Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-1) at New York Islanders (2-4-0)
7 p.m. EDT, Nassau Coliseum | MSG+
'Canes blogs: Canes Country | Red & Black Hockey
Terrific! Just like last game with the Stars, the Islanders face a team coming off a stinging loss. This time, the team in question was not routed; rather, Carolina tempted fate with a fragile 1-0 lead in Pittsburgh for two periods before the gods of Crosby & Malkin smite them. Old friend Ruslan Fedotenko grabbed his first goal in the 4-1 win.
The 'Canes are in the middle of a six-game road trip, going 1-1-1 so far. Last year 'round this time, they administered one of the Isles' more painful beatings of the season, chasing Rick DiPietro quickly and winning 8-3 at the Coliseum. The teams split last year 2-2, with the road team winning every game. In goal, Cam Ward and Michael Leighton have split the first six games -- possibly because Leighton, who played in Pittsburgh, is racking up better stats. Nice to see heart-and-soul guy Rod Brind'Amour back logging 20 minutes a game after last season's season-ending knee injury. The man is a horse.
Gordon v. Laviolette: For story's sake, it could be fun to see the new young Bruin-groomed coach match up against the last young Bruin-groomed coach who got away -- though we'll likely learn nothing more than the current concoction of players the two coaches have been dealt. But man, the Islanders need a good effort here. Don't want to go into the first battle with the Short Island Smurfs Monday with the prospect of falling to 2-6. That would start some real grumbling Tuesday.
I won't catch much of the game live (I'll be at one of the 14 other games played tonight), so this post serves as preview and game thread. I'm taking my 7-year-old nephew to the Blues-Panthers game, on the condition that he correctly spells C-Z-E-R-K-A-W-S-K-I for me. I'll try to convince him it's better if we stay home and watch on TV -- and "I swear, boy, the Blues are wearing Blue and Orange tonight" -- but he's starting to catch on to that trick. So the young lad will likely demand I take him out clubbing, and I probably won't catch the rest of the Isles game on DVR until the early morning hours.