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Islanders Gameday News: Lines shift, Halak still out, prospects shine at WJC

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Also: New things to piss and moan about!

Do not repeat.
Do not repeat.
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders are in Toronto seeking revenge against the Maple Leafs tonight. They'll do it once again without their starting goalie, as IR'd Jaroslav Halak did not make the trip. Also, some new (but also old) lines at practice, per Newsday's Arthur Staple:

Lee - Tavares - Bailey
Kulemin - Nielsen - Okposo
Nelson - Grabovski - Strome/Bernier
Permanent - Fixtures - Here

Leave your FIG picks for tonight over yonder. Now here's other stuff to read:

Islanders Things
  • Josh Bailey on the line blender (which is something only the Isles do; just ask Isles fans): "We don't really think about it too much," Bailey said. "I think no matter what line you're on you still have a job to do. You just show up and essentially play with who you're told and go out and try to do your best." [NHL]
  • Brock Nelson on the new lines: "We had some new lines out there today, so we got familiar with each other today, did some stuff as a unit and we feel good about our game going into tomorrow. Everyone knows that we need to be better and play better. I think it just comes down to that." [Isles day-by-day blog]
  • The Isles search for the answer within. [Newsday]
  • Yes but the Isles 2015 draft picks, Linus Soderstrom, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier are rocking at the WJC. [LHH | Isles farm report] Can't wait till the Isles ruin them! /Islesfan'd
  • We begin our look back at 2015's finer moments by recalling Kyle Okposo's four-goal statement game against the Penguins. [LHH] (Remember, however, there are no really good moments and everything is wrong and you should really spend your time filling up comments and Twitter and Facebook with relentless bitching. 'Tis the season, every season!)
Beyond the Island
  • Tonight's opponent: James van Riemsdyk is digging life with Tyler Bozak and P.A. Parenteau (who is still being paid by the Canadiens, by the way). [NHL]
  • Not that the Leafs are getting too ahead of themselves with this whole recent winning thing. [Star]
  • The Rangers continue to struggle, with Real NHL Coach Alain Vigneault saying things like, "We don’t have enough guys right now bringing it. We have some guys battling hard, but we don’t have enough guys bringing their A-game."
  • Vigneault also said something worth repeating during the nightly histrionics: "I feel real confident about our leadership group and them understanding the situation and how tough a league it is. It’s unbelievable how hard it is to win and win consistently. There’s little separating teams." [Post]
  • "Unfathomable. Inexcusable." The 2015-16 Ducks! [OC Register] (Favorite line: "Kevin Bieksa hasn’t come close to replacing Francois Beauchemin." You don't say...)
  • Because what else does a billionaire do in his golden years? The would-be Vegas owner is treating expansion as a when, not an if. [ESPN]
  • John Carlson's iron man streak ends at 412 games for Washington. (That reminds me, I think he's on the fantasy team someone made me sign up for. I should probably check that lineup...) [SB Nation]
  • Susan Cohig discusses the NHL's support for women's hockey. [Puck Daddy]