JAFFE'S MORNING SKATE
By Billy Jaffe
Here's my look at the keys to tonight's game, which can be seen on FSN NY at 7:30. Pre-game show starts at 7:00 pm.
1. Better positioning
With the team struggling, the players have been trying to do too much. They're starting to get out of position. Defensemen are stepping up when they should be staying back. They're chasing when they need to stay in their spots. The Islanders need to go back to the basics of positioning. That is the most important thing for this game.
2. Top guns need to step up
The Islanders' best players have to be their best players. The top players have to get it done. The Islanders have been in a bit of a funk recently, and the team needs their scorers to get the offense going.
3. Limit second chances
The Panthers like to shoot the puck, so the Islanders need to limit the second and third chances on goal. Florida hasn't done a good job of getting to the front of the net. They take a lot of shots, but haven™t scored much.
4. Watch out for Gelinas, Weiss and Horton
Martin Gelinas is the speedy, grind-it-out guy. Stephen Weiss is the shifty player, and Nathan Horton is the power forward with the heavy shot. The Islanders have to keep that line in check.
Catch Jaffe, Howie Rose and Deb Kaufman at 7:00 pm tonight on FSN NY for the Islanders pre-game show. You can watch the Islanders games on FSN NY and MSG Network all season long. Islanders telecasts are produced by Kevin Meininger and directed by Larry Roth.