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Islanders prep for Bruins rookies | September

The past two days of Islanders rookie camp have mostly about putting a system in place for the upcoming rookie games today and tomorrow against the Boston Bruins.

“It’s pretty much a brand new group, so they’re trying to pull things together quickly,” Ryan Strome said yesterday following practice. “Just trying to get us a foundation, what to do out there and just so we’re not going in there empty minded. We kind of have an idea of what they expect and what we’re supposed to do out there.”

Isles head coach Jack Capuano announced today that Mikko Koskinen will start tonight’s game and it is expected that Kevin Poulin will start tomorrow night’s game. Capuano has been relying on Mike Dunham and Sudarshan Maharaj for the input on the three rookie net minders at camp, but has tried to focus on watching specific drills.

Poulin is face no restrictions heading into camp. Poulin injured his knee last season and had to have surgery on it. “He’s trained hard and gone through his rehab like our other guys did this summer and I think he’s looking forward to the challenge,” Capuano said.

As far as Capuano’s evaluation of the rest of the players, he has found it hard to look at them individually.  “It’s tough to look at them as individuals because we’re trying to put some systems in there,” he said.

The two upcoming games at the coliseum are something the players are looking forward to.

“It’s definitely exciting and it should be a good challenge,” Strome said yesterday. “There are some good players on that roster and we have some great players in this room, so it’s going to be exciting and hopefully we come out with a win.”

The rookie game also gives the coaching staff a chance to check out the players in a game situation and the players get the chance to show the coaches what they can do.

“We’re looking for guys that want to compete and guys that want to play at a high level,” Capuano said regarding what the coaches are looking for. “Guys that are going to do all the intangibles, whether it’s win face-offs, block shots, finish their checks, how they play in each zone. There’s a lot of things we’re looking for, but I’m excited about it because I haven’t seen these guys. This will be a good opportunity for us to see how they handle some of the physicality in these games.”

“I have to go out there and play my best every shift,” Casey Cizikas said regarding the game. “Give 110 and block shots, win face-offs, do all those little things that helped me get here. It’s definitely things like that that might open their eyes a little more.”

The Islanders face off against the Bruins tonight at 7pm.