Islanders @ Rangers 10/13/16 Analysis

By Bongsho
Oct. 14, 2016

Shoddy. Thats the only word to describe that performance. Very little seemed to be clicking overall for the Isles, and the little that did was quickly snuffed out by what I felt was a Rangers d-core that played fairly well. They were dominated the 1st two periods by the Rangers, something that just can't happen if you want to win hockey games. Cappy's "Will-It-Blend" approach to all his games didn't work yet again, but I noticed in some cases that at least two of the forwards on the line were playing nicely with each other and exhibiting some good chemistry overall. Most notably was Andrew Ladd and John Tavares; who I felt had some great chances overall, but to be honest I sort of expected that coming into this season. The loss of Okposo and Nielsen were hard to look past but after this game I honestly think that the gains may outweigh the loses in this case. Ladd was able to keep up with Tavares and feed off of his skill with a few notable chances (that he has to bury, but he can work on that).The only stipulation I had with this combo was obviously Chimera, who SHOULD NOT be on the first line. He was brought in for a reason, and that was to bring better skating ability to the fourth line, but Capuano loves to mix things up and experiment so I don't know when we will see the debut of the new fourth line. Strome looked solid, I hope he has a bounce back year and because he can help team immensely. Beauvillier didn't impress me too much, but first game jitters are real and he was no doubt affected by them. Anders Lee's femur looks stable, which is ideal. Clutterbuck and Nelson scoring was nice, Nelson needs to have a bounce back year along with Strome if he wants to have a lasting career on the Island. That's about it for the opinions I have on the forwards, who generally were disappointing in this loss, but there were definitely some bright spots that I hope and pray Capuano recognized and develops as the season moves forward. 

The defense I thought was very solid as a unit. Halak with whatever sickness he had stood on his head, saving 35 for 39 shots and looking great while doing it. One problem I did find was on the first goal where he couldn't control the rebound from the high shot and the puck basically dropped at Grabner's feet (so ugly seeing him in a Rangers uniform btw). In front of Halak was nearly the same defensive players that we left the Islanders with last season minus Pulock, and I feel that despite the scoreline they played pretty good. Granted 39 shots allowed isn't too great looking for any defense, but what I noticed outside of breaking the puck out of the zone was how they jumped up into the play. Most notably Leddy, and surprisingly Seidenberg, who I thought both played great offensively. Leddy of course had the opening goal of the season, but he looked excellent and comfortable rushing the puck, something he has done so perfectly the past season. Onto the aging Seidenberg, whose role increased dramatically with the dropping of Pulock to Bridgeport for the beginning of the season, and I thought he moved very well. This isn't the first time the Islanders have taken an aging defensemen as a 7th man to mentor/bolster their defensive unit, but I think he is the best one by far. Zidlicky and Visnovsky were less than ideal, but Seidenberg can wheel and pass and shot and maybe, just maybe, even score. He looked like a new man out there, and I'm actually excited for how he turns out over the course of the year. 

That's it for the first post on Roll Isles, I'll try to go more in depth and organized as I learn how to do this, but as for now this is all I could think of at this hour. Looking forward to the next game against the Capitals, and I hope we get the W in that one and maybe make some changes to the lines (knowing Cappy that's basically a guarantee). Roll Isles.

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