The New York Islanders visit the New Jersey Devils in the penultimate game of both team's 2014 preseason schedule. There is no public televising of the game -- not even streaming at the Devils site -- only radio, on Hofstra's WRHU 88.7.
It's been asked a lot, so we'll repeat: NO TV tonight.
Which is maybe okay, depending on what you're looking for, because:
#Isles projected lines (w/ what Capuano said in consideration): Bailey-Quine-McD; Lee-Nielsen-Strome; Conach-Grab-Kulemin; Boult-Mouil-Halmo— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 2, 2014
Josh Bailey - Alan Quine - Colin McDonald
Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Ryan Strome
Corey Conacher - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Eric Boulton - Mallrat - Mike Halmo
Cyrgalis, who covers the Islanders for the Post and has a couple new articles up today, said the defense would look like:
Thomas Hickey - Travis Hamomic
Griffin Reinhart - Brian Strait
Aaron Ness - Scott Mayfield
Jack Capuano said to expect Jaroslav Halak to play the whole game, his final tuneup before the regular season opens a week later. Fellow starter Cory Schneider is in net at the other end.
So what do we have in this lineup and projected combos?
- Lee and Strome, who might be vying for one slot, get a chance around lineup lock Nielsen.
- Grabovski and Kulemin are together again, with Conacher getting a look on that line after playing on the Tavares line last game.
- If Calvin de Haan is out through opening night -- a possibility -- they need a replacement on the top pairing with Hamonic.
- Are Reinhart and Strait battling for the same spot, or auditioning as a pair? With nagging "day-to-day" injuries to others (de Haan, Matt Carkner, Michael Grabner), these things are in play.
- John Tavares is saved, we assume, for the more home-ish fans in Bridgeport tomorrow, which is sold out.
- Boulton gets a chance to repeat his epic preseason breakaway goal in Newark.
On SB Nation, check opposition coverage of the Devils at In Lou We Trust, including their game preview here.
The Post quoted Bailey, incidentally, repeating a refrain we've heard from him throughout camp, that being that he and the team are tired of fielding questions about last year:
#Isles Bailey cont. (2/2): "I think whether you win the Cup or come last, last year is last year and you have to move on."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 2, 2014
By force of schedule, the Isles are about to move on. With whom? Many a tea leave will be turned, brewed, sniffed and lit on fire by fans over the next few nights to find out.