The Bruins, who are fresh off of a wild 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday on home ice, will play host to the New York Islanders (7:00 PM ET; NESN).
To say that the Islanders have struggled this season is an understatement. The Isles are off to a sluggish 5-15-5 start and have lost 17 of their last 18 games (1-14-3). The Islanders are on their second head coach of the season after Jack Capuano replaced former Baby B's bench boss Scott Gordon, who was fired on November 15th. The Isles are 1-5-2 under Capuano and started the season 4-10-3 under Gordon's guidance.
Matt Moulson leads the Islanders with 9 goals followed by John Tavares with 8 and Michael Grabner with 6. The rest of the team has not reached the 5 goal milestone yet. Moulson, Tavares, and Garbner's 23 combined goals account for 43.4% of the Islanders 53 total goals this season.
In goal, the Islanders look to a pair of former Hockey East netminders to try to keep pucks out of the net. Former BU Terrier and Withrop, MA native Rick DiPietro and former UMass-Lowell puck stopper Dwayne Roloson have split time this season for the Blue & Orange.
|2010 - Rick DiPietro||11||670||3||4||42||3.76||333||291||.874||1|
|2010 - Dwayne Roloson||14||839||2||11||35||2.50||401||366||.913||0|
To make matters worse for the Islanders, they have been bit hard by the injury bug and have several key players out of the lineup right now including Kyle Okposo (shoulder) and Mark Streit (shoulder).
New York Islanders Injuries
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
For the Bruins, defenseman Mark Stuart will miss the next 4 to 6 weeks with a broken and dislocated ring finger. The B's have called up Steven Kampfer from the Providence Bruins to fill in on the blue line in Stuart's absence. Kampfer is expected to make his NHL debut tonight.
With the Bruins coming off of an exciting win over a divisional rival on Tuesday and a meeting with the Philapelphia Flyers looming on Saturday, this has all the makings of a trap game for the B's. The B's cannot take this team lightly. It seems like whenever the Islanders play the Bruins, the Islanders come out with a lot of energy early in the game. The B's need to match that energy and put this one away early like they did last week against Tampa Bay.
This game has a Tuukka Time feel to it. I would not be surprised to see Rask get the start tonight. Tim Thomas has played in four straight games and it might be wise for Claude Julien to rest Timmy for Saturday's game against Philly and let Rask get a start.
- The Islanders have given up points to their opponent in 19 of their last 20 games (3-14-3).
- Travis Hamonic (5 games played) is the only player on the Islanders' active roster with a positive +/-. He is +1 on the season.
- The island natives are getting restless. Things have got so bad for Islanders fans that Islanders season ticket holder and satellite radio personality Gregg "Opie" Hughes of Opie and Anthony fame has proclaimed that he has given up on the team and has recorded himself throwing away his tickets in different ways. So far he has thrown them out a moving vehicle and thrown them in the Hudson River.
- Former Islander Brendan Witt thinks recently-fired head coach Scott Gordon had a personal vendetta against him.
- The Islanders are last in the league in 5-on-5 goals scored (31) and 5-on-5 ratio (0.58)
- The Islanders are the second most penalized team in the league with an average of 17.2 PIMs per game.
- Zenon Konopka's 102 PIMs in 25 games places him one penalty minute behind league leader Sean Avery, who has racked up 103 PIMs in 29 games. Konopka has 8 fighting majors on the year.
- The Public Skate open thread starts at 6:30 PM ET.
- For more on tonight's game from the handful of people left that self-identify as Islanders fans, check out the awesome work from our friends over at Lighthouse Hockey