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New York Islanders @ Toronto Maple Leafs: Road trip finale [Game 20]

These seasons, they grow up so fast.

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NHL: NOV 13 Maple Leafs at Islanders
Milestones approaching for everyone.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Islanders are in Toronto close out a four-game road stretch and play their 20th(!) game of the season. Twenty games in, already? Where has the time gone.

As coincidence would have it, it’s their previous captain’s 300th game in the inferior colors of the Maple Leafs uniform. Again: Where has the time gone?

It’s now been long enough that John Tavares has been a Taranna NHLer, that we’ve seen one entire cycle from various media and fans of Arrogance, Savior-Anointing, Second-Guessing, and Scapegoating. It’s a cycle we’ll see again, no doubt, for such is the way of things, and such is the form wherever a sport and team is in a hyper-populous market with zero competition for attention.

The Islanders arrive having lost their last two games, which puts them disturbingly close to the .500 mark. At 11-8, they’re still in fine position to ride along the top half of the Metro Division, but also just another loss or two away from dropping below all those terrible teams from Pennsylvania (State, and Plaza).

They may be trotting out both new line and defense combos:

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are on the upswing, which means Sheldon Keefe is no hurry to stop healthy scratching their latest hero-in-waiting, Nick Robertson. (And he’s done answering questions about it, too.)

Gametime is 7:30. As with most games in this no-longer-young Islanders season, I have no idea what to expect.