almost three weeks now, losing seven of their last 10.

Look closer and you notice that one of those wins was aided by an own goal, and another, the home victory over the Senators, did not feature the team's best effort and could have been a loss if not for the superhuman effort of Freddy Meyer.

So is the stark reality finally settling in? Are we in for a long winter's nap?

Tuesday's loss at Philly wasn't all bad. Andy Hilbert continues to play well, picking up his seventh goal of the season, this one on the power play. And Doug Weight moved closer to 1,000 points with his sixth goal of the year.

Leads, however, are as fragile for the Islanders as a daisy dipped in liquid nitrogen. Philly scored the next three goals to move ahead, but Blake Comeau scored early in the third -- his first of the season -- to make a game of it. That is, until Simon Gagne put the Flyers ahead for good six minutes later.

There's still reason to believe. Sillinger is back, DiPietro is at least skating again, and Okposo will return soon enough. The addition of Comeau is a welcome one, and hopefully he will find the mojo that he enjoyed for a time last season, while Jeff Tambellini goes through a "conditioning" stint in Bridgeport, where it looks like he belongs.




As far Sean Avery's six-game suspension, I am amazed at some of the reactions from the media. Anyone who thinks that Avery got six games solely for his comments in Calgary isn't paying attention.

This was a warning shot across the bow for years of negative behavior. Mike Emrick delivered an audio commentary on the Avery escapade before the suspension was handed down, and in it he pointed out that, behind the scenes, people who have worked with Avery in the past say it again and again: he never learns. He has been talked to, lectured, yelled at -- nothing gets through to him. Emrick also refers to one unnamed front office person who said that there are many incidents with Avery that will never come to light. Scary, considering all that we do know.

But what gets me are the people who think the penalty was too harsh. I saw one female analyst on SNY comment that what Avery said was no different than what guys say to each other all the time. Which is true. But a guy who says that to a buddy in the bar isn't doing so as someone getting paid millions to represent his team and his league, and he certainly isn't saying it to international television.

It's apples and oranges, or to put it in a context that Avery can understand, it's like comparing haute couture to pret-a-porter.

And then there are the media types who say the NHL is crazy to discipline a player who is actually interesting and brings attention to the sport. I could care less about the mainstream media. If they don't get hockey, fine -- the NHL should focus on its core fan base anyway. We don't need that kind of attention.

Maybe the suspension will get Avery's attention, but I don't think anyone in the NHL believes it will. It allows the league to say, "Hey, we tried," for when Avery does something stupid again and they finally kick him out of the league.

And despite what may be said by the clueless media people who wouldn't know a hockey puck from a crab cake, it would be good riddance.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two out of four ain't bad

Wins aren't going to come easy for the Islanders this season, so when they get one like Thursday's night's 4-3 overtime victory over the Lightning, we should all be happy.

Sure, they lost a 2-0 lead and a 3-2 lead in the third period to a winless Tampa Bay club, but let's look at it this way: In the first four games of the season, playing without their starting goaltender, playing for a new coach in a new system with a bunch of new faces, the Islanders are 2-2.

You think Barry Melrose would take that right now? They guy's tearing his mullet out.

This was a game that the Isles could have easily let get away from them -- and it almost did. But credit the forechecking Frans Nielsen for being where he should have been, and send a nice big fruit basket to Olaf Kolzig for wandering behind the net and coughing up the puck to Nielsen, who found Trent Hunter for the winner.

Hunter had two goals in the game and after looking a little sluggish in the opener has picked up his game, with four tallies so far. We'll take offensive production wherever we can find it, and we know Hunter can score. If he can step it up a notch this season, that will go a long way.

Rick DiPietro looks like he could be back soon, if not Saturday against the Panthers then almost definitely for the home game against the Stars on Thursday, Oct. 23. D.P. had a solid practice this week and his return should provide a big boost.

Meanwhile, Radek Martinek is out 4-6 weeks and Blake Comeau is working on his game in Bridgeport. Martinek's injury hurts but is not surprising -- he's pretty brittle. Hopefully, Comeau will get the message that no one is given a spot in the lineup -- you have to work for it. He's a good young player with the kind of skills this team can't afford to pass up, but Gordon did the right thing by sending him down.

One last thing -- welcome aboard and good luck to the 10 new members of the Islanders Blog Box. That makes 20 of us. And who says no one cares about this team?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Game recap: Islanders 4, Rangers 3 (SO)

Ted Nolan put it best after the season finale when he said, "The one thing with this group of guys is they never quit... We didn't take the easy way out, which is a good sign."

