Holy cow there are a lot of games on tonight. Only one really matters (and maybe not even that, depending on your opinions on international extra-league competitions), but there are multiple options for your hockey viewing pleasure on this evening.
The Local Listings
- World Cup of Hockey Final, Game 1: Team Canada vs. Team Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports)
- New York Islanders (Split Squad) at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. (MSG, MSG+ both with the Rangers crew)
- New York Islanders (Split Squad) at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. (Comcast Network for locals)
The World Cup:
After shocking the field by not rolling over and just being happy to be there, Team Europe’s reward is a date with hockey death, a.k.a. Team Canada. No one needs to spell out just how insurmountable a task this is, but Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak is keeping hope alive:
"We just had to believe," he said. "I always say, you are going to have some dreams that some people might say are not realistic. We created a story right now and we just need to keep going."
The guys trying to keep Halak’s dream from coming true are 25 of the very best players in the world. Should he and his teammates somehow manage keep the line of Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron off the scoresheet, they’ll have to deal with three other ridiculous lines, like Steven Stamkos, Ryan Getzlaf and this guy you may have heard of named John Tavares.
"Jaro has played extremely well in this tournament, you have to have good goaltending to get to this point," Tavares said Monday after Team Canada practice. "He just seems he's very in control of his crease, his net, his ability to recover on pucks.
"We know he's very talented. He's had some big moments, some very good runs in the playoffs, and he's healthy coming off of last year, so I think he feels really good physically. He's got some confidence through the tournament, so we know we're going to have to be hard on him and put a lot of pucks on net and create second and third opportunities."
Good luck, Jaro. And, please, Don’t Get Hurt. That goes for everyone. Game Two of the best-of-three series is Thursday night.
The Preseason Games
The Islanders won their first preseason game Monday night, shutting out the Flyers in Brooklyn, 3-0. I use terms like "Islanders" and "Flyers" loosely because there were maybe eight current NHLers max playing in the game between the two clubs.
Still, Mathew Barzal and Joshua Ho-Sang hooked up for a goal, Ryan Strome was fired up and fightin’ and both Jean-Francois Berube and Christopher Gibson looked pretty good in net.
Here are the rosters for tonight’s games. Some are pulling double duty after last night, but the squads have been shuffled up. Barzal goes to MSG and centers a line with old guys Andrew Ladd and P.A. Parenteau, while Ho-Sang heads to Philly and will play with Anthony Beauvillier and Anders Lee.
|vs. RANGERS||vs. FLYERS|
|8 Steve Bernier||11 Shane Prince|
|10 Alan Quine||12 Josh Bailey|
|13 Mathew Barzal||26 Ben Holmstrom|
|16 Andrew Ladd||27 Anders Lee|
|17 PA Parenteau||37 Josh Winquist|
|24 Stephen Gionta||38 Bracken Kearns|
|25 Jason Chimera||47 Colin Markison|
|29 Brock Nelson||52 Ross Johnston|
|36 Eric Boulton||53 Casey Cizikas|
|56 Tanner Fritz||59 Carter Verhaeghe|
|61 Kyle Schempp||66 Joshua Ho-Sang|
|71 Michael Dal Colle||72 Anthony Beauvillier|
|2 Nick Leddy||14 Thomas Hickey|
|3 Travis Hamonic||40 Kyle Burroughs|
|44 Calvin de Haan||42 Scott Mayfield|
|49 David Quenneville||46 Devon Toews|
|54 Matt Finn||50 Adam Pelech|
|62 Jesse Graham||63 Loic Leduc|
|30 JF Berube||33 Christopher Gibson|
|35 Stephon Williams||34 Eamon McAdam|
And here are the lines and D-Pairs, per Arthur Staple
|vs. RANGERS||vs. FLYERS|
So a little early hockey overload for you. Good time to practice for when it counts.