When The Hockey News posts my report online I will be sure to share the story. In the meantime, here's some random notes I made during the game:
Here are the set line combinations used in the game:
New York Islanders
15 Jeff Tambellini – 12 Josh Bailey – 57 Blake Comeau
77 Trevor Smith – 27 Greg Moore – 17 Jeremy Reich
26 Matt Moulson – 62 Greg Mauldin – 16 Jon Sim
67 Sean Bentivoglio – 11 Nate Thompson – 28 Tim Jackman
25 Andy Sutton – 44 Freddy Meyer
38 Jack Hillen – 47 Andrew MacDonald
52 Dustin Kohn – 4 Mark Flood
33 Scott Munroe
52 Nathan Lawson
40 Michael Grabner – 42 Kyle Wellwood – 57 Guillaume Desbiens
49 Alexandre Bolduc – 37 Rick Rypien – 36 Jannik Hansen
63 Pierre-Cedric Labrie – 62 Mario Bliznak – 50 Eric Walsky
Sergei Shirikov – Ronald Petrovicky
34 Brad Lukowich – 44 Nolan Baumgartner
29 Aaron Rome – 47 Yann Sauve
55 Shane O’Brien – 64 Evan Oberg
30 Andrew Raycroft
35 Cory Schneider
Random Musings: Islanders
As chief scout Ken Morrow said in my interview, you can not really take too much stock into the performance of players in just the first game of the pre-season. That being said, Matt Moulson impressed me tonight. The top line of Comeau, Tambellini and Bailey were also strong as the game went on.
Supposedly John Tavares did not make the trip because he has the flu. Katie Strang of Newsday confirms.
Good on the Islanders. They donated 30 sets of equipment to Terrace minor hockey.
Kudos also goes out to Jeff Tambellini and Tim Jackman for visiting local schools, as did Willie Mitchell of the Canucks.
Talk about a tough road to haul. Apparently the Islanders are flying out right after the game and are expected to pull into the hotel in Saskatoon at 4:30 a.m. (ET). All players from tonight’s game are to be on the ice in the morning again at 11 a.m. (ET).
Random Musings: Canucks
Sergei Shirokov's debut was impressive. He showed good speed, quick puck handling, composure underpressure and some physical gumption in game one, and was clearly the game's first star. He tended to be the last back into the defensive zone, but I suspect he will be in Vancouver when the season starts in October.
Rick Rypien - does this guy ever take a night off? Two more fights, much to the crowd's enjoyment.
Andrew Raycroft looked really solid in his half of the game, finding pucks through heavy traffic and showing off his quick reflexes, especially in robbing Tambellini. He did have a couple of dangerous rebounds in the slot, but all in all a reassuring first effort from Raycroft.
Corey Schneider did a yeoman's job coming in cold and finishing the game clean. That's what you want from either Raycroft or Schneider, because whoever wins the back up job sure will not play much with Roberto Luongo around.
I watched Evan Oberg with some curiosity. He's an interesting project given that he is small, but you can tell he has a good head for the game, making good reads and anticipations. Maybe it was just first game jitters, but he seemed like the game was just a second or two too fast for him right now. He's got time to develop, as he is heading to Manitoba for sure.
Lukowich looked solid. He will be a nice addition to the Canucks blue line.