[Gameday Bits] Columbus Day for Islanders, Independence Day for Dineen & Merry Bryz-mas for All

Do you mind? - Bruce Bennett

The Islanders prepare for the Blue Jackets, Kevin Dineen prepares his resume for a new job and the Oilers prepare for the coming of Bryzgalov the Wanderer.

The Islanders are in Columbus tonight, but you can read these links now over breakfast. Or, if you're like me, read them during your daughter's ballet class.

FIG Picks for tonight's game can be deposited here.

Islanders stuff:

  • UPDATE: Your starting goaltender tonight is Evgeni Nabokov. Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are in, Radek Martinek and Brock Nelson out. Commence proclamations of suicide or abdicated fandom. (but this probably means Kevin Poulin starts Sunday in his hometown of Montreal)
  • Our initial preview of tonight's game against the Blue Jackets. Short version: everybody really needs a win. [LHH]
  • Arthur Staple on suggestions for fixing the Islanders' powerless power play other than "get Lubomir Visnovsky back." [New$day]
  • Ex-Islander sighting: Blake "the other" Kessel has signed with the legendary Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. [ECHL]

Oil Spills All Over The Place

In the space of about an hour last night, the Edmonton Oilers underwent a pretty significant facelift. The first cut was trading longtime defenseman Ladislav Smid to Calgary (gasp!), along with prospect Oliver Roy for center Roman Horak and ECHL goalie Laurent Brossoit. Shocking in its own right, the move turned out later to be a possible salary dump set-up for an even bigger splash.

Reports then surfaced that the Oilers had agreed to terms with erstwhile Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who had been to Russia, Las Vegas and elsewhere since his buyout. Money and term haven't been published yet, but Bryzgalov and his .913 career save percentage are indeed on their way to Edmonton to either replace or play alongside Devan Dubnyk and his .911 career save percentage.

Although Bryzgalov had been a target of some Islanders fans looking for a new goalie, Garth Snow was probably turned off by the eccentric Russian's personality, price tag, play or all three. And the Oilers, struggling mightily so far this season, must have wanted to do something drastic. So they did. (There may be more, with rumors about Wayne Simmonds and Ales Hemsky afloat.)

Copper and Blue writer Benjamin Massey laments the loss of Smid in a magnificent, spell-binding rant that will produce sympathy and abject terror in fans of other rebuilding clubs.


Free Skate:

  • Last night's NHL Scores.Toronto's Jonathan Bernier scored a goal on himself but the Leafs beat the Devils in a shootout, and Ondrej Pavelic and the Jets tuned-up Nashville 5-0.
  • By now you've heard that Kevin Dineen was ousted as Panthers coach yesterday and replaced by Peter Horachek, who was coaching Florida's AHL affiliate in San Antonio. At Bleacher Report, Jonathan Willis outlines the Panthers' real problems behind the scenes, while Scott Cullen of TSN looks at how Dale Tallon bought a little too much into the team's Division title in 2011. [B/R and TSN]
  • One of Dineen's ex-players, Jesse Winchester, was suspended three games yesterday for a stupid flying elbow to the face of Boston's Chris Kelly. [NHL]
  • Slumps happen, even to guys like Evgeni Malkin and Claude Giroux. And boy, is it happening to Giroux hard right now. [SB Nation]
  • Devils goon and resident caveman Cam Janssen scored a real live goal against the Flyers on Thursday. Must be karmic retribution for Martin Brodeur giving up a breakaway goal to Eric Boulton in the preseason. [SBN]
  • Breaking news: it costs a lot of money to watch the Maple Leafs play. If you're in Ontario and want to see a game, you can save a lot of dough by watching the Senators instead. [Puck Daddy]
  • Also from Greg Wyshynski, it's hard to find trading partners when more than half the league is tight against the salary cap. [Puck Daddy]
  • Alex Burrows makes fun of Phil "The Shropshire Slasher" Kessel. Kessel does not enjoy the less-than good-natured ribbing. [Pass it to Bulis]

Behind the scenes of the Islanders Ice Girls photo shoot. Soooooo much hair spray.

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