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Atlanta incoming: Please, for Christmas, just one win?

The previous two times the Islanders met the Thrashers this season, last place has been on the line. This time, an Islanders win wouldn't pull them even with the Thrashers -- despite their ugly home loss to Toronto last night. But it would pull the Isles ahead of Tampa Bay. Oh, and end this wee losing streak they're on. So there.

Atl-28_medium Stick-square_medium

Atlanta Thrashers (11-18-4, 13th/East) at New York Islanders (10-20-3, 15th/East)

7 p.m. EST | Nassau Coliseum | MSG+

Thrashers blogs: Thrashers ... Large Talons? | Blueland Chronicle | Blueland Outsider

Another thing about the last two meetings: a little bit of empathy for the Thrasher fan worked its way into the Lighthouse Hockey game previews. The reason is simple and understandable: Hockey fans are passionate wherever they are, and to have one's team mismanaged or its market abused is something no fan deserves. Yes, even Rangers fans those people.

With that in mind, if you didn't see it when Mirtle expanded on it, the Thrashers blogger The Falconer has gone into excellent detail recently about the missteps in Atlanta -- not just for the on-ice product but the general erosion of their brand with season-ticket holders. It's an excellent fan's-eye perspective.

The Falconer also signals a note of hope: As usual, winning is a good cure, and historic examples in New Jersey, Washington and Tampa Bay show that with the right management, formerly disastrous situations can be salvaged. But that would begin with ridding the franchise of its only GM in history.

About those previous meetings -- both Islanders losses -- below are the gory details. Few more notes to this hurried preview after the jump.

Final - 12.6.2008 1 2 3 Total
Atlanta Thrashers 1 2 2 5
New York Islanders 1 0 0 1

Complete Coverage >

Final - 11.6.2008 1 2 3 Total
New York Islanders 1 2 0 3
Atlanta Thrashers 1 0 3 4

Complete Coverage >

Doug Weight and Trent Hunter are each "day to day," so I'm not counting on seeing either. Should be a challenge to watch this offense try to go without either of them.

Of course that reminds me: Offense, hmmm ... I think a certain prodigal son has completed his AHL scoring touch reconditioning stint...

Jeff Tambellini

#15 / Left Forward / New York Islanders



Apr 13, 1984

Ah yes, him. He looks so determined in that photo. He scored three goals in his six-game AHL stint this time around, which is of course three more than he's had in his last 50-odd NHL games.

If he plays, I will keep gazing at him like a car wreck. I keep turning to him like a bad relationship, in the foolish chance that maybe, this time, somehow, just this once, things will be different. Sure, my previous bad relationships have not ended well. Things never are different. But in the end, I watch him because he's there.

And he's there because these guys aren't:

New York Islanders Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Doug Weight strained groin 12.23.2008
Trent Hunter strained groin 12.23.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Radek Martinek right shoulder 12.5.2008
Rick DiPietro knee surgery 10.30.2008
Nate Thompson broken ankle 12.16.2008
Mike Sillinger strained groin 12.12.2008
Andy Sutton broken right foot 12.20.2008
Frans Nielsen right leg 11.22.2008
Bruno Gervais leg 11.24.2008

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