The New York Islanders interrupt their three-game tour of Bridgeport, their preseason home this season, for a visit to Newark and the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils beat them in overtime in Bridgeport over the weekend, but you have to be a very particular kind of obsessive to care about that result and seek vengeance now.
Far more important is who gets reps in this Thursday night game, which will be televised on MSG+:
- Anders Lee will play his second consecutive game, a good test for the surgically repaired knee
- Ilya Sorokin will get the full 60 minutes, an important step since he looks to be taking the wheel to start the season while they wait for Semyon Varlamov to return to full health
- Anatolii Golyshev, who’s had a “quiet” camp but profiles as useful...but as a guy with KHL experience and results, will he be cool with going to the AHL?
- Noah Dobson and Zdeno Chara, no doubt paired again to continue building their young guy/old guy relationship
- Overtime Hero Thomas Hickey. He seems to be outside the plans (again) but I love him and pull for him, and maybe this is the last chance to see him in the Isles uniform
- The Isles broadcasting crew, with Brendan Burke, Butch Goring and Shannon Hogan returning to our ears for the first time since early in the playoffs
- Andy Greene makes his preseason debut. (Okay, that doesn’t matter to you and it doesn’t matter to Barry Trotz, who has said he knows exactly what he has in Greene, which is why in practices he shifted Greene to the left to get looks at PTO Erik Gustafsson and promising but waivers-exempt prospect Robin Salo.)
The full expected rosters for both teams are listed here. That’s seven defensemen and 13 forward, with the ingredients of roughly three of the four forward lines expected to start the season. Plus some extras vying for roles.