After practice Scott Gordon said that Rick DiPietro would be getting evaluated today, and if what he has been told is correct, that his rehabbing goaltender was likely just being cautious.
Depending on how the evaluation goes, however, it could become a cause for concern.
"If it's what I'm told--that he's just being cautious, then no [I'm not concerned], but if it turns out to be something more severe than I would be concerned," Gordon said.
Given DiPietro's long road to recovery, it's really only prudent for the Islanders to be as cautious as possible.
"From where he's coming from," Gordon said. "He has to be."
Gordon said defenseman Andy Sutton, who is recovering from a groin strain, "looks like" he'll play, but I would not count on it.
Groin strains/pulls are not a pain-tolerance type of injury. One shift can set you back a long time if you don't fully recover before returning and I'd put my money on Sutton playing this one smart and safe.
When asked how he felt, Sutton said "pretty close," but said he'd talk to Gordon before the game and focus on making the best long-term decision.
Sutton, who is certainly not lacking anything in the toughness department, is one of the fiercest competitors and finds it truly miserable sitting out (which he has had to do a lot of with his rough luck with injuries the past few years), but I'm guessing that he'll give it some more time.
Jesse Joensuu is up and ready to go. He said he was told by the coaches they need a big body in front of the net to win some battles. We'll see if he can replicate the success he had in first NHL game last year (a goal in his NHL debut) tonight.
Gordon is currently looking at Josh Bailey playing the left wing as a way to get him some more ice time. With Tavares offensive contributions and Nielsen's defensive skill, Gordon said he wants to add some versatility with Bailey and find a way to get him more ice time.
John Tavares still is rocking the half-tooth, courtesy of Chris Pronger's face-mashing boarding in Philly, but he'll likely be getting it fixed some time next week.