Connect with us


A successful night of firsts for Islanders

The New York Islanders started Thursday with a morning practice before their first game against the Carolina Hurricanes.  It was a normal day, until the news spread that Anders Lee had been named captain.

For Lee, it was a long time coming.  Really, the only reason why he wasn’t captain last season was because John Tavares had that position filled.  Lee is a natural leader and was captain of both his football team in Minnesota and at Notre Dame.

Words cannot express the size of the smile on Lee’s face after meeting with the media Thursday morning.  It was a fresh start for the Islanders, with a new face of the franchise (Mathew Barzal), a new coach/GM regime (Lou/Trotz), and now a new captain.

As per Barry Trotz, Lee’s promotion to captain was a no-brainer.  He said over and over how players came to him and said if anyone deserves it, it’s Lee.  He’s not necessarily a vocal leader, but when he talks people listen.  He is also a great humanitarian, sparking the Jam Cancer in the Kan movement for the Islanders that’s raised over $100,000 both years his event ran.  The event raises money for childhood cancer, and gives fans an opportunity to raise money for a good cause and play Kan Jam against Islander players.

Lee formed a special bond with a cancer patient by the name of Fenov Pierre-Louis.  It was a genuine bond and they became good friends over the years.  Fenov was able to drop the puck last season and attended many Islander games last season.  Unfortunately, Fenov passed away this year from cancer, but his memory lives on in the hearts of the Islanders, especially Lee.

With the new ‘C’ stitched on his chest, Lee led the Islanders on the ice for their first game against the Carolina Hurricanes.  There will be a game recap in my weekly Islanders Puck talk article, but the Islanders were dominated for most of the game.  Thomas Greiss stood on his head for most of the game, stopping 45 of 46 shots, the lone goal coming off a deflection with just 1:35 to go in the third period.

It looked to be a typical Islander game where they lead the whole game then lose in overtime, but Mathew Barzal drew a tripping penalty with four seconds left in the third period, then fed a beautiful pass to Josh Bailey in overtime for the one-time game winner.  It was important for the Islanders to get off on the right foot as their schedule is tough the next week.  They play Nashville in their home opener on Saturday, and take an early West Coast trip to the California coast next week.

The firsts also included Barry Trotz’s inaugural victory behind the bench.  Though he criticized his team for not playing a great game, he praised their effort and vowed that they would be better on Saturday.  It was an important win for him as well, as this should be the first of many for the veteran coach.

Overall, a win is a win and it means a lot for this Islander team that looks to be in flux right now.  No one really knows how they’ll finish the season, but getting off to a good start is key.  This week also brings some closure to the John Tavares era.  With a new captain, new coach, and underdog mentality, the Islanders are finally ready to move on.  No one knows how the season will go, but what we do know is that they have all the right leadership in place to succeed for years to come.

The following two tabs change content below.
Football Editor - Hockey Editor - New York Islanders Lead Writer - New York Lizards Lead Writer - UConn Football Lead Writer
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Hockey