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New York Islanders vs. St. Louis Blues [Game 6 Thread]

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Oliver Wahlstrom expected to make his NHL debut.

St. Louis Blues v New York Islanders
Fun Fact: Of the six Sutter brothers to play in the NHL, five suited up for the Islanders or Blues. Only Darryl was deprived of the pleasure.
Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders host the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues today, with a 1 p.m. start at Nassau Coliseum on a U.S. holiday and Canadian Thanksgiving.

Jordan Eberle, who was injured late in Saturday’s shootout win over the Florida Panthers, is not ready to go today, so the Islanders made a roster move to bring up another potential scoring winger: Casey Cizikas was placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 8, so the Islanders will continue without him (at least for today) and use his roster spot to give Oliver Wahlstrom his NHL debut.

Wahlstrom was officially recalled from AHL Bridgeport this morning.

Looks like he’ll be wearing #26, which was last worn by...

Oh yeah, that guy.

What This Means

Despite the pledges to play the best players, you can just about bet this is only a short callup, an early reward for a prospect who the typically reserved Lou Lamoriello said is “close” to NHL ready toward the end of this year’s training camp.

It’s too early, and the Islanders are too conservative, to imagine a goal or productive game or two turning into something where the Islanders consider sitting average veterans for Wahlstrom as a longer-running answer to their need for offensive punch.

In short, the Islanders like to place players in specific roles: Wahlstrom is filling in for the offensive winger role normally held by Eberle.

But it will still be fun to see, for however long it lasts. And it continues a turnaround for Wahlstrom, who struggled some in the NCAA in part, it seems, because he just wanted to focus on hockey rather than all that other college stuff.

The Opponent: Hangover-ish?

The Blues are coming in to close a four-game road trip that actually finishes with a trip to the White House, where something awkward is certain to happen. Though their record is good (3-1-1), it masks a little shakiness. They opened the season with two at home, an OT loss and a regulation win. On this trip, they won in Toronto and Ottawa but lost Saturday in Montreal; each game on this road trip for the Blues has been leaky on the defensive end.

So we’ll see if the Islanders are an answer to the Blues’ early defensive hiccups, or if the Blues are the team to make the Islanders feel like they can score at will, at least for one afternoon where the frequency of the voices in the crowd will be a little bit higher.