Another small, but passionate, crowd settled into Barclays Center for the exhibition matchup between the Devils and Islanders. Here are a few things we learned from Wednesday’s game:
- The power play did not have as productive a night as it did on Monday. The Islanders capitalized twice on the man-advantage in their win over the Flyers, but failed to score on four chances two days later. That wasn’t to say that they didn’t have any chances, but they just never seemed to get one in the back of the net. Like I wrote last time, it’s preseason so everyone is working out the kinks, but still special teams was an issue last year and needs to be more productive this year.
- The penalty kill didn’t surrender a goal; in fact, it even earned the Islanders a point on the scoreboard. A bad turnover by Cory Schneider allowed Brock Nelson to score the game’s opening goal. It was semi-reminiscent of the Colin McDonald goal scored against the Devils in Brooklyn in 2014. The PK finished the night going 4-for-4.
- The line of Anders Lee, John Tavares and Ryan Strome was as fun to watch as you would hope it was going to be. The trio – especially Lee and Tavares – worked well with one another and didn’t miss a beat from last season. Strome had a great pass to Tavares in the first period, which allowed the Isles’ captain to spin around and send the puck to Travis Hammonic on the point. The defenseman blasted the puck into the net. But it was one of several chances that first unit was able to create Wednesday night.
- Speaking of Hamonic, he seemed like he was also having a smooth transition back into the year. Hamonic’s season ended a lot earlier than he would have hoped for when he suffered a torn left knee ligament in the Isles second to last regular season game last year. The Islanders’ defenseman has looked good in camp and seems like he is not feeling any lingering effects from the injury.
- Kirill Petrov played his first game away from fellow Russian teammates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin. The young forward performed well again. He used his big frame to screen the goaltender and he made himself comfortable in front of the net. He has been good during training camp and has been a lot better than I expected him to be with the transition from the European style of the game to the North American one.
- So this may be the strangest thing to happen in a while, but a big fuss was made over the lack of dining and drink options for the off-ice officials and attending press at the game. Now, fans certainly wont be crying over the fact the media wasn't served dinner while doing their jobs, nor should they be, but the story surrounding the bizarre event raises a much bigger question. The Islanders and Barclays Center have been haggling over how much the team should pay to provide off-ice officials and media members food on game nights, according to the Daily News. (The media does pay for food but at a discounted rate.) The reason this is an issue is because this is a very minor detail that should have been hammered out months, if not years ago. The fact that this blew up into the mini story that it did raises concerns over the level of cooperation between the Islanders and Barclays Center. If they cannot agree on something minor like this, what else could turn into an issue?