As reported by Arthur Staple earlier in the day, the lines for tonight's game are as follows:
Again, there are some obvious omissions from the Islanders core roster because of the second game in Regina; however, that doesn't mean this game doesn't have impact on the team's decisions moving towards October 4th.
After the jump, you will find what to watch out for during tonight's first game of the preseason.
Can the Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo line carry over their success from 2013?
It appears the Islanders are set on keeping these three players together for the 2013-14 season, which should be a no-brainer after their play down the stretch of their playoff-calibre campaign. The Islanders second-line finished with more goals than half of the league's teams' first line last season, which played a huge part in giving the Isles one of the deadliest offenses in the NHL. Although I'm confident enough to say I believe in this line, it would definitely help to watch them skate their opponents to the ground tonight in Calgary.
Defensive Pairings of the now, and the future?
Also reported by Staple was the breaking up the D-pairing of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald, arguably the Isles top pair in 2013, based on advanced statistics. While Hammer has been paired with Brian Strait throughout training camp, A-Mac has been playing alongside rookie Matt Donovan, an AHL All-Star last season. While nothing is permanent, one would have to think Donovan has the edge to make the team out of training camp based on this pairing alone. Keep an eye out on these two because this is a pairing we may have to get used to this year.
Also, it should be interesting to see Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock paired in their first bit of NHL action. The two defensemen were the previous two first-round selections of Garth Snow, and it could very well be the team's No. 1 defensive match-up in a couple of years.
Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson?
It's the question that has been asked repeatedly by Isles fans throughout the offseason -Who should be the Isles backup goaltender for the 2013-14 season?
Assuming both get playing time tonight in Calgary, Poulin and Nilsson should both have the opportunity to showcase their abilities to head coach Jack Capuano, hopefully making this decision a difficult one. Poulin is widely speculated to have the lead in this competition; however, a healthy Nilsson may be able to steal the show if he's given the nod at some point in this game.
Meet the new Islanders!
Peter Regin and Cal Clutterbuck make their first appearances in the Isles blue and orange tonight. It should be interesting to see if Regin could expand upon Frans Nielsen's hype from earlier this offseason, and it should be fun to see Clutterbuck pinball around the ice while adding the net presence that the Isles' third-line lacked during last season.
How was Gary Roberts' Offseason Program, Kirill Kabanov?
Kabanov is slated for the Islanders fourth-line tonight, but there's a chance that Kabby can find a way to steal the show. He worked his butt off during the offseason, and is taking his game very seriously almost one season after a wrist injury kept him out for most of his first professional season.Can Kirill leave his mark on the ice, the way he has for so many different reasons over his time in the organization?
Hockey's back! Is there anything you are looking forward to watching in tonight's game?
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!