The views may not be totally unobstructed but the coaches should be able to perfectly view the players appropriately for their own judgments.
The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Broadcast: TV - MSG+
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (0-2-0) at the New York Islanders (1-1-0; SBN Blog: Lighthouse Hockey)
The Last Devils Game: The Devils went into their second preseason game, which was the first for all of the skaters since they didn't play Sunday. They displayed far better special teams than Sunday's group, as they went 3-for-5 on the man advantage and conceded only one late 3-on-5 goal out of the 7 opportunities they had to kill. Alas, the Rangers definitely had the better of chances at even strength and the Devils got faded out in a 3-6 loss. Here's my recap of the game, which features more Mike Sislo praise than you might have guessed.
The Last Islanders Game: The Islanders held a split-squad game with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. One half of each team was in Brooklyn, the other in Allentown. In Brooklyn, the Isles took care of business in a 3-2 win featuring an appearance and a game winner from 2008 (!) draft pick Kirill Petrov. In Allentown, the Isles fell 3-5 to the Flyers. They tied up the game thrice, but the home team pulled away. Dominik has this short recap - not split -at Lighthouse Hockey.
Does This Game Have Mandatory Overtime?: Yes. Regardless of the final score, there will be 3-on-3 hockey for five minutes.
The Injuries So Far: There are a number of Devils that have been held out for one reason or another. According to this Tuesday post by Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice, Vojtech Mozik had arthroscopic knee surgery in July so the Devils have been cautious with him before putting him in games. He might play soon - maybe tonight. Paul Thompson was also held out since getting punched in the face on Sunday. David Schlemko has a "nagging thing" so he has yet to make his Devils preseason debut. Patrik Elias remains out with a knee injury and it's to a point where it's unknown whether he'll play any preseason games. These aren't necessarily massive losses, but as two of them were on the fringe of the roster, one will likely be the #7 defensemen, and the other is Elias, it does hurt that they aren't active and getting prepared for the season. They'll get there in time, though.
The Return: The good news is that Reid Boucher has recovered from his concussion. He was practicing the last two days and Gulitti reported Boucher will play tonight. He'll join Cory Schneider, MacKenzie Blackwood, and likely a squad mostly comprised of who played on Sunday in Boston. The players who played in Manhattan last night got the day off. With a back-to-back at the end of this week and two preseason games next week, there's little need to play guys in consecutive games yet. Schneider aside, since he only played over half of Monday's game.
Based on this post by Gulitti from Tuesday's practice, Boucher may be starting on the right side with Sergey Kalinin and Jacob Josefson. We'll see if that holds up by the time the puck drops tonight.
What I'd Like to See: I'd like to see the Devils not take more than five penalties, play a more consistent game at even strength, and cut down on their turnovers in general. The discipline was absolutely lacking in their first two games. While teams will have good and bad shifts at evens, the Devils really wavered in their first two games. Some better passing and possession will smooth out those swings - and for the better. The turnovers really hurt their performance in both games; they directly led to some of those six goals by New York last night.
Your Take: The Islanders were off yesterday, so we'll know who will be active for them later today. In any case, what do you look forward to seeing tonight? What do you want to see from the Devils, now that mostly everyone has at least one game under their belts? What do you expect from Boucher, should he make his preseason debut? Let me know your answers and other thoughts about tonight's game in the comments. Thank you for reading.