Matt Moulson remembers the excitement of making the Los Angeles Kings out of training camp last season and the crushing disappointment of a demotion to the minors after a rough start. He's determined to not let that happen this year.
Moulson, who signed a one-year contract with the Islanders in July, has had a strong training camp and has impressed the coaching staff, leading the team in goals with four in the past four games.
"Matt's done everything you could do as a player to win a spot on this team," coach Scott Gordon said. "He has not only put himself in positions to score, he's been good killing penalties and finishing his checks. He's got versatility; he's not just a one-dimensional player."
In Moulson's first preseason game, he said he was "playing a million miles per hour," trying to acclimate to a new system and make an impression on the coaching staff. In his second game, against Calgary last week, Moulson settled in, netting two goals in the Islanders' shootout loss. "It was definitely good just for my confidence," he said.
"We knew coming in he could score goals," Gordon said. "He's stepped up and had a good showing. And he's getting better every day."
Moulson, who had 21 goals and 26 assists last season in 54 games with the Kings' AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, believes he can thrive in Gordon's fast-paced system.
"It's a very go-go, active way of playing, an aggressive type of style that forces the other team to make mistakes and create turnovers," Moulson said. "I feel like it suits me perfectly."
How does he feel about his chances of making this team?
"Hopefully, good. I don't think I'd be here if they don't think I can," Moulson said. "I don't only want to make this team, I want to help this team win.''
Notes & quotes: Seven cuts were made yesterday. Micheal Haley, Tomas Marcinko, Matt Martin, Dustin Kohn, Brett Westgarth, Scott Munroe and Greg Mauldin were assigned to Bridgeport.