This not the only swell rivalry matchup tonight. Thank heavens, Montreal-Boston is relevant again. Battle of Pennsylvania tonight, too. But the standings don't need to be relevant for a Rangers-Islanders matchup to bring the fire, the passion, and -- often -- the bizarre.
Hard to believe this turf battle's well into its fourth decade. During the dynasty (you know whose, because only one side had one), the rivalry turned 10. Such young pups then. They grow up so fast.
Short Island Smurfs (25-15-4, 5th/East) at Long Island Islanders (12-26-4, 30th)
7 p.m. EST | Nassau Coliseum | MSG+
No other pertinent news to this game since this morning -- we had the Sutton and DP updates earlier in the day, but everyone knew they were out for tonight and beyond anyway.
The Isles made a minor depth swap, moving D-man Brent Skinner to Atlanta for winger Junior Lessard. (No, not a junior winger, but "Junior," a winger. I do hope he's called up at some point, for name fun alone.) Lessard is 28 and has 27 NHL games with two teams (neither are Atlanta). So, um ... yeah, this was a shuffling of depth chairs. Skinner, 25, got in 11 NHL games this year as an injury replacement, with no stats to speak of.
Oh, if you don't have Pat Benatar in your head, Islanders Official's Outlook will help ya' out with that deficiency... On that note, the rest of the BlogBoxers will be out in full force for this one. Hope the orange-and-blue give them good things to write about.