Eyes On Isles Pre-Game Report
Tonight, the New York Islanders (24-32-9, 57 Points) visit the Calgary Flames (24-31-7, 55 Points) in game no. 64 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
When: Friday, March 7th, 2014. 9:30PM
TV: MSG+ (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)
Radio: 88.7 FM WRHU, 103.9 FM WRCN (Chris King)
Opposition Blog: Flame For Thought
Tickets: New York Islanders Tickets
The Isles take on the Calgary Flames tonight in Calgary. As bad as the Isles season has gone, the Flames has been slightly worse. They trail (or lead) the Isles by 2 points in the overall NHL standings depending on how you want to look at it.
No one is going to catch the Sabres in terms of ineptitude, but the Isles and Flames are right there at the bottom of the league. This is not how this was supposed to turn out for the Isles after a resurgence a year ago.
The Flames? A different story. They are pretty much right where they were last year. The Flames made some minor trades on deadline day. They traded away Reto Berra (no relation to Yogi) and Lee Stempniak. In return they received a 2nd and a 3rd round pick in this year’s draft. The Flames are clearly in rebuild mode and trading away a couple of assets for needed young talent is never a bad option.
The Isles on the other hand have been perpetually rebuilding since 1994. Sure, last year was exciting, but it did not hold a candle to 1993. In order to get back to that kind of success, the Isles will have to learn from the failures of this season. They have a lot of improving to do. The first step is seeing what kind of talent they have in the AHL. Also, I would expect to see Griffin Reinhart as well after his Juniors season ends. Currently, the Isles have 7 rookies on the NHL roster. The next 18 games will be a tryout on the NHL level for most of these guys.
Speaking of greatness and excitement, Cornell product and legendary Calgary Flame Joe Nieuwendyk will be honored before tonight’s matchup.
What They’re Saying
We have to establish our forecheck a little bit harder there. They have some veteran defense. Tonight [the Oilers] had a younger defense, I thought they played well, but Friday will be a tougher task.
-Islanders coach Jack Capuano on tonight’s game.
I’m excited. It’s every child’s dream to make the NHL. I’m happy to get this opportunity.
-20 year old Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon on making his NHL debut tonight.
You’re making me feel really old right now! I’m in my 20’s!
— Ladislav Smid when asked about being the veteran in his pairing tonight
It’s a huge opportunity. We have a chance to come in here and try to make a difference and try to make a positive impact. You don’t get too many of these [opportunities] and you wanna take full advantage of it.
-Islanders Forward Anders Lee on getting the chance to play down the homestretch
- Anders Lee has 4 goals and 1 assist in 5 games this season
- The Islanders stand at 1 game above .500 all time at 1395-1394-347-101
- The Isles lost their only meeting with Calgary this season on Feb 6th, 4-2
- The Isles are 11-3-1 in their last 15 road games.
- Kyle Okposo is tied for 14th in the NHL scoring race with 61 points (25g/36a)
- Thomas Hickey is the only Islander that has appeared in every game this season.
40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen – 21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee – 18 Ryan Strome – 13 Colin McDonald
12 Josh Bailey – 29 Brock Nelson – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 43 Mike Halmo
91 John Tavares