Head Coach Jack Capuano insisted it wasn't a bag skate, but the intense two-hour session was replete with end-to-end back-checking and chase drills, exhausting line rushes (3-on-0, 3-on-1, 3-on-2) and one-on-one battles.
Despite the grueling practice, there was no sulking in the dressing room afterwards. With 17 losses in the last 18 games, the Islanders seemed uninterested in making excuses. Instead, they owned up to the season's disappointments and took responsibility.
"We have to be better, we have to play with more desperation, that's what I got out of it," said. P.A. Parenteau. "We probably deserved to practice a little longer and get our a** kicked a little bit. We lost 17 out of 18. It's not fun, no one's happy about it, but we still believe we have the guys to turn this around."
Defenseman Bruno Gervais said he was impressed with the response from the team, which will return for an extra off-ice session this afternoon.
"At first, it's hard and it kind of shocks you, but it's good to have your cage rattled once in a while," Gervais said. "At the end, when guys were really tired, they were still making some nice plays. Guys were gassed, but they were digging really deep and that's what you want to see."
With a game against the Boston Bruins and Tim Thomas on Thursday, the Islanders hope today's wake-up call can right the ship.
"What's been going on, it's unacceptable. it has to change at some time or other," John Tavares said. " Hopefully this is something else to get us going."
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