Tonight, our Islanders continue their four game home stand as they prepare to play host to Mikko Koivu and the Wild and at the same time welcome a few familiar faces back to the Coliseum.
The Wild have yet to announce their starter for tonight but I would expect it to be Nicklas Backstrom. Meanwhile, Anders Nilsson will get the nod in net for the Islanders.
With preparing to play Minnesota, the Islanders also prepare to welcome a couple former teammates back to the Coliseum. Forwards Nino Niederreiter and Matt Moulson will both be in the lineup for the Wild tonight. The case with Nino has been well publicized as he pretty much pouted his way off the team in the second half of last season and that was made official with his draft day trade to the Wild for Cal Clutterbuck and a third round pick. Meanwhile, the loss of Moulson is something some fans still haven't gotten over. The Islanders took Moulson from a career minor leaguer to a perennial 30 goal scorer in this league. With this season being his walk year the Islanders shipped him off to Buffalo along with two draft picks in exchange for Thomas Vanek earlier this year after balking at his initial contract demands. Moulson was then traded at the deadline by Buffalo to the Wild. It should be interesting to see the contrast in the reception each of these guys receive.
On the Islanders side of things, tonight marks the night that defenseman Kevin Czuczman will make his NHL debut. Czuczman, who the Islanders signed last week will step into the lineup in place of Matt Carkner and partner with Travis Hamonic tonight.