Saturday, October 6, 2007
Islanders Website has the full recap of the Islanders season opening 6-4 win at Buffalo that set a club record for most goals on opening night.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Mike Comrie: Four points in Islanders debut says it all
2. Ruslan Fedotenko: A huge force in front of the net while on the PP
3. Bill Guerin: Played setup man with 3 assists in Islanders debut
4. Josef Vasicek: Used his size, hands and deceptive speed to his advantage
5. Bruno Gervais/Chris Campoli: The young defense pair jumped into the play effectively
Slapshots: Ruslan Fedotenko's first assist of the game was the 100th of his career...This is the first time the Islanders have scored six goals in a season opener...The top line of Guerin, Fedotenko and Comrie was a combined +6.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much for not winning on opening night. Very tough start against Buffalo where it looked like Buffalo's speed and skill would dominate but once the Islanders settled into this game they showed some speed, skill and defense that they did not show last year.
Not the best of starts for Sutton or Bergeron but this is a new pairing. A few big mistakes but Buffalo's speed and skill has to be given credit also.
DiPietro let up four goals and early it looked like he would have to play great to get out of the first period giving up only four goals. His save early got the Islanders going and a huge third peirod save started the rush that led to the 6-4 goal by Hunter. Buffalo still has a lot of the speed and skill from last year's club and still Islanders hung in and created a lot of chances of their own.
Gervais pass for Vasicek's goal was amazing, the passing skill that set up Campoli's goal was rarely seen last season. I saw far more skilled setups and chemistry in one game then I think I saw in any game last year. This was not all Blake or all Kozlov or all Yashin, it was three lines working well together and being in position.
That powerplay looked good under a new coach.
Anyone see that hip-check by Martinek on Vanek? Wow.
All three lines contributed in the win and even though it was not perfect they showed a lot of things last years team did not seem capable of. As the game settled down Islanders defense stepped up and protected DiPietro a little better but out of his twenty odd saves it seemed fifteen required good or great saves from DiPietro and that will not work long-term.
Comrie and his line displayed chemistry that looked like a first line. Hunter was a warrior as was his line. Not too many penalties for a team that seems a league target far too often a year ago. Vasicek for one game was fast, big and looked like a top six forward, it has to continue.
It's one game but a lot to be impressed with to win in that atmosphere against a team which still has plently of speed and skill. Very good win and basically a lot of the things Snow and Nolan talked about what they wanted their team to look like.
You hear that grit and character talk and it gets old after a while when you do not see it translate into work during a game. Afinogenov at the end of a third peirod pp was burried by Trent Hunter.
Gervais and Campoli looked like a combination you do not break up.
Tonight this team backed up it's talk on the ice, it was great to see. Only one game but a very good one.
Opening night at home after that effort hopefully fans will come out and support them. I will be there and blogging late.