After the season opener, the Islanders proved that they were capable of coming out strong. To prove that it was not a home opening fluke, they needed to start tonight's game the same way that they did last Saturday. For the most part that is exactly what the Islanders did; they came out with energy and chances in the first ten minutes or so, but that fell short once the Senators capitalized on a 1-0 lead.
Despite looking flat at times in the second period, the Isles were able to come back from a two-goal deficit to tie it with goals from Kyle Okposo and Matt Moulson. Okposo once again showed that he has the hands of a true power forward. Even if Gordon isn't dazzled by this kids bag of tricks because he's been aware of it since last year, it still manages to impress me each time he pulls out something like that.
Moulson's goal came from a nice feed by Doug Weight on the powerplay, which looked well overall. I am very glad that the Islanders are giving Moulson an opportunity - once again the coaching staff is proving that they are sticking with Garth Snow's plan by giving a kid like Moulson a chance to prove himself after displaying the effort and results that he illustrated in pre-season.
However, players such as Bergenheim, Bailey, and Comeau need to show more. This was Comeau's first game and it is still only the second overall game of the year for the other two, but I felt that those three players were the least effective of the young guns. They were aggressive on the fore-check and show how well Gordon's system is capable of working, but they need to find ways to create offensive opportunities as opposed to just slowing down the opposition.
Oh yeah, and hello there Rob Schremp!
He made his debut tonight wearing Bill Guerin's ol'number 13. A couple times I almost caught myself saying "Guerin" in my head, but I guess that's why I am a blogger and not a play-by-play commentator. Schremp took two penalties back-to-back in the third period, and that very well could have cost the Islanders if the Senators were able to capitalize on some of their chances.
Speaking of chances, the Islanders NEED to hit the freakin' net. Comeau had a two-on-one and took a slap-shot wide; Jon Sim had about two or three scoring chances in the first period sizzle passed the pipes into the boards; Streit and Gervais took some point shots that met nothing but wood and glass. If just a few of these shots make it to the net a rebound might bounce in front or heck, maybe the puck might even go in. The important part to take out of this situation is that this team, a young team, is at times out working a more experienced hockey club with talented players such as Alfredsson and Spezza. That says something.
So far after two games the Isles are 0-0-2, still looking for their first "W" of the year. Despite that being said, this isn't a bad start folks. For a team that doesn't have much scoring power and are relying on some guys that are younger than me to carry this team, being undefeated (and winless) while managing to get a point out of two overtime situations doesn't sound too shabby.
After all, we could be 0-2.
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