Newest Flyer debuts from the Sin Bin

David W. Unkle- For SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 7:20 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA-History will record that Winnipegger Riley Cote logged a little over three minutes of ice time in his NHL debut, a few ticks less than the amount of time spent in the penalty box, in the Flyers 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders.

It wasn't the sort of NHL start that Cote envisioned when he was recalled from the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL-affiliate a day earlier.

On his first shift of the game, Richard Park deposited his seventh goal of the season behind Flyers netminder Martin Biron at 3:44 of the first period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

On his next two outings, Cote ended up in the penalty box, the result of a pair of questionable calls.

"I didn't see a problem with his game from the beginning," said Flyers head coach John Stevens. "Clearly he got called up here and there was a lot of news about him getting called up.I think (Cote) had an isolation camera on him when he got out there on the ice."

On the first penalty, Cote explained that "I did kind of crosscheck, but I didn't think it was anything that deserved a penalty, I was just pushing off the (face-off) draw. On the second (penalty), I think I barely touched the guy, but I guess that's how it works."

"I'm a marked man."

Cote feels that the excess attention is the results of his actions near the end of a Mar. 10 tilt between the Phantoms and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. With under a minute remaining in an ultimate 5-4 loss to the Islanders' AHL-affiliate and Bridgeport enjoying a two-man advantage, Drew Fata face-washed Phantoms' captain John Slaney at the end of a play. Matt Ellison then entertained Fata, followed by Cote, who left the Phantoms bench to join in the action.

Cote clearly drew the ire of referee Jamie Koharski who tagged him with 24 penalty minutes, including a game-misconduct, which landed him a six-game suspension.

"I'm sure the (AHL) contacted the (NHL) to say that I was (recalled)," said Cote, who has one game remaining in his suspension. "I just tried to bounce through it, play my game, and skate hard between the whistles."

Cote is yet another protege of Stevens' 2005 Calder Cup championship season with the Phantoms to dress for the Flyers.

A member of the 2003 Central Hockey League champion Memphis River Kings, it was a somewhat of a stretch to envision Cote one day pulling on a NHL sweater. But much to his credit, Cote learned to be accountable at both ends of the ice under Stevens and became a valuable member of inside the dressing room.

When the Phantoms packed it in during a Jan. 25 contest against the Hershey Bears, Cote called out his teammates for their apathetic level of play.

Following that game, Cote said that "to win hockey games, every guy has to pull his weight...but I think some guys are too comfortable and take for granted that they'll be in the lineup every night. If everybody works and we lose, you can't feel bad, but if with an effort like we had, it's embarrassing. It's unacceptable. Either you do care or you don't care, but it's tough to put heart in someone."

"He is a very responsible hockey player," said Stevens of Cote. "He thinks the game well and he brought good energy to our hockey team (today).

FAMILY AFFAIR

Cote watched his former squad drop the Springfield Falcons 6-4 at the Wachovia Spectrum Friday night before heading home to his southern New Jersey home a short drive away. He admittedly awoke a number of times Friday night. Cote's wife Holly, along with her parents and some friends were in attendance at the Wachovia Centre for his NHL debut, although Cote's parents could not make it to Philadelphia in time for the game. They watched the game on satellite, along with friends and family.

SUPERFLY

Cote is known for his sometimes outlandish attire which includes various pinstripe suits and a pair of white shoes that at times have been a good luck charm and an omen for the Phantoms. It is unknown what Cote wore to the Wachovia Centre on Saturday.

LAMPLIGHTERS

Philadelphia's Jeff Carter ended a 15-game, goal-scoring slump to tie the game at 1-1 late in the first period. It was Carter's first goal since Feb. 19 against Boston. In 13 career games against the Islanders, Carter has five goals and 10 assists.

Playing in his 500th NHL game, New York's Jason Blake potted his 37th goal of the season.

HEAVYWEIGHTS

Philadelphia's Todd Fedoruk was guest on the Flyers' television feed from the bench during the second intermission. New York's Chris Simon, serving a season-ending suspension was in the Islanders' box during the game.


Videos

Photos