Folks, you know me. I love to stir up a little fear and loathing among the fans. I can fret about almost anything regarding the New York Islanders: slumping fourth-line wingers, bottom-pair defensemen, you name it. It’s what I do.
However, I cannot get behind worrying about anything in the preseason—especially this early. I can at least understand the concern if the roster has been pared down to basically the opening night roster and they still lay a couple of eggs like the last two nights. But these Islanders lineups have been only just a bit better than AHL-caliber.
I know they played against teams similarly understaffed with NHL talent, but the NHL guys are probably playing at about half speed at this point. The goalies have some rust to shake off. Despite serving under him for more than a decade, Lane Lambert’s system is probably a little different than Barry Trotz’s, and it may take a couple more days of practice to nail down.
We have six whole months to get... ahem... Islanders anxiety. We don’t have to start during the first week of training camp.
- That’s not to say that the coaching staff is accepting what they have seen thus far. Lane Lambert acknowledged that the team “has work to do.” Lambert went to the Lou Lamoriello School of Law, already mastering the art of the non-answer answer.
Lane Lambert Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/iZiSCqxsYG— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 28, 2022
- Nikita Soshnikov opened the scoring with a snipe to the top corner, finishing a gorgeous stretch pass from William Dufour, wearing an Islanders uniform for the first time. [3 Takeaways]
- The Islanders took a 1-0 lead, but the Devils scored the next four. [Rapid Recap]
- It was the New Jersey Devils’ debut of 2022 no. 2 overall pick Simon Nemec. He paired with our dear old friend, Thomas Hickey. [NHL]
- Kieffer Bellows has not become a regular in the Islanders lineup despite being on the NHL roster for two seasons. He’s hoping that he does enough to change that this year. [Newsday]
- Robin Salo appears to be in the driver’s seat for the sixth defenseman spot. He got the first look and did quite well with it. That and more Kevin Kurz takeaways from the first couple of preseason games (which, by the way, he also says not to read much into). [The Athletic]
- The league met with teams to inform them of the upcoming salary cap growth, which will be sharp over the next three years. It will be $10 million higher in three seasons than it is now. [Sportsnet]
- The Buffalo Sabres gave a multiyear contract extension to GM Kevyn Adams, who engineered a pretty successful Jack Eichel trade and has made some solid draft picks, and also gave Tage Thompson $50 million. [The Athletic]
- A Seattle Kraken hopeful has been suspended two preseason games—basically, his career—for targeting the head of an Edmonton Oilers hopeful. [NHL]
- Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares will miss the next three weeks—including the start of the regular season—with a strained oblique. [NHL]
- What does this mean for the Leafs? You know, I listened to the latest episode of Islanders Anxiety yesterday, and toward the end, Mike and Dan pinpointed the little niches of each of the Toronto media sycophants. I have not yet delved into the back catalog of the rest of the guys, but Jonas Siegel is, as they said, the “grinder-turned-hero” guy; an injury to a star forward is the perfect vehicle for his shtick. [The Athletic]