Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Game #11 - at New York Islanders

2011-12 Game 11

Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2-2, 14 points) at New York Islanders (3-3-0, 6 points)

Here's one guy you won't see in the lineup tonight.  Wave to everyone from Bridgeport, Michael!
Why does it matter?
This is the first game of the new season against the Islanders, and just the second one since the debacle on Long Island last year.  I don't expect anything to happen, but you never know.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Three straight wins, all with some excellent team play, defense and timely scoring.  If they can keep doing this when the big guns are ready to go, they could be scary.
  • Isles - Things were great until a two game trip to Florida, where they lost consecutive games to Tampa and Florida.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens continue to overcome injuries?  Zybanek Michalek will be out for a month, at least.  Fortunately, the Pens have some depth on the blue line.
  • Will there be any nonsense?  Both Gillies and Martin are on this team, but neither is playing a significant role.
  • How will the penalty kill adapt without Michalek?
Keys to the game
  • Keep up with Grabner.  Michael Grabner has tons of speed, but he's a -2 on the year so far (with two goals).  He isn't going to go through you, but he will try to go past you.  Keep him to the outside.
  • Shut down Tavares.  Tavares is the best player by far on the Isles, and he's off to a fast start with 10 points in 6 games.
  • Use the size advantage.  The Isles don't match up well with the size presented by Neal and Staal.  Crash the net and get some cheap ones.

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