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Islanders vs. Red Wings [Game 38 Thread]

The season is suddenly close to being half over, and we are quite close to being buried.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders are making a few lineup changes for tonight's game against the Detroit Red Wings:

Colin McDonald is in for Eric Boulton (Mark Herrmann of Newsday has some quotes from McDonald at the end of this piece on Thomas Vanek getting comfortable on Long Island).

Also in that piece:

"It's definitely different from Buffalo, traffic and stuff. But it's a nice area," Vanek said after the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena Monday. "You can find your quiet-and-peace spaces. I do. It's amazing how close you are to the city and yet it doesn't feel like city life."

Aaron Ness is also back in for Matt Carkner, likely a nod to the fact that the Red Wings are more likely to require swift puck movement rather than swift punches to the noggin.

Matt Martin, at the official site, on playing in Detroit, near his hometown of Windsor:

I’ve only played here once before. I have a lot of family and friends coming to the game tonight. This is the team we grew up watching, but no one in my family is a Red Wings fan anymore. It’s always fun to be here, but it’ll be even more fun with the two points.

In the same post, Jack Capuano on what cost them last game, without naming names (cough, Andrew MacDonald, Brian Strait):

The main thing was faceoffs and our intensity level and making sure that we won the line of scrimmage. It’s a battle, and we haven’t done that in a long time and it costs us the hockey game. You have to make sure that on those 50/50 pucks you are tying guys up. That was crucial.

Also from Herrmann, Detroit coach Mike Babcock on the Isles:

"No different from us, a group that hasn't gotten traction. They had a number of key injuries. It's hard to get traction in this league when you don't have your players."

Next Game

New York Islanders (10-20-7, ye gods)
@ Detroit Red Wings (17-12-9)

Monday, Dec 23, 2013, 7:30 PM EST
Joe Louis Arena

Islanders News: Limping into Detroit
Recap - Anaheim Ducks 5 (EN), New York Islanders 3: Blown again.

Complete Coverage >

Your First Islanders Goal (or shutout) picks go here.

Your opposition blog on SB Nation is Winging it in Motown.

This is my weekly reminder to myself that Detroit is not in the Western Conference. So ... totally less scary now, right?