Friday, October 10, 2014

Pre Game: Isles Open @ Carolina

photo by stadiafile

Tonight, our Islanders travel to North Carolina to open their 2014/2015 season against Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes.

The goalie matchup features Jaroslav Halak making his regular season debut for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, long time Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward will get the nod in net for Carolina.

The Hurricanes are without two key players lost to pre season injuries.  Second line center Jordan Staal is going to miss another couple of months with a broken leg.  Additionally, winger Jeff Skinner is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion in the Hurricanes last pre season game last Sunday.  For a team that already wasn't that deep to begin with, losing these two key players for extended periods of time is a huge blow for the Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, the Islanders lineup will be the one that was on the ice this week.  Up front, a new forward will be featured on each of the top 3 lines.  Cory Conacher is getting the first shot of the season on the left side of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.  Meanwhile, Mikhail Grabovski is playing LW/C on a line with Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome.  Lastly, Grabovski's friend Nikolay Kulemin will be playing with Frans Nielsen and for the time being Josh Bailey.  On defense, Griffin Reinhart will make his NHL debut tonight due to the rash of defensive injuries the Islanders sustained this pre season, most notably to Lubomir Visnovsky and Calvin de Haan.  Also, new acquisitions Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy will each make their Islanders debut tonight.

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