GAME DAY: CANADIENS AT ISLANDERS 7PM No Blizzard in Sight, Time to Right Ship is Now

For the first time in two years, the Montreal Canadiens are going to visit the Coliseum late in the year and there isn’t a blizzard in the forecast. Last year, with a state of emergency declared in Nassau County a brave 3,000 people showed up to watch the two teams. Two years ago, 6,000 fans slogged through a December snowstorm between the same two teams. So what’s a little rain in tonight’s forecast?

On the ice for the Islanders haven’t won since October 15th and things are certainly getting awfully tight around the collar. Effort — which hasn’t been seen a whole lot anyway — is not the only name of the game anymore if the team wants to be playing any meaningful games later in the season. Effort must be coupled with wins for there to be any hope in the season. The current slide is no season killer like last year’s epic fail streak was. Not yet. This isn’t insurmountable. But each loss edges the team closer to that point.

With a pair of four-day breaks to start the year, the Islanders have games-in-hand against every team in the NHL — yes, even the ones that were sent to Europe. They even have four games in hand against Carolina and Ottawa. So there’s time. There are games. But results must now start to appear. 50 and 60 minute efforts must be the standard and they must lead to wins or at least many ‘loser points.’

The turnaround, if it’s going to happen, needs to start to take place before December 1st. But that’s a tall order. Tonight, the Habs come to town and they’re a solid team and 5-3 on the road. The Bruins who ran roughshod up and down the ice against the Isles a week ago are in town on Saturday before the Isles play four divisional games next week. Tough roads ahead.

Nabokov will start tonight, backed up by DiPietro. Lines are the same as Tuesday night (so I guess that means Okposo sits again).

Tests on Calvin De Haan came back with good results and he is listed day-to-day. Certainly good news there. (Fornabaio)

Black third jersey debuts on Wednesday against Philly. Here’s your gratutitous ice girls third jersey debut. Maybe the team would play better with sparkles. (Isles Official)

I’ll be in the press box for tonight’s game. For up to the minute updates and to chat during the game, be sure to follow me on Twitter.