PHILADELPHIA – Manhasset’s Ryan Hitchcock was hoping to make his Islanders’ preseason debut at Nassau Coliseum, where he saw plenty of games growing up. But, really, the forward just wants a chance to show what he can do.
So, one day after not dressing for the Islanders’ preseason opener, he could take positives from his play despite a 3-1 loss to the Flyers on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Hitchcock, a slick skater who centered Michael Dal Colle and Mike Sislo, set up Sislo’s goal at 10:05 of the second period and, shortly after, blocked Robert Hagg’s blast from the right point. The 5-foot-11, 178-pounder also tried to play a physical game, throwing a hard first-period check on the 6-2, 204-pound Hagg.
“I want to be a productive player wherever I am and just try to make my mark my first full year as a pro,” said Hitchcock, who had three goals and six assists in 16 games for Bridgeport (AHL) last season after completing his senior year at Yale. “Just show what I can do to this organization and, hopefully, be a player they have high expectations for moving forward.”
Coach Barry Trotz said he will be behind the bench for all eight of the Islanders’ preseason games, both so he can better learn his new players and so they get a sense of how he operates. Many NHL coaches watch at least one of their team’s preseason games from the press box.
“It helps me, too,” Trotz said. “I need my reps, too.”
Notes & Quotes
Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored two power play goals, including a five-on-three goal with 28.7 seconds left in the first period…Defenseman Devon Toews had the other assist for the Islanders…Goalie Thomas Greiss stopped 10 of 13 shots in 29:59 for the Islanders before Jeremy Smith stopped all seven shots he faced…Left wing Andrew Ladd (tightness) missed his second day of practice…The Islanders will meet the Flyers for a third straight day at a third different venue as the teams play at Barclays Center on Tuesday night. The teams also meet Friday night in Allentown, Pennsylvania.