In the grand scheme of the season that is about to unfold the 2-0 shutout loss to the Panthers on opening night really is not that big of a deal and is not indicative of how this season will unfold for the young Islanders.
What it did do was disappoint a sold out Nassau Coliseum crowd that was absolutely jacked at the start of the game. As the game unfolded you could feel the frustration and dissapointment in the Coliseum. That is something the Islanders cannot afford to do.
Fans who went to the game to see the young Islanders take the first steps of a season filled with opportunity and expectations all left disappointed. Short of Al Montoya's performance there was nothing for fans to point at and say "yeah, well at least.."
The game was a total bust.
The sad part is that so many of the Islander fans that showed up were leaving the Coliseum who were going to stop by the box office and buy tickets if they were impressed by what they saw left saying "no, I'm not spending money on that team."
The Islanders had the chance to come out flying and feed off of the rabid crowd at the start. Instead they came out like it was a mid December game that had no meaning. Call it nerves, call it what you will no matter how young they are the team is a group of professional athletes. The effort on opening night was inexcusable.
Is it a reason to panic?
No one is panicking yet but the Islanders better show their fans that there is a reason to be optimistic pretty soon starting with Monday's game against the Minnesota Wild. That is unless they want to play in front of a half empty coliseum. Everyone knows that the Nassau Coliseum is not going to draw anyone to see the Islanders play. The only thing that will draw people to see the Islanders is wins and exciting hockey.
That is not what we saw opening night.