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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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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preview: Isles @ Panthers, 1.31.10 Bankatlantic Center

This is the fourth and final meeting of the regular season, with each of these team garnering a shootout win on home ice. And unfortunately for the Islanders, who suffered a hard defeat at the hands of the Flyers this afternoon, Florida will be getting back a big piece of their puzzle by the puck drop tomorrow.

David Booth is expected to return for Sunday's game. Booth hasn't played since October 24, when he suffered a concussion after being checked excessively hard by Mike Richards. With his return, the Panthers receive a boost to their offense that the Isles will have to deal with. Today, New York got (almost) back to form, playing hard and with a purpose. All that's left is to stop taking penalties and get more bodies to the front of the net, and the Isles should be back in tip-top shape. The bright spot to all of this is that, even with the addition of Booth, Nathan Horton is still out of the lineup with a broken left tibia. While unfortunate, of course, Horton does take it to the Isles every time he's on the ice, so this is an advantage.

Tomas Vokoun, however, is not. The red-hot Czech goalie allowed two or fewer goals in his last seven starts before allowing four in the Panthers' last game, against Washington. It'll be up the offense to crash the net and perhaps throw him off his game. Either way, this will be a good matchup- two teams who play each other relatively tight regardless of standings, but who just happen to be within a point of each other (Florida holding the upper hand).

So? We'll see if the hopeful ending the Isles provided this afternoon translates into two points tomorrow afternoon. Remember, 4 p.m. start, MSG Plus 2.


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