By Chuck Gormley
NHL.com Staff Writer
Born and raised in one of Canada’s most productive fishing towns, Joey MacDonald has a keen understanding of what it’s like to cast a line and reel in nothing but seaweed.
After seven years of hard labor in the minor leagues, MacDonald wanted to make sure the New York Islanders didn’t toss him back into the murky waters like a useless piece of bait.
“It’s been a long road for me and some thought I never could get here,” the Islanders’ 27-year-old goaltender said during a rare day off last week. “My parents taught me never to give up and to work hard every single day, and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Having played for five minor-league teams since turning pro in 2001, MacDonald has been a revelation on Long Island this season. He recently started 17 straight games in place of injured starter Rick DiPietro, and MacDonald’s strong play has kept Scott Gordon’s injury-riddled team above water.