Game of the Month 2/28/19: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Islanders Preview

Today is a day that almost every Islanders fan had circled on their calendar.  The day that the man who we thought was our savior, our franchise player, our captain returns to the Nassau Coliseum for his first regular season game since 2015, but in a uniform that Islanders fans never thought they’d ever see him in.  Of course you know that I am talking about John Tavares.

This game has been long awaited since Jul. 1.  The fans finally get their chance to really show Tavares how they really feel about him.

The Maple Leafs were in Toronto to take on the struggling Edmonton Oilers last night. They dominated, thanks in part to two points from Tavares, but they surprising started Frederik Andersen. Toronto currently sit in third place in the Atlantic Division, third place in Eastern Conference, and fourth in NHL.

The Islanders are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.  Matthew Tkachuk scored the opening goal of the game in the second period, but Josh Bailey got the equalizer a few minutes later.  Then, in the third, Mikael Backlund put one by Robin Lehner to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.  Just a few minutes later, Rasmus Andersson added an insurance goal to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.

As of late, the Islanders have not been playing up to par.  In just one week, they saw their five-point lead in the Metropolitan Division vanish as the Washington Capitals have tied the Islanders for first place.  In their last 10 games, the Isles are 6-3-1 but are 2-2-1 in their last five.  They currently sit tied for first in the Metropolitan Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, and sixth in the NHL.

Lines for tonight’s game has not been announced yet, but no matter who plays, it will sure to be an emotional night. For all of you going, have fun. Here are some things we have planned for tonight!


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Tomorrow is the day. John Tavares will return to Nassau Coliseum. Here is what we have planned for the game: Before the game, I will be tailgating near the Marriott. Come on down and say hi! For warmups, walk down to Toronto’s side and place your John Tavares Traitor jersey against the glass. Hopefully, we can fill the circumference of the glass with Traitor jerseys. During the tribute video, the @blue_orangearmy will have a drum beat going to the tune of “Let’s Go Islanders!” Instead, chant “We Don’t Need You” in a beautiful display of unity. Be on the lookout for “Please Don’t Trade Me” and “Barzal’s Better” chants throughout the night. Also, don’t throw anything on the ice or boo the Canadian National Anthem. This game will be watched by NHL fans everywhere, so let’s not look like assholes. If you can’t go to the game, @salisburytavern is having a watch party! Make sure to attend for a night of fun. Also, if you don’t have tickets yet and want to go, I have two tickets in section 231 row 2 available for $225 each. DM me if interested. That’s all I have! Hope to see you guys tomorrow for the game of the year! #Isles #Islanders #drive4five #JohnTavares

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Points: TOR M. Marner (71) NYI M. Barzal (51)

Goals:  TOR J. Tavares (35) NYI A. Lee (21)

Assists:  TOR M. Marner (50) NYI M. Barzal (34)

Plus/Minus:  TOR R. Hainsey (+30) NYI C. Cizikas (+23)

PIM:  TOR Z. Hyman (55) NYI A. Lee (54)

Save %:  TOR F. Andersen (.922) NYI R. Lehner (.930)

GAA:  TOR F. Andersen (2.60) NYI R. Lehner (2.10)

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