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Morning Skate Updates 2/28/13

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
The Islanders will have morning skate at Nassau Coliseum at 10:30 a.m. in preparation for their game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Check this space for the latest updates throughout the skate.

10:15: Always a fun day with the Leafs in the building. Seven players on the Islanders 23-man roster hail from Ontario, while all three parts of the John Tavares-Matt Moulson-Brad Boyes line have roots in the greater Toronto area.

10:30: In about eight hours, this will be a high-5 line. Here's Colin McDonald:

10:33: From McDonald to MacDonald...A-Mac getting ready to hit the ice:

11:00 Jack Capuano talked early today, and we got some good stuff from Boyes and Tavares as well. A couple lineup changes - Keith Aucoin, David Ullstrom and Radek Martinek are scratched. That means Eric Boulton and Joe Finley return to the fold. Third and fourth lines should look something like this:

Michael Grabner - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Eric Boulton

Take a listen: New York Islanders - Jack Capuano 02/28/2013

11:11: Brad Boyes, on playing alongside John Tavares: "Being in the Eastern Conference the last couple years, I saw him a little more, but still not as many times as I do now, where it's day-to-day. You can see the way he plays every night, the way he competes, the way he wants to score goals and win. His determination at that age is awesome to see. It's pretty impressive."

11:15: Boyes, on playing Toronto, the team he rooted for growing up: "I love it. My buddies are all big Leafs fans. They always watch them. They don't always get the Islanders games, but now for sure they'll be watching. I always enjoy playing them. I know there's a lot of people who are going to be watching from home."

11:22: New York and Toronto media gather around John Tavares.

11:24: Tavares, on playing against his hometown team: "It's always a lot of fun playing against him, whether it's here or in Toronto. They've been playing well, and they're a team we're trying to catch, so it's a big game for us. Obviously a lot of people back home will be watching."

11:26: Tavares: "We haven't been very good at home, and we didn't start the [Jan. 24 game at Toronto] very well, so we can't start the way we did. More times than not when you start like that, especially on the road, you're not going to be successful. We need a strong effort at the beginning. With them playing last night and traveling, it's a good opportunity for us. In saying that, we have to be ready to play. We can't expect an easy game. We have to come out hard and make it physical and try to wear them down."

11:32: The Maple Leafs are taking the ice. They lost at home last night to Montreal, and flew to the Island afterward, so my guess is this will be a short, optional skate.

11:40: Upon closer examination, very few Toronto players even at the arena right now. Most are at the hotel, including Head Coach Randy Carlyle. That's going to do it for coverage this morning.

Check tonight for live updates during the Islanders-Maple Leafs game. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
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