Carolina lost by the tally of 3-2 to the Islanders, who were playing their first home game on Saturday night. Obviously, that's bad. They failed to capitalize on five power play chances, making them 0-15 on the young season. Also bad. What's worse is that the game-winning goal was a shorthanded tally by the Islanders' Shawn Bates. Very bad.
Miro Satan "scored" his first goal in an Islanders sweater thanks to a freak play. Canes defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky was near the net to knock down Satan's shot, but when he tried to clear the puck, it floated past Cam Ward for the goal. Replays clearly show that Tverdovsky inadvertently knocked it in, and since Satan was the last Isle to touch it, he is credited with the goal. That was ugly. Also on the ugly side is the Islanders third sweaters, which they wore for opening night. Ugly.
On the "good" side, I might actually say "very good" was that our 2003 draft pick Eric Staal scored both Canes goals. The first one came midway through the first. Josef Vasicek made a VERRRRRRRY long pass to a streaking Staal, who came in alone and buried it against likely Team USA netminder Rick DiPietro. On the play, Staal received the pass right at the Isles blue line, and had to really utilize his reach to stay on side. It was beautiful. After the Isles took a 3-1 lead, coach Lavi pulled Ward with about 1:45 to go. With the extra attacker, we were able to apply some serious pressure, and we got another goal out of it. It was one of those where there was a slew of traffic out front and the puck found its way into the net. The replays I saw show that it should have been Tverdovsky's goal, but they're crediting Staal with a tap-in as the puck went from post to post. So after three games, Staal has four goals. One in the first game, one in the second, and two in the third. I may have to institute an Eric Staal monitor.
From the looks of this young season, it seems like we're going to really take advantage of the legalized two-line pass. We've gotten a couple of breakaway goals as a result of long, legal passes.
We need to get the power play going. We need to start scoring more than two goals per game. It's a long season, and we've got plenty of time to make the adjustments, but everyone would breathe a little easier if we could have a game very soon where we accomplish those things. The Crapitals are coming to town on Wednesday, so that may be our chance.
3 years ago