Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 9/24/2013


John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders had a well deserved day off yesterday.

It was a time for the coaching staff to reflect on two consecutive preseason shut-outs over the weekend and decide how they would like the groups to be split going into the final two weeks of training camp.

There are almost certain to be cuts coming, possibly being announced as early as today. The only news yesterday was Parker Milner, who had a great camp, being released from his NHL PTO and assigned officially to Bridgeport camp.

News out of the National Hockey League has certainly picked up, however, over the course of the last week or so.

With a new rules barring the ‘voluntary’ removal of your helmet prior to a fight, no tucking your jersey into your hockey pants and hybrid icing, the preseason has certainly been interesting.

The Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs brought things to an entirely different level the other night at Maple Leaf Gardens when this happened:

Now – I have to say, Phil Kessel is a professional hockey player who has trained his entire life. He is not a ‘coward’, or a ‘wimp’ or a ‘sissy’. I just don’t buy into that kind of juvenile social media talk when you are referring to a man who can do what only 850 in the entire world can.

John Scott is a seasoned brawler and tried to get under the skin of one of the Maple Leafs best players. Par for the course, I say. Let’s imagine for a second Kessel actually engaging Scott and turtling. Do you honestly think big John would have rained blows still? I seriously doubt that. But David Clarkson obviously thought so, jumping the bench and joining the brawl, earning an automatic ten game suspension.

Even the goaltenders got into it, with Jonathan Bernier getting the best of Ryan Miller towards the end of the video clip.

It is how Kessel reacted that has everyone rightly in an uproar. Some say self-defense; I say complete and utter disrespect for the fact that you are wielding a weapon in your hands and he tried to do bodily harm to another player with said gear. Forget the location at which he swung the stick. Doesn’t matter.

The NHL has to come down on this incident swiftly and with powerful authority. I say Kessel deserves at least a 10 game ban for his actions, much more than Scott, who only tried to do his job.

**MORNING UPDATE – Clarkson has already received his mandatory 10 game suspension and Phil Kessel has been asked for a phone review, meaning he can only get 5 games max. NHL drops the ball once again on this one.

-Andy (@tazman19)

In Case You Missed It

Two Minutes For Tweeting

  • I personally have never forgotten and don’t think many Isles fans have either. The glory days might not be ‘just’ around the corner but they are coming and coming fast now.
  • Me either Anthony. This team is so deserving of the attention it is finally getting again and will be exciting to watch, that’s for sure.
  • Tavares’ career ascention has been nothing short of amazing and he is not only being mentioned in the conversation about Isles greats but is clearly one of the top 5 players in the game today.
  • Ahhhh, I love me some clarity, reason and intelligence on a fine Tuesday morning. Garik points out what all Isles fans should be keying on. Not assumptions but plain fact. Nabokov will not ‘win’ many games by himself but will keep this team competitive enough for the scoring to take over. As he goes onto mention in his follow up tweet, its really about having a capable backup to take 20-30 games off the veterans plate.