New Jersey Devils End Preseason with 2-1 Loss to New York Islanders

The New Jersey Devils lost to the stronger split of the split-squad New York Islanders tonight, 2-1 at Long Island.  Tonight was the final preseason game for the Devils, so it ends 2-1-3.   What does that mean? Nothing. The regular season starts in 6 days, and that's when the games begin to count. 

Of course, tonight's game was not broadcast by anyone for either team.  And the Twitter feed that Tom Gulitti set up for game updates was generic and not updated all that often.  Therefore, there's not a whole lot I can tell you about who did and didn't do well.   That's not good given that performances are more important than the results.  Therefore, this recap will be quite short.

A quick look at the game summary and event summary from NHL.com gives us some idea of what happened. The Islanders outshot the Devils in the first two periods, though the Devils were dominant on the shot chart in the third period. There were very few penalties called, so neither team got a chance to really utilize their special teams.  Only one power play was awarded, a tripping minor to Anton Volchenkov, and the Islanders only got one shot on goal on said man advantage.  

On offense, two thirds of the ZIP line appeared to have done well enough.  Whilst missing a penalty shot, Ilya Kovalchuk got 5 shots on net and assisted on linemate's Zach Parise's goal.  Travis Zajac's statline isn't so good though, with no shots on goal and going 4 for 13 on faceoffs.   It's not good when the #1 center had a worse success rate than the rookie Jacob Josefson (4 for 10).  I would have also liked to have seen more shots from someone not named Patrik Elias (3), but it is good to see only 3 other skaters not have shots registered: Leblond, Volchenkov, and Tallinder.  I know Mark Eaton and Mike Mottau ate a lot of minutes and without seeing the game, for all I know, they did very well.  But again, this was a defense led by Mark Eaton and Mike Mottau, it's not exactly the Red Wings with Lidstrom-Rafalski.

Speaking of, the ice times also indicate that John MacLean really trusted the Andy Greene and Tallinder pairing above all else since they each got more than 24 minutes of ice time. Of course, that was the "veteran" pairing and like with Eaton-Mottau, they ate most of the minutes.  If a goal of tonight was to see which young defender could step up in the final game of preseason, then I'm not exactly convinced that anyone did. Unless you count Matt Taormina being the third leader on the blueline in ice-time with 19:24.  Yes, more time than Anton Volchenkov - though the minor he took probably helped ensure that.  Elsewhere in ice-time, anyone hoping for Mattias Tedenby to make the team will be disappointed to find out that despite starting on the second line, he only got 10:30 - the third lowest ice time on the Devils tonight.  At some point, it seems he was replaced.

Anyway, I can go on and on about more recorded stats.  Alas, that's all I can provide and talk about. The preseason is now over and the Devils have two more important tasks before beginning the regular season. They need to be underneath the salary cap by October 6 at 3 PM; and they need to reduce their roster to 20-23 players, including two goalies.  Cuts, trades, and other moves will be made within the next 5 days.  Apologies for the lack of any insight; thanks to anyone who commented in the GameThread; and thanks for reading.

Please leave your thoughts about tonight and the preseason in general in the comments.

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