The Short Island Smurfs visit for their first post-Europe game without Marc Staal, without Michael Sauer, and with young Michael Del Zotto and Tim Erixon joining Jeff Woywitka on a blueline that is much more inspiring when healthy. Their offense and powerplay haven't clicked yet, Brad Richards and Marion Gaborik are susceptible to the Frans treatment, and these first games back from Europe can be a tough go.
Those Guys (0-0-2) vs. Us Guys (2-1-0)
7 p.m. | MSG/+ | Radio: NHL - WRHU
Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Mem. Coliseum
Those Guys' Followers: Blueshirt Banter
There is opportunity for the Islanders to pounce here, as some Rangers fans fear. But their team does still have Henrik Lundqvist.
The Islanders, they have Evgeni Nabokov. He gets his first Islanders start tonight, and one wonders if it would have been Rick DiPietro's if not for a Brian Rolston slapshot to the head.
I'm not a big believer in Nabokov -- not the way our many Sharks fan visitors are. But I like the idea of having him around. Competition is good. Insurance is good. Goalies can surprise you good and bad. The Islanders don't play again until Thursday, on their early Florida trip, so while Al Montoya has been grand, giving Nabby a look now might just keep his head in the competition.
- As the Kirill turns: The Kirill Kabanov SEL tryout is for real, but the QMJHL's Armada have found a taker for his rights; Shawnigan traded for him. [FanShot] Yahoo post (English!) here.
- Rick DiPietro concussion coverage: Post | ESPN | Official site
- 5 & 16.
- This rivalry could use two good teams. [Brooks - so I neither read nor vetted it. I think there's a nice Biron quote in there though.]
- Stream of NYI-NYR updates at SBN.
Fantasy owners already bummed with Michael Grabner?
- Audio Interviews: John Tavares on HNIC Radio. Matt Moulson on NHL Live (about half way through). Jack Capuano on XM Home Ice. Bob McKenzie on the same (about 3/4 through).
- Matt Moulson was ribbing a Hall of Famer (to be).
- The Sun sets in the West: Coliseum, research lab in new county plan.
- Very scary moment for Jason Blake last night. Hope surgery went well.
- The three Metro teams lacking da powah in da powah rankings.
- I know we have a lot of fantasy players here; just another plug for SBN's Fantasy Hockey Scouts, where they have daily injury and performance updates to go along with some interactive discussion.
- Ron Wilson doesn't like it when you come over in a trade and pop off about playing time two games into the season.
- The Ref: Fraser: When do you NOT call a fighting major?
- McKenzie on that Asham-Beagle incident.
FIG Picks: Leave your FIG picks for tonight in this thread.