What did Kurtis Gabriel do to the Islanders?

Postgame reaction following preseason OT loss

Alain Vigneault has some decisions to make regarding the bottom of his roster, specifically amongst his forward group.

Fans are looking forward to getting their first look into AV and the new braintrust’s philosophy, and how it differs from the torturous previous regime’s belief that bad players were good and good players were bad.

Well, based on Tuesday night’s performance, it would be hard to make a case that Chris Stewart deserve a longer look than German Rubtsov, Nicholas Aube-Kubel, or even David Kase as viable candidates to crack the lineup when the games start to count.

Stewart took an asinine tripping penalty and just didn’t look up to speed, at times drifting into coverage in the offensive zone, and playing an overall unremarkable game.

Among the others battling for a spot at the bottom of the roster, Kurtis Gabriel got in a “fight” with Ross Johnston, and then took an ugly hit from Anders Lee that may have resulted in a serious knee injury.

On the other hand, Carter Hart had a solid preseason debut, stopping all 14 shots sent his way. Hart came out halfway through the game, giving way to J-F Berube.

There was some good and some bad in Philly’s second exhibition offering, but mostly it was just boring, non-NHL quality hockey. Yet, somehow, I got almost an hour’s worth of postgame chat out of it. I don’t know how — it’s a gift.