Halak in goal: Jaroslav Halak will make his season debut Saturday against the Sharks. Halak sustained an upper-body injury early in training camp and saw little game action, only appearing in two periods of the Islanders first preseason game. Jack Capauno said Halak could have played in the Islanders last game, but the team opted for a slow approach to preserve the health of their number one goaltender.
Capuano: “We’ve waited now to make sure that he’s 100 per cent healthy. He gets his opportunity. Giving him the last two or three days really put him over the top as far as his health goes and his conditioning as well. He’s good now, he’s practiced, he’s conditioned. His timing is where it needs to be.”
“He’s a big part of our team, no question, one of our leaders. He hasn’t played in a while, but I know he’s ready to go. He’s a warrior back there.
Hickey Debuts: Thomas Hickey will make his season debut tonight after suffering a hand injury in the Islanders preseason game against the Washington Capitals on Sept. 28. Hickey was projected to miss four weeks, but was able to come back ahead of schedule. Capuano said in a different situation, Hickey could have played the previous game, but like Halak, oach the cwanted his player to come back fully healthy.
Hickey: “I was pretty optimistic. I’ve been hurt in the past and recovered really quickly. When there’s a timeline, it helps you stay patient and if you can get back before then it’s good, it gave me a goal to work towards. It healed up quick. I was lucky.
It’s tough sitting and watching, but we’ve been doing well, so I’m glad to jump in and be a part of it.”
Strait Out: Brian Strait comes out of the lineup for Hickey.
Boulton on IR: Eric Boulton (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Saturday morning.
Same Lineup: If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it. The Islanders are going with the same forward lineup from Monday’s win.
|Anders Lee ||John TAVARES ||RYAN STROME |
|JOSH BAILEY ||FRANS NIELSEN ||KYLE OKPOSO |
|NIKOLAY KULEMIN ||MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI ||BROCK NELSON |
|MATT MARTIN ||CASEY CIZIKAS ||CAL CLUTTERBUCK |
San Jose enters Saturday’s contest with a perfect 4-0-0 record. The Sharks are white-hot defensively, allowing two goals over their first four games. They are the first team since the 1948-49 Detroit Red Wings to allow two goals in their first four games of a season. Capuano on the Sharks:
“They’ve always had a veteran team. They win a lot of hockey games. We have to focus on ourselves tonight. We know what the San Jose Sharks are going to bring. They are going to shoot pucks from a lot of different angles. They have some veteran guys, good power play, Burns on the back runs that. For us, we have to play a bit better in all areas of our game, than we did last game.”