It’s a mantra that resonates throughout a sports organization, from ticket salesmen who have an easier time putting butts in seats, to PR guys who get to enjoy some positive press.
While the Coliseum has been hopping and the media has swarmed during the team’s recent stretch of success, not every department is benefiting.
It turns out, when you have the world’s most superstitious coaching staff, the tried-and-true mantra is thrown out the window.
There’s been one constant during the Islanders’ exciting playoff push, and it doesn’t involve the starting lineup, line combinations or X’s and O’s.
The coaches’ basketball game has become a pregame institution, much to the dismay of the staff’s ankles, knees and backs.
After several weeks of playing, it’s become evident that the coaches don’t even like basketball. But when they play, we win. So they play.
With countless rolled ankles, twisted knees and jammed fingers, the banged-up coaches spend more time with the team medical staff than most players.
They ditch the crutches, braces and ice in the locker room each night and limp out to the bench to coach through the pain.
Doug Weight debuted his new pair of Dunks on the last trip… they led to a career-high 9% shooting percentage (the games are determined in large part by rebounds, and when you’re under the basket with a bunch of hockey players, those rebound’s also come with an elbow to the face).
Anything to help the team.
Here’s what Matt Martin’s family looks like on the Family Feud video game for iPad.
Note Team Martin’s score.
I give his family a lot of credit for remaining in good spirits, despite their abysmal performance last week on our flight to Washington.
The Martin’s were routinely quicker on the buzzer, but failed to close out the board, allowing Team Eisenberg to steal the points.
We surveyed 100 people and asked: What’s Marty’s best move going forward against Team Eisenberg?
Once again, Team Martin came through with the top two answers, but left the points ripe for the taking. Team Eisenberg takes another easy steal with the number 3 answer: Denial.
Here’s what Assistant Equipment Manager Richard “Shakey” Krouse looks like unloading the team’s dry cleaning.
(Always such exciting stuff on this blog, right?)
This was actually a first for Shakey. You see, the team doesn’t get its workout gear dry cleaned…
At 2 a.m. Wednesday, after the Islanders equipment staff had already driven the equipment from Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, they hauled fresh bags of CLEAN practice apparel to the team hotel in anticipation of an off-ice workout.
Apparently, when they asked the hotel to keep the clean laundry at the front desk for players to pick up in the morning, all the bellhop heard was “laundry.”
The clean gear was sent straight to a dry cleaning service, based (of course) in New Jersey.
The mishap was discovered less than an hour before the day’s scheduled workout, once the laundry had already been dumped out of each player’s bag and locked into a lengthy cleaning cycle.
Four hours after the workout was supposed to begin, the re-cleaned gear arrived, beautifully ironed, folded and tagged in individual dry-cleaning bags.
Sadly, the players weren’t able to appreciate their workout shirts and shorts in such pristine condition, because the equipment staff (and certain honorary members of the equipment staff, who also dabble in PR and blogging) spent the next hour removing every stapled tag from every shirt, sock, boxer and sweatband.
Here’s how many tags I pulled out of my first TWO bags…
…Between players, coaches and trainers, there were 30 bags.
The de-tagged gear was re-sorted into player’s individual laundry bags, which looked like this…
…which was a shame, because I was highly anticipating writing a recap of my first-career NHL Laundry Draft; a pick-by-pick analysis starting with the first-overall pick (a showdown between Radek Martinek’s pricey Skinz spandex pants and Tavares’ barefoot-running footsie thingies) to the final pick, Mr. Irrelevant, a.k.a that loose left sock with a whole in it belonging to a player that I’ll allow to remain nameless.
Iron-Man Streak Snapped.
After three years with the Islanders, my consecutive games streak came to a close Saturday due to illness.
Beyond my personal devastation, the immediate consequences are as follows:
a) We have a superstitious team (and coach), and we were awesome Saturday without me, so…
b) No one delivers towels and waters like this guy. Players were simultaneously drenched and parched during their intermission interviews.
c) Game Notes have taken a turn for the worse - I get more bitter every time I update Matt Moulson’s iron-man streak.
To start a new streak, I turned to juice-cleanse aficionado Andrew MacDonald, who totes this mason-jar full of sewage-green muck to the rink every day.
A-Mac’s Green Drank
Simply fill a professional-grade juicer with the following ingredients and flip the switch to “pulverize”
A-Mac: “If we make a vegetable the night before - like if we have roasted beats with dinner…”
Me: “You throw in the beats?”
A-Mac: “Nope. We save the stems and throw them in.”
Scrolling through the Islanders’ comprehensive auction page, which was established to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief, Jordan Mosberg’s parents wisely scrolled past every autographed stick and jersey.
They instead came away with “Islanders Equipment Manager For A Game.”
Maybe they thought it was time for their nine-year-old son to learn how to do laundry.
Fortunately for Jordan, he was quickly promoted from the dryer room to the Islanders bench.
Jordan spent the afternoon in the Islanders locker room handing out towels, and waters, and even running equipment back and forth from the repair room to the players.
He watched pre-game warmups from the home bench and finished the game along side Head Equipment Manager Scott Boggs, meeting every player for an autograph.
Knowing Boggsy, Jordan likely walked away with a new Islanders wardrobe, too.
Here’s Jordan meeting Lubomir Visnovsky after the game.
Here he is playing it cool - clearly not noticing Kyle Okposo - while preparing to hand out waters with Assistant Athletic Trainer Phil Watson.