The dream of a perfect season is over—but hey, there’s always next year. The New York Islanders dropped their season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes last night in North Carolina (as if I really need to mention that they weren’t on Long Island).
The top line looked quite good, and Zach Parise looks like a guy with something to prove. But as Dom said in the recap, there were too many instances of porous and/or passive defense, which is a recipe for disaster against a team with the speed, skill, and attack-attack-attack mindset of the ‘Canes.
The Islanders continue their sojourn across the continent this Saturday evening in south Florida to take on the Florida Panthers.
May I just say: man, have I missed October hockey. Last October felt strange without the opening of a hockey season. But this feels . . . dare I say . . . normal? I don’t know, but it’s nice to have it back.
Recaps of Game No. 1
- Just a little too sloppy for our tastes; we’ve come to expect a certain standard of defense. [LHH]
- Mathew Barzal scored the first goal of the Islanders’ season, and Anders Lee scored his first real goal since tearing his ACL. [Islanders Rapid Recap]
- The top lines were good at even strength. [Islanders 3(?) Takeaways]
- But they just couldn’t put it all together. [Newsday]
- They were no match for Andrei Svechnikov, who had a real goal, an empty-net goal, and an assist. [NHL]
- “Zdeno Chara played his first game for the team since April 7, 2001. The 20 ½ year stretch between team appearances is the longest in any North American sport.” [NYI Skinny]
- These numbers support the notion that the top line carried the water last night.
We're bringing this back with a minor tweak, where CF% replaces iXG. #Isles KPI Scorecard Game 1 at CAR (6-3 L)— Carey (@habermetrics) October 15, 2021
Game Score Three Stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️Anders Lee pic.twitter.com/Fi2z7x2C3x
- Trotz is enjoying the “normalcy” of this season as much as I am. [Newsday]
- As we know, Ryan Pulock will be a New York Islander for this season and eight seasons beyond it, at a low-for-his-value AAV. [NHL]
- His extension was the team’s first big win of the season. [The Athletic]
- And now Pulock can just focus on hockey. [Newsday]
- Greg Wyshynski believes that the Islanders will win the Stanley Cup this season, so that dream was fun while it lasted. [E$PN]
- James Duffy has some predictions for you. [Gotham SN]
- Part of the Islanders acquiring more depth is the output that the Bridgeport Islanders will have a decent team this season. And they’ll have fans, again! [CT Post]
- The Islanders have a new Puppy with a Purpose, and fans are voting on the pup’s name. One fan wants to honor the memory of his late father, who once served as the Isles’ equipment manager. I vote for ‘Murph.’ [NYI Hockey Now]
- The ice at UBS Arena is nearly painted! It’s gorgeous. [Islanders | Newsday]
- Brady Tkachuk blinked first in his contract stalemate with the Ottawa Senators, agreeing to sign there for seven years and $57.5 million. Three seasons from now, we’ll hear how sick of losing Brady is and how Ottawa needs to trade him—unless Melnyk sells before then.
- Gabriel Landeskog boarded Kirby Dach illegally and has been suspended for two games because of it. Smart play, Landy. [NHL]
- On Wednesday night, during the Edmonton Oilers' home opener against the Vancouver Canucks, Tyler Myers destroyed Duncan Keith. It meant way more to Canucks fans than I bet even Myers ever imagined. [Canucks Army]
- The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Zach Bogosian for 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury. [NHL]
- Pierre LeBrun reports that no-trade clauses have become quite the negotiation sticking point. [The Athletic]