For the Islanders split-squad games tonight, the A-Team (I love it when a plan comes together) -- the squad with the more interesting job battles -- is unfortunately the one in Saskatoon, which is supposedly the game that will be televised on delay at 4 a.m. (That's assuming the original NHL release and my cable box are to be believed; the current NHL Network listing for both U.S. and Canada tells something completely different and nonsensical).
This evening, we'll have a new game thread up at Lighthouse Hockey both for the live game (assuming it's shown as billed) as well as the tape-delayed game (assuming it's...yeah, you're waking up for it, right? Me neither.). UPDATE: Well there you go. No sober-hour live hockey for you, mister. The important game at least still gets a delayed airing.
The squad sent to Philadelphia according to the official site is the "invite" squad -- featuring Ortmeyer, Kolanos, McAmmond, Eriksson, etc. Chris Botta listed a slightly different group, including two-ways Andy Hilbert and Jon Sim. Whatever the case, he also reports Scott Gordon told media that Matt Moulson is in that group because Gordon already knows what Moulson can do. So: Jesse Joensuu's presence with that group could mean ... he also knows what JJ can do? And ... is it good enough?
Llooking at the lines in camp, you wonder about the Finn Named Jesse's chances. Guys like Nino Niederreiter, David Ullstrom, Matt Martin and Rhett Rakhshani -- Saskatoon-bound, all of them -- may have a leg up in light of Kyle Okposo's injury. After the jump, more on Mike Mottau, tonight's opponent(s), and one fascinating link.
This is my way of trying to digest the Streit and Okposo injuries, one day at a time. Drinks will be poured.
Links and Bits
- Eyes on the Isles with this thought-provoker: Five reasons for loving hockey -- from a blind man's perspective.
- Rich Chere's report on Mottau goes into how time ran out waiting for Jersey -- and how his $800k cap hit is spread by $650,000 in salary this year, $950,000 next year. (I wonder if players are pushing for heavy backloads in the hope of revenues being higher next season, and thus they'll be less likely to give back money via escrow? You'd certainly rather give back 5-10% of $650k than of $900k.)
- Scroll down a bit at the official site and you get Dean McAmmond talking about how happy he is to be in Islanders training camp -- or any camp. That's one thing I appreciated about him in his brief post-Campoli/Comrie-trade stay: He is a veteran who clearly still loves playing and appreciates every remaining shot he gets.
- A cool Patch write-up on Smithtown native Tony Romano's dream to suit up for some Islanders games.
- Debate fodder: SBN-NY has the "real faces" of each New York-area franchise (Red Bull not included). I find the hockey ones silly.
- A gem at Copper & Blue on the "worst captain in Oilers history," composed by a guy who hated the 2002 Maple Leafs almost as much as we did.
Okay, Kyle Okposo is out. There are forward jobs to be won. But we haven't seen a single job applicant play against a single NHL player, save for intrasquad. Still, at this date, how do you fill in the following blanks for opening night?
Moulson - Tavares - Comeau
Bailey - Nielsen - Hunter
___ - Schremp - ____
___ - Konopka - ____
Edit: Weight (assuming health)
I left four to five spots open (per Anarucurt's comment, I accidentally omitted Doug Weight, whose readiness for opening night is ... likely at this point?). Judging from camp lines it sure looks like P.A. Parenteau will have to play his way out of a spot. So your candidates include: Parentau, Trevor Gillies, Niederreiter, Ullstrom, Rakhshani, Joensuu, Sim, McAmmond (PTO), Hilbert.
I'm basing this on the thought we'll have 8 defensemen, leaving room for 13 forwards.
Flames + Flyers = Flamyers
Flyers: Every team gets injuries. They just don't all get injuries to their two most important players like the Islanders. Still, the Flyers have been hit with some meaningful ones. Add to Chris Pronger's surgery-forced late start, the following: An already shaky goaltending situation weakened by Michael Leighton's bulging disc (4 weeks), plus Ian Laperriere suffering from post-concussion syndrome. Leighton isn't a stellar goalie, so it's not like they've lost their difference maker ... but this does create the proverbial "instability" at the position.
Flames: Did we mention injuries? The Flames have taken big hits at center, with both Matt Stajan and Daymond Langkow going down. Olli Jokinen also left last night's game with an injury of undisclosed severity -- I told you we're not alone.
In their absence, half of the Flames won last night, so the team remains undefeated in preseason, but well, as Nathan Arizona would say, add some chairs to that and you got a dinette set. No chairs, you got ... preseason records. Jerome Iginla played last night, so I wouldn't expect him in Saskatoon tonight. Maybe the Isles A team won't be playing NHLers tonight after all.