Isles Head to Ottawa to Face Surprising Sens
Ah, the Ottawa Senators. Islanders fans would like to forget this past Monday's game against them. You remember...the matinee? Yeah, I want to forget, too.
The Ottawa Senators are probably one of the most underrated teams in the NHL right now. A team in which everyone thought could be one of the worst teams in the history of the NHL before the season started. But look at them now; They are in seventh place in the East and I'm convinced that they will make a huge playoff run.
I was in Ottawa earlier this week to catch the Caps vs. Sens game. Beautiful arena, great fans, but what impressed me the most was the way the team played. It was probably one of the most graceful games I have seen played by one team. The passing was superb and the way they played like a team was incredible.
That being said, they have been having recent goaltending issues. They lost starting goaltender Craig Anderson to a cut tendon on his pinky after he had an accident preparing dinner for his family. What is with players having food related injuries this season, anyway? Dustin Penner, I'm looking at you. Anderson was sharp for the Sens but that injury leaves them with backup Alex Auld and call-up Robin Lehner. Also, they've announced today that they have acquired Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues for a draft pick. Great move for the Sens.
On to the Isles now; Coming off of a huge win against the Rangers, confidence will be flowing for this Isles squad. Every game is more important than the one before. But hey, that's what makes hockey so great!
Comparing the Senators to the Islanders for a second, the one thing that the Islanders need to improve on that the Sens have is the offensive help from defensemen. Their defense has been contributing all around this season, especially defenseman Erik Karlsson. He's second in the league in assists and seventh in the league in points. Not too shabby for the 21 year old.
My gut feeling is that Evgeni Nabokov gets the start for the Isles today. He's the most reliable right now. But here's a question: Will tonight's game be the last in an Islanders uniform for Nabby? The trading deadline is tomorrow and Garth Snow has hinted that he is not offering Nabokov to anyone, but If a deal comes up that involves him that he likes, I believe he will go for it.
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