Still searching for the first win on home ice this season, the New York Islanders welcome the New Jersey Devils to the UBS Arena. It's been a tough go at home with a 0-5-2 record, but with some regulars coming back for tonight's game against the Devils, the Isles might be able to continue building on some of the success they've had of late and maybe get that elusive win.
Over their last five games, the Isles have gone 1-1-3. That's not an incredible record, but when you consider the eight games prior to that it looks pretty darn good. The team, based on results is trending in a better direction. They've certainly got a few things to correct, at least at an individual level.
Which is why Barry Trotz seems poised to make a few key changes to the lineup tonight.
New York Islanders make roster changes ahead of Devils game
Three guys were skating as extras during today's practice; Anthony Beauvillier, Sebastian Aho, and Matt Martin. If that smells like a "scratch pad list" you're probably right. Of course, it won't be confirmed till closer to game time that all three will be scratches but there's a good reason all three might be.
For Anthony Beauvillier, he's been called out by the coach to step up his game. Trotz has tried to give him more responsibility to coax out a response, but it didn't work. He took some of his playing time away and that didn't work either. So the only other logical step is to put him in the press box.
Sebastian Aho was at fault for a few goals against when Nashville was in town. Mistakes that just can't be tolerated when Robin Salo is sitting and waiting to get into the squad.
With Ross Johnston being a perfect substitute for Matt Martin and the fact that Martin has a lingering injury means Johnston obviously stays in to play fourth line left-wing.
The changes don't end there for the Isles. Today we found out that both Brock Nelson and Casey Cizikas were activated from IR. Meaning they'll likely play for the first time in a long time.
That looks like a pretty complete roster (minus Ryan Pulock of course). Can it get a win? We'll see but it's a strong enough roster to get one.