The Blackhawks (28-7-7) are ringing in the New Year with a familiar face finally back between the pipes. Corey Crawford, who has been out since Dec. 17 with a lower-body injury, will be back in the lineup as the Blackhawks face the New York Islanders (13-21-7) in their first matchup in 2014. The Hawks won the previous match 3-2 in Chicago, with Michal Handzus netting the game winner.
The New York Islanders, a team who has disappointed in the first half of the season after making the playoffs last year, are looking to build momentu...
The Islanders (10-20-7) come limping into this contest, desperate for a win, after failing to record a victory in 14 of their last 16 games. The Wings have not been too successful themselves of late as they have been completely ravaged by injuries. Detroit (17-12-9) is just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and their normally strong home ice advantage is anything but with a record of 6-9-6.
There is all but little hope for the New York Islanders to resurrect this season from the dead as they continue to plummet to the bottom of the NHL standings, having now lost 12 of their last 13 games after a 1-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night at the Coliseum (Photo credit: jennkuhn4/Flickr).
But there is Ryan Strome; a young scorer who should provide the Isles faithful with a glimmer of hope for the future.
The 2013-2014 New York Islanders season was filled with hope and promise long before it even began thanks to a spirited playoff run last year against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Optimism filled the island with high expectations and preparation for a year that would see the Isles return to playoff glory and even better position in the standings (Photo credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).
Sadly, things are looking quite the opposite with each game that passes.
The New York Islanders continue their western road trip tonight with a stop in Los Angeles to face the Kings, still searching for their first regulation win after the last 11 games played.
The Islanders will still be without Evgeni Nabokov tonight, as Kevin Poulin is slated to start between the pipes. At the other end of the ice will likely be Ben Scrivens, who has taken over for Jonathan Quick after he went down due to injury. Scrivens has played exceptionally well, helping keep his team in the top three of the Pacific Division and 5th in the Western Conference.
After another gut wrenching loss, the Islanders must look to thereal reason they are losing. The refs are always bad, Cappy has tried every line configuration there is, and the goalie play has actually been decent. Thomas Vanek has placed the most recent maloik on this team and it is time for everyone to realize it.
Tonight, the Islanders led most of the game. As is the norm, it was the first line of John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo who led the way.
After defenseman Thomas Hickey forced a turnover with the Pens skating into the Islanders’ zone, the Isles top line skates into the Pittsburgh zone. Tavares hits Okposo with a pass and the forward skates up the left wing. Okposo then backhands the puck on net where it ricochets off of Pitt defender Olli Maatta and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.