Less than two weeks removed from a glorified bag skate following a 3-2 loss to Philly Dec 5, the Islanders faced another heavy-skating practice this morning at Nassau Coliseum
Laps, end-to-end drills, one-on-one battles, you name it, although it definitely was not a punishment skate. Matt Moulson described it as "really good, quality practice," and the rest of the team seemed upbeat in embracing the hard work.
Does head coach Jack Capuano wants to work on the team's endurance to help improve their third-period performances? (After being outscored 2-1 in the third period of Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss, the Islanders have been outscored by opponents in 28 consecutive third periods, which is the longest streak of its nature in NHL history***)
"For any athlete to perform at their best level they have to be in their best shape," Capuano said. "I just want to make sure guys are."
Goaltenders Dwayne Roloson and Nathan Lawson were both on the ice; Rick DiPietro (knee swelling) was not. Capuano called it a "maintenance day."
Injured defenseman Mark Eaton also practiced with the team for the for the first time since suffering a groin injury December 11 during a 5-4 loss to the Thrashers. Capuano would not commit to whether he'll be able to play before league-mandated Christmas break.
***Stick tap to team statistician Eric Hornick for that gem