After squeaking by the Senators, the Bruins are aware that things are not easy against no-pressure non-playoff teams like the Islanders. Despite a second half "swoon" (of sorts), they've still only lost 16 in regulation and have 97 freaking points to tie Detroit for 1st overall.
The Islanders, though, have taken some surprising scalps lately. Could the conference-leading Bruins really become another one? Could the Islanders catch the B's sleeping on this early afternoon affair? Nothing would shock me after the last couple of weeks.
1 p.m. EDT | [FleetTDStarBankDirection & Trust] Garden | MSG+
Chowda blogga: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Mike Iggulden, fresh off his first NHL goal and first real chance in the show, is feeling good:
"It's great," said Iggulden, who has five points in four games since being called up. "I've worked really hard down in the AHL for about four years and to finally get an opportunity to play in the NHL, it's just been amazing."
Iggulden has size but is not accustomed to using it. I'm interested in whether he has the defensive discipline to be responsible and produce points at this level -- five points in four games isn't a bad start. Here's hoping we get to see more of him in the coming weeks.
I'm guessing Yann Danis gets the call again today, but it will be interesting to see what Scott Gordon decides for the second of these back-to-back road matinees in Chicago tomorrow. Does green Peter Mannino get a shot, or does Gordon just run with Danis to see how many challenges he can handle in a row? Back-to-back games against top-flight clubs is number-one goalie territory, and Gordon has not been reluctant to tell Danis he's performing like a number one -- UFA status be damned.
Isles fans should fear Phil Kessel, who leads the Bruins with 29 goals and was an obvious untouchable in the Bruins' push for veteran scoring at the deadline. Of course, the Bruins have beaten the Islanders in four straight. Based on the prior two games this season (2-1 Tim Thomas show and an ugly blowout in November), we should pretty much fear everybody on their roster.
Note: As this is a matinee and as I will not be around for the live showing of the game, consider this preview your Live Game Thread. Leave any thoughts, observations and general taunts in comments, and I'll try to be back for the end.