If Sunday’s Tavares OT winner was a little flash of fun at the Coliseum, Monday night’s OT snoozer was a return to typical preseason tedium at the Garden.
The Islanders ultimately fell in overtime, 1-0 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, after a sloppy, penalty-filled evening. The Isles logged all of three shots on goal in the first period despite multiple power plays, which looked disorganized with the mixed lineup that makes preseason contests look so alien.
Jaroslav Halak looked sharp in goal, the fourth line got its reps and checks together, Devon Toews looked mobile and prescient with the puck, Joshua Ho-Sang (sometimes trying to do too much) and Brock Nelson (sometimes trying to do the same thing over and over) attempted to forge chemistry, but it was just a dull preseason night.
The endless parade of penalties appeared part of the NHL’s nearly annual attempt to “crack down” and actually call the rulebook. If that’s an actual thing that will be followed through into the season — like for all six months of the season, I mean — then it’s worth it. But the constant special teams makes a disjointed preseason game all the tougher to watch.
Here’s an un-embeddable video of Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier talking with MSG between periods.
- Doug Weight on the inconvenience of the penalty parade: "I get it, we have to get it in the league and set a precedent with the sticks and things like that, but it's tough to get guys involved.” [Isles recap]
- Weight liked seeing Halak put up a clean sheet for the first two periods before Eamon McAdam took over. He’s going to let the battle for No. 1 play out. [Isles]
- Halak looks back on last year’s demotion and says what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. (Also: makes you rich, if you can play NHL-level goal.) [NHL]
- Next up on the schedule are split-squad games with the Flyers on Wednesday, including one in Brooklyn. That may mean some roster cuts by both teams as they start to organize into NHL and AHL camps.
- Thomas Hickey, Casey Cizikas and Adam Pelech discuss the defense having a better start to this season. [SNY]
- In praise of three-sport athlete Anders Lee choosing hockey. [USA Hockey]
- More chatting with Jordan Eberle. [Sports Daily]
- Canadian coverage of all those Coliseum feels from Sunday. Tavares called the arena situation “above my paygrade.” Which...I mean he’s in the highest grade! [the Score]
- Sunday at the Coliseum was “a tease” for many, though hope springs eternal for Brett Yormark. [Newsday, second item]
- Coming from Western Canada, Travis St. Denis is nonetheless at home in Bridgeport thanks to his Quinnipiac days. [BST]
- A pivotal year for former Islanders prospect Ville Pokka in Blackhawks training camp. [2nd City Hockey]
- Ooh, boy, this is not getting any prettier: Matt Duchene calls himself “day to day” as a member of the Avalanche. [Denver Post]
- So, yet again, let’s survey the Duchene trade possibility landscape with LeBrun and Dreger. [FanRag]
- Joffrey Lupul accuses the Leafs of cheating on their preseason physical, but Lou Lamoriello WOULD NEVER, I mean NEVER...(ignores entire swaths of Devils history) [SBN | National Post]
- The Flames have a promising team but may be taking a big risk in their Smith & Lack goalie bet. [Puck Daddy]