A good team effort for their first win last night, in which the offense came to life, was just what the doctor ordered.
Of course, the Jets defense was devoid of talent as it is with Jacob Trouba’s trade and Dustin Byfuglien’s contemplation of retirement taking most of it away. Then, the one truly good defenseman they had left, Josh Morrissey, suffered a minor injury during warm-ups and was held out. As Jenny indicated in her recap, the Islanders will need to prove they can produce offense against teams that actually have good defensemen. But we’ll all happily take those two points.
On another note: it was pointed out by plenty of others, and I’m not too worried about it at the moment, but it was quite barren at the Coliseum last night. I was there, and there were entire sections that had fewer than ten people in them. October is a busy month for a lot of people, there were quite a few other sporting events yesterday, this game was originally scheduled for Barclays Center and got moved to the Coliseum at the last minute, and it was a Sunday night after dinner. But it was still a bit disappointing.
Don't want to make it a big thing, but it's been a while since I've seen the Coli so empty.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) October 6, 2019
In all honesty, this number seems a bit generous. I’m thinking like 8,000 at the maximum.
9,923 at the Coli tonight.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) October 7, 2019
Barry Trotz discussed what he liked from his team against Winnipeg:
- Before the game, Trotz worked with his centers on face-offs. They finished at exactly a 50% success rate against the Jets. [Newsday]
- Last night, Trotz passed Al Arbour for third-most games coached all-time. The team gave him a nice tribute during a first period commercial break. He liked that he got to pass the legendary Islanders coach while acting as the Islanders coach. [Islanders]
- VIDEO: Semyon Varlamov discusses his first game in an Islanders uniform against the Capitals. [Islanders]
- Despite receiving a nasty hit Saturday night, Thomas Hickey was in action yesterday when the Sound Tigers took on the Wolf Pack. Fantastic to hear, considering his concussion history. Thought his career might have been done. [Soundin’ Off]
- Unfortunately, Bridgeport lost in Hartford in overtime. According to some wonderful LHH commenters who caught some of the game, though, Oliver Wahlstrom and Simon Holmstrom looked strong. [Sound Tigers]
Wahlstrom even scored a nice goal:
Watching Bridgeport again, here's the very nice Wahlstrom goal (off a carry-in!) courtesy of AHL TV: pic.twitter.com/AZgTc8oGvC— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) October 6, 2019
Only two other games yesterday: the Hurricanes remained undefeated after beating the Lightning in OT; and Anthony Mantha had himself a four-goal night as the Red Wings took down the Stars in Detroit’s home opener. No word as to whether he celebrated like Joe Thornton.
- The other night, Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen, agitated, threw his broken stick at Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, who tied the game on the ensuing penalty shot to complete the Habs three-goal comeback that they parlayed into victory. This chaos in Toronto? You simply love to see it. [Sportsnet]
- I alluded to Byfuglien’s absence from the team in the intro — the Jets aren’t rushing his decision on his future, but they’re hoping desperately he decides to come back. [Sportsnet]
- A minor trade last night as the Canucks sent defenseman Alex Biega to the Wings for minor league forward David Pope. [Sportsnet]
- Alex Ovechkin will toss the ceremonial first pitch when the Nationals host the Dodgers in Game 4 of their NLDS tomorrow night. [NHL]
- Scott Wheeler follows all the prospects, and he has predicted a prospect breakout candidate from every NHL farm system. For the paywalled:
New York Islanders
Ruslan Iskahkov — C/W, 19, University of Connecticut
This is another team where I debated a few players here. I will forever fight for Sebastian Aho, who I had ranked 51st in my final ranking at McKeen’s Hockey in 2015, the first of two years where he went undrafted before ultimately getting selected in 2017. But Iskahkov has become a favorite of mine. He’s one of the smallest humans in elite-level hockey but he’s also one of its slickest and he routinely executes passes that surprise opposing defenders. A huge sophomore season would go a long way to convincing more people that he’s talented enough to overcome being 5-foot-8 and a shade over 150 pounds. He’s talented enough to pull it off and, like Kondelik, break a point per game.