The New York Islanders host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, their first encounter as members of the same division, and one that will determine who is in second place in the Metro at the end of the night.
The Hurricanes are coming off a win over the Maple Leafs, so we can at least thank them for that. Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera have become their top shutdown pair.
Here's a sampling of what's being said about the Isles and around the league...
Newsday has the Isles discussing the desire for the defense to contribute offense:
"It can take a bit to find your timing with joining the rush," said Hickey, in his second season under Capuano's go-go style. "You want to be strong in your own zone before you think about getting up ice."
The Post looks at Matt Donovan's return to the lineup:
"I just got to watch these last few games and think," Donovan said. "I got to learn by myself the mistakes I made the first couple games and what I need to correct to stay in the lineup."
Sports Illustrated looks back at the Isles vs. Oilers of yore, and where things are going today:
The Isles outshot Edmonton 15-8 in the third, heeding Capuano's plea not to be tentative with a lead. "The difference tonight," said Tavares, "was [even with a lead] we were the ones who wanted the next goal because of how much more aggressive we were."
The Star Phoenix talks to Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy:
"My favourite Cup is always the fourth one, beating Edmonton four straight. They were the young kids on the block and they were supposed to take us down. They had a lot of great talent on that team, so it was very satisfying to still be able to beat them the way we did."
Islanders Point Blank on Josh Bailey's good start. Said Jack Capuano after some of those fancy moves against Edmonton:
"I don’t take away the creativity of guys, but there is a time and place where you have to get the puck deep. In the instances he had tonight, he was creative and he got some good opportunities. And he shot the puck, which was good."
New Bridgeport callup (from Stockton) Nick Larson has played with Anders Lee in high school, college, and now the AHL.
Fantasy talk, for the love of Frans. [ESPN]
Around the NHL
- Matt Frattin is learning about life under Darryl Sutter.
- Papa don't preach: Cody Hodgson wants to make one thing clear: His dad didn’t get involved
- Martin Erat is making $4.5 million and buried on the Caps fourth line. He's not happy.
- Claude Giroux is feeling down that he's not feeling it.
- Something to watch: How did the Minnesota Wild become a stats juggernaut? - NHL - Sporting News
Apparently Craig MacTavish listened to the idea that maybe four-game stretches don't define a goalie. For a helpful reminder on that next time Evgeni Nabokov or Kevin Poulin pitches a few bad games, see here or here too.
- So there then: Photos: The Top 10 Best-Dressed N.H.L. Players | Vanity Fair
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight in this here depot.
P.S. Congratulations, Carlos Beltran.