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Islanders vs. Jets: Life without Halak on New Year’s Eve

The Islanders begin a two-goalie life. How conventional.

NHL: New York Islanders at Winnipeg Jets
Man, some people really did not like Halak.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, you shall party like it’s 2016. Because it is, for a few hours longer.

Who expected the Islanders would end 2016 with only two goalies on the NHL roster? (Probably most people who don’t follow them.)

Who expected the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers would end 2016 with Jaroslav Halak on theirs? (Probably very few.)

Regardless, the Isles ring in the new year with a slightly new look: Thomas Greiss, the nominal top goalie the last season and a half, takes the reins and starts against the Jets after Jaroslav Halak was waived, cleared and assigned to Bridgeport.

Also returning is Casey Cizikas, who missed six games with injury and re-enters by bumping Anthony Beauvillier from the lineup. That means new old lines:

No other major changes. Adam Pelech was activated from IR but assigned to Bridgeport, where he’ll get more work than he would with the Islanders having the first five days of 2017 off.

As another footnote, this marks Andrew Ladd’s return to Winnipeg, where he was captain since the Thrashers franchise relocated from Atlanta.

And it’s our first up-close look at Patrick Laine, the rookie sniper who already has 19 goals in 38 games at age 18.

The Jets are without young forward Marko Dano, who appears to be out several weeks. Check Arctic Ice Hockey and Jets Nation for more on Travis Hamonic’s hometown team.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks over here by game time, which is 7 p.m. EST.

And have a safe, happy new year!