Saturday, December 18, 2010

Introducing: Nathan Lawson

I'm not one of those people who pretends to know things when they don't. I'd rather admit that I don't know something than look like a fool pretending to. In the case of Saturday night's starting goalie, Nathan Lawson, I don't know much about him. And as for why the Islanders decided to start him, well, that's anyone's guess.

What I can tell you about Lawson is that he has been waiting for a shot to play in the National Hockey League for over three seasons. I might also mention that he played collegiate hockey at Alaska-Anchorage, putting up a GAA over over 3.00 each season there. Then there's the matter of his 3.78 GAA and .890 save percentage at Bridgeport this season.

So with the team issuing a brief statement about veteran goaltender Rick DiPietro experiencing some knee swelling on Saturday (12/18) morning, the decision was made to call up Lawson on an emergency basis. It was then determined that he would get that night's start against Phoenix.

But why not start Dwyane Roloson, who has 527 more games of experience in the NHL?

Well, this has been a season of curious decisions on the Island. And you can add this one to the list. Head coach Jack Capuano said earlier in the day that he knew Lawson from his time coaching in Bridgeport. And that if Lawson was going to be a part of the Islanders roster then he was going to start.

Well, I guess if you were going to make him drive the 60 or so miles it shouldn't be in vain, right?

Before I create the impression of being too negative, I should just say that I am happy for the guy, and in fairness, Lawson acquitted himself fairly well in what had to be the most nerve-racking start of his life. He lost in a shootout, 4-3, but saved 32 shots. I suppose the part of the game that annoyed me was seeing Lawson and the Isles blow a late lead and then being unable to stop any shots in the shootout.

Oh well, chalk it up to inexperience.

So now we observers are left with starting goaltender speculation, injury speculation (the team said DiPietro's swelling was "minor" and the goalie himself wasn't worried), and potential trade speculation. The beat goes on for Islanders fans.

So to recap, the Islanders lost, rumors are sure to abound, and I didn't really introduce Nate Lawson at all. On the other hand, at least I finally found a use for the neat little 'Lawson' logo.

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