Deer Park, N.Y. – Matt Martin is an excellent hockey player and has done something I had previous thought to be impossible: He has surpassed Hubie McDonough as my all time favorite New York Islander. I’m sorry Hubie it was an awesome 23 years buddy.
Matt Martin is everything that is right in a hockey player: Matty is an old school, hard-hitting, no nonsense, north and south, haymaker throwing, 6’3, 205 pound wrecking machine. His all around game has become an all important cog in the wheel of resurgence occurring out in Nassau these days.
He is the best of both worlds: the type of player that does everything as a fan that you love, and if need be can be more than proficient when the gloves come off. However to simply refer to him as a goon is a huge insult to his all around game, but if one is to underestimate him when the gloves are dropped as anything other than a “heavyweight”. One is sorely mistaken.
As much fun as it is to watch Matty drop the gloves, as Isles fans unless he is fighting Alex Ovechkin, it is not a great trade off for us to have this kid sit in the box for 5 min for fighting versus anyone. Please I’m not implying Matt Martin is on the level of Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby, but what I am saying is that he is on their level of importance to our organIzation.
To be blunt, I simply love to watch the guy play this game. As my six year old is starting to get older and really beginning to show an appreciation of hockey (whether he wants to or not) I make sure to let him know when #17 is on the ice and tell him, “Boy, look, look watch # 17, you play like him” as he continues to play with his legos and respond, “Daddy can I go now?” Well you don’t mind that… But I digress. Seriously though as he gets older Matt Martin is the player I will encourage my son to emulate on the ice.
Matty Martin does not lead the league in hits, he destroys the league in hits! Matty has 194 hits thus far on the season for an average of 4.9 hits per tilt. The next closest is Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators with 165. Just to give you a perspective of how special Matt Martin is, Steve Ott of the Sabres is the only other player in the league with over 150 hits.
His physicality and fighting ability is not where this young man’s game ends. (And oh by the way did I fail to mention he is only 23 years of age and is signed through 2016.) It just might be time we start to look at Mr. Garth Snow in a different light eh? But I digress.
Martin’s game doesn’t just begin and end with his hits and fisticuffs, he can truly play at both ends of the ice, whether it be mucking in the corners or in the open ice with puck. He can skate, pass, stick handle, operate in tight areas, create space for others (John Tavares * please read Jack Capuano!!). He has done well on both the power play, and the penalty kill, and is often out there for crucial points of the contest. He on more then one occasion has sparked the team when we have appeared dull with a jarring hit, or one sided fight if need be. He can do it all, and when paired with Casey Cizikas, and Colin McDonald form the best 4th line in all of hockey, which makes our squad a very dangerous team.
With Sparkey proudly waiving our flag behind Matty as the boys were leaving the ice following a huge 4-2 victory over the Bolts on Satuarday night. The crowd still abuzz as they hushed to hear one of our leaders speak. Matt was engaged in an on ice post game interview as is custom for the first star of the game to do (nicely) when he gave the crowd and the fans at home this wonderful nugget.
"We want to make the playoffs this year. We want to go on a run, and that’s what we’re going do"
As Islander fans this is music to our ears, this is just so awesome to hear from one of our leaders. For 20 years of what we can’t even classify as disappointment (because that would imply a prerequisite of hope) after 20 years of futility, to have a guy of this character stand before a sell out crowd look into the camera and leave no doubt about this organIzation’s intentions is wonderful. Matt Martin is a huge part in the atmospheric revolution that is thankfully taking place right before our eyes in and around our entire club.
Courtesy of Universal/Dreamwork Pictures
Some guys just get it… Sooner (hopefully) rather than later this team is going to go on a huge post season run, I (call me crazy) even believe we are in the infancy stage of a dynasty brewing. One day when this team makes it’s first run the entire hockey world will be treated to what we get to see every night. A true gladiator on the ice. Now you may call him “The Hitman”, you may call him “Beast” but for me, for us, Matt Martin is MAXIMUS. Who just happens to play at the Coliseum.
Yes we are, and thank you for leading our organization back!
Thank you Scotty
“Tryin to capture the Spirit of the thing…”
P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)
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