Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
For me this has kind of a big game atmosphere tonight and a bit of a character test for Ted Nolan's team after a few days off where they need a big effort here to earn two points and re-establish themselves at home after some recent struggles. Flyers first visit, a likely sellout and a game against a team that has won eight of their last 10 games and six of their last seven on the road who the Isles are 0-2 against this season.
Of course with the injuries on defense a lot is being asked here but this is an opportunity for an Aaron Johnson just as it's been for Berard, Bergeron and Meyer all season.
One thing for sure is Isles cannot afford the kind of mistake Bergeron made that led to DiPietro robbing Langernbrunner in the first period and Berard has to be more mobile on defense. His second penalty was more a Devil selling a crosscheck but his first one was him using his stick all the way because he was not moving and the Devils went to the outside on him and drove the net a few times.
I'm expecting one of the Isles best games of the season tonight and a full sixty minute effort. Not the two earlier games where the Flyers did not play well and came out with two wins on Islander mistakes. Those games Isles had good pressure late in the game and could have gotten points but fell short.
Of course Daniel Briere, Gagne, Richards, Knuble and the supporting cast in Philadelphia is very solid with Upshall playing well and Carter only getting better.
Ben Eager is no longer a Flyer and was traded to Chicago who seemed to have his career nights against the Isles for those curious.
On the injury front: D Lasse Kukkonen has been a healthy scratch in each of the last four games and replaces Rory Fitzparick (sports hernia) as the Flyers' seventh defense man. RW Denis Tolpeko (left shoulder) is day-to-day. The Flyers are the only team in the NHL without a shootout win. Some other Flyers sat out practice the other day but are expected to dress.
Newsday: Mark Herrmann reported in the Newsday blog on Aaron Johnson back with the Isles and that Witt and Martinek skated well at practice with Ted Nolan commenting Witt is out for another game and Martinek is about a week away which Cory Witt had in his media blog