Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sim, Scoring and Size

The puck has officially dropped.

The Islanders first exhibition game is in the books with the Islanders coming out on top in overtime on a goal by Trevor Smith 2-1.

It's only the first pre-season game, but in my opinion, it already underscores three key factors to the upcoming season. First, Jon Sim is back and wreaking havoc on opponents. I think losing him for the season so early last year really cost the Islanders much more than anybody really appreciates. I'm not saying he'll score 30 or have 60 points, but his physical style of play and presence in front of the net should pay big dividends for the team. For a team that seemed to be allergic to the top of the crease last year, his return is more than welcomed. He was rewarded with his first goal last night on the power play.

The other issue is that we outshot the Bruins 38-19. Great, right? Statistically we dominated but here we go again. Scoring. Where is it? I know, I know, it's pre-season with a patchwork lineup but this is exactly the type of problem that needs to be corrected. High volume of shots, few goals. It's early, and coach Gordon and the team have another 2 weeks to work on this. Let's hope they learn to find the back of the net.

Last, we've heard it before and seen it written about. Our lack of an enforcer and overall team size. According to Logan, the Isles puck control dominated the first two periods. Then the Buins got physical and really slowed the Isles down. Will this be another achilles heel for us this year? If teams learn that pounding our guys hard really slows our attack down... and if we have no one to pound back... well, we'll see.

In any case, great to see the team back in action. Let's go Rays.. er, I mean Isles!!


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