Tonight the Islanders look to make it 3 wins in a row, specifically against Canadian teams (something that is sure to rile up the Canadian press). However, the Canucks are white hot their last several games due to the unbeatable Roberto Luongo (a former first round pick of our Islanders…). The Vancouver Canucks are 4-0-1 in their last five, with Luongo having 210 minutes of shutout hockey in that span. Surely, the Islanders will have to solve their former netminder tonight and get on the board often, and early.
Greg Logan had a chance to view the Canucks today at Iceworks in Syosset for their morning skate and had some interesting observations in his blog.
Luongo leads the NHL with five shutouts, has a 10-5-1 record and has a 2.22 goals against average with a .924 save percentage. He also ranks fourth in the NHL in total saves. Want to guess who’s fifth in that category? Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald, who has played two fewer games. MacDonald is expected to make his eighth straight start tonight at the Coliseum.
This is the first opportunity for Islanders fans to see Luongo play in person since the 04-05 season when Luongo was still with the Florida Panthers. A bunch has changed since then, he is playing on a more talented team, with players such as the Sedin twins (27 points combined), Toronto cast-off Kyle Wellwood (7 goals) and former Islanders d-man Rob Davidson.
The Canucks are a dangerous team and the Islanders really need to stick to their game plan and stay out of the box as they have been in order to come away with a win. I am fairly positive (without checking) that the Isles have not won more than two in a row this season – so that worries me a bit, but maybe extending their streak will help them in their mindset a bit more.
Doug Weight spoke about the importance of winning a majority of your home games, this is another chance to not only improve their record, but improve their home record. Should be an interesting match up as each teams goaltenders are doing well and have been successful overall the last few games.
The Islanders rookies must also continue their solid play with and without the puck, hopefully they can hook up and get on the score sheet again tonight. Should be a good one!