09 October 2011
The stage was set for the Islanders to make tonight a special night and start the season off with a bang. Effectively the complete opposite happened, as the Isles were shutout in their home opener, 2-0, for only the second time in franchise history.
Stephen Weiss’s goal 16: 37 in the first period would prove to be the game-winning goal, with an insurance goal coming 3 minutes later in the closing seconds of the first period.
Offense (or lack there of):
The Islanders were supposed to be an offensive threat this season, but they hardly lived up to it. The Isles were out shot 10-5 in the first period and could not generate to many opportunities early in the game. Passing also became a problem for the Islanders. Sloppy passing and the Panthers ability to take away passing lanes hurt the Islanders chances of making a comeback. They also seemed to try and force the play too much at times.
The offense did pick up as the game progressed, the Islanders recorded 12 shots in the second period, tying the Panthers for SOG, and then outshot them in the third 10-7. The Islanders were ultimately outshot 29-27.
John Tavares seemed to be a strong point for the Islanders tonight. The third year pro created several good opportunities, looked strong on his skates and handled the puck well.
Montoya was the best player on the ice wearing the blue and orange. He stopped 27-29 shots he faced. The only bad goal he let in was the Stephen Weiss goal, which he let slip through his pads and Weiss was able to push it over the goal line. Other than that the Montoya was key in keeping the Islanders in the game making several huge saves. The fans appreciated his effort, his name was chanted several times through out the game.
Bad ice and broken sticks:
The Coliseum is notorious for having bad ice, but tonight it seemed especially bad. The Islanders passing was not where it should be, but the playing surface did not help their cause. The puck seemed to have more of bounce in it than usual, which contributed to several of the poor passes seen.
Also during the first period, there was a noticeable amount of broken sticks occurring in the game. It seemed like every shift there was another broken stick or parts of a stick lying on the ice.
Nassau Coliseum was packed with fans anticipating a great start to the 40th anniversary season. 16, 234 fans packed the Nassau Coliseum. The old barn was rocking, at least to start, which was great to see and will hopefully see more often this season.
Finally, FANS RELAX!:
The crazy thing about the NHL season is that there are 82 games and this was game one of 82. I know it’s crazy, but losing your season/home opener is not the end of the world. All teams have bad nights and this may have been the Islanders.
Capuano will look to quickly resolve the issues he saw with his team tonight and get things going on the right track. The Islanders have three more games to play at the Nassau Coliseum and if they can come away with five of the available six points this loss will be an after thought.
Lets see how the next three games pan out and they we’ll have a better feel of where the Islanders are, as for this loss, let’s not jump off the ledge just yet.
Post game video:
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