Washington Captials Vs New York Islanders: Pre-Game Report


Eyes On Isles Pregame Report

Tonight , the New York Islanders (8-15-3, 19 Points) visit  the Washington Capitals  (13-11-2, 28 Points) in game no. 27 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…

Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

When: Saturday, November 30, 2013, 7:00PM

TV: MSG+ (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)

Radio: 88.7 FM WRHU, 103.9 FM WRCN (Chris King)

Tonight, the Isles look to turn things around after an atrocious game against the Detroit Red Wings.

How far can this team fall? Is this the end?

The Capitals are good, not great. They are beatable. But, the Islanders have just been absolutely awful lately. How Jack Capuano still has a job is anybody’s guess. The team is clearly not responding to his system, or his odd choices on whom to scratch. Something has to change very soon if this team has any shot at the playoffs.

We hear the same thing night after night. The team isn’t executing properly, they are making bad choices, they are making bad passes. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows.

Not quite sure what Brock Nelson has done to be scratched, but he is once again being forced to watch from the press box this evening. He will be replaced by Josh Bailey. Peter Regin will also make his way back into the lineup.

The Isles are still without Lubomir Visnovsky and Brian Strait, and there is no timetable for their return.

Once again, Capuano will play lineup roulette. Anders Nilsson will make his first stat of the season after playing pretty well in relief of Kevin Poulin on Nov 23. If he does step up tonight, he has an excellent chance at claiming the #1 goalie slot. Poulin has played very poorly since being anointed top netminder. In fact, the Islanders have not won since Evgeni Nabokov went on IR with a groin injury.

In another first, highly touted, oft-injured, Defenseman Calvin De Haan will make his season debut this evening.  He will wear #44 and play in the third defensive pairing with Thomas Hickey. It is not his career debut, as he played one game in 2011-12. Remember? I didn’t think so. He will be taking the place of the defensive liability known as Radek Martinek.

This won’t be an easy task for the team considering how much they are killed by Alex Ovechkin on a yearly basis. If they can keep Ovi off the board and Nilsson steps up, perhaps they can emerge from this funk.

What They’re Saying

“We’ve got to recover quick and get down there and just try to carry some of the momentum we had in the second half of the game.”

-Caps Forward Eric Fehr

“I thought when he went into Philadelphia, he played well for us. We need our goaltender to step up and have a good game tonight. He’s a confident kid and he’s ready to battle.”

-Isles Head Coach Jack Capuano, referring to starting goaltender Anders Nilsson

“I can skate the puck up, move it quickly, make good breakout passes and block some shots on the PK. I’m going to try my best to stay up here for the rest of the season.”

-Isles rookie Defenseman Calvin De Haan

Quick Hitters

  • John Tavares (29 points) and Alexander Ovechkin (28 point) are 6/7 in the NHL scoring race. Sidney Crosby leads with 36 points.
  • Calvin De Haan will be playing in his second NHL game, Anders Nilsson will be playing in his 6th NHL game.
  • The Islanders wrap up their seventh set of back-to-back games this season. They’ll play 16 sets this season.
  • Isles lead the all-time series 86-85-23.
  • The Islanders are 1-4-1 on the back end of back to backs.
  • In games in which the Isles score less than 3 goals, they are 0-13-1.
  • They are 8-2-2 when they score 3 goals or more.

Projected Lineup

26 Thomas Vanek– 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard – 16 Peter Regin – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 13 Colin McDonald

47 MacDonald – 3 Hamonic
55 Ness – 7 Carkner
44  De Haan – 14 Hickey

Scratches4 Radek Martinek, 29 Brock Nelson, 36 Eric Boulton

Injured Reserve: 11 Visnovsky, 20 Nabokov, 37 Strait

45 Anders Nilsson
60 Kevin Poulin