The New York Islanders continue their six-game road string in earnest tonight (they stopped home after Tuesday's win in Toronto) in Denver, taking on one of the West's better teams and one of the NHL's most immature coaches. Hopefully if Patrick Roy tonight picks a fight with someone or destroys something inanimate, it will make for good comedy if not good hockey taste.
Alas, for Isles fans who were fond of P.A. Parenteau and torn when Zenon Konopka's departure meant Hoppy too would be without Parenteau, there is no brief respite tonight: Parenteau is out with a knee injury suffered last month.
*Spies Like Us
The Avs are also without Ryan O'Reilly (beware the hockey hug), who is quite good, and Nate Geunin, who is a DuPont-derived candy filling often used in chocolates. But you'll get a look at top pick Nathan MacKinnon, who jumped straight to the NHL this year and has himself a wonderful set of hands and has been playing next to Matt Duchene.
MacKinnon has 28 points thus far, a balanced 14-14 that is tied with O'Reilly for fourth on the team.
In Newsday, Jack Capuano and Travis Hamonic talk about Calvin de Haan's emergence. Capuano:
"Coming off a major injury, we all felt this was a development year for him. But we had injuries and some guys not playing as well, he came up and he's been what we always expected him to be from day one."
"For me, when you've got a young defenseman, it's how he plays that next shift after a mistake," Capuano said. "Calvin's shown that ability to forget quickly."
After tonight, the Isles drop down to Dallas Sunday for a rematch of Monday's game.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks over this here way.
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- [Gameday Bits] Spent the Last Year Rocky Mountain Way
- Thomas Vanek Realistic on Contract Extension Talks with New York Islanders
- Islanders News: Goring with de Haan on Hamonic; Vanek on Long Island; Bridgeport PTOs