Islanders Get Extra Push in John Tavares Sweepstakes

Fun times to be an Islander fan. Really, I swear.

Right now the Islanders are in the middle of the second period against the Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The Islanders are lost 2-1, which is not surprising considering the record of the two teams (the Islanders are the worst team in the NHL and the Rangers are fifth in the Eastern Conference). But the biggest story coming out of the game Tuesday night, and what could likely be the lead story in the morning papers, is that the Islanders goaltending situation has actually gotten worse.

That's not to say that Joey MacDonald is a bad netminder. He's actually been playing surprisingly well for the Islanders this year in the wake of Rick DiPietro's plethora of injuries. Through 35 starts, MacDonald has a .900 save percentage and a 3.28 GAA, which isn't bad considering the team that he has playing in front of him and that he has been pelted with shots each and every night. Coming into tonight's action MacDonald had made the most saves of any NHL netminder and had also faced the most shots.

But early in the game tonight, the Islanders temporarily extended their lead in the John Tavares sweepstakes when MacDonald left during the first period with what appeared to be an injury to his left leg. During the second period of the MSG+ telecast, play-by-play man Howie Rose reported that it was a "groin strain" and that MacDonald will be "further evaluated tomorrow." Backup Yann Danis entered the game and appears to be in for the duration. There is no timetable right now, but if MacDonald is out for a long time, the season for the Islanders just went from terrible to horrific.

There is also no word on whether or not Garth Snow would come down from the press box and suit up if Danis were to get hurt.

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