New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders - Preseason Game #5 Preview

Martin Brodeur will be playing tonight. Who else will? You got me. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Time: 7:00 PM EDT

The Broadcast: The game's going to have streaming audio at WFAN.com but no video as far as I can tell.   Per Rich Chere, the Devils' site will also have audio coverage - but no video. Let me know if there's any additional broadcasting information.

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (1-0-3) vs. the New York Islanders (0-2-0)

The Last Devils Game: It wasn't pretty, it wasn't great overall, but the power play finally got a goal and Ilya Kovalchuk scored a game winner in the third period.  Matt has all the details in his recap of the 3-2 win over Philly.

The Last Islanders Game: The Islanders played a split squad set on Wednesday, playing the Flyers and Flames.  They lost both, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.  Dominik at Lighthouse Hockey has some notes on the player performance in both games.

The Goal: Once again, the results don't matter. However, this is the first half of a back-to-back set of games, a home-and-away if you will, for the Devils.  Since the two games will end the Devils preseason, this has to be the time to start getting serious on establishing the final roster.  Given the Devils' cap problems, they'll still look at some young players to see who can be seriously considered as replacements for the eventual-players-to-be-moved.  Nevertheless, the time is now for the Devils to work out just a few more kinks in their game, especially on special teams.   I have a few more thoughts on tonight's game after the jump.

The big story out of camp in the past two days have been injuries.  The first one happened today; Anton Volchenkov blocked a shot with his foot and left practice early.  He's OK, though. According to Lou in this Rich Chere article, the foot isn't broken and the team expects him to practice tomorrow. The second one occurred on Tuesday, as Bryce Salvador left the game early after taking a hit from James van Reimsdyk.  Two days later, it's still unknown what actual injury he may have.  The Devils aren't using the C-word.   Per this Rich Chere post, Lou's been vague and all he's essentially saying is that he's still undergoing further tests. 

Since he's been off the ice, I presume he won't be playing tonight.  Some Devils fans may wonder whether this means he can go on long term injured reserve and solve the Devils' cap problems.  Let me be clear, if he's seriously hurt, then yes, he should go on LITR.  However, it's not going to actually solve the problem so much as put it off. A team is allowed to go over the cap by whatever amount the player on LITR is worth.  However, once he's healthy, the Devils absolutely have to make cap space to activate him.  It's not really a "stashing place" for salary dumps, more a temporary allowance for teams beset by injury.  In any case, if you're hoping he's moved, then you should be hoping he's healthy since a team can't trade an injured player as far as I know.

Going back to tonight's game, it's unclear as of this writing (8:10 PM on 9/30) as to who will be on the Devils' roster. John MacLean told the media - Rich Chere in this case - that Martin Brodeur will get the start tonight.  And that's it for now.  Marcus Nilson definitely won't play tonight.  At the end of this Brendan Prunty post, Nilson has gone back to Sweden.  Clearly, he didn't make the team.  So if you're looking for lineup information, follow Chere and Gulitti throughout the day for updates.

As for the Islanders, they'll be using these games to not only tune up their team but figure out what to do after some serious injuries of their own. They are now without top defenseman Mark Streit and burgeoning forward Kyle Okposo. I have to agree with Dominik that there's no real replacement for Streit, he's that special of a defender.   Yes, they recently signed Mike Mottau; but I'd be shocked if he just stepped in for Streit (and wouldn't recommend it at all).  On top of that, the Islanders have to figure out who's going to replace Okposo's spot in the lineup.  So these two games with New Jersey are important for them as well.

Lastly, I must repeat the mantra of preseason: the results don't matter as much as the performance.  Keep that in mind when watching the game live at the Rock or listening via the Internet.  Please leave your thoughts about tonight's game, as well as any updates (and remember to provide a link to the actual source), in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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