It's a pet peeve to draw sweeping conclusions about the season from two or four or eight games. Take any eight-game stretch by the Islanders last year and I can show you a doormat, an average team, or a home playoff seed.
That said, we can definitely take stock of what we "know" from the first two games:
The PK has been very good: Just one goal (at 5-on-3 no less) and nine shots allowed on 12 opportunities. But that level of success will inevitably come back down. Poor officiating aside, they will need to be in the box less and score more.
Al Montoya has justified Jack Capuano's faith in him thus far. But we know too well it takes just one game and a few rough bounces to change that lens.
John Tavares doesn't have a point yet, but wow has he been dangerous. Right now he is a scoring chance machine.
Up front the third line, and specifically Josh Bailey, has been the biggest weakness. On the other lines Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo have been quiet, but their value is already established. In a familiar refrain, Bailey and Blake Comeau and Winger X (Brian Rolston now) will need to find a synchronous groove.
- If you're a Corsi or Zone Start or other fan of beyond-the-screen data, we've updated the first and second game recaps with links to those. Vic Ferarri and Gabe Desjardins are saints for providing the script data that the league won't.
- Recaps of yesterday's game: The Post [Cyrgalis] has the Capuano puck management angle. Daily News [Botte] focuses on the goaltending choice, Newsday [Staple] focuses on John Tavares' one mistake. Eric Hornick has the stats angle. The Wild's Long Guylander has the angle from Minnesota.
- Bridgeport Chat today at 1:30 p.m.: Michael Fornabaio has your Bridgeport links from the weekend, and will resume Tuesday chats today.
- Puck Daddy is in love with Jack Capuano because he started Montoya twice.
- TheScore is in love with Andrew MacDonald.
- Hockey's Future is in love with Ryan Strome (well, 22 on their top 50 prospects).
- Something called the "NBA" is canceling something called "basketball" for two weeks. A Newsday columnist takes up hockey.
- Are we talking about NBA refugees? Here's an excellent beginning to a Mets/Knicks fan who is taking on the Islanders. It's already funny stuff, so give him a welcome.
- Islesblogger discusses the first two games, including the bad ice.
- Mess with 2011 pick Brenden Kichton, get the horns. [HockeyFights video]
- Kirill Kabanov hasn't played for his new junior team yet. What's up? He headed elsewhere?
I Like Hockey Links
Of interest to the floor-obsessed: Sean Avery's demotion means the Stars will need to add salary to meet the floor once they have some guys get off IR. I get re-entry cap hits, but it's weird that another team's roster move affects the Stars' cap -- especially since they still owe him the money whether he's in the minors or not.
- Elliotte Friedman's always-lovely 30 Thoughts.
- This column about Don Cherry here? I kinda agree with it.
- Fun look at puck movement on the Oilers.
- Some thoughts and background on views of Moneypuck/advanced stats.
- On that note, Behind the Net Gabe says never bet on superior shooting percentage.
- Are great goaltenders necessary to reach the Final Four? Not exactly.
- Barry Melrose writes...
- ...but Barry Melrose confuses his Nabokovs with his Khabibulins.
Thought this article on the jingoist broadcast of the Jets' first game was on point and overdue [FanShot here]: A nontraditional market with poor ownership and low attendance does not equal uninformed fans. If you really believed your sport were the best in the world and worth spreading, you'd think you'd get that.
If you are really distraught over the first two games, I can only offer: Breathe.