Certainly, the Islanders are disappointed with not making the postseason, and for much of the season this looked like a playoff team. There was a time when things were really clicking, and the chemistry looked great with additions like Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Comrie playing well, and we thought we might have something here. But water seeks its own level, and then when the injuries piled up -- a rash that included starting goalie Rick DiPietro -- the writing was on the wall.

That said, beating the Rangers at the Garden in a shootout to deny them home-ice advantage in the first round isn't the worst consolation prize. Wade Dubielewicz played great, making 48 saves, and we'll say it again -- he can be our backup goalie for the duration of DiPietro's contract if he wants. The guy has the ability to come up big in the clutch.

You also love how the Park-Comeau-Okposo line played the last two weeks, and that's something to look forward to for next season. Okposo scored the first goal of the game with assists from both his linemates, and Park's shorthanded goal gave the Isles a 3-2 lead after two periods. All three scored in the shootout, with Park's fourth-round tally the game-winner after Dubie stoned Prucha. Niiiiiice.

Jack Hillen also looked solid and assisted on Miro Satan's goal and again, here's someone who could contribute big-time, a puck-moving backliner with some poise. Add him to a list of young players like Okposo, Comeau, Neilsen, Bergenheim, Campoli (remember him?), Tambellini and Gervais, and there's plenty of reason to hope.

Meanwhile, the Isles have an 8.1 percent chance at the top pick in the draft and will otherwise pick fifth in what looks to be a loaded field.

We'll post a season-ending report card in the next few days, but in the meantime -- other than rooting for the Mets -- we'll be looking for the Devils to bounce the Rangers in the first round. And why not? Brent Sutter was an Islander.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Game recap: Rangers 3, Islanders 0

I wasn't at the game, unfortunately, and you don't see these things on television but according to Boomer Esiason (who was there) and a caller to his morning show with Craig Carton, there were more fisticuffs in the stands than there were on the ice, where the only set-to was a lame grab session involving Sean Avery and Rob Davison in the final minutes.

Typical of an Islanders-Rangers game, and there will certainly be more arrests at the Garden tonight when the Isles close out a disappointing season and the Rangers -- who clinched a playoff spot with Thursday's shutout victory -- advance. Actually, there shouldn't be too much police activity -- Islanders fans would be wise to avoid the Garden at all costs, and let the season end as it did for the team - not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Nothing much to say about the loss, other than Sean Bergenheim better learn how to convert chances like the ones he had last night. Also, the Park-Comeau-Okposo line played well again, with Comeau looking particularly sharp.

Jack Hillen also played well for his NHL debut, paired with Radek Martinek and getting 20 shifts. He's just another piece in a puzzle that Garth Snow will have to decipher in the offseason, one of several young players who have a chance at playing here next season.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Game recap: Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (SO)

There's been some scuttlebutt in the Blog Box about the Islanders possibly adding a different backup goaltender next season, perhaps a veteran former starter who could provide a bit more experience behind a presumably healthy Rick DiPietro.

It's certainly possible, but I'd be just fine seeing Wade Dubielewicz on the bench again.

He's shown to be a capable backup with the ability to come up big, which he did in the shootout loss to the Flyers. Dubie made 51 saves and gave the Isles a real chance to win, and while you hated to see the team blow the 3-2 lead with less than six minutes left, it was a solid effort all around. Great to see the youngsters like Nielsen and Comeau scoring goals, and Comeau's was a beauty. Congrats also to Richard Park for winning the coveted Nystrom award.

Just two home games left: Tuesday against the Devils and Thursday against the Rangers before closing the season out at the Garden. The Isles can still win the Hummer Metro Ice Challenge, standing in first place at 10-3 with 20 points, just a point ahead of the Rangers....

What's that? It doesn't really count for anything? Not even some free chili?

Rats.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LIVEBLOG: Okposo's debut - Leafs 3, Islanders 1

We're live at the Coliseum tonight for the game between your New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and we're very excited to see Steve Regier and Matthew Spiller take the ice.

Oh, yeah, there's Kyle Okposo, too.

The 19-year-old future of the franchise (no pressure, kid) makes his NHL debut wearing Number 21, and not the No. 12 he wore in Bridgeport. Kenneth Dick of OkposoNet informs us that Okposo wore No. 9 at Minnesota, so basically the number on the back doesn't matter as much as the logo on the front, or the numbers in the points column that he can provide. Or, he just likes Brent Sutter better than Duane.

Lots of youngsters in the lineup and Rick DiPietro is out getting an MRI on his troublesome hip, so basically, the Isles get a jump on the 2008-09 preseason. And we're pretty much reduced to rooting HARD against the Rangers. (Go, Sabres!)

