The New York Islanders close out 2014 in Winnipeg tonight, with a party-friendly early start of 5 p.m. EST, one of 11 games in the NHL today. What a year it's been.
The Jets, by the way, are just five points behind the Isles (in the other conference though) despite suffering absolute injury carnage.
- Be prepared for Dustin Byfuglien, Born Again Defenseman, who has impressed Paul Maurice, who in turn suspects the Atlanta Effect hurt a lot of current Jets. [Free Press]
- Are the Isles spooked by two consecutive blown 3-0 third period leads? "We're a confident group, we know what we've got," Anders Lee said. "We've been through the ups and downs..." [Newsday]
- Is Jack Capuano spooked? No, not when he takes the gestalt view of the overall game structure. [Islanders Insight]
- Calvin de Haan breaks down his shorthanded goal. [IslesTV]
- Buried in Friedman's 30 Thoughts, ex-Caps GM George McPhee is working for the Isles part-time, scouting in Michigan where he's hanging out. [Sportsnet]
- What's Bridgeport's battle level? Not high enough in a 6-2 loss to the baby Sharks. [CT Post]
- In the post-game notes, Ryan Pulock scored his 10th power play goal, taking sole possession of the team record from...Bruno Gervais. [Soundin' Off]
- Further down the farm chain, Stockton painted the ice last night. [LHH]
- Also at LHH: Willhofft on why Nick Leddy is so fantastic (and will make money) | Reliving the OT winner over the Caps through Sam Boychuk's twitter eyes.
- How valuable is Anders Lee? [THW]
- And what is his name again? Look, Shannon Hogan knows who the hell Anders Lee is. What I hate about these things is they rarely reference the context of all the things going on in the ear of someone doing live TV. [Awful Announcing]
- A bit of story and stats about Islanders prospects. [Isles]
- A bit more about the Islanders prospects, including Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom facing off in opposite creases at the WJC. [Islanders Insight]
- FIG Picks: Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight over here.
Beyond the Island
- Florida has signed Nick Bjugstad to a six-year extension, average of $4.1 million per. [Herald]
- The Winter Classic is tomorrow. Episode 3 of the "Road to" lead-up is over here and it is EPIX. [NHL] Japers' Rink has a host of reasons to be excited for it. Locally, at least. Also: Billy Idol will perform.
- At the WJC, the annual New Year's Eve Canada-USA clash is today at 4 p.m. EST. Something something McDavid Eichel draft yada. [NHL]
- This is Hockey: Martin Brodeur gets a shutout on 16 saves two nights ago. The next night, in his first game back from injury Brian Elliott faces 18 shots in the second period alone, on the way to facing 47 in a 3-2 loss to Nashville. [stltoday]
- By the way, the Blues are keeping Brodeur for now, making room by waiving Magnus Paajarvi. [stltoday]
- Speaking of waivers, Dan(n)y Heatley is in the AHL at age 33. [OC Register] That old Havlat-for-Heatley trade has turned out to like trading Nortel for Enron stock.
- Peter DeBoer is not bitter, and frankly appreciated the stability in New Jersey after what he went through in Florida. [ESPN]
- His old Panthers might be a playoff team, benefiting from "a combination of faster-than-expected player development and the venerable Roberto Luongo." [TSN]
- Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf organized a holiday skate. The league is investigating to make sure he -- or really, the team -- didn't violate any precious CBA rules. [LA Times]
- The stories of a couple of beneficiaries of the "Hockey is for Everyone" program. [Color of Hockey]