New York Islanders (9-11-2) at Boston Bruins (14-4-4)
12 noon EST | [finance or some such] Garden | MSG+
The Bruins were not kind to the Islanders last season, with the B’s taking 3 of 4 and the Isles mustering all of 5 goals in those four meetings. This year, the Bruins have Patrice Bergeron back, Milan Lucic is one step closer to becoming some form of Cam Neely Light, and David Krejci is providing another bit of serious young skill to the Bruin lineup. It’s either that, or Boston pro sports’ peer pressure, that is moving the Bruins to lead the Wales Eastern Conference for much of this season thus far. Tim Thomas playing to his ceiling doesn’t hurt, either.
Today, the Bruins debut what is unfortunately being consistently referred to as a "uniform system." Just roll over and die, RBK ("Vowels not included."). Please. Despite R(ee)B(o)K's best efforts, the Bruins third jersey – another retro turn – looks nice. The Bruins lost to the struggling Sabres Wednesday, as Sabres blog Die by the Blade discussed in detail.
Should be interesting to see how the Islanders respond after yet another blown third-period lead against the Pens. Scott Gordon ran them through hard drills and described, like a broken record, where things went awry:
"It comes down to, for two periods, we were in the right places against their breakout and we were able to establish forechecks. In the third period, we weren't in the right places. As a result, they had easy breakouts, which throws off our forecheck. … Malkin and Crosby don't get those opportunities as cleanly and with speed if we're doing the right things in the offensive zone. … We have places we have to get to, and if we get there and it fails, there's a defense mechanism in place to back it up. When we don't go to the right spots, a non-skill play beats us. That's what happened."
Mitch Fritz has gone back down to Bridgeport, as center/winger Nate Thompson – a vet for Gordon’s system – is back from injury. Kyle Okposo is not yet expected to play. Joey MacDonald is looking at 13 starts in a row. This is the last game before Young Josh Bailey becomes NHLer for life.