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Preseason wrap-up: Isles lose to Flames, 2-0
Some thoughts from here (not Calgary) as the Isles lost in Calgary on Tuesday night:
-- Evgeni Nabokov wasn't sorely tested in his 40 minutes of work, facing only 16 shots. He looked comfortable in net, though, moving around well and showing he's a viable NHL goaltender against a pretty NHL-heavy lineup. Still, he could use more work over the weekend.
"For me, I don't think 30 or 40 minutes is enough for the whole preseason," Nabokov said on Monday, before the traveling squad departed. "But we'll see. I don't make those calls."
You would expect that Nabokov, Rick DiPietro and Al Montoya would split work over the final two preseason games.
-- Calvin de Haan got a lot of minutes, especially with Milan Jurcina (groin) going out -- more on that down below -- and the 20-year-old handled himself well. He's looked solid so far this camp, which bodes well for a call-up down the road this season.
-- And that call-up may come sooner rather than later if the veterans like Jurcina can't stay on the ice. Jurcina has played 90 games the last two seasons with a variety of ailments; his latest groin injury is another setback towards being a reliable 2nd or 3rd pair D-man. It also means De Haan, Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan, all of whom have had good camps, will get a look sooner rather than later.
-- The 13 shots on goal was obviously a disappointment, but this was not a go-go lineup. Marty Reasoner looked like he was just getting into game shape and Blake Comeau, the only legit scorer who made the trip, isn't the sort to make flashy plays to create offense.
-- The two kids up front, Ryan Strome and Kirill Kabanov, had some flashes, Strome especially. The first-round pick is just trying to soak up as much as he can before he goes back to juniors next week -- he's got skills, but the glut of centers plus his need to get bigger and stronger mean there's no real decision to be made on keeping him.
The same goes for Kabanov, who would need a top-9 forward slot to stay. He's not getting that.
The Calgary crew returns later today, so it's the other 29 players on the ice today. More in a bit.