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Islanders 3, Flyers 0: Just one more fake hockey game to go

That was painful to watch, but at least it’s over.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before the recap something has to be said. How does NEW YORK, a city with how many local sports networks, not carry this game on TV? It’s 2021, folks, what are we doing here?

First Period

Well, it wasn’t the best of beginnings for the Phan — I mean the Flyers, as Nicolas Aube-Kubel took an early penalty leading almost immediately to a Anthony Beauvillier goal. Penalties really seemed to kill NAK last season, and have always been an issue for the tenacious winger.

Philadelphia would get a power play of their own just minutes later, but alas would do nothing with it. Linus Sandin made a nice move in close, but newcomer to Long Island Cory Schneider was up to the task.

The Islanders got another man advantage with just under six minutes to play in the period, but this time the Flyers shut it down large in part to solid work by Nate Thompson, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Connor Bunnaman.

Pressure came yet again from the Isles in the closing minutes of the period, and after a few strong looks Anders Lee the captain finally cashed in and made it a 2-0 game. Although if you went just by the call of the Islanders announcer, you’d think he just scored the overtime goal in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final. The fans in Queens shown following the goal were much less enthusiastic than the first group in ... Philly for some reason? This broadcast was a trip.

Overall though, it’s what you’d expect from essentially the Phantoms vs. the opening night lineup of the Islanders. But, they weren’t exactly getting dominated, and there were some prospects showing promise, namely Isaac Ratcliffe. There aren’t any metrics to back this up, given, you know, the game wasn’t on TV (still salty). However he was controlling the puck well in the corners, as expected with his frame, and making good decisions with the puck from there.

Second Period

Surprisingly, the Flyers actually played pretty well in the second. The defensive effort especially seemed better, tightening up even more from an already solid first 20 minutes. The best chance for the Islanders was a breakaway for Cole Bardreau who used his great speed to fly by Cam York.

That’s really about it for the period honestly. It was as dull and lifeless as the Phillies in the final week of September. They played better and didn’t look incredibly overwhelmed by a much more talented squad on the other side. Sanheim and Ristolainen had a shift in particular that was fun, with both doing a fine job of controlling play and getting shot attempts. Problem was, none of their shots were getting through. Which sounds about right for a game against the Islanders.

Third Period

This is a cop-out but the point stands: the third went just about exactly how the previous two periods went. Martin Jones had a strong game for two impressive outings in a row after a clunker in Boston. The Flyers need Jones to at least be decent this season, and at the very least it looks like he’ll have some momentum heading into the real hockey.

Mood waiting for the game to end:

The Islanders added one more to which the announcer acted like the Islanders won their second Stanley Cup of the game.

Post game mood