Say what you want about the Islanders after their first game of the 2010-2011 season. Say they have no shot at the playoffs, say they have no depth and write them off.
If game one is any indication on how the Islanders will fare this season if nothing else they should be one hell of a fun team to watch.
I had more fun watching that game Saturday night than i have in a long time watching a early regular season game.
The Islanders should have won that game more than doubling Dallas' shot total for the game.
But it was more than just shots. You can bet in that Dallas locker room they were saying things like "who are these guys?"
The Islanders skated hard, hit harder and played with a purpose.
Sure Dallas scored 4 goals, but one of them DiPietro should have had and when he shakes off all of the rust that has collected on him the past 2 seasons he will stop it.
The other Dallas goals were bang bang play that do not happen every game.
Islander fans absolutely loved watching James Wisniewski play in an Islander uniform scoring a power play goal and absolutely tattooing Jamie Benn with a clean check that energized the Islanders come back.
The trick will be bringing that energy to every game over the 81 games the Islanders have left.
It was not all positive.
John Tavares spent some time face down on the ice after getting bumped into from behind at center ice on an apparent inadvertent hit.
JT did not return and the team has stated it is a mild concussion. Mild concussion? I know concussions have grades but saying you have a mild concussion is like saying your mildly pregnant.
A concussion is never a good thing and the hit that sent Tavares out of the game has me worried.
I do not think contact was made at any time with Tavares' head, meaning the whiplash effect from the hit caused the concussion and if this is truly the case it may be a major problem.
In any event Tavares will be out for today's game with the Rangers and is a question mark for Wednesday's game.
Josh Bailey was all over the ice Saturday night, playing with a confidence he has not shown in his first 2 years in the league. The fans took notice as did the TV commentators who marveled at how many time during the game they said his name.
Nino Niederreiter, the youngest Islander ever did not embarrass himself nearly scoring on more than one occasion including late in the third.
Frans Nielson also shown more of the skill that has Islander fans wondering how he isn't all over the score sheet.
The revamped defense kept the quality chances down from last year and that's in despite of the 4 goals Dallas scored. Over the long NHL season this will balance out and less goals allowed should become the norm.
We can only hope two things now one that JT will be back soon and two, the Islanders can match Saturday night's effort on a game by game basis.
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