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Gameday: Islanders vs. Lightning, Hot Start vs. Hangover

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The Avalanche are 5-1, the Maple Leafs are 4-0-1, and last season's four conference finalists are playing -- to steal a term from Al Czervik -- like dog food. That either means there's some massive changing of the guard at work, or it's really early. The race for the caddy scholarship is still wide open. Don't bet on Carl Lipbaum.

Nyi-stickstripeslim_medium            Tb-slim_medium 

Islanders (3-1) @ Lightning (1-3-2)
Media as Old as the Word "Forum"] Forum
7:30 p.m. | MSG+ | Audio: NHL - WRHU
Nervously Watching Tesla
: Raw Charge

The Islanders tonight face one of last year's semifinalists still finding its groove after six games. They're in the bottom half of the league at 5-on-5 and bottom third in both special teams. Also in the bottom third? The Lightning's .892 save percentage through six games. Not that their goalies have much help -- Tampa Bay is giving up a league-high 37 shots per game. Mathieu Garon is slated to start tonight.

UPDATES: Staple says Al Montoya is in for the Isles. Also: Blake Comeau scratched again.

Hard to know what to expect, not only this early in the season but also with the Islanders having four off days before their first road trip of the season.

Lightning Issues

Islanders Issues

Rick DiPietro made this trip to Florida. Will he get an appearance? Milan Jurcina's also there but not about to come back; that leaves Nino as the only unlucky one to not at least get a warm road trip out of this.

Blake Comeau in the Post on why Jack Capuano scratched him:

"[Capuano] just told me he has confidence in me as a player," Comeau said. "To be honest, I was surprised I was taken out of the lineup." "I've done a lot of thinking the last couple of days," Comeau said. "I've just got to relax and try to have a positive outlook on things and when I get back in the lineup, try to make an impact."

Capuano in Newsday on how to handle the nearly scoreless 2nd and 3rd lines:

"So I'm not messing with those guys at all. I'm not going to show them negativity or any kind of video. I know they're going to come around . . . and we'll get that secondary scoring."

Kyle Okposo at the official site on the same:

"We just have to change a couple little things," Okposo said. "We want to get this figured out on this road trip and contribute and get back to the way that we are used to playing."

Yeah, I don't know many who are worried about the FNGO line. And we've talked over Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau for the hundred and umpteenth time, so I'm ready for another data point.

Finally, Capuano on Josh Bailey:

"(Bailey's) conditioning level is much greater than it was last year," Capuano said. "He’s stronger, he’s doing a lot of little things, and he’s got a lot to prove. I have a lot of faith and confidence in the way that he’s playing right now, not only offensively making skilled plays, but on the defensive side of the puck. He's played extremely well."

Random Old Memory: Cool to hear Benoit Hogue remember 1993.

Random Old Man Complaint:

Many of my issues with this world are symbolized by it being worth ESPN New York's while to send Katie Strang to Hartford to see how Sean Avery is coping with demotion to the AHL just two weeks into the season. In other news, I hear "Jersey Shore" is a popular show and its stars have done well for themselves...


FIG Picks

Leave your First Islanders Goal (FIG) picks in this thread only. There's a link to the latest standings there as well.


Brooklyn Gathering

There is a Brooklyn Islanders Fan group on Facebook, organizing a watch party for tonight's game at O'Keefe's in Downtown Brooklyn, 64 Court St (between Joralemon St & Livingston St), close to the Borough Hall Station.


Dealing with a Professional Athlete Roommate, Part II

In the dog days of summer we featured a fun short about ordering take-out with your roommate...if your roommate spoke and thought like a pro athlete. The same outfit is back with a sequel of sorts:

Dating My New Professional Athlete Roommate from Take It Back Productions [] on Vimeo.


Oct. 29 Charity Game: Nassau County PBA vs. Suffolk County PBA

A PSA here for a good cause:

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 (prior to the NYI vs. SJ game) the New York Islanders are hosting a charity hockey game at Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Memorial Coliseum which features the Nassau County PBA vs. Suffolk County PBA at 1 p.m. The proceeds will go to the families of Nassau County Police Officers Michael Califano and Geoffrey Breitkopf and Suffolk County Police Officer Glen Ciano, who were all tragically killed in the line of duty over the past two years.

The Islanders have secured sections in the Coliseum for which tickets will be sold at a discounted rate. Certain $84 tickets will be reduced to $40 and certain $40 tickets will be reduced to $30 for this event:

Each paid ticket entitles the ticketholder to the following:

1:00 PM – "Battle of the Border" Charity Hockey Game (NCPBA vs. SCPBA)
4:00 PM – Family Skate (Open to all fans in attendance, must bring own skates)
7:00 PM – New York Islanders vs. San Jose Sharks

***Please note that the discounted tickets for this event WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE ON A WALK-UP BASIS and CAN ONLY BE PURCHASED through the following ways:

1.       New York Islanders – Call Cliff Gault at (516) 501-6763

2.       Print, fill out and mail in this flier [PDF].

3.       Call or visit the Nassau County PBA Office located at: 89 East Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, NY 11501, Phone: 516-294-6230

4.       Call or visit the Suffolk County PBA Office located at: 868 Church Street, Bohemia, NY 11716, Phone: 631-563-4200