Click on the link below to check the team’s Opening Night Video:
From the seats, a quick analysis:
The good – despite giving up two goals at the end of first period, Al Montoya looked sharp. He is a goaltender that will keep his game simple, and hope that the shooters over-commit. The first goal he gave up – I am sure that he would like to have back, as Steven Weiss easily slid the first goal behind Montoya as the puck came underneath his pads. The second one was the result of the Panthers cashing in on a 5 on 3 sitaution. But the bottom line was that Montoya kept the team in the game.
The Disapointing – I will not say bad or ugly. But after a year away from being in the game – Mark Streit was able to play a NHL game again. Unfortunately for Streit, it was a little stuggle. He was having trouble moving the puck, shots were not crisp. It was a game that he may have soon forgot. I have no doubt that he will be working real hard on his game at practice today.
The forwards were sturggling with tenacious backchecking of the Panthers defense. It seems that every time that the Isles were trying to make a offensive press, the Panthers would attack the puck carrier and would not give the Isles many second chances. The Isles did have a few odd-man rushes, and the Isles just did not make the chances work, losing the puck. Getting down and dirty in front of the net, an item that made the Isles successful last season was just not in the cards for the team tonight.
The Not so Good – In many cases, the full house was excellent. It was quite loud, especially during warmups. Reminders of 2001-02 were brought to mind. With that, hearing the boo-birds with the struggling power play was not nice to see. Too may people were remarking “Same old Islanders” on the concourse after the game. In may cases, I say that Islanders fans can show to be too ‘fair weathered’. The comments after the game prove that point.
Things I noticed during the game – Brian Rolston still has a cannon for a shot. The 38 year old veteran looks good on the point on the power play, and to be honest – I like him out there more than Kyle Okposo. I really think that Okposo should be down low, using his strength to his advantage.
As Coach Jack Capuano stated after the game, and I believe it, the fourth line of Jay Pandolfo, Marty Reasoner and Matt Martin were the best line of the four this night. They were getting a lot of chances on the net, Martin had five shots on net, as well as five hits to lead the team. Pandolfo, the former Devil, plays a simple but smooth game, and will be a presence on the second penalty kill unit with Reasoner.
Capuano said to the media after the game, that he was not happy that the team did not come out of the gate, and that the team did not execute. He said that our best players need to be the best players. The Isles can not have “Passengers”, according to Capuano.
Monday matinee against the rejuvanated Minnesota Wild on Monday, and the Isles are looking for a better scenario than last night, to secure their first win of the season.
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