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Islanders preseason five takeaways: Anders Lee is ready

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 07: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Nassau Coliseum on March 07, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 07: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Nassau Coliseum on March 07, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders pre-season tour continues with a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Again, I know, the result of the game does not matter. Pre-season games are for conditioning and for the coaching staff to get a sense of where their players are.

Wins and losses don’t matter in the preseason. But, it’s still nice to win in a convincing fashion as the Islanders did today.

So, looking back at the game here are five takeaways from the 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Again, these takeaways are for individual players here and not for the entire team.

Five takeaways from New York Islanders win over Philadelphia Flyers

Anders Lee Is Ready

Tonight’s game was the first time Anders Lee has played since picking up that season-ending injury against the New Jersey Devils on March 11, 2020. How would the knee look in his first game back? How would it hold up to contact and the stress of working at the top of the crease as Lee does?

It held up just fine according to Lee. Lee was his usual immovable self in front of the net. He even picked up a goal in a very Anders Lee fashion.

The knee seems to be doing well, meaning the captain is ready for the regular season.

Chara looks perfect

There wasn’t a doubt that Chara would be impactful with the Islanders. But how impactful could he be exactly? One game is obviously a small sample size to go by, but if today’s game is any indication Chara will have a much larger impact than was initially believed.

At 44 years old, who knows how much he has left in the tank. Of course, he won’t be at the peak of his powers for the Islanders, but against the Flyers, Chara was breaking up plays, clearing the front of the net, and setting up plays offensively very very well.

Chara likely has a point in the opening frame if Anders Lee could have connected on a wicked cross-ice feed from the 6’9″ defender.

The Islanders will certainly have to manage Chara’s time to make sure he’s fresh and if they can, Chara will have a massive impact on this squad.

Gustafsson will get a spot

Gustafsson looked decent yet again for the Islanders. The PTO defender picked up a third assist (a secondary helper on Beauvillier’s opening goal) in the preseason. That production leads the team through this preseason.

His skating still looks leggy in my opinion, but I think the Islanders will give him a one-year deal to stay on the blueline to be the sixth defender.

His defending is still weak, but it’s possible in this system if he plays 16-19 minutes a night (a lot of thaton the PP) he could be an effective signing for them as they try to mittigate the loss of Leddy.

Schneider?

Cory Schneider played the full 60 and stopped every shot he faced for the shutout. His game was, in my opinion, up-and-down. Yes, he stopped everything he saw, but he also had a few nervy moments where he was caught outside of his crease trying to play a puck.

If Varly is out through the first two weeks of the season you can imagine Schenieder gets a start in the back-to-back between Arizona and Vegas. He looked good enough to trust for a game while Varly is out, but the leash has to be short. And by that I mean the Isles can’t rely on him for more then back-to-back relief

Andreoff is the right fit for Bridgeport

Andy Andreoff looked like a solid fit tonight. Not to make the Islanders squad, but to be an addition of toughness for the Bridgeport Islanders.

The veteran winger can skate well enough to join the rush. He can set up plays and, of course, isn’t afraid to use the body. That last skill is something the Sound Tigers were lacking in 2020-21. Outside of defenseman Seth Helgeson there wasn’t much of a “tough” element to the Bridgeport game. Andreoff will be a perfect fit for the B-Islanders.

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