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New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Great chance to get back on top [Game 16]

The Islanders face a struggling, injury-ravaged team. No excuses tonight.

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Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Hello, may I check you?
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders aim to restart their winning ways as the Columbus Blue Jackets visit Elmont. As Steve mentioned in the morning post, Columbus comes limping in, ripe for a tank job. They’re coming off a win over the Flyers and former coach John Tortorella, but their latest and most sizeable blow came in a season-ending injury to Zach Werensky. As the Cannon chronicles it:

In addition to Werenski’s injury, Nick Blankenburg suffered a broken ankle (and played through it), which has him sidelined for 6-8 weeks. Erik Gudbranson suffered an upper body injury and is day-to-day. As a result, three defensemen were called up from Cleveland: Gavin Bayreuther, Jake Christiansen, and Marcus Bjork.

It’s not just the defense that is short-handed; Sean Kuraly and Jake Voracek remain out. Kent Johnson could be a game time decision.

So...pencil in a loss for the Isles, who followed up inspiring comeback wins over the Flames and Rangers with a frustrating loss to the Coyotes on Thursday.

Sounds like the same lineup tonight, but here’s Lane Lambert’s pre-game availability. With tonight being Hockey Fights Cancer night, Lambert was asked about the legacy of the three Islanders legends we’ve lost this year to cancer (he talks about them generally around the 5:00 mark):

Amusingly, he was also asked about the motivations for not disclosing lineup changes and injury status, etc. Is it protecting injured players?

“No. I just don’t see any reason to give the other team information.”

Hockey F—’s Cancer

As an aside, or perhaps as a shared recognition given the theme of the night: My heart’s out to you if you or your friends and loved ones have been affected by cancer or similar devastating diseases. (Chances are, you have.) It’s hell. It’s terrible. It’s sadly part of life for just about everyone at some point, but the experience of symptoms, diagnosis and (potentially) treatment it’s a damned Russian roulette followed by months or years of angst, terror and misery.

These theme nights don’t really make me feel any better about those I’ve lost, or hopes for better outcomes for others, but it’s good to talk. It’s good to share resources and support. It’s good to be there for your fellow humans, when you can. Here’s a cool story about an Australian fan who’s beating cancer and visited Long Island for a game earlier this week.