In his final preseason game, budding enforcer and punch-taker Joel Rechlicz went ape and got in so many fights he was automatically tossed from the game. Jeremy Reich got in a rather unremarkable fight with middleweight Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador and ended up leaving the game with a broken wrist. (For the Devils perspective on things, In Lou We Trust has a thorough recap.)
Anyone else want to get hurt before the season starts? We're kind of good at this drill.
Scott Gordon has (rightly) said Reich and Rechlicz are two different types of players, but that doesn't necessarily mean they weren't chasing the same roster/Bridgeport shuttle spot to start the year off. In the third period, Rechlicz did something a little stupid (according to Devils WFAN announcers) after his third fight -- but it's something that should warm the hearts of many Islanders fans worried about who will protect John Tavares. Newsday's Katie Strang reports:
Rechlicz said the extracurricular activity after his fight with Peters--when he shoved Colin White to the ice--was indeed because of the hit White laid on Tavares earlier in the game. He just doesn't want anyone to think there won't be consequences if players mess with the Islanders top prospect.
This game was not televised -- the NHL tends to charge season ticket holders for meaningless preseason games that don't even draw the interest of boob tube broadcasters. But here's an interesting bit from the official recap: Jeff Tambellini was playing the point opposite Mark Streit when he assisted on Streit's 5-on-3 goal.
Other bits: Matt Moulson set up John Tavares, who hit the post on Martin Brodeur. ... Tavares finished the preseason without a goal, but Moulson picked up another assist. ... Both Islanders goals came on the powerplay -- Streit's 5-on-3 and Jack Hillen's 5-on-4 earlier in the game. ... John at ILWT said Brodeur should have had Hillen's shot, and he obviously wasn't happy with the Rechlicz Show. ... Speaking of which, Andrew Peters -- who some Isles fans lobbied for -- was none too pleased with the way Rechlicz went about things.
Have I mentioned I hate the preseason? Well, not so much hate it; rather, just annoyed by how much it pales in comparison to the real deal, and how the info is scarce but the pricing is the same.
Thank you Bossy, the real deal starts Saturday.