Thoughts on Period No. 2 of Devils-Isles…
- The first goal (Zajac from Kovalchuk, Tallinder at 14:01) was an absolute beauty. The Isles got caught in a shift change and Henrik Tallinder smartly looked up the ice from his own zone and hit Kovy on the tape at the other blue line. Kovy played it on his off wing as Zajac cut to the net on the far side and Kovy saucered a beauty that Nabokov had no chance on. The top line looks really good tonight. They had another rush later on in the period that Kovy probably should have shot on, but instead he dropped it to the defenseman and the shot didn’t get through.
- Devils got their first shot to work their revamped, Sharks-style PP under Matt Shaw. In a word: ugly. To no one’s surprise, the Devils didn’t hit on a lot of passes and struggled to find someone cutting backdoor. This will take time.
- The Islanders came alive during the period, attacking the Devils in their zone more often and finally generating some legit scoring chances. Marty was up to the task though. He hasn’t been tested a ton, but when he was he looks like he’s been playing more than golf the last three months.
- Speaking of which, outside of that one goal, Evgeni Nabokov has looked good. If he can play like this for most of the season, the Devils should have a shot to stick in the playoff chase until at least the end of March.
- I wrote down midway through the period that ti looked like a one-goal game. The Devils are attacking, but it looks like it’ll take another breakdown for them to get a second one on the board.
- It’s only 2 periods, but I have legitimate concerns about how the Devils are gonna struggle to score goals this season. Their PP will take a long while to figure out without practice time and although they have some high-talent players, they’re asking an awful lot out of their second and third options.