Preview: Islanders vs Maple Leafs
Date: Tuesday, November 19th 2013
New York Islanders vs Toronto Maple Leafs Preview
First of three meetings between the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs. Nazeem Kadri won’t be in the lineup tonight as he serves his final 3 game suspension for an illegal hit on Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom. You really shouldn’t ever trust a guy with that name. Evgeni Nabokov will also be missing tonight for the Islanders for possibly several weeks. He was placed on IR Monday and it can only go up hill from here on our for the Islanders when looking at their crease.
Kevin Poulin is a upgarde in net in my opinion and has been getting a longer look in the crease. Starting three consecutive games in the past week he ended up getting a OT win in Detroit after Nabokov went down with a groin injury.
Poulin has a 2.68 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 29 career NHL appearances over four seasons.
The Maple Leafs have been pretty stellar at the Air Canada Centre carrying a 7-2-0 record going into tonight’s action.
Toronto also made a trade that day and acquired Peter Holland who did report to practice Monday and was centering James Van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul. Phil Kessel has the flu and was not at practice. The Leafs have been hurting at center due to recent injuries and JVR did not do so hot playing center over the weekend.
Who’s hot: Islanders captain John Tavares has two goals and six assists during a five-game point streak. Casey Cizikas has goals in consecutive games.
Mason Raymond has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak for the Maple Leafs, while van Riemsdyk had a two-goal game Saturday against the Sabres.
Injury report: New York forward Thomas Vanek (upper body) has missed the past four games. In addition to Nabokov, defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body) are on injured reserve.
Toronto forward Tyler Bozak (lower body) practiced Monday but is on long-term IR and not eligible to return until Nov. 21. Forward Dave Bolland (ankle) is on injured reserve and defenseman Mark Fraser (lower body) is day-to-day.
New York Islanders – Kevin Poulin (confirmed)
Toronto Maple Leafs – Jonathan Bernier (confirmed)
New York Islanders vs Toronto Maple Leafs Prediction
This is a small NHL pick and it will NOT be documented on our overall NHL record.
With Nabokov out for sometime I would imagine Kevin Poulin is going to show why he should remain the starter. I expect him to stand on his head tonight and for as long as he can until Nabokov is healthy. But how long can he? For now let’s worry about tonight and imagine he comes out on top.
As for Bernier, there isn’t much to say about him. We already know he’s a legitimate starter in this league. I expect nothing less from what Bernier has brought to the table this season which is a .938 SV%
Expect a low scoring game between the Islanders and Maple Leafs.
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