Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 9/18/13


The New York Islanders lost both of their split-squad preseason games to the Calgary Flames last night, in what amounted to glorified scrimmages north of the border. The Isles lost 5-3 in Calgary and 4-2 in Regina, but what mattered most about the games weren’t the final scores. The fact that many of the team’s prospects were offered a taste of NHL ice time was the key component of yesterday’s games.

Michael Grabner, Griffin Reinhart and Riley Wetmore all scored goals for the Islanders in Calgary, while John Tavares and Matt Moulson each recorded a goal and an assist in the Regina game.

There’s not much to be made of last night’s contests, other than to say that any on-ice action is better than no on-ice action, and the fans are closer than ever to the start of the 2013-14 NHL season.

As head coach Jack Capuano reviews the tape from both games, he’ll add to his notes that will ultimately shape the Isles’ roster for Opening Night. Fans eager for game action were basically thrown a bone last night, which only heightens the need for more hockey soon.

The Islanders are on the road against the New Jersey Devils in their next preseason game on Thursday, and then comes the rematch at Barclays Center on Saturday, in what will be the first NHL game in Brooklyn’s history.

Regardless of last night’s results, there’s a lot to look forward to if you’re an Islanders fan.

-Mike (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

Brock Nelson Primed for Season on Islanders’ Third Line (Eyes On Isles)

Power Play Prowess: Ryan Strome Could Make Islanders Via Man-Advantage (Eyes On Isles)

Islanders, Barclays Forming Relationship Advantageous for Both (Metro)

Islanders Fall to Flames in Regina (NY Islanders)

NHL Rookies Facing the Most Pressure in 2013-14 Season (Bleacher Report)

Under Pressure: Alex Pietrangelo (Pro Hockey Talk)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

Because if that doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, nothing will.

Because the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to the Isles.

Because remember: it’s never too early to start assigning blame to players based on a split-squad preseason game. (The #NHLPreseasonTweets hashtag really drives this point home, and it got a laugh out of me.)

Because according to Capuano, there are “openings on the back end” (e.g. blue line), and Donovan is the top candidate to make the roster as a rookie D-man.

Because the goal of the preseason is for the team to make it to Opening Night 100 percent healthy. (PS – the early indication on Clutterbuck is that he was stitched up and kept out of the rest of the game only as a precaution.)

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.