It’s almost meant to be! The New York Islanders host the St. Louis Blues for tonight’s home opener at Nassau Coliseum. The significance, isn’t much – but it should help the Guerin-Weight duo gain some much needed confidence at the expense of their former team.
The Islanders are likely to be backstopped by Joey MacDonald once again, as TSN is reporting that Rick DiPietro has swelling and fluid in his recently repaired knee. This explains why Gordon chose to start the Mac last minute over the Deep. What I like about Gordon’s reluctance to start DiPietro – is his choice of allowing him rest. Under Nolan, I am not sure that the correct decision would have been made, given Ricky’s goal of playing in every single game. Gordon really seems to have his finger on the pulse of the goaltending issue, and rightfully so – as a former netminder himself. Perhaps this is the man that DiPietro needed most in order to reach his full potential? We shall see.
While the status of DiPietro can be figured out, the status of rookie forward Josh Bailey remains uncertain. Bailey did not dress last night in New Jersey with forward Nate Thompson taking his spot at center. If Bailey’s injury is of the nagging variety (speculated as either groin or abdomen), it is best to allow him to get his rest too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dress in front of the home crowd though, you never know.
For the Islanders to be successful tonight, they need to continue to generate the same pressure they were able to put on NJ last night. Send bodies to the front, keep moving the puck and cycling the way they have and most importantly – take those shots. Weight’s goal last night was exactly what the team needs to do in order to generate offense, given the lack of a pure sniper. Garbage goals mixed with well executed plays help to win hockey games, it also doesn’t hurt to have a strong set of special teams!
I will be at the game tonight, unfortunately I will not be live blogging – so please follow along with the live tracker below! Be sure to check out all the blogs in the blog box tonight – including some of the newcomers! Enjoy the came, remember to check back tonight and tomorrow for the updated photos and for some post game thoughts!