Thursday, February 24, 2011
W2W4: Islanders vs. Flyers
By Mike Hume
The Islanders take on the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night, seeking their first win against their division rivals since April 1, 2010. Here’s what to watch for when the puck drops.
Back To Reality Or Just A Blip?
The smoking hot Islanders were cooled off a little, losing 2-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday. Entering that contest the Isles had posted 33 goals over the previous seven games, scoring at least three in each matchup. The Isles will have to best a top-notch defense to rekindle that offensive flame Thursday night. The Flyers rank No. 8 in the NHL with 2.48 goals allowed per game.
Since arriving in Long Island, Al Montoya has been nothing less than stellar. He’s allowed six goals in five appearances and has been a much needed fix for a position that has been all too fluid this season (six different Gs). He’ll certainly be tested tonight against the Flyers, the No. 3 offense in the league, lighting the lamps at a 3.3 GPG clip.
With contracts issued to Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau, the Islanders don’t appear to have many players being shopped in advance of Monday’s trade deadline. One could be Milan Jurcina (4 goals, 9 assists), who is having a solid season (plus-one rating and one point shy of his career high), but could be pushed out next season by developing prospect Calvin de Haan or 2007 draftee Mark Katic, who was called up to man the blueline tonight. Jurcina sustained a groin injury against Toronto and is questionable tonight (last I read). If he does skate though, how Jurcina performs against a Cup contender like Philadelphia may be of interest to NHL scouts looking to stock up for the playoffs.