NHL hockey continued last night with three more games involving five teams making their 2013-14 season debuts. The Toronto Maple Leafs, having already played their first game Wednesday night, were the lone team not kicking off their season.
The New York Islanders are still waiting patiently—their fans, less so—for Friday night, when they’ll take on the New Jersey Devils in their season opener at Prudential Center. The announcement of the Isles’ 23-man roster cam down Monday afternoon, inciting another round of analysis by writers, talking heads, and fans alike.
The on-ice product won’t be put to the test until tomorrow night, but the speculation around how the line combinations and defense pairings will perform is well underway.
As discussed on the latest edition of the Dump and Chase Podcast, this is the first season in years that the Islanders have the problem of finding enough ice time for the amount of talent they expect to put on the ice. As it turns out, that’s a good problem to have.
Especially if you’re an Isles fan.
In Case You Missed It
New York Islanders Enter 2013-14 Season Drama-Free (Eyes On Isles)
Islanders Season Preview: Questions? We Got Answers (Eyes On Isles)
Isles Name MacDonald Alternate Captain (Pro Hockey Talk)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
— IslesBlog (@IslesBlog) October 2, 2013
Seems like the national hockey media finally caught on to what Islanders captain John Tavares has been doing on Long Island the past few years, opening their 2013-14 NH: season coverage with this piece on the 22-year-old centerman. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.
— Ken Dick (@RealKenDick) October 3, 2013
Patience is a virtue…unless you’re waiting for the Isles to start their season. In which case: patience is overrated.
— Chris McNally (@thechrismcnally) October 3, 2013
Chris isn’t the only one who’d rather see Martin Brodeur in goal on Friday night. After Cory Schneider shut down the Isles offense at Barlcays Center Sept. 21, I’m sure the team doesn’t mind that he’ll be on the Devils bench for the season opener tomorrow night.
Last Night In The NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto continued its winning ways by scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia last night. $64 million-dollar man Phil Kessel started the Leafs’ comeback by scoring his first of the season at 17:06 of the second period, tying the game at one.
The Wings took a 2-0 lead into the third period and held on until the final whistle to beat the Sabres 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit won their home opener on the strength of 19 saves from goaltender Jimmy Howard and first-period goals from Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk’s was prototypically Datsyuk-ian, as he danced through the slot and roofed a backhander on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
Buffalo had trouble finding its legs early after letting in two goals in 40 seconds of game time, but got a late tally from Zemgus Girgensons to pull within one goal of the home team at the 12:36 mark of the third period.
That was as close as the Sabres would come, however. Both teams play their next games on Friday night, as Buffalo returns home to face Ottawa and Detroit goes on the road against Carolina.
Nathan MacKinnon, the no. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, didn’t disappoint the home fans in his first NHL game, as he recorded two assists in a 6-1 Avalanche win over the Ducks.
MacKinnon also got into a scrap with Ben Lovejoy, proving he’s not afraid to stand his ground.
Colorado got two goals from Jamie McGinn and three assists from Alex Tanguay in the win. Anaheim’s lone goal came off a Jakob Silfverberg shot with seven seconds left in regulation, spoiling Semyon Varamov’s bid for an Opening Night shutout.
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.