Weekend review: Isles power past Canes for Two W's

After a long summer it was time for Islanders fans to dust off their jerseys, and come out to support there team one last time at the old barn.  My brother and fellow blogger Andrew and I were fortunate enough to nab tickets over the summer and attend this weekend.

The atmosphere inside of the Coliseum was truly something else. As for outside, the fans did not disappoint. As a fan that typically loves to be early for and Islanders games, I was blown back by the amount of tailgaters and early-comers at the arena.  I mean let's face it.  This was the last home opener at the old barn, so that was expected.  But what made this day even better, was the play of the team which I believe is inspiring this fan base to continuing looking towards the future, but even more importantly, THE NOW!

Here are some things to take away from Friday night’s game:

  • The Isles offense will have no problem scoring goals this season.
  • Brock Nelson is starting to show us his true potential.
  • Johnny Boychuck is very poised and "has a CANON" (Dodgeball reference).
  • The PK really needs some tweaking.
  • The Defense is missing Calvin DeHaan and Lubomir Visnovsky.
  • Halak can make the big save when we need him too.
  • And Tavares, well.... What else is there to say, right?

Other than the defensive lapses in the 3rd, which is the one period we truly do not want to see them, the Isles D was OK. However, take Boychuck and Leddy out of this equation and BOOM, we have a problem.

Saturday night the Isles once again flexed their offensive muscles. With goals by Tavares, Conacher, Nelson and Bailey, the Isles powered there way to a 4-3 win.

What to take away from Saturday night’s game:

  • The Isles offense is capitalizing on their opportunities.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen! Brock Nelson!!
  • The PK was alright, but the late first period goal once showed again why they need a lot of work. Please, help us Mr. Cronin!
  • Chad Johnson is a pretty solid backup
  • Brian Strait's status needs to be changed from "starter" to "replacement".  His play was horrible all night long and his bad defensive reads lead to the third goal.
  • Griffin Reinhart is holding up pretty well thus far.  He certainly slows the game down, and while that is good, I am willing to bet that that may come back to bite him in the butt a few times this season.  Sometimes he seems a bit too slow.
  • The Coliseum Crowd is like no other, especially when its seats are all filled for a change.
  • Josh Bailey, while not completely non-existent, continues to be mostly invisible?

Let me put one thing perfectly straight.  I am not one of those absolute haters of Josh Bailey.  I am still hopeful that he may find a place on this team.  The arguments that Anders Lee should have been given the roster spot the Bailey received are ridiculous in my opinion.

While Anders Lee is a good player he does need some more seasoning.  Lee needs to work mainly on his defensive game down in the minors, as well as his acceleration if he plans to make the team as a center at some point.  Make no mistake, Anders Lee is a potential top 6 forward, but this coaching staff is doing the right thing.

Bailey is the right option for now, but I do hope that if there is a time that comes where Bailey is doing more harm for the team then good, that Garth Snow does what any other good GM would do and either bench him, or release him.

While I am ecstatic that the Islanders have begun the season 2-0, I am still slightly worried that this team has some big issues to work out before it can be considered a championship caliber team. The offense is there, but the defense still needs work.  With DeHaan presumably coming back soon, hopefully he can replace Strait for good and solidify the defense even more. (But maybe I am being too hard on Strait. I mean it has only been 2 games)

With 2 games in the books I am very much looking forward to being with TCL throughout the season as a blogger, and I hope to provide many interesting topics of discussion and debate within the Isles community.  The Islanders community is a great one, and I am only hoping that these blogs will serve as a tool for myself, and others to reach out and spread our love for this amazing sport. 

For any more information, questions, or if you simply just want to talk hockey, you may follow me on twitter @islestopshelf, or email me at brandonhormann@yahoo.com.  Have a great night Islanders Nation.

Also, follow @TCLIsles on twitter for more of your New York Islanders needs.

(Lisa Gansky/Flickr)