The New York Islanders (0-1-0) had the perfect stage for their Home Opener against the Florida Panthers (1-0-0), as a sellout crowd was rocking the barn to greet the 2011-12 edition of the team. That energy was not transferred to the team, as the Isles were blanked 2-0 on Saturday night.
New York had plenty of opportunities, finishing up the night with 27 shots. One of the main issues that head coach Jack Capuano will have to address before Monday’s game, is finishing on those golden opportunities.
Michael Grabner and John Tavares both had sweet moves in the game, as Florida keeper Jose Theodore was up to the task of blanking the Isles. Theodore now has 31 career shutouts in the NHL, along with six all time shutdowns against New York.
Jose really wasn’t tested though, as the Panthers keeper had a good look at all of the shots that came his way. Making an impact in his Islanders debut was Brian Rolston, who had four shots in the game. Two of those shots for the winger were of the booming variety, but could not get past the steady glove of Theodore.
Two impressive performances on the Islanders blue line came from Andrew MacDonald and Mark Eaton who blocked seven and four shots respectively. Getting the well earned nod in the cage for New York was Al Montoya, who is gaining quite a fan base on the Island.
With chants of ‘Al Montoya’ echoing throughout Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the ‘Big Cubano’ was stellar making 27 saves in net.
The Isles will not have long to rest, as they have their next home game on Monday. New York is slated to face-off against the Minnesota Wild for a 1:00 p.m. puck drop, due to the Columbus Day festivities. The Monday matinee is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus network.
Written on October 9, 2011