[Bits] Close-talkers, Closed Doors and Christmas Presents

Are these supposed to be smoking? - Al Bello

On an off-day, the world continues to ask what the hell is wrong with the Islanders.

Hosting a Hanukkah gathering soon? Here's Ina Garten's recipe for gravlax with mustard sauce.

Islanders notes

  • Staple reports that the Islanders watched the snuff film from Tuesday, but need to truly absorb what went wrong (and has gone wrong) to prevent mistakes from continuing. [New$day]
  • Shocking Islanders Truths Exposed! Episode 1: The Islanders can't hold leads. Adam Gretz puts the numbers in stark perspective to the rest of the NHL. Do not read while eating.
  • Shocking Islanders Truths Exposed! Episode 2: Garth Snow's off-season moves haven't worked out. Steve Silverman at CBS sports wakes up to find the Islanders struggling. And CBS' obsession with Ray Emery continues.
  • But Chris Triantafilis at Eyes on Isles says the hindsight isn't going to save the season. [Eyes on Isles]
  • John Tavares and Jonathan Toews subscribe to the Sonny Corleone school of hockey: "What do you think this like the Army where you can shoot 'em from a mile away? No, you gotta get up like this and badda-bing! you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit." [Eric T for SB Nation]
  • The team visited Long Island hospitals yesterday to deliver toys to the kids. Please suspend the snark  and disillusionment for a moment to enjoy the photos. [Isles]

Meanwhile:

  • Last night's NHL scores. Penguins beat the Rangers, Devils beat the Senators. That's it. Only two games last night.
  • Following that loss to New Jersey, Paul MacLean had the Senators sit for a closed door meeting and ripped them a new one. [Sens Xtra]
  • The Blues signed Alex Steen to a 3-year contract extension. [NHL]
  • NHL Network's TV schedule for the World Junior tournament, which starts Dec. 26th. [NHL]
  • Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland was suspended for five games for a hit he laid on Detroit's Justin Abdelkader. [SB Nation]
  • NHL expansion to Vegas? What are the odds? (ugh) [Puck Daddy]
  • Want to be a real life general manager? Well, get up out of the armchair and apply to the Saint John Sea Dogs' open GM ad. [Sports Illustrated]
  • Justin Bourne with some friendly hockey etiquette for players of all levels. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Dave Lozo asks readers for their experiences meeting NHL players away from the rink. Couple of Islanders mentioned within. [Bleacher Report]
  • Silver Seven reviews Stan Fischler's latest book, "Behind the Net." [SSS]
  • The Penguins' holiday card is a funny parody of holiday music cds. I enjoyed it. [Penguins]

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