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Rookie Anders Nilsson thrown to wolves, starts against Penguins tonight

Nov 21, 2011, 12:54 PM EDT

Anders Nilsson Getty Images

It’s not going to be Rick DiPietro that gets the pleasure of dealing with a madhouse in Pittsburgh for Sidney Crosby‘s welcome back game. The Islanders default goalie is getting the night off after a miserable performance against Boston on Saturday and in his place will be rookie Anders Nilsson making his first career NHL start.

Nilsson was called up after both Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov were put on IR with separate injuries and all of Nilsson’s NHL experience came in Saturday night’s drubbing at the hands of the Bruins. Now he’ll have the pleasure of trying to play the spoiler role for Crosby and the Penguins.

Isles coach Jack Capuano making the curious decision to play Nilsson in front of what will be a playoff-like atmosphere for the Crosby welcome wagon could be serving as a way to get the rest of the team fired up and focused for the game.  Making sure everyone is defensively responsible and active is part of what Capuano has to do but if the Isles turn in another craptastic effort against the Pens tonight, things could be changing on Long Island sooner than not.

Best of luck to Nilsson though, it’s a hell of a way to make a memorable first start, here’s to hoping he isn’t thoroughly devoured.

  1. govtminion - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    After what happened to DiPietro during his last marquee matchup with the Penguins, I guess I don’t blame the Isles for wanting to avoid having him go out and do something equally stupid.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Look on the bright side, his name might one day be the answer to a trivia question like, “Who was the opposing goalie when Crosby scored 4 goals in his triumphant return to NHL action after being sidelined for 10 months with a concussion?”

  3. bcisleman - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Part of the thing here is that, after the 2/2/11 debacle, RDP would be a distraction. That awful clip would be shown endlessly. The NYI have been under performing horribly most of the season. Saturday night was just the worst. Time for the rest of the team to man up and, BTW, Anders is a pretty good goalie. I have a feeling that Sid’s in for an unpleasant surprise.

  4. philsosexy - Nov 21, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    They are going to get thrashed…

  5. tcclark - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Wow if this was the NBA i’d think they paid the Islanders to suck on purpose to make Crosby look good…. oh wait, is Bettman that much better than David Stern?

    • haterzgonahate - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      lol.. i think you guys are on to something here! this game reeks of Crosby hat-trick!

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