The New York Islanders seek their first win of the season Tuesday in Chicago knowing their gaps have been poor, their tracking back has been inconsistent, and they could use a few more big saves per game from their goalie.
There is one lineup change as Matt Martin, who had offseason ankle surgery (after some shot blocks last season), comes off IR and returns to his spot next to Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.
UPDATE: Make that two lineup changes: Anders Lee was a late scratch (illness, non-Covid), so Kieffer Bellows steps in.
To make room for Martin, Leo Komarov has cleared waivers and is technically assigned to Bridgeport, where he’ll complicates things:
Leo Komarov's assignment complicates the vets situation a little because of how the rule treats guys with over 320 pro games (at the start of the season; statuses don't change in-year) vs. guys between 261 and 320... Let's try this.— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) October 19, 2021
Ilya Sorokin will start in goal again — and Barry Trotz today said Semyon Varlamov may be ready for this weekend’s back-to-back, keeping Cory Schneider in essentially emergency backup status.
Here is Trotz’s media availability today, where he talked about some of the issues that have contributed to an 0-2 start and 10 goals allowed. He also said he’s not worried about Zdeno Chara (yet?), who’s been on the ice for some goals but (Trotz says) which were preceded by a buildup of mistakes by others. “He’s been okay,” Trotz said of Chara. “There’s gonna be an adjustment period for him, and for us. But he’s been better than the plus/minus, put it that way.”
Trotz Pregame Availability pic.twitter.com/7wGDqLQHLB— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 19, 2021
As a reminder, tonight’s game is an ESPN(+) production at 8 p.m. EDT.
#Isles in Chi-town tonight.— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) October 19, 2021
Sean McDonough, @rayferrarotsn and @emilymkaplan have the call.
At the other end of the ice from Sorokin will be old friend Marc-Andre Fleury. This is the Blackhawks’ home opener, after going 0-2-1 on the road (including an OT loss in New Jersey) to start the season.
Opposition views can be consumed and pondered over at Second City Hockey.
Be Well, Boss
ICYMI: Mike Bossy is dealing with lung cancer, and will take a leave of absence from his broadcasting duties on TVA. Sending best wishes and support through the ether to the greatest.