New York Islanders face test against west-leading Blackhawks in Brooklyn
Oct 9, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) controls the puck in front of Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the third period at Barclays Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders will face another dominant team tonight in the Chicago Blackhawks as they look to turn a new leaf after losing the past two games. 

  • New York Islanders (11-12-5)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (19-8-4)
  • NHL, Thursday, Dec. 15, MSG+
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

The New York Islanders will look to hold off the dominant Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the Barclays Center as they try to stop Chicago from being the first western team to 20 wins. The last time the Blackhawks visited the Barclays Center was the 2015-16 home opener in which they won 3-2 in overtime. They’ll face the same man in net tonight, Thomas Greiss.

Different Lines, Different Story?

Jack Capuano is shaking up his offensive lines yet again for an offense which has, frankly, been offensive. The struggling Andrew Ladd has yet again been delegated to Alan Quine‘s side as he looks to once again become the NHL’s highest-paid fourth liner. Quine is coming in to sub for Anthony Beauvillier.

Anders Lee becomes the most recent forward to be promoted to the first line taking Brock Nelson‘s spot after an admirable effort through the past couple of games. Nelson will look to resume his role as the Islanders second line center with the struggling Ryan Strome to his right.

To the dismay of Islanders fans everywhere, the defensive woes will seemingly continue. Capuano has yet to make any defensive changes despite the top pairing of Nick LeddyTravis Hamonic being a combined -29. Capuano has said he enjoys the other two defensive pairings too much to split them up and cause possible confusion elsewhere in the lineup, so don’t expect defensive changes soon unless the rest of the defense falls apart.

Renewing Faith

It seems clear that after a lot of rumors and speculation, there will not be any moves for the Islanders in the near future. By this time, the Islanders are far enough out of a playoff spot that any moves that can be made will most likely be made with the 2017-18 season in mind. But that doesn’t mean that management doesn’t believe in the current roster.

Garth Snow’s public vote of confidence on November 16th continues to be the only notable statement made on the roster for the time being. Capuano will have to work with what he has for the foreseeable future until trade talks being brewing around the deadline in February.

It is the hope of fans that eventually in one of these games, something will begin to click.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.