After going winless on the road, scoring less than two goals per game and carrying an empty net-aided goal differential well in the red for the first quarter of 2011-12, the Islanders went out and won three on the road -- all by one goal -- put up four goals in their lone road "loss" of the recent trip and 14 goals in all.
Seven of 'em weren't even scored by Matt Moulson.
Now the injuries are starting to add up though: Nino Niederreiter has a concussion (no surprise) and Michael Grabner and Rick DiPietro will have their respective groin injuries evaluated today.
[UPDATE: Grabner is day-to-day, DiPietro is out but has no timetable, Evgeni Nabokov skated with the team today, and Mark Fistric faces an NHL disciplinary hearing Tuesday.]
You shouldn't mess around with concussions and you shouldn't mess around with groins -- especially on a speed-dependent player -- so prudence dictates expecting all will need replacing for Tuesday vs. the Lightning. That means call-ups.
Chances are there will be announcements by the time you read this, but we'll update this post here or fire up a new one if we're feeling up to it.
As far as whom to look to in Bridgeport, you can see who's hot in Mark's weekly Sunday Isles/Bridgeport prospect roundup, and you can catch Cary K's FanPost about Sunday's loss to Hershey.
Regarding Nino's future, that's first up to the way his brain responds to the unpredictable nature of concussions. But if there was any thought to releasing him to Switzerland's World Junior U20 Championship at the end of the month (I sort of doubt there is on the Isles' part), this throws that further into question. It might open him up to the possibility of another Bridgeport conditioning stint though. You hate to see this happen any time, but especially right after he scored that big goal in Chicago.
Meanwhile, isn't this the luck? Mikko Koskinen is red hot in Finland, and of course Evgeni Nabokov and DiPietro both get hurt after the Islanders ease up on their six-goalie situation.
- With Nino concussed, David Ullstrom filled in for him at his scheduled autograph session and rather enjoyed himself.
- We added some of these to the game recap, but here is the page of MSG post-game coverage from Dallas. Shirtless P.A. Parenteau for the ladies.
- Newsday's piece on the road trip.
- If you are angry that Jack Capuano wasn't breathing fire after the hit on Nino, then this is the FanPost for you. (The heading was even in all caps with three question marks, but we have a strict policy on reserving ALL CAPS headlines for alien invasions and Stanley Cup wins. We hope to get to use them some day.)
- Nucks Misconduct compared the Fistric hit on Nino to the hit on Nathan Horton that got Aaron Rome suspended from the Stanley Cup finals. Big difference, of course, is that Rome's hit was late and high, whereas Fistric's was just high.
- Investigating the Capuano necktie. [IPB]
- Moulson's road trip puts him in company with Mark Parrish and Miro Satan.
- Extensive NYT feature on Derek Boogaard.
- Humor: In Which Ron Wilson Trolls Damien Cox - Pension Plan Puppets
- AHL look: 2 Months Deep: How NHL Teams are Using Their AHL Affiliates | SJICECAPS.COM
- Roster-gazing: What To Do With Nikolai Kulemin? | The LeafsNation
NHL Realignment Talk
The NHL governors are meeting this week and realignment will be a major topic, so expect much more to come out on that (and expect me to link it, because I'm obsessed with the topic). Here is the updated stream on SB Nation's hockey hub on realignment, and here's more at Puck Daddy and NYT and NHL.com. Here is Larry Brooks voicing -- stop me if you've heard this before -- the NHLPA's view. [FanShot on that]
Fun weekend for watching ex-Islanders if you caught any of the Battle of Alberta Flames-Oilers game. Blake Comeau was a Corsi +10 (single-game caution for that applies) and collected a second assist, but what I noticed was his nice work in 2:19 of PK work. I've mentioned that I get the performance issues that led the Isles to give up on him, but I don't understand why his PK time had dropped so much this year before he was waived.
Anyway, that game featured some humorous Tom Renney line management in its critical moments, detailed with usual disgust at Copper & Blue here, and featuring some notes on Andy Sutton ("There aren't many legal things a stick can hit at face-level.") and Ryan O'Marra.
Hey, here is a video from the Ice Girls Photo Shoot, with them discussing black outfits and such. I hear references to "bedazzled" and "sparkly" and "sore cheeks" and also, "That girl has the worst Corsi, I swear, I don't know how they keep skating her."
So there's that then.