I did not known until Friday afternoon the Islanders were playing a 2pm game Saturday against the Devils but this is a back to back weekend with the Coyotes coming in Sunday and one of the games Dick Ebersol took off the NBC schedule.
David Clarkson is the only player on the Devils injury list and is questionable for today. Earlier news articles has lineup changes for Brent Sutter who is here for his own Core of the Four weekend he was not part of a year ago.
Niclas Havelid makes his Devils debut, they coming in having won fifteen of nineteen and are only six points out of first place overall and 4-0 since Martin Brodeur returned.
Brent Sutter well remembers that 4-0 loss two weeks ago.
For Scott Gordon's team the revolving lineup will likely continue through the weekend
with Bridgeport and the Islanders both playing. The injury reports have been incorrect with Pock and Thompson so until the game it's impossible to speculate how many will be out or called up at the last minute.
Will be interesting to see what the younger Islanders can do with a hot team locked in and playing very well vs a team on the playoff bubble that just made changes on Thursday. I want to see more of Joensuu, Rechlicz, Callahan and these kids.
Scott Gordon has declared Joey MacDonald will start in goal. No speculating which is a nice surprise that only took sixty odd games for him to stop guarding.
Newday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog served up a little pregame misery wondering why Jon Sim was demoted on his recent hot-streak (which continued in Bridgeport's win Friday) when he feels there are others more deserving to be demoted while he asked head coach Scott Gordon who told the beatwriter to ask general manager Garth Snow who explains why as the gm discussed his youth movement.
"For me, first and foremost, we get a chance to see some of our young players come up and play in the NHL," Snow said.
"Jesse Joensuu has played really well the last two games. Having that ability to see our young players is a big reason why we did it. Also Joel Rechlicz came up and played well in his first NHL game [Thursday against the Rangers when the enforcer was credited with an assist on Blake Comeau's goal]. You're going to see more and more young players as the season unwinds here. It will give us a good feel on where we stand with our young players."
NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's a more than fair question to ask but the usual negative them from Mr Logan that we do not see for the Cablevision owned team in their coverage. Sim's had a very tough two years here with the injury and from where I sit being misplayed by Scott Gordon to a large degree to where he did not find his game until recently and played very well beyond stats.
Having written that twenty nine other teams passed on him twice regardless of how he was playing. That's very disappointing but the biggest sign the Islanders did the right thing here for their team moving forward at this time who are have a lot of young left wings with Comeau, Bergenheim, Tambellini (with others in AHL) and should play their natural position with minutes greater than Sim at this point and have a balance between veteran and youth that at this time favors youth.
Maybe Hunter's injury changes that again.