Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:Both sets of Islanders lost in Canada to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. The “A” squad — and I’m really just calling it that because it was the one with John Tavares — lost 4-2 and the “B” squad lost 5-3.
In Calgary, Michael Grabner, Griffin Reinhart and Riley Wetmore all scored. Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson split the game in net, each allowing two goals. In Regina, John Tavares and Matt Moulson both scored, while Evgeni Nabokov and Ken Reiter split the netminding duties. Nabokov allowed all four Flames goals while Reiter was a perfect 14-for-14.
One important thing to note is that Cal Clutterbuck left late in last night’s game with what is supposedly a cut on his thigh. All we really know at this point is from the Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak and TSN’s Jermain Franklin:
Isles Cal Clutterbuck hit Byron when he didn't have the puck and ended up going right to the room. May have a cut leg.—
Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) September 18, 2013
We’re not going to go through with a formal post-game report or give you any #HOTTAKES about who looked good and who didn’t. It’s only the first pre-season game and there’s really not going to be cuts in the next couple days or needs to be serious analysis of particular players that can be “taken to the bank,” so to speak.
The Islanders likely won’t be making any cuts until we get closer to the end of the month. They’ve got another split-squad date on the 29th against the Senators, so they’ll need a lot of bodies to fill our the rosters for that day. We’ve got a long way to go, and last night was just the beginning. Next up is a trip to New Jersey on Thursday night. We may be able to learn a bit more about the team and individual performances when we see them all in one place.
In Regina, the The Leader-Post focused on newly minted captain John Tavares, who has some history in the city. Eight years ago, he played for Canada as a 15-year old at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Tavares debuted the new look on Tuesday when his New York Islanders opened the NHL pre-season with a 4-2 split-squad loss to the Calgary Flames at the Brandt Centre.
Tavares was a clear favourite among the 4,189 fans, some of whom may have watched him earn all-star status at the 2006 world under-17s despite being the tournament’s youngest player.
“It’s still really fresh in my mind,” offered Tavares. “A lot of those days still feel like yesterday and it was seven, eight years ago. It brings back a lot of good memories. It was my first international experience, so I really enjoyed it and had a good tournament. It’s good to be back.”
The Calgary Herald spotlighted local Chris Bruton, who is a Calgary native. Bruton signed a two-way NHL deal with the Islanders over the summer, but will be spending most of his time in Bridgeport. The Herald’s angle is that Bruton is trying to make himself more than the YouTube sensation of “guy who dropped the Memorial Cup trophy,” which until now I had forgotten that he was the Guy Who Dropped the Memorial Cup Trophy.
“I’ve already had some laughs with the guys here,” admits the 26-year-old Calgary boy/New York Islanders hopeful. “I’ve got the (Memorial Cup) tattoo on my back so of course the question comes up of who I was with, what year we won.
“And after awhile, it all kind of winds down to: ‘Oh, yeah? Who was that idiot who dropped the Cup?’
“And I have say ‘Well, that idiot was me.’”
ALSO: The Herald on Thomas Hickey another Calgary local… And in Calgary, they’re already fretting about how bad the team is going to be. Joey Macdonald/Karri Ramo 2013!… Griffin Reinhart’s first NHL goal, except it doesn’t really count…