Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview Number 61: New York Islanders

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Notes:

  • Tavares had three assists in that January 7 game between these teams, but he’s out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee in the Olympics while playing for Team Canada. Tavares is third in league scoring with 66 points in 59 games. Tough break for the Isles.
  • The Islanders have lost six of their last seven games. At this point, the Tavares injury might be a blessing, as the only competition they can still win is the draft lottery.
  • Kulemin got another look at centre in practice this morning. He made the switch from wing in the last two games before the break. Smith looks like he’s ready to make his return.
  • Trade rumours continue to swirl around multiple Islanders, including Vanek, MacDonald and Nabokov. Will they be motivated to provide a good “audition” for the other 29 teams tonight, or will their play suffer under the intensified pressure and scrutiny?
  • Join us tonight for the game thread about an hour before puck drop.
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Tags: John Tavares Jonathan Bernier Nikolai Kulemin Toronto Maple Leafs Trevor Smith