Cheers to the New York Islanders for keeping it interesting. Long uphill road yet to travel, but they wake up today tied in points (35) for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The team with whom they are tied, the Rangers, have one game in hand but wake up today licking some wounds after a 3-0 loss to Ottawa.
- Recaps from last night's shootout win in Philly: LHH | Newsday | IPB | nhl.com | Isles | Fans at Broad Street Hockey sound numb. | Tazman19 at Eyes on Isles | The Skinny: Tavares has now tied Benoit Hogue and Ed Westfall. (More good stuff in there, but I'm not
- At the other end of the organization, brutal night for the Sound Tigers as they blew a 4-2 lead and lost in regulation. Their playoff aspirations are looking stark, which is a shame for them and also for any plans to give ATOs a look.
- More from Fornabaio in the blog, including Scott Pellerin mentioning passengers. (Aside: I know regulars here tire of the same words from Isles coaches, but I heard "passengers" from two different hockey teams last night and "battle level" in no less than four different post-games. That vocab isn't going away.) Some more on the loss in the Post.
- It was Freudian slip night in the NHL: You had Brent Thompson during the Isles intermission, and the Avalanche crew during theirs.
- Prospects, 1: This month, B.U.-bound 2012 pick Doyle Somerby joined the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks out of high school. He notched his first goal in his seventh game with them. [team stats]
Prospects, 2: The NCAA Regionals begin tonight. Scott Mayfield's Denver plays UNH in Manchester tonight (8 p.m., ESPNU). Meanwhile, Anders Lee and Robbie Russo's Notre Dame -- which hasn't lost in nine games -- is the top seed in Toledo and plays St. Cloud at 1:30 Saturday (Fox regionals, ESPN3).
- From a few days ago, Adam Oates notes the Isles have gotten better, and says they are well coached.
- Also from then: Jack Hillen on suddenly getting a role with the Caps.
- Columbus got Aucoin'd by Toronto last night.
- Iginla items: He has visa issues but could be ready for the Isles on Saturday | Duhatschek on him leaving Calgary | Friedman on what went wrong on trade day.
Preds GM David Poile, at ESPN.com:
"This 48-game schedule is not normal. Everything about it is not normal. The condensed schedule, the travel, especially for us in the West, it’s all different," said Poile. "And consequently I have to imagine the trade deadline is different..."
Finally, Copper & Blue with food for thought:
The NHL is an efficiency contest and the teams that get the most bang for their buck will be the ones most likely to succeed. This applies to everywhere that teams are limited in some way. The salary cap is the most obvious place where efficiency matters, each team can only spend X dollars. But the same thinking should be applied to other aspects of the game like the distribution of contracts.
The Islanders have a ton of openings on their 50-man contract limit for 2013-14. For this season though, only two more spots remain. Looks like Butch Goring is among those who think one will go to Anders Lee.