You get the feeling that Islanders fans may see a lot of games like Friday night's season opener at the Devils. The team battles in a low-scoring struggle, but ultimately loses.
We can't complain too much about the outcome. The Devils are one of the better teams in the conference and the Isles lost a close, 2-1 game on the road. And while the Devils controlled the action for much of the game, the Islanders had some good scoring opportunities. They even scored on the power play!
Kyle Okposo got the rare penalty shot, stopped by Martin Brodeur. Then there were three posts in the first 25 minutes, and a couple of other good scoring chances, including one for Jeff Tambellini after some nifty stickhandling by Radek Martinek.
I'm still not sure how Patrik Elias wasn't called for being in the crease on the Devils' second goal. He skated in without being pushed. Chico Resch called it, but somehow no one on the Islanders complained. Oh, well.
Joey MacDonald got the start in goal for the Isles and no one should have been surprised. Rick DiPietro has played only once in the preseason and his practice time has been limited. We presume he'll play in the home opener. In any case, MacDonald played very well, making 27 stops, which should ease the minds of anyone missing Wade Dubielewicz.
Jon Sim also looked good, as did Mark Streit in his Isles debut. Coach Scott Gordon said he was happy with the effort in his NHL debut.
The home opener is tonight, and yours truly will be there in the Blog Box with some old friends and possibly some new ones, as the box is growing in year two.
Maybe we can get two goals tonight? Hey, it's the start of the season—optimism abounds.
P.S.: Yeah, everyone loves The Rock and thinks the Coliseum is a dump. But at least our place is up to code. We think.
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