Kieffer Bellows had a goal and an assist, and two Islanders goalies combined for a shutout over a group of mostly anonymous Philadelphia Flyers in a preseason game at the now-Ingloriously Sponsored NYBC Live Home of the Nassau Coliseum this afternoon.
Bellows scored the first goal of Sunday’s 3-0 win, a power play score in the first period, then added an assist on Sebastian Aho’s final goal later in the second. In between, Cal Clutterbuck scored a power play goal, as the fully reunited Artists Formerly Known as the Best Fourth Line Ever rediscovered a bit of their magic in their old stomping grounds.
Here’s Bellows’s goal, which shows off some nice hustle by everyone.
The kid knows he’ll need to get to the dirty areas if he wants to get the coaches to notice him.
“I played in front of the net all season last year in Portland and I’m very comfortable with it and I like it,” Bellows said. “That’s where the goals are scored. You look at Anders Lee, he had 40 last year and most of his were down there and he’s elite at it.”
Oh. You thought I was kidding about the Cal Clutterbuck power play goal? I was not kidding. (Calm down, it’s preseason)
Clutterbuck, Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas started the game because the coach said so.
Trotz on starting 17-53-15: "They're a little old school. They were a little bit of the identity of this team and this building. This building is gonna be home. They've done a great job of fixing it up. I didn't even recognize it and got lost in here." #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) September 16, 2018
Here’s our boy Aho with the game’s only even strength goal. Includes bonus Steve Bernier appearance.
Goalies Robin Lehner and Christopher Gibson split the game. Neither faced a ton of dangerous chances nor double digit shots against. Lehner left to a very warm ovation from the 8,000-or-so people at the Coliseum, who all probably read Thursday’s brutally honest article by him at The Athletic.
Here’s young Bellows on The Old Barn (that his dad probably hated playing in).
“A lot of jitters and excitement for the game at the Coliseum here. It was a great crowd. I thought the whole team came out flying and played really well. It was a great team effort.” -@BellowsKieffer pic.twitter.com/CSe5R5KXrv— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 16, 2018
Yeah, it was a preseason game against of guys who are most likely going to be spending the majority of next season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. But it was also Barry Trotz’s first game behind the bench as Islanders head coach, and players like Mathew Barzal are already noticing a difference.
“A little more detail, a little more under the gun. Expectations felt a little bit higher. I don’t know if that’s just the Lou effect or what that is, or the Barry effect, I don’t know. But everyone’s working hard, everyone’s being detailed. The quicker we can pick up those good habits, the quicker we’re going to be able to be a good team.”
Trotz: "We're trying to create an identity. I think the guys are buying in." #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) September 16, 2018
That bench, by the way, is now on the opposite side of where it had been for the previous 45 or so years, thanks to $10 million renovation the building is undergoing so the Islanders can play 20 regular season games there in each of the next three seasons.
Nassau Coliseum renovations have made former visiting dressing room the new, bigger home dressing room, meaning #Isles have switched benches. But they know have the smaller bench, meaning their backup goalie must sit in the runway while opponent's 2nd goalie can sit on bench.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 16, 2018
The Islanders next preseason game is tomorrow night in Philadelphia against these same Flyers. Well, probably not against these exact same Flyers, because it’s preseason. Trotz has already indicated that the Islanders lineup will be completely different on Monday. Seems like at least one of today’s players isn’t exactly broken up about it.
Order your No. 15 Sal Shuttlebuck jersey today.
Isles Corsi For% and Game Score data viz from today's game vs. Flyers. All data is from @NatStatTrick, Game Score uses formula by @domluszczyszyn— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) September 16, 2018
Seems like Kieffer Bellows had one heck of a game. Also, Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck did well in their reunion. So there's that. pic.twitter.com/DxwsPUJzxL