Now that the tuxedos are gone from Wednesday’s Casino night, it is back to business for the Islanders as they take on the Ottawa Senators tonight in Kanata, Ontario.
The Isles have three games in five nights, as they have the first of a back to back set, as they Sabres come to Uniondale tomorrow night. This is a chance for the Isles to gain some ground on those above them, and a big game against a team that is fighting with them for a precious playoff spot.
Of course, the attention for the home team will be securing the Islanders number one weapon, John Tavares. The NHL player of the month of January will hope to continue the play that he showed on Tuesday night, when he recorded his third 4-point night of the season.
Kevin Poulin filled admirably for the Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov in the nets on Tuesday night. Poulin had played all weekend for the Sound Tigers, and the AHL goaltender of the month, provided a solid performance. The winning netminder from Tuesday’s game was sent back to Bridgeport.
Rhett Rakhshani filled in for Brian Rolston in Tuesday night’s game, and played well with Josh Bailey and Matt Martin. He has yet to score an NHL goal, but he has the talent to do just that.
What do the Isles need to do?
Very simple – they need to get the other lines to contribute more. They can not rely on JT and Matt Moulson to do everything. We need to see contributions from the other lines. With the last change, Ottawa will be able to put their top scorers against these lines. However, the fortitude of the Islander players need to show a lot more. I am a big Grabner fan, but he needs to bring back the play from last year’s second half back to this half. He has the ability to do just that. He just has to possess the confidence to get the job done.
Ottawa is a team that has a full four-line working team, and the Islanders need to match that intensity.
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