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Islanders Gameday: Evgeni Nabokov's 1st Battle of New York

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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.

Nyr-slim_medium          Nyi-islestickslim_medium
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.

 
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