12:10 pm, NVMC: If you haven’t heard, the Islanders are playing a hockey game tonight against the New Jersey Devils at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
John Tavares is playing, flanked by Matt Moulson and Trevor Smith. When Tavares is on the power play, Richard Park could be in Smith’s spot.
Martin Biron and Scott Munroe are the goaltenders tonight. Dwayne Roloson will play in the team’s final exhibition game in New Jersey next Tuesday.
Rick DiPietro skated on the Coliseum ice before the team’s morning workout and faced a few shots. He said he felt “good” and he thought his physical rehab was “going in the right direction.” The next steps and his eventual return to practice are, in DiPietro’s words, “up to the doctors.” The goalie said, “I’m going to come back when I’m 100%.”
Calvin de Haan is playing tonight and likely in New Jersey. After the morning skate, coach Scott Gordon didn’t sound like he was ready to rule out anything regarding de Haan.
Sean Bergenheim and Doug Weight skated before the team. Bergenheim reports that he’s “closer” and hopes to return to practicing with the team “in a few days” with the goal of being ready for the season opener Oct. 3.
NYI announce 6 cuts: Jesse Joensuu, Justin DiBenedetto, Sean Bentivoglio, Tyler Haskins, Tony Romano and Nate Lawson are outtahere. I would think Bridgeport-bound.
There goes the Joensuu hype.
Among those here and maybe playing tonight: Tomas Marcinko, Greg Mauldin, Joel Rechlicz, Jeremy Reich, Micheal Haley.
Prediction: the Islanders could be a lot closer to the max 23 in the next two days. By the time of the New Jersey game on Tuesday, they could have their opening night lineup (not counting injury replacements).
Trent Hunter has a strained pectoral and is day-to-day.
No official word yet on Kyle Okposo.
Tonight’s game is on MSG Plus. Jiggs McDonald, Billy Jaffe, Deb Placey and Butch Goring will have the action.
Great news for Chris King. He’ll host the pre-game, post-game and intermission segments on the Islanders radio network. When the Islanders are on Versus, Kinger will call the play-by-play. He will also call high school games for MSG Varsity.
Gordon on Tavares: “There’s things he’ll do with the puck we haven’t seen in the last year.” The coach said Tavares will learn more from games like tonight, such as the limited time and space he’ll have. The coach on the first week of camp: “It’s been a challenge with so many games in such short time.” Later on he said, “I didn’t see a whole lot of Saskatoon.” Gordon said he’s very happy with his goaltending: “They’ve all been really consistent.”
Besides that, not much going on in the Country.