With the Islanders completely out of the playoffs following Thursday's loss to the Thrashers, the Islanders are in an excellent position to play spoiler down the stretch. With 7 games to go in the season the Isles will play the Flyers twice, tonight and April 9th to finish off the season. They also have games against Pittsburgh and Boston who are fighting for seeding position and against the Rangers and Carolina who are on the playoff bubble. All four teams need every point they can get against the Islanders, especially the Flyers whose hold on both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference #1 seed is tenuous at best.
Flyers (44-19-10, 1st) @ Islanders (29-34-12, 13th/E)
Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Mem. Coliseum
7 p.m. | MSG+ | audio - WRHU 88.7
That Time Your Mom Made You Take Your Cousin To The Dance: Broad Street Hockey
Like the Islanders, the Flyers are coming off a 1 goal loss in a game they played so poorly they probably shouldn't have been in it. The Flyers though managed to salvage a point in the shootout loss to the Penguins due to the outstanding play of rookie Sergei Bobrovsky. No word yet on who is starting for either team, but the Flyers have been trying to rest Bob as the playoffs come closer so don't be surprised if Brian Boucher gets the start. For the Islanders signs point to Al Montoya getting the start against one of the league's best teams.Update: Rick DiPietro to start for the Islanders.
Life Without MacDonald
This is the first game the Isles will be without Andrew MacDonald. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back, considering how he's been the heart and soul of the defense this year. This will be an interesting test for Travis Hamonic, who has been outstanding but has played over 75% of his shifts with Mac. Ty Wishart gets the call up after a solid 8 game performance in BP including 4 assists and an even +/- . Wishart is looking to build on his 13 game stint with the Isles earlier this year in which he had 4 points and a +1. With 6 defenseman already signed for next year, this is a perfect chance for Wishart to prove himself.
They Let Him Out Of His Cage
I don't think anyone in recent NHL history has gained such a level of infamy as quickly with as little icetime as Trevor Gillies. With his suspension up, he is now available to play. One of the main reasons that Gillies was brought up in the first place was to counter the Flyers manhandling of the smaller Isles. In 6 career games against the Flyers, Gillies has a total ice time of 24:37 along with 25 PIM. No other team has seen as much of Gillies.
Links & Notes
- I actually know where FIG picks are supposed to go: Place them in this Fanshot
- The Official Site has a great writeup on Gillies return to the Lineup
- Strang confirmed Gilles will not play tonight, but Zenon Konopka welcomed him back.
Evgeni Nabokov (Bruised Ego 2-3 Months) will be a scratch again tonight, so your starting goaltender is now confirmed to be DP.
- The Flyers have an astonishing 20 wins in the last 21 games against the Isles
- After the 6-1 blowout to the Flyers on October 30th, every game has been a 1 goal affair.
- The Islanders could use a good game from their PP, which is 6-35 for March
- The loss to the Thrashers was only the second regulation loss this month for the Isles
- The Isles have decided to Free Rosen!
Let's go Islanders, I hate losing games to the Flyers because I have to put up with my roommate's gloating.