NHL Game of the Week: Islanders vs Devils at the Barclays Center

The New York Islanders during their first visit to the Barclays Center. Photo by Rob Abruzzese.

The New York Islanders during their first visit to the Barclays Center. Photo by Rob Abruzzese.

NHL GAME OF THE WEEK

WHO: New York Islanders vs the New Jersey Devils

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Brooklyn Baby! At the Barclays Center

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: This is the very first NHL game ever to be played in Brooklyn.

The Islanders had a great season last year and as unlikely as it was they made the playoffs. Even though they were bounced from the first round by the Penguins, they managed to show they were not pushovers. John Tavares also firmly established himself as one of the top five players in the league.

Still, it’s going to be tough for the Islanders to get back there. They need experienced players like Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey to stop up and start playing like consistent veterans and they need rookies like Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson to emerge. Perhaps most importantly, they need to figure out who is going to be their starting goalie. Evgeni Nabokov is obviously the man they’re most likely to rely on, but he’s 38-years-old and seemed to slow down as the season went on last year.

Those kinds of things are neither easy, nor a foregone conclusion. But that’s what the preseason is all about. Finding out how close these guys are. Luckily, the fact that this could be a somewhat of a big game as far as preseason games goes could actually help. It’s easier to see what a player is really made of if there is something on the line. So while this isn’t technically a meaningful game it could still be pretty big.

And, of course, it’s the first game in Brooklyn so it’s only natural that some of these players are going to want to impress their future fans.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

New York Islanders center John Tavares
New York Islanders left wing Matt Moulson
New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur
New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias
New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr

COACHES:

New York Islanders: Jack Capuano
New Jersey Devils: Peter DeBoer

FOLLOW THE ACTION: Follow Brooklyn Eagle Sports on Twitter @BkEagleSportsfor updates during the game. Then check back here at the website afterward for recaps, photos, and analysis on the game. You can also read our Islanders preseason preview here.


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