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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Islanders, Saturday 10-10

Rick DiPietro (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Another ugly performance from the Bruins on Thursday kept the yo-yo start of Boston’s season going, as the 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Ducks made fans quickly forget the B’s drubbing of the ‘Canes the game before. At 1-2 now with two games left on this five-game season opening homestand, the Bruins hope to take two points out of each of these next two very winnable games, starting with Saturday’s match-up against last season’s worst team, the New York Islanders, followed by a Columbus Day matinee on Monday, hosting the Avalanche.

Let’s take a closer look at the match-up with New York…

  • The Islanders are still hungry for their first win of this young season. So far, the Isles have taken a point from each of their first two games, a shootout loss to Pittsburgh and a 3-2 OT loss to Ottawa on Thursday evening.
  • Last season, New York finished dead last in the league, posting a dreadful 26-47-9 record. Head-to-head last year, the B’s were 4-0, outscoring New York 17-6 in the four games. Boston has won six straight over the Isles overall.
  • The Islanders had zero 20-goal scorers last year, while Boston led the league with seven different 20-goal scorers. New York was led by right winger Kyle Okposo (18 goals, 21 assists), defenseman Mark Streit (16 goals, 40 assists), and new captain, veteran centerman Doug Weight (10 goals, 28 assists).
  • By finishing last in ’08-’09, GM Garth Snow was able to draft 19-year-old centerman John Tavares first overall in the offseason draft. Tavares has led the way so far this year with a goal and two assists in New York’s two opening games.
  • In goal, a trio of veteran netminders are on patrol for the Islanders. Injured Boston University grad Rick DiPietro, #1 overall pick in 2000, will not join the team until later this year. Until then, 39-year-old Dwayne Roloson (28-24-9, 2.77 GAA with Edmonton last season) and Martin Biron (29-19-5, 2.76 GAA with Philadelphia last season) will fill the void. My guess, based on past success, is that the Bruins will see Biron in net tonight, as Biron has posted a 5-1-1 record vs. Boston with a 2.39 GAA in his last 8 games.
  • Beyond DiPietro, the only other local flair featured by the Islanders is behind their bench in second-year head coach Scott Gordon. Gordon, a native of Easton, MA, made a name for himself at Boston College from 1982 to 1986, where he played goalie for the Eagles. Gordon went on to coach in the minor leagues, highlighted by five seasons as head coach of the Providence Bruins.
  • On the good guys’ side, Marc Savard will look to continue his success against the Isles. Savard has scored a point (5 goals, 13 assists total) in all 12 games he has played against New York while being a Bruin.
  • David Krejci, fresh off a big offseason contract extension, has yet to make the score sheet in three games this season. Last year, he was an NHL-leading +37. This season, he’s at a disappointing -3.
  • Boston hopes to fill the scoring void left by Phil Kessel this season. Kessel had perhaps his greatest amount of success last year against the Islanders, posting up five goals and three assists in his three games against New York.

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