Islanders Bits: Taking Stock after Two Games

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.

  • Mike Mottau's peripherals are okay (just two games), but he's had glaring moments where speedy forwards took advantage of him. A scoring chance dispenser?
  • The weather has been warm, the ice at Nassau Coliseum particularly bad. Thank you, County.
  • 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.

  • Travis Hamonic is going to command a lot of money when he comes due after 2012-13. (Okay, that's not a "we know," it's an assumption. But boy he's picked up where he left off.)
  • All told the Islanders have played six periods, winning two periods and arguably half of two others. 1-1 is a fair record. The top line has yet to cash in, the FNGO line has not been its best, and the powerplay hasn't even had many opportunities to perform...
  • ...and that's the real lesson from two games: They will not sustain a 1.50 GAA. They will not score only 1.00 goals per game. Buckle up and watch the story unfold, because it will evolve and look little like the first two games.
  • Capuano Post-Game


     

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    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.

    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.

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