Jets want it, Giants want it, Sound Tigers are loaded with it. DEFENSE.

On the glass, above the glass, in the corners, center ice or behind the nets; we all have our preferred seats. Mine have always been high above the glass, even with the goal line in the defensive zone. I love watching the defense work and the goalie under siege. Don't talk to me during a five on three. At the Webster Bank Arena, home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers there are no bad sight lines and seats in all sections are generally available, so preferred seating is rarely an issue.
This season the Islanders American league team is bursting with talent at the blue line. With four veterans - in the AHL that means you are 25 or older - we have solid protection for the rookies. Dylan Reese and Ty Wishart might already be known to Isles fans and Ben Olson and Steve Oleksy are rocks.
Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan, drafted in '08 as well as Calvin deHann and Anton Klementyev from the class of '09 fill out the roster as BST rookies (though it's hard to think of Klementyev as a rookie - euro rules). Sitting in my preferred seat in section 103 I can see the most talented d-man I have seen since A-Mac (Andrew MacDonald) left the building, and he is not on the ice.

He is sitting on the fourth level above the locker room with other injured players and tonights healthy scratches. The first player selected by the Islanders in the 2007 draft, Mark Katic. Mark is recovering from shoulder surgery, skating now with a no contact jersey and feeling great. He hopes to be back in March and available for any playoff games should we make it.

Most d-men will go from skating forward to skating backward by shifting their weight to their favored foot and spinning in the direction momentum takes them. A good forward with vision sees, knows and anticipates this move, cutting toward the boards or toward the slot as needed to create space.

Katic seems to move seamlessly as he shifts from forward to reverse and can plant and spin either right or left. You won't read much about Mr. Katic because of the doctor/patient thing, and he will not be seen in stat sheets for a while but when he does show up .... Glad I have my seat in 103.

-Mike Flannery

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