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Preview: Shorthanded Bruins face the Islanders (maybe)

Probably. Maybe.

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders - Game Six Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:30 PM

Where: UBS Arena - Elmont, NY

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Lighthouse Hockey

Know your enemy

  • 7-12-5, 19 points, last in the Metropolitan Division
  • Mat Barzal: 5G-12A-17PTS; Oliver Wahlstrom: 8G-5A-13PTS; Brock Nelson: 9G-3A-12PTS;
  • Ilya Sorokin: 7-7-4, 2.47 GAA, .926 save percentage

Game notes

  • If you think it’s been a tough start to the season for the Bruins, it could be worse — you could be an Islanders fan! After a trip to the Eastern Conference Final last season, the Islanders are dead last in their division.
  • The Isles are also tied for the second-fewest points in the Eastern Conference and third-fewest points in the league. Our friends at Lighthouse Hockey have just about had enough.
  • I’m putting this preview together Wednesday night, so if something has been announced and the game is postponed, you know more than me. I doubt, at this point, that the league would do something that aggressive, but if the Bruins end up with a handful more positives Thursday morning, there might be no other choice.
  • The Bruins saw in the playoffs last spring how explosive the Islanders’ offense could be, and they’ve still got plenty of talent. Oddly enough, offense is their biggest challenge this season — the Isles are 31st in the league in GF/G at just 2.13.
  • Part of the problem has been an anemic power play, which is, again, surprising, given the talent on the roster. The Isles’ PP checks in at just a 15.9% success rate, fifth-worst in the league.
  • Like the Bruins, the Isles are dealing with COVID problems, as Mat Barzal is in protocol.
  • You already know that Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Craig Smith are in COVID-19 protocol — hopefully no one else joins them.
  • Your guess is as good as mine as to what the Bruins’ lines look like tonight. Considering the B’s will be without half of their top-six forwards, I’d imagine we’ll get some wild trios.
  • Oskar Steen and Jack Studnicka remain with the B’s, and it seems likely one, if not both, draws in tonight.
  • Given the setback on Tuesday night, I’d imagine Linus Ullmark starts for the Bruins tonight.
  • Zdeno Chara is still plugging away for the Isles.

See ya tonight!