Adjusting to a dramatically different daily routine would have been even tougher on the Islanders if they had been adjusting to a bunch of new teammates, too. That is the feeling of the players, anyway, who believe the stability of their roster helped them withstand everything involved with game-day commutes to Brooklyn.
“The way we want to play as a team, we have very good familiarity as a group. There weren’t many changes this year,” John Tavares said Wednesday morning, as Barclays Center became a popular topic because of the Rangers’ first visit. “The more you play here, the more you get used to it. We’re only two months in, so there’s still more time to get comfortable to get more of a feel for playing here.”
Cal Clutterbuck, in his third year as an Islander, said, “The familiarity definitely helps.” Like Tavares, he agreed with Jack Capuano that the Islanders are getting acclimated.
“We’re pretty reliant on our habits and our game-day routine so it took a little while for us to figure out what our new routine would be. At the same time, as reliant as we are on our routines, we’re pretty adaptable too,” Clutterbuck said. “It’s a progressive thing. You don’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden feel like you’ve been here for 30 years. But it’s getting there.”
Capuano: Jaro is our guy
Although Thomas Greiss won the previous two games, Capuano went with Jaroslav Halak in goal. “He has played well for us,” Capuano said of Greiss, “but Jaro has got 2.02 [goals against], second in the league. He’s our guy.”
Hickey’s return from injury is impressive
It didn’t take long for Thomas Hickey to impress the coaching staff, returning Saturday after a 15-game injury absence. “He’s been great,” Capuano said. “He takes hits to make plays. To me, that’s toughness. He does a lot of good things that really go under the radar.”