Islanders Bits: In which Dolan says the Cup is nigh. Which is awesome.

Must...kill...the Queen. Must...kill...the Queen.

NHL.com's Brian Compton (who has taken to posting all kinds of fun factoids late each night @BComptonNHL), noted that the Rangers "are off to best start through 44 games in 40 years. 1971-72 squad got off to a 30-7-7 start."

That's nothing compared to what James Dolan did last night, in what were his first Rangers comments to media in ages. Essentially, he said he sees the Stanley Cup is near.

Which is excellent, of course. Because he probably thinks being in first place right now means they're right there. And he's a tycoon living in a bubble, so he probably doesn't get how these comments will be trotted out for every Rangers losing streak and for every year they fall short over the decades as 1994 feels more and more like 1940.

With the silliness of New York media (not individually, but as a single, self-defeating race-to-the-LCD kind of ecosystem) and the insanity of the legions of vocal fans who call in to sports shows to rant about whatever grinds their gears ("I tell ya P.A. Parenteau's no good!"), this is just a bad idea. The Rangers are playing swell right now. They should rightly be happy. (Of course, if they miraculously got to the finals, well...other teams are hot.)

But their owner shouldn't be pulling media aside to rave and talk of the Cup (nor "that thing," as he put it) and giving Rangers haters timeless material. Not now. Not in January.

Islanders: About Last Night

Recaps from: Us | Newsday, with Isles players seeing the same things we did | IPB recap by Keith, I mean Schultz (LIAR!) Japers' Rink, where they're quite bummed by the Caps effort | Wash. Post (they're no longer the "second-worst" in the conference, by the way | "Worst loss of the season" per Kings of Leonsis

Matt Martin on the win in front of the fathers, who are on this trip (can't really think of anything better than a dads trip like this, honestly):

Nice to get a win for the fathers, but I think they were doing more than just watching the game tonight

Good times.

Capuano on Last Night's Game


The Players on Last Night's Game (Nabby, PAP, Hamonic)


Hockey Links

Ahhhh, so THIS is what it takes for Dion Phaneuf to pretend that NHL players should be accountable for dirty hits: The dirty needs to happen TO him, not by him. Good to know. (Foligno is a cheap little devil, so it's always satisfying when cheap takes out cheap.)

This is funny, and it's great when reporters' feelings are hurt: Colorado writer upset by Semyon Varlamov not talking after a 6-1 loss. Can't you see how it harmed his game recap? (In truth, i empathize with reporters who get the cold shoulder from time to time, but when they pout about it everyone just looks bad.)

Is Ryan Kesler impervious to criticism?

The Sabres are in trouble, looking for answers. Supposedly they're after some sort of top six-for-top six trade, but who wants to do that with what they have to give (rentals and guys on long contracts)? Ryan Miller says a trade would be ridiculous anyway.

Sean Courturier scored again last night (shorthanded) and is good. Except on faceoffs. But that will come as he learns the league.

Frightening but alright (plus 40 stitches or so): Taylor Hall takes teammate’s skate to face during warmups (Video) | Puck Daddy

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