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With time running out, Jesse Joensuu hoping to make his mark

Islanders winger Jesse Joensuu knows time is running

Islanders winger Jesse Joensuu knows time is running out for him to prove he belongs in the NHL. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri, 2009

Upon his arrival to join the team this morning for 10:30 practice, Bridgeport power forward Jesse Joensuu was frank about his intentions during his call-up stint for the Islanders.

"Time is running out for me," Joensuu said. "It's time for me to show I have NHL abilities."

The 6-4 Finnish forward, a second-round pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft, was regarded as a top prospect for his size and skill. But Joensuu, who led Bridgeport with 11 points (4 goals and 7 assists) in 16 games before his recall this morning, has at times tried to do too much.

"Simplify his game," head coach Jack Capuano said . "As a big guy, we don't want him playing so much East-West. We want him to keep moving forward. When he does that, he's difficult to stop."

After a promising 7 games with the big club in 2008-09, Joensuu had a difficult training camp last summer. Joensuu readily admitted last season the reason was trying to do too much. But Joensuu was encouraged with his performance this summer and hoped he'd be able to crack the lineup.

"I felt I had a really good training camp and had my best [preseason] game against New Jersey. I really hoped they'd keep me but when the time came and I was cut, it really hurt," Joensuu said.

To remain with the team, Joensuu said he'll follow the advice of former Islander Tim Jackman: Just do whatever you can to stick.

"If I'm playing on that fourth line, I just have to play physical, win puck battles, be  a presence in front of the net and be gritty.

--Matt Moulson said he was satisfied with the two-game suspension handed to Bolts center Mattias Ritola yesterday and was glad the outcome of the play wasn't more severe.

"It probably could've been a lot worse if I wasn't wearing my visor, or else I probably would've fractured my cheekbone."

Ritola, who was slapped with a 5-minute major charging penalty after leaving his feet to smash Moulson face-first into the boards Wednesday, will forfeit $5.555.92 in salary while serving the two-game ban.

-- Injured defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who underwent surgery to repair a fractured right hand one month ago, worked with skills coach Bernie Cassell today on an angle session. Although MacDonald has been skating on his own, today marked the first time he was outfitted with a stick and gloves to start taking shots.

--Jack Capuano said he has not been given any timetable yet on defenseman Jack Hillen, who suffered a concussion after a mid-ice collision in San Jose last Friday. Capuano was not sure whether Hillen has undergone any baseline test to receive clearance to resume aerobic activity.

New York Sports