The New York Islanders won the first game of the 2018-19 season with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, thanks to Thomas Greiss.
The 2018-19 NHL season has begun. The New York Islanders start the season on the road against a tough Carolina Hurricanes team. A team they’ve notoriously had a difficult time with.
It’s game one of the Lou Lamoriello era where character and a winning culture are the orders of the day. Where bottom six players are the ordre-du-jour.
While one game certainly doesn’t make a season, but if the Islanders had been vastly outplayed it would have only heightened fans anxieties built up over the summer.
While the Isles were out shot 46-20. They got the two points, and that’s what matters.
Shaky First, Better Second
The first period started out much like the Isles from 2017-18 under Doug Weight. Shots! Shots! Shots! After the first 20 minutes the Islanders were down 16-7 in shots.
If it weren’t for Thomas Greiss making saves like this one, and with a bit of luck as the Canes hit the post twice, there’s no way that the Islanders could have escaped the period level on goals with the Hurricanes.
The second period was much of the same as the New York Islanders were out shot 15-7 this time (31-14 after 40). But thankfully Valtteri Filppula broke the deadlock.
Not much changed in the third period. By the half way mark the Hurricanes were up 9-1 (40-15 after 50 minutes) in shots. And Greiss kept the Isles in the games with save after save.
With 3:05 to go, the Hurricanes pulled Petr Mrzaek and got the goal they were looking for with just over a minute and a half to go. After being shelled the entire game, the Islanders let in a goal, in the most Islanders fashion.
Thanks to Mathew Barzal the Islanders would go to overtime with the man advantage.
With the man advantage Mathew Barzal dishes it over to a wide open Josh Bailey who makes no mistake for the two points as the Islanders win 2-1.
It looked like the Isles of old, which has to drive defense heavy Barry Trotz absolutely mad.
He’s been drilling this team since he got here on the defensive side of the game. And so far it doesn’t seem like the lessons have stuck.
To be fair, it’s game one. After a year and a half of Doug Weight as their head coach it might take some time for the Islanders defense to gel to Barry’s system.
If not for Thomas Greiss, this game would look much worse for the Islanders. Based on the shot totals the New York Islanders did not deserve to win this game. Luckily they did.
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Star of the game: Thomas Greiss
With 46 shots against and 45 saves Thomas Greiss earned the win and showed why Barry Trotz gave him the crease for the season opener.
In this incredibly small sample size it seems that the Thomas Greiss from last season isn’t here.