12:50 pm, The Rock - The Islanders took part in Scott Gordon’s traditional 17-minute morning skate. With a primary assist from Islanders Radio play-by-play man Steve Mears, here’s the expected combinations for tonight:
Sim – Weight – Guerin
Tambellini – Nielsen – Hunter
Bergenheim – Thompson – Okposo
Comrie – Park – Hilbert
Martinek – Witt
Hillen – Streit
Pock – Meyer
In a move sure to spark some chatter in Comments, Blake Comeau is the healthy forward scratch. On D, looks like Pock has edged out Bruno Gervais for the nod tonight. In the kind of stunning news you’ll only get here, it’s DiPietro vs. Martin Brodeur in goal.
After the skate, Gordon was engaged in some discussion of which of his lines are Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4. Beyond acknowledging Sim-Weight-Guerin as “our perceived No. 1 line,” Gordon said, “other than that, I don’t have an order. The makeup of our team is different. We also want to be able to roll four lines when the time is right to do it.”
The coach also said that lines could be tinkered with during games, especially with Mike Comrie starting as a left wing. “I’m giving myself some options,” he said.
When I was on the other side, I never understood why a coach felt he had to put himself in a corner and commit to identify each lines 1-4. Now that I’m on this side, I feel the same.
ETC: The Islanders announced that Josh Bailey is out day-to-day with a “lower-body injury.”
Though the days of live blogging exhibition games are mercifully behind us, Point Blank will be blogging all day from The Rock. Please check in when you can and, if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer. To get ahead of one popular query, I hope to have an enlightened Lighthouse update in the next few weeks.