The news broke yesterday that Sonny Milano, the highly-touted first round draft pick in 2014, was recalled by the Blue Jackets. It was confirmed later that he will indeed make his NHL debut tonight against the New York Islanders. Milano is from Massapequa on Long Island and was often a heckler for opposing teams visiting the Nassau Coliseum. His dad is said to be organizing tickets for family and friends, though tonight's game will be in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center.
There was no morning skate today so projected lines are a guess and will probably change throughout the game anyway. Justin Falk was recalled on an emergency basis this afternoon as Ryan Murray continues to battle an illness. Fedor Tyutin did not make the trip to New York and Dean Kukan, also recalled yesterday, is expected to start again. Additionally, Nick Foligno was working at center at yesterday's practice and it looks like the captain will go back in the middle, between Scott Hartnell and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
All that said, we're on to our last six-pack (of games), everyone. The Jackets are in a fierce lottery battle at the moment, remaining one point ahead of a group of three teams in last place. The CBJ are 3-7 over the last 10 games and have often looked like they have checked out in recent games. They currently are tied for the league's longest losing streak with Vancouver at three games.
On the other side, the Islanders were struggling in recent weeks but come into this week coming off of a back-to-back sweep of Carolina. They are trying to hold off Philadelphia and Detroit/Boston for the top Wild Card spot in the East and they have an outside shot to chase down Pittsburgh for the 3rd spot in the Metro.
Some Islanders players are not happy with the ice at Barclays Center. Here is Kyle Okposo after their last game there on Tuesday:
Okposo called the ice "awful." As bad as a preseason game. "It needs to change." And he's the one that scored in the SO. #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) March 30, 2016
All that said, it should at least be fun tonight to watch Milano. He has 10 points (7-3-10) in his last 15 games for Lake Erie. He will wear #22 and is slated to be paired up with Brandon Saad to start. It will be interesting to see if Torts teams him up with fellow rookie Bjorkstrand at any point in the game. Let's see what Sonny's got.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(30-38-8, 68 Points; 8th division, 15th conference)
|Brandon Dubinsky||Boone Jenner||Cam Atkinson|
|Brandon Saad||Alexander Wennberg||Sonny Milano|
|Scott Hartnell||Nick Foligno||BJORKSTRAND|
|Matt Calvert||William Karlsson||Gregory Campbell|
|Justin Falk||Seth Jones|
|Cody Goloubef||David Savard|
|Dean Kukan||Dalton Prout|
New York Islanders
(41-25-9, 91 Points - 4th Division, 6th Conference)
|Josh Bailey||John Tavares||Ryan Strome|
|Nikolay Kulemin||Frans Nielsen||Kyle Okposo|
|Shane Prince||Brock Nelson||Anders Lee|
|Matt Martin||Casy Cizikas||Cal Clutterbuck|
|Nick Leddy||Travis Hamonic|
|Calvin de Haan||Johnny Boychuck|
|Thomas Hickey||Brian Strait|