Islanders Gameday: Featuring goalies fighting for jobs

Yann Danis is not the only green goaltender from tonight's matchup who is playing well and working for a permanent NHL job next season. Senators goalie Brian Elliot has won seven straight decisions -- a club rookie record -- in compiling a 14-4-3 record as he builds his resume to attract an NHL offer this summer.

Elliott, a U. of Wisconsin product, has played the last two seasons in AHL Binghampton before getting the call as things turned south in a very Gerber way this year in Ottawa. He'll be 24 next month. (Danis will be 28 in June.)

Nyi-lhlow_medium             Ott-right_medium

New York Islanders (24-39-8, 30th) at Ottawa Senators (30-30-10, 24th)

7 p.m. EDT | [bank of some sort] Place | MSG+

Non-Puppet Ontario-based blog: Silver Seven

Seriously, Elliott isn't the only hot part of the Senators right now. They're 8-1 in their last nine and have played themselves out of Tavares-likely land. Understandably, they have not gotten the hang of -- or have refused to embrace -- the whole tanking thing:

"Every time you put your gear on, it doesn't matter what the situation is, you want to win the game," [pest and general cheap weasel Jarkko] Ruutu said. "We don't really look at the standings, we just take it a game at a time and you never know, magic might happen, but it's not really something you worry about too much."

Yet incredibly, an Islanders win tonight would give them a season sweep of the Senators. Fat, drunk and 0-4 against the league's 30th-place club is no way to go through life, son. (Of course, those previous three wins came back in November before things got ugly -- the last one thanks to the reign of the now-injured Freddy Meyer IV.)

As for our old friend(s), Mike Comrie might play or might miss his third straight game with the flu. [Insert your twinkel-Comrie joke here.] Two goals and three assists in 11 games is typically bland Comrie production since the tarde.

But Chris Campoli (3g, 5a, 13GP) is definitely game and no doubt eager to show the form he's exhibited in Ottawa so far. In a brief period, he's been everything the Senators hoped for -- as Peter from Silver Seven told us in his FanPost (If you missed that earlier, I gave my "one month later" take on the Campoli trade over at Silver Seven -- feel free to weigh in at either place).

Tonight, I almost hope for a handful of Ottawa power plays just so Campoli has the chance to show he can anchor the unit. Of course I'd be happy to be reassured that the Campoli trade won't be one we regret; but I'm not going to begrudge Campoli any success after the years he put in as an Islander.

Milestone-ish Moment

Tonight is Sens enforcer Chris Neil's 500th NHL game. In some quarters Neil is a competent NHL enforcer who can handle a regular shift of hockey, too. In others (particularly around Toronto), he is a gutless quasi-tough guy who picks his spots at his convenience rather than when the ambiguous "hockey code" demands. Aren't rivalries great?

As always, there will be a live game thread here during the game. It sounds like I won't be around for most of it -- but readers and visitors are always encouraged to leave thoughts about the game, hockey or the latest musing from your soul in comments.

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