Hoping this is what happens to the Isles tonight - photo from Getty images

Islanders – Rangers – MSG round 1


The schedule makers were a  little batty.  They scheduled another one on Boxing Day.  Isn’t that ironic?

The Rangers are on a roll, playing well, getting contributions from a lot of places, getting the brakes (can you say 0.1 seconds), but deserving everything that they get.

The Isles are coming off another successful road trip.  Two straight shootout wins, and momentum in front of them.

However, they will have to do it without Al Montoya and David Ullstrom who are out with concussions, joining Brian Rolston.  Although both guys flew back with the team from Winnipeg the other night, tests determined that they are not ready to play.  Evgeni Nabokov, who was quite strong in the second half of the Jets game, will be called on.  Andres Nilsson and Michael Haley were called up from Bridgeport in emergency callups (the rosters are frozen from the 19th until the 27th – but these can be done, due to injury).  Haley will provide the passion and the intensity, and Nilsson will be the backup tonight.

The Islanders Booster Club had Rick DiPietro at their meeting on Monday.  He so wishes to play this game.  He just loves to play the locals.  I will honestly say that Rick was not one of my favorite players.  Nothing personal, but he just did not hit the upper echelon on the guys that I rooted for.  I never wished ill will, or hoped that he got hurt or played bad.  It was just that I rooted for others harder.  However, for myself, and the others that attended that meeting, I can honestly say that I have a much different opinion of him, how he is portrayed by the media, as well as appreciating his candor and great sense of humor.

For those of you, that are not Rick DiPietro fans, I wish you were at the Marriott the other night.  I know that your opinions would have changed.

Now – onto tonight, and hopefully another two point win on the road, and a nice way to start the Christmas holiday season for me.

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