Matt Martin and Jesse Joensuu are both on the ice this morning for the Islanders practice at the Coliseum.
"For them it's not as much about points as it is intangibles, going to the net, being big bodies, finishing checks and making good decisions with the puck," coach Scott Gordon said.
Captain Doug Weight said that while the decision to call up both young power forwards can bring an infusion of new energy, the team needs to find internal motivation.
"We need a spark from within and we've got to find it," Weight said.
Martin called the call he received, "a dream come true," and said he's looking to bring some bite to the team's game, an edge the Isles have been lacking lately.
I"m definitely looking to make an impact in the physical department," Martin said.
Martin carpooled to Long Island with Joensuu this morning. Joensuu will make his second showing with the big club on Tuesday.
"Be a presence to the net, drive to the front of the net," Joensuu said of the message he received from Gordon. "I've heard that we've been struggling with getting to the front of the net and going for the rebounds. That's what he's looking for me and [Martin] to do and hit a lot too."
Just as a sidenote, I asked Martin about his skating, something he has worked on with the Bridgeport coaching staff to improve...have to say I really liked his response:
"That's probably one of the biggest criticisms to my game," Martin said. "I don't really take criticsm lightly and I don't like when people criticize my game so I'm doing my best to make skating a strong point of my game and improve on it."
Two guys will have to be taken out of the lineup for tomorrow's game against Nashville to make room for the Bridgeport call-ups. Jeff Tambellini will very likely be one; the other one will be more difficult to predict, considering Scott Gordon didn't tip his hand today.
We saw a couple permutations of line combos today, so I wouldn't bank on these written in stone:
***Tim Jackman practiced with the team for the first time today, albeit with a full cage. He still cannot absorb contact.
***Jack Hillen skated on his own for the second time this morning before the rest of the team took the ice