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Morning Skate Updates: 10/21/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will make his fourth straight start for the Islanders. Halak is 3-1-0 this season and is coming off a 35-save effort Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders goalie is 1-0 at Nassau Coliseum.

Head Coach Jack Capuano said Lubomir Visnovsky was “feeling pretty good” after one full day of practice with the team and a morning skate. The coach did not offer an update on his playing status tonight, saying he will evaluate it this afternoon.

Capuano said “there’s a good chance,” Travis Hamonic will be in tonight’s lineup, but said the coaching staff will make a decision this afternoon.

Projected Lines:
89 Cory Conacher 91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
86 Nikolay Kulemin 29 Brock Nelson 15 Cal Clutterbuck
12 Josh Bailey 51 Frans Nielsen 18 Ryan Strome
17 Matt Martin 53 Casey Cizikas 13 colin mcdonald

Where and When:
Tonight's game is on MSG Plus 2 at 7 p.m with Visa Islanders Gamenight starting at 6:30 p.m. Check local channel listings here. Buy tickets here.

Raking Leafs: The Isles are 5-1-2 in their last eight games against Toronto.

Back-End Scoring: The Isles have six goals from their defense in the first five games; they had only 23 goals from the defense all last season.


Early Leaders:
John Tavares leads the NHL with seven assists and is tied with Sidney Crosby for the league scoring lead with nine points. He opened the season with four straight multi-point games, becoming the second player in Islanders history to do so (Mike Bossy had seven straight multi-point games to start the 1984-85 season).

Good Toronto Boys:
The Islanders currently have four players from the Greater Toronto Area: Casey Cizikas, Cory Conacher, Ryan Strome and John Tavares. An additional four players (Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Matt Carkner and Calvin de Haan) hail from Ontario.

They Said It:
Travis Hamonic on his status tonight and the prospect of taking a few extra days of rest:

It would be disappointing [if I didn’t play]. You obviously want to play as many games as you can... I play every game like it’s my last. I play every game, like it’s the most important game of the season. It doesn’t matter if it's game one or 82, I’m not the kind of guy who is trying to get extra rest here and there. I’ll try to play through everything I can, it doesn’t matter the situation. I put my heart on my sleeve and try to be smart about it, but I won’t try to opt for more rest because it’s the start of the year.

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