To be fair the team the New York Islanders faced had few NHL regulars. So take that 3-0 result with a grain of salt. But man, was it filled with highlights.
The New York Islanders dominated the New Jersey Devils in their preseason game. To be fair to the Devils though, most of their NHL vets were playing the Ottawa Senators out in Prince Edward Island. So it was a bunch of fringe NHL and AHL players the Isles were playing.
That much was clear as of the first twenty minutes.
The Islanders put up 17 shots against the Devils as they raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of rookies. Both Josh Ho-Sang and Mathew Barzal put up some great plays to all but cement their spot on the 2017-18 Isles roster.
First Period Rookie Show
First, it was Josh Ho-Sang, creating an opportunity racing down the wing and getting a simple shot on net. The idea wasn’t to get a goal but to get a rebound out of Kinkaid. Which is exactly what happened as Brock Nelson stuffed in the gimme rebound.
Next, it was Barzal who decided to show everyone that he was ready for the NHL. Taking a feed from John Tavares, Barzal went coast-to-coast and stuffed it through Kinkaid.
Greiss Gets The Doughnut
Through the second and third period, it was all Thomas Greiss. The German netminder stood tall in the Isles net and made a couple of key saves to keep the Islanders in the game. First with the glove and then with the left pad.
The New York Islanders were still all over the Devils, maintaining a 45-25 shot differential through 60 minutes. But were it not for Greiss in that second period the result might have been much different. Say what you will about the caliber of the Devils lineup, but Greiss earned that shutout.
Noticeable was the level of camaraderie between Halak and Greiss. The two seem perfectly comfortable with the goaltending situation now that Jean-Francois Berube is gone. How that plays out during the 82 season remains to be seen, but a repeat of last season we won’t have. (As I use my best Yoda voice.)
So takeaways? The vet heavy Isles team was dominant. The goaltending situation looks solid for the Isles. And the two big-name rookies, Mathew Barzal and Josh Ho-Sang, look like they’ll be absolute studs this season. All seems pretty great in Isles land.