Here's a fun fact: Okposo was born April 16 (same day as my son!), 1988 -- five years after the Isles last won the cup, when I was a sophomore in college. Ouch.

Okposo playing with Park and Comeau, doesn't touch the puck but generates some cheers when he steps out on the ice for his first and second shifts. Other than waiting on Okposo, not a ton of excitement here with these 2 teams. Personally? I'm looking for someone - anyone - to run Darcy Tucker. And I'm not alone on that front.

Okposo gets his first shot on goal at the 11:30 mark - save Tokala. No score but the Isles lead in broken stick blades, 2-0. You're welcome.

GOOOOOOOOAL! Talk about end-to-end! Rob Davison gets his first, shorthanded, FROM HIS OWN GOAL LINE. His clear bounced along toward Toskala like a football. He went down, it got by him. That'll be on YouTube within the hour. You got the feeling once the puck was in the Toronto end and it was clear that it was on net, that it could be trouble. But a goal? Unreal.

That's the book on Toskala - he has trouble with the long shots. The reeeeaallll long shots.

Isles up, 1-0, after one.

Besides the arrival of Okposo, the only other good news surrounding the team lately was the news that Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi threw his support behind the Lighthouse Project. Read more about it here. Hopefully, the legislature will get behind it as well and we'll have a new home here sooner rather than later. But knowing Nassau County government, I'm not holding my breath.

Isles killing their third penalty of the game early in the second. Meyer drills Blake, then Dubie stones Kubina on a slapper from the slot. Another good kill.

Penalty on Tucker for hooking, Isles on the power play. Of course, the Leafs have the best scoring chance so far, with Stajan stealing the puck at the blue line and then flying around Berard, who does his best imitation of a fire hydrant. No goal. Okposo almost gets a chance charging to the net, but the pass doesn't get there. Meanwhile, the Isles kill their fourth penalty (too many men).

End of two, still 1-0 Isles.

Is it wrong to be looking up the top 30 2008 draft prospects according to International Scouting Services? That's what I'm doing between the second and third periods. Here's a list -- no profiles yet, but the top prospects are ranked. Here's a tip: Use the list to look these guys up on YouTube. There's plenty of highlights to enjoy. Love that Internet. Here are some profiles as well. Again, you're welcome.

Bad goal allowed by the Isles so I guess they're even on that score as well as the actual score -- and we're tied, 1-1. My hand to God I had just been thinking about writing that the Leafs will score midway through the period, then again with about three minutes left, with an empty netter to cap it off. We'll see - we're a third of the way there.

While the glass is being fixed, here's a thought: The NYI Mobile trivia question asked, who was the first Islander to win the Calder Trophy. And it was multiple choice - Potvin, Trottier, or Bossy. Of course it was Potvin, who was here first -- and yet the most popular answer was Trots at 51 percent??! Let's hope a bunch of weisenheimers texted the wrong answer on purpose, because that's just flat-out embarrassing.

WEAK call against Johnson for holding against Blake. Is this hockey?

Sure enough - a power play goal by Kubina. Give them enough chances, and they're going to score. We'll wait patiently for the make-up call, refs. It's 2-1 Leafs with 8:49 to go.

Leafs goal waved off, Blake called for interference on Dubie, two minutes. Awwwww, tough break, Blakie. And thank you, Mr. Official. Alas, the spirit was willing but the power play is still weak.

Dubie to the bench, breakaway - but Toskala makes the toe save on Comrie. And then there's the empty-netter. Game over, 3-1 Leafs. That's six straight losses and 10 of 12 for the Isles-slash-Sound Tigers.

--

POSTGAME REPORT

Ted Nolan came out and said the veteran guys on the squad gave a poor effort and Bill Guerin agreed with him. Both praised Okposo's debut.

NOLAN:

The young kids played extremely well. We need a better effort as a whole.

ON NEEDING TO GIVE A BETTER EXAMPLE: I don't care who's in the lineup, you care about who competes in the lineup. We played OK, but that's not good enough.

ON OKPOSO: You can tell he's a player when he steps on the ice, he has a great sense for the game.

We didn't want to give him too much in his first game but he did well. He wants the puck.

Dubie gave us a chance. That's all you want from your goaltender.


BILL GUERIN ON NOLAN'S COMMENTS: I 100 percent agree with him.

They didn't have too much to work on off the older guys. It just wasn't there. We're going to try to win with who we have. The lines were shuffled, but in the end, hockey's hockey. You can't use that as an excuse. We could have won that game tonight. We have to do our best to avoid getting down and avoid getting negative.

