The New York Islanders won their preseason opener in Philadelphia, 3-1 (EN). (The real preseason opener, we mean, not the rookie thing. Which they also won, but in a shootout. Which is like a derivative of a derivative of a derivative.)
There is not much to say, so this kind of sums it up: Luca Sbisa scored the game-winning goal, early in the third period.
Ahhh hockey, WE MISSED YOU. pic.twitter.com/UZxK5U3fTx— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 17, 2019
Sbisa perhaps better captures the lack of significance better than we can:
#Isles D Luca Sbisa, who scored thew winner, said he definitely had "nerves" before game. He played nine games for Isles last season. "I think the game went well, it's been a very long time since I played a game, like nine and a half months."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 17, 2019
It is significant for Sbisa, of course, as he seeks to extend his career on a PTO. Nothing against him, but with the Islanders already having seven not-Sbisa defensemen worthy of a regular roster spot plus NHL-or-juniors hot prospect Noah Dobson, there isn’t much room for Sbisa ‘round these here parts.
Like, even less room than last season, when he received a contract, played in a lot of games at first, then ended up in the pressbox position many Islanders fans had long prescribed for him.
Other notes from the game:
- Some of the highlights are at the Isles official site. Find some Flyers takes at Broad Street Hockey.
- Josh Ho-Sang played but didn’t receive much mention.
- Kyle Burroughs caught Chris Stewart — in Flyers camp on a PTO, rather than their seven-year contract — with a hit, which invited an old school response*, which Burroughs obliged, which in turn drew the respect of Stewart (*translation, if you are young school: that means they fought):
Chris Stewart: "That guy [Burroughs] caught me with my head down and laid me out as expected. Kudos to him, he answered the bell and gave me another chance to step up. I have a lot of respect for him, that’s for sure."— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) September 17, 2019
Semyon Varlamov saw his Isles (preseason) debut, split duties with Christopher Gibson (who faced three Flyers power plays) and was fine:
#Isles Barry Trotz said a good portion of players "acquitted themselves well."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 17, 2019
By name, he mentioned Hickey and Sbisa, Burroughs, Koivula, McDonald, Beauvillier with his PK work, Bardreau and both goalies.
- The Flyers were at home and thus dressed more of their Key Regulars, like offseason signing and Former Stench of Ranger Kevin Hayes. Honestly the top regular Islander forward in the lineup was Casey Cizikas or maybe Anthony Beauvillier, so... To to read anything more into this would be to read more than we would.
- Eric Brown completed the scoring with an empty net goal. I feel compelled to mention that because for a player like him this may be as high as the star rises (and that’s still miles higher than 99% of the hockey players in the world).
- Thomas Hickey also scored.
- Hockey is back!
The same two teams, but with entirely different rosters, are back at it Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.