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Howdy Islanders Country – hopefully everyone is over their holiday hangovers, be it from food, alcohol, the in-laws or from overspending your budget of holiday gifts! I also hope everyone recieved everything they wanted or needed this year!

Obviously I was unable to post with everything that was going on, I had waited until the last minute to get most of my shopping done and I had a ton to do family wise – so I figured everyone would understand.

The Islanders take on the Leafs tonight at Nassau Coliseum, which should be an interesting game – as the Leafs have become somewhat of a rival since the playoff series and Blake having signed there. Tonight is the first time this season that the Leafs are in-town and it also marks the first return of Blake. Word around town is there will be a pre-game tribute to Jason, so be sure not to miss that – I know I will stand up and give him a clap for all his years of Islanders service.

The Islanders need to stick to their game plan and really work hard against a struggling Toronto team. They need to play sound defensively as the Leafs have a few dangerous forwards that could get them on the board early. They need to generate chances and drive to the net as the Leafs defense is missing a piece now that McCabe is out with a broken hand. Get bodies in front and screen the goalie – something the Islanders have done well the past two games.

You know Toronto will come out fired up, they always do – hopefully the Islanders have no problem matching intensity. Their intensity is always a concern of mine as it seems they shake a Magic 8 ball before they come out, looking for their level of intensity period by period. Hopefully this time it doesn’t say “Outlook not so good”, “Very doubtful” or “Don’t count on it”. If they need inspiration, just think back to the hammering the Leafs gave them at the start of the year……

I may or may not do a live blog from the game, it’s a pain to do from my phone and I tend to may more attention to that rather than the game.

Either way, I will keep you all updated and hopefully the Islanders come out victorious and continue their string of success.