GAME DAY: Red Wings at Islanders, 7pm


Courtesy Jamie Kellner

Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders, 7PM ET
Uniondale, NY — NVMC — MSG+, FSDET

TONIGHT’S LINEUP
Moulson – Tavares – Okposo
Rolston – Nielsen – Parenteau
Grabner – Bailey – Martin
Wallace – Pandolfo – Niederreiter

Streit – Staios
Hamonic – MacDonald
Jurcina – Eaton

Nabokov
Poulin

Over the last 10 years or so, the Islanders have been bizarrely competitive with the Red Wings. They haven’t put up a winning record — 4-4-1-2 since 2000 — but the games have generally been close. They’re currently on a three-game win streak with a 4-0-1 record since the lockout. Even in the six losses, only twice have the Islanders lost by more than one goal. It’s pretty wild considering how good the Wings have been in the last decade and how not good the Islanders have been. There was even a 6-0 blowout at the Coliseum in January 2010 that featured a Dwayne Roloson shutout, two goals from Rob Schremp and even one from Bruno Gervais.

Maybe it’s one of those freak things about playing an out-of-conference opponent about once a year. That’s probably got something to do with it. But, again, if only the Islanders schedule consisted of only Western Conference opponents at home…

In the present, the Wings are currently in a three-way tie for first in the Central Division with Chicago and St. Louis. The Atlantic gets a lot of talk for being an uber competitive division but, jeez, this year the Central takes the cake. The three teams are currently second, fourth and fifth in the conference with only San Jose and Vancouver getting in between to keep the trio at arm’s length… Despite the great record, most of the wins have come at home for the Wings. They’re 15-2-1 (!) at home while only 11-12 on the road.

LINK ISLAND
- The sign guy makes a cameo in the NBC Sports Network’s ‘Believe’ commercial.
- Jack Johnson Tebowed last night.
- If you only get to make one wish, using it to blow up a building is probably the most bad ass way to use it.

PROGRAMMING NOTE
I’ll be at the Coliseum for tonight’s game. You can follow the action along with me on Twitter.