The New York Islanders are about to complete the first big stretch of their 13-game road odyssey to start the season, with back-to-backs in Arizona and Vegas this weekend.
Given the quality of opponents, tonight would seem to be the “gotta get these two points” game. But road trips are unpredictable, hockey is unpredictable, life is filled with uncertainty.
Speaking of which, here’s Barry Trotz in pre-game, where he announced Semyon Varlamov will not be available this weekend, and he said Cory Schneider might even start tomorrow night in Vegas. Trotz also had nice things to say about Andrew Ladd, noting the challenges he faced coming back from two knee surgeries:
Trotz Media Availability pic.twitter.com/QYL2BxeD4B— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 23, 2021
J-G Pageau will be back in the lineup after a one-game absence due to stomach bug, and it appears whatever ailed him and/or Anders Lee has not yet claimed another victim. Here is how they lined up in warmups per Newsday’s Andrew Gross; you could call it a shakeup:
#Isles in warmups (Bailey and Palmieri swap)— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 24, 2021
The Coyotes, featuring an actually dressed and skating Andrew Ladd, are winless (0-3-1) thus far. Like Steve said this morning, Ladd probably gets a hat trick tonight.
The hosts will put Czech goalie Karel Vejmelka in net, and now have Andre Tourigny behind the bench, where he has a thankless task.