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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preview: Isles @ Hurricanes, RBC Center 1.28.10

The Hurricanes are fresh off a 5-1 drubbing of the offense-starved New York Rangers. The Isles, not-so-fresh off of a 7-2 drubbing by the high-flying Washington Capitals.

This should be good.

"Good", as in interesting to see whether fatigue gets the better of the 'Canes, and whether the Isles will shake off the disappointment and take advantage.

The last time these two teams met was on November 13, 2009. Kyle Okposo had just come back from a bout with H1N1 and put the game away in overtime, proving that neither the flu nor Hurricanes can take him down. (Wink, wink.) This time, though, while the 'Canes have the worst record in the league (17-28-7, 41 points), they've won two in a row, both by scores of 5-1 (Bruins and Rangers, respectively). They also have quite a bit of offensive prowess in the form of Eric Staal, Ray Whitney and Jussi Jokinen, so the Isles will be wise to try and shut those guys down.

As far as goaltending goes, Cam Ward has been on point lately, it seems; the Isles would do wise to pressure and really test him early on, and not shoot to the chest like the Rangers were doing last night. It's also up to the defense to push the 'Canes to the outside and not let them crash the net on either Dwayne Roloson or Rick DiPietro. With Jack Hillen out for 6-8 weeks with a broken jaw, they will look to newly recalled (again) Dustin Kohn to help out in that respect.

The Isles have to get back on point somehow. They're a small team, but during their six-game home winning streak, they were putting on the body well, playing physically and aggressively. It can be done here; as is obvious, when they finish their checks, they win games. We'll see how that goes tonight.

Game time is 7:00 p.m.; pregame, 6:30. You can see this one, as usual, in HD on MSG Plus.


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