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Islanders Matinee: Shout at the Devils

If the Islanders have to play back-to-back afternoon games, at least today's opponent has to do the same. The Devils withstood a shot-heavy day (37-33, video and insight at ILWT) in Boston yesterday to tie 1-1 and win the shootout.

The Isles, meanwhile, gave the kind of 60-minute effort we've been pining for, impressing home fans (and even bringing some fans back after years of tested faith).

Nyi-ders_medium              Kc-arse_medium
New York Islanders (10-9-7, t-3rd/Atl) at New Jersey Devils (16-6-1, 2nd/Atl)
1 p.m. EST  |  [a rocky non-Scout place] Center  | MSG, MSG+, radio
Lamorell-atanic Verses: In Lou We Trust

Andrew MacDonald was called back up last night. We haven't seen enough of him, but I wouldn't call you crazy if you thought the Islanders' top four blueliners were in order: Mark Streit, Jack Hillen, Andy Sutton and MacDonald. But Sutton left yesterday's third period with a groin injury, so take him out. No big hip checks today.

Not that the Devils will shed a tear. They've been banged up all year, which is why our spring romance Dean McAmmond is up with them. Jay Pandolfo, Rob Niedermayer, Danius Zubrus, Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya are all still out. If the Islanders had that kind of talent on the shelf, well, they'd be in one miserable state. The Devils? They're 16-6-1.

A little food for thought on Islanders goalies and goal songs after the jump...

Goaltender Gazing

In 15 games, at 5-on-5 the Islanders have scored 34 goals for Dwayne Roloson, while giving up 33. For Martin Biron's 12 games, that figure is 11 5-on-5 goals for, 19 goals allowed. Shorthanded, per 60 minutes of 4-on-5 (PK) time, Biron is giving up about 10.4 goals. Roloson is giving up less than half that.

Their GAAs (Roloson: 2.80; Biron: 2.78) and save percentages (.916 vs. .913) are very similar, but their win-loss records (8-2-5 vs. 2-7-2) are quite different. The above differences may be part of the reason: The Islanders are giving Roloson more goal support, and their penalty killing unit (of which, granted, the goalie is the most important part) has been weaker for Biron. Just some food for thought to keep in mind while watching today's game.

Coach Gazing

Because I love watching coaches have to translate post-game for the media -- whether they're as engaging as Pat Quinn or as reserved as Scott Gordon. Here's Gordon, considerably less agitated than he was after the sleepy third period vs. the Flyers:

Goal Song: The Topic That Never Dies

They're holding a vote on the official site for a new (or the same) goal song. I am on record as saying I've never lacked for direction after a goal is scored: I cheer and clap my head off and don't even notice what sheep-guiding song is supposed to lead us to do whatever it is they want us to do whenever it is they want us to do it. I prefer organic celebration to spoon-fed singalong.

But if it's a singalong they're after, that "Bro Hymn" song sure sounds filled with "heys" and what-not. If it's my bias they're after, that Zombie Nation "Kernkraft 400" song has a place in my heart: The first time I heard it was in 1999 at an outdoor rally in Munich for their soccer team Bayern Munchen. The players came out in the town square wearing liederhosen. (Of course!)

Strangely, a few years later this song was popping up on the American sports scene, and I had the out-of-body experience of realizing that a European soccer celebration with pro athletes wearing liederhosen was, somehow, ahead of its time.

And you? Since Gary Glitter isn't an option, what's your preference for the goal song? You can also choose "just a little organ and a whole lot of crowd yellin'" if you want.

Prediction: Not many goals are scored today. The goal song vote -- which ends Dec. 4 -- satisfies no one.

Note: I'm not certain I'll put up a separate in-game thread today, so if this is the last post at game time, then just consider this your thread for random in-game observations and tomfoolery.