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New York Islanders vs. San Jose Sharks Preview: Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Hickey return

Meanwhile, yet another anonymous IR assassin dings Boulton from the grassy knoll.

"What do you say we get rid of these two tools and play ourselves a hockey game?"
"What do you say we get rid of these two tools and play ourselves a hockey game?"
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We spoke earlier this week of how the Isles could easily keep three goalies at least until Thomas Hickey returned from injured reserve. But like some kind of rookie we completely overlooked the magic Boulton IR Bullet.

Jaroslav Halak came off IR and will start tonight...and so did Thomas Hickey! Making room for Hickey on the active roster was locker room talisman Eric Boulton, who is good with the fists, good in the room, and good in the IR.

The Islanders forwards remain the same as they've been each game this season, including the last two wins at Barclays. The rearguard is altered, however, as Halak gets his season debut as does Hickey, bumping Brian Strait from the lineup while a posse of fans intervenes to make sure no one lets the bench gate hit him on the way out.

Islanders (2-1-1) vs. Sharks (4-0-0)
7:30 p.m. EDT | [ingloriously sponsored] Center | MSG+
AHL Theft Conspirators: Fear the Fin

The Opponent

The Sharks are undefeated at 4-0, though requiring a shootout -- I thought they got rid of those?! -- to get past the New Jersey Devils last night.

So this is a back-to-back for the tealists, and they will have backup Alex Stalock in goal against the Isles, rather than the headstanding Martin Jones who they stole from the Kings by way of Boston.

Also, the Sharks will be missing Logan Couture thanks to a leg break during practice.

Lots of arrows pointing the Islanders' way on this one...jinx.

Three Things to Look For

Well, this is easy:

  1. How does Halak do in his first game, after almost no preseason game action?
  2. How does Hickey look in his slightly accelerated return, and next to Marek Zidlicky? (Guess: Better than Strait)
  3. How happy are we to see Peter DeBoer back behind the bench?