October 8, 2011

Opening Night is Here; NYI FYI Radio Show Returns Sunday!

Welcome to opening day! In just a few hours, the 40th season of New York Islanders hockey will be underway as they take on the Florida Panthers. We've made it this far, now we just have to wait a little longer.

The game looks like it will be a sellout, which is great when you consider the fact that last years game only brought in over 13,000. When you factor in all that went on during the summer both good (John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo extensions) and bad (August 1st vote), it is great to be able to get that building packed again. Isles fans are among the most passionate, and tonight should be loud and proud.

Al Montoya, who had a strong preseason will get the nod tonight for the Islanders. Jose Theodore is in net for the Panthers. Many are happy with the decision to start Montoya, and I am too. However, Rick DiPietro had a strong camp I thought. While I won't say that DiPietro was flat out better than Montoya, DiPietro was solid and didn't give as many second chances up as Montoya did throughout the preseason. Not to mention, Montoya also had the benefit of playing with the better line-ups. Having said that, that's a good thing because of that familiarity. Hopefully it carries over into the start of the season.

Milan Jurcina is out due to his groin injury. Andrew MacDonald, who didn't practice yesterday due to a maintenance day, will be in the line-up. He's coming back from offseason hip surgery.

Ryan Strome and Evgeni Nabokov are the Isles other scratches for the night.

Last season, Tavares scored his first career hat trick against the Panthers on October 23rd. He's got six points in eight career games against the Cats. Matt Moulson also recorded a hat trick against them, on February 21st.

NYI FYI RETURNS TOMORROW! Sean and I are proud to be back for what will be the 5th season of the NYI FYI radio show/podcast! We'll record live at 11 AM and the podcast will be up shortly after that.

For those who like to listen live, we do the show using uStream. You can access that by going here. There is a chat room component to uStream, so we'll take your questions and comments that way. As always, you can find the podcast after the show is finished over here.

I'll be at the game tonight, as I have been the last few home openers. For those of you who are too, feel free to @ us on Twitter! Would be nice to meet some of you!



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