Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
Preseason pregame: Isles vs. Bruins in Bridgeport
-- Al Montoya gets the start tonight in goal, but he and Evgeni Nabokov will split time fairly evenly. That's another sign that Rick DiPietro is the leader for the opening night start, given that he got a full game on Friday against the Devils and looked good doing so.
-- Casey Cizikas will get his only preseason game tonight, and he's playing on the right side of Josh Bailey and Jay Pandolfo instead of Cizikas' normal center spot. "Honestly, he was one of our best players in those rookie games (on Sept. 12 and 13)," Jack Capuano said. "Maybe in hindsight, I should have played him sooner than tonight, and he's on the wing, so there's a chance mistakes will be made. But his work ethic and his determination over the last three weeks have shown me a lot."
-- Bailey is playing his fourth game of the five this preseason, and he's been shuffled around in terms of linemates and situations. But after his contract talks went down to the final hours before camp, and with the glut of scoring forwards on the squad, Bailey knew he'd be spotting in more of a third-line center role -- two-way play, faceoffs and penalty killing being his chief concerns rather than piling up offense.
"I could really see it coming last year," he said. "The best teams have that depth in all areas and the pressure's a little bit less on everyone equally when you have that. I had that mindset of coming in, earning my spot and proving to the coaching staff that they can rely on me in any situation."
-- Blake Comeau, a natural left wing, moves to the right side on a line with Micheal Haley and Marty Reasoner. Comeau had some good chances and worked hard on Friday in Newark, but Capuano wants to see Comeau drive the net more and work in traffic. Perhaps he'll do that on the right side.
-- Capuano said Nino Niederreiter (groin) had some treatment today, but nothing more. The staff should have a better handle on the injury by tomorrow or Monday.