Newcomer Johnny Boychuk opened scoring, Mikhail Grabovski also got on the board, and rising youngster Brock Nelson had a four-point night. Jaroslav Halak kept things even early in the first and made things comfortable as they built the lead.
It's one game. An injury-weakened opponent (but so are the Isles...). Nonetheless, this one game did nothing to undermine increased expectations for the club. Here is your thread for quick post-game reactions.
- Great to see Johnny Boychuk's powerplay bombs from the point...
- ... I sure hope he doesn't kill Brock Nelson though.
- Fun to see the Thomas Hickey - Travis Hamonic pairing. Given the age of Lubomir Visnovsky and the healthy history of him and Calvin de Haan, that pairing might as well get to know each other.
- After blaming the goaltending as Deficit #1 all last year, it would be easy for me to cite Jaroslav Halak after the first win. Still: Let's talk about the goaltending. He was fortunate on a few that he truly wouldn't have "had a chance on," but he also made several big stops that were simply superlative. He was finally beaten on a crazy deflection early in the third.
- That goal came on a power play, after a penalty by John Tavares at the end of the second period.
- Tavares, continuing to show a new, tougher leaf, explained to Shannon Hogan No Relation: "[Gleason]'s been running around, and he took a late shot at Conacher there. So, just letting 'em know we're not going anywhere."
+ Seriously though, it's great to have composed, flexible goaltending.
- Feels nice to be greedy, or upset, about letting in two goals, much less three.
+ Power play. Good plays. Johnny Boychuk.
- Penalty kill conceded twice.
+ Brock Nelson, called the best player in camp, busting out four points in the first game.
- Otherwise sloppy first period. But Halak held the fort, and the PP broke free.
+ Griffin Reinhart, nothing flash. Steady debut.
Battle Level Chart
- Hahd: Johnny Boychuk's shot, Brock Nelson's knee, Johnny T. on Gleason.
- Smaht: Johnny T's sick pass to Nelson. Halak's positioning in goalmouth scrambles.
- Passengers: We had all 20 guys goin'. Even Chad.
- Warriors: Look at Josh Bailey (5) throwin hits like Matt Martin (7) and Cal Clutterbuck (4).
- Overall Battle Level: Scoreboard, boys. Let's get to the plane and do it again tomorra.