Friday, November 28, 2003

GameDay: vs. NYI (9-9-2-0), 7:30 EST

Tonight is the first and only game this season between these two teams. The Islanders are coming off a shutout loss to the 'Canes and will look to snap a three game losing streak. The Wings blew out Edmonton on Wednesday and should be carrying momentum into this game. New York is 2-6-2 on the road while the Wings are 7-3-0 at home. Dominik Hasek will miss at least two more games with the same groin injury so either Legace or Joseph will be in net tonight. Since Manny started on Wednesday, I'd be surprised if Joseph didn't get the start. Tomas Holmstrom will be out for "a while," according to head coach Dave Lewis, with a separated shoulder. The Wings will promote a player from Grand Rapids (possibly as soon as today) to replace him. Possible candidates include center Kevin Miller, left wing Michel Picard, left wing Derek King or center Jiri Hudler. The Wings have defenseman Jamie Rivers on the active roster who can also play wing, if needed. Ray Whitney is expected to skate today but won't be back at least until next week. Darren McCarty is now out for several weeks with back spasms. He's in a "non-exercise mode right now," says Lewis. The Islanders have been struggling this year, going 2-6-0 since beating the Stars on November 6th. They are exactly .500 so the Wings' record against under- and above-.500 teams doesn't mean anything here. The Wings should be able to build off the game they played on Wednesday and get another win. They'll need to play tight defense because those struggling Isles stars can always turn it on and creative offense because Rick DiPietro has a decent 1.99 GAA and .918 save percentage. The Wings have a high number of injuries but they should still have all the depth they need to win tonight, at least. The Blues are playing tonight as well (in Tampa Bay) so the Wings need this win to at least stay one point back of St. Louis.


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