[Note: for the weekday matinee, this will also serve as our game thread] Quite simply: If the Islanders don't win today, they tie the franchise record winless streak set during the expansion year. If that kind of history doesn't shake them into action against the team that occupies 28th place overall (three more points than the Isles), I don't know what will. The streak is at 14; it needs to end now.
New Jersey Devils (7-13-2, 28th) @ New York Islanders (4-12-5, 30th)
Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Memorial Coliseum
1 p.m. EST | MSG+ - audio - WRHU 88.7
Year 1B of the Ilya Era: In Lou We Trust(ed?)
Incredibly, the Devils still score less than the Isles by a hair (1.91 vs. 2.10 per game). The Devils powerplay also remains an incredible 10.9%, which is what the Islanders powerplay has looked like lately but not for the full stretch of the season (16.7%). You can theorize that the Devils are turning the corner with their first consecutive wins of the season (an impressive 5-0 win over the Capitals followed by a 1-1 shootout "win" over the Flames), but they are still flawed.
They're without Martin Brodeur. And they are prone to the odd stinker against the Isles in recent years, including last January's 4-0 shutout by Rick DiPietro, an Isles domination where the Devils only tested DP enough to make him reach for his beverage to protect it from another errant Devils shot.
- With DiPietro being strong in his last two starts -- almost surprisingly so, given this season's beginning -- I could see Jack Capuano going back with him again, but I've no information on that; just a guess.
- Trent Hunter indeed suffered another injury and is due to be evaluated today, per Strang. She also had Doug Weight and Zenon Konopka missing the Thanksgiving morning practice, so your favorite forwards should be in.
- Jack Hillen practiced again, but with Travis Hamonic's strong debut and Hillen's malady being a concussion, I can't see them taking Hamonic out this soon. You have him up, you give him a look and see where he's at. Just one game so far, but Wednesday was promising.
- As with most Atlantic opponents, the Isles weren't very good against the Devils last year (2-4), but they were 5 for 22 on the PP. (Hey, when reaching for straws, grab the straws you see.) For what it's worth, they were 2-4 against New Jersey in 2008-09 too, their PP 6 for 21. Alas, no Kyle Okposo today. (KO had 3 PPG against them in 08-09, 1 in 09-10.)
The FIG (First Islanders Goal) pool continues to coincide perfectly with the Islanders winless streak, which is almost scary enough for me to put a temporary end to it. But we aren't that silly, so no, nuh uh. Enter your picks as usual.
Currently Hakker remains our only repeat winner (two wins), while MTBVibe, JPinVA, cunchpunch, Anarcurt, MartyInd, IDigRcks and Icelanders all benefiting from clairvoyance during Islanders losses. Officially, we started this Oct. 23 vs. the Panthers (the beginning of the streak). So if you have a win during that time that I have not credited, show the evidence. For the Thrashers game, I could not find anyone who picked Grabner, but speak up if you think you did.
Thanks to everyone who left their thanks (is that a thanks circle?) in the Thanksgiving thread. Some cool responses there.
Now, how bad has this winless streak been? To quote Torch7 the other night:
This sucks. I'm drunk It's fourteen. I'm in a rangers bar.