NYIHC Pre-Game Report : New York Islanders Vs Vancouver Canucks


Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders Hardcore’ Pregame Report



Tonight the New York Islanders (3-3-2, 8 PTS) host the Vancouver Canucks (5-4-1, 11 PT) in game number 9 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…

Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

When: 10/22/2013, 7:00 pm EST

Watch: MSG + (HD) – Howie Rose, Butch Goring

Listen: WRHU 88.7FM, WRCN 103.9FM – Chris King

The New York Islanders continue their stretch of games at home with an evening matchup against John Tortorella and the Vancouver Canucks.

Typically home is where the heart is and where you are most comfortable, but that does not seem to be the case with New York and the memories of last season’s inconsistent home schedule are still fresh in the minds of those who follow the team.

Since the beginning of this four game homestand the Islanders have been Buffalo’s first victory of the season, held on against Edmonton and played only 20 minutes in a lackluster loss to Carolina. They are going to need to stay true to what made them so successful in last season’s rush to the playoffs and that was hard work, determination and head coach Jack Capuano’s famous ‘battle level’.

The line juggling now continues in earnest, with Michael Grabner suspended for the next two games and Lubomir Visnovsky recovering from a concussion suffered on Saturday night. Capuano said at today’s morning skate that Visnovsky will be re-evaluated again tomorrow to see if there is any progress with how he might be feeling.

Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan have been re-inserted and will play at least through the weekend being the safe guess. Matt Moulson makes his return to the first line playing with captain John Tavares.

The Canucks come in under ex-Rangers boss Tortorella still a very dangerous and balanced club. The Sedin twins have combined for 20 points in the club’s first 10 games and defenseman Jason Garrison is off to a career best 9 point start to his season offensively.

Summer talk of the town Roberto Luongo will be the Canucks starting goaltender as the team tries to stop a two game losing streak, dropping a shootout to Pittsburgh and a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

What They’re Saying…

“It was tough to get good opportunities,” said Sedin, who extended his point streak to five. “A lot of shots were outside and we didn’t have a lot of traffic (in front of the net). If you don’t have guys penetrating and getting to those areas, it’s going to be tough to score goals.” [link]

“Don’t let the shots fool you,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think we played enough in the areas (you have to) to score goals. It’s just a matter of willingness.” [link]

Matt Donovan, on his opportunity to play more minutes: “Lubo is very offensive and runs that first power play, so I’m going to get my chance to show what I can do offensively. Hopefully I can play well tonight.” [link]

Andrew MacDonald, on everyone on the back end having to step up in Visnovsky’s absence: “I think a lot of the responsibility is going to be on us to realize that we’re playing those minutes. We have to be smart about when we’re joining the rush. I think with Lubo being out, it’s going to be by committee. No one is going to eat up those 20 minutes he plays. Everyone has to be prepared to step up and play a little bit more.” [link]

Quick Hitters…

  • The Islanders are + in GF/GA in all periods except for the 3rd (-1)
  • The Islanders power play is ranked 5th in the NHL (25%) and 1st at home (33%)
  • Canucks have the #1 penalty killing unit in the league (91.4%)
  • Isles are 4-1-3 last 8 versus the Canucks dating back to 1999
  • All time Isles lead the series 49-36-15
  • John Tavares is currently on the 2nd longest point streak of his career (12)
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard is on a 3 game assist streak
  • Vancouver are 1st in the NHL with 150 blocks through 10 games

Projected Lineup…

26 Moulson – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
12 Bailey – 51 Nielsen – 96 Bouchard
16 Regin – 29 Nelson – 15 Clutterbuck
17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 13 McDonald

47 MacDonald – 3 Hamonic
7 Carkner – 14 Hickey
37 Strait – 46 Donovan

20 Nabokov
60 Poulin

Scratches: 36 – Boulton

Suspended: 40- Grabner

Injured Reserve: 11- Visnovsky

Michael Willhoft (@michaelwillhoft) will be covering the game live from the press box.

Please join us in the comment section below for in-game discussion and commentary.