Final thoughts on Fight Night

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2007 09:03:00 PM | | | |
The media will call the final result a sidebar to what happened and as we all know preseason does not tell us much unless a club has glaring weaknesses.

Fights are nice and if your going to fight you might as well win, but there was more to last night's game then the fights.

Last night's game told me a few things about the 07-08 club that I had questions about.

Will Simon change his game in light of a record suspension at this teammates expense?

Obviously not. That may seem like a foolish question on the surface but sometimes you see a player get that kind of suspension and change their game to make sure they do not get in trouble again and they are not the same player willing to do anything for his teammates by instinct. It had me wondering if Simon needed a change of scenery back to the Western Conference before he was resigned.

Does the team have any character?

Forget the lineups, the team rallied down 4-1 and won the game 5-4 in a game the opposing coach had his best defensive pairing for over twenty minutes. You can call the power plays that generated the goals poor goals, you can blame the goalie on the other team for questionable goals, but Isles at least showed a little character to turn the game around and on a team with so many new faces it is something that maybe they can build on.

New Coaches?

Again, say what you want about the pp goals but this is a new assistant coach running the powerplay and his plan produced goals. That helps the new players and Gerard Gallant, who was fired by Columbus settle into a job and builds their confidence in what they want to do.

Lineup impressions?

Things can change tomorrow but given how they were used and played, Tambellini looks like the second line left wing and generated chances early. Berard on the ice with the top line when the game is on the line combined with his performance says he makes the club if he wants to sign while Aaron Johnson looks too good to send down giving Garth Snow a very tough decision.

The first line produced like a first line, even if it was all on the powerplay and usually five on three powerplays.

Vasicek charging the net, scoring and making sure he runs over the goalie is exactly what this team needs from him if he's going to be a second line center every
game. He did the same thing late in the game too a second time before losing the puck and that's an element Kozlov never showed to his game last season. That must continue for this signing to work out this season. If it's one highlight in another six goal year, it's worthless.

Fedotenko scored a goal and easily could have scored in overtime. On this day he looked like the player the Islanders need him to be.

Sutton sent his message, now he has to show he can play defense. Bergeron I think played over twenty five minutes. Martinek showed no effects from his injury, neither did Meyer. The pass Martinek set him up with for that rush is something few on this roster can do and outstanding.

Bergenheim looked like a fourth liner or someone headed to Bridgeport. Hilbert fought but other than that just did not make much of an impression.

Meyer getting Shanahan to blow up was also interesting.

I wonder if the Islanders change the plan for the goaltenders against New Jersey tomorrow. Only two goalies are in camp.

Aside from that there is more to see. Competition for spots on this roster are going to be very interesting going into opening night.

One other thing already that seems clear, Ted Nolan seems to be able to get this group to respond to his coaching like last year's group.

Best early sign of all.