Live Blog: Islanders at Devils!

As we are waiting for the CSPAN2 to MSG+2 change, I just wanted to take the time to introduce a brand new feature!

I have been planning on doing this for some time, but I will now incorporate the live tracker into every game day post and live blog to help those who don’t have access to the game an easy way to follow along. I hope you enjoy it!

Live Tracker!

First Period

And the puck is dropped!! Here we go.

Still no MSG+2 here… Park with a nice shot off the post.

7:16pm Thompson takes a hooking penalty, Devils Power play early on
7:19pm Penalty over without incident
7:21pm Devils with a small passing play, Joey MacDonald (Surprise starter…) makes the save!

For whatever reason, CSPAN2 has not changed on Cablevision and we cannot watch the Islanders with their own announcers. Talk about some early season woes….. I am forced to watch on MSG+ HD.

7:25pm Nice hit on Clarkson by Witt
7:27pm Delayed penalty, Hooking by White. Islanders power play!
7:28pm GUERIN from Weight! Isles Power Play GOALLLL! Could be Weights first as an Islander!
7:31pm Weight credited with the goal Streit with the assist
7:32pm Isles penalty, Martinek holding
7:34pm Surprise surprise, Parise knocks in the rebound past MacDonald. All tied up.
7:36pm Nice pull up play by Weight to Gervais
7:37pm HUGE save by Joey Mac
7:37pm I like what I see so far, Isles keeping traffic in front of Brodeur and they are getting to some rebounds.
7:39pm Can Chico and Doc be any more of Devils homers? So much fluff flowing from their mouths.
7:42pm Okposo skates in, makes some moves and Marty gets his glove on it! Good try Okie!
7:43pm Madden steals the puck, Martinek cuts the angle and Joey Mac makes the save!
7:44pm Streit called for hooking and he is fairly upset. Devils PP #3

End of the first period, Devils hold the edge in shots but the game is still tied 1 all.

Overall, like I mentioned earlier I like the Isles positioning and play with the puck, I love their positioning without the puck in the offensive zone – but our own zone needs some work. I don’t expect perfection on the opening night, this is definitely a nice start though. The first clear cut difference is the way we are able to GAIN THE OFFENSIVE ZONE WITHOUT DUMPING AND CHASING! That was such a huge pet peeve of mine under Nolan, because nobody would pressure once the puck was in the zone – it was just a flawed system. Gordon’s system is high tempo and it seems to work well against the Devils “trap-esque” defensive system.

Can’t wait for the second frame!

Oh – the game is finally on MSG+2! Horrible picture though, only took a whole period. CJ Papa holding it down and doing a find job, so it’s worth it!

Second Period

Second period is about to start.

8:05pm Puck is dropped and we are off!
8:06pm Elias crashes the net and gets one past Joey Mac 2-1 Devils. *I have to admit, it was a nice goal. He was backwards in front of Mac on one leg and had the presence of mind to backhand it in past the fallen goalie.
8:12pm Park hit his second post, he is having a great game. Shovel pass to Hilbert from Comrie and then to Park.
8:13pm Now another post, Sim crashes the net.

Howie and Billy discussed some rule changes, if the puck is shot in the offensive zone and goes out of play, the face off remains in the offensive zone. Also, if a penalty is taken in the offensive zone, it will remain where the infraction occurred. I like both of the changes!

8:15pm Tambellini called for slashing, Devils PP #4
8:16pm Shorthanded 2-1 Hilbert and Park, puck hopped over Andy’s stick!
8:17pm Even up after a FMIV block and clear!
8:18pm Isles crash the net, Sim is helmetless and the Isles have an upcoming power play!
8:20pm Zubrus for holding.
8:25pm Okposo to Tamby and he almost got a backhander past Brodeur.
8:31pm Guerin goes to the front and it results in another Devils penalty, Holding on Salvador – Isles PP# 3
8:34pm Couple of chances by Sim and Comrie, 20 seconds remain.
8:35pm Hillen, of all players gets in a shoving match with Jamie Langenbruner and its 4-on-4 hockey.
8:38pm Thompson looking good holding onto the puck and getting it deep.
8:40pm Delay of game on the Devils due to some nice pressure by the Islanders! Isles PP #4

End of the period!

This period was a bit different, an increase of sloppy play on both ends of the ice for the Islanders. However, there were some good things too – as the Islanders did have great pressure on the Devils which continues to lead to power plays. I still like what I see, especially out of Nate Thompson and Jon Sim!

Third Period

It’s amazing how fast the intermission goes when you are running around the house, grabbing food and something to drink. We are set to continue the game with the Isles on their fourth power play!

8:58pm And here we go!
8:59pm Joey Mac fires it over the glass, 4-on-4
9:00pm New Jersey takes another penalty, 4-on-3 Isles power play!
9:01pm Good pressure, lots of blocked shots and it’s back to 4-on-4
9:02pm Even strength
9:12pm Langenbrunner took down Hilbert, Isles 5th power play
9:14pm Meyer flubbed a pass, odd man rush to the Isles zone. Joey Mac makes the save and Meyer smashes his stick on the boards.
9:16pm Even strength
9:17pm I believe this is the first icing of the game (no more tv breaks on icing the guys explain)
9:21pm Second icing, this time on the Devils
9:28pm Third icing, again on the Devils – are they getting a tad fatigued?
9:30pm Final minute
9:30pm MacDonald to the bench, Isles put pressure and Broduer makes two point blank saves.
9:31pm Time out Islanders
9:32pm Offsides Isles, less than 10 seconds to go – looking unlikely for the Islanders
9:33pm Final score, 2-1 Devils

Final Thoughts

Well, that certainly didn’t have the feeling of the first game of the season – well maybe at first. It seems that everyone is becoming more comfortable with Gordon’s system and played somewhat respectable hockey. A few of the Islanders had great nights, but there was a problem finishing. I mentioned that I feel Gordon’s system prevents the team from having to play dump and chase hockey – this is evident in the amount of icings the Islanders took in this game. For those who may not have been keeping count, it was ONE time.

The way the team gains the offensive zone, supports the puck, the players without the puck, the half wall and in front of the net are improved by leaps and bounds. Anyone who claims that Nolan being dismissed was a mistake really needs to watch the new Islanders hockey. A few bounces in the Isles favor tonight (like if the four or five posts hit an inch to the left or right) the game would be tied. Overall, I feel that they need to shoot the puck more and maybe try to open up shooting lanes. As much as I liked their net presence, they were too stationary. Their goal should be to make the Devils move around and chase the forwards – get them to cheat one way or another for a screen or even make those lanes open up. That is hockey, that is how you score goals and that is part of a winning solution.

I am willing to take progress one game at a time as I have been one of the supporters of a complete rebuild for a number of years. The only way to build a winning team is patience, and patience is what I will give this team.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game, although I doubt I will be live blogging. There are a bunch of newcomers to the Blog Box this season and there are only 9 seats at the table. I want to give them an opportunity to get a feel for things, so I will sit by my seats for a few games. Enjoy the rest of the night and thanks for stopping by!

Michael Schuerlein

One Comment

  1. I was very happy with MacDonald’s play in goal tonight. They defense was pretty poor the first 10 minutes of the game and it was a shooting gallery but MacDonald only faltered once in the first period.

    At the very least, it showed that MacDonald has the potential to be a reliable backup for DiPi and give him reat throughout the year so he’s strong down the stretch.

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