Newsday's Katie Strang has hit the ground running in Saskatoon, from engaging features chasing down a famous Isles fan at a truck stop to the nitty-gritty of who's on the ice when, to the most-cited off-ice attribute of John Tavares, who is rooming with Doug Weight. According to Strang, here's the group that will be heading to Terrace, B.C., for the televised Hockeyville preseason game against the Canucks Monday night:
*note: She didn't use these lines; I've just arranged them that way for napkin-sketching. Add your own combos as you see fit -- the forwards group is heavy at LW and C.
Jeff Tambellini | Josh Bailey | Blake Comeau
Jon Sim | Trevor Smith | Sean Bentivoglio
Matt Moulson | Nate Thompson | Tim Jackman
Greg Mauldin | Greg Moore | Jeremy Reich
Andy Sutton | Freddy Meyer
Jack Hillen | Andrew MacDonald
Dustin Kohn | Mark Flood
Goalies: Scott Munroe / Nathan Lawson
I'll confess mild disappointment at this lineup, considering it will be one of the two or so Islanders preseason games I can watch. No Mikko Koskinen, no hot rookie prospects (Tavares or otherwise) -- though Bailey as featured center will be fun. The Hockeyville event poses a challenge to any club to field a roster after one day of skating -- and the Islanders wisely picked their roster for Monday's game before camp got underway.
A light-mix lineup makes sense for the coaches: Training camp is about evaluation, so throw a roster of Canadian and American into the fire on national television and see how they do in the spotlight.
By the way, what is Hockeyville? Check Terrace native Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends site for a run-down.
Even if it's not star-studded, it's Islanders hockey, on TV. Count me in. So we'll have our first 2009-10 live game thread here at Lighthouse Hockey that night. Stop in and say hello if you're watching -- and remember that MSG+'s feed will be on half-hour delay.