Rangers at New York 7pm Msg+

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/05/2009 12:06:00 PM | |
Newsday: Neil Best reports Islanders owner Charles Wang will appear on the Islanders pregame with Howie Rose which will be repeated during the intermission.

Point Blank: Mr Botta contradicts the Islander announcement yesterday activating Pock-Thompson, reports Nate Thompson, Richard Park and Thomas Pock skated but are not ready.

Also included Trent Hunter is in, Joe Callahan has been recalled from Bridgeport and more players will be needed.

Updated 4:00pm

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports Joel Rechlicz was called up and will make his NHL debut.

Jesse Joensuu, Joe Callahan and Andy MacDonald were also recalled/paper transactions with them in the New York lineup tonight.
Rangers come to the Coliseum with no reported injuries and a team on paper that is about as offensively challenged (if not more) than the Islanders despite it's recent win against a brutal Colorado team that was terrible on it's road-trip.

One team plays to stay in the playoff race, for the Islanders it's the latest exhibition game on the road to the lottery and next season regardless of final score which will likely not be a memorable game for the home team unless someone is injured/suspended.

One team comes in with several new players and minus some other players with some possible new spin on a mediocre season, the Islanders come in short Bill Guerin/Jon Sim and with whoever is called up (apparently now Pock-Thompson not ready) but could remain activated.

Antropov sounded like a man who wanted to be a Leaf for life and is very disappointed.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

On paper lately the Islanders have been the better team recently and are almost even in goals per game with the Rangers (without four hundred more games lost to injury) who are a chemistry experiment that could blow up on another team or themselves with Avery back (likely for tonight) and a coach who does not trap but has a team of players who have been in that system and are an offensively challenged roster.

Kalinin was playing better in the misleading plus/minus department but had only one powerplay point all season (no goals) for a club that needed powerplay help.

The trade deadline may or may not change this but for now the Rangers are different and the Islanders are offensively weaker for tonight minus Sim and Guerin. Okposo has to watch out for Avery who threw him down a few times last season.

Henrik Lundqvist without a trap limiting his workload/quality chances could have a problem under a system he has never faced at this level with a marginal defense that has not protected him as well as they did a year ago. The workload goes up dramatically now over a sixty minute game without the trap.

Rangers got a perfect break in the schedule for John Tortorella to have a mini-camp and give his team some of his concepts. No doubt with the pressure of the trade deadline over both teams the focus should be on hockey with no distractions.

Scott Gordon has his team playing good, competitive hockey. With three games in four days, how does he set up his goaltending by feel? Last time the situation merited MacDonald start based on his last game, Danis started and played well but let in a soft goal that decided the game.

This time Danis has two straight wins and momentum, coaching by feel from here says
Danis starts, but Scott Gordon makes that decision and has the pulse of his roster.

No Brendan Witt for this kind of game is a tough thing.

Islanders are not a good comeback team, Rangers under Renney did not give up the lead often and played for the extra point/shootout win which is really the only reason they are in a playoff spot at this time.

Fair to say Islanders are going to have to create a few early goals and see if the Rangers can handle the pressure by forcing them into some mistakes. Only pressure Islanders have is to work for roster spots next season, it's a good statement game but the chemistry of the recent strong play has been slightly altered again.

The powerplay has to start giving them some goals.

With changes for both sides, anything is possible.

I'm going to wait until this game is played before updating injury list, too many different stories.

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