Morning Thought-Starter: Powerplay performance is a funny thing. It can be tough to judge qualitatively due to the vagaries of bounces and what-not -- and we all know two games isn't much data. The Islanders' powerplay has looked both bad and good, but importantly it has been good late in the first two games.
Josh Bailey's savvy pass alone to set up Blake Comeau was the kind of thing that will do damage no matter how your powerplay is doing. The carom to P.A. Parenteau was a nice bit of good fortune -- though he still had to finish well from a sharp angle. So it's nice that the Islanders have five PP goals in their first two games, but let's also remember two of them were on 5-on-3's. That's not to rule out a new leaf for last year's 27th-ranked unit; only to say it's a work in progress and we need more data. More on this later, but the talent and approach appear to be there.
What follows are links not already included in our game recap, as well as a couple of good post-game clips (Gordon and Bailey). These links are of a "snapshot in time" nature, so as always you are welcome to share additional links in comments.
- By the way, Doug Weight's explanation between periods for pulling Marian Gaborik down for the penalty shot yesterday was excellent: "I figured I'd pull him down and let him think about it for a bit. Freeze the kicker."
- Chat Today: Michael Fornabaio's weekly Bridgeport chat is today at 1:30. [Soundin' Off]
- John Tavares might play Friday, but not Wednesday. [Newsday] Recap says his testing came back normal. [Isles]
- At last check, the scorecard for the epically long Zenon Konopka-Brandon Prust fight at hockey-fights.com is a little...lopsided.
- "Now There's A Shock!" Dept.: Brooks with his typical pre-conviction of Gary Bettman because James Wisniewski's gesture at his boy Sean Avery. Brooks also didn't like that Scott Gordon didn't want to talk about Avery. [Post] Avery had zero points and was minus-2 in the game ... but hey, when you have a mission you don't let the sport get in the way.
"It's as if They Compete for the Same Pulp!" Dept.: Oh, I take it all back: In a game that featured 10 goals and multiple lead changes, Sean Avery was indeed the lead story according to the Daily News. [Daily News] Avery was huge and his typical pre-game antics definitely turned this game. Very different from his other 81 games each year. I'd make him the story for sure. We've never seen this from him.
- It's Not Just the Tabloids! Dept.: Using all its restraint, The Gray Lady saves Avery for the third paragraph. [NYT]
- ESPN's Burnside mixed in Avery coverage with his typical Islanders jok-- oh, why I seem to have lost the link amid flossing my toes. But it's discussed in IslesAndIsles' FanShot here.
- Botta's recap at IPB [Point Blank]
- (P.S. Flyers won, so I hope you enjoyed those precious hours in first place. I know I did.)
- A column in Newsday [$5 please] from Staple.
- McGowan on Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey, the topic of the day [The Hockey Writers]
- Dee had several photos and live-blog thoughts [7th Woman] She also opined on the attendance.
- Believe it or not, this is the best start for the Islanders powerplay since Terry Simpson was coach. [Forever1940]
- Schuerlein with part 2 of his working out with the Islanders trainer. You can't say he didn't sweat for this story. [Islesblogger]
Josh Bailey Post-Game (Fischler: "I'm seeing a new man")
Nothing groundbreaking there, but Bailey is the man of the moment and he talked again about how he worked over the summer to have a start like this. Also discusses playing with Blake Comeau.
Scott Gordon Post-Game: Happy the PP and 3rd Period is better. And Comeau.
Gordon praises Bailey ("now you see why he was so highly regarded by the Islanders organization") and discusses the process in getting Comeau to play this way. Also concedes there are some things he's still getting back -- including handling play through traffic.
Again, additional links (even self-serving ones) are welcome in comments.