ON OKPOSO: He played well. Your first game in the league, you're nervous. I think only Mario
came in and had a good first shift and was ready to go.

It's quite a thrill, your first NHL game. (Guerin remarked that his own debut was too long ago to remember but recalled it was at the old Chicago Stadium.)

He got involved in the game and had a couple of opportunities. There's a reason he's here.


KYLE OKPOSO (whose locker is between Comeau's and Guerin's, for what it's worth):

I thought the game was faster than it was the first period, but then I calmed down a bit.

On his scoring chance: I had a little more time than I thought.

The first period I was very nervous.

It's not different than what I've played. Obviously the skill level is higher. But hockey's hockey, whether it's on the pond or here. You've played a thousand times.

All the guys were really supportive and just said to relax.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Progress but still no wins; what now?

Two road games, no wins, two blown leads with less than four minutes left in the third period and one point don't add up to much other than the continuation of what is now a seven-game winless streak.

Yes, there have been signs of progress. But forgive me for not getting excited about scoring three goals for two straight games. With 26 games left in the season, tonight's home game against the Flyers needs to be the start of the turnaround if the Islanders are going to make the playoffs. They are six points behind the eighth-place Bruins so it's well within reach.

My man Crazy Joe Davola commented recently that the Isles are likely to be sellers at the deadline, and after further review I agree with him. Newsday is also speculating about who will stay and who will go. With so many free-agents-to-be, and with a deep draft expected, signs seem to be pointing to 'seller.'

Figure Satan, Comrie and Bergeron are the prime suspects to leave. Vasicek should stay, and while I like Hunter, I don't see him in the future. I like Fedotenko's style of play and wouldn't mind him sticking around.

And you know something? Just because they may be 'selling' veterans doesn't mean they won't be 'buying' players in return. If they can stock up on young talent, fine. And even if they deal those veterans, I'd rather see them throw in all the youngsters -- Tambellini, Okposo, Comeau, Johnson, Nielsen -- and let them have at it and battle for that last playoff spot.

Meanwhile, we'll see if the snow tonight holds down the crowd. This team can use all the help it can get.

The Islanders' Web site mentioned a new women's track world record in the indoor 60-meter hurdles set by Susanna Kallur, daughter of Anders Kallur, one of the "Core of the Four." Read more about her here. She also has a twin sister, Jenna, who is also a top hurdler for Sweden.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Game recap: Islanders 6, Hurricanes 3

So let me get this straight: The Islanders actually have the advantage when they're shorthanded, and they win more often when they're outshot. Make sense? Not really, but a win is a win.

Tuesday night's 6-3 win over the Hurricanes was the Isles' fourth straight road win (which dovetails fittingly with the team's four-game home losing streak) and got the two points back that they gave away the night before. Unfortunately, any good feelings generated by the win were tempered mightily by the news that Chris Campoli needs shoulder surgery and will be lost for the season.

It's a huge blow to the defense as Campoli has been a real asset so far this season, despite the occasional youthful mistake. The loss of Campoli means Freddy Meyer will continue to get a regular turn, and his solid play has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.

Back to the game, and what more can you say about a penalty kill that scores three times? How messed up is this -- the first four goals of the game were scored with Carolina on the power play, and three of the goals were for the Islanders. Think Peter Laviolette had a few choice words for his club after the game?

Mike Sillinger had two of the shorties while Richard Park had the third on a beautiful breakaway triggered by Martinek flipping the puck high off the glass and out of the Islanders' zone. Park picked the puck up at center ice and did the rest.

Up 4-1, the Islanders let the Canes back into it; Matt Cullen somehow found some space between the left post and Wade Dubielewicz's pads to make it 4-3. But Dubie stood tall against a withering Hurricane attack in the third and finished with 44 saves. Brendan Witt scored the clincher off a nice drop pass by Blake Comeau, whose empty netter polished off the win.

The Isles visit Beantown Thursday night and get four days off for the All-Star Break (everyone but D.P., that is) before hosting the Senators on Jan. 29.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Catching up on west coast time

People are wondering where the posts have been lately, and while I'd love to say I was scouting in Saskatoon or covering the World Juniors in the Czech Republic, the truth is I'm still recovering from the holidays -- so some quick thoughts before the Isles take on Edmonton tonight.

Great to see that common sense prevailed in "PadGate." It was clear from the outset that DiPietro and the Islanders weren't trying to gain any advantage or pull a fast one on anybody. The snow-white pads all but screamed "ATTENTION: THIS IS NEW EQUIPMENT" and when asked, D.P, simply switched to the old pads. Problem solved, crisis averted, angry blog posts avoided.

