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New York Islanders Gameday: Home Opener vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

What, first place in the Metro is already on the line?

"I pledge to be less cute tonight."
"I pledge to be less cute tonight."
Andy Marlin

After spoiling the New Jersey Devils home opener last night, the New York Islanders pop the bottle on their own tonight, the second-to-last Isles home opener in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum history.

Their guests are in an ornery mood.

The Columbus Blue Jackets home opener was last night, a disappointing loss to the Calgary Flames. The Blue Jackets were still chafing from their mistakes at today's morning skate, while also anticipating tonigth's follow-up with the speedy Isles: "The Blue Jackets are not built to win track meets. They're built to win rugby matches."

You'll recall that Columbus, one of the new entrants to the reconstituted Patrick Division (now with 33% more Metropolitan!), has former Islanders Blake Comeau and James Wisniewski, as well as Rangers outcast Marian Gaborik. They also added Nathan Horton over the summer, though at this point and until mid-season his Columbus career is limited to a medical chart.

They also feature Sergei Bobrovsky, a good goalie and reigning Vezina Trophy winner who is all but certain, by virtue of how these things go, to not have as outstanding of a season as he had last year.

Cbj-midslim_medium Nyi-islim_medium
Blue Jackets (0-1-0) @ Islanders (1-0-0)
7 p.m. EDT | MSG+
| Audio: NHL - WRHU, WRCN
Nassau [
gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Mem. Coliseum
Jackets Cannon

Islanders Notes

Based on the optional morning skate (Kevin Poulin taking shots from the scratches), it looks like Evgeni Nabokov will start on back-to-back nights. (That link has been updated, with Jack Capuano confirming that he's using the same lineup as last night.)

That means another look like this:

Moulson - Tavares - Okposo
Grabner - Nielsen - Bailey
Nelson - Regin - Bouchard
Martin - Cizikas - McDonald

MacDonald - Hamonic
Visnovsky - Hickey
Strait - Donovan

Starter: Nabokov
Backup: Poulin

The theme from the Isles last night was: Glad but fortunate to have the win in a game where the top line and the overall defensive coverage was lacking. In Newsday, quotes on that from Tavares and Travis Hamonic:

"We weren't very good," Tavares said of his line, which included Moulson and Kyle Okposo. "We had some good shifts early but we couldn't get much going. We tried to be too cute at times."



FIG Picks

For the regulars or the new ones at play, leave your pick for First Islanders Goal (with time and assists) in this thread.

And if you're tailgating or just arriving for the game, make that old barn rock. I know you will.