The New York Islanders take on their inner city rivals in the first meeting between the two on the season. The Isles are putting out a strong lineup for this title, showing just how important bragging rights are.
The New York Islanders take on the New York Rangers in the first of what I’m dubbing the Battle of the Burroughs. It’s a game the Islanders certainly want to win, even though it’s only pre-season.
As usual, Newsday’s Arthur Staple tweeted tonight’s Islanders lineup against the Rangers. The Isles loaded the roster with NHL caliber talent.
Barzal being paired with Ladd and Parenteau is a delicious little nugget of wishful foreshadowing. Getting instructions and on-the-job training from a two-time cup winner and seasoned veteran in Andrew Ladd is simply fantastic.
Last night against the Philadelphia Flyers Barzal was given a strict third-line paring with Quine and Prince. Tonight he fills the John Tavares role as Creator in Chief” as he gets the cream of the crop of linemates with Ladd and Parenteau. It’s another, very different test that the Isles are throwing at their first round pick as they continue to vet him.
Second line duties are being given to Dal Colle and Quine as they flank Brock Nelson. Dal Colle put up an empty net goal as the Islanders completed the 3-0 victory over the Flyers. His assignment is, much like Barzal’s is further vetting.
Making the NHL lineup isn’t as likely as it seems to be for Barzal, but a strong pre-season might just get Dal Colle some games to start the season as injury cover. The Isles have already seemingly lost Cal Clutterbuck and even Johnny Boychuk to injury.
Tonight’s game is going to be the Isles, and NHL fans in general, first chance at seeing what this Jimmy Vesey kid is all about. Remember, the Rangers were the team that was able to convince the Harvard grad and Hobey-Baker winner in 2016. He was the most touted free agent since Justin Schultz hit the market.
Tonight’s game won’t mean anything in terms of standings. Both team lineup will be shadows of what they’ll call upon on the season opening at MSG on the 13th. But a game against the Rangers is always an occasion. Sometimes bragging rights mean as much as two-points.