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Islanders Gameday News: Battle of New York resumes

After winning a bunch over the last month, the Smurfs have improved their lot to make tonight an interesting game.

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The way Bossy intended.
The way Bossy intended.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Apparently there is a big game tonight, rich in both standings impact and historic rivalry implications. You have been warned.

In case you forgot how it went last time the Isles visited the Garden, back in October, it went rather well, as Islanders chants rang out between sips of champagne in the luxury suites.

FIG picks can be left here. Pick Grabovski at your own risk (for now).

Islanders Reads
  • If you only tune into hockey after whatever the NCAA cartel calls its football championship these days, then you might not know that tonight's match features two of the best teams in the league. [Daily News]
  • After the game, MSG and MSG+ (10:30 and 10 p.m., respectively) will premiere "Beginnings: John Tavares." [LHH]
  • Red-pants coach Alain Vigneault called it a "New York Classic," yesterday, and we all know that the Smurfs dictate media terms here. [Post | Newsday]
  • Video: Isles players past and present talk about the rivalry, and the first time they made MSG empty like they did last fall. [Newsday]
  • Jack Capuano tries to play the underdog role (because the Smurfs are hot), while Frans Nielsen says he's always dreamed of laying Biblical waste to meeting the Rangers in the playoffs. [Newsday]
  • Evidently the rest of New York's "sports" teams suck? Is this true even of the NCAA cartel's local indentured servants? Anyway, that means tonight's game gives sports fans hope. [Newsday]
  • Brock Nelson says it's one of the biggest games so far, not because of the rivalry but because of the standings. [IPB]
  • Forget the record though. It's, focus on the process, the structure, etc. [Capuano quote]
  • Another way of putting it is that this game is "loaded with juice." Which is a thing real people actually say, apparently. [CBS NY]
  • Stephen Valiquette talks about four years of being a backup for the Smurfs, says he's not a believer in the Isles' goaltending (yet thinks very highly of Chad Johnson), and believes Ryan Strome will one day take over for John Tavares. So... [IslesBlog Podcast at SoundCloud]
  • Steve Zipay (who covers the Rangers for Newsday) says a healthy Rich Nash like this could have taken the Kings to Game 7 last year. Well, a man can dream, anyway. [Isles Insight Q&A]
  • An Isles prospect update, from the NHL to juniors. [Hockey's Future]
  • After he spent several years living the good life playing in Europe, the Sound Tigers signed Matt Lashoff to an AHL contract. [Sound Tigers]
  • Brett Gallant is your new all-time PIM leader in Bridgeport. [Soundin' Off]
Beyond the Island

What, like there's anything else going on today? Pshh.

  • It's early, but maybe Peter Horachek has already made a difference in Toronto? [Globe and Mail]
  • Goalies are voodoo artists. Jonathan Quick and Ondrej Pavelec are among the most perplexing. [CBS]
  • The Flyers busted open a 7-1 lead on the Lightning including dominant possession. But I'll let you guess who was in goal for Tampa. [Broad Street Hockey]

Seriously, that's all we're coming up with. More important things going down tonight.