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Islanders 4, Rangers 3 (OT): Leddy switches sides, Fritz fights for a spot

The Isles accommodate a new defenseman but may make room for an underrated forward.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
“I gotta say, preseason or not it never gets old winning here.”
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders beat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (what else is new?) in a preseason match Wednesday night, 4-3 in overtime on an Anthony Beauvillier winner. It’s preseason though, so what can we take from it?

That the Islanders tried Nick Leddy on the right side, his off side.

And that, as Barry Trotz stated earlier in the day, Tanner Fritz still has a shot at making the opening roster.

Fritz is no star, but he’s a talent who deserves a shot over the baker’s dozen of grinding forwards the Isles have created with all their summer additions. Fritz cleared waivers but wasn’t assigned to Bridgeport (yet) because he’s had a good camp. It’s just that, as Trotz said, the Islanders “have a lot of veterans.”

(Oh yeah: Ryan Pulock also had two goals, and nearly a third; but we already knew he is good and set for a fine season.)

Leddy Switch

Luca Sbisa, who we’ve already opined on, played his natural left side while Leddy played the right. There’s all kinds of concern there (and later, they put Thomas Hickey with Leddy and stuck Scott Mayfield with Sbisa), but also some insight, and humor.

First, the insight:

...and the humor:

Other Highlights

Mathew Barzal makes opponents crap their pants, basically (look at the neutral zone collision):

(P.S. Tell me again why I have to get used to Thomas Hickey wearing Dennis Seidenberg’s old number now? Oh right, Lou’s Rules.)

Meanwhile, Beauvillier’s OT winner looked like a “Hey Henrik, you’re old” goal. Great placement, but still:

Pulock’s goals were bombs. You can find them in the Isles game recap.

Coach Trotz was happy with the effort, and happy with camp so far:

Speaking of which...could Fritz push one of the summer signings out? I know I certainly hope so, even though Filppula and Kuhnhackl bring that “winning” culture and all that.

Next Up

With Sbisa pairing with an off-side Leddy, Adam Pelech paired with a sure thing Pulock, I have no idea what the Isles have planned for their D pairs. Maybe they don’t either.

But there’s one preseason game left. For me, it’s amazing that they could go into the opener not having Devon Toews in that top-six mix. But we’ll see after Friday night in Oshawa against the Sabres, one of the few teams expected to be worse than your 2018-19 Isles.