Scouting the Enemy: New York Islanders

Record:26-44-9

Leading scorers: Michael Streit (16G, 39A),Kyle Okposo (18G, 20A)

Blogs: Lighthouse Hockey

The last time the Islanders played Eric Staal picked up a hat trick and an assist, Erik Cole and Anton Babchuk recorded four assists each and four other players tallied a point or more.  The only problem is all of those guys play for the Carolina Hurricanes.  So perhaps an interesting question heading into this game is this: Are the Carolina Hurricanes that good, or are the New York Islanders that bad?

When you consider New York's place in the standings (15th in the East, 30th in the league) it's likely more the latter.  The Islanders are 1-3 for the month of April after posting a 6-5-2 record in March.  They have nothing to win in this game as it won't improve their standings much.  However they also have nothing to lose even if they win because their record in the East is so poor with so few games remaining that they already have a solid chance at landing the first overall pick.

Plans for next season are already getting attention on the Island as veteran Doug Weight signed on to a one-year extension earlier this week.  The fragile position of goaltending will likely require a strong backup to Rick DiPietro, a guy whose only recent attempt at completing a season came in dynasty mode on NHL 09. 

Hard to say who we can expect to see in net tonight.  Joey MacDonald started against the Hurricanes but was promptly pulled after 40 minutes and six goals.  Yann Danis's relief wasn't much better as he allowed three of his own over 20 minutes.  It's a miracle they're not both on the IR with whiplash.

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