Tonight the Islanders and Rangers face-off for their seconds of six meetings on the season and in a much different fashion than earlier this year. The Isles were off to a good start and the Rangers couldn't win a game to save their lives when the two teams squared off in Evgeni Nabokov's first start. Since then however, the Isles have forgotten how to score and at times play defense (or this past Sunday play any facet of the game besides the PK with any real conviction).
I'm hoping for a better effort tonight than in Vancouver. Tonight, they face off against the Rangers who have won 6 straight games and are letting the good times roll. while the Isles do get underneath Henrik Lundqvist's skin, I'm not sure that playing the Rangers will be enough to spark a team seemingly drifting into a November Swoon that will have fans and Pundits increasing the Nail Yakupov talk as the month goes on.
One thing does help the Isles though: the return of Nino Neiderreiter. Nino just completed a conditioning stint at Brideport and a 4 game point streak from the Bridge (3 G and an assist). Where he'll play tonight is anyone's guess (I'll bet flanking Reasoner and KO on what's now the third line with PP time with JT), but as of this writing, there's no mention of lines or scratches (besides Goalie Rick DiPietro) for tonight's game, so your guess is as good as mine.
Evgeni Nabokov's your starter tonight with Al Montoya in what can only be described as a "must win" for the Isles. I hate the term, I really do. but the Isles have gotten unfortunate calls and bounces and the team needs, NEEDS, to get out of this funk somehow, a win against the Rangers would be a good start. We also need KO to step up tonight and pot that first goal; John Tavares can't carry this offense by himself, opposing Ds are zeroing in on him because no-one has scored. Isles have to get something going tonight. I'll take a W of just PP goals, just gimme some offense tonight.
Stop the bleeding tonight, start the bandaging with a little run of wins.