It's great to be able to watch the Isles on TV again, even if it is a preseason game and the Rangers' broadcast. I won't be able to catch the whole thing, but here are just a few notes from the first half of the game:
- Nice job by Joey McDonald surviving early pressure and keeping a clean sheet through 20 minutes in front of a lineup heavily populated with Sound Tigers.
- Berard is not one of the "regulars" in the lineup tonight. At first, I interpreted that to mean that the tryout phase of his preseason was over and he's made the roster. But when I realized that so many vets were sitting this one out, that interpretation seemed less reliable. Saturday and Sunday may still be make-or-break time for Bryan. I know a lot of you are hoping that Berard has nothing to do with this team come next Friday. I'd really like to see him make the team and carry the power play. If he proves unable to do so, let's just hope that the contract ends up signing is easily digestible.
- Any signs of life from Bergie are welcome. If he can contribute consistently on offense, this team will be at least a notch ahead of expectations. How great would it be to see him make an impact on the league and give the other teams fits? Who was the last young player to do that for the Islanders? Anyway, great to see Bergie find Lundqvist's five-hole with that backhander. Even if it hadn't found its way in, it was a good, low, hard shot that likely would have produced a rebound.
- I'm surprised that the white sweaters don't look as bad as I thought they would. Seeing the entire uniform helps them look stronger, mostly because the blue pants create a nice contrast. The numbers on the front continue to seem mostly pointless. They are too small to be visible during normal gameplay. You can see them when the camera zooms in, but then you can also see the players' faces so you know who they are anyway. The one thing the organization really got right was putting the (too narrow) horizontal stripes at the very bottom of the shirt hem. The teams that have the white shirttail hanging below their stripes look odd, at best.
- Halfway through the 3rd, it's still 4-1. Once Morrison replaced McDonald, it looked like the floodgates might open. The result of this game has negligible value, but it's never fun to get embarrassed. Let's hope the kids finish it out strong.