Hi folks. Healthy scratch Dan here, drawing in for Dom.
Mirroring the execution and skill that the Islanders have over the course of the last month, this game thread also features a hastily-written, largely cursory preview that hopefully, hockey gods willing, will be satisfactory.
Not that the game needs much set-up. The Islanders are coming off a 5-0 loss at home to Detroit on Friday afternoon that, even for a team in the midst of a four-game losing streak, was unexpected and disappointing. You can re-live the magic via Chris' lyrical recap, but in summation, the Red Wings gained the Islanders' zone with impunity and did what skilled teams do.
The Caps also played yesterday and also were feeling the burn of a four game losing streak. Their results were a liiiiiitle different from the Islanders' in that they beat Montreal in a shootout. A relieved crew at the always excellent Japers Rink recapped the game here and were happy to take a break from roster questions that have crept up on the Caps last week.
Tweeted this morning but worth repeating for the late crew: The Islanders are bringing in Josh Bailey after a one game healthy sit and Calvin deHaan who was called up from Bridgeport on Thursday. Sitting will be Radek Martinek who, even in an awful game and by his own low standards, was comically terrible on Friday, and Brock Nelson who...
I have no idea why Brock Nelson is scratched. It's a stupid play that won't help anything. Even if the Islanders, impossibly, blow the Caps out tonight, Nelson has been one of the Islanders' most effective and noticeable forwards this year. I get he's young and can, in hockey logic, get bumped for veterans. But scratching a big guy who plays a net crashing game is the kind of roster move that gets people chanting to fire you.
Starting his first game this season in goal for the Islanders is tall Swede Anders Nilsson.
For the Capitals line-up, I refer you to Japers' awesome posts using Cap-ified 8-bit sprites from Nintendo's Ice Hockey for the NES. It'll make you smile.
Short version: twin trade requesters Martin Erat and Dmitry Orlov are in and injured Brooks Laich, John Erskine and Jack Hillen are out. Braden Holtby starts back-to-back games in net because Michal Neuvirth was injured in warm-ups yesterday.
FIG Picks go here. Let's keep it civil in the comments, please. It sucks right now around this team but we all just want the same thing: One lousy win.
Late update: mascot relations are also at a fragile point.