Back to Fort NeverLose for tonight’s matchup against Toronto. The Leafs have started up and down, with a shaky defense and goal. Jonathan Bernier is the top goalie, and rumored Islander trades for James Reimer did not happen (thank goodness), is the backup.
You have Dion Phaneuf, the overpriced captain – and not a lot of depth behind him on the back line. This could be a focus on the Isles forwards, dominating the back line.
The forwards can be tough to keep down, especially James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel. Interesting that two Yanks are the top of the Toronto attack. The Isles D need to be aware of these guys, and keep marking them. Normally, you would have Travis Hamonic to do that, but he was hurt in practice yesterday, and is a possible scratch from the lineup. Lubomir Visnovsky may make his Islander debut tonight. It will be a whole different look for the rear line, than it was only 6 months ago.
You know that the Toronto boys wearing Orange and Blue (JT, Strome, Bailey among others) always salivate at the opportunity to take it to the “Buds”. Expect a lot from these three tonight.
Will Chad Johnson take the net tonight, or will he get the opportunity to face his old squad at the TD Garden? We will see later this morning, when the lineups come out.
Speaking of TD; I wonder how “Johnny Rocket” gets treated by the Boston faithful on Thursday? I hope that he gets the respect he deserved.
I will be covering this game from the Press Box tonight. I will send my Post Game report to www.sportstalk1240.com, so check it out there tomorrow morning. If you are not going to the game tonight, why? Get your tickets and get out there and show your Islander pride. The guys need you!