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New York Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Game #20]

The Islanders continue to seek their first win at Belmont Park.

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
Buncha guys walk into a building.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Calvin de Haan is tonight’s “Can you believe this building? What was it like in your day” guest of honor as the New York Islanders continue to break in their new home while breaking the spirits of once-hopeful fans.

The Isles sit at 5-10-4, having gone 10 games without a win. They have most of their COVID outbreak players back (except Casey Cizikas) but continue without Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock, who are two pretty important players if you’re trying to dig out of a near-impossible first-quarter hole.

The Blackhawks aren’t much better, at 8-13-2. They have Marc-Andre Fleury for some reason. They have the Jones brothers on defense, as well as former Islander and good Carp Lad de Haan, plus former Isles PTO Erik Gustafsson.

Neither team had a morning skate so lineup news will arrive right before gametime, but Fleury did not play last night in the Hawks’ 3-2 loss to the Smurfs, so he’s expected tonight. Likewise, Semyon Varlamov is expected to take a turn for the Isles after Ilya Sorokin played last night.

Barry Trotz also hinted at a couple of possible changes — not due to performance but “game time type things,” which are likely health checks but could, I guess, be strategic in nature. Trotz also approved of Oliver Wahlstrom being “emotionally involved” last night, forgiving his instigator when he jumped in to fight after the hit on Anthony Beauvillier. Trotz also says he’s hopeful as the players start to return to the lineup, and admitted even he “had to take a step back” because everyone was pressing, him included.

The Isles have 14 points from 19 games played. Sigh.

But here’s a pretty sunset at our winless home...