Everyone is a fantastic coach from the couch. There has been meticulous debating over the past few months on possible lines and pairings along with questions galore on who is going to support John Tavares and the first line.
There has also been the nagging thought that if the Islanders’ talisman, along with last night’s game-winner Matt Moulson, are shut down, that the scoring well will come up dry.
One game down in the 2013-14 season, one thing to help put everyone’s mind at ease. The first line was held scoreless and the Islanders found a way to win its season opener in New Jersey. And it was Michael Grabner, who needed to make a statement and prove his worth, who helped the Islanders in a huge way last night.
Put the obvious positives aside that he helped the team win the game with his two goals and assist. He also help put not only fans minds at ease, but possibly the first line’s as well. Seeing the core and role players gelling and succeeding so early can help alleviate pressure on being the headlining goal scorers. It gives the top guys an opportunity to just go out there and play their game.
Tavares, who is harder to read than a 13-year old’s Twitter account, will say that there is no pressure, that he just has to go out there and do his job along with the others. But as a captain of an organization with such expectations that has experienced some of the lowest of lows in the past two decades, there is.
Last night helped.
Is it premature to come to this kind of conclusion after just one game? Possibly. Is it promising to see, however, that all 23 members of the roster are capable of getting on the score sheet? Absolutely.
John Tavares’ regular season games as captain: 1
Islanders wins with John Tavares as captain: 1
I think a lot of Islanders fans will take that win percentage.