New faces, fused in with nine holdovers from last season, franchise goalie blowing bubbles on the bench, and still Islanders fans get the same results.
The Islanders opened last night against the highly-touted Devils in what should have been as lopsided as me and Kate Moss on a sea-saw. However, the Islanders struck first and were able to keep the game "competitive." Or were they?
Aside from what some would call a perfect play (or luck, pending who you ask), Doug Weight scored on what appeared to be about the only aspect of the game to give Islanders fans' excitement.
A PP goal, set up by they man who was brought in for just such situations, Mark Streit, Weight fired a "slap pass" to Bill Guerin, who made his presence felt on Brodeur's door step. The puck caromed off a Devils defenders' right skate and beat Brodeur.
Yet, as aforementioned, that was just about the only play the Islanders had for the better part of 60 minutes. The Islanders looked slow, sluggish, and almost like a "Legends Team" playing against a bunch of energized college kids on Red Bull.
I preached that new Head Coach Scott Gordon was going to have a system in which the Islanders can succeed if they carry through and executed. Regardless, the Islanders' forwards were dreadfully slow outside of Park, thus even after pressuring the well at times with the forecheck, there was not enough speed to pounce on the puck and capitalize.
On one opportunity young blue-chipper Kyle Okposo was able to force a turnover at the Devils' redline and beelined straight for the cage.
After being pulled down from behind (just about the only time an Islanders was being chased by a Devil defender), Okposo was awarded a penalty shot. Rare, but yet exciting to no end, the shot was not taken by Miro Satan, therefore, Brodeur gave Kyle a lesson as to why he is still the best the NHL has ever seen between the pipes.
Meanwhile, another highlight of last night's events happened to be that Rick DiPietro was not manning the crease. Instead, Gordon took an advisable approach in keeping Ricky fresh for the home opener against the Blues tonight.
Nevertheless, backup netminder Joey MacDonald was a bright spot for the Islanders. he was making crucial saves at all junctures of the game and was a factor in keeping the Islanders afloat.
Good to know that there is a quality backup here on the Island. Yet, do not discount the influence and presence DP brings to the ice. Expect a bit more of a jump out of this team tonight; that is, if there is any jump in the likes of Weight and Hunter.