Islanders 4 pm Gameday: Drawing David Booth's return

[Note: This game starts at 4 p.m. EST, due to some absurd costume show known as a "Pro Bowl."]

It's good for hockey that David Booth, out most of this season with a Mike Richards-induced concussion, is back and playing. It's a bit of a bummer for the Islanders that they draw Booth's first game back.

Nyi-n_medium                Fla-clawr_medium
New York Islanders (23-24-8, 13th/E) at Florida Panthers (23-22-9, 11th/E)
4 p.m. EST | [car rental or bank or such] Arena | MSG+, radio
Furry Feline Folks: Litter Box Cats

The Panthers haven't lacked for offense against the Islanders this year (12 goals in 3 games, though the last game was a 1-1 affair ended via shootout). But in that last game the Cats lost Islander-killer Nathan Horton to friendly fire, so an offensive spark is most welcome.

The big news today is Charles Wang's continued China flirtations and, league-wide, Brian Burke's bombshell dealings acquiring Dion Phaneuf and J.S. Giguerre. The Islanders host Phaneuf's new team March 14. More on the Islanders-in-China training camp gambit later, but quickly:

I support spreading hockey to all corners of the planet; I don't support my team being the guinea pig to do so. Opening the season in Europe is hard; doing all the travel to Asia right before putting the body through a grueling NHL season is, I suspect, harder. In terms of the Islanders' outlook next season, I'd much prefer they not start off with intercontinental travel and all of the physical, logistical and sleep-habit challenges that entails. But Wang supports the causes he believes in, and he certainly has the right to put his resources toward this one. I respect that.

No major roster updates with yesterday's road matinee followed by today's early start time. Presumably Rick DiPietro gets the start; beyond that, it's natural to wonder whether Trevor Gillies is replaced by Blake Comeau or if some other tweak is made for a team that has now lost four in a row and five of six. Even with yesterday's loss to Philadelphia (now in 6th place), 6th through 13th in the East is still separated by just 3 points. Florida is one ahead of the Isles. Every game counts.

Prediction: The Pro Bowl is full of suck.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.