The Rangers and Islanders square off again tonight following a game that provoked fights on the ice, and debates in the blogging world. Over the last 4 days, points have been made here by both Rangers and Islanders bloggers, myself included. Some were very valid, including several in the last Islanders' post by Frank. And while it got a little heated with Rob, he also has some points that I agree with. Both also said some things that I disagree with, but hey, I'm a Rangers fan, they're Islanders fans, it's going to happen. I welcome the healthy debate.
Moving on from that, tonight's game will most likely not have quite so much explosiveness as Monday's game. Chris Simon and Rick DiPietro will not dress tonight for the Islanders, and Avery will not dress, and Montoya is reserved for backup duties for the Rangers. Don't expect nothing to happen, however, as it is still Rangers v. Islanders and players like Sutton, Witt, Brennen, Orr, Hollweg and Strudwick are all expected in the lineup. Personally, I think someone owes Sutton a big, crushing hit (legal of course) for his elbow to Callahan, but that's just me.
For the Rangers faithful out there, Jaromir Jagr is nursing a hip flexor, and will not skate tonight, but is probable for tomorrow's preseason finale against Philly. Sean Avery is also less than 100% with a minor groin injury. Steve Valiquette's chances at making the team are also dwindling as he is still recovering from a cut on his hand suffered when he was altering his goalie pads. Thanks to Sam Weinman, we know that Mara and Pock will not be skating tonight on defense, and that the third pairing will be Staal and Strudwick. Artem Anisimov will not skate, but Dubinski will. Lundqvist is penciled in to play the entire game.
That's it for now. I'll be back tonight with some updates on the game. For those in the New York area, the game is on MSG at 7pm. Hopefully tonight's discussions of the game are a lot more civil than the last few days'.