Two OT losses in a row were very different. The Isles probably should have won the game outright against the Panthers with a strong effort but could have easily lost the game against Colorado Saturday. So you split the difference, get two points anyway and move on.

Horton's first goal for Florida was one D.P. should have had (maybe if he'd had those new pads on, he would have) and then Booth's goal came after multiple deflections, so that was fluky. DiPietro flat-out saved the Isles against the Avalanche, making 38 saves. The only Colorado goal in regulation was - maddeningly - another deflection that of course came with 31 seconds left in the second.

Bergeron's play has been a welcome sight, and production from the defense may have been just what the doctor ordered to cure the scoring drought. Blake Comeau has also looked good, as has Mike Comrie. By the way, Cosmo cover girl Hillary Duff has a "secret reason" why she's so happy. Could it be number 89? Head to your local checkout counter and find out!

I'm also seriously considering a trip to Bridgeport to see Kyle Okposo make his debut for the Sound Tigers, and you know something - we all should. He had a solid tournament at the World Juniors and by all accounts could be a mainstay on the right wing. Why not get a sneak preview?

One last thing - I have to agree with Chris Botta in his Point Blank blog about the 'HEY!' chant after goals. I'm sure it's because I'm a father of a young Islanders fan who discourages the use of words like SUCK, but New Yorkers and Long Islanders in general get a bad rap, and I know there is a perception of Islanders fans as being somewhat crass, even though the majority of us have class.

The chant appeals to the lowest common denominator, and while it may get the building fired up, there are other ways to do that. And while I love it when the barn gets loud, can we get a little more creative?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Game recap: Islanders 4, Hurricanes 1

What a way to ring out the old.

The power play was the one thing that still hadn't looked good in the Isles' recent resurgence, but that changed in a big way Monday night as the Islanders scored on three straight man-up opportunities to beat the Hurricanes on the road, 4-1, for their fifth win in six games to close out 2007.

There's plenty to look forward to in the new year. Rick DiPietro should be returning to the lineup shortly, the goal-scoring drought seems to be becoming a memory, the team is getting nice offensive production from the d-line, and young players like Blake Comeau and Freddy Meyer are playing well with the prospect of Kyle Okposo joining the team in the second half of the season.

And while the Isles may be fifth in their own division, they're right in the thick of the playoff battle, just three points from the fourth seed in the conference standings.

Monday's win saw three goals in less than four minutes in the second period to give the Isles a 3-0 lead. Marc-Andre Bergeron and Bill Guerin scored on the power play, followed by a gate-crashing goal by Ruslan Fedotenko. Bergeron scored again on the power play late in the period, his third goal in two games.

Wade Dubielewicz made 28 saves in another solid start in relief of DiPietro. The Isles host the Panthers Thursday night before hitting the road for five straight, the first four against western conference foes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Game recap: Islanders 4, Penguins 2

Break out the New Year's champagne early, folks. The Islanders finally broke the three-goal barrier. That they won on the road against the division-rival Penguins is perhaps more important than the goal total, but when you look at how this team has struggled offensively, it's nice to have finally popped that cork.

Since November 1, a 23-game stretch, the Isles had not scored more than three goals in a game. Two-goal leads may as well have been 20. But now Blake Comeau is in the house. In his second game with the big club the 21-year-old assisted on Andy Hilbert's game-tying goal and scored what proved to be the game-winner with a slap shot midway through the third. Just 37 seconds later, Trent Hunter gave the Isles a two-goal lead to secure the victory.

A quick primer on Blake Comeau (not to be confused with Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo or Lake Como, the Italian Rivera resort where George Clooney lives large with supermodels): He helped Team Canada win gold at the 2003 U18 tournament in Russia, and then led the Kelowna Rockets win the Memorial Cup a year later. In 2005, Comeau scored 21 goals with 53 assists for 74 points in 60 games, and also helped Canada win gold at the IIHF Under 20 World Championships, leading the team in points under head coach Brent Sutter. So the guy is a winner.

He had 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points with the Sound Tigers last season. He wasn't exactly setting Bridgeport on fire this season, with three goals and six helpers in 25 games, but he has a great opportunity now with Chris Simon suspended for 30 games.

Comeau teamed with Hilbert and Tim Jackman for a productive line, while Miro Satan scored 44 seconds into the game for his fourth point (three goals) in four games against the Pens this season.

Up next, the Capitals tonight at the Coliseum in what Isles fans hope will be an early Christmas present. Hope to see many, many of you there!