Pregame Report: Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders

Tonight the New York Islanders (5-5-3), 13 Pts) host the Boston Bruins (8-4-0) in game number 14 of the 2013-14 NHL season.

Here’s what you need to know before puck  drop…
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
When: 11/2/13, 7PM
Watch: MSG+
Listen:  WRHU 88.7 FM, 103.9 WRCN FM

The Islanders are playing the 2nd game of a back-to-back after an improbable come from behind win in Ottawa last night. The Isles gave up 2 relatively soft goals at the end of the 1st period, making fans think “Here we go again. Let the November slide commence.” But the Isles never gave up. Even after being down by two goals, twice, they came back, peppered Robin Lehner with 57 shots, and won the game in a shootout. The only goal coming from Frans Nielsen, the once and future shootout king, who had not had shootout success in quite a while.

So, tonight, we will see how the team responds to a good, hard fought victory. This will likely be a battle of the backups, as Kevin Poulin will likely take on Chad Johnson. No, not that Chad Johnson. Ochocinco has not donned pads for the Bruins…yet. If I were Evgeni Nabokov though, I might watch my back for number 85 to take my place, if I keep letting in soft goals like the ones in the first period last night. No, this Chad Johnson will be between the pipes for the Bruins for the second time this season.

This all harkens back to a piece I wrote a couple of wees ago. The Isles are still not garnering the respect they deserve around the league. They faced the backup goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, beat him. They faced the backup goalie for the Senators, beat him. They also faced the backup goalie for the Rangers and wound up losing that one. Tonight, they will once again face a backup.

Look for the Bruins to come out flying. Coach Claude Julien has been concerned about their poor starts. despite the team’s 8-4-0 record.

It will be interesting to see if the Isles can come out with the same intensity that they ended the last game. Thomas Vanek and John Tavares did hook up beautifully in Ottawa last night. Hopefully the chemistry will only get better.

What They’re Saying

“I know if I was sitting in the other team’s building and I knew the other was playing a back-to-back, I’d want to make sure my team got off to a good start. Which will probably be the case for us when we’re in New York [on Saturday] when we want to get off to a good start.”

-Bruins Coach Claude Julien

Quick Hitters

  • Eleven of 13 Islanders games this season have been decided by one goal.
  • The Isles 57 shots on goal last night were 2nd only to the 60 they put up in Carolina on 10/25/08
  • The Islanders have scored at least 2 goals in every game this season. Chicago & Carolina are the only other teams to have done so.
  • Frans Nielsen is the Isles leading scorer with 16 points (8G/8A). That puts him in 6th place in the NHL scoring race.
  • Kyle Okposo is 1 point shy of 200
  • Matt Martin leads the league in hits with 61.