Today’s early start start time combined with the lack of Islanders action over the next few days has led me to make this the game thread with a few pertinent bits mixed in. Tomorrow’s Bits post will be like a Sunday paper, a nice long read for brunch.
But anyway, the Islanders host the Florida Panthers this afternoon at Barclays Center. The Panthers, you’ll remember, were the first team the Islanders beat to kick off their ten-game win streak. In other words, they’re about to kick another one off.
FIG picks for today’s game can go here.
Since Semyon Varlamov was in net Thursday night against the Penguins, expect to see Thomas Greiss in net against Florida. He likes playing the Panthers—just think back to the First Round in 2016.
As for the rest of the lineup, it’s a little less clear. All of Leo Komarov, Jordan Eberle, and Nick Leddy were full participants in practice yesterday, but then there’s this:
#Isles again recall Otto Koivula from Bridgeport (AHL), quite possibly a sign neither Eberle or Komarov will be ready for tomorrow vs. FlaPanthers. Roster insurance.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 8, 2019
And there’s this, as well:
Leddy and Koivula will take warmups but no #Isles lineup updates from Barry Trotz.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 9, 2019
Seems like, with all of this depth, there’s no real need to rush anyone back too soon at this point in the season. So if those three are still feeling lingering symptoms, the team seems to be wisely telling them to take it easy.
It would be cool to see Otto Koivula get into a game today. Aside from the injuries, there’s another factor at play that would make that seem like a strong possibility:
I thought it was nine games, but apparently it's 10. Something to watch. https://t.co/Swg5IoHPC4— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) November 8, 2019
I get why they wouldn’t want to risk losing a year off of Oliver Wahlstrom’s contract, but at the same time, he’s been playing pretty well, even if the goals and assists aren’t there.
He could probably use a little more time in the AHL, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back up with the big club in March and tearing shit up. At that point, they’d be crossing the ten-game threshold anyway.
But Lou loves to use time if he has it, so if they don’t think he’s quite ready yet, no need to do anything foolish in November.
Getting back to the lineup, though, warm-ups are in just under a half hour, so we’ll know more then.
- The team site’s official preview of this afternoon’s matinee. It’s also their Hockey Fights Cancer game. [Islanders]
- Oh, right, they’re still going for points in twelve straight. That streak is still going! [NHL]
- If Nick Leddy remains out, Noah Dobson likely remains in his stead. Dobson has looked good over the last three games, the first stretch of three consecutive games played in the NHL. [Newsday]
- That said, they are closing in on full strength. Injuries have hit them much harder this season than last. They’ve done pretty good playing through them, though. Perhaps they’re, dare I say, stepping up and making big plays? [Newsday]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Lightning beating the Sabres in Sweden and Connor McDavid and the Oilers shutting out Taylor Hall and the Devils in a game loaded with five former first overall picks.