The Islanders haven’t had much luck when it comes to taking on the Caroline Hurricanes. Fans were hoping to see that change tonight with Barry Trotz’s new systems in place. In some ways we did, in others, not so much.
Shots on Goal Allowed:
Let’s start with the bad. During the preseason we thought we had seen the last of the high shot totals averaging over 40 a game. It wasn’t meant to be tonight. Good thing Greiss was able to stand on his head and keep 45/46 out of the net. This leads back to the fact that the Islanders defense could not get the puck out of their own zone. It fact, it directly led to the last minute goal by Carolina that got past Greiss.
Too many times we saw the same thing last night. The Islanders would lose the faceoff and would have to fend off multiple shots until they barely managed to get it out of the zone. Or they would win the draw and would fail to get the puck all the way out. Of course, I know this is the first game and it will take a while for things to settle in. But if this continues into a quarter of the season or more, it is worrying.
Blocked Shots and the Oh So Deadly Power Play
The Islanders managed to block a multitude of shots from the Hurricanes. Something we desperately wanted to see change this season. Players really committed to winning and grinding it out.
Even though the Power play was unsuccessful last night, it had some of the best chances of the night. With plenty leaving Mrazek scrambling outside of his goal while the defense swiped at the puck in the crease. Good to see the chances are still coming.
We shall see how the season continues and what changes we will start to see as things take hold in the structure of Barry Trotz’s team. I’ll be at the home opener Saturday and am hoping for a large crowd!