The New York Islanders try to break an ugly slump as the Vancouver Canucks visit Brooklyn.
The Canucks are, generally speaking, seen to be a bad team and are treading near the bottom (4-7-1) of the Western Conference.
The Islanders are, generally speaking, seen to be a promising team that took a curious step sideways or backward this summer and are treading like it’s very much the latter. They are likewise just above the bottom (4-6-2) of their conference.
So, one team will probably feel much better after tonight’s game, and it won’t necessarily be warranted.
The Islanders will start Jaroslav Halak again and put Alan Quine back in for Anthony Beauvillier, which means neither of the Islanders’ heralded 19-year-old forwards will be in the lineup.
But more significant is the insertion of defenseman Adam Pelech, recalled after Travis Hamonic hit IR for an expected 4-6 weeks.
This is no minor recall; Pelech and Ryan Pulock (also on IR) were late cuts in training camp and are projected to take over full-time positions in the NHL as soon as an opening is created. For Pelech, given the two aforementioned injuries, this could be that opening.
He’ll do it playing on his offside, though he has some experience there and he’ll be doing it next to Nick Leddy, who’s no slouch.
One thing to watch will be if the coaching staff changes the deployment of that “top” pairing with Hamonic out and Pelech having only nine NHL games under his belt, or if they continue as is since Pelech is in some ways a similar defenseman to Hamonic.
Opposite Halak is Ryan Miller for the Canucks, who are missing Jannik Hansen after the chaos against the Leafs. Check Nucks Misconduct for more news and notes there.
Bailey - Tavares - Clutterbuck
Lee - Nelson - Chimera
Prince - Strome - Quine
Ladd - Cizikas - Kulemin
Leddy - Pelech
Hickey - Boychuk
de Haan - Seidenberg
Of note on defense, thank the Bossy that Johnny Boychuk is apparently okay after an awkwards splits into the boards Saturday night. That’s why they stretch, kids.
How to Watch
This one is on MSG+, AM 970 “The Answer,” and 88.7 (Hofstra) and 103.9 FM)
How to FIG
First Islanders Goal picks go here by game time, which is 7 p.m. EST.