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Gameday: Islanders vs. J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! ... 'Peg?

Last time there were two major pro franchises that went by "Jets" at the same time, there was no blog, there was no Kardashian, there was no shootout. So today's heading is taking care of a 15-year fascination with the yin and yang of Jetsdom. Just had to get that out of the way like some such Rich Kotite.

Nyi-landthin_medium Win-oldslim_medium
Islanders (10-14-6, 14th/E) @ Jets (15-13-4, 9th/E)
8:30 EST | MSG+2 (
twice the plus!) | Audio: NHL - WRHU
MST3K Centre
Opposition Airport:
Arctic Ice Hockey

Your themes for the day are Travis Hamonic getting to play NHL hockey near his home [highlight package here], Evgeni Nabokov due for a start in the next three games (there are back-to-backs Thursday and Friday, but Al Montoya starts tonight), and waiver claim (by way of Kazan and the Lightning) Antti Miettinen likely getting his debut. Arthur Staple also hinted at a line swap between Tim Wallace and Nino Niederreiter.

Mobile note: Hey, we have an Android app now. Go get it.

When these teams last met, Ondrej Pavelec carried the day in a jarring 3-0 shutout on Coliseum ice that began with a superb Evander Kane waltz passed two of the Islanders best defenseman and one now-waived forward. This time around we have the fun of a (hopefully not too amped) Hamonic playing in front of family, who themselves should be part of an electric atmosphere at the MST3K Center.

While that loss was disappointing on many levels in the "two goals or less" slump of the first quarter, the former Thrashers have hardly played like Thrashers this season. Their high PDO (shooting percentage plus save percentage) may reflect some good fortune at this point, but their even strength possession numbers rank them about 18th -- just two slots above the Islanders, incidentally -- so they have every right to be in the congested mass of flawed bubble teams as you might hope the Islanders would be.

These should be too closely matched teams, where a big solo night from a goalie, a Kane (or a Tavares?) easily makes the difference. Of course, unlike last time when the Jets were banged up but Pavelec shut out the Isles, this time they field a mostly healthy lineup.

Road Warriors: I don't read anything into it other than the chance to picture the Islanders with spiky shoulders, but the Islanders have won four of their last six on the road. One of those was via shootout, and every other has been a one-goal game, just like their recent losses. Thin margin for error much?

Diversionary Things

FIG Picks

Get your First Islanders Goal (or Jets shutout) picks right here, well over here.

Prediction: John Tavares and Alex Burmistrov do not fight. Not again.

Look for further updates later after morning skate news filters in.