Limping, listing and lulling through the end of an absurd and not at all productive slate of first-quarter home games, the New York Islanders will host the Pittsburgh Penguins before finally heading out on a much-needed Western road trip.
Will they leave town with a statement, an emphatic response to their general manager’s statement of confidence in them? Or as the victims in the defending Stanley Cup champions’ own answer to being thumped by the division rival and fellow contender Washington Capitals a few nights ago?
Signs point to the latter. This has not been a good team.
Tonight the Islanders will do another tweak and another as-you-were. Jaroslav Halak is expected to get his seventh start in goal, while Shane Prince will draw back in to an actual 12-forward lineup.
And significantly, Ryan Strome gets another chance as John Tavares’ wing. Arthur Staple of Newsday has the lines like this:
Bailey - Tavares - Strome
Ladd - Nelson - Prince
Kulemin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck
Lee - Beauvillier - Chimera
How to Watch
TV: MSG+, Radio: WNYM 970AM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9FM WRCN