It's fitting that I'm on Cape Breton Island for this game. As a kid in the 80s growing up in CB, my family had a Coleco Power Play table top hockey game featuring the Islanders of the Long Island Lighting Company days and the Flyers of the Brian Propp days (sadly no cooperalls). That game left a pretty big impression on me, to the point where I always saw the Islanders as the more respectable Big Apple franchise. Then the days of the Highliner fishing captain came and wiped all that out.
The Islanders of 2014-15 are not the Long island Lighting Company, but they're also not the Milbury Islanders either. What they are is a very good team. The last time the Habs played the Isles, the defense looked more like a unit of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers than it did of the Islanders. Thomas Hickey and Travis Hamonic were the top pairing. Funny how trading for a ready made top pairing (Leddy and Boychuk), taking a gamble at the draft (de Haan), and convincing agent zero Neil Sheehy that Long Island isn't so bad (Visnovsky) can remake a lacklustre D. Funny enough the first round pick the Islanders gave up to move up to draft de Haan was used by the Minnesota Wild to draft Leddy.
The Hab start a five game road swing tonight. Their next game is on the 29th so this is just a chance to test the road waters before the holiday break. The Habs are firing on all cylinders lately so this should be a good test to see if the Hab are for real as we near the end of 2014.
Chad Johnson will start for the Islanders and Price will counter for the Canadiens.
Puck drop is at 7:00 PM ET (8:30 PM in Newfoundland). You can watch:
In Habs' Region (English):
In Habs' Region (French): RDS
In the Islanders' Region: MSG-2
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live
|Max Pacioretty||Alex Galchenyuk||Brendan Gallagher|
||Tomas Plekanec||Jiri Sekac|
|David Desharnais||Lars Eller
||Manny Malhotra||Dale Weise
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Sergei Gonchar|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Tom Gilbert|
Scratched: Michael Bournival, Mike Weaver, Bryan Allen
As for the Isles, here's how they're looking on Long Island:
|Josh Bailey||John Tavares
||Frans Nielsen||Nikolay Kulemin
|Anders Lee||Brock Nelson||Ryan Strome|
||Casey Cizikas||Cal Clutterbuck
|Calvin de Haan
|Thomas Hickey||Lubomir Visnovsky
Scratched: Matt Donovan, Brian Strait, Eric Boulton, Jaroslav Halak
Injured: Matt Carkner, Michael Grabner
Check out the opposing side at Lighthouse Hockey