By Billy Jaffe
The Islanders have to continue to play like they've done the past two games against this young Philadelphia Flyers team. Here's my look at the keys to today's game, which can be seen on FSN NY at 1:00. Pre-game show starts at 12:30 pm.
1. The Flyers have something to play for
The Islanders are fighting to make the playoffs, while the Flyers are trying to keep from becoming the worst team in franchise history. At 54 points, they'd have to win their final two games to match their all-time low of 58 points set in their third season (1969-70). The Islanders have to come out hard, fast and strong to keep the Flyers from having any hope. This won't be an easy game and the Islanders learned that a couple of weeks ago when they needed a late Andy Hilbert goal to win in their previous meeting.
2. Attack the defense
The Flyers have a young and inexperienced defense. The Islanders can take advantage of that aspect by not giving them any time or space. Don't give the defense time to handle the puck or react. Just get right on them.
3. Get everyone involved
One of the best parts about the Islanders' win over Toronto was that everyone got involved. Guys like Asham need to grind and the Blake types need to control the puck and create chances. The Yashin line also showed some physical play and that needs to continue.
4. Protect Dubie
The Islanders' defense did a much better job in Dubie's second start, protecting him and reducing the number of shots. Even though Dubie said he doesn't mind facing 40+ shots, it's best if they limit the workload and keep the pressure on Biron. The defense should move the puck up quickly and not over handle it.
Catch Jaffe, Howie Rose and Deb Kaufman at 12:30 pm today on FSN NY for the Islanders pre-game show. You can watch the final Islanders regular-season game on FSN NY 2, Sunday afternoon. Islanders telecasts are produced by Kevin Meininger and directed by Larry Roth.