I guess head coach Ted Nolan wasn’t kidding when he said he thought there needed to be a bunch of changes in order to spark something from his team. The Islanders practiced this morning with a brand new look according to the Islanders website. Here are the lines likely to be seen this afternoon, for a rare 2pm start.
Satan – Comrie – Comeau
Guerin – Vasicek – Fedotenko
Hunter – Sillinger – Park
Bergenheim – Hilbert – *
*The Islanders are dressing 7 d-men tonight, so we may see Aaron Johnson playing wing on the 4th line.
Ted Nolan when asked if the flu bug had begun to leave the team, noting the return of Andy Sutton from the illness –
“This was the first day you could see some energy back in the guys,” said Ted. “The last five or six days the spirit hasn’t been there; whether they were flu-bitten or hurt. I don’t like having excuses, but the energy just wasn’t there. I expect everyone to be healthy when we take on Montreal.”
So we have gained a defenseman who was sorely missed, but we also will see the return of Rick DiPietro between the pipes tonight. DiPietro sat out the last game due to feeling a bit of the flu himself, so hopefully he can steal an important two points today against a very hot Montreal team.
The Islanders need to play smart hockey, stick to their positions and not let Montreal get them scrambling. They need to stay out of the box and keep their feet moving so they can get Montreal to take the penalties. If the Islanders plan on staying in contention for a playoff spot, they really need to make their next few games count – as the Rangers have moved another two points ahead of them in the standings and teams like the Capitals and Buffalo are slowly catching up