Brent Sutter

Sutter blasts Flames: “You play a second period like that? At this time of the year?”

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Furious with his team’s effort in a 1-0 home loss to San Jose last night, Calgary head coach Brent Sutter lit into his players.

“We weren’t good enough tonight,” Sutter told the Calgary Herald. “We’re a team fighting to get into a playoff spot. You cannot have a second period like we played — we played the whole period in our own zone. For me it was disappointing. I was disappointed how we played here tonight, frankly . . . to be quite honest about it.

“You play a second period like that? At this time of the year?”

In Sutter’s defense, the second period was a disaster for the Flames. It took over 11 minutes to register the first of three shots in the frame (yeah, three) — and that was only marginally better than the opening period, when it took Calgary nine minutes to register a shot on Antti Niemi.

All told, Calgary put 11 pucks on net through the first 40 minutes of play.

But the middle frame wasn’t all that pissed Sutter off. He also took issue with his top six forwards, who were invisible for most of the game.

“Our top two forwards lines weren’t very good,’’ Sutter said. “When one line has three shots on net between the three of them and they end up being a minus . . . And the other line? Everything was perimeter. Our top lines have got to play well.

“For whatever reason, they never had it tonight.”

The big culprits were Jarome Iginla (21:04, minus-1, one shot on goal), Mike Cammalleri (20:04, minus-1, one shot on goal) and Mikael Backlund (16:36, minus-1, one shot on goal). Had it not been for Olli Jokinen’s six shots on net — nearly one-quarter of Calgary’s team effort — the Flames would’ve registered one of their lowest shot totals of the season.

“Our second period,’’ said Iginla, “just wasn’t good enough. We were lucky to be 0-0 going into the third.

“I don’t think we competed hard enough offensively.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.