[Bits] Islanders Smoked Like St. Louis Style Ribs*

They really shouldn't let Patriots fans handle fire like that. - Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

*which aren't really smoked. They're just a different cut of pork. Regionally, St. Louis is known for its barbecue sauces... anyway, it's a metaphor. You get it.

The Islanders started their new road trip as well as ended their last one. Must have been a fun flight to LAX.

Islanders stuff:

  • Arthur Staple's Newsday recap illustrates the sad Groundhog Day cycle the Islanders are in now, and John Tavares talks about pride. [Paywall]
  • Eric Hornick's Skinny picks through the damage from last night.
  • Health updates on Brian Strait and Evgeni Nabokov. Both feel better, but no timetables yet. [New$$day]
  • Nabokov thinks his teammates are just lacking confidence right now and a winning streak could be around the corner. A for attitude, comrade. Wish I felt the same way. [New$$$day]
  • Sportsnet breaks the news: Tavares and Vanek are good together, but the Islanders are still in need of a goalie. Geez, no wonder they got that fat NHL contract.
  • Doug Weight talks about why he likes his job (and also why he thought he got jobbed when he was dealt from the Blues despite a no-trade clause) [stltoday]
  • Fancy a tailgate and meetup for the Dec. 14 game? Check this FanPost and talk it up.

News From Teams Around the NHL You Could Be Watching Instead:

  • NHL Scores from last night. Habs beat the Bruins for first in the Atlantic, Senators lose again and the Penguins blew out the Sharks 5-1.
  • Bruins defenseman (and owner of the most "hockey name" in the NHL) Johnny Boychuk was hurt after a slide into the boards. He was stretchered off, but traveled with the Bruins following the game. [SB Nation with teh gif]
  • With three goals and an assist in the Oilers' 6-2 win over the Avalanche last night, Taylor Hall may have just invented the "Bra Trick." Either that, or there are some serious Tom Jones fans in Edmonton. [Puck Daddy]
  • Like the Islanders, the wheels have pretty much come off the Senators this season and Travis Yost is, like us, searching for answers and explanations.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky is out for a month and The Cannon looks at life without Bob.
  • Speaking of Columbus, some citizens don't want to continue paying for Nationwide Arena and are taking up a petition. That's so Mid West. [Dispatch]
  • Eric T covers all of the pros and cons of the long term goalie contract such as the one signed by handsome man Henrik Lundqvist. [SBN's Outnumbered]
  • We run these from time to time and here's another good one: an explanation of Corsi and Fenwick from Second City Hockey.
  • And when you're done reading that, Tyler Dellow explains why Tom Gilbert is a good defenseman and a steal for the Panthers. [Sportsnet]
  • This will go over well: Nino Niederreiter taking the next step with the Minnesota Wild. (Blame Dom, he clipped it)
  • But hey, we all hate ESPN, right? They really dropped the ball on their first Big Ten hockey game last weekend. [SBN College Hockey]

How about a trip to California that was a little more fun to watch (and just slightly applicable to the Islanders):

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