Pregame Report : New York Islanders Vs Columbus Blue Jackets


Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Eyes On Isles Pregame Report


Tonight, the New York Islanders (6-7-3, 15 points) take on the Carolina Hurricanes (5-10-0, 10 points) in Game 17 of the 2013-14 NHL Season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 11/9/13, 7:00 PM EST

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

Listen: WRHU 88.7 FM, 103.9 FM – Chris King

The Islanders try to end their two game losing streak tonight as they take on the equally struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio.

These two teams met in the Islanders home opener approximately a month ago, with the Jackets gaining the 3-2 shootout win. Coming off a disappointing offensive performance, the team hopes to get in gear and fill the net.

Seemingly not being able to string together a consistent and cohesive pairing of offense and defense, the 6 man backline was very solid the other night in keeping Carolina at bay and helping Kevin Poulin to a nice start. Aaron Ness filled in admirably as he was recalled from Bridgeport earlier in the afternoon.

Tonight, Evgeni Nabokov will be back between the pipes and head coach Jack Capuano obviously feels the need to add a little intimidation to his lineup, dressing both Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton this evening. Poulin has already been anointed the starter for tomorrow night’s game in Montreal.

Sergei Bobrovsky will indeed draw the start for the Jackets on the other side and he was spectacular at the Coliseum earlier in the season, making several highlight reel saves.

What They’re Saying…

The Islanders are a rush team that wants to play on the attack. “We have to make sure we’re managing the puck and limiting our mistakes,” Richards said. He said the Jackets were not structurally sound against the Rangers and made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes, and when playing north-south, attacking teams, puck management becomes an even bigger priority.

Richards said tonight’s game is a “big test.” He really liked the Blue Jackets’ approach and execution in practice on Friday and hopes it translates to a better performance tonight against the Islanders: “It’s about getting back to what we do.”

“It’s funny how it goes. There’s game you should win that you don’t and vice versa. You just have to stick with it, that’s the key; stay on the path and play to your identity.”

Quick Hitters…

  • Defenseman Travis Hamonic is expected to play in his 200th NHL game tonight. The Islanders selected the 23-year-old in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Tonight marks the front-end of the Islanders’ fifth back-to-back set this season. They are 3-1-0 on the front end of a back-to-back, and 1-2-1 in the second game.
  • The Isles have trailed at some point in four of their six wins this season, including all three of their road victories.
  • John Tavares leads the Islanders with 223 consecutive regular-season games played. Other notable active streaks include Frans Nielsen (146) and Kyle Okposo (129).
  • Prior to Thursday’s shutout, an Islanders defenseman had recorded a point in 11 consecutive games.

Projected Lineup

26 Vanek – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo

40 Grabner – 51 Neilsen – 12 Bailey

96 Bouchard- 16 Regin – 13 McDonald

17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 36 Boulton

3 Hamonic – 47 MacDonald

14 Hickey – 46 Donovan

55 Ness – 7 Carkner

20 Nabokov

60 Poulin

Scratches: 4 Martinek (healthy), 15 Clutterbuck (injured), 29 Nelson (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Brian StraitLubomir Visnovsky

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