Isles 'Hammer' Down - Not Out

 

You would think that the transition from the NHL to the AHL would be an easy one for a player, especially one with previous AHL experience. This has not been the case for Islanders D-man Travis Hamonic who has often appeared frustrated with the game.

Hamonic’s numbers from his brief 19 games with the Sound Tigers in 2010 (2 goals and 5 assists) nearly match his 19 game total this year (3 goals and 6 assists) but his 135 games played in the NHL in the interim gave him a taste of the game he is more comfortable playing. ‘Hammer’ needs more speed and pace to the game and you can sense his frustration nightly.(Photo Credit: David Csordas)

Always looking to pass the puck forward out of the zone, he too often has to settle for a pace slowing cross-ice pass and you can almost taste his aggravation. Too much time is being spent in the wrong end of the ice defending their own goal and not nearly enough time generating solid scoring opportunities in their own end and it bothers the gifted twenty-two year-old.

It is not that the team lacks talent, this is perhaps the most talent-laden team Bridgeport has ever put on the ice, but lately every mistake made seems to result in a goal for the opposing team and slow starts are crippling. This was painfully obvious in the Sound Tigers most recent loss, the teams sixth in a row, this past Sunday at home against the Norfolk Admirals.

The team came out slowly, once again, giving up two first period goals while being out shot 13-8. The Sound Tigers have only lost one game in which they out shot their opponent in the first period (vs. Hartford when the Whale scored four unanswered in the final twelve mins.) and have only won two games when the other team dominated the opening twenty minutes.

Ten seconds into the second period Hamonic and Admirals forward John Mitchell came together hard at the end boards leaving Hamonic face down injured on the ice. In the photo at the top of this feature shared by aspiring sports photo-journalist David Csordas, you see Matt Donovan standing watch over his fallen line mate while team trainer Matt Bain rendered assistance.

Thankfully Connecticut Post’s Mike Fornabaio reported after the game that Hamonic was ‘up and about’ but will be held out of action for Wednesday nights’ game against the Whale. When able to return Sound Tigers fans can expect the usual one-hundred ten percent they have come to expect from ‘The Hammer’ and hopefully an end to his and the teams frustrations.

Be well ‘Hammer’.  

 

-Mike Flannery

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