The New York Islanders will lean on JF Berube in net for the second straight game when they host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.
- New York Islanders (11-13-6)
- Ottawa Senators (17-11-3)
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- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Prior to the contest against Buffalo, Jean-Francois Berube has only seen one relief appearance so far this season. He entered the game vs. the Blue Jackets in the third period of a 6-2 loss. Today, he will start his second straight game for the New York Islanders
Cappy: Berube in goal tonight. Jaro will back up. Beauvillier in for Cizikas (upper body). #Isles
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 16, 2016
The Islanders have dropped the past four games, and are 0-3-1 after coming off a stretch that saw them go 5-0-1. It seems that the attitude surrounding the team has quickly shifted from “Can they make the playoffs?” to “Who will they trade for next season?” within the span of about one month.
Jack Capuano announced today that Berube will make his second straight appearance after having a fraction of one period of play all season.
For someone who has not had any consistent playing time all season, Berube looked rather sharp, stopping 34 of 37 Buffalo shots for a .919 save percentage.
Fans have been clamoring for the rookie goaltender to get a look all season, prompting the #FreeBerube movement to get him voted into the NHL all-star game.
It appears now with a trade freeze taking effect at midnight on December 19 (and lasting until the 27) the Islanders could be looking to begin making moves to shape this roster in time for the 2017-2018 campaign.
While a move within the next 12 or so hours is not at all likely, this could be the beginning of showcasing for GM Garth Snow‘s Islander team.
For the Ottawa Senators, it is expected that Andrew Hammond will be in goal. Mike Hoffman will miss his second and final game due to serving a suspension after cross-checking Logan Couture when the Senators faced the Sharks on Wednesday.
Cappy: "Casey (upper body) is going to be a little while. He hasn't even hit the ice yet, so we don't expect him anytime soon."
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 18, 2016
Despite having Casey sidelined fans will be happy to have Beauvillier in consistently for the brief future.
Despite the continued inconsistency of the Nick Leddy–Travis Hamonic line, Capuano has not changed his defensive pairings in weeks. Capuano has placed his faith in the hopes that they can break out of their continual slump together.
Berube getting these starts in is crucial for the Islanders. If their coveted rookie goaltender demonstrates enough capability in his time here, it is likely that he will roll for the rest of the season in some fashion.
The Islanders could be watching their future starter begin his career this season. One can only hope Berube will help bring stability to a position of inconsistency for the Islanders.