GAME ONE of FOUR
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
33rd Street and 6th Avenue
New York Islanders - Brooklyn's Foster Hockey Club Trying To Keep Hold Of Third Place, and Bury Rangers Further Down In Division Standings.
NEW YORK RANGERS - Will Blueshirts Respond To Coach Tort's Recent Criticisms?
The rumor is Brian Boyle will be a healthy scratch tonight, and that there is a chance Ryan Callahan plays tonight versus the Islanders. Dan Girardi might also be missing his second consecutive game. The NHL-CIA would only reveal that Girardi is suffering from a lower body injury. Many people died getting that information. I now live in fear.
On the other bench, Coach Capuano arrives to the Garden sporting a rather handsome shiner after getting hit by a puck recently. That comes after missing the season opener due to kidney stones. On the ice, the Islanders will finally have Lubomir Visnovsky manning their blue line again. The 37-year old global traveller was in trouble with the Isles when he refused to report back to the States once the League's lock-out was lifted. All seems straightened out now.
The establishment; the Rangers are staring themselves in the face. Coach Torts called out some players, accusing them of playing scared. The Rangers have depth issues - big depth issues regarding their third and fourth lines. And Rangers fans may not want to hear this, but their (my, our) goalie, Henrik Lundqvist is struggling.
In the other net, Evgeni Nabokov has steadied the ship. Even at thirty seven years old, he's still stopping pucks well for the Isles. The soon to be Brooklyn hockey club is young and getting better. Offensively, they are scoring. They torched the Penguins earlier this season, and made a spirited comeback the last time they met, but fell short in a 4-2 loss. Four Islanders have four or more goals. Michael Grabner is the leader with five goals. John Tavares, Matt Moulson, and Keith Aucoin each have four. Through nine games, the Islanders have scored nine more goals than the Rangers.
The Islanders are in third place of the Atlantic Division, one point better than the Rangers.
ISLANDERS - W-4 L-4 OL-1 PTS-9
RANGERS - W-4 L-5 OL-0 PTS-8
I'm off to the game. Ought to be a good one. Come back for my reaction later tonight.