A new season of Islanders hockey dawned tonight (10/10) as the Isles opened their regular season schedule in New Jersey. The New York area version of Friday Night Lights featured all three area teams in action, but of course we only care about how the Islanders fared. And while there were bright points, we can't say the opener was a rousing success, especially since they lost 2-1.
Coming in, we figured scoring would be at a premium against the legendary Martin Brodeur, and we were right. Without being too verbose, we'll just highlight the important points of the game.
First off, the surprise of the night was seeing Joey MacDonald starting in goal in place of Rick DiPietro. Apparently coach Scott Gordon wanted to give "The Rick" some more time on his road back from injury, and it's unclear if MacDonald will start again tomorrow night. We're sure that decision will be revealed by any number of outlets soon after it is made. Nevertheless, MacDonald performed nicely between the pipes, saving 27 shots while allowing 2 goals.
It should be noted that the Islanders had about as many scoring chances as the Devils, so that was a positive sign. Also, new addition Doug Weight gave the Isles an early lead on a deflected shot, so congratulations to him on his first goal as an Islander.
For us, however, the most exciting moment came in the first period when Kyle was hauled down from behind in the act of driving to the net and was awarded a penalty shot. Astute fans will remember Kyle's first goal NHL goal came against Brodeur, and he now had a chance for a second. It was not to be, though, as Okposo went high glove side on Brodeur and was stymied.
Despite the loss, the Isles were competitive throughout the contest and had a fine chance to salvage a point near the end of regulation, but failed to convert. We'll see how they respond tomorrow night when they open at the Coliseum.
Hope you'll be there!