Game two featured the debut of quite a few new faces for New Jersey. The Islanders jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one period, but the Devils hung tough in the 5-3 loss.
Some notes and observations from the game:
- There are some who are already grumbling about Martin Brodeur's play in his first preseason action. There's no need to make sweeping assessments about the play of both Brodeur and Cory Schneider after one preseason game. Brodeur has been through many preseasons, and he knows how to get himself ready for the regular season. If he's giving up four goals in a period, ten games into the regular season, sure then there's concern. As for right now, it's still very early.
- Jon Merrill bounced back from a bad play of a two-on-one that resulted in a goal, to finish with two points on the night. He had the primary assist off of his shot from the point that was tipped in by Rostislav Olesz in the first period. He also added a goal in the second period on a great feed from Eric Gelinas. Merrill excels offensively, but he doesn't seem like his defensive game is quite there yet.
- Speaking of Olesz, he has quietly gotten off to a strong start in the preseason. With the likes of Mattias Tedenby and Damien Brunner garnering much of the attention, the former Florida Panther draft pick has two points in two games, after scoring in the 2nd period against the Islanders.
- Eric Gelinas is once again showing showed once again why he belongs in New Jersey. The young blueliner has shown the kind of offensive upside from the point that the Devils haven't seen since Brian Rafalski left for Detroit. At this point, if the Ottawa, Ontario native is able to avoid any sort of major letdown, there's a good chance that he'll make this team.
- Damien Brunner didn't do much to stand out in this game. He'll need some time to get used to the Devils system and get himself situated. With Mattias Tedenby and Olesz each with a goal and playing well, there's definitely no guarantee that Brunner is a lock to make the team just because of what he did last season.
- On a side note, it was a funny moment to see Krys Barch and Brett Gallant of the Islanders remove each other's helmets during their fight. A bit of chivalry? Not so much. The league implemented a new rule this week that forbids players from removing their helmets prior to a fight. The penalty for removing said headgear is an additional two minute minor. Well, Barch and Gallant found the